The Battle of Dry Wood, also known as the Battle of the Mules was fought in Vernon County, Missouri September 2nd 1861 between Confederate Missouri State Guard and Union Calvary.
After the Confederate victory at the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, Major General Sterling Price occupied Springfield, Missouri. He moved north with his 6,000 Missouri State Guard to take Fort Scott, Kansas. Union Colonel James Henry Lane led his 600 man force of Cavalry out from Fort Scott, and about 12 miles from the fort they ran into Price near Big Dry Wood Creek.
The Union men surprised Price’s State Guard on September 2nd 1861. After two hours of fighting Lane’s smaller in number Cavalry were forced to retreat toward Fort Scott. The Missouri State Guard captured mules from the Union troops, and then proceeded towards Lexington, Missouri to recruit. Losses on both sides were light about 14 Union and 20 in the State Guard.