The Battle of Moore’s Mill was an American Civil War battle that took place in northeast Missouri on July 28, 1862 along Auxvasse Creek near modern day Calwood. This engagement, the Battle of Kirksville a week later, and the Battle of Compton's Ferry would drive the main Southern recruiters from northern Missouri.
Following the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas and the resulting Confederate withdrawal from northern Arkansas, recruiters were dispatched throughout Missouri in an attempt to rebuild the Confederate forces. Southern guerrillas aided the recruiters and often fought alongside them.
Guerrilla warfare plagued Missouri from the start of the conflict in Missouri, but intensified in early 1862 as the weather warmed. To combat the growing guerrilla menace General Henry W. Halleck issued General Order Number 2 on March 13 which warned Missourians “warned that if they join any guerrilla band they will not, if captured, be treated as ordinary prisoners of war, but will be hung as robbers and murderers.” Confederate President Jefferson Davis responded on April 21, 1862 attempting to legitimize guerrilla warfare by authorizing commissions for those forming bands of “partisan rangers,” but this was not accepted by the United States authorities. On May 29 Brigadier General John Schofield responded with General Order No. 18 to the Missouri State Militia which read in part:
"When caught in arms, engaged in their unlawful warfare, they will be shot down upon the spot."
As guerrilla warfare and recruiting increased, and as the state had been stripped of nearly all but the new volunteer Missouri State Militia Cavalry regiments, guerrilla action and Confederate recruiting began to press Missouri harder throughout the summer. The Missouri State Militia commanders and Union Volunteers began to converge on Joseph C. Porter’s recruiters and associated guerrillas, fighting small action at Vassar Hill on July 19, Florida on July 22, and Santa Fe on Ju...