Before noon on August 6th 1862 Union Colonel John McNeil’s 2nd Missouri numbering about 1000 attacked the Confederates at Kirksville Missouri. McNeil’s force had been pursuing Colonel Joseph C Porter and his 2,500 men Confederate Missouri Brigade for about a week. Porter’s men hid in the courthouse and among the buildings and crops growing in the fields in and around the town of Kirksville MO. Union troops advanced in two wings, with Lieutenant Colonel William F Shaffer on the right, Major Henry Clay Caldwell and the 3rd Iowa on the left. When they met they drove the Confederates from the courthouse. Porter’s men retreated to a rail fence west of the town square, where they leveled heavy fire into McNeil’s men. The Confederates however where overwhelmed by two that afternoon.
McNeil’s victory at Kirksville pretty much consolidated Federal control in northeastern Missouri.
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The Battle of Kirksville