This history was transcribed exactly as written from
LEXINGTON, MISSOURI; 1822 - 1972; Official Commemorative Book
The Higginsville Advance, Inc., Higginsville, Missouri." Pages 10 - 14.

Transcriber: Carmen F. Bein: I have placed all names of genealogical or historical significance in a bold font for easier research.

Copyright by John A. Gueguen, Jr.

{page 13}


   After suffering overwhelming defeats in later battles farther south, Price was forced to disband his once great army and flee to Mexico. He died in Saint Louis in 1867, a victim of cholera. Colonel Mulligan was taken into custody after the battle, received excellent treatment a prisoner, refused parole, and later exchanged. He then resumed army career, and was killed in action at Winchester, Virginia, July 25, 1864, after accumulating an impressive record as a military leader.

   The Battle of Lexington, although not inflicting a great amount of property damage on the city, did leave its mark. Many evidences of the historic struggle remain in Lexington as remiders of the Civil War days. The breastworks of the Union fortifications are still visible in part of the 80-acre Lexington Battleground. The Masonic College, which was later restored as a part of Lexington College for Women, burned in 1932. A replica of the historic building was dedicated in a park near the Battlefield in 1934, together with four memorial columns marking the entrance to the Battlefield itself.

   The Anderson House was bought by Lafayette County in 1928 and restored as a museum containing furnishings. Other buildings who histories are connected with the Battle and which are still standing include the Farmers' Bank building, the present home of the Elks Lodge; the Lafayette County Courthouse, in which a cannon ball fired during the Battle is still imbedded; and many of the town's old homes. The site of General Price's headquarters is in the business district on Main Street, and the grave of five unknown Federal soldiers has been marked on the Battleground.

Now a State Park

   Plans to make Lexington's Civil War historical sites nation-wide tourist attractions were formulated early in 1955. The restoration, originally sponsored by the City of Lexington and local organizations, by Lafayette County, and by the Missouri Division of Resources and Development, was taken over in 1959 by the State Park Board, which now administers the improvements and maintenance. Its long-range plan will require several years and a substantial amount of money for its completion.

   Among the planned improvements are restoration of trenches, sally ports, and cannon on the Battlefield and construction of a raised contour relief map showing how the battle was fought, completion of restoration of the Anderson House interior with period furniture and restoration of the carriage pit and slave quarters, improvement of street access and parking facilities and construction of a central entrance and picnic area, and the marking with plaques of all outstanding historic sites in the area.

By Paul Russell

   The late B.M. Little Sr., who was one of the "official" historians of Lexington in bygone years, related the following story to the Lexington Rotary Club several years ago. As Mr. Little kept some records and memorabilia of Lexington, and was generally recognized as one of the local historians, it was only natural that he would be the proper individual to be contact when data and things pertaining to local history arose. Here is the story:

   Col. James A. Mulligan, a native New York, commanded a regiment of fighting Irish from Chicago at the time of the Civil War. He was presented with a sword, set with semi-precious stones, by his friends before he marched off to Missouri with his men. They took Lexington with very little trouble on September 8, 1861, and the colonel established a fortress on top of the hill at the Masonic College.

   This seemed impregnable. He believed he was established there for the duration of the war and sent for his wife and baby to join him. He established a foundry in the basement of the Masonic College to make ammunition.

Lexington a Strategic Point

   This hill was a strategic point because it controlled the Missouri River, and the river was a more reliable way of moving troops than the post roads. Colonel Mulligan, being a genial soul, did everything he could to the Lexingtonians from hating him. Most of them, Southern in sympathy, failed to respond to his friendly overtures, though it doubtless suited some of

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This page revised January 19, 2004.

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