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Encyclopedia > Battle of Wilson's Creek
Battle of Wilson's Creek
Part of the American Civil War
Image:Battle of Wilson's Creek.png
Battle of Wilson's Creek, by Kurz and Allison, 1893.
Date August 10, 1861
Location Greene County and Christian County, Missouri
Result Missourian/Confederate victory
Combatants
United States of America State of Missouri
Confederate States of America
Commanders
Nathaniel Lyon
Samuel D. Sturgis
Franz Sigel
Sterling Price
Ben McCulloch
Strength
Army of the West Missouri State Guard and McCulloch’s Brigade
Casualties
1,235 1,095
Operations to Control Missouri
BoonvilleCarthageWilson's CreekDry Wood Creek1st LexingtonLibertyFredericktown1st Springfield
External images
map of Confederate and Union troops[1]

The Battle of Wilson's Creek, also known as the Battle of Oak Hills, was a battle in the American Civil War that occurred August 10, 1861, near Springfield, Missouri, between Union forces and the Missouri State Guard. It was the first major battle west of the Mississippi River and is sometimes called the "Bull Run of the West." This article is becoming very long. ... August 10 is the 222nd day of the year (223rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1861 (MDCCCLXI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link with display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar) // January 1 - Benito Juárez captures Mexico City January 2 - Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia dies and is succeeded by... Greene County is a county located in the state of Missouri. ... Christian County is a county located in the state of Missouri. ... Motto Deo Vindice (Latin: Under God, Our Vindicator) Anthem God Save the South (unofficial) Dixie (traditional) The Bonnie Blue Flag (popular) Capital Montgomery, Alabama (until May 29, 1861) Richmond, Virginia (May 29, 1861–April 2, 1865) Danville, Virginia (from April 3, 1865) Language(s) English (de facto) Government Republic President... Missouri, named after the Missouri Siouan Indian tribe meaning canoe, is a Midwestern state of the United States with Jefferson City as its capital. ... Motto Deo Vindice (Latin: Under God, Our Vindicator) Anthem God Save the South (unofficial) Dixie (traditional) The Bonnie Blue Flag (popular) Capital Montgomery, Alabama (until May 29, 1861) Richmond, Virginia (May 29, 1861–April 2, 1865) Danville, Virginia (from April 3, 1865) Language(s) English (de facto) Government Republic President... Nathaniel Lyon Nathaniel Lyon (July 14, 1818 – August 10, 1861) was the first Union general to be killed in the American Civil War and is noted for his actions in the state of Missouri at the beginning of the conflict. ... Samuel Davis Sturgis (June 11, 1822-September 28, 1889) was an American military officer who served as a Union general in the American Civil War. ... Franz Sigel Franz Sigel (November 18, 1824 – August 21, 1902) was a German military officer and immigrant to the United States who was a teacher, newspaperman, politician, and served as a Union general in the American Civil War. ... General Price Sterling Old Pap Price (September 20, 1809 – September 29, 1867) was an antebellum politician from the U.S. state of Missouri and a Confederate major general during the American Civil War. ... Benjamin McCulloch was a soldier in the Texas Revolution, Texas Ranger, U.S. marshal, and brigadier general in the army of the Confederate States during the American Civil War. ... The Army of the West, a unit of the Union Army during the American Civil War, was created on Jan 29, 1862. ... The Missouri State Guard (MSG) was a state militia unit organized in the state of Missouri during the early days of the American Civil War. ... The Battle of Boonville, Missouri sketched by Orlando C. Richardson The Battle of Boonville was a battle of the American Civil War, occurring on June 17, 1861 in Cooper County, Missouri. ... Combatants United States of America Missouri State Gaurd Commanders Col. ... The Battle of Dry Wood Creek was a battle of the American Civil War, occurring on September 2, 1861 in Vernon County, Missouri. ... The Battle of Lexington I was a battle of the American Civil War, occurring on September 13-20, 1861 in Lafayette County, Missouri. ... The Battle of Liberty was a battle of the American Civil War, occurring on September 17, 1861 in Clay County, Missouri. ... The Battle of Fredericktown was a battle of the American Civil War, occurring on October 21, 1861 in Madison County, Missouri. ... The Battle of Springfield I was a battle of the American Civil War, occurring on October 25, 1861 in Greene County, Missouri. ... Image File history File links Looking_glass_Hexagonal_Icon. ... The Battles of the American Civil War can be organized in a variety of ways, including chronologically, alphabetically by state, by winner, by casualty statistics, etc. ... This article is becoming very long. ... August 10 is the 222nd day of the year (223rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1861 (MDCCCLXI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link with display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar) // January 1 - Benito Juárez captures Mexico City January 2 - Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia dies and is succeeded by... Springfield is the third largest city in Missouri. ... The Missouri State Guard (MSG) was a state militia unit organized in the state of Missouri during the early days of the American Civil War. ... The Mississippi River, derived from the old Ojibwe word misi-ziibi meaning great river (gichi-ziibi big river at its headwaters), is the second-longest named river in North America, with a length of 2320 miles (3733 km) from Lake Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico. ... Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America Commanders Irvin McDowell Joseph E. Johnston P.G.T. Beauregard Strength 35,000 effectives 32,500 effectives Casualties 2,896 (460 killed, 1,124 wounded, 1,312 captured/missing) 1,982 (387 killed, 1,582 wounded, 13 missing) The First Battle...

