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Battle of Wilson's Creek by markers. Use the “First >>” button above to see these markers in sequence.
Missouri (Greene County), Battlefield — The Battle of Oak Hills — August 10, 1861
In early August, 1861 the Missouri State Guard under the command of Major General Sterling Price was camped along Wilson's Creek preparing to march into Springfield, Missouri ten miles northeast of their encampment. Shortly after 5:00 A.M. they were attacked by Federal forces under the command of Major General Nathaniel Lyon who commenced firing upon Price's army and Confederate forces under the command of Brigadier General Benjamin McCulloch. For 6 hours the Missouri State Guard Assaulted the . . . — Map (db m35141) HM
Missouri (Greene County), Battlefield — Gibson's Mill — Wilson's Creek
The mill and house of John Gibson once stood in the valley in front of you along Wilson Creek. On August 9, 1861, the day before the battle the Gibson family and their neighbors found themselves surrounded by more than 12,000 Confederate soldiers whose camps extended two miles south along the creek. The Gibsons made their living by grinding corn and oats into flour, and by carding wool. When the cannon began to roar on the morning of August 10, they took refuge in their cellar. Today the house . . . — Map (db m35142) HM
Missouri (Greene County), Battlefield — Way to the Mill — Wilson's Creek
Many before you... have traveled the path to the mill. Although our reasons have changed, the way to the mill has always been popular. In the days before supermarkets and, pre-packaged "ready-made" foods, families depended on small mills such as Mr. Gibson's. Here, their grain was ground into flour and meal, ingredients for many cooking needs. Historical evidence indicates that the Gibson mill was also a wool carding mill preparing the woolen fibers for future spinning and weaving. From miles . . . — Map (db m35143) HM
Missouri (Greene County), Battlefield — Signs From The Past — Wilson's Creek
The surrounding young forest can tell us much. Agriculture has long dominated the landscape. Nearby, John Gibson's horsedrawn plow broke ground for an oat field. Later, tractors would shape and alter the countryside. In the course of this evolution roads and buildings emerged and later would disappear from view. Yet, subtle clues from the past remain to be discovered. Directly in front of you is the trace of an old ditch. This is the millrace that carried water to the Gibson Mill. As it . . . — Map (db m35144) HM
Missouri (Greene County), Battlefield — Gibson's Mill Site — Wilson's Creek
In the summer of 1861, the small mill of John Gibson stood here. Although Confederate soldiers camped nearby and Union soldiers forded the stream here, the mill escaped the heavy fighting that raged just downstream. In 1966 archeologists discovered parts of the mill's foundation, water wheel, gearing, and millstones. They also found melted glass and charred timbers - evidence that the mill was destroyed by fire after the war. A short distance up the trail from here you will find the . . . — Map (db m35147) HM
Missouri (Greene County), Battlefield — Gibson's House Site — Wilson's Creek
An archaeological study is a lot like a detective story. In 1966 an archeological investigation uncovered many bits of evidence from the area in front of you - the remnants of John and Martha Gibson's home. Bone handled dinner service, pewter utensils, and good china indicate the Gibson's relative affluence. Horse and mule shoes, wrought iron handles, an iron mold for casting lead shot, and numerous farming items point out that this "good life" was well earned. In an age when self sufficiency . . . — Map (db m35146) HM
Missouri (Greene County), Battlefield — Ray Springhouse — Wilson's Creek
In the valley just below is a stone springhouse, part of the historic property of John Ray, whose house stands on the hill above you. The springhouse provided water, and also a cool place to store milk, eggs, butter, vegetables, and other perishables. During and after the battle, the Rays' house served as a field hospital for the Confederates. Soldiers, and the Ray children, carried cool water from the springhouse for the wounded to drink. Surgeons also used the water to wash wounds and cleanse their surgical instruments. — Map (db m35182) HM
Missouri (Greene County), Battlefield — The Ray Family — Wilson's Creek
The Ray House is the only park structure on its original site that dates back to the Battle of Wilson's Creek. Postmaster and farmer John Ray built it in the 1850s. For ten years it served as the Wilson's Creek Post Office, a stopping place on the old Wire Road that connected Springfield, Missouri with Fort Smith, Arkansas. In 1861, twelve people were living here: John and Roxanna Ray, their nine children, and a mail carrier. Their slave "Aunt Rhoda" and her four children occupied a small . . . — Map (db m35198) HM
Missouri (Greene County), Battlefield — Fight in Ray's Cornfield — Wilson's Creek
John Ray watched the first stage of the Union defeat from the porch behind you. At 6:30 in the morning, August 10, 1861, soldiers appeared in his cornfield. The cornfield is the fenced high ground in front of you, just beyond Ray's springhouse. From the right came Captain Joseph B. Plummer's 300-man regular army battalion. Sent by General Lyon to secure the Federal left flank, Plummer had observed the Pulaski Arkansas artillery mauling the main Union line on Bloody Hill, and was moving to . . . — Map (db m35199) HM
Missouri (Greene County), Battlefield — Price's Headquarters — Wilson's Creek
Since August 6, 1861, thousands of Confederates had been camping in this area surrounding Major General Sterling Price's headquarters, waiting to attack the Union Army in Springfield. On the night of August 9, the long-awaited orders were issued. Pickets were called in, and the army began to advance. But when it began to rain, the Confederates postponed their attack, fearing their black gunpowder would become wet. The army returned to camp, but the pickets were not ordered to resume their . . . — Map (db m35213) HM
