BATTLE OF MOUNT ZION CHURCH – DECEMBER 28, 1861
Last organized battle between the Union Army and Gov. Jackson’s secessionist Missouri State Guard.
Forces Engaged: Union Army 440 vs. Gov. Jackson’s secessionist Missouri State Guard 900 (mostly recruits)
(Mt. Zion Church photo courtesy of the Hughes Camp SCV.)
Church Location: 10071 E. Mt. Zion Church Rd. From Hallsville, Mo: East on Hwy 00, 3 miles; right on N. Flynt Ln, 0.8 miles; left on Mt. Zion Church Road, Church on left.
Stamp Location: Centralia Public Library (see Centralia for alternate stamp location)
Address: 210 S. Jefferson St., Centralia
Phone Number: 573-682-2036
Staff Available: Mon, Wed, Fri, & Sat: 9 am-5 pm. Tue & Thu: 9 am-8 pm. Sun: 1-4 pm
Visit Fee: None
Brig. Gen. Benjamin M. Prentiss led a Union force of 5 mounted companies and 2 companies of Birge’s sharpshooters into Boone County to protect the North Missouri Railroad and overawe secessionist sentiment there. After arriving in Sturgeon on December 26, Prentiss learned of a band of Rebels near Hallsville. He sent a company to Hallsville the next day that fought a Confederate force under the command of Col. Caleb Dorsey and suffered numerous casualties, including many taken prisoner, before retreating to Sturgeon. On the 28th, Prentiss set out with his entire force to meet Dorsey’s Rebels. He routed one company of Confederates on the road from Hallsville to Mount Zion and learned that the rest of the force was at Mount Zion Church. Prentiss headed for the church. After a short battle, the Confederates retreated, leaving their killed and wounded on the battlefield and abandoning many animals, weapons, and supplies. This action and others curtailed rebel recruiting activities in Central Missouri.
OFFICIAL REPORTS OF THE ACTION AT MOUNT ZION CHURCH
The War of the Rebellion: the Official Records, Series 1, Volume 8; pages 43-45. [Link to Page 43]
Dec 30, 1861 Major Gen. Halleck to Brig. Gen. Prentiss (O.R., Series 1, Volume 8; page 474.) Letter Summary: Congratulations on your success at Mount Zion. Communicate with Schofield & Henderson, and the troops in the vicinity of Fayette & Glasgow. Punish all bridge burners.
NEWSPAPER ARTICLES ON THE ACTION AT MOUNT ZION CHURCH
Dec 30, 1861 · Missouri Democrat “Gen. Prentiss After the Rebels—Fight at Mount Zion, Boone County” [Summary: Reports that Gen. Prentiss with a body of 450 men encountered and dispersed 800 rebels at Mount Zion in Boone County. The rebel loss in killed and wounded was 150. The Federal loss was three killed and eleven wounded.]
Oct 9, 1886 · Missouri Republican “Tales of the War: Battle of Mt. Zion, MO” [Summary: Sketch of the action by A. J. Coshow, late member of the St. Charles County Campaign, 2nd Division, Missouri State Guard.]