Battle of Liberty documentary premieres next Tuesday

Historian and Civil War artifact and weapons collector Jay Jackson stands near one of the Battle of Liberty exhibits at the Clay County Museum with his friend and fellow historian Tony Meyers. The two men will discuss the Battle of Liberty after the Tuesday, Sept. 17 documentary premiere. Guests can also see the pieces at the museum after the show.

LIBERTY — A documentary about the Battle of Liberty/Blue Mills Landing will premiere at 10 a.m. Sept. 17, at B&B Theatres in Liberty, 903 Victory Lane.

Clay County Museum board president Ann Sutherland said the premiere will be on the anniversary of the battle.

“We received a generous grant through Freedom’s Frontier, which has allowed us to get this documentary off the ground,” she said.

Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area’s Interpretive Grant program started in 2012. Grant projects have been completed on both sides of the Missouri-Kansas border in the 41-county region that comprises the heritage area.

The documentary examines the Battle of Liberty, which took place in September of 1861, when Liberty and Clay County briefly became a focal point for the Civil War in Missouri. Southern forces under Gen. Sterling Price met at Lexington. Northern troops were ordered to intercept them. Their fates crossed in Liberty and on the road towards the Missouri River in southern Clay County.

The battle, which lasted about an hour and ended around 3 p.m. Sept. 17, 1861, was a decisive victory for the Pro-Southern Missouri State Guard.

Due to the demand for tickets, the museum has secured a larger theater at the B&B Theatre complex in Liberty. There are now an additional 80 free tickets on the museum’s Facebook page plus additional seating at the theater on a first-come basis, said museum board member Chery Holtman.

Area filmmaker Shane Seley and his crew at Wide Awake Films with the aid of historians Jay Jackson and Tony Meyers produced the documentary that will be part of an ongoing exhibit after the premiere at the county museum on the Liberty Square. The museum exhibit features artifacts from both the 3rd Iowa Infantry and the Missouri State Guard.

Sutherland said she is excited to share the Battle of Liberty/Blue Mills Landing project.

“It’s going to be around 15 to 20 minutes in length,” she said. “The project has been a year in the making and tells the story of the battle and the impact it had on this region and those involved. Visitors can enjoy a brief documentary created by Wide Awake Films that will discuss what happened before the battle, after the battle and the long-term impact the Civil War had on the citizens of this small Missouri town.”

Southeast Editor Kellie Houx can be reached at or 389-6630.

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