It is the Battle of Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield that is preserved at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield. The conflict, which took place on August 10, 1861, was the first significant American Civil War engagement to take place west of the Mississippi River. In the engagement, a larger Confederate army under the command of Benjamin McCulloch and Sterling Price destroyed a smaller Union force under the command of Nathaniel Lyon. In Missouri, however, the Confederates were unable to maintain authority, and a Confederate defeat at the Battle of Pea Ridge ultimately cemented Union control of the state. A five-mile driving tour circle, the rebuilt 1852 Ray House, and “Bloody Hill,” the site of the closing stage of the conflict, are among the major attractions at this site. Located near Republic in southern Missouri, the site is approximately 25 miles south-southwest of the city of Springfield area. Founded in 1960, it has been a part of the National Park Service since then, and it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.
When Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield Park was established in April 1960, and when it was re-designated as a National Battlefield in December 1970, the battleground became known as Wilson’s Creek. In October 1966, the battlefield was added to the National Register of Historic Places as a result of an act of Congress. The official area of the park was increased by 615 acres in 2004 in compliance with Public Law, and an additional 60 acres were added in 2018 when the site was purchased by the Civil War Trust. The park’s official area has increased by 615 acres since 2004. 278 acres of battlefield have been acquired and maintained by the Civil War Trust and its partners, the majority of which has been sold to the National Park Service and is now incorporated into the park. The battleground is preserved on a total of 1,750 acres within the park.
This National Battlefield is open seven days a week from eight o’clock in the morning to five o’clock in the evening. Exhibits on the war, a short film, fiber optic maps, and a bookstore may all be found at the facility’s visitor center. The battlefield can be reached by a 5-mile-long self-guided driving tour circle that connects eight stops that highlight historically significant features of the conflict. The tour circle also includes hiking trails and a horseback riding trail that is seven miles in length.