1861 August 10th

August 10 1861 Saturday

Battle of Wilson’s Creek, MO (CWSAC Decisive Battle – Confederate Victory)

Wilson‘s Creek Campaign

Confederate Invasion of New Mexico

Illinois. Union Brigadier-General Benjamin Mayberry Prentiss reported from Cairo, Illinois, that as many as 10,000 Confederate troops were concentrating at New Madrid, on the Missouri side of the Missouri River.

Missouri. Incident at Potosi. Expedition to Benton, Commerce and Price’s Landing ended.

Wilson’s Creek, Missouri, also known as Oak Hills or Springfield. Union Brigadier-General Nathaniel Lyon’s Army of the West, marching in two separated columns commanded by himself and Colonel Franz Sigel, attacked the Confederate army of Brigadier-General Benjamin McCulloch and Missouri State Major-General Sterling Price (Missouri State Guard) at Wilson’s Creek, about twelve miles southwest of Springfield. At 4 am Lyon’s force moved forward from its brief bivouac and drove back the outposts of Colonel James S Rains. They advanced west of Wilson’s Creek while Captain J B Plummer moved his battalion of Missouri Home Guards as a flank guard along the opposite bank against a Confederate force seen moving from the Ray House towards a distinctive cornfield. Plummer was strengthened by 300 men from the 1st US Infantry. The Union army was supported by sixteen guns in Totten’s Battery of the 2nd US Artillery and Dubois’s battery. The Confederates had fifteen guns under Captains Guibor, Bledsoe, Woodruff and Reid.

The pro-Confederate Missourians were caught by surprise. Lyon’s force overran the enemy camps and took the high ground at the crest of a ridge which would become known as Bloody Hill. Early Union hopes for a rout were dashed, however, when the artillery of the Pulaski Arkansas Battery unlimbered and checked the advance, giving Price’s infantry time to organise new lines on the south slope of the hill. By 6.30am Price had drawn up a strong Confederate line on Oak Hill.

After an hour of fighting, Price had been driven off Oak Hill down to Wilson’s Creek and the Ray House, where he re-formed for a counterattack. A strong counterattack by Colonel Louis Hébert’s 3rd Louisiana and Colonel James McQueen McIntosh’s 2nd Arkansas Mounted Rifles routed the Union force, inflicting a loss of 80 men. An attempt by Confederate Colonel E Greer’s 3rd Texas Cavalry to envelop the Union left along Skegg’s Branch was halted by Totten’s artillery. Meanwhile, Sigel was approaching on a flanking march from the south with two infantry regiments, two troops of cavalry and a battery. By 5.30am Sigel had reached Tyrel’s Creek. He placed his battery on the high ground east of Wilson’s Creek to fire into the Confederate camps.

Hearing the sound of Lyon’s guns, Sigel attacked with his 1st US Infantry at about 5 am and routed the Confederate cavalry facing him and moved towards Sharp’s House. At Sharp’s House he was counter-attacked by McCulloch’s own brigade, including Hébert’s 3rd Louisiana “Pelican Rifles” and Colonel Thomas J Churchill’s 1st Arkansas Mounted Rifles. Sigel mistook the grey uniforms worn by Hébert’s men for those of the 1st Iowa from Lyon’s force and assumed that Lyon had already carried the field. Reid’s Confederate battery brought the Union line under enfilade fire and McCulloch achieved a devastating rout of Sigel’s troops, taking five of his six guns in the process. By 11 am Sigel had fled the field and McCulloch was able to bring his forces to bear against Lyon’s column in superior numbers.

On Oak Hill Lyon repelled two Confederate counterattacks but at about 10.30 am Lyon was wounded twice before being killed on Bloody Hill while rallying his men for a countercharge. Regular Army officer Major Samuel Davis Sturgis replaced Lyon in command. Although they still held a defensible position atop the hill, the Union army’s supplies were low and morale was worsening. By 11 am the Union forces had already repulsed three separate Confederate charges; ammunition and men were nearly exhausted,

A third Confederate attack was launched at about 11 am but Sturgis could not induce the 1st Iowa to obey an order to counter-charge. At about 11.30 am the Confederates broke off the fight and withdrew for the fourth time. Sturgis also decided to withdraw rather than risk a fourth Confederate attack, because that his men were exhausted and low on ammunition. The Union army retreated to Rolla, with about 4,500 surviving men in the ranks. Although the Confederates held the field, they were too disorganised and ill-equipped to pursue the retreating Union forces but they soon occupied Springfield.

