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153 YEARS: GENERAL FREMONT IN JEFFERSON CITY

General John C. Fremont commanded western forces during the Civil War for exactly one hundred days, beginning shortly after the Union capture of Camp Jackson in St. Louis and victory at the Battle of Booneville.  Currently, we are well into September, the end of which marks 153 years since Fremont’s arrival in Jefferson City. Fremont and his men headed west to Jefferson City from St. Louis on September 28, 1861.  Along the way, they stopped in the German town of Hermann, Missouri, where the locals, known for their hospitality, indulged them with food and wine before they continued along.  After ten hours and 120 miles, quite a feat for the time, they reached Jefferson City. Fremont remained camped at Jefferson City for some time, and frequently sent to St. Louis for supplies. From September 28, 1861 until October 7, a large federal army occupied Jefferson City as it prepared to embark on a campaign to drive Major General Sterling Price from the state.  This campaign was organized after Price captured Lexington, Missouri, with a force of Missouri State Guard troops, sending shock waves through the north.  The federal army camped on the hills south and west of the Capitol building, which Fremont dubbed “Camp Lily” in honor of his daughter.

About the Author
Caitlin O'Leary is the Programs Manager for Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation. Contact her at col@mocivilwar.org.

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