The Battle Of Wilson ' S Creek

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Introduction The Civil War in Missouri began in 1861 with The Battle of Wilson’s Creek. On August 10, 1861 Union and Confederate forces clashed in a town southwest of Springfield and struggled bitterly for control of Missouri in the Civil War’s first year.1

History Missouri, with its strategic position on the Missouri and Mississippi rivers was viewed by the federal government as vital to Union success. This created a unique set of border state politics between Missouri’s residents and its leaders.
In 1861, Missourians could be divided into three political categories, conditional Unionists, secessionists and unconditional Unionists. The majority of Missourians were conditional Unionists
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Its ranks swelled with volunteers, many of whom hoped to see Missouri join the Confederacy.4
On June 11, 1861 Governor Jackson met with General Lyon in an attempt at compromise. After five hours with no agreement Lyon declared war against all secessionists within Missouri and started mobilizing his army. This began a two month campaign to drive the secessionists out of Missouri and set into motion the events leading up to the Battle of Wilson’s Creek.5 Planning/Preparation Lyon, receiving reinforcements from Kansas, launched attacks that drove the newly formed Missouri State Guard into the southwestern corner of the state. Battles at Boonville Missouri on June 17 and Carthage on July 5 started to set the tone for battles to come. By August, more than 7,000 men were in Springfield Missouri under the command of General Lyon.6 Major General Sterling Price, commander of the Missouri State Guard, needed help to oppose Lyon’s forces in Springfield. He called upon Confederate commander Ben McCulloch. McCulloch agreed and moved 5,000 men into Missouri. This proved to be the first invasion of Confederate troops into Union territory. After McCulloch’s men joined Price’s they set out for Springfield. During the advance, McCulloch and Price had several skirmishes with Lyon, and eventually settled into camp at Wilson’s Creek on August 6. The local
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