Massacre and battle at Centralia, Missouri, September 27, 1864: Historical and archaeological perspectives

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From These Honored Dead: Historical Archaeology of the American Civil War


During the morning of September 27, 1864, the sleepy little hamlet of Centralia, Missouri, was visited by a band of pro-Confederacy guerrillas, led by William T. Anderson, one of the most notorious partisan leaders in the history of guerrilla warfare during the Civil War. When it erupted in mayhem, that visit brought about the deaths of several civilians and approximately 150 Union soldiers in a massacre and battle that placed Centralia in the annals of famous Civil War atrocities. Newly discovered pension records and various accounts of the survivors and other witnesses clearly show the vicious and violent nature of war practiced in the trans-Mississippi West during the Civil War. Viewed in light of the expanding array of analytical techniques of modern battlefield research, Centralia presents historical and archaeological reflections of those radical practices of war and warfare.



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