Lexington is a city in Lafayette County, Missouri, United States. The population was 4,726 at the 2010 census.
Lexington, Missouri, located on the bluffs of the Missouri River, was platted in 1822, near William Jack's Ferry, which had been established three years earlier on the south bank of the river. It was named in commemoration of the Battle of Lexington. The first ferry was established in 1819 by Lexington's founder, Gilead Rupe. In 1823, Lexington became the county seat of Lafayette County and grew rapidly. Lexington was the site of two of the largest battles in the western campaign of the American Civil War. The better-known Battle of Lexington is commonly referred to as the Battle of the Hemp Bales. On September 12, 1861, between 6,000 and 10,000 soldiers of the Missouri State Guard, led by Major GeneralSterling Price, began a siege against the Federal military post in the old Masonic College commanded by Colonel James A. Mulligan.On September 18, Price's army mounted an assault. Some of Price's army used hemp bales as moving breastworks while they moved up the river bluffs and closed in on Mulligan's headquarters. On September 20, 1861, Mulligan's troops surrendered. Combined casualties were 73 dead, 270 wounded. The battlefield on the bluffs of the Missouri River is now a state park, and the cannonball stuck in one of the upper pillars of the Courthouse has become a symbol for the town.The Second Battle of Lexington occurred during Price's Missouri Expedition on October 19, 1864.Lexington was known as a center for Quantrill's Raiders during the war.