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[civilwarwest] Wilson Creek, et. al.

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  • Terry Bieberly
    Hello I come to you quite new at all this, but excited at the opportunity being afforded to me. I am woefully inadequate in many areas of Civil War history,
    Message 1 of 6 , Aug 13, 1999
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      Hello
       
      I come to you quite new at all this, but excited at the opportunity being afforded to me.  I am woefully inadequate in many areas of Civil War history, but I am willing and hopefully, capable of learning.  I look forward to being enlightened by all of you.
       
      Tuesday, August 10, 1999, I had the extreme fortune to visit Wilson Creek Battlefield during the battle's 138th Anniversary celebration.  My traveling companion, who shall remain nameless (o.k. Pat?), had given me quite a prolific overview of the battle before leaving on our journey.  But, I wasn't prepared for the incredible experience that awaited me. 
       
      I have only had one other opportunity to visit other Civil War battlefields (Shiloh and Corinth in June '99), so my expectations on what I was to encounter were meager.  Wilson's Creek, though small in comparison to other battlefields, was a pristine, spiritual place.  The obvious care that has been shown and undertaken to preserve all the historical relevance of the battlefield was most evident. 
       
      The highlight of this day was a guided driving tour throughout the battlefield with Ed Bearss.  Being it was well over 100 degrees, the feint hearted weren't expected to last through the afternoon.  One would do well never to describe Mr. Bearss as feint of heart.  His grasp of the history surrounding Wilson Creek was inspiring.  He answered all questions, and even applauded others' input.  He out-walked us all, out-talked us all, and seemed unaffected by the oppressive heat.  He seemed to be pleased to have the opportunity to walk, again, this battlefield which he holds dear.
       
      Obviously, Wilson Creek Battlefield is quite obscure.  Seemingly a great part of our country doesn't view the battle there with much significance, due to the relatively small size armies that fought there and the some 500+ casualties.  Compared to bigger battles, this one does seem quite small.  But, if Ed Bearss found the time to come there and give a fabulous tour through it's battlefield in a blast furnace...doesn't that give one pause?
       
      In many ways, this battle kept Missouri from leaving the Union.  Scrappy Nathaniel Lyon, though not much of a PR man, saw the significance of maintaining Union control of southern Missouri, even though his superior (Fremont) apparently did not.  Though the battle was a Southern victory, the Southern army was not in a position to follow the Federals back to Springfield.  If nothing else, this battle bought needed organizational time for the Union Army in Missouri. 
       
      Mike Ingrisano spoke of Wilson Creek with high respect.  He alluded to the fact that this battlefield has been kept secret.  As he stated, "if one man was killed on that battlefield, it had significance in the outcome of the war".  I would strongly urge any who have the time to visit this place.  The commercialism is completely absent.  Other than telephone poles and paved roads, one can get the true sense of what these fields actually looked like on that early morning in August.  And, be sure, that visiting WC in August, one WILL understand the discomfort those brave men had wearing wool uniforms and carrying their gear.  My only advice...bring water!
       
      And one more thing...though it was closed, General Sweeney's Museum is said to be the finest private collection of Civil War artifacts in our country.  I was quite disappointed in not being able to go through, but assuredly will plan my next trip to WC around the time schedule of Sweeney's Museum.  To visit their website, www.civilwarmuseum.com and take note of the museum hours before planning a Wilson Creek Battlefield tour.
       
      Thank you for your time,
      N. Bieberly
       
       
    • Terry Bieberly
      Hello I come to you quite new at all this, but excited at the opportunity being afforded to me. I am woefully inadequate in many areas of Civil War history,
      Message 2 of 6 , Aug 13, 1999
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        Hello
         
        I come to you quite new at all this, but excited at the opportunity being afforded to me.  I am woefully inadequate in many areas of Civil War history, but I am willing and hopefully, capable of learning.  I look forward to being enlightened by all of you.
         
