Agricultural History Series
Missouri State University

Agriculture in Post-Civil War Missouri 

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The Civil War was devastating to Missouri agriculture.  Fighting was different in Missouri than in many other states because sympathies toward the North and the South were split fairly evenly. Fighting was brother against brother, and neighbor against neighbor.  People were affected by both sides of the war.  Stories were told about how on one day the Union soldiers may come and steal your horses, and the next day Confederate soldiers may come and burn your house. 

For this class project, the Missouri Agriculture Yearbooks for the years 1866 - 1870 were used as primary resources.  Each yearbook contains interesting reports from many but not all Missouri counties. To develop a basic understanding of agricultural life in Missouri, the students watched the movie “Ride With the Devil”.  This movie portrayed very accurately what life was like during the war in Missouri and helped the class to understand how crippling the war was to much of our state.  The trailer for this movie tells:

In a No-Man's land between North and South,

You didn't fight for the Blue or the Gray...       

You fought for your friends and your family.

The following pages depict how various counties in Missouri were affected by the Civil War, and the condition that agriculture was in following the war.  Why were these particular counties selected?  Each student enrolled in the Agricultural History Course selected one Missouri County for research and these are the ones chosen.

 This page was designed by Brian Hubbard and Brent Micke.

For more information, contact Lyndon N. Irwin