Boonville Monument Dedication: Honoring a forgotten past
On Sunday afternoon while many families were enjoying their Labor Day holiday, there were a select few who were honoring a forgotten past along the Cliffside Southeast of Boonville.
"Ann Hawkins Gentry Tent #21, Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War and Tiger Camp, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War sponsored moving the monument commemorating the 1st Battle of Boonville away from the railroad track to a more suitable location while still on the historic property. Bryan Bradford, commander of Tiger Camp and Mary Ellen McVicker, President of Daughters of Union Veterans, conducted a joint dedication ceremony of the monument being moved. It was originally erected in 1928 by the Grand Army of the Republic which is no longer in existence in Missouri due to the death of all Civil War veterans. The monument was cleaned and restored before it was moved."
In June 1861, the forces of Gov. Claiborne Fox Jackson, The Missouri State Guard, were encamped upon the bluff just to the East of Boonville in what was called Camp Bacon. After the affair at Camp Jackson near St. Louis, the Governor and the Guard fled Jefferson City and were using this camp as a rendezvous to mass forces and defend the state against the invading Union troops of Gen. Nathaniel Lyon. When Gen. Lyon arrived at Jefferson City he took two steamboats up river towards Boonville, when they arrived to the south of town they had spotted what they believed to be cannons on the bluff below the city. Lyon ordered the boats go back down to the landing where the Rocheport Rd came down to the river. From this point, Lyon’s troops marched up the steep road to the point where skirmishers were making contact 2 miles up the road.
The Battle of Boonville was very quickly decided and with a Union victory, secured the Missouri River Valley for the Union. 93 years ago in 1928, the Grand Army of the Republic, John A. Hayn Post #240 set a stone marker along the Union Pacific tracks at the point where the Rocheport Rd starts up to the bluffs. This marker reads, “The Battle of Boonville began here June 17, 1861 Genl. Lyon Commander of the Union Forces” and “Erected by the G.A.R. Post of Boonville 1928”.
The marker had been in a state of disrepair, and with the help of the Sons and Daughters and the Missouri River Monument Company it is now on a new base and moved away from the tracks to more safer ground.