Battle of Wilson's Creek

Battle of Wilson's Creek

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The Battle of Wilson's Creek, also known as the Battle of Oak Hills, was fought on August 10, 1861, near Springfield
Springfield, Missouri
Springfield is the third largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and the county seat of Greene County. According to the 2010 census data, the population was 159,498, an increase of 5.2% since the 2000 census. The Springfield Metropolitan Area, population 436,712, includes the counties of...

, Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

, between Union
Union Army
The Union Army was the land force that fought for the Union during the American Civil War. It was also known as the Federal Army, the U.S. Army, the Northern Army and the National Army...

 forces and the Missouri State Guard
Missouri State Guard
The Missouri State Guard was a state militia organized in the state of Missouri during the early days of the American Civil War. While not initially a formal part of the Confederate States Army, the State Guard fought alongside Confederate troops and, at times, under regular Confederate...

, early in the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. It was the first major battle of the war west of the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 and is sometimes called the "Bull Run
First Battle of Bull Run
First Battle of Bull Run, also known as First Manassas , was fought on July 21, 1861, in Prince William County, Virginia, near the City of Manassas...

 of the West." Brig. Gen. Nathaniel Lyon
Nathaniel Lyon
Nathaniel Lyon 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....

's Army of the West was camped at Springfield, Missouri
Springfield, Missouri
Springfield is the third largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and the county seat of Greene County. According to the 2010 census data, the population was 159,498, an increase of 5.2% since the 2000 census. The Springfield Metropolitan Area, population 436,712, includes the counties of...

, with Confederate
Confederate States Army
The Confederate States Army was the army of the Confederate States of America while the Confederacy existed during the American Civil War. On February 8, 1861, delegates from the seven Deep South states which had already declared their secession from the United States of America adopted the...

 troops under the commands of Brig. Gen. Benjamin McCulloch
Benjamin McCulloch
Benjamin McCulloch was a soldier in the Texas Revolution, a Texas Ranger, a U.S. marshal, and a brigadier general in the army of the Confederate States during the American Civil War.-Early life:...

 approaching. On August 9, both sides formulated plans to attack the other. At about 5:00 a.m. on August 10, Lyon, in two columns commanded by himself and Col. Franz Sigel
Franz Sigel
Franz Sigel was a German military officer, revolutionist and immigrant to the United States who was a teacher, newspaperman, politician, and served as a Union major general in the American Civil War.-Early life:...

, attacked the Confederates on Wilson's Creek about 12 miles (19.3 km) southwest of Springfield. Rebel cavalry received the first blow and fell back away from Bloody Hill. Confederate forces soon rushed up and stabilized their positions.

The Confederates attacked the Union forces three times that day but failed to break through the Union line. When General Lyon was killed during the battle and General Sweeny wounded, Major Samuel D. Sturgis
Samuel D. Sturgis
Samuel Davis Sturgis was an American military officer who served in the Mexican-American War, as a Union general in the American Civil War, and later in the Indian Wars.-Early life:...

 assumed command. Meanwhile, the Confederates had routed Sigel's column, south of Skegg's Branch. Following the third Confederate attack, which ended at 11:00 a.m., the Confederates withdrew. Sturgis realized, however, that his men were exhausted and his ammunition was low, so he ordered a retreat to Springfield. The Confederates were too disorganized and ill-equipped to pursue. This Confederate victory buoyed southern sympathizers in Missouri and served as a springboard for a bold thrust north that carried Price and his Missouri State Guard as far as Lexington. In late October, a rump convention, convened by Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson
Claiborne Fox Jackson
Claiborne Fox Jackson was a lawyer, soldier, and Democratic politician from Missouri. He was the 15th Governor of Missouri in 1861, then governor-in-exile for the Confederacy during the American Civil War.-Early life:...

, met in Neosho
Neosho, Missouri
Neosho is the most populous city in and the county seat of Newton County, Missouri, United States. Neosho is an integral part of the Joplin, Missouri Metropolitan Statistical Area....

 and passed out an ordinance of secession
Secession
Secession is the act of withdrawing from an organization, union, or especially a political entity. Threats of secession also can be a strategy for achieving more limited goals.-Secession theory:...

. Wilson's Creek, the most significant 1861 battle in Missouri, gave the Confederates control of southwestern Missouri.

