Camp Jackson Musket


In May 1861, Missouri’s pro-secession Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson ordered the Volunteer Militia to train for six days in Lindell Grove on the outskirts of St. Louis. St. Louis was the home of the largest arsenal west of the Mississippi River, housing approximately 36,000 muskets. Captain Nathaniel Lyon had recently been given command of the Arsenal and worked to boost its defenses. Lyon surround the 669 militiamen at Lindell Grove with his force of 6,500 men, forcing their surrender. Lyon then marched his prisoners through the streets of St. Louis, where they encountered an angry mob of citizens. Many of these citizens shouted insults at Lyon’s men as they marched to Lindell Grove, and now that they had taken militiamen as prisoners, they began hurling rocks and bottles. Lyon’s command attempted to disperse the citizens by firing a volley over their heads. When this failed to restore order, the nervous soldiers turned their muskets on the crowd. Twenty-eight civilians were killed, another seventy-five wounded in the melee. Two Union soldiers and three militiamen also died.

This musket was captured by Union forces at Camp Jackson on May 10, 1861. This civilian musket was made into a military weapon with the addition of a lug for a sword bayonet (attached). The initials “JDE” are carved on the right side of the stock; stamped on the hand guard of the bayonet are the numbers “584.” The musket is 33 inches long, and the sword bayonet is an additional 20 inches.

Object Details

Categories: War & Conflict

Date: 1861

Subject: Lyon, Nathaniel; Civil War, 1861-1865

Contributing Institution: Wilson's Creek National Battlefield

Accession Number: WICR 30009

Copy Request: Contact Wilson's Creek National Battlefield at: (417)-732-2662; 6424 West Farm Road 182 Republic, MO 65738.

Rights: The Wilson's Creek National Battlefield Civil War Museum is providing access to these materials for educational and research purposes only. The written permission of the copyright owner(s) and/or other right holder(s) (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected images(s) beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an image(s) and securing any necessary permission ultimately rests with person(s) desiring to use the image(s). Images that are the property of Wilson's Creek National Battlefield should be cited as: Image Credit: Wilson's Creek National Battlefield Civil War Museum.

Region: St. Louis Metro

Type: Object

Latitude: 37.115684

Longitude: -93.41942

Photographer: Steve Ross