Brig. Gen. Gideon J. Pillow, CSA

Each side had a division.

Union casualties were about half the Confederate's 1,000.

On November 6, 1861, Brig. Gen. Grant left Cairo, Illinois, by steamers in conjunction with two gunboats, to make a demonstration against Columbus, Kentucky. The next morning, Grant learned that Confederate troops had crossed the Mississippi River from Columbus to Belmont, Missouri, to intercept two detachments sent in pursuit of Brig. Gen. M. Jeff Thompson and, possibly, to reinforce Maj. Gen. Sterling Price's force. He landed on the Missouri shore, out of the range of Confederate artillery at Columbus, and started marching the mile to Belmont. Fighting opened at 9:00 in the morning. The Federals routed the Confederates out of their Belmont cantonment and, lacking the means to haul things away, destroyed the Rebel supplies and equipment they found.

Meanwhile the scattered Confederate forces reorganized and received reinforcements from Columbus. Counterattacked, the Union force withdrew, re-embarked, and returned to Cairo. Grant did not accomplish much in this operation, but, at a time when little Union action occurred anywhere, many were heartened by any activity.

Mississippi County, Missouri, United States
Union victory
Opening Skirmishes in the West
Start Date: 
Thursday, November 7, 1861
Start Year: 
End Date: 
Thursday, November 7, 1861
End Year: 
Source Name: