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Parson's Division

Tour Stop

Site of Parson's Division Looking North Down 15th StreetDirections: The stop for Parson's Division [ Waypoint = N39 11.278 W93 52.654 ] is located at the corner of South and 16th Streets in Lexington Missouri 64067.

From College Park, head south on 16th Street. After two blocks, turn right (west) onto Clinton Street. Proceed about one block to 15th Street. Stop and find a place to park.

Missouri State Guard Brigadier General Mosby ParsonsDescription: On September 18th, Brigadier General Mosby M. Parsons, commander of the 6th Division of the Missouri State Guard, deployed his division along this road on which you are standing. In his official report, Parsons wrote the following about his deployments on September 18th:

"On Wednesday morning, September 18, my division was ordered forward, diverging to the left and to the east of the city, along the coal bank road. Nothing of importance occurred until I had reached the summit of the hill near the city. By your order I sent my battery to the front, Capt. Champion's company acting as skirmishers. Feeling satisfied that we were in the neighborhood of the enemy I ordered up the remainder of my infantry to support my battery, at the same time requesting Col. Jackson, who was commanding Gen. Clark's division, to support me, which he did very promptly. Scarcely had the order been given when the enemy's pickets opened fire upon my guns. Not knowing their exact locality, Capt. Guibor fired three shots down the streets as a feeler for the enemy. As the enemy's pickets were driven in I advanced, and after occupying several unimportant positions I finally established my battery ... within 500 yards of the enemy's works; Col. Kelly's infantry occupying my right; Col. Alexander my left; Col. McCulloch across the street in my rear, and Gen. Clark's infantry at the Court House, ready to support me if their services were needed. From this point Capt. Guibor opened a galling fire from his guns upon the enemy's works, which he kept up during the day and at intervals during the night."

Site of Parson's Division Looking West Down Clinton Street Site of Parson's Division Looking East Down Clinton Street

Union Brigadier General Samuel SturgisHaving heard that Federal reinforcements were approaching from north of the Missouri River, Price ordered Parsons to cross the river and repel the approaching Federals. This was the column of Union forces under the command of Brigadier General Samuel D. Sturgis. According to Parsons' official report:

"On the next morning [September 19th] I received your order to march with my whole division to the river. On arriving at the bank I ascertained that it was your desire that I should cross the river with a force of 3,000 men to repel the reinforcements of the enemy advancing from that quarter. After crossing over I ascertained that the enemy had heard of my approach and retired in confusion, leaving 200 of their tents upon the road. Having communicated to you this state of facts, I received from you orders to re cross the river and occupy my former position, which I reached about 12:00 n. of that day."

Union Brigadier General Sturgis had been warned that he was walking into an ambush. He decided to end his march to Lexington and withdraw west to Kansas City, Missouri. There would be no reinforcements for the besieged Federal garrison at Lexington.

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