Battle of the Hemp Bales

In September 1995, the State of Missouri purchased 800 pounds of marijuana from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).

NORML provided four 200-pound bales of hemp to be part of an exhibit at the Vistors' Center of the Battle of Lexington State Historic Site.

The Battle of Lexington, also known as the Battle of the Hemp Bales, occurred in September 1861 during the U.S. Civil War, in Lexington, Missouri. 20,000 Missouri volunteers besieged 3,000 federal soldiers who had created a makeshift earthwork fort. The three-day siege was at a standoff until the Missourians thought to use recently harvested hemp bales, soaked with water, as moving defenses.

The Missourians would fire over the bales, then roll them forward, eventually reaching the fort and defeating the federal troops.

Source: September 20, 1995 news release by NORML.