Missouri Civil War Battles

Battle of Lone Jack, Missouri

Battle of Lone Jack, Missouri

Lone Jack – August 15-16, 1862 – Part of the Operations North of Boston Mountains Campaign, this battle took place in Jackson County on August 15-16, 1862. Major Emory S. Foster, under orders, led an 800-man combined force from Lexington to Lone Jack. Upon reaching the Lone Jack area, he discovered 1,600 Rebels under Colonel J.T. Coffee and prepared to attack them. About 9:00 pm on the 15th, he and his men attacked the Confederate camp and dispersed the force. Early the next morning, Union pickets informed Foster that a 3,000-man Confederate force was advancing on him. Soon afterward, this force attacked and a battle ensued that involved charges, retreats, and counterattacks. After five hours of fighting and the loss of Foster, Coffee and his 1,500 men reappeared, causing Foster’s successor, Captain M.H. Brawner to order a retreat. The men left the field in good order and returned to Lexington. This was a Confederate victory, but the Rebels had to evacuate the area soon afterward when threatened by the approach of large Union forces. Except for a short period of time during Price’s Raid, in 1864, the Confederacy lost its clout in Jackson County. The Confederate victory resulted in 160 Union casualties and 110 Confederate.

First Battle of Newtonia, Missouri by Doug Hall

First Battle of Newtonia, Missouri by Doug Hall

Newtonia – 1 – September 30, 1862 – Part of the Operations North of Boston Mountains Campaign, this battle was fought in Newton County on September 30, 1862. Following the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas in March 1862, most Confederate and Union troops left northwestern Arkansas and southwestern Missouri. By late summer, Confederates returned to the area, which caused much apprehension in nearby Federally-occupied Springfield, Missouri, and Fort Scott, Kansas. Confederate Colonel Douglas Cooper reached the area on September 27 and assigned two of his units to Newtonia where there was a mill for making breadstuffs. In mid-September, two brigades of Brigadier General James G. Blunt’s Union Army of Kansas left Fort Scott for Southwest Missouri. On the 29th, Union scouts approached Newtonia but were chased away. Other Union troops appeared in nearby Granby where there were lead mines, and Cooper sent some reinforcements there. The next morning, Union troops appeared before Newtonia and fighting ensued by 7:00 am. The Federals began driving the enemy, but Confederate reinforcements arrived, swelling the numbers. The Federals gave way and retreated in haste. As they did so, some of their reinforcements appeared and helped to stem their retreat. The Union forces then renewed the attack, threatening the enemy right flank. But newly arrived Confederates stopped that attack and eventually forced the Federals to retire again. The pursuit of the Federals continued after dark. Union gunners posted artillery in the roadway to halt the pursuit. As Confederate gunners observed the Union artillery fire for location, they fired back, creating panic. The Union retreat turned into a rout as some ran all the way to Sarcoxie, more than ten miles away. Although the Confederates won the battle, they were unable to maintain themselves in the area given the great numbers of Union troops. Most Confederates retreated into northwest Arkansas. The 1862 Confederate victories in southwestern Missouri at Newtonia and Clark’s Mill were the South’s apogee in the area; afterward, the only Confederates in the area belonged to raiding columns. the Confederate victory left 245 Union casualties and 100 Confederate.

Clark’s Mill – November 7, 1862 – Also called the Battle of Vera Cruz, this skirmish took place in Douglas County, Missouri as part of the Operations North of Boston Mountains Campaign on November 7, 1862. Having received reports that Confederate troops were in the area, Captain Hiram E. Barstow, Union commander at Clark’s Mill, sent a detachment toward Gainesville and he led another southeastward. Barstow’s men ran into a Confederate force, skirmished with them and drove them back. His column then fell back to Clark’s Mill where he learned that another Confederate force was coming from the northeast. Unlimbering artillery to command both approach roads, Barstow was soon engaged in a five-hour fight with the enemy. Under a white flag, the Confederates demanded a surrender, and the Union, given their numerical inferiority, accepted. The Confederates paroled the Union troops and departed after burning the blockhouse at Clark’s Mill. Clark’s Mill helped the Confederates to maintain a toehold in southwest Missouri. The Confederate victory resulted in 113 Union casualties, the Confederate casualties are unknown.

