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First Battle of Lexington

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First Battle of Lexington, Part of the American Civil War

Date September 12, 1861 – September 20, 1861
Location Lexington, Missouri
Result Missouri (Confederate) victory Belligerents
Flag of the Missouri State Guard.svg Missouri (Confederate) United States
United States Commanders and leaders:
Sterling Price - James Mulligan
Units involved
Missouri State Guard - Lexington Garrison
Strength: 15,000 3,500
Casualties and losses
~150 (30 killed, 120 wounded) ~36 killed, 117 wounded, 8 missing, ~3,000 captured

Killed in Action

  1. Corp. John Kennedy shot in the head
  2. James Dennis "wounded fatally"
  3. Lt. Col Benjamin Grover "Wounded fatally
  4. Williamson William KIA Lexington

The First Battle of Lexington, also known as the Battle of the Hemp Bales or the Siege of Lexington, was an engagement of the American Civil War, occurring from September 12 to September 20, 186, between the Union Army and the pro-Confederate Missouri State Guard, in Lexington, the county seat of Lafayette County, Missouri. The State Guard's victory in this battle bolstered the already-considerable Southern sentiment in the area, and briefly consolidated Missouri State Guard control of the Missouri River Valley in western Missouri."

"Finally, on September 10, Col. James A. Mulligan arrived to take command with his 23rd Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment known as the "Irish Brigade" and a detachment of the 27th Missouri Mounted Infantry under Lt. Col. Benjamin W. Grover.

On September 11, the 13th Missouri Infantry and Van Horn's battalion arrived back in Lexington. Mulligan now commanded 3,500 men, and quickly proceeded to construct extensive fortifications around the town's Masonic College, cutting down trees to make lines of fire and erecting earthworks around the dormitory and classroom buildings. His superiors dispatched further reinforcements under Samuel D. Sturgis, with which Mulligan hoped to hold his enlarged position, but they were ambushed by pro-Confederate forces (alerted by a secessionist telegraph tapper) and compelled to retreat."

The soldiers of the 27th Missouri Mounted Infantry captured were approximately 125, only becausethe 27th MO was cut-off before the entire Regiment got into Lexington. And not many of them made it to be Captured in Lexington. {This info is also on the nps.org/military site. I received an email from the nps.org that gave me the above statement)

"Among the casualties at the First Battle of Lexington was Lt. Col. Benjamin W. Grover, commanding the 27th Missouri Mounted Infantry, who was wounded by a musket ball in the thigh. He succumbed to his wound October 31, 1861."[1]

From Harper's Weekly  :link
Photo of the prisoners being addressed by Governor photo link


  1. Wikipedia:First_Battle_of_Lexington

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