Sketch of battle of Wilson's Creek done in pencil and ink on lined paper
This drawing of the battle of Wilson's Creek was made by Private Andrew Tinkham on blue lined paper in pencil with black ink overlay; cannon fire is shown in red. Tinkham was wounded in the battle.

Wilson's Creek National Battlefield Museum Collection

Follow the links for stories of Wilson's Creek

Brief account of the battle of Wilson's Creek - Though victorious on the field, the Southerners were not able to pursue the Union forces. Lyon lost the battle and his life, but he achieved his goal: Missouri remained under Union control.

General N.B. Pearce's Account: Arkansas Troops in the Battle of Wilson's Creek - "....[I]t was not until late in the afternoon that two 'loyal' ladies succeeded in passing out of the Federal lines, by permission of General Lyon, and, coming in a circuitous route by Pond Springs, reached General Price’s headquarters with the desired information."

Col. Franz Sigel's Account: The Flanking Column at Wilson's Creek - "In this chase the greater part of our men were killed, wounded, or made prisoners .... I was not taken, probably because I wore a blue woolen blanket over my uniform and a yellowish slouch-hat, giving me the appearance of a Texas Ranger."

Captain William Woodruff's Account of the Battle of Wilson's Creek - "Only experience can qualify a gunner to determine what elevation to give his piece, to strike with certainty a particular object. It was a fortunate incident that our overshots were effective on the Federal lines and reserve behind. I fired the first shot and the others followed."

Medal of Honor Recipients of the Battle of Wilson's Creek - "We all wanted to have a whack at the Rebels before going home, and, as luck would have it, Company D, to which I belonged, along with Company E, were detailed by Lieutenant-Colonel Merritt to support Totten's Battery. This order brought us into a hand-to-hand contest with the enemy, and, although we were engaging a superior force, we four times repulsed them."

Military Medicine at Wilson's Creek - Both Federal and Southern wounded were treated at a makeshift field hospital established at the John Ray house. After the house was fired on by Union artillery from Bloody Hill, Southern surgeons placed a yellow flag on the porch to indicate its use as a hospital and protect it from fire from both sides.

Slaves, Unionists, and Secessionists - The fact that a landowner owned slaves did not automatically make him a Confederate or secessionist sympathizer. Likewise, a landowner who did not own slaves was not automatically a Unionist .... Although both John and Roxanna [Ray] were natives of the South ... and owned slaves, they remained loyal to the Union.

The Ray House - Early on the morning of August 10, 1861, the Ray family quickly discovered that what started as a normal day would soon turn into a nightmare. Three of the Ray children, herding horses in the valley near the springhouse, were warned by a soldier on horseback that "there's going to be fighting like hell in less than ten minutes."

Last updated: August 20, 2020

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