Marmaduke’s First Expedition into Missouri – January 1863

Battle of Springfield, Missouri

Battle of Springfield, Missouri

Springfield – 2 – January 8, 1863 – Taking place in Greene County Missouri on January 8, 1863, this battle was part of Marmaduke’s First Expedition into Missouri Campaign. Brigadier General John S. Marmaduke’s expedition into Missouri reached Ozark, where it destroyed the Union post, and then approached Springfield on the morning of January 8, 1863. Springfield was an important Federal communications center and supply depot so the Rebels wished to destroy it. The Union army had constructed fortifications to defend the town. Their ranks, however, were depleted because Francis J. Herron’s two divisions had not yet returned from their victory at Prairie Grove on December 7. After receiving a report on January 7 of the Rebels’ approach, Brigadier General Egbert B. Brown set about preparing for the attack and rounding up additional troops. Around 10:00 am, the Confederates advanced in battle line to the attack. The day included desperate fighting with attacks and counterattacks until after dark, but the Federal troops held and the Rebels withdrew during the night. Brown had been wounded during the day. The Confederates appeared in force the next morning but retired without attacking. The Federal depot was successfully defended, and Union strength in the area continued. The Union victory resulted in estimated casualties of 163 Union and 240 Confederate.

Reenactment of the Battle of Hartville, Missouri

Reenactment of the Battle of Hartville, Missouri

Hartville – January 9-11, 1963 – Occurring in Wright County as part of Marmaduke’s First Expedition into Missouri Campaign, this battle was waged on January 9-11, 1863. John S. Marmaduke led a Confederate raid into Missouri in early January 1863. This movement was two-pronged. Colonel Joseph C. Porter led one column, comprising his Missouri Cavalry Brigade, out of Pocahontas, Arkansas, to assault Union posts around Hartville, Missouri. When he neared Hartville, on January 9, he sent a detachment forward to reconnoiter. It succeeded in capturing the small garrison and occupying the town. The same day, Porter moved on toward Marshfield. On the 10th, some of Porter’s men raided other Union installations in the area before catching up with Marmaduke’s column east of Marshfield. Marmaduke had received reports of Union troops approaching to surround him and prepared for a confrontation. Colonel Samuel Merrill, commander of the approaching Union column, arrived in Hartville, discovered that the garrison had already surrendered and set out after the Confederates. A few minutes later, fighting began. Marmaduke feared being cut off from his retreat route back to Arkansas so he pushed Merrill’s force back to Hartville, where it established a defense line. Here, a four-hour battle ensued in which the Confederates suffered many casualties but compelled the Yankees to retreat. Although they won the battle, the Confederates were forced to abandon the raid and return to friendly territory. The Confederate victory resulted in 78 Union casualties and 329 Confederate.

Marmaduke’s Second Expedition into Missouri – April 1863

Fort D, Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Fort D, Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Cape Girardeau – April 25, 1863 – The conflict was part of the pursuit of US Brigadier General John McNeil through Southeast Missouri by Confederate Brigadier General John S. Marmaduke. General Marmaduke, with his combined force of about 2,000 men, sought to strike McNeil at Bloomfield, Missouri. However, McNeil retreated and Marmaduke followed. on April 25, 1863, Marmaduke received word that McNeil was near Cape Girardeau and sent troops forward to destroy or capture McNeil’s force. Though the Federals were ensconced behind fortified walls, Confederate Colonel John S. Shelby’s brigade attacked, and those Union forces not already in fortifications retreated into them. Realizing the Federals’ strength, General Marmaduke withdrew his division to Jackson, Missouri. The Union victory resulted in 12 Union casualties and 325 Confederate casualties.

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