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Lexington II (1864)
 
War:   American Civil War
 
Date(s):   19 Oct 1864
 
Location:   Lafayette County, Missouri, US
 
Outcome:   Confederate victory
 
Description:   Maj. Gen. James G. Blunt, USA
Maj. Gen. Sterling Price, CSA

The Union had a division of about 2,000 against Price’s cavalry corps.

No records of casualties survive.

Price’s march along the Missouri River was slow, and this gave the Yankees a chance to gather reinforcements. Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans (commander of the Department of the Missouri) thought a pincer movement would trap Price with his army, but he was unable to communicate with Maj. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis (commander of the Department of Kansas) to formalize the plan. Curtis was having problems because many of his troops were Kansas militia and they refused to enter Missouri, but a force of 2,000 men under the command of Blunt did move towards Lexington.

Price was heading west faster now, since he was getting word about Union forces (under Pleasanton and Smith) snapping at his heels. On October 19, Price’s army approached Lexington and the advance guard under Jo Shelby collided with Union scouts and pickets about 2pm. Shelby faced three brigades and two batteries of guns, and soon drove the pickets back to the main body. At first Union resistance was strong, but after a nasty firefight Price’s men pushed them back. They fell back through the town to the western outskirts, then northwest along the Independence Road, pursued by Confederate horsemen until dark.

Without Curtis’s entire force, the Yankees had not been able to stop Price’s army, but the battle had slowed Price still further. This gave time for Pleasanton’s men to catch up, and Blunt also gained valuable information about the size and strength of Price’s army.


Content provided by:
eHistory Staff

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



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