Thursday, July 8, 2010
The Civil War in Missouri
On a recent trip through the Midwest, my spouse and I stumbled upon a significant battlefield near Springfield, Missouri. The Battle of Wilson's Creek, also known as Oak Hills, took place on August 10, 1861. The Union army overran the Confederates in an attempt to take "Bloody Hill," where Union General Lyon was killed. Losses totaled 1,317 for the Federals, and 1,222 for the Confederates.
According to the park ranger, next year's 150th anniversary reenactment promises to be an astounding event, with over 4,000 reenactors participating. The Battle of Wilson's Creek introduced Missouri to the War Between the States. Over the course of the next three and a half years, Missouri experienced fierce fighting (mostly in the form of guerrilla warfare), since it was a border state, and both sides sought control.
By the end of the war, Missouri had witnessed so many battles that it ranks third as the most fought-over state in the nation. The top two are Virginia and Tennessee, respectively.