Background


At the beginning of the war, Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

 declared that it would be an "armed neutral" in the conflict and not send materials or men to either side. On April 20, 1861, a secessionist mob seized the Liberty Arsenal
Liberty Arsenal
The Liberty Arsenal was an United States Army arsenal at Liberty, Missouri in Clay County, Missouri, that was seized by Confederate sympathizers on April 20, 1861, being an early occurrence in a sequence of skirmishes and battles that was to define Missouri in the American Civil War...

 increasing Union concern in the state. The neutrality
Neutrality (international relations)
A neutral power in a particular war is a sovereign state which declares itself to be neutral towards the belligerents. A non-belligerent state does not need to be neutral. The rights and duties of a neutral power are defined in Sections 5 and 13 of the Hague Convention of 1907...

 was put to a major test on May 10, 1861, in what became known as the Camp Jackson Affair. Governor Claiborne F. Jackson had called out the state militia to drill on the edge of St. Louis in Lindell Grove. The governor had clandestinely obtained artillery from the Confederacy and smuggled it into the militia encampment–referred to as "Camp Jackson." Capt. Nathaniel Lyon
Nathaniel Lyon
Nathaniel Lyon 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....

 was aware of this shipment and was concerned the militia would move on the St. Louis Arsenal
St. Louis Arsenal
The St. Louis Arsenal is a large complex of military weapons and ammunition storage buildings owned by the United States Army in St. Louis, Missouri. During the American Civil War, the St...

. Thomas W. Sweeny
Thomas William Sweeny
Thomas William Sweeny was an Irish soldier who served in the Mexican-American War and then was a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War.-Birth and early years:...

 was put in command of the Arsenal's defense, and Lyon surrounded the militia camp with Union troops and home guards, forcing the surrender of the militia. He then blundered by marching the militia men through the streets to the arsenal. A crowd gathered, some angry and pressing against the procession. Taunts and jostling eventually led to gunfire and many deaths, mostly civilians but also including several militia and soldiers.

A day later, the Missouri General Assembly created the Missouri State Guard
Missouri State Guard
The Missouri State Guard was a state militia organized in the state of Missouri during the early days of the American Civil War. While not initially a formal part of the Confederate States Army, the State Guard fought alongside Confederate troops and, at times, under regular Confederate...

 to defend the state from attacks from perceived enemies, either from the North or South. The governor appointed Sterling Price
Sterling Price
Sterling Price was a lawyer, planter, and politician from the U.S. state of Missouri, who served as the 11th Governor of the state from 1853 to 1857. He also served as a United States Army brigadier general during the Mexican-American War, and a Confederate Army major general in the American Civil...

 to be its commander with the rank of Major General. The State Guard was divided into divisions, with each division consisting of units raised from a military district of Missouri and command by a brigadier general. (Because much of their recruiting areas were behind Union lines, many divisions were the size of a brigade, consisting of only a few regiments.)

Fearing Missouri's tilt to the South, William S. Harney
William S. Harney
William Selby Harney was a cavalry officer in the U.S. Army during the Mexican-American War and the Indian Wars. He was born in what is today part of Nashville, Tennessee but at the time was known as Haysborough....

, the Federal commander in Missouri, struck the Price-Harney Truce
Price-Harney Truce
The Price-Harney Truce was a document signed on May 21, 1861 between United States Army General William S. Harney and Missouri State Guard commander Sterling Price at the beginning of the American Civil War....

 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
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

 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:

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


Lyon sent a force under General Sweeny to Springfield while his own forces quickly captured the capital and pursued Jackson, Price, and the now-exiled state government across Missouri. Skirmishes followed such as Battle of Boonville
Battle of Boonville
The First Battle of Boonville was a minor skirmish of the American Civil War, occurring on June 17, 1861, near Boonville in Cooper County, Missouri. Although casualties were extremely light, the battle's strategic impact was far greater than one might assume from its limited nature...

 on June 17, 1861, followed by the Battle of Carthage
Battle of Carthage (1861)
-References:* Lee, Guy Carlton, and Francis Newtun Thorpe, editors. The History of North America. Philadelphia: George Barrie and Sons, 1905.* Monhegan, Jay. Civil War on the Western Border: 1854-1865. Boston: Little, Brown, 1956.*...

 on July 5, 1861. In light of the crisis, the delegates of the Missouri Constitutional Convention
Missouri Constitutional Convention (1861-63)
The Missouri Constitutional Convention was a constitutional convention held in the state of Missouri during the American Civil War. The convention was elected in early 1861, and voted against secession...

