THESE ARE ARCHIVED PAGES OF THE OLD EHISTORY SITE
These pages are not actively maintained and may have errors in content and functionality

eHistory Archive Logo
THESE ARE ARCHIVED PAGES OF THE OLD EHISTORY SITE
click here for the NEW eHistory site
These pages are not actively maintained and may have errors in content and functionality
icon: the new eHistory
click to see our Origins feature click to see our Multimedia histories click to see our Book Reviews
Ancient History Middle Ages Civil War World War II Vietnam War Middle East World
      eHistory  >  World History  >  Military  >  Major Conflicts  >  Little Blue Riv... Search
A Moment in Time
Articles
Biographies
Books
Countries
Glossary
HistoryLists
Images & Maps
Military
Personal Histories
Timelines
Little Blue River (1864)
 
War:   American Civil War
 
Also known as:   Westport
 
Date(s):   21 Oct 1864
 
Location:   Jackson County, Missouri, US
 
Description:   Maj. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis, USA
Maj. Gen. Sterling Price, CSA

The Union had a brigade against the advance guard of a cavalry corps.

Casualties are unknown.

Most of Curtis’ forces were Kansas Militia, and the politicians had promised that they would only have to serve in Kansas. Now strategy called for them to serve just over the river in Missouri, but there were problems. Politicians being politicians, there were squabbles about whether it was legal for the troops to leave Kansas; also, since the men had been promised one thing many were reluctant to go far into Missouri.

The main body wouldn’t go further east than the Big Blue River, but a few men would go with two brigades of US troops further east, to Lexington. After being forced back from there Major General James Blunt fell back to Independence. Curtis knew Blunt’s force was too small to stop Price and also that his Kansans wouldn’t move to support Blunt, so he ordered Blunt to fall back to the main body. Blunt sent most of his troops ahead, leaving his best brigade on the Little Blue.

Colonel Thomas Moonlight’s troops had strong defensive position on the west bank. The Rebels arrived shortly after sunup and found the bridge burned, and Moonlight’s men were still there. Marmaduke commanded the Confederate advance guard, and tried to force his way through the fords, but Moonlight’s men would not budge. Both sides called for reinforcements, and through the day all of Blunt’s brigades (including one that had joined him the day before) were sucked into the battle. After charges and counter-charges the Confederate advantage in numbers started to count. After five hours of fighting, Blunt had to fall back again.

The Federals retreated to Independence, then was pushed further. He fell back across the Big Blue, joining Curtis’ army. Once again, the Confederates had been slowed and more Union reinforcements were arriving.


Content provided by:
eHistory Staff

Selected sources:
American Battlefield Protection Program, Heritage Preservation Services, National Park Service.



About | Contact


All images and content are the property of eHistory at The Ohio State University unless otherwise stated.
Copyright © 2014 OSU Department of History. All rights reserved.
THESE ARE ARCHIVED PAGES OF THE OLD EHISTORY SITE
These pages are not actively maintained and may have errors in content and functionality