Financial Fraud and Guerrilla Violence in Missouri’s Civil War, 1861-1865

Mark W. Geiger describes how, during the Civil War, planters in the border state of Missouri had bet on the South’s victory and that the financial scheme they devised had backfired. The resulting collateral damage to the state’s pro-Confederate citizens set off a series of worsening consequences that ultimately cost thousands of people their property and many, their lives.

Speaker Biography: Mark W. Geiger is a Kluge Fellow at the John W. Kluge Center and an honorary research fellow at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. He received his BA from Carleton College and his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Before entering academia, he worked in industry, primarily in financial services.

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In this interview, author Mark Geiger discusses his book about the guerrilla conflict that raged in the state of Missouri during the American Civil War. Geiger gives an overview of the reasons for the extreme violence in Missouri, what made it distinct from other regions in the war. He also provides an insight into parallels with other civil wars and the potential errors that historians can make by overlooking certain types of evidence in their reconstruction of the past.