Battle of Wilson's Creek, Missouri Page2    

(7-95) Battlefield Tour Stop 1 (Gibson's Mill), south view

1995 Tour Guide: This area marks the northern end of the Confederate camps, with Missouri State Guard Gen. James S. Rains establishing the headquarters of his 2,5000-man division near the mill. Gen Nathaniel Lyon's dawn attack quickly drove Rains division down the creek to the south. A trail leads to the Gibson house and mill sites

(7-95) Ray Cornfield 1861, west view of northeast section of the field between Tour Stops 1 and 2


(7-95) Battlefield Tour Stop 2 (Ray House and Cornfield)

1995 Tour Guide: The Ray house was used as a Confederate field hospital during and after the battle. Confederate Col. Richard Weightman died in the front room and the body of Union Gen. Nathaniel Lyon was brought here at the end of the fighting. The small stone building at the foot of the hill is the Ray springhouse, the family's source of water and the only other surviving wartime structure in the park. The only major fighting to take place on this side of Wilson's Creek occurred on the hill northwest of here in the Ray cornfield, from which Union forces were driven back across the stream. The wooded eminence on the western horizon behind Wilson's Creek is Bloody Hill, where the most intense and savage fighting took place

Additional Ray house information from the tour guide: Constructed about 1852, the Ray House is the only surviving structure in the park associated with the battle. It served as a local post office from January 1856 until September 1866, with John A. Ray as postmaster. The house also served from November 1858 until March 30, 1860, as a flag stop on the Butterfield Overland Stage route. On August 10, 1861, the Battle of Wilson's Creek placed the Civil War squarely on the Ray doorstep. From here throughout the next four years the Rays watched soldiers and the tools of war march past on the Old Wire Road before peace finally returned to their lives and the Nation

(7-95) Battlefield Tour Stop 2 (Ray House and Cornfield). Ray house front bedroom. General Lyon's body was brought here from the battlefield

Display in bedroom: Death of General Lyon (July 14, 1818 - August 10, 1861) General Nathaniel Lyon was fatally wounded by a bullet to the chest as he led his men in a charge across Bloody Hill. Waving his hat and shouting "Come on my brave boys, I will lead you." he became the first Union general to die in battle in the Civil War and the first United States general officer killed since the War of 1812. Lyons body was mistakenly left under a small blackjack oak as the Union forces retreated. Later discovered by the Confederates, his corpse was taken to the Ray House, examined and then escorted to Springfield by members of the Missouri State Guard. As the Union army retreated toward Rolla, General Lyons body was left in Springfield. Relatives placed his body on a funeral train in Rolla which began its trip to Phoenixville, Connecticut on August 26, 1861, making several stops along the way. General Nathaniel Lyon was buried on September 4, 1861 

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