The Union commander of the Department of the West, Major-General John Charles Frémont disclaimed all responsibility for the defeat at Wilson’s Creek and Sturgis received sharp criticism for his withdrawal. Nevertheless, when Sturgis received his commission as Brigadier-General, it was backdated to the date of Wilson’s Creek.

Wilson’s Creek was the first major battle west of the Mississippi and the Confederate victory buoyed southern sympathisers in Missouri and created a springboard for a northward advance that carried Price and the Missouri State Guard as far north as Lexington. It also made it possible for many of the Confederate and Arkansas forces to leave Missouri for action east of the Mississippi. Union losses were reported as between 1,235 and 1,317 out of 5,400 men (223 killed, 721 wounded, 291 missing or 258 killed, 873 wounded and 186 captured or missing). The Confederates lost 1,095 to 1,230 out of 10,000 to 11,600 men (257 killed, 900 wounded, 27 missing or 279 killed and 951 wounded). (CWSAC Decisive Battle – Confederate Victory)

ORDER OF BATTLE: WILSON’S CREEK, MO

Union Western Department: Brigadier-General John Charles Frémont
Army of the West: Brigadier-General Nathaniel Lyon
1st Brigade (West): Major Samuel Davis Sturgis
2nd Brigade (West): Colonel Franz Sigel
3rd Brigade (West): Lieutenant-Colonel George Leonard Andrews
4th Brigade (West): Colonel George Deitzler

Confederate Western Department: Major-General Leonidas Polk
District of the Indian Territory: Brigadier-General Benjamin McCulloch
“Western Army”: Brigadier-General Benjamin McCulloch
Missouri State Guard: State Brigadier-General Sterling Price
Arkansas State Troops: Brigadier-General Benjamin McCulloch

Union Organisation

USA: The Army of the West was discontinued.

USA: Samuel Davis Sturgis promoted Brigadier-General USV March 7 1862 to rank from August 10 1861.

Sturgis, Samuel Davis | Pennsylvania | Born 11 June 1822 Shippensburg, Pennsylvania | USMA 1846 32/59 Dragoons – Cavalry | 2nd Lieutenant USA 1st US Dragoons 16 February 1847 1st Lieutenant USA 1st US Dragoons 15 July 1853 Captain USA 1st US Cavalry 3 March 1855 Major USA 1st US Cavalry 3 May 1861 4th US Cavalry 3 August 1861 Brigadier-General USV March 7 1862 to rank from August 10 1861 Lieutenant-Colonel USA 6th US Cavalry 27 October 1863 Mustered out USV 24 August 1865 Colonel USA 7th US Cavalry 6 May 1869 Retired USA 11 June 1888 | CIA Mexican War 1847 | Died 28 September 1889 | 10 April 1862 – 4 May 1862 District of Kansas, 4 June 1863 – 4 July 1863 District of Central Kentucky, 15 December 1863 – 10 April 1864 Cavalry Corps Ohio

USA: Brigadier-General Nathaniel Lyon was killed at the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, Missouri.

Lyon, Nathaniel / Connecticut / Born 14 July 1818 Ashford, Connecticut / USMA 1841 11/52 Infantry / 2nd Lieutenant USA 2nd US Infantry 1 July 1841 / 1st Lieutenant USA 2nd US Infantry 16 February 1847 / Captain USA 2nd US Infantry 11 June 1851 / Brigadier-General Missouri Volunteers 12 May 1861 / Brigadier-General USV 17 May 1861 / WIA Mexican War 1848 / KIA Wilson’s Creek 10 August 1861 / 23 April 1861 – 28 April 1861 Department of the West, 31 May 1861 – 2 July 1861 Department of the West, 2 July 1861 – 10 August 1861 Army of the West, 3 July 1861 -24 July 1861 Western Department

