Southwest Missouri Civil War

Wilsons Cr

Springfield area

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield
6424 W Farm Road 182, Republic MO 65738-9514
 Road map 
Ray House   The Battle of Wilson’s Creek, fought Aug. 10, 1861, was the first major engagement west of the Mississippi River and was a Confederate victory. About 5,400 Federal troops under Gen. Nathaniel Lyon camped in Springfield and then marched about 10 miles southwest to confront the threat posed by a combined Southern force more than twice their number under Gens. Sterling Price and Ben McCulloch. Lyon was killed during the five-hour battle, and his successor ordered a withdrawal to Springfield. The Confederates, however, were unable to follow up their success, leaving most of Missouri in Federal hands.
   A 4.9-mile driving trail takes visitors through this well-preserved battlefield.

Park visitor center open daily at least 9 am–5 pm daily; hours vary by season with extended hours during the summer. Museum open daily 9 am–noon and 1–4 pm April–November. $7/adult, $15 maximum per carload.


Bushwhacker Museum
231 N Main St, Nevada MO 64772
 Road map 
   Much on the local history of the area, known as the “Bushwacker Capital” during the war due to frequent encounters with “irregular” fighting units. Fed up with Confederate bushwacking, Federal troops burned Nevada to the ground May 26, 1863. Civil War displays include uniforms, weapons and more. Open April–October Tuesday–Saturday 10 am–4 pm. $5/adult.



Battle of Carthage State Historic Site
East Chestnut Street, Carthage MO
 Road map 
   This seven-acre site is on the spot of one of the last skirmishes of a running battle fought July 5, 1861. Union Col. Franz Sigel’s 1,100 troops were pursuing Gov. Claiborne Jackson’s collection of 6,000 militia and unarmed soldiers heading toward Arkansas to join with Confederate forces there. The outnumbered Federals lost the battle, but were able to escape. Information kiosk describes the fighting. Park open daylight hours.
    Directions: U.S. 71, Garrison Avenue exit in Carthage, south to East Chestnut Street, turn east. Site is next to Carter Park.


Battle of Carthage Civil War Museum
205 Grant St, Carthage MO 64836
 Road map 
   Much on local Civil War history here including a diorama and mural of the July 1861 Battle of Carthage. Exhibits include sections on African-American and American-Indian involvement in war. Open Tuesday–Saturday 8:30 am–5 pm, Sunday 1–5 pm. Free.

Butler Area

Island Mound

Battle of Island Mound State Historic Site
4837 NW County Road, Butler MO 64730
 Road map 
    Black Union troops first saw Civil War action here in a battle with Confederate guerillas Oct 29, 1862. The First Kansas Colored, organized at Fort Leavenworth (KS), was dispatched here despite the fact that it would be months before African-American troops were officially mustered into national service. Interpreted trail describes the action.
    Park open daylight hours.

Newtonia (near Neosho)

Richey Hs

The Battles of Newtonia
    Two interpretive markers near the Richey House describe the battles:
    The first battle, Sept. 30, 1862, was a Confederate victory. Union soldiers seeking to break up a large contingent of Confederates seeking supplies in southwest Missouri attacked a superior Southern force here. The Federals were beaten thoroughly in a battle that swept back and forth through town. The battle featured Indian troops fighting on both sides. The Confederate incursion into Missouri didn’t last long. A much larger Union force showed up a few days later, and the Southerners withdrew back to Arkansas. Confederates occupied the nearby Richey House during this battle.
    Another marker describes the Second Battle of Newtonia, which was fought Oct. 28, 1864. After the Battles of Westport and Mine Creek (Kansas), the beaten Confederate army under Gen. Sterling Price retreated, and Federal pursuers caught up to Price’s exhausted troops south of here. The Union troops were repulsed and chased back into town. Both sides claimed victory in the last gasp of Price’s Raid. This marker provides a good map and description of Price’s 1864 Missouri Expedition.
    To get to Newtonia from Neosho: Follow Route 60W/59N northwest 3 miles to Route 86, turn right. Continue 7 miles to County Road M, turn left. Continue one block to Mill Street, turn right and drive 0.4 miles to the Richey House.

Website links to Missouri Civil War places: Missouri Links