        Tuesday, August 10, 1999, I had the extreme fortune to visit Wilson Creek Battlefield during the battle's 138th Anniversary celebration.  My traveling companion, who shall remain nameless (o.k. Pat?), had given me quite a prolific overview of the battle before leaving on our journey.  But, I wasn't prepared for the incredible experience that awaited me. 
         
        I have only had one other opportunity to visit other Civil War battlefields (Shiloh and Corinth in June '99), so my expectations on what I was to encounter were meager.  Wilson's Creek, though small in comparison to other battlefields, was a pristine, spiritual place.  The obvious care that has been shown and undertaken to preserve all the historical relevance of the battlefield was most evident. 
         
        The highlight of this day was a guided driving tour throughout the battlefield with Ed Bearss.  Being it was well over 100 degrees, the feint hearted weren't expected to last through the afternoon.  One would do well never to describe Mr. Bearss as feint of heart.  His grasp of the history surrounding Wilson Creek was inspiring.  He answered all questions, and even applauded others' input.  He out-walked us all, out-talked us all, and seemed unaffected by the oppressive heat.  He seemed to be pleased to have the opportunity to walk, again, this battlefield which he holds dear.
         
        Obviously, Wilson Creek Battlefield is quite obscure.  Seemingly a great part of our country doesn't view the battle there with much significance, due to the relatively small size armies that fought there and the some 500+ casualties.  Compared to bigger battles, this one does seem quite small.  But, if Ed Bearss found the time to come there and give a fabulous tour through it's battlefield in a blast furnace...doesn't that give one pause?
         
        In many ways, this battle kept Missouri from leaving the Union.  Scrappy Nathaniel Lyon, though not much of a PR man, saw the significance of maintaining Union control of southern Missouri, even though his superior (Fremont) apparently did not.  Though the battle was a Southern victory, the Southern army was not in a position to follow the Federals back to Springfield.  If nothing else, this battle bought needed organizational time for the Union Army in Missouri. 
         
        Mike Ingrisano spoke of Wilson Creek with high respect.  He alluded to the fact that this battlefield has been kept secret.  As he stated, "if one man was killed on that battlefield, it had significance in the outcome of the war".  I would strongly urge any who have the time to visit this place.  The commercialism is completely absent.  Other than telephone poles and paved roads, one can get the true sense of what these fields actually looked like on that early morning in August.  And, be sure, that visiting WC in August, one WILL understand the discomfort those brave men had wearing wool uniforms and carrying their gear.  My only advice...bring water!
         
        And one more thing...though it was closed, General Sweeney's Museum is said to be the finest private collection of Civil War artifacts in our country.  I was quite disappointed in not being able to go through, but assuredly will plan my next trip to WC around the time schedule of Sweeney's Museum.  To visit their website, www.civilwarmuseum.com and take note of the museum hours before planning a Wilson Creek Battlefield tour.
         
        Thank you for your time,
        N. Bieberly
         
         
      • Dick Weeks
        ... Interesting and informative post. I, for one, hope to be able to visit that battlefield one day. Most of us are woefully inadequate when it comes to the
        Message 3 of 6 , Aug 13, 1999
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          Terry Bieberly wrote:
          >
          > Hello
          >
          > I come to you quite new at all this, but excited at the opportunity
          > being afforded to me. I am woefully inadequate in many areas of Civil
          > War history, but I am willing and hopefully, capable of learning. I
          > look forward to being enlightened by all of you.....

          Interesting and informative post. I, for one, hope to be able to visit
          that battlefield one day. Most of us are woefully inadequate when it
          comes to the Western Theater of operations in the Civil War. Wilson's
          Creek, though small in comparison to many battles in the war, played an
          important role. We all tend to use the "casualty" count as a yardstick
          for the importance of a battle or as who won or who lost. For instance
          at Wilson's Creek the Confederates are considered the victors. But at
          what cost. The Federals killed or wounded 214 Confederates for every
          1,000 of their own troops engaged, whereas the Confederates inflicted
          only 81 casualties on the same basis. Interesting numbers. There is a
          lot of "what ifs" in this battle. What if Lyons had not been killed?
          Would he have ordered the same retreat as Sturgis did? What if the
          Confederates had vigorously pursued the Federals in their retreat? The
          questions go on and on.

