Sizeable numbers of Union soldiers either spent much of their time searching the swamps of southern Missouri for an elusive Confederare leader or fearing he would come out to make an attack. He seldom appeeared and when he did he rarely used more than a fragment of his forces. Actually he didn’t have very many men, but he was a master at keeping federal busy thinking he did. He was known as the Swamp Fox of Missouri’s Civil War.Meriwether Jeff Thompson first attracted the attention of Union leaders in the city of St. Joseph. The federal government planned to make it plain that Missouri was a state of northern allegiance after war had been declared. A federal flag was run up the pole of the St. Joseph post office. But the mayor of the town scaled that pole and cut it down. The crowd watching below tore it to shreds.
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