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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.

Trivia powered by Prof. ABE1. 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 forces?

  • 5,400
  • 7,400
  • 9,400

2. Confederate troops under the commands of Brig. Gen. Benjamin McCulloch approaching Springfield. What was the approx. strength of the Confederate forces?

  • 11,000
  • 22,000
  • 33,000

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.

  • True or False?

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.

  • True or False?

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 Union general?

  • 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.

  • True or False?

Battle of Wilson's Creek Answers

  1. 5,400
  2. 11,000
  3. Bloody Hill
  4. True
  5. True
  6. Brig. Gen. Nathaniel Lyon
  7. Major Samuel D. Sturgis
  8. 11:00 a.m.
  9. Rolla, Missouri
  10. True

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