The Doomed Assault - Pilot Knob, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 37° 37.231 W 090° 38.402
15S E 708277 N 4166331
The state of Missouri withstood more than 1,000 clashes during the great Civil War. Only two other states, Virginia and Tennessee, had to endure more.
Waymark Code: WMM7TG
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 08/06/2014
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Geo Ferret
Views: 1

County of marker: Iron County
Location of marker: MO 21 (St. Mary St.), Fort Davidson Historic Site, Pilot Knob
Marker erected by: Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Division of State Parks

Marker text:
Afternoon, Sept. 27:
The Doomed Assault

1. While the Confederates deploy, they put two cannons on Shepherd's Mountain and begin to fie. Accurate return fire puts both out of action.

2. Marmaduke's Missouri Division streams down Shepherd's Mountain. Rifle and artillery fire breaks the charge. The men seek shelter in a creek bed.

3. McCray's and Slemon's brigades of Fagen's Arkansas divisions charge across Pilot Knob Mountain. They overwhelm the Federal cavalry, then rush for the fort. They too are driven to shelter.

4. Dobbins' mounted Confederate brigades threaten the fort from the rear. Federals from the north pits charge out and drive them off.

5. Cabell's brigade of Fagen's division advances on the gap. They reach the fort in spite of intense fire and enter the moat. Exploding hand grenades drive them out. Every attack fails. By night some 1,000 Confederates lie dead or wounded. More than 200 Federals were casualties.

6. After midnight Ewing evacuates the fort. His men march north between sleeping Confederate camps. At 3:30 a.m. volunteers blow up the fort's powder magazine. Price does not investigate until day light.

Web link: [Web Link]

History of Mark:
"Price's attack came as one massive assault from several directions: one brigade went over the top of Pilot Knob, engulfing a small Union force there, while another attacked over the summit of Shepherd Mountain. A third brigade skirted Shepherd Mountain to attack the northwestern sides of the fort, and the fourth attacked through a valley between the two mountains. As Union troops were driven back by superior numbers, the Rebels took control of Shepherd Mountain, southwest of the fort. A two-gun Confederate battery was subsequently deployed there, and its murderous fire caused the smaller of the two rifle pits within the fort to be abandoned. These assaults were not made simultaneously, however, allowing the guns of Fort Davidson to be directed at each Confederate unit in turn. Just one brigade actually reached the fort itself, under a withering hail of cannon and musket fire, only to find the earthworks too steep to climb. During the assault, Union defenders were given hand grenades from the fort's magazines; these wood-finned impact devices were tossed over the walls, forcing the Rebels to break off their attack. The disorganized Southerners fell back and prepared to assault the fort again the following day. As Price now set his troops to building scaling ladders for a new assault the next morning, Ewing held a Council of War inside the fort. Ewing had received belated orders from St. Louis to abandon the post; he now agreed that his position was untenable and planned to escape. Union soldiers put all equipment they could not take with them inside their powder magazine, draped the drawbridge in canvas to muffle the sounds of their movement, and began stealthily to exit the fort after midnight. Though the Confederates had lit a large charcoal pile to illuminate the valley, Union survivors withdrew undetected to the northwest directly between exhausted Confederates in two encampments. They left a slow-burning fuse to their powder magazine, which detonated with a huge blast well after the Union troops had gone. Despite the enormous explosion, Price did not have his men investigate the fort's condition until daybreak." ~ Wikipedia

Additional point: Not Listed

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