Contents

Background

At the beginning of the war, Missouri declared that it would be an "armed neutral" in the conflict and not send materials or men to either side. This was because they feared that President Bush would cut funding for the war. The neutrality was put to its first test on May 10, 1861. Union troops and home guards under Capt. Nathaniel Lyon fired on a crowd of rioting bystanders when he paraded captured Missouri militia who he feared were trying to capture the St. Louis Arsenal. The incident became known as the "St. Louis Massacre." A day later, the Missouri General Assembly created the Missouri State Guard to defend the state from attacks from perceived enemies, either from the North or South. Governor Claiborne F. Jackson (who privately favored joining the Southern cause, but officially remained neutral) appointed Sterling Price to be its general. Official language(s) English Capital Jefferson City Largest city Kansas City Largest metro area St. ... May 10 is the 130th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (131st in leap years). ... 1861 (MDCCCLXI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link with display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar) // January 1 - Benito Juárez captures Mexico City January 2 - Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia dies and is succeeded by... Captain is a nautical term, an organizational title, and a rank in various uniformed organizations. ... Nathaniel Lyon Nathaniel Lyon (July 14, 1818 – August 10, 1861) was the first Union general to be killed in the American Civil War and is noted for his actions in the state of Missouri at the beginning of the conflict. ... The St. ... The St. ... The Missouri State Guard (MSG) was a state militia unit organized in the state of Missouri during the early days of the American Civil War. ... Claiborne Fox Jackson (1806 - 1862) was the governor of Missouri from 1860 to 1861. ... General Price Sterling Old Pap Price (September 20, 1809 – September 29, 1867) was an antebellum politician from the U.S. state of Missouri and a Confederate major general during the American Civil War. ...


Fearing Missouri's tilt to the South, William S. Harney, the Federal commander in Missouri, struck the Price-Harney Truce on May 12, 1861, which affirmed Missouri's neutrality in the conflict. Governor Jackson declared his support for the Union. However, Harney was replaced by Lyon (who was promoted to general), and Abraham Lincoln made a specific request for Missouri troops to enter Federal service. Jackson withdrew his support. On June 12, 1861, Lyon and Jackson met in St. Louis to resolve the matter. The meeting ended with Lyon saying: William Selby Harney (22 August 1800 - 9 May 1889) was a cavalry officer in the U.S. Army during the Mexican-American War and the Indian Wars. ... The Price-Harney Truce was a document signed on May 21, 1861 between United States Army General William S. Harney and Missouri State Militia commander Sterling Price at the beginning of the American Civil War. ... May 12 is the 132nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (133rd in leap years). ... 1861 (MDCCCLXI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link with display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar) // January 1 - Benito Juárez captures Mexico City January 2 - Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia dies and is succeeded by... For other uses, see Abraham Lincoln (disambiguation). ... June 12 is the 163rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (164th in leap years), with 202 days remaining. ... 1861 (MDCCCLXI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link with display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar) // January 1 - Benito Juárez captures Mexico City January 2 - Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia dies and is succeeded by...

