The battle of Wilson's Creek in 1861 opened the Civil War in Missouri.  For the next 3 1/2 years, the state saw fierce fighting, mostly guerrilla warfare, with bands of mounted raiders destroying anything military or civilian that could aid the enemy.  Finally in 1864, confederate Major General Price returned to Missouri with 12,000 men.  By the time this campaign ended, he had marched nearly 1,500 miles, fought 43 battles and destroyed $10 million in property.  Yet, this confederate campaign ended in disaster.  At the Battle of Westport on October 23, the largest battle west of the Mississippi, Price was defeated and forced South. 

By the end of the Civil War, Missouri had seen so many battles and skirmishes that it would rank as the third most fought-over state in the nation!