Callawegians help with reenactment of major Civil War battle

Missouri Guard soldiers face off against Union troops during a reenactment of the Battle of Wilson’s Creek outside Springfield on Aug. 13. Callaway County residents John Burgher and Roy and Christina Barham were three of 3,500 reenactors participating in the 150th anniversary of the battle.

Missouri Guard soldiers face off against Union troops during a reenactment of the Battle of Wilson’s Creek outside Springfield on Aug. 13. Callaway County residents John Burgher and Roy and Christina Barham were three of 3,500 reenactors participating in the 150th anniversary of the battle. Photo by Katherine Cummins.

The Battle of Wilson’s Creek (or the Battle of Oak Hill, as the southerners called it) on Aug. 10, 1861, was the first major engagement of the Civil War west of the Mississippi River — a five-hour battle that resulted in the death of Gen. Nathaniel Lyon, one of the Union’s first heroes in that bloody civil conflict.

Aug. 10-14, three Callaway County Civil War enthusiasts were included among approximately 3,500 reenactors who brought that battle vividly to life for thousands of visitors who flocked to commemorate its 150th anniversary. Wilson’s Creek was a southern victory, although no Confederate soldiers were involved because Missouri was not acknowledged as part of the Confederacy at that time. The battle was fought between invading Union troops and Missouri State Guard soldiers assisted by state guards from Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana.

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