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Sigel's River Road Defensive Line

Tour Stop

Tour Stop 10: Granite Marker No. 4

Directions: The Sigel's River Road Defensive Line tour stop [ Waypoint = N37 10.371 W94 18.023 ] is located at the intersection of Chestnut and River Streets in Carthage, Missouri 64836.

  • Get back in your car and travel east on Chestnut Street for about four blocks until you get to River Street.
  • Find a place to park near this intersection.

Description: This stop on the tour brings you to the location where Federal Colonel Franz Sigel established his final line of defense to protect his retreat from Carthage. Sigel his final defensive line about one mile from the Carthage Town Square. You will find the fourth Granite Historical Marker on the northeast corner of the intersection of Chestnut and River Streets. Face west and you are looking in the direction from which the Missouri State Guard would attack. Sigel deployed his final defensive line across Chestnut Street just to the east of River Street. Sigel deployed a battery of four guns supported by some of his infantry. The rest of the infantry had moved to Carter's Spring to the east and the wagons were moving down the Sarcoxie Road. The Missouri State Guard advanced to attack the Federal's position. The Federal artillery successfully prevented the Missouri State Guard from pressing the attack. It was getting late and darkness was setting in. The Missouri State Guard was exhausted and retired from the field. [66]

Battle of Carthage Tour Stop 10 Looking West Towards CarthageBattle of Carthage Tour Stop 10 Looking East Towards Line of Retreat

Colonel Richard H. Weightman

Colonel Richard H. Weightman, commanding First Brigade, Second Division, Missouri State Guard described the last fighting of the day in his official report: [67]

The brigade advancing crossed Spring River, and was passing through the timber on its banks, and was nearing Carthage, when the enemy from a concealed position opened upon us his artillery. I halted the artillery, and ordered the infantry regiments of Colonels Graves and Hurst to leave the road and pass through the timber and flank the enemy on his left. In obedience to the order, Colonels Graves and Hurst, with their regiments, passed through the timber to the right of the road, and arriving in town fell on the rear of the retreating enemy, but being uncertain of his identity, did not at once open fire on him. As soon, however, as it was made certain by a reconnaissance that it was the enemy, and not our comrades in arms, Colonels Graves and Hurst, together with the infantry regiment of Col. John T. Hughes, of General Slack's division, opened a heavy and well-directed fire upon the enemy's infantry, throwing it into confusion and forcing it to retreat with great precipitation. The enemy's artillery again opened their fire, to which our artillery, which I had brought up, responded, aided by two pieces of General Parsons' artillery, which had by his order reported to me at this point. The enemy retreated on the Sarcoxie road, and was followed for a mile or two by our indefatigable artillery and infantry. Night put a stop to the conflict, and my brigade encamped in and around Carthage.

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