Brig. Gen. Friedrich Salomon, USA
Col. Douglas H. Cooper, CSA
The Union had two brigades (about 1,500 men), the Confederates one brigade.
Union losses were about 250, Confederate about 100.
Following the battle of Pea Ridge (March 1862) most Confederate and Union troops withdrew from northwestern Arkansas and southwestern Missouri. By late summer, Confederates returned to the area, unsettling civilians and generals alike in nearby Federally-occupied Springfield, Missouri, and Fort Scott, Kansas. Confederate Col. Douglas Cooper reached the area on the 27th and assigned troops to Newtonia where there was a gristmill he wanted to control in harvest season. 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 (necessary in the otherwise ill-equipped Confederate trans-Mississippi), and Cooper reinforced there too. The next morning, Union troops appeared before Newtonia and fighting was underway by 7 am. At first the Federals drove the graybacks, but Confederate reinforcements arrived, swelling their numbers. The Federals then gave way, retreating in haste. But some of their reinforcements appeared and steadied the main body. The Union forces then renewed the attack, threatening the Confederate right flank. The final twist of fate was Confederate reserves: they stopped that attack and eventually forced the Federals to retire again. Pursuit continued after dark, adding to the confusion. In an effort to halt the pursuit Union guns had deployed in the road, but Confederate gunners observed the Union artillery fire and returned fire, creating panic in the men clogging the road.
The Union retreat turned into a rout as some ran all the way to Sarcoxie, over 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 were raiders.