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June 04 , 2010

The Two Civil War Battles of Newtonia


Though the First and Second Battles of Newtonia did not match epic Civil War battles like Antietam, where over thirty-five hundred soldiers were killed in a single day, and Gettysburg, where twice that number died in three days of fighting, such smaller engagements were just as important to the men who lived through them. The ones who didn’t were just as dead, and for a brief time at least, the combat often raged just as violently. With the approach of the sesquicentennial of the war, some of the lesser-known battles are finally getting their due. Join local resident and historian Larry Wood as he expertly chronicles both Battles of Newtonia, the first of which, in 1862, was the Confederacy’s first attempt to reestablish a significant presence in Missouri and the only Civil War battle in which American Indians took opposing sides, fighting in units of regimental strength. The second battle—a fight that was “fierce and furious” while it lasted—stands as the last important engagement of the Civil War in the state.

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