One-hundred-fifty years ago this week, on January 8, 1863, the Second Battle of Springfield will be remembered with activities at the Springfield-Greene County Library and elsewhere. Confederate General John S. Marmaduke made a 16 day raid from Arkansas into Missouri with the intent to disrupt the Union supply line in southwest Missouri forcing Union troops in northwest Arkansas to retreat back to defend Missouri. Were you aware of this distinctive event in our Ozarks cultural heritage history? See the link for a pdf file of the local events in January.
The Confederates failed to overpower General Egbert Brown's hastily assembled army of 2,099 men. This 'army' consisted of Missouri militia, several Union commands, and Springfield's improvised forces of ordinary citizens and the convalescing "Quinine Brigade." The unsuccessful Confederate forces withdrew towards Hartville, where another fierce battle was fought on January 11, 1863.
Marmaduke's main column marched north through Forsyth, Missouri, where he learned the Union supply depot in Springfield was weakly defended. He next marched his troops to Ozarks, Missouri, where they burned a Union fort. When the full attack approached Springfield, the Union troops repelled the attack.
You can take a walking tour of twelve interpretive signs through downtown Springfield at the important sites of the battle. An interesting side note: John S. Marmaduke later became the 25th Governor of Missouri from 1884 until his death in 1887.
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