"This means war. In an hour one of my officers will call for you and conduct you out of my lines."[1]

Lyon pursued Jackson and Price (and the official state government) across Missouri in skirmishes such as Battle of Boonville on June 17 followed by the Battle of Carthage on July 5, 1861. After Lyon captured the state capital at Jefferson City, a special convention was called to decide on secession, a meeting that ended with Missouri staying in the Union. On July 27, the convention declared the governor's office vacant and then selected Hamilton Rowan Gamble to be the new governor. The Battle of Boonville, Missouri sketched by Orlando C. Richardson The Battle of Boonville was a battle of the American Civil War, occurring on June 17, 1861 in Cooper County, Missouri. ... June 17 is the 168th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (169th in leap years), with 197 days remaining. ... The Battle of Carthage was the major act of the Third Punic War between the Phoenician city of Carthage in Africa (near present-day Tunis) and the Roman Republic. ... July 5 is the 186th day of the year (187th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 179 days remaining. ... 1861 (MDCCCLXI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link with display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar) // January 1 - Benito Juárez captures Mexico City January 2 - Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia dies and is succeeded by... Location Government Country  State   County United States  Missouri   Cole   Callaway Mayor John Landwehr Geographical characteristics Area  - City    - Land    - Water 73. ... For other uses, see Secession (disambiguation). ... July 27 is the 208th day (209th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 157 days remaining. ... Hamilton Rowan Gamble was the Republican Governor of Missouri from 1861 to 1864. ...


By July 13, 1861, Lyon's army was encamped at the city of Springfield, Missouri, and consisted of approximately 6,000 men. His force was composed of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th Missouri Infantry, the 1st Iowa Infantry, the 1st and 2nd Kansas Infantry, several companies of Regular Army infantry and cavalry, and three batteries of artillery. July 13 is the 194th day (195th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with 171 days remaining. ... 1861 (MDCCCLXI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link with display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar) // January 1 - Benito Juárez captures Mexico City January 2 - Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia dies and is succeeded by... Springfield is the third largest city in Missouri. ... The Regular Army is the permanent force of the United States Army or any Countrys army that is maintained during peacetime, as opposed to those persons who may be part of a reserve or national guard outfit. ... Infantry of the Royal Irish Rifles during the Battle of the Somme in World War I. Infantry are soldiers who fight primarily on foot with small arms in organized military units, though they may be transported to the battlefield by horses, ships, automobiles, skis, or other means. ... French Republican Guard - May 8, 2005 celebrations Cavalry (from French cavalerie) were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback in combat. ... Artillery with Gabion fortification Cannons on display at Fort Point Continental Artillery crew from the American Revolution Firing of an 18-pound gun, Louis-Philippe Crepin, (1772 – 1851) A forge-welded Iron Cannon in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. ...


By the end of July 1861, the Missouri State Guard was camped about 75 miles (120 km) southwest of Springfield and had been reinforced by Confederate Brigadier Generals Benjamin McCulloch and N. Bart Pearce, making the Missourian force over 12,000 strong. They developed plans to attack Springfield, but General Lyon marched out of the city on August 1 in an attempt to surprise the Southern forces. The armies' vanguards skirmished at Dug Springs on August 2. The Union force emerged as the victor, but Lyon learned he was outnumbered more than 2 to 1 and retreated back to Springfield. McCulloch, now in command of the Missourian army, gave chase. By August 6, his force was encamped at Wilson's Creek, ten miles (16 km) southwest of the city. Benjamin McCulloch (November 11, 1811–March 7, 1862) was a soldier in the Texas Revolution, Texas Ranger, U.S. marshal, and brigadier general in the army of the Confederate States during the American Civil War. ... August 1 is the 213th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (214th in leap years), with 152 days remaining. ... August 2 is the 214th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (215th in leap years), with 151 days remaining. ... August 6 is the 218th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (219th in leap years), with 147 days remaining. ...


