Wilson's Creek National Battlefield

Wilson's Creek was the first major Civil War battle fought west of the Mississippi River, and the site of the death of Nathaniel Lyon, the first Union general killed in action during a costly Southern victory. (This battlefield is located outside of the heritage area.)

The Battle of Wilson's Creek (called Oak Hills by the Southerners) was a bitter struggle between Union and Southern forces for control of Missouri. It was fought ten miles southwest of Springfield, Missouri on August 10, 1861.

When the Civil War began in 1861, Missouri's allegiance was of vital concern to the federal government. The state's strategic position on the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers and its abundant manpower and natural resources made it imperative that she remain loyal to the Union. Most Missourians desired neutrality, but many, including the governor, Claiborne Fox Jackson, held strong Southern sympathies and planned to cooperate with the Confederacy in its bid for independence.

When President Lincoln called for troops to put down the rebellion, Missouri was asked to supply four regiments. Governor Jackson refused the request and ordered State military units to muster at Camp Jackson outside Saint Louis and prepare to seize the U.S. arsenal in that city. They had not, however, counted on the resourcefulness of of the arsenal's commander, Captain Nathaniel Lyon. (Read more of the story by following the link to the National Park Service website.)

All areas of the Visitor Center and Ray House are wheelchair accessible from the parking areas. A wheelchair is available for use in the Visitor Center.

Interpretive stops along the Tour Road are wheelchair accessible, but the interpretive trails off the Tour Road are primitive trails and are not wheelchair accessible. Designated handicapped parking spaces are available at each of the parking areas.

In compliance with ADA standards, assisted listening devices are available for use with the twenty-nine minute orientation film in the Visitor Center.

Contact Information

6424 W. Farm Road 182

Republic, MO 65738

Phone: 417-732-2662


Location Type


Living History

Interpretive Signs

Natural Area

National Register of Historic Places

Walking Tours


Site Info

AC / Heating

Bus / RV Parking


Group Tours

Hiking Trails



Research Library


Water Fountain

Wheel Chair Accessible