          The same type questions can be asked of many of the battles in the west.
          What if Bragg had vigorously pursued "ole Rosey" after Chickamauga. Even
          failing that why didn't his (Bragg) engineers properly fortify
          Missionary Ridge after they reached Chattanooga? Even though the ridge
          has no "natural" military crest, with the time they had one could have
          been constructed and with it in place no army in the world could have
          taken the ridge the way the Federals did. How about Shiloh, would the
          outcome of the war have been changed had A.S. Johnston not been killed?
          How about the Atlanta Campaign. What would have happened if Joe Johnston
          had not squandered one of the finest armies the Confederates ever
          fielded with his delay and retreat tactics, and stopped the Federal army
          dead in their tracks. The topics are virtually endless in this area.

          It is my hope that as this group grows and matures the knowledge we
          impart and gain will make us all better "keepers of the history of the
          war." I know there are many in the group like me that have a totally
          deficient reservoir of knowledge when it comes to the war in the west.
          However, on the other hand, their are those amongst us that have a vast
          amount of knowledge in this area and if the past is any indication of
          the future they are more than willing to share.

          I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
          Dick (a.k.a. Shotgun)
          http://www.civilwarhome.com
        • Dick Weeks
          ... Interesting and informative post. I, for one, hope to be able to visit that battlefield one day. Most of us are woefully inadequate when it comes to the
          Message 4 of 6 , Aug 13, 1999
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            Terry Bieberly wrote:
            >
            > Hello
            >
            > I come to you quite new at all this, but excited at the opportunity
            > being afforded to me. I am woefully inadequate in many areas of Civil
            > War history, but I am willing and hopefully, capable of learning. I
            > look forward to being enlightened by all of you.....

            Interesting and informative post. I, for one, hope to be able to visit
            that battlefield one day. Most of us are woefully inadequate when it
            comes to the Western Theater of operations in the Civil War. Wilson's
            Creek, though small in comparison to many battles in the war, played an
            important role. We all tend to use the "casualty" count as a yardstick
            for the importance of a battle or as who won or who lost. For instance
            at Wilson's Creek the Confederates are considered the victors. But at
            what cost. The Federals killed or wounded 214 Confederates for every
            1,000 of their own troops engaged, whereas the Confederates inflicted
            only 81 casualties on the same basis. Interesting numbers. There is a
            lot of "what ifs" in this battle. What if Lyons had not been killed?
            Would he have ordered the same retreat as Sturgis did? What if the
            Confederates had vigorously pursued the Federals in their retreat? The
            questions go on and on.

            The same type questions can be asked of many of the battles in the west.
            What if Bragg had vigorously pursued "ole Rosey" after Chickamauga. Even
            failing that why didn't his (Bragg) engineers properly fortify
            Missionary Ridge after they reached Chattanooga? Even though the ridge
            has no "natural" military crest, with the time they had one could have
            been constructed and with it in place no army in the world could have
            taken the ridge the way the Federals did. How about Shiloh, would the
            outcome of the war have been changed had A.S. Johnston not been killed?
            How about the Atlanta Campaign. What would have happened if Joe Johnston
            had not squandered one of the finest armies the Confederates ever
            fielded with his delay and retreat tactics, and stopped the Federal army
            dead in their tracks. The topics are virtually endless in this area.

            It is my hope that as this group grows and matures the knowledge we
            impart and gain will make us all better "keepers of the history of the
            war." I know there are many in the group like me that have a totally
            deficient reservoir of knowledge when it comes to the war in the west.
            However, on the other hand, their are those amongst us that have a vast
            amount of knowledge in this area and if the past is any indication of
            the future they are more than willing to share.

