Battle of Wilson’s Creek
Today marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, or Oak Hills, as the Yankees called it. The battle was fought between Brig. General Nathaniel Lyon’s Army of the West and the Union army’s Brig. General Benjamin McCulloch. Over the course of the day, the Confederates attacked Union forces three times, but were unable to break through their line. The Confederates withdrew, but the Union army was low on ammunition and manpower, so they retreated. Because it was one of the first battles in the war, the Confederates were ill-equipped and disorganized, so they failed to pursue. They did, however, claim victory, and were able to secure Southwestern Missouri for the Confederacy. This was the first battle in which an officer was killed, that being General Nathaniel Lyon.
Today, the National Park Service is allowing free admission into the battlefield. Many exciting events are scheduled, including special tours, demonstrations, and access into the historic Ray House, which sets on the national battlefield. Tonight, a commemorative program will include period music, guest speakers, and Missouri’s Governor Jay Nixon.
This weekend, August 12-14, a reenactment is scheduled, which will include staged battles, tons of entertainers, a gentlemen’s duel, a fashion show (1861), a period wedding, a military dress ball, period baseball games, craft demonstrations, and an outdoor church service on Sunday.
More info: http://www.wilsonscreek150.com/Home.aspx
If you have never seen a reenactment, now is the time to go! They are fun, fascinating, and entertaining (similar to a Renaissance Festival, but of course, centered around the Civil War instead).