Saturday, April 12, 2014

Wilson's Creek Battlefield

So far, Wilson's Creek has been the best civil war site we've visited.  The battlefield is a little west of Springfield, MO.

This battle was the continuation of what occurred at Carthage.  General Lyon marched his army on to Wilson's Creek with the intent of aggressively finishing the Confederate militia.  Unfortunately for him, some poor battlefield communication and lack of ammunition when his army needed it most resulted in him paying with his life.

The National Parks Service has done a great job with this park.  The visitor center, movie, library, and driving tour are first class.  For me, the highlight was the preserved Ray house, which was used as a makeshift hospital following the battle.  It's pretty amazing to stand on the porch of this house that was there during the civil war and look at the Wire Road (transport and telegraph south to Arkansas).  The Wire Road was the reason that this battle came together where it did.  The photo below is looking straight down the Wire Road:

Below is the bed (inside the Ray house) where Lyon's body was placed after the battle:

At the end of the day, all the action in this battle happened at and around Bloody Hill.  Here's a couple pictures of the hill:

The first comes from a re-creation of the structure that State Militia leader Sterling Price planned his tactics.  Bloody Hill is in the background:

Here's a shot of Wilson's Creek:

Just to the northeast of this shot of the creek, the Confederates set up their guns where they could control any movement of the Union off of Bloody Mountain:

And here are some shots of the artillery from Bloody Hill itself:

Lyon ended up meeting his demise a hundred or so yards down the hill from where these guns are placed.

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