Lexington in Lafayette County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
The Battle of Lexington
Sept. 18, 19 and 20, 1861
By the 19th, heavy artillery fire left unmistakable marks. A newspaper correspondent observed that great limbs from trees had been torn off and the artillery had opened many huge chasms in the college building. He noted that most of the Southern cannon shots had passed over the Federal works. It is possible that one cannon ball, from Hiram Bledsoe’s battery, sailed straight into a column on the county courthouse. The hole had not been repaired and can still be seen today.
Across the ravine to the northeast was Hiram Bledsoe’s battery. In the painting, right, done by a Hungarian artist names Domenico, the battery can be seen. One can imagine Bledsoe’s view of the battlefield and the perspective of the soldiers on this point looking toward the battery.
On the third and final day, Sept.
A Northern newspaper correspondent described the approach, “It was about twenty rods in length, and the height of two bales of hemp. The bales were placed with the ends facing our fortifications, affording a thickness of about six feet. The immense breastwork commenced moving forward not in detachments or singly, but in one vast body, unbroken and steady, parting to pass trees and closing up again as impenetrable as a rock. Behind it were hundreds of men pushing and urging with levers, while others held the bales steadily to their places, and others still, whose numbers were almost indefinite, firing between the crevices and over the top at our soldiers. Our men looked at the moving monster in astonishment.”
Col. Martin Green led his northeast Missourians into the Union trenches. Maj. Becker’s German Home
Gen. Sterling Price announced that he would release the prisoners on their promise not to take up arms against Missouri or the Confederacy. The Federals were lined up and addressed by Gov. Claiborne Jackson and Gen. Price. The governor said the Federals had no business in Missouri and he would take care of the state without assistance. Price addressed the Federal troops saying, “You were the hardest troops to capture I have ever seen.”
After the surrender, Mulligan declined parole and remained a prisoner of war. Mrs. Mulligan asked for permission to stay with her husband and care for his wounds. Price acquiesced provided she find someone to take care of their baby.
Location. 39° 11.506′ N, 93° 52.734′ W. Marker is in Lexington, Missouri, in Lafayette County. Marker can be reached from Wood Street 0.1 miles north of 13th Street and Wood Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lexington MO 64067, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named The Battle of Lexington (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named The Battle of Lexington (about 400 feet away); a different marker also named The Battle of Lexington (about 700 feet away); a different marker also named The Battle of Lexington (about 700 feet away); The Library Building (approx. half a mile away); Mount Vernon Foundation Stones (approx. half a mile away); Guibor's Battery (approx. half a mile away); Lafayette County Courthouse (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lexington.
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 16, 2011, by Tony Meyers of Liberty, Missouri. This page has been viewed 618 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 16, 2011, by Tony Meyers of Liberty, Missouri. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.