 that had rejected secession
Secession
Secession is the act of withdrawing from an organization, union, or especially a political entity. Threats of secession also can be a strategy for achieving more limited goals.-Secession theory:...

 in February reconvened. On July 27, the convention declared the governor's office vacant and then selected Hamilton Rowan Gamble
Hamilton Rowan Gamble
Hamilton Rowan Gamble was the chief justice of the Missouri Supreme Court at the time of the Dred Scott Decision in 1852, when his colleagues voted to overturn the 28-year precedent in Misssouri of "once free always free". He wrote a dissenting opinion...

 to be the new provisional governor.

By July 13, 1861, Lyon's army was encamped at the city of Springfield, Missouri
Springfield, Missouri
Springfield is the third largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and the county seat of Greene County. According to the 2010 census data, the population was 159,498, an increase of 5.2% since the 2000 census. The Springfield Metropolitan Area, population 436,712, includes the counties of...

, 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 Kansas
1st Regiment Kansas Volunteer Infantry
The 1st Kansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment was an infantry regiment that served in the Union Army during the American Civil War.-Service:The 1st Kansas Infantry was organized at Camp Lincoln near Leavenworth, Kansas, May 20 - June 30, 1861 and mustered in for three years. The greatest number of...

 and 2nd Kansas
2nd Regiment Kansas Volunteer Infantry
The 2nd Kansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment was an infantry regiment that served in the Union Army during the American Civil War.-Service:The 2nd Kansas Infantry was organized at Lawrence, Kansas and mustered in for three months...

 Infantry, several companies of Regular Army
Regular Army
The Regular Army of the United States was and is the successor to the Continental Army as the country's permanent, professional military establishment. Even in modern times the professional core of the United States Army continues to be called the Regular Army...

 infantry
Infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...

 and cavalry
Cavalry
Cavalry or horsemen were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the third oldest and the most mobile of the combat arms...

, and three batteries of artillery
Artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

. He divided the units into four brigades commanded by Major Samuel D. Sturgis
Samuel D. Sturgis
Samuel Davis Sturgis was an American military officer who served in the Mexican-American War, as a Union general in the American Civil War, and later in the Indian Wars.-Early life:...

, Colonel Franz Sigel, Lieutenant Colonel George Andrews, and Colonel George Dietzler.

By the end of July 1861 the Missouri State Guard
Missouri State Guard
The Missouri State Guard was a state militia organized in the state of Missouri during the early days of the American Civil War. While not initially a formal part of the Confederate States Army, the State Guard fought alongside Confederate troops and, at times, under regular Confederate...

 was camped about 75 mi (121 km) southwest of Springfield and had been reinforced by Confederate Brigadier General Benjamin McCulloch
Benjamin McCulloch
Benjamin McCulloch was a soldier in the Texas Revolution, a Texas Ranger, a U.S. marshal, and a brigadier general in the army of the Confederate States during the American Civil War.-Early life:...

 and Arkansas state militia Brigadier General N. Bart Pearce, making the mixed Missouri/Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

/Confederate force over 12,000 strong. They developed plans to attack Springfield
Springfield, Missouri
Springfield is the third largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and the county seat of Greene County. According to the 2010 census data, the population was 159,498, an increase of 5.2% since the 2000 census. The Springfield Metropolitan Area, population 436,712, includes the counties of...

 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, Missouri on August 2. The Union force emerged as the victor, but Lyon learned he was outnumbered more than two-to-one and retreated back to Springfield
Springfield, Missouri
Springfield is the third largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and the county seat of Greene County. According to the 2010 census data, the population was 159,498, an increase of 5.2% since the 2000 census. The Springfield Metropolitan Area, population 436,712, includes the counties of...

. McCulloch, now in command of the Missourian army, gave chase. By August 6, his force was encamped at Wilson's Creek, 10 mi (16.1 km) southwest of the city. Price and McCulloch disagreed about the proper strategy for their combined force. Price favored an immediate attack on Springfield but McCulloch, doubtful about the quality of the Missouri State Guard, preferred to remain in place. After Price threatened to launch an attack without his support, McCulloch agreed to an attack at dawn on the 10th but when a rainstorm started during the evening of the 9th, he cancelled his plans and ordered his troops back to camp.