Commander in Chief: President Abraham Lincoln

Vice-President: Hannibal Hamlin

Secretary of War: Simon Cameron

Secretary of the Navy: Gideon Welles

  • Coast Blockading Squadron USN: Flag Officer Silas Horton Stringham USN
  • Gulf Blockading Squadron USN: Flag Officer William Mervine USN
  • Pacific Squadron USN: Captain John B Montgomery USN
  • Potomac Flotilla USN: Commander Thomas Tingey Craven USN

General–in-Chief: Winfield Scott

  • Military Division (Department) of the Potomac: George Brinton McClellan
    • Department of Northeastern Virginia: Irvin McDowell
      • Army of the Potomac: Irvin McDowell
    • Department of Washington: Joseph King Fenno Mansfield
  • Department of the East: John Ellis Wool
  • Department of Florida: Harvey Brown
  • Department of Kentucky: Robert Anderson
  • Department of the Ohio: William Starke Rosecrans
    • Cheat Mountain District: Joseph Jones Reynolds
    • Cheat River District: Charles J Biddle
    • District of Grafton: Benjamin Franklin Kelley
    • Army of Occupation: William Starke Rosecrans
  • Department of the Pacific: Edwin Vose Sumner
    • District of Oregon: George Wright
  • Department of Pennsylvania: John Adams Dix
    • Army of the Shenandoah: Vacant
  • Department of the Shenandoah: Nathaniel Prentiss Banks
  • Department of Texas: Vacant
  • Department of Virginia: Benjamin Franklin Butler interim John Ellis Wool awaited
  • Western Department: John Charles Frémont
    • District of Ironton: Ulysses Simpson Grant
    • District of North Missouri: John Pope
    • Southern District of New Mexico: Benjamin Stone Roberts

Confederate Organisation

Commander in Chief: President Jefferson Finis Davis

Vice-President: Alexander Hamilton Stephens

Secretary of War: Leroy Pope Walker

Secretary of the Navy: Stephen Russell Mallory

Military Adviser to the President: Robert Edward Lee

  • Department No 1: David Emanuel Twiggs
    • “Forces in New Orleans” “Army of Louisiana”: Braxton Bragg
  • Department of Fredericksburg: Daniel Harvey Hill
    • District of Aquia: Daniel Ruggles
  • Department of Norfolk: Benjamin Huger
  • Department of North Carolina: Theophilus Hunter Holmes
    • Defences of North Carolina: Theophilus Hunter Holmes
  • Department of the Peninsula: John Bankhead Magruder
    • Army of the Peninsula: John Bankhead Magruder
  • Department of the Potomac: Joseph Eggleston Johnston
    • Army of the Potomac: Joseph Eggleston Johnston
  • Department of South Carolina: Daniel Harvey Hill
  • Department of Southwestern Virginia: William Wing Loring
  • Department of Texas: Earl Van Dorn
    • Defences of Galveston: John Creed Moore
  • Department of West Florida: Braxton Bragg
    • “Forces in Pensacola”: Braxton Bragg
  • Western Department: Leonidas Polk
    • District of Upper Arkansas: William Joseph Hardee
    • Western Army: Benjamin McCulloch
  • District of East Tennessee: Felix Kirk Zollicoffer
  • Defences of Savannah: Alexander Robert Lawton
  • Indian Territory: Benjamin McCulloch
  • Forces in Richmond: Thomas Turner Fauntleroy
  • Army of the Kanawha: Henry Alexander Wise
  • Army of Liberation: Gideon Johnson Pillow
  • Army of the Northwest: William Wing Loring

