January 8, 1863: Second Battle of Springfield, Missouri

An unusual example of urban combat during the Civil War, the hard-fought Second Battle of Springfield, Missouri on January 8, 1863 was one of the endless engagements that made Missouri one of the most fought over states during the Civil War.  The Union had heavily fortified Springfield and used it as linchpin of Union control of southwestern Missouri.

The Union garrison numbered only 1324 Union veteran troops, but four strong forts surrounded the city and Missouri Union militia swelled the number of the defenders to slightly more than 2000 men.  Brigadier General Egbert Brown, the commander of the garrison decided to stand and fight.

The Confederates consisted of about 2000 veteran cavalry under General John S. Marmaduke.  The standout unit among the Confederates was the Iron Brigade led by Colonel Jo Shelby, one of the more talented Confederate cavalry commanders of the War. (more…)

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