Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Midlist Writer blog, where he talks about writing, adventure travel, caving, and everything else he gets up to. He also reproduces all the posts from Civil War Horror, so drop on by!

Friday, April 13, 2012

L is for the Battle of Lexington

No, not the "shot heard 'round the world" of the American war of Independence, but the Battle of Lexington, Missouri. It took place on September 18-20, 1861.

After defeating the Union army at the Battle of Wilson's Creek, the victorious rebels marched north to the Missouri River and besieged a Union garrison that was entrenched atop a hill overlooking town. The cannon duel was furious, and one cannonball can still be seen today stuck into the courthouse!

The Union troops fought valiantly but were forced to surrender after their water supply was cut off. As I explained in an earlier post, this was the high tide of the Confederacy west of the Mississippi River. The rebels soon had to retreat south as more Union troops closed in. Besides a brief and doomed incursion in 1864, no rebel army ever got this far north again.

An interesting side note to this story is that a young Frank James, who later went on to become a famous bandit, fought on the rebel side in this battle! Check out the two links for more detail of this epic battle, which saw the clever use of hemp to help win the day.


  1. Interesting post, Sean. I love learning about Missouri's role in the Civil War.

  2. It's good to see that the cannon ball is still in place - a permanent reminder of tumultuous times.

    (Visiting from A-Z blogging challenge)

  3. I love that I learned something...YOu're a good teacher because you are a story teller.

  4. That is really wild they left the cannon ball there.

  5. Crazy picture of the cannonball. I didn't even see it until I read that part of your post. I found you through the AtoZ Challenge and have to say a class I took on the Civil War in college was one of my favorite of all time. (It made all the others seem really, really boring!) Glad to have found you!

  6. I'm from Lexington. I've always been told that what you see is actually a croquet ball. Unless I'm wrong, supposedly it was replaced years ago for safety reasons. I'd hate to be hit on the head by either one. :-)


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