Union Generals

  • Major-General USA Winfield Scott 5 July 1841 to rank from 25 June 1841 General-in-Chief
  • Major-General USA George Brinton McClellan 14 May 1861 Military Division (Department) of the Potomac
  • Major-General USA John Charles Frémont 3 July 1861 to rank from 14 May 1861 Western Department
  • Brigadier-General USA John Ellis Wool 25 June 1841 Department of the East & Department of Virginia awaited
  • Brigadier-General USA William Selby Harney 14 June 1858
  • Brigadier-General USA Edwin Vose Sumner 16 March 1861 Department of the Pacific
  • Brigadier-General USA Irvin McDowell 14 May 1861 Department of Northeastern Virginia & Army of the Potomac
  • Brigadier-General USA Joseph Fenno King Mansfield 17 May 1861 to rank from May 14 1861 Department of Washington
  • Brigadier-General USA Montgomery Cunningham Meigs 15 May 1861 Quartermaster-General
  • Brigadier-General USA Robert Anderson 17 June 1861 to rank from 15 May 1861 Department of Kentucky
  • Brigadier-General USA William Starke Rosecrans 16 June 1861 to rank from 16 May 1861 Department of the Ohio & Army of Occupation
  • Brigadier-General USA Henry Knox Craig August 3 1861
  • Brigadier-General USA Lorenzo Thomas 5 August 1861 to rank from 3 August 1861 Adjutant General
  • Brigadier-General USA James Wolfe Ripley 10 September 1861 to rank from 3 August 1861 Chief of Ordnance
  • Major-General USV John Adams Dix 16 May 1861 Department of Pennsylvania
  • Major-General USV Benjamin Franklin Butler 16 May 1861 Department of Virginia interim
  • Major-General USV Nathaniel Prentiss Banks 3 June 1861 to rank from 16 May 1861 Department of the Shenandoah
  • Brigadier-General USV Nathaniel Lyon 17 May 1861 KIA 10 August 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Jacob Dolson Cox 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Samuel Peter Heintzelman 27 May 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Robert Cumming Schenck 5 June 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV John Pope 14 June 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861 District of North Missouri
  • Brigadier-General USV Joseph Jones Reynolds 14 June 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861 Cheat Mountain District
  • Brigadier-General USV Stephen Augustus Hurlbut 14 June 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV William Tecumseh Sherman 3 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Andrew Porter 6 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV William Buel Franklin 6 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Charles Pomeroy Stone 6 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Thomas West Sherman 6 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Benjamin Franklin Kelley 6 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861 District of Grafton
  • Brigadier-General USV Joseph Hooker 6 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV John Alexander McClernand 6 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Frederick West Lander 6 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Erasmus Darwin Keyes 7 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV David Hunter 7 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Don Carlos Buell 7 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Fitz-John Porter 7 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV George Archibald McCall 7 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Rufus King 7 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Franz Sigel 7 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861 2nd Brigade (West)
  • Brigadier-General USV Charles Smith Hamilton 7 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Samuel Ryan Curtis 7 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Philip Kearny 7 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Alpheus Starkey Williams 9 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV William Reading Montgomery 9 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Israel Bush Richardson 9 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Benjamin Mayberry Prentiss 9 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Darius Nash Couch 9 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Ulysses Simpson Grant 9 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861 District of Ironton
  • Brigadier-General USV James Cooper 12 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Julius Stahel 12 November 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV John Wolcott Phelps 9 August 1861 to rank from 27 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV James Brewerton Ricketts April 30 1862 to rank from July 21 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Michael Corcoran August 15 1862 to rank from July 21 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Orlando Bolivar Willcox August 19 1862 to rank from July 21 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV George Henry Thomas 17 August 1861 to rank from 3 August 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Ambrose Everett Burnside 9 August 1861 to rank from August 6 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Henry Hayes Lockwood August 8 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Louis Blenker 9 August 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV George Webb Morell 9 August 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Henry Warner Slocum 9 August 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV James Samuel Wadsworth 9 August 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV John James Peck 9 August 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Ormsby McKnight Mitchel 9 August 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV John Henry Martindale 9 August 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Samuel Davis Sturgis March 7 1862 to rank from August 10 1861 1st Brigade (West)
  • Colonel George Wright 3 March 1855 District of Oregon
  • Colonel Harvey Brown 14 May 1861 Department of Florida
  • Colonel Benjamin Gratz Brown 22 April 1861 District of Ironton
  • Colonel Charles J Biddle 21 June 1861 Cheat River District
  • Major Benjamin Stone Roberts 13 May 1861 Southern District of New Mexico

