Six months after the outbreak of America’s Civil War in 1861, a little known and long misunderstood skirmish between Confederate and Union forces took place here in the Ozarks, near what is now Richland, MO.

Six months after the outbreak of America’s Civil War in 1861, a little known and long misunderstood skirmish between Confederate and Union forces took place here in the Ozarks, near what is now Richland, MO.

Not many students of American history know that the Show Me State was among the top three states to feature military action in the war. While several dozen Union and their Confederate opponents fell in the Battle of Monday Hollow, compared to some 700 thousand on both sides in four years, the Richland battle place remained unmarked and largely ignored until recently.

John Wilson, a Camden County Historical Society member, had come across several references to the Monday Hollow battle and, using metal detectors and a fly-over, pinpointed the actual battlefield on private land near the Beulah Baptist Church at Richland.

Wilson said he contacted State Representative Diane Franklin to see if the state could set a marker commemorating the battle and that marker was unveiled in a brief ceremony on Saturday in the church front yard.

“The union forces were known as State Guards. The southern sympathizers were Home Guards. The State Guards later became Missouri’s National Guard.” Wilson said a State Guard supply wagon train was planned to move west to east from Lebanon, Missouri toward Richland when southern forces found out about it. The Rebels were able to kidnap several wagonloads of injured State Guardsmen. Having proved their effectiveness on the wounded troops, Wilson said they set a trap for the remaining troops to follow but a local farmer alerted the unionists to the ambush.

The second group contained experienced Union forces along with State Guard volunteers.

“While the confederates outnumbered the union forces, the unionists were aided by mounted cavalry. The battle moved back and forth several times, occasionally it was hand-to-hand.

The final victory was achieved on October 13, 1861, 157 years ago.”

25 Confederates were captured.  62 Confederates fell in the battle.  The captured were taken to a northern prison camp for the war’s duration and a mass grave was dug on the battlefield where the 62 had lost their lives.  The Missouri Sons of Confederate Veterans placed a stone marker commemorating the fallen in the church cemetery in 2010.  Wilson said the battle marker unveiled Saturday marked official state recognition of the Battle of Monday Hollow.