The first land battle of the Civil War will be re-enacted this weekend close to the farm field where the real one took place. The Battle of Boonville, just east of the city, matched poorly-armed and poorly-trained State Guard troops against the better-armed and better-trained Union forces that had just occupied Jefferson City. It became such a rout that some participants referred to it as “The Boonville Races.”
Members of the Missouri Civil War Re-Enactors Association will re-create the battle, and will re-create a troop encampment. Tomorrow night, participants will line up about 30 cannons for a night firing.
Association President Jim England of House Springs says it’s more than just re-enacting the battle “We enjoy teaching people about what life was like back then,” he says.
Only Virginia and Tennessee had more battles and skirmishes than Missouri had. The Battle of Boonville is the first of more than a dozen re-enactments the Missouri group will be doing this year.