Print this page

Missouri State Militia Encampment at Lindell Grove

Missouri Governeor Claiborne Fox Jackson

Missouri Governor Claiborne Jackson continued to prepare for what he considered to be inevitable, Missouri voting to secede from the Union. Jackson ordered the State Militia to report for training to camps established within their districts. Using the authority from an1858 state law, Governor Jackson issued the following order: [34]

[Each District Commander in the State Militia will] assemble their respective commands, in obedience to a law enacted in 1858, at some convenient place, each within his own district, on the 3d of May, and to go with them into encampment for six days, to the end that the officers and men might attain a greater degree of efficiency in drill and discipline.

Basil W. Duke, St. Louis Secessionist Leader

Brigadier-General Daniel M. Frost decided that the militia in his district would camp in a wooded valley called Lindell Grove located near the intersection of Grand Avenue and Olive Street. Frost decided to call it Camp Jackson in honor of the Governor. He went into camp on May 6th with about 700 men. All was well in Camp Jackson for a few days until Captain Basil Duke informed Frost that the Federals were gathering and planned to march against him at Camp Jackson: [35]

I went to the camp that night [May 9th], notified General Frost [that the Federals were preparing to march on Camp Jackson], and urged him to prepare for an attack, which I believed would be delivered early the next morning.

Daniel M. Frost, Brigadier General, Missouri State Militia

Frost quickly sent his Chief-of-Staff, Colonel John S. Bowen, with a message for Captain Nathaniel Lyon: [36]

SIR: I am constantly in receipt of information that you contemplate an attack upon my camp . . . I am greatly at a loss to know what could justify you in attacking citizens of the United States who are in the lawful performance of duties devolving upon them under the Constitution in organizing and instructing the militia of the State in obedience to her laws, and therefore have been disposed to doubt the correctness of the information I have received.

The Muse South African