State Historical Society of Missouri
During the Civil War, Cape Girardeau served as an important strategic position on
the Mississippi River between St. Louis and Cairo, Illinois.
Texans Invade Missouri:
The Cape Girardeau Raid, 1863
BY ANNE J. BAILEY*
Federal armies had fared well along the west bank of the Mississippi River during 1862. All of Missouri, as well as parts of northern
Arkansas and southern Louisiana, had passed to Union control.
Confederate Secretary of War James A. Seddon observed in March
that "disorder, confusion, and demoralization" prevailed throughout
Arkansas.1 Theophilus H. Holmes, commander of the Trans-Mississippi
Department headquartered at Little Rock, not only faced serious
military problems but had lost the confidence of both citizens and
soldiers. To ameliorate conditions, Seddon relieved the general and
replaced him with Edmund Kirby Smith. But Holmes retained control
of the district of Arkansas, including the Indian Territory and Missouri.
*Anne J. Bailey is assistant professor of history at Georgia Southern College,
Statesboro. She has the B.A. degree from the University of Texas, Austin, and the M.A.
and Ph.D. from Texas Christian University, Fort Worth.
1 James A. Seddon to E. Kirby Smith, 18 March 1863, U. S. War Department, The
War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and
Confederate Armies, 4 ser. 128 vols. (Washington, D. C, 1880-1901), ser. 1, vol. 22, pt.
2, 802-803. Hereafter cited as O.R.; unless otherwise indicated, all references are to