            I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
            Dick (a.k.a. Shotgun)
            http://www.civilwarhome.com
          • L.A. Chambliss
            ... My very favorite What If? about Wilson s Creek involves the following scenario--What If it had been Franz I Fights Mit Sigel who had been killed in the
            Message 5 of 6 , Aug 13, 1999
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              >

              My very favorite "What If?" about Wilson's Creek involves the following
              scenario--What If it had been Franz "I Fights Mit" Sigel who had been
              killed in the battle, and Nathaniel "I Fights Mit D*mn Near Anybody,
              Including My Bosses" Lyon who had survived?

              Lyon may have been lacking in tact, civility, manners, and great tactical
              judgement (although almost nobody had great tactical judgement this early
              in the war, IMHO), but he absolutely had the "damn the torpedoes, full
              speed ahead!" attitude so rare in Union commanders.
              If he would have stayed just a little further back from the firing line,
              and ridden a slightly less conspicuous horse......Alas.

              Whereas Sigel could have performed his most useful duty, inspiring German
              immigrants to enlist in the Federal army, just as well from Valhalla as he
              did on Earth. This would have had the added benefit of sparing his troops
              his battlefield "leadership", which made Lyon's look sterling in
              comparison.

              However, I think it is time for a writeup in CWI about Fremont. His
              adventures in St. Louis durn near cost the Union the state that Lyon gave
              his life to save, and he (Fremont) hasn't got half the kicking around by
              history that he deserves. ;)

              Laurie (Xan) Chambliss
              Civil War Interactive
              www.almshouse.com

              > We all tend to use the "casualty" count as a yardstick
              > for the importance of a battle or as who won or who lost. For instance
              > at Wilson's Creek the Confederates are considered the victors. But at
              > what cost. The Federals killed or wounded 214 Confederates for every
              > 1,000 of their own troops engaged, whereas the Confederates inflicted
              > only 81 casualties on the same basis. Interesting numbers. There is a
              > lot of "what ifs" in this battle. What if Lyons had not been killed?
              > Would he have ordered the same retreat as Sturgis did? What if the
              > Confederates had vigorously pursued the Federals in their retreat? The
              > questions go on and on.
              >
            • L.A. Chambliss
              ... My very favorite What If? about Wilson s Creek involves the following scenario--What If it had been Franz I Fights Mit Sigel who had been killed in the
              Message 6 of 6 , Aug 13, 1999
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                >

                My very favorite "What If?" about Wilson's Creek involves the following
                scenario--What If it had been Franz "I Fights Mit" Sigel who had been
                killed in the battle, and Nathaniel "I Fights Mit D*mn Near Anybody,
                Including My Bosses" Lyon who had survived?

                Lyon may have been lacking in tact, civility, manners, and great tactical
                judgement (although almost nobody had great tactical judgement this early
                in the war, IMHO), but he absolutely had the "damn the torpedoes, full
                speed ahead!" attitude so rare in Union commanders.
                If he would have stayed just a little further back from the firing line,
                and ridden a slightly less conspicuous horse......Alas.

                Whereas Sigel could have performed his most useful duty, inspiring German
                immigrants to enlist in the Federal army, just as well from Valhalla as he
                did on Earth. This would have had the added benefit of sparing his troops
                his battlefield "leadership", which made Lyon's look sterling in
                comparison.

                However, I think it is time for a writeup in CWI about Fremont. His
                adventures in St. Louis durn near cost the Union the state that Lyon gave
                his life to save, and he (Fremont) hasn't got half the kicking around by
                history that he deserves. ;)

                Laurie (Xan) Chambliss
                Civil War Interactive
                www.almshouse.com

                > We all tend to use the "casualty" count as a yardstick
                > for the importance of a battle or as who won or who lost. For instance
                > at Wilson's Creek the Confederates are considered the victors. But at
                > what cost. The Federals killed or wounded 214 Confederates for every
                > 1,000 of their own troops engaged, whereas the Confederates inflicted
                > only 81 casualties on the same basis. Interesting numbers. There is a
                > lot of "what ifs" in this battle. What if Lyons had not been killed?
                > Would he have ordered the same retreat as Sturgis did? What if the
                > Confederates had vigorously pursued the Federals in their retreat? The
                > questions go on and on.
                >
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