Centralia Battlefield - Centralia, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member gparkes
N 39° 10.615 W 092° 06.691
15S E 576743 N 4336785
The Battle of Centralia is thought to be one of the most one-sided battles in Missouri.
Waymark Code: WM623G
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 03/19/2009
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member rainwolf420
Views: 13

Below is the text of the marker:

The Centralia Battle

One of the bloodiest battles of the War between the States was fought here on the afternoon of September 27, 1864. 120 newly-recruited federal soldiers of the 39th Missouri Mounted Infantry Volunteers commanded by Major A.V.E. Johnston, was engaged by 400 veteran Confederate guerrilla forces lead by Captain William T. “Bloody Bill” Anderson. The Federal soldiers were armed with a single shot Enfield muskets while the guerrillas fought with Navy Colt revolvers, some having as many as four to six pistols each. Johnston dismounted his men and formed them into a single skirmish line. The guerrillas attacked the Federal soldiers head-on, and on both flanks. The battle lasted only 3 minutes. Johnston and almost every one of his men were killed and later mutilated by the guerrillas. The guerrilla forces lost only 3 men during the battle. One month later near Albany, Missouri, “Bloody Bill” Anderson was ambushed and killed by Federal troops using the same tactics he used at the Battle of Centralia.


On the morning of September 27, 1864, Confederate Captain William T. “Bloody Bill” Anderson with 80 guerrillas entered the town of Centralia to reconnoiter and disrupt traffic on the North Missouri Railroad which ran through town. Before noon a passenger train carrying 23 furloughed Federal soldiers approached the town. The guerrillas piled railroad ties across the tracks and stopped the train. All except one of these Federal soldiers were lined up and executed by Anderson’s men. The guerrillas burned the train depot and returned to camp Southeast of town. That afternoon, Union Major A.V.E. Johston with 155 soldiers from 39th Missouri Mounted Infantry Volunteers rode into Centralia. Johnston was enraged when he saw the massacred soldiers lying on the ground. The citizens of Centralia told him that Anderson was camped about three miles south of town, with a force of approximately 400 guerrillas. Major Johnston swore revenge for his murdered comrades and rode out to confront Anderson and the Guerrillas. Leaving 35 soldiers in Centralia the guerrillas decoyed the Federal command into a field that was surrounded on two sides by dense timber near Young’s Creek.

Sons of Confederate Veterans

Colonel James J. Searcey Camp 1923
Sons of Confederate Veterans
Web link: [Web Link]

History of Mark:
This waypoint is located at the new stone marker. Placed by the Sons of the Confederate Veterans, the marker was set in 2005.

Additional point: Not Listed

Visit Instructions:
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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kJfishman visited Centralia Battlefield - Centralia, MO 11/03/2009 kJfishman visited it