Battle of Dry Wood Creek

The Battle of Dry Wood Creek (also known as the Action at Dry Wood Creek and the Battle of Big Dry Wood Creek) was fought on September 2, 1861 in Vernon County, Missouri during the American Civil War.[2][3][1] The Missouri State Guard troops were successful in their campaign to force the Union Army to abandon southwestern Missouri and to concentrate on holding the Missouri Valley.

Battle of Dry Wood Creek
Action at Dry Wood Creek
Part of the Trans-Mississippi Theater of the American Civil War
Map of Dry Wood Creek Battlefield core and study areas by the American Battlefield Protection Program
Dry Wood Creek Battlefield
DateSeptember 2, 1861 (1861-09-02)
Result Confederate victory
Missouri Missouri (Confederate) United States United States (Union)
Commanders and leaders
Missouri Brig. Gen. James S. Rains United States Brig. Gen. James H. Lane
Units involved
8th Division, Missouri State Guard Kansas Brigade
Unknown 600 [1]
Casualties and losses
20 total
4 killed
16 wounded
11 total
5 killed
6 wounded


Following his victory at the Battle of Wilson's Creek, Major General Sterling "Pap" Price and his Missouri State Guard occupied Springfield, Missouri. Price then headed northwest with 6,000 poorly trained and under-equipped guardsmen to capture Fort Scott, Kansas. Kansas "Jayhawker" and senator Colonel James H. Lane led a 600-man battalion of Union cavalry from Fort Scott to learn the whereabouts of the rumored Missouri State Guard force.


Lane's battalion soon encountered Price's men at Hogan's Crossing[4][5] on Big Dry Wood Creek, roughly 12 miles from the fort. Lane surprised the Confederates, but the Southerners' numerical superiority soon determined the encounter’s outcome. After a sharp skirmish lasting two hours, they forced the Union cavalry to retire to Fort Scott and captured their mules.[1] Lane secured the fort, then proceeded towards Kansas City. The Missouri State Guard continued on towards Lexington, while Price recruited more guardsmen.


Federal losses were 5 killed and 6 wounded.[2] Missouri State Guard losses were 4 killed and 16 wounded, all in Brigadier General James S. Rains' Eighth Division, Missouri State Guard.

Battlefield preservationEdit

The battle site is just southeast of Deerfield, Missouri, on Highway 54 between Nevada and Fort Scott. All of the land within the battlefield boundary is privately owned.[6] A monument commemorating the battle is located in Nevada, Missouri.[7]


  1. ^ a b c National Park Service Battle Summary
  2. ^ a b Lane, J. H. "Report of Brigadier General J. H. Lane". Ohio State University. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  3. ^ The Union Army: Cyclopedia of battles. Federal Publishing Company. 1908. p. 368.
  4. ^ Campbell, Robert Allen (1875). Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri. p. 622.
  5. ^ In the Summer of 1867 one grave was moved to Fort Scott National Cemetery. Statement of the Disposition of Some of the Bodies of Deceased Union Soldiers and Prisoners of War Whose Remains Have Been Removed to National Cemeteries in the Southern and Western States. U.S. Government Printing Office. 1868. p. 49.
  6. ^ "Map of Dry Wood Creek Battlefield" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  7. ^ "The Battle of Drywood". Retrieved 2 September 2016.


  • National Park Service Battle Summary
  • CWSAC Report Update
  • U.S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, 70 volumes in 4 series. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1880-1901. Series 1, Volume 3, Part 1, pages 162–165.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 37°49′11″N 94°29′10″W / 37.8197°N 94.4862°W / 37.8197; -94.4862