Outnumbered, Lyon planned to withdraw northeast to Rolla
Rolla, Missouri
Rolla is a city in Phelps County, Missouri, United States, midway between the larger cities of St. Louis and Springfield along I-44. The population in the 2010 United States Census was 19,559.It is the county seat of Phelps County...

 to reinforce and resupply, but not before launching a surprise attack on the Missourian camp to delay pursuit. Union Colonel Franz Sigel
Franz Sigel
Franz Sigel was a German military officer, revolutionist and immigrant to the United States who was a teacher, newspaperman, politician, and served as a Union major general in the American Civil War.-Early life:...

 developed a flawed strategy, with which Lyon concurred, that split the already out-numbered Union force. Sigel proposed striking McCullough in a pincer movement
Pincer movement
The pincer movement or double envelopment is a military maneuver. The flanks of the opponent are attacked simultaneously in a pinching motion after the opponent has advanced towards the center of an army which is responding by moving its outside forces to the enemy's flanks, in order to surround it...

. He planned to lead 1,200 men in a flanking maneuver
Flanking maneuver
In military tactics, a flanking maneuver, also called a flank attack, is an attack on the sides of an opposing force. If a flanking maneuver succeeds, the opposing force would be surrounded from two or more directions, which significantly reduces the maneuverability of the outflanked force and its...

 while the main body under Lyon struck from the north. In accord with Sigel's ill-conceived plan, the Union army marched out of Springfield
Springfield, Missouri
Springfield is the third largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and the county seat of Greene County. According to the 2010 census data, the population was 159,498, an increase of 5.2% since the 2000 census. The Springfield Metropolitan Area, population 436,712, includes the counties of...

 on the rainy night of August 9, 1861, leaving about 1,000 men to protect supplies and cover the retreat.

Battle



At about 5:00 a.m., at first light on the morning of August 10, the Union force attacked. The secessionists 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. Lyon organized a line on the southern slope of Bloody Hill, from which he tried to launch counterattacks but was unsuccessful. Price was in command to this sector of the Confederate army and launched a series of frontal and flank attacks but was also unsuccessful; a shortage of ammunition in the Confederate army was a factor in the Confederate defeats.

The two Union forces lost contact with each other, with no means of communicating with or supporting each other if anything went wrong. Sigel's attack was successful at first; the brigade arrived in the Confederate rear soon after dawn. Artillery fire routed the Confederate cavalry units which were encamped at the Sharp's farm; Sigel started a pursuit but stopped along Skeeg's Branch; during the time he was stopped along this position, he failed to post skirmishers along his front and left his flank open for an attack. Meanwhile McCulloch rallied several Confederate units, including the 3rd Louisiana Infantry and the 3rd Division from the Missouri State Guard, and lead a counterattack. Sigel's men mistook the 3rd Louisiana for the 3rd Iowa Infantry (which also wore gray uniforms), and withheld their fire until the Confederates were nearly upon them. His flank was consequently utterly devastated by the counterattack
Counterattack
A counterattack is a tactic used in response against an attack. The term originates in military strategy. The general objective is to negate or thwart the advantage gained by the enemy in attack and the specific objectives are usually to regain lost ground or to destroy attacking enemy units.It is...

 and his brigade was routed, losing four cannons. Sigel and his men fled the field leaving the force under Lyon, Sweeny, and Sturgis holding out alone.

With the rout of Sigel's flank, the momentum of the battle shifted in the South's favor. Lyon was wounded twice and his horse was killed during the fighting. He returned to Union lines on foot and commandeered a bay horse ridden by Maj. E.L. McElhaney of the Missouri Infantry. Lyon 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 leading the 2nd Kansas Infantry in a countercharge. General Sweeny was shot in the leg, and Major Samuel D. Sturgis
Samuel D. Sturgis
Samuel Davis Sturgis was an American military officer who served in the Mexican-American War, as a Union general in the American Civil War, and later in the Indian Wars.-Early life:...

, as the highest ranking Regular Army officer, 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.

Aftermath


The casualties were about equal on both sides—1,317 Union and 1,230 Confederate/Missourian/Arkansan. Though the Confederate allied force won the field, they were unable to pursue the retreating Union forces to Rolla. Price wanted to start a pursuit of the Union force immediately but McCulloch refused, worried about the quality of the Missouri State Guard, and the length of his supply line back to Arkansas. With the victory, Price's Missouri Guard began an invasion of northern Missouri that culminated in the First Battle of Lexington
Battle of Lexington I
The First Battle of Lexington also known as the Battle of the Hemp Bales, was an engagement of the American Civil War, occurring from September 13 to September 20, 1861, between the Union Army and the pro-Confederate Missouri State Guard, in Lexington, the county seat of Lafayette County, Missouri...

 on September 20, 1861, while the Confederate and Arkansas forces withdrew from the state.

