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Friday, April 13, 2012
L is for the Battle of Lexington
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.