Battle of
Drywood Creek

The Battle of Dry Wood Creek occurred on September 2, 1861 in Vernon County, Missouri during the American Civil War. The Confederate troops were successful in their campaign to force the Union army to abandon southwestern Missouri and to concentrate on holding the Missouri Valley.


Following the Battle of Wilson's Creek, Major General Sterling "Pap" Price and his Missouri State Guard occupied Springfield, Missouri. Price headed northwest with 6,000 poorly trained and under-equipped guardsmen to capture Fort Scott, Kansas. Former Kansas "Jayhawker" and senator Col. James H. Lane led a 600-man battalion of Union cavalry from Fort Scott to learn the whereabouts of the rumored Confederate force. They soon encountered the enemy, about 6,000-strong, near Big Dry Wood Creek, roughly 12 miles from the fort. Lane surprised the Confederates, but the Southerners' numerical superiority soon determined the encounter’s outcome. After a sharp skirmish lasting two hours, they forced the Union cavalry to retire to Fort Scott and captured their mules. Lane secured the fort, then proceeded towards Kansas City. The Confederates continued on towards Lexington, while Price recruited more guardsmen.

Federal losses were 14 men; Confederate losses were 4 killed and 16 wounded, all in Brigadier General James S. Rains' Eighth Division, MSG. The battle site is just south of Deerfield, Missouri, on Highway 54 between Nevada and Fort Scott.

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