• The Ray House

    Wilson's Creek

    National Battlefield Missouri

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  • HORSE TRAILS CLOSED

    Due to recent heavy rains, all of the battlefield's horse trails will be closed until further notice. We regret any inconvenience.

  • CONSTRUCTION ON INTERSTATE 44 AT EXIT 70

    Route MM is closed at Exit 70. Bridge reconstruction is scheduled at Exit 70 from Friday, August 8, 2014 to Monday, September 29, 2014. Visitors should exit I-44 at Highway 360 (exit 69), then exit 360 at MM Highway and continue south to US Highway 60. More »

  • HISTORIC JOHN RAY HOUSE CLOSED DURING ROOF REPLACEMENT

    The Ray House will be closed intermittently through the fall of 2014 while a new roof is installed. We regret any inconvenience. Visitors may wish to call the Visitor Center at (417) 732-2662, ext. 227 to check on the status of the project.

  • "CAMPAIGNS & POLITICS: THE CIVIL WAR IN 1864" LECTURE SERIES

    The National Park Service and the Springfield Library continue their observance of the Civil War Sesquicentennial with a series of programs focusing on 1864. Open the current issue of "Bookends" Magazine (pdf file) in the link for a full schedule. More »

Trading Cards

Kids! Collect stories about the Civil War and civil rights! The National Park Service is offering more than 500 trading cards to mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Visit a park in person to earn a card (sorry, cards cannot be mailed). Ask a ranger or stop by the visitor center at a participating park. You can view all the cards online and discover stories from nearly 90 national parks in 31 states and the District of Columbia. You'll be surprised at what you will learn.

 
Rhoda Jones

Rhoda Jones
The Gift

Rhoda was 14 years old when she was given to Roxanna Steele as a wedding gift in 1837. Years later, Rhoda, her four daughters, Roxanna and her nine children survived the battle of Wilson's Creek by taking refuge in the cellar. After the battle, she and Roxanna cared for the wounded brought to the house.

 
Anna Elizabeth Steele

Anna Elizabeth Steele

When the Homefront is Your Home

Annie and her family witnessed warfare first hand. Following the battle of Wilson's Creek, their home was used to care for wounded and dying soldiers. Annie died of typhoid fever the next year at age 19. Her death, along with others, was attributed to unsanitary conditions caused by the improper burial of the battle's dead.

 
Lieutenant Omer Rose Weaver

Lieutenant Omer Weaver
First Blood

Lieutenant Weaver was from a prominent Little Rock family and carried on a secret romance with a hometown girl named Annie. Fearing her parent's disapproval, they secretly exchanged letters through his mother. Sadly, he was killed during the first hour of fighting at Wilson's Creek, becoming the first Arkansan to die in the Civil War.

 
George Bent

Private George Bent
Conflicted Loyalties

Born at Bent's Fort in Colorado, Bent learned Cheyenne culture from his
mother. As a student in St. Louis, he joined the Missouri State Guard
and fought at Wilson's Creek in the Civil War. By 1864, he was living
with Cheyenne relatives along Sand Creek. Surviving the massacre of
Indian families by US troops there, he fought against them for two years
with the Cheyenne.

 
Lyon Marker

Lyon Marker
Healing on the Homefront

Healing came slowly as the nation came to grips with the devastating
losses of the Civil War. Efforts at reconciliation began early as survivors
from both sides met and reminisced at battle sites such as Wilson's Creek
in Missouri. Today, two out of three Americans have an ancestor who
lived through the Civil War.

 
Battle of Wilson's Creek

The Civil War Moves West
The Battle of Wilson's Creek

Four months after the Civil War began at Ft. Sumter, South Carolina,
the war moved westward. The second major battle-and first west
of the Mississippi-was at Wilson's Creek, Missouri on August 10,
1861. Though a Confederate victory, Missouri remained loyal to the Union,
making this border state the third most fought over during the war.

 
The Sinkhole

Sinkhole
Disposition of the Dead

Following a large battle, it was acceptable to bury soldiers in mass
graves, very often in sinkholes or dry wells. Soldiers rarely had individual
identifi cation which often made it impossible to identify their bodies.
More than 90% of the graves at the Springfield National Cemetery
relating to the Battle of Wilson's Creek are marked "Unknown."

Did You Know?

Sterling Price

Sterling Price, commander of the Missouri State Guard, had already served as governor of Missouri, a member of Congress, and a U.S. Army brigadier general by the time of Wilson's Creek.