159th Anniversary of Battle of Pilot Knob
(Pilot Knob) This week is the 159th anniversary of the only big Civil War battle that happened in southeast Missouri.
Courtesy Luke Turnbough
In September 1864, rumors had been spreading that Confederates might be attempting another invasion of Missouri from their base in Arkansas.
Former Missourinet news director and state historian Bob Priddy says those rumors were true and the Confederates were on a direct path for Iron County.

Priddy says the Union garrison in the valley was miniscule compared to the numbers the Stars and Bars were bringing.

It ended up being a blood bath for the arrogant rebels.

By 2:20, just 20 minutes into the battle, it was over.
There was no order in the Confederates retreat as they headed the direction they had just came from.
Around a thousand Confederates were dead.
A sodier described the ground as being black on all sides of the earthen fort covered by dead rebel soldiers.
The small Union garrison, knowing Price and his troops would regroup and attack again the next morning, decided to retreat themselves.
They left Fort Davidson and retreated to Leasburg.
The Union also blew up the powder magazine as they left the fort.
It was a lost cause for the Confederates.
They never made it to St. Louis and ended up doing a big circle around the state of Missouri, until they reached Westport where the Confederates had their hats handed to them again.
After that, they avoided any more major conflicts and snuck back to Arkansas.
That was the last big hurrah for the Rebels and their attacks on the Show-Me State.
A few months later on April 9th, 1865, General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Grant and the war was officially over.
Courtesy Luke Turnbough