Anyone who thinks physical size indicates the size of a person is a fool. One man’s life was involved in the history of our state for only five months. But his forceful actions kept Missouri in the Union and determined Union domination of our state throughout the Civil War although he would die in its earliest days. He was a big man in every way but physical stature and his premature death, some say, meant this state would suffer much longer that it otherwise might have. Nathan Lyon was only five feet, seven inches tall, but there burned within him the fire that would save our state for the Union, foil mightily the plans of the Confederate state administration and eventually lead to his death at the age of forty-three.