Wilson’s Creek National battlefield is located just outside of Springfield, MO. Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield is a civil War Battlefield. The Battle of Wilson’s Creek took place on August 10, 1861 and was the Second Major battle of the Civil War. It was also the first major Civil War battle fought west of the Mississippi River. It was here that Nathaniel Lyon, a Union General was killed in action. Nathaniel Lyon was the first Union General to be killed in action.
Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield is your typical battlefield, it has a visitor’s center that you can look around and then there is the driving tour of the battlefield. On the driving tour, you can stop and get out of your vehicle and explore the stops at your leisure.
Some things that are of interest here are:
- The Visitor’s Center – Make this your first stop as you will need to pay your entrance fee in order to get a token to open the gate to start your driving tour. There is several things to do here including watching a short movie.
- The Ray House – This house was the home of the Ray family.
John Ray watched the battle that ensued in his cornfield from his front porch, while his wife, 9 children, a slave woman and her 4 children and a mail carrier stayed in the basement of this house. The house was used as a Confederate field hospital. Also to note the body of General Nathaniel Lyon was brought here at the fighting’s end. If the house is open when you are there, you can look around it.
- Bloody Hill – Here is where Lyon’s men held the high ground throughout the battle.
There is a ¾ of a mile trail that goes past the site of Totten’s Battery, the Lyon monument and a sinkhole where 30 union soldiers were buried.
Wilson’s Creek Battlefield is a great battlefield to tour for the history behind it.