Battle of Wilson's Creek
The Battle of Wilson's Creek, also known as the Battle of
Oak Hills, was fought on August 10, 1861, near Springfield,
Missouri, between Union forces and the Missouri State Guard,
early in the American Civil War. It was the first major battle
of the war west of the Mississippi River and is sometimes
called the "Bull Run of the West."
What do you know about the Battle of Wilson's Creek. Try
this US Civil War Trivia quiz.
1. Brig. Gen. Nathaniel Lyon commanded the Army of the
West. It was camped at Springfield, Missouri. Who commanded
the Union forces? What was the approx. strength of the Union
2. Confederate troops under the commands of Brig. Gen.
Benjamin McCulloch approaching Springfield. What was the
approx. strength of the Confederate forces?
3. At about 5:00 a.m., at first light on the morning of
August 10, the Union force attacked. The Missourians were
caught by surprise. Lyon's force overran the enemy camps and
took the high ground at the crest of a ridge. What did the
ridge become known as?
- Hanging Hill
- Pork Chop Hill
- Bloody Hill
4. Early Union hopes for a rout were dashed, however, when
the artillery of the Pulaski Arkansas Battery unlimbered and
checked the advance, which gave the Confederate infantry time
and cover to organize lines on the south slope of the hill.
5. Sigel's plan was initially successful: his flank routed
the Missouri cavalry but collapsed when McCulloch's force
counterattacked at the Sharp farm. Uniforms had not yet been
standardized so early in the war, and McCulloch's men were
wearing uniforms similar to Sigel's. The Union soldiers
believed McCulloch's approaching lines were Union
reinforcements and did not recognize them as the enemy until
it was too late. The flank was utterly devastated by the
counterattack, and Sigel and his men fled the field.
6. Already shot twice, he became the first Union general to
be killed in the war. He was shot in the heart, at about 9:30
a.m., while rallying his men for a countercharge. Who was the
- Brig. Gen. Raymond Connors
- Brig. Gen. Nathaniel Lyon
- Brig. Gen. Ira Hayes
7. After the general's death, who assumed command of the
Union army. While still in a defensible position atop the
hill, Union supplies were low and morale was worsening.
- Major Samuel D. Sturgis
- Col. Thomas Moore
- Brig. Gen. John Boyd
8. The Union forces had already repulsed three separate
Confederate charges. Ammunition and men were nearly exhausted,
and he retreated rather than risk a fourth Confederate attack.
What time did they retreat?
- 11:00 a.m.
- 9:00 a.m.
- 4:00 p.m.
9. Where did the Union forces retreat to?
- Rolla, Missouri
- DeKalb, Missouri
- Joplin, Missouri
10. With the exception of the vegetation and the addition
of interpretive hiking trails and a self-guided auto tour
route, the 1,750 acre battlefield has changed little from its
historic setting, allowing visitors to experience the
battlefield in nearly pristine condition. The home of the Ray
family, which served as a Confederate field hospital during
the battle, has been preserved and restored and is open
periodically throughout the summer, with Park Service
interpreters dressed in period clothing.