The Battle of Athens was an American Civil War skirmish that took place in northeast Missouri in 1861 near present Revere and southeast Iowa along the Des Moines River across from Croton (3 miles southeast of Farmington). The Union victory has the distinction of being the most northerly of Civil War Battles fought west of the Mississippi, and also of being the only such battle fought along the Iowa border.
As Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon pursued the secessionist Missouri State Guard to the southwest portion of the state, loyal Home Guard companies were forming throughout the state, while at the same time stranded secessionists were still attempting to organize. At Kahoka, Missouri David Moore was elected colonel of the 1st Northeast Missouri Home Guard Regiment.
Colonel Martin E. Green called up the 2nd Division of the Missouri State Guard to a training camp on the Horseshoe Bend of the Fabius River. There he formed the 1st Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Division, Missouri State Guard. The lieutenant colonel was Joseph C. Porter and the major was Benjamin W. Shacklett.
Moore was faced by a growing secessionist force and by dissension in his own command. He determined to strike local secessionists, then fall back to Athens, Missouri (pronounced "Aythens") where he would be close to the Croton, Iowa supply depot and Iowa militia support. On July 21, with the help of a company of Illinois militia and a company of Iowa Home Guards he attacked the village of Etna in Scotland County, Missouri and drove off Shacklett's MSG cavalry. He then fell back to Athens.
Colonel Green responded by entering Edina in Knox County, Missouri on July 31--stampeding the local Home Guards. He then proceeded toward his target, Moore's Unionist regiment in Athens. Meanwhile, several hundred of Moore's regiment received Springfield rifled muskets.
On August 4 Green bivouaced seven miles west of Athens. While Moore attempted to prepare for attack, several of his company commander...