162 Years Ago, this Missouri Battlefield Saw 2,500 Souls Perish
The grounds are silent now with the exception of a few tourists who stop by to pay their respects. However, nearly 162 years ago, it was the site of a battle in Missouri that took the lives of over 2,500 souls in one of the most violent clashes during the Civil War.
Wilson's Creek National Battlefield is indeed the oldest tourist attraction in Missouri as Only In Your State mentioned in a recent article, but that "tourist attraction" really doesn't do it justice. What it truly is remains hallowed ground where 1,317 Union and 1,232 Confederate troops entered eternity.
Wikipedia is one of the sites that documents how the battle happened. It was the break of dawn the morning of August 10, 1861 when Union forces that had gathered there launched an attack against the Confederates. The Union forces would overtake what would eventually be called "Bloody Hill" as they were pulverized by Confederate artillery.
Union General Nathaniel Lyon would lead a charge he hoped would turn the tide of the battle. It didn't end that way. General Lyon was shot in the heart and became the first general killed in the Civil War on this Missouri battleground. Union forces would eventually retreat from the hill with Henry Clay Wood being hailed a hero as he covered forces during the retreat. As Wikipedia documents, he would be awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism.
There's still a lot of history at Wilson's Creek National Battlefield. The National Park Service has lots of information you can soak in if you visit. Let's refrain from calling it a "tourist attraction". It's land that still echoes the battle that cost so many their lives that day nearly 162 years ago.