Map Battle Westport


Gen. Sterling Price's invasion of Missouri developed rapidly with skirmishing at Arcadia, Ironton and Mineral Point. His original plan to attack St. Louis ~ whose warehouses were stocked with useful goods -was dropped when Price learned of the strength of its defenses, manned by 8,000 Federals. Instead, Price decided to capture Fort Davidson, just south of Pilot Knob (above). On September 27, Price's 7,000 raiders charged the fort's thick walls. The Federals, commanded by Thomas Ewing, held off the attack with only 1,000 men and seven guns, inflicting 1,500 casualties on the Confederates at the cost of only 200. After refusing to surrender, Ewing secretly evacuated the fort during the night, leaving a slow fuse burning in the powder magazine which exploded in a sheet of flame when Ewing and his men were well on their to ay to Rolla.

engagement west of the Mississippi River, had been a decisive Federal victory.

Crossing into Kansas, Price had camped along the Marais des Cygnes River when, on October 24, the pursuing Federals attacked his rear guard, then overtook his main force as it withdrew. Although outnumbered more than two-to-one, Pleasonton's Federals routed the Confederates. Price escaped by making a forced march to Carthage, Missouri, and reached Cane Hill, Arkansas, on November 1.

Price had inflicted millions of dollars in damage to government and private property, and had captured over 3,000 Federals - a significant accomplishment - but he lacked the logistical support system to hold any of the territory he liberated. Although it greatly alarmed the Federals, Price's raid, the last great Confederate offensive in the Trans-Mississippi, was no more than a diversion.

Sept 19: Price moves north from Pocahontas, in three columns converging near Pilot Knob

Sept 27: Price fails to capture Swing's small garrison at Fort Davidson in a costly, inexpert assault

Oct 6-8: Price skirmishes with Federal forces at the Osage River. On Oct 7 Price drives a body of Federal cavalry back into Jefferson city, but impressed with its defenses, he moves west on October 8. intending to threaten Kansas City

Oct 9: Price defeats a small militia force at Boonville

Finding that Jefferson City, the state capital, was heavily defended, Gen. Price continued upriver toward Boonville and captured it. Splitting his forces, Price sent Jo Shelby's men to attack Sedatia, while Marmaduke's division attacked Glasgow on the same day, October 15 (left). Both attacks were successful and the towns captured.

rth from lumns nob pture it Fort

Oct 15: Splitting his forces, Price wins victories at Glasgow and Sedalia, capturing a substantial amount of supplies in the process. Casualties were slight

Xpert ss with ■age River, body of .0 Jefferson

■ threaten aal I militia

Oct 22-23: Price brushes aside the Federals blocking his approach to Westport at Byram's Ford on October 22. The following day he is defeated by Curtis and Pleasonton. With only 7,000 effectives, Price begins his retreat, that same day

Oct 25: At a crossing of the Marais des Cygnes River,.Pleasonton's forces rout Price's army in the last major combat of the .campaign

Nov. l;v Price reaches Cane Hill, ending the raid .

Price entered Missouri fasting and furnishing his troops on the rich products and abundant spoils of the Missouri Valley, but crossed the Arkansas destitute, disarmed, disorganized, and avoiding starvation by eating raw corn and slippery-elm bark."

Gen. Samuel Ryan Curtis.

Gen. Samuel Ryan Curtis (right) was a graduate of West Point and a former congressman for the State of Iowa who had encountered and defeated Price in 1862 at Pea Ridge when the Confederate general had been under the overall command of Earl Van Dorn.

Gen. Samuel Ryan Curtis (right) was a graduate of West Point and a former congressman for the State of Iowa who had encountered and defeated Price in 1862 at Pea Ridge when the Confederate general had been under the overall command of Earl Van Dorn.

Battle Westport Map

;iT marched 1434 miles; fought 43 X battles and skirmishes; captured and paroled over 3000 Federal officers and men... and do not think I go beyond the truth when I state that I destroyed... property to the amount of $10,000,000 in value."

Report of Gen. Sterling Price.

Intending to defeat Gen. Curtis's Federals to his front at Westport, and then turn to face Pleasonton's force approaching from his rear,. Price ordered Jo Shelby to attack shortly after daybreak on October 23. Shelby's assault began well, but the Federals countercharged, and the fighting swayed back and forth across Brush Creek. The Federals meanwhile found a route up a small ravine which enabled them to turn the Confederate left. Price now learned that part of his forces, under Marmaduke, had failed to hold Pleasonton at Byram's Ford, and the Federals were now coming up on Price's flank and rear. By early afternoon, Price was forced to withdraw all his Confederates south. Casualties were about 1,500 on each side (see map above).

17th Century Siege Maps

Battle of Westport!

October 23, 1864 1

2 Miles


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