Monday, September 30, 2013

"'With hurrah we went ahead...'": Newtonia, Missouri

Newtonia is a village in southwestern Missouri with a population of 199 according to the 2010 census. Several Civil War actions occurred in and near Newtonia including the First Battle of Newtonia on September 30, 1862. Native American regiments participated on both sides of the engagement, one of the few times that occurred during the war. For the Union the 3rd Indian Home Guard, primarily comprised of Cherokee Indians, served during the battle. The 1st Choctaw Regiment, the 1st Choctaw and Chickasaw Regiment, and the 1st Cherokee Battalion participated on the Confederate side. The 9th Wisconsin Infantry, a German regiment organized in Milwaukee, suffered the heaviest losses. Private Michael Zimmerman wrote that the men advanced on Newtonia “ full of joy and fighting spirit…With hurrah we went ahead not realizing the danger before us.’” After an unsuccessful charge on a position held by the 31st Texas Cavalry, the 9th Wisconsin retreated and then was cut apart when support troops fled. Altogether the 9th Wisconsin lost 28 killed and 167 captured; 51 of the captured were wounded.

The quotes from Michael Zimmerman are from: Michael E. Banasik, Embattled Arkansas: The Prairie Grove Campaign of 1862 (Wilmington, NC: Broadfoot Publishing Co., 1996), p. 202.

Another source on the battle is:
Wood, Larry. The Two Civil War Battles of Newtonia. Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2010.

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