Mine Creek, Battle of.In the fall of 1864 Gen. Price began his raid through Kansas. On Oct. 24 the Confederate forces entered Kansas and camped on the Marais des Cygnes. At that time Mound City was defended by 80 men of the Fifteenth Kansas, under Capt. Green, and three companies of militia, negroes and exempts. The Confederates were followed by the Union forces, and Gen. Pleasanton despatched Col. Moonlight with his regiment to the right to flank the enemy and keep him from going too far west, and at the same time reinforce Mound City, which was reached about midnight. Early next morning Gen. Pleasanton drove Price's rear-guard from the Marais des Cygnes. Before Col. Moonlight reached Mound City scouts had brought word that a detachment of Price's army was advancing on the town and had taken position on the heights to the northeast. The Union forces attacked before daylight in a heavy rain. After being challenged they advanced rapidly up the hill, a Confederate battery opened, but the Union men steadily advanced to the top of the mound, drove the defenders from it and opened fire on the men drawn up in the fields beyond. The mound at the right was next carried and the Union forces then advanced upon the Confederates, 2,000 strong, drawn up in line of battle on the edge of the timber, with a battery of artillery. Gens. Curtis and Pleasanton were in command and directed the advance. The Confederates retreated to a point where three roads met the main one, which crossed the stream. Gen. Pleasanton pressed them closely and they formed in the timber along Mine creek, about 5 miles south of Mound City. One line was drawn up on the north bank, and by this time showed a force of 12,000 men. Gen. Price commanded in person, with Fagan and Marmaduke under him. A long train and the divisions under Shelby and Tyler were drawn up on the south bank of the creek, while on the left of the Confederate line were stationed 10 pieces of artillery.
The Union army charged the enemy's center, the line broke and fled across the creek, and Col. Benteen pursued until recalled by Gen. Pleasanton. A number of Confederates were captured and a number of Union officers and men wounded. Richard Hinton says: "The field was won against 12,000 by two brigades, numbering not more than 2,500." It is believed that the victory was largely due to the vigorous driving of the Confederates from the Marais des Cygnes early in the morning, and the successful capture of the mounds before daylight. Had the tide of battle turned in favor of Price, Fort Scott, an important post, and "the whole southeastern part of Kansas would have fallen prey to the rebel army."Pages 285-286 from volume II of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed July 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
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