Newtonia, Missouri

Photos/text courtesy of Jacob Scott, Springfield, MO
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1. First Battle of Newtonia - Wikipedia
2. Second Battle of Newtonia - Wikipedia
3. Battle Summary: Newtonia, MO (1st)
4. Battle Summary: Newtonia, MO (2nd)

1st Battle of Newtonia, September 30, 1862
Following the Battle of Pea Ridge, in March 1862, most Confederate and Union troops left northwestern Arkansas and southwestern Missouri. By late summer, Confederates returned to the area, which caused much apprehension in nearby Federally-occupied Springfield, Missouri, and Fort Scott, Kansas. Confederate Col. Douglas Cooper reached the area on the 27th and assigned two of his units to Newtonia where there was a mill for making breadstuffs. In mid-September, two brigades of Brig. Gen. James G. Blunt’s Union Army of Kansas left Fort Scott for Southwest Missouri. On the 29th, Union scouts approached Newtonia but were chased away. Other Union troops appeared in nearby Granby where there were lead mines, and Cooper sent some reinforcements there. The next morning, Union troops appeared before Newtonia and fighting ensued by 7:00 am. The Federals began driving the enemy, but Confederate reinforcements arrived, swelling the numbers. The Federals gave way and retreated in haste. As they did so, some of their reinforcements appeared and helped to stem their retreat. The Union forces then renewed the attack, threatening the enemy right flank. But newly arrived Confederates stopped that attack and eventually forced the Federals to retire again. Pursuit of the Federals continued after dark. Union gunners posted artillery in the roadway to halt the pursuit. As Confederate gunners observed the Union artillery fire for location, they fired back, creating panic. The Union retreat turned into a rout as some ran all the way to Sarcoxie, more than ten miles away. Although the Confederates won the battle, they were unable to maintain themselves in the area given the great numbers of Union troops. Most Confederates retreated into northwest Arkansas. The 1862 Confederate victories in southwestern Missouri at Newtonia and Clark’s Mill were the South’s apogee in the area; afterwards, the only Confederates in the area belonged to raiding columns.
2nd Battle of Newtonia, October 28, 1864
Price’s force was in full retreat following its expedition into Missouri. On October 28, 1864, it stopped to rest about two miles south of Newtonia, Missouri. Soon afterward, Maj. Gen. James G. Blunt’s Union troops surprised the Confederates and began to drive them. Brig. Gen. Joe Shelby’s division, including his Iron Brigade, rode to the front, dismounted, and engaged the Yankees while the other Rebel troops retreated towards Indian Territory. Brig. Gen. John B. Sanborn later appeared with Union reinforcements which convinced Shelby to retire. The Union troops forced the Confederates to retreat but failed to destroy or capture them.
Courtesy of NPS Battle Summaries


(2-2007) The Mathew H. Ritchey House (Ritchey Mansion) served as headquarters for both Union and Confederate troops. Confederate outlaw Belle Starr was imprisoned in Ritchey Mansion and the grounds were the sites of two Civil War battles. Ritchey House was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978


(2-2007) Ritchey Mansion. This second-story bedroom was painted black during the Civil War to cover bloodstains from its use as an operating room


(2-2007) Cemetery near the Ritchie Mansion

  (2-2007) Unknown Confederate grave

(2-2007) Near the cemetery is this 2nd Battle of Newtonia interpretive marker


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