Ozarks History

Information and comments about historical people and events of the Ozarks region and surrounding area.

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Location: Missouri

I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written ten nonfiction books, two novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Civil War Springfield, Wicked Springfield: The Seamy Side of the Queen City, and Murder and Mayhem in Missouri.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Wilson's Creek

Yesterday, I went to the 150th anniversary re-enactment of the Battle of Wilson's Creek. I guess the thing that struck me most about the occasion was the number of people in attendance. I couldn't venture a guess as to the number who were there during Saturday morning while I was there, but it was a lot. It seems there has been a renewed interest in the Civil War over the past ten to fifteen years (or maybe it's just that my own interest has increased during that time frame), and the interest seems to have increased even more during the past year or two with the approach of the sesquicentennial of the war. Now that the first events of the sesquicentennial are actually occurring, the interest is really peaking.
I've been working on a book about Springfield during the Civil War, and one thing I learned in researching the book was that there was almost a second battle of Wilson's Creek. At least the Union thought for a while that there might be such a battle. It was during the fall of 1861 while Gen. John C. Fremont and his forces were occupying Springfield. Rumors that Southern forces under Gen. McCulloch and Gen. Price (the same officers who defeated Lyon at the Wilson's Creek battle two and a half months earlier) were amassing in the Cassville area and marching toward Wilson's Creek kept filtering in to Springfield, but the rumors proved to be just that--rumors. The Southern force in the Wilson Creek area was actually rather small, and before Fremont could act against even that force, he was removed from command at Springfield and his army withdrawn to Rolla and Sedalia.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Drew@CWBA said...

Larry,
Springfield in the Civil War sounds like a great project. I am surprised no one's tried it yet.

August 14, 2011 at 8:03 PM  
Blogger Larry Wood said...

Drew,
There have been a couple of short, self-published books or booklets about Springfield during the Civil War and a few other works, of course, that touch on various aspects of the subject, but mine will be the first relatively thorough work that concentrates specifically on the impact of the Civil War on Springfield. Dr. Bill Piston (who wrote the Wilson's Creek book) and John Rutherford are working, I think, on a book about the Battle of Springfield. It will obviously be a more detailed look at that battle than I will give it in my book. My book will be more of an overview of the whole war as it impacted Springfield.

August 16, 2011 at 12:48 PM  
Blogger Drew@CWBA said...

That is interesting news about the Piston-Rutherford book. I very much enjoyed Goman's "Up From Arkansas" but I imagine they can flesh the battle out considerably.

August 16, 2011 at 1:37 PM  

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