2nd USCT Infantry Regiment 1st USCT Infantry Regiment 1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment 1861 Skirmishes 1862 Skirmishes 1863 Skirmishes 1864 Skirmishes 1865 Skirmishes Alternate Battle Names 3rd Regiment Alabama Infantry 1861-04-12 Battle of Fort Sumter 1861-04-15 Evacuation of Fort Sumter 1861-04-19 Riots in Baltimore 1861-05-07 Gloucester Point 1861-05-10 Camp Jackson 1861-05-10 Riots in St. Louis 1861-05-18 Sewell’s Point 1861-05-29 Aquia Creek 1861-06-01 Fairfax Court House I 1861-06-01 Arlington Mills 1861-06-03 Philippi 1861-06-05 Pig Point 1861-06-10 Big Bethel 1861-06-15 Hooe’s Ferry 1861-06-17 Vienna 1861-06-17 Boonville 1861-06-19 Cole Camp 1861-06-27 Mathias Point 1861-07-02 Hoke’s Run 1861-07-05 Carthage 1861-07-05 Neosho 1861-07-08 Laurel Hill 1861-07-11 Rich Mountain 1861-07-12 Barboursville 1861-07-13 Corrick’s Ford 1861-07-17 Scary Creek 1861-07-17 Bunker Hill 1861-07-18 Blackburn’s Ford 1861-07-21 Manassas I 1861-07-22 Forsyth 1861-07-25 Mesilla I 1861-07-27 Fort Fillmore 1861-07-28 Sinking of the Petrel 1861-08 Siege of Tubac 1861-08 Cooke’s Canyon 1861-08 Battle of the Florida Mountains 1861-08-02 Dug Springs 1861-08-03 Curran Post Office 1861-08-05 Athens 1861-08-07 Hampton 1861-08-10 Wilson’s Creek 1861-08-10 Potosi 1861-08-19 Charleston 1861-08-25 Mason’s Hill 1861-08-26 Kessler’s Cross Lanes 1861-08-28 Hatteras Inlet Batteries 1861-08-31 Munson’s Hill 1861-09-02 Dry Wood Creek 1861-09-02 Gallinas Massacre 1861-09-08 Placito 1861-09-10 Carnifex Ferry 1861-09-11 Lewinsville 1861-09-12 Cheat Mountain 1861-09-12 Lexington I 1861-09-17 Liberty 1861-09-19 Barbourville 1861-09-21 Fredericktown I 1861-09-24 Canada Alamosa 1861-09-27 Pinos Altos 1861-10-03 Greenbrier River 1861-10-05 Cockle Creek 1861-10-09 Santa Rosa Island 1861-10-12 Battle of the Head of Passes 1861-10-21 Ball’s Bluff 1861-10-21 Camp Wildcat 1861-10-21 Fredericktown II 1861-10-23 Big Sandy Expedition 1861-10-25 Springfield I 1861-11-03 Port Royal 1861-11-07 Belmont 1861-11-08 Ivy Mountain 1861-11-19 Round Mountain 1861-11-20 Skirmish at Brownsville 1861-11-20 Hunter’s Mills 1861-12-04 Bog Wallow Ambush 1861-12-09 Chusto-Talasah 1861-12-13 Camp Allegheny 1861-12-17 Rowlett’s Station 1861-12-19 Skirmish at Blackwater Creek 1861-12-20 Dranesville 1861-12-26 Chustenahlah 1861-12-28 Mount Zion Church 1861-12-28 Sacramento 1862-01-01 Crook’s 1862 Expedition 1862-01-03 Cockpit Point 1862-01-05 Hancock 1862-01-08 Roan’s Tan Yard 1862-01-10 Middle Creek 1862-01-11 Lucas Bend 1862-01-19 Mill Springs


Start: 1861-09-17

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The Battle of Liberty (also known as the Battle of Blue Mills Landing or the Battle of Blue Mills) was a battle of the American Civil War that took place on 17 September 1861, in Clay County, Missouri. Union forces unsuccessfully attempted to prevent pro-Confederate Missouri State Guards from northern Missouri from crossing the Missouri River near the confluence with the Blue River to reinforce Sterling Price at Lexington.


After his victory at Wilson’s Creek in August, Price began a campaign to gain control of Missouri. Union troops had been guarding the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad and its terminus in St. Joseph, Missouri. When these Union forces were pulled away to meet Price’s army, Confederate sympathizers from northwestern Missouri seized St. Joseph and sacked the town.

On 15 September, about 3,500 men of the Missouri State Guard plus a number of irregulars from St. Joseph set out for Lexington. In the evening, Price sent ex-Senator and now General David Rice Atchison from Lexington to help these men, mostly new recruits, cross the river near Liberty.

Union troops of the 16th Illinois Infantry and the 39th Ohio Infantry were guarding the Platte River railroad bridge in Buchanan County, which had earlier been sabotaged in the Platte Bridge Railroad Tragedy. These troops started moving to Liberty. At the same time, Union Lt. Col. John Scott led a small force (500 men of the 3rd Iowa Infantry, about 70 Missouri Home Guards, and one 6-pound smoothbore cannon) from guarding the railroad at Cameron towards Liberty. Heavy rain and bad roads limited his progress to only seven miles that day. On 16 September, Scott camped in Centreville (ten miles north of Liberty), where he heard artillery fire in the distance.

Order of Battle


Lt. Col. Scott broke camp at 2:00 A.M. on 17 September. He arrived in Liberty at 7:00 A.M., and sent scouts out to find the enemy. Skirmishing began about 11:00 A.M. At noon, Scott marched five miles in the direction of the firing, and approached Blue Mills Landing on the Missouri River.

General Atchison, who had lived in Liberty, deployed his men in the brush on either side of the Missouri River bottom land road leading to the landing. At about 3:00 P.M., Scott’s troops encountered the State Guard pickets and were attacked from both sides.

Scott’s artillerymen fired two rounds of canister, inflicting heavy damage. However, a fresh volley from the State Guards scattered or killed most of the gunners. Scott ordered his outnumbered force to fall back to the bluffs in Liberty, hauling off the gun by hand. Atchison attempted a flanking movement on the Federal right, which resulted in a sharp fight. The Union force continued to withdraw, firing as they retreated, taking with them nearly all their wounded, but abandoning their ammunition wagon and a caisson. The State Guard pursued for some distance, but Atchison did not press the attack.

Just before nightfall, Scott’s force retired to Liberty, entering the town about an hour after sunset. Atchison and the State Guards from northern Missouri crossed the river to reinforce Price in his successful attack on Lexington. After sunset the Union troops returned to retrieve their dead from the field.

Union troops set up a hospital on the campus of William Jewell College in Liberty and buried their dead on the campus.


The fighting at Blue Mills Landing lasted for an hour and resulted in a total of 126 casualties. The Union forces suffered 56 casualties and the Missouri State Guard lost 70. Among the latter was the Missouri State Guard’s Theodore Duncan, who died on the same day that he had been promoted from captain to colonel. Ten of the sixteen Union field officers fell dead or wounded.


Total Killed Wounded Missing Captured
USA Battle Flag 56
CSA Battle Flag small 70
Combined Forces

References: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Liberty

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