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Wilson Creek National Battlefield

Wilson Creek National Battlefield Park - BEST Places to Picnic

6424 West Farm Road 182
Republic, MO 65738-9514

By Phone
Headquarters
417-732-2662, ext. 227

Explore the Second Major Battle of the Civil War

Wilson's Creek was the first major Civil War battle fought west of the Mississippi River, and the scene of the death of Nathaniel Lyon, the first Union general killed in combat. Although a Southern victory, the Southerners failed to capitalize on their success. With the exception of the vegetation, the field has changed little and remains in near pristine condition.

Civil War Museum

The Wilson's Creek Civil War Museum (formerly the General Sweeny Museum) contains an outstanding collection of artifacts relating to the war west of the Mississippi, including the sword belt and sash of Arkansas Confederate General Patrick Cleburne, the telescope of abolitionist John Brown, and the flag of the Confederate "Cherokee Braves."

Things to Do

Visitors should stop at the Visitor Center for a park brochure with information about the battle, the self-guided tour, and special events.

The Wilson's Creek Civil War Museum (formerly the Sweeny Museum), an outstanding collection of original Civil War artifacts relating to the war west of the Mississippi River, is located just north of the Visitor Center. Photos of some of the museum's exhibits may be seen by clicking here.

A 4.9 mile paved tour road provides a self-guided auto tour. There are eight interpretive stops at significant battle-related locations. There are five walking trails off the tour road, varying in length from 1/4 to 3/4 of a mile. A seven mile trail system for horseback riding and hiking is accessible from the tour road. A virtual tour of the battlefield may be seen by clicking here.

The Ray House, dating from the 1850s, served as a temporary field hospital for Southern soldiers following the battle. General Nathaniel Lyon's body was brought to the house and placed in a bed for examination. The bed is on exhibit in one of the rooms. The Ray House is open on weekends (subject to staff and volunteer availability), Memorial Day through Labor Day.

The anniversary of the battle is observed with a special program and ceremony on August 10.

An annual candlelight tour is held. This program requires advance tickets and is not included as part of the regular admission charge.

Living History programs depicting Civil War soldier life, musket and artillery firing demonstrations, Civil War medicine, and other related topics are presented from Memorial Day to Labor Day on selected weekends.

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