After falling back to Springfield, Sturgis handed command of the army over to Sigel, and at a council of war that evening it was agreed that the Union army had to fall back to Rolla, starting at 3 a.m. the next morning. However, Sigel failed to get his brigade ready at that time, forcing a delay of several hours. Along the retreat route, Sigel's men took several lengthly delays in order to prepare meals; this caused the other officers to force Sigel to turn command back over to Sturgis.

On October 30, 1861, the Missourians under Price and Jackson formally joined the Confederate cause in Neosho, Missouri
Neosho, Missouri
Neosho is the most populous city in and the county seat of Newton County, Missouri, United States. Neosho is an integral part of the Joplin, Missouri Metropolitan Statistical Area....

. Officials passed the resolutions for Missouri secession
Missouri secession
During the American Civil War, the secession of Missouri was controversial because of the disputed status of the state of Missouri . During the war, Missouri was claimed by both the Union and the Confederacy, had two competing state governments, and sent representatives to both the United States...

 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
Battle of Fredericktown
The Battle of Fredericktown was an engagement of the American Civil War. It took place on October 21, 1861, in Madison County, Missouri. Union victory consolidated their control of southeastern Missouri.-Background:...

 on October 21 and the Battle of Springfield I
Battle of Springfield I
The First Battle of Springfield or Zagonyi's Charge was a battle of the American Civil War that occurred on October 25, 1861, in Greene County, Missouri. It was the only Union victory in southwestern Missouri in 1861.- Prelude :...

 on October 25 and the Confederate state government was soon forced to leave the state.

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
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

 of bushwhacker
Bushwhacker
Bushwhacking was a form of guerrilla warfare common during the American Revolutionary War, American Civil War and other conflicts in which there are large areas of contested land and few Governmental Resources to control these tracts...

s such as Quantrill's Raiders
Quantrill's Raiders
Quantrill's Raiders were a loosely organized force of pro-Confederate Partisan rangers, "bushwhackers", who fought in the American Civil War under the leadership of William Clarke Quantrill...

 and Bloody Bill Anderson throughout the war.

National battlefield


The site of the battle has been protected as Wilson's Creek National Battlefield
Wilson's Creek National Battlefield
Wilson's Creek National Battlefield at 6424 West Farm Road 182 near Republic, Missouri, preserves the site of the Battle of Wilson's Creek. Fought on August 10, 1861, it was the first major American Civil War engagement west of the Mississippi River. The Confederate's failure to exploit their...

. The National Park Service
National Park Service
The National Park Service is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations...

 operates a visitor center featuring a museum, a twenty-six minute film, a nine-minute fiber optic battle map presentation, and a Civil War research library open to the public. Living history
Living history
Living history is an activity that incorporates historical tools, activities and dress into an interactive presentation that seeks to give observers and participants a sense of stepping back in time. Although it does not necessarily seek to reenact a specific event in history, living history is...

 programs depicting soldier life, cavalry drills, musket firing, artillery demonstrations, period medicine, and period clothing are generally held on Sunday afternoons Memorial Day
Memorial Day
Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War...

 through Labor Day
Labor Day
Labor Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September that celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers.-History:...

.

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
Field hospital
A field hospital is a large mobile medical unit that temporarily takes care of casualties on-site before they can be safely transported to more permanent hospital facilities...

 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

  • Missouri secession controversy
    Missouri secession
    During the American Civil War, the secession of Missouri was controversial because of the disputed status of the state of Missouri . During the war, Missouri was claimed by both the Union and the Confederacy, had two competing state governments, and sent representatives to both the United States...

  • Confederate order of battle
    Wilson's Creek Confederate order of battle
    The following Confederate States Army units and commanders fought in the Battle of Wilson's Creek of the American Civil War, fought on August 10, 1861 near Springfield, Missouri...

  • Union order of battle
    Wilson's Creek Union order of battle
    The following Union Army units and commanders fought in the Battle of Wilson's Creek of the American Civil War, fought on August 10, 1861 near Springfield, Missouri...


External links