Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield will observe the 153rd Anniversary of the Battle of Wilson’s Creek over the weekend of August 9 and 10, 2014, with a variety of programs and activities.
On Sunday, August 10, at 2:00 p.m., at the Visitor Center, the anniversary program will start with a presentation of colors, recognition of guests, and a special presentation by the battlefield’s Foundation. “The main speaker,” according to Superintendent Hillmer, “will be author James W. Erwin. He will talk about his books and the importance of preserving these special places and educating the next generation about their important history.”
“Come and enjoy this special presentation by a Missouri author,” says Superintendent Hillmer. Refreshments will be served and entrance fees for August 9 &10 will be waived.
Artillery and infantry small arms firing demonstrations are scheduled from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, August 9, at tour road stop 5. Volunteers will be depicting the Missouri State Guard, pro-Southern state militia that fought at Wilson’s Creek. “The purpose of these programs is to relate to visitors the soldier’s combat experience during the battle,” remarked Chief Park Ranger John Sutton. A special sunset artillery salute will take place at 8:15 p.m. at tour road stop 5 to honor the soldiers who were killed during the battle of Wilson’s Creek.
Guided tours of Bloody Hill will be offered at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Visitors should meet at the Bloody Hill parking area for the tour, which should last about an hour. An exhibit on Civil War prisoners and full scale prints of the new exhibits will be available for viewing at the visitor’s center.
At noon on January 8 the Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield Foundation will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Springfield with a ceremony at Park Central Square in Springfield. The event will include speakers, living historians in period clothing, Civil War-era music, an authentic cannon, and the unveiling of newly redesigned markers for the Battle of Springfield tour. Following the noon program, a reception will be hosted by the History Museum for Springfield – Greene County, in its temporary location at 155 Park Central Square. In case of inclement weather, the noon event will also be held in the History Museum.
The 12 Battle of Springfield markers, located throughout downtown Springfield, highlight key locations and details of the battle. Although the new markers have not yet been installed, a replica of Marker 1 will be in place on the square, and all of the markers will be on display in the History Museum. The original markers were funded with the support of local donors and designed by the Wilson’s Creek NB Foundation. They were installed by the City of Springfield and dedicated on May 19, 2001.
The 1863 Battle of Springfield took place in what is now downtown Springfield. One hundred fifty years ago, Federal troops and Missouri Militia led by Brig. General Egbert Brown successfully defended the city and the Union supply depot located here against an attack by Confederate cavalry under the command of Brig. Gen. John S. Marmaduke. The battle lasted from dawn to dusk, ending when the last Confederate assault was repelled and Marmaduke’s forces withdrew to the Phelps Farm (present day Phelps Grove Park). Of the 4,000 Federal and Confederate troops present, more than 400 were killed or wounded.