Outnumbered, Lyon planned to withdraw to Rolla in the north to reinforce and resupply, but not before launching a surprise attack on the Missourian camp to delay pursuit. Colonel Franz Sigel, Lyon's second-in-command, developed an aggressive strategy to split the Union force and strike McCullough in a pincer movement. He proposed to lead 1,200 men in a flanking maneuver while the main body under Lyon struck from the north. Lyon approved, and the Union army marched out of Springfield on the rainy night of August 9, leaving about 1,000 men to protect supplies and cover the retreat. The success of the stratagem was dependent on the element of surprise. McCulloch was also planning a surprise attack on the city, but the rain caused him to cancel his plan. The old Phelps County Courthouse, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, in Rolla Rolla is a city in Phelps County, Missouri, United States. ... Franz Sigel Franz Sigel (November 18, 1824 – August 21, 1902) was a German military officer and immigrant to the United States who was a teacher, newspaperman, politician, and served as a Union general in the American Civil War. ... A pincer movement whereby the blue force doubly envelops the red force. ... “Flanking” redirects here. ... August 9 is the 221st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (222nd in leap years), with 144 days remaining. ...


According to the United States Census, 1860, Christian County had a total population of 5,491 with 229 slaves in 1860 and Greene County had 13,186 with 1,668 slaves. The United States Census of 1860 was the eighth Census conducted in the United States. ...


Battle

At about 5:00 a.m., at first light on the morning of August 10, the Union force attacked. The Missourians were caught by surprise. Lyon's force overran the enemy camps and took the high ground at the crest of a ridge which would become known as "Bloody Hill." Early Union hopes for a rout were dashed, however, when the artillery of the Pulaski Arkansas Battery unlimbered and checked the advance, which gave Price's infantry time and cover to organize lines on the south slope of the hill. August 10 is the 222nd day of the year (223rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Sigel's plan was initially successful: his flank routed the Missouri cavalry but collapsed when McCulloch's force counterattacked at the Sharp farm. Uniforms had not yet been standardized so early in the war, and McCulloch's men were wearing uniforms similar to Sigel's. The Union soldiers believed McCulloch's approaching lines were Union reinforcements and did not recognize them as the enemy until it was too late. The flank was utterly devastated by the counterattack, and Sigel and his men fled the field. Closing the Falais-Argentan Pocket and the Mortain counterattack 6-17 August 1944 A counterattack is a military tactic used by defending forces when under attack by an enemy force. ...


With the rout of Sigel's flank, the momentum of the battle shifted in the Missourians' favor. Lyon, already shot twice, became the first Union general to be killed in the war; he was shot in the heart on Bloody Hill, at about 9:30 a.m., while rallying his men for a countercharge. Major Samuel D. Sturgis assumed command of the Union army. While still in a defensible position atop the hill, Union supplies were low and morale was worsening. By 11:00 a.m., the Union forces had already repulsed three separate Confederate charges. Ammunition and men were nearly exhausted, and Sturgis retreated rather than risk a fourth Confederate attack. Samuel Davis Sturgis (June 11, 1822-September 28, 1889) was an American military officer who served as a Union general in the American Civil War. ...


Aftermath

The casualties were about equal on both sides—1,317 Union and 1,222 Missourian. Though the Missourians won the field, they were unable to pursue the retreating Union forces to Rolla. With the victory, Price's Missouri Guard began an invasion of northern Missouri that culminated in the Battle of Liberty on September 17, 1861. The Battle of Liberty was a battle of the American Civil War, occurring on September 17, 1861 in Clay County, Missouri. ... September 17 is the 260th day of the year (261st in leap years). ... 1861 (MDCCCLXI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link with display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar) // January 1 - Benito Juárez captures Mexico City January 2 - Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia dies and is succeeded by...