Missouri (Greene County), Battlefield — Pulaski Arkansas Battery — Wilson's Creek
In the opening moments of the battle, Union infantry swept back Southern cavalry, over-running two camps and topping the crest of Bloody Hill. Nothing stood in the Federals' way. At the bottom of Bloody Hill lay the main Southern camp, virtually defenseless. Then, from the top of the small ridge to your right, Captain William E. Woodruff's Pulaski Arkansas Battery opened fire, enfilading the entire length of the Union line. These four cannon forced a halt in the Federal advance. As a result . . . — Map (db m35210) HM
Missouri (Greene County), Battlefield — A Union Plan / The Broken Pincer — Wilson's Creek
(Left Side): A Union Plan From this spot on August 10, 1861 the complicated fury of the battle of Wilson's Creek would have unfolded before your eyes. The large field in front of you is the south slope of Bloody Hill. Union troops approaching from your right (north) would gain control of the hill early in the fighting. The open area to the left of Bloody Hill is Sigel's Final Position. Here Colonel Franz Sigel and his 1,200 Union troops went into position on both sides of the Wire . . . — Map (db m35215) HM
Missouri (Greene County), Battlefield — Pulaski Arkansas Battery — Wilson's Creek
From this position the four cannon of the Pulaski Arkansas Battery supported Confederate infantry during the Battle of Wilson's Creek. Two artillerists were killed by opposing cannon shot here, and one was wounded by a minie ball. Despite the casualties, Captain William E. Woodruff believed his battery had a very successful day of gunning. Woodruff wrote, "Our fire was ... directed where it could be advantageously used without injury to our own troops, sometimes at the opposing battery, at . . . — Map (db m35204) HM
Missouri (Greene County), Battlefield — The Eye of the Storm — Wilson's Creek
On August 6, 1861, the Southern army entered this valley from your left on the Wire Road, the restored historic road in front of you. The soldiers camped on both sides of the creek for a mile or more upstream and downstream from this point. Here, beside the log home of William Edwards, Confederate General Sterling Price set up his headquarters. Shortly after 5 A.M. on August 10, while Generals Price and Ben McCulloch were eating breakfast, the Union Army attacked. Looking up to "Bloody Hill" . . . — Map (db m35207) HM
Missouri (Greene County), Battlefield — Sigel's Attack — Wilson's Creek
Here on the southern end of the battlefield, Union soldiers commanded by Col. Franz Sigel mounted a surprise attack on the Confederate camps. The battle plan called for Sigel to attack from the south, while General Lyon attacked from the north. On the morning of the battle, Sigel's men occupied the ridge across the creek to your left. When Gen. Lyon's cannon opened fire to the north, Sigel began shelling the 2,300 Confederate cavalrymen camped here in Sharp's Cornfield. Exploding shells rained . . . — Map (db m35223) HM
Missouri (Greene County), Battlefield — Rout of Sigel's Column — Wilson's Creek
The Union strategy at Wilson's Creek called for a two-pronged surprise attack. General Lyon's main column with about 4,000 men would strike the Confederate camps from the north, while Col. Franz Sigel's brigade of about 1,200 men would attack from the south. The Confederate army would be crushed between the converging columns. The plan seemed effective at first, but the Union forces were outnumbered, and poor communications between Lyon and Sigel made it difficult to coordinate the attack. . . . — Map (db m35229) HM
Missouri (Greene County), Battlefield — Guibor's Battery — Wilson's Creek
From this spot one can imagine the challenge which faced the Confederate army. Further up the hill in front of you, over 4,000 Union soldiers and 10 pieces of artillery were positioned to repulse any Southern effort to regain the high ground. On a hot and humid summer day, the undaunted Confederates mounted charge after charge up the hill. To support the Southern infantry, the battery of Captain Henry Guibor (Sixth Division, Missouri State Guard) was assigned to this location. "Within musket . . . — Map (db m35233) HM
Missouri (Greene County), Battlefield — Bloody Hill — Wilson's Creek
Fierce changes and countercharges led to heavy casualties on Bloody Hill. Considering the numbers of troops engaged, it was one of the bloodiest fights in the war. Union artillery batteries on this hill dueled with opposing batteries in the valley and across the creek. A musket ball in the chest struck down General Lyon not far from here. His death dampened Union hopes. The Union soldiers were outnumbered two-to-one, and by 11:00 A.M. their ammunition was nearly exhausted. After six hours . . . — Map (db m35240) HM
Missouri (Greene County), Battlefield — XIV — Death of Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon
At or near this spot fell Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon Born Ashford, Conn. 1818 Graduated U.S Military Academy, 1841. Commander of the Federal forces In The Battle of Wilson Creek August 10, 1861 This marker is erected by The University Club of Springfield, MO. In honor of General Lyon and the hundreds Of brave men, north and South, who, on this field, “died for the rights as God” gave them to see the right. 1928 — Map (db m8113) HM
Missouri (Greene County), Battlefield — Battle's Beginning ... and End — Wilson's Creek
This Northern spur of Bloody Hill saw the beginning and end of the battle. In the days proceeding the fight, the field before you was the camp of the 1,200 cavalrymen of Colonel James Cawthorne's Missouri State Guard Brigade. At dawn on August 10th, word of the Union army's approach from the north reached this camp. Colonel Cawthorne ordered a regiment to advance and contact the enemy. At the end of the field to your left the regiment halted and formed a line of battle. Lyon's artillery . . . — Map (db m35241) HM
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