Battle of Kirksville - Kirksville, Missouri
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
N 40° 11.699 W 092° 35.000
15T E 535465 N 4449482
Historical marker on the grounds of the Adair County Courthouse giving history of a Civil War battle in Kirksville, Missouri.
Waymark Code: WMHB9K
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 06/18/2013
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
Views: 6

Text of marker:

Battle of Kirksville
August 6, 1862

Confederate Lieutenant Colonel Joseph C. Porter of Lewis County had been recruiting and harrying in Northeast Missouri throughout the summer of 1862.  Adair County farmer Captain Mathias (Tice) Cain (Confederate), in command of irregulars from Schuyler County, sent word to Porter that he held Kirksville, then a village of 700 extending only a few blocks from the courthouse square.  Their combined force was about 2000.  Only about 500 were well equipped and took part in the battle: fully 1000 were unarmed, raw recruits.  Porter arrived before noon on August 6.  Colonel John McNeil (Union), Command of the Northeast Division of the District of Missouri, had been following Porter since July 29.  McNeil's forces were based in what is now Memorial Park.  After unnerving the enemy with an artillery barrage, the Federals arrived on the edge of Kirksville about 10 a.m.  the focal point of the battle was the courthouse square.  McNeil sent in a squad who drew fire from the rebels concealed in the courthouse and the houses and shops around the square.  The Confederates being discovered, the battle was joined, with Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer in charge of the Union right wing while Major Caldwell commanded the left.  McNeil used about 500 of his 1250 soldiers in the battle.  As the two wings met and succeeded in driving the Confederates from the courthouse area.  Porter yielded ground and concentrated this forces behind a fence on the western edge of town.  From this position the Confederates poured withering fire into McNeil's men, who moved against the line and drove it to the west, while the left wing took full possession of the southern part of Kirksville.  The battle lasted about three hours, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Many residents evacuated town before the battle, and only two civilians were killed.  McNeil reported five of his troops killed and thirty-two wounded, against 150 Confederates killed, 300 to 400 wounded and forty-seven taken prisoner.  A number of rebels were tried and executed for violation of parole on August 7 and 8.  The day after the battle Colonel McNeil ordered Kirksville residents to bury the Confederate dead.  The Battle of Kirksville is regarded as consolidating Union control of Missouri.

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History of Mark: Not listed

Additional point: Not Listed

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