Confederate Generals

  • General ACSA Samuel Cooper 31 August 1861 to rank from 16 May 1861 Adjutant-General and Inspector General
  • General ACSA Albert Sidney Johnston 31 August 1861 to rank from 30 May 1861
  • General ACSA Robert Edward Lee 31 August 1861 to rank from 14 June 1861 Military Adviser to the President
  • General ACSA Joseph Eggleston Johnston 31 August 1861 to rank from 4 July 1861 Department of the Potomac & Army of the Potomac
  • General ACSA Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard 31 August 1861 to rank from 21 July 1861
  • Major-General PACS David Emanuel Twiggs March 22 1861 Department No 1
  • Major-General Leonidas Polk PACS 25 June 1861 Western Department
  • Brigadier-General ACSA Braxton Bragg March 7 1861 Forces in Louisiana & Department of West Florida & Forces in Pensacola & Forces in New Orleans
  • Brigadier-General PACS Alexander Robert Lawton 13 April 1861 Defences of Savannah
  • Brigadier-General PACS Milledge Luke Bonham 23 April 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Benjamin McCulloch 11 May 1861 Indian Territory & Western Army
  • Brigadier-General PACS William Wing Loring 20 May 1861 Department of Southwestern Virginia & Army of the Northwest
  • Brigadier-General PACS Charles Clark 22 May 1861.
  • Brigadier-General PACS John Buchanan Floyd 23 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS William Henry Talbot Walker 25 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Henry Rootes Jackson 4 June 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Earl Van Dorn 5 June 1861 Department of Texas
  • Brigadier-General PACS Theophilus Hunter Holmes 5 June 1861 Department of North Carolina & Defences of North Carolina
  • Brigadier-General PACS Henry Alexander Wise 5 June 1861 Army of the Kanawha
  • Brigadier-General PACS Robert Selden Garnett 6 June 1861 KIA 13 July 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS William Joseph Hardee 17 June 1861 District of Upper Arkansas
  • Brigadier-General PACS Benjamin Huger 17 June 1861 Department of Norfolk
  • Brigadier-General PACS Thomas Jonathan Jackson 17 June 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Richard Stoddert Ewell 17 June 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Henry Hopkins Sibley 17 June 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Edmund Kirby Smith 17 June 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Barnard Elliott Bee 17 June 1861 DOW 22 July 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS John Clifford Pemberton 17 June 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS John Bankhead Magruder 17 June 1861 Department of the Peninsula & Army of the Peninsula
  • Brigadier-General PACS James Longstreet 17 June 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS David Rumph Jones 17 June 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS John Henry Winder 21 June 1861 Provost Marshal General
  • Brigadier-General PACS Richard Caswell Gatlin 13 August 1861 to rank from 8 July 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Gideon Johnson Pillow 9 July 1861 Army of Liberation
  • Brigadier-General PACS Samuel Read Anderson 9 July 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Benjamin Franklin Cheatham 9 July 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Daniel Smith Donelson 9 July 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Felix Kirk Zollicoffer 9 July 1861 District of East Tennessee
  • Brigadier-General PACS Jones Mitchell Withers 10 July 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Daniel Harvey Hill 10 July 1861 Department of South Carolina & Department of Fredericksburg
  • Brigadier-General PACS Richard Heron Anderson 19 July 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Robert Augustus Toombs 19 July 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Arnold Elzey 21 July 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Samuel Jones 21 July 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Jubal Anderson Early July 21 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS William Henry Chase Whiting 28 August 1861 to rank from 21 July 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Francis Stebbins Bartow 21 July 1861 DOW 22 July 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Daniel Ruggles August 6 1861 to rank from 9 August 1861 District of Aquia
  • Brigadier-General PACS Isaac Ridgeway Trimble 6 August 1861 to rank from 9 August 1861
  • Colonel Thomas Turner Fauntleroy Forces in Richmond
  • Colonel John Creed Moore Defences of Galveston

 

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close