Tuesday, October 22, 2013

To Cross The Big Blue

Sterling Price
The Battle of Byram’s Ford [sometimes called the Battle of the Big Blue River] was really a small skirmish fought October 22nd 1864 in Jackson County, Missouri.

Confederate Major General Sterling Price was moving his Army of Missouri toward Fort Leavenworth and Kansas City, planning to enter Missouri.  In response Union Major General Samuel R Curtis’ Army of the Border blocked his way, while Union Major General Alfred Pleasonton’ cavalry pushed from the rear.  Price was traveling with about 500 supply wagons and so needed a good crossing on the Big Blue River.  Byram’s Ford was the best crossing in the area.

Union Major General James G Blunt’s division was holding the west bank of the Big Blue River on October 22nd 1864.  At about 10 am a part of Confederate Brigadier General Joseph O Shelby’s division made a frontal attack on the Union men, while the rest of the force flanked them.  Blunt’s troops were forced to pull back to Westport.  Price moved his wagons over Byram’s Ford, safely crossing the Big Blue River, and moving on to the south.

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