The Battle of Springfield on Jan. 8, 1863 occurred during Confederate Gen. John S. Marmaduke’s 16-day raid from Arkansas into Missouri. The Southern commander planned to disrupt the Union supply line in southwest Missouri forcing Union troops in Arkansas to retreat back to defend Missouri.
Col. Joseph O. Shelby led the attack on Springfield. The Confederates failed to overpower Gen. Egbert Brown’s hastily assembled army of 2,099 men: Missouri militia, several Union commands and Springfield’s improvised forces—ordinary citizens and the convalescing “Quinine Brigade.” The unsuccessful Confederate forces withdrew towards Hartville, where another fierce battle was fought on January 11, 1863.
As the nation observes the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, Springfield and the Ozarks also mark the impact of these events in 1863, and President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation to free all slaves in states still in rebellion against the United States.
Experience the drama of those historic events through a series of programs and exhibits through January 31, with free events January 8-13 at the Library Center. Click here for a list of events.
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