The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

July 16, 2013

Jasper County Commissioners working with two land trusts to preserve Carthage Civil War battlefield

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Jasper County Commissioners agreed today to work with representatives of the Civil War Trust and the Ozark Regional Land Trust on a conservation easement that would protect nearly 200 acres along Civil War Road north of Carthage.

Missouri State Guard troops led by Missouri secessionist Gov. Claiborne Fox Jackson fought and defeated federal troops commanded by Col. Franz Sigel in a rolling battle on July 5, 1861. That battle began nine miles north of Carthage and continued into and through the town that evening.

Though casualties were light, the battle of Carthage is considered “the first large-scale land battle of the Civil War,” according to The Encyclopedia of the American Civil War. The New York Times on July 15, 1861, called the battle “the first serious conflict between the United States troops and the rebels.”

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources maintains a kiosk near Carter Spring in Carthage where federal troops camped the night before the battle and state guard troops camped the next night, but little of the battlefield has been protected despite its historic significance.

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