The Battle of Wilson's Creek, named for the stream that flows through the area, was fought on August 10, 1861, and marked the beginning of the Civil War in Missouri. The bitter five-hour struggle between Union and Confederate forces involved more than 17, 000 troops, leaving 2, 539 killed and wounded. When the Civil War began in 1861, most people in Missouri desired neutrality, but many, including Missouri's governor, held strong Southern sympathies and planned to cooperate with the Confederacy. This, coupled with Missouri's strategic location along river supply routes, caused Missouri to become a fiercely contested ground in an ever-changing bid for control by both sides. Wartime engagements were dominated by guerrilla warfare, with small bands of mounted raiders destroying anything military or civilian that could aid the enemy. The Battle of Wilson's Creek typified most of the Civil War - Confederate victories in individual battles eventually giving way to the domination by Northern forces and the ultimate salvation of the Union.
Newtonia, Missouri | With two major Civil War battles being fought at Newtonia, this site includes 20 acres of the battlefield and the Ritchey Mansion, which served as headquarters for both Union and Confederate troops at different points.