Confederate Maj. Gen. Sterling Price’s Army of Missouri was in full retreat following its defeats at Westport on the Big Blue River outside of Kansas City on October 23rd, and at Mine Creek in Kansas on October 25th. On October 28th, it stopped to rest about two miles south of Newtonia, Missouri where another battle had been fought two years prior. Soon, five brigades in the pursuing cavalry division of Brig. Gen. James G. Blunt's Union force arrived. Blunt's cavalrymen caught the Rebels by surprise and attacked the closest target, the Confederate supply train, easily forcing its defenders to flee. Confederate Brig. Gen. Joe Shelby’s mounted infantry division soon arrived from the rear of Price's column, dismounted, and engaged the Yankees. Shelby's men, including his Iron Brigade of three Missouri cavalry regiments, forced the Union cavalry back onto a cornfield on the Matthew H. Ritchie plantation. Union forces held out there until the 1st Colorado Artillery Battery and reinforcements under Brig. Gen. John B. Sanborn arrived and, with a flanking attack from a ridge, forced the Confederates to retreat around nightfall. Blunt's troops had forced Price's army to continue its retreat towards Indian Territory but failed to destroy or capture it.