On October 28, 1861, the Missourians under Price and Jackson formally joined the Confederate cause in Neosho, Missouri. Officials passed the resolutions for Missouri secession and Jackson was named the Governor of Confederate Missouri. However, the new government never earned the favor of most of the population of Missouri, and the state remained in the Union throughout the war. What little control Price and Jackson did have was diminished in the Battle of Fredericktown on October 21 and the Battle of Springfield I on October 25. October 28 is the 301st day of the year (302nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 64 days remaining. ... 1861 (MDCCCLXI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link with display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar) // January 1 - Benito Juárez captures Mexico City January 2 - Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia dies and is succeeded by... Neosho is a city located in Newton County, Missouri. ... The Missouri Secession controversy refers to the disputed status of the state of Missouri during the American Civil War. ... The Battle of Fredericktown was a battle of the American Civil War, occurring on October 21, 1861 in Madison County, Missouri. ... October 21 is the 294th day of the year (295th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 71 days remaining. ... The Battle of Springfield I was a battle of the American Civil War, occurring on October 25, 1861 in Greene County, Missouri. ... October 25 is the 298th day of the year (299th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Although Price enjoyed Missouri victories, he did not have the popular support to hold the field. After 1861, he was a Confederate general and led his forces in battles in Arkansas and Mississippi. There were smaller skirmishes in Missouri until the fall of 1864 when Price returned to Missouri. However, Missouri suffered the guerrilla warfare of bushwhackers such as Quantrill's Raiders and Bloody Bill Anderson throughout the war. Look up guerrilla in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Bushwhacking was a form of guerrilla warfare during the American Civil War that was particularly prevalent in rural areas where there were sharp divisions between those favoring the Union and Confederacy in the conflict. ... Quantrills Raiders were Confederate guerrillas who followed and fought under William Clarke Quantrill, an Ohio schoolteacher who relocated to Kansas, and who transformed a motley group of Southern sympathizing farmers and townsmen living behind Union lines into one of the Confederacys most effective and electric guerrilla units. ... William T. Anderson William T. Anderson a. ...


National battlefield

The site of the battle has been protected as Wilson's Creek National Battlefield. The National Park Service operates a visitor center featuring a museum, a thirteen-minute film, a six-minute fiber optic battle map presentation, and a Civil War research library open to the public. Living history programs depicting soldier life, cavalry drills, musket firing, artillery demonstrations, period medicine, and period clothing are generally held on Sunday afternoons Memorial Day through Labor Day. Wilsons Creek National Battlefield is a unit of the National Park Service at 6424 West Farm Road 182 in Republic, Missouri. ... The National Park Service (NPS) is the United States federal agency that manages all National Parks, many National Monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations. ... Fiber Optic strands An optical fiber in American English or fibre in British English is a transparent thin fiber for transmitting light. ... An actress playing the role of Queen Elisabeth I at a Scottish fair in 2003. ... Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday that is observed on the last Monday of May (observed this year on 2007-05-28). ... Labour Day (or Labor Day) is an annual holiday that resulted from efforts of the labour union movement, to celebrate the economic and social achievements of workers. ...


With the exception of the vegetation and the addition of interpretive hiking trails and a self-guided auto tour route, the 1,750 acre (7 km²) battlefield has changed little from its historic setting, allowing visitors to experience the battlefield in nearly pristine condition. The home of the Ray family, which served as a Confederate field hospital during the battle, has been preserved and restored and is open periodically throughout the summer, with Park Service interpreters dressed in period clothing.


See also

The Missouri Secession controversy refers to the disputed status of the state of Missouri during the American Civil War. ... Confederate Army Brig. ... Army of the West Brig. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Wilson's Creek Staff Ride & Battlefield Tour (19753 words)
Thus, when the battle started, the mounted men were out of touch with their division commanders, and this led to much of the confusion that plagued the Confederate camps in the opening phase of the battle.
Wilson's Creek was merely the prologue to further disastrous bloodlettings.
Confederate surgeons at the Wilson's Creek campsite had prepared to move with their army toward Springfield on the night before the battle and had had to reestablish their facilities hastily during the morning of the battle.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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