The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

July 5, 2010

Carthage marks date of Civil War battle

CARTHAGE, Mo. — According to his family’s oral history, the great-great-great-uncle of Paul Lewis, of Carl Junction, fought in the 1861 Battle of Carthage.

At the time, the family lived just southeast of Carthage, Lewis said, and his relative had joined a volunteer militia to aid the Union troops against the Confederate army.

“I just feel a little tied to it,” Lewis said Monday as he surveyed the Battle of Carthage State Historic Site. “I feel a draw to it. He sacrificed and he volunteered to (fight) to protect the area of the home.”

Lewis was among a handful of residents who attended Monday’s Civil War vespers service at the battle site to honor the Union and Confederate soldiers who fought there. This year marks the 149th anniversary of the conflict recognized as the first major land battle of the Civil War.

Lewis, who said other ancestors fought for both sides during the Civil War, said the battle is often overlooked by most people.

“We need to keep our history alive,” he said, invoking the common saying that those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.

The battle began July 5, 1861, as roughly 6,000 members of the Missouri State Guard — which had Confederate sympathies — marched toward Southwest Missouri for training. A force of 1,100 Union troops led by Col. Franz Sigel already had arrived to cut them off, according to author and historian Steve Cottrell, who spoke at Monday’s service.

Like Lewis, Cottrell said the battle, though one of the Civil War’s lesser-known battles, is just as important.

“I guarantee you the men who fell here at the Battle of Carthage, they sacrificed just as much as any who fell at Gettysburg or Shiloh,” he said.

Cottrell said the battle paved the way for the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, near Springfield, one month later and also influenced events that led up to the Battle of Pea Ridge in Northwest Arkansas in March 1862 — a battle that established Union control of Missouri.

Its significance cannot be overlooked, he said. If the Carthage battle had played out differently, “the whole story of the war out here west of the Mississippi would have been different,” he said.

The soldiers of the battle weren’t the only individuals honored Monday. Carthage historian Marvin VanGilder, who for years organized the service, was recognized for his work. Cottrell said this was the first year that VanGilder, whom he called the “modern-day champion of the Battle of Carthage,” had to miss the service because of his health.

In VanGilder’s absence, the service was led by members of the Carthage Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee. Committee members also are planning for a July 2011 service and commemorative festival that will mark the 150th anniversary of the battle, as well as a re-enactment of the battle scheduled for May 2011.



Casualties

The battle began about nine miles north of Carthage and eventually swept southward, with the Union forces finally retreating to Sarcoxie. About 50 men died and 150 were wounded, and the battle made the front pages of newspapers across the country, with both sides proclaiming a victory, according to local historian Steve Cottrell.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Nevada City Attorney chosen to advise Neosho Ethics Board

    The Neosho City Council on Monday appointed Bill McCaffree, Nevada city attorney, as special counsel to the Neosho Ethics Board. McCaffree will provide the ethics board with legal advice as it investigates an ethics complaint against council members Steve Hart and David Ruth. The vote to hire McCaffree was 3-2, with Hart and Ruth voting against the motion.

    April 22, 2014

  • Jasper County Commission approves contract for storage building expansion

    The Jasper County Commission on Tuesday approved a contract to expand an equipment storage building at the county’s Highway Department Complex on North River Street. The commissioners accepted a bid from Matt Denney Construction Co., Carthage, to build the 3,000-square-foot addition at a cost of $62,375.

    April 22, 2014

  • Carthage School Board advances funding for building projects

    Financing for a series of building projects planned in the Carthage School District was advanced Monday by members of the Carthage School Board. The board approved a resolution authorizing the sale of $18 million in bonds to finance a series of building improvements and approved lease-purchase financing for the early childhood center currently under construction.

    April 22, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Golf tournament supports SIDS research, awareness

    There are probably a lot of reasons the Marshall Dean Keller Memorial Golf Tournament continues to grow year after year, but one of the biggest just might be the cause it supports.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nixon: Tax-cut bill holds fatal flaw; area lawmakers say stance totally false

    Another year has brought yet another tax-cut fight between Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon and the Republican-led Missouri General Assembly, and on Tuesday, Nixon announced that he had found what he sees as a fatal flaw.

    April 22, 2014

  • NEO_Big_Event - Bright.jpg NEO students step up for Big Event

    Leann Hartman has a 30-foot ditch filled with leaves that she has to clean out every spring. For the retired schoolteacher, this usually means paying a company to clean it for her, only to have to do it again the following year.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • r042214earthday.jpg Local group launches clean air plan on Earth Day

    It was an Earth Day first for Stephany Aquinaga, a pre-med student and member of the biology club at Missouri Southern State University. “This is the first time I have ever planted a tree,” she said.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Neosho teachers express support for Common Core State Standards

    Neosho teachers on Monday voiced their full support for Common Core State Standards. They made their statements to board members during the Neosho Board of Education meeting as an agenda item.

    April 22, 2014

  • Gov. Nixon raises new concern about income tax cut

    Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon raised new concerns Tuesday that a tax cut the Legislature approved could have “cataclysmic” consequences for state revenues — an assertion a Republican legislative leader dismissed as “absurd.”

    April 22, 2014

  • Earth Day features celebrations

    It's Earth Day, and students and others throughout the Four States are celebrating.

     

    April 22, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said Tuesday that a tax cut approved by the Legislature could have a “cataclysmic” effect on state revenues to the tune of $4.8 billion. House Majority Leader John Diehl calls that “absurd.” Who do you believe?

A. Nixon
B. Diehl
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter