Sunday, October 21, 2012

Preventing A Raid Into Kansas

The Battle of Old Fort Wayne [Battle of Maysville] was fought in Delaware County, Oklahoma; then part of the Indian Territory, on October 22nd 1862.

The Confederates started building a force for a raid into Kansas in July 1862.  Colonel Douglas Hancock Cooper built a force made up of Chickasaws, Choctaws and Creeks, which he led through the Indian Territory to Old Fort Wayne.  Old Fort Wayne was an abandoned Union garrison on the edge of the Betties Prairie.  Cooper was within supporting distance of Confederate General John Sappington Marmaduke’s Texans near Lowell, Arkansas.   He placed pickets in Maysville a small town on the Arkansas and Indian Territory border.

Union Brigadier General James G Blunt had a Division of about 3,500 men.  He received information about the Confederates located at Maysville, and was told the force there would be around 7,000 men, including General Stand Watie’s Cherokees.  Blunt’s men made a night march leaving on October 20th 1862 southward, arriving in Bentonville, Arkansas shortly after sunrise.  They made a second forced; 25 mile march, moving west on October 21st 1862.

At 5 am on October 22nd 1862 the Union 2nd Kansas Cavalry drove in the Confederate pickets at Maysville.  After following them over three miles the Cavalry ran into Cooper’s battle line with a heavy wood to their back.  Although the Union thought they were going to be facing about 7,000, in reality there was only about 1,500 men in Cooper’s line.  Both sides entered into an artillery duel.  Once Blunt had all his men up, they attacked Cooper’s thin line, opening a whole in the Confederate center.  Within a half hour Cooper’s men were in retreat with Blunt pursuing them for seven miles.  The Union had about 14 casualties.  The Confederates reported 150 losses including 50 dead.

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