Print this page

Clemens Field

Tour Stop

Clemens House Interpretive SignDirections: The Clemens House [ N36 27.153 W94 00.581 ] was located about a third of a mile east of Elkhorn Tavern [ Waypoint = N36 27.212 W94 00.944 ] along the Huntsville Road. After reaching the Huntsville Road from the hiking trail, walk west along the Huntsville Road for about 0.25 miles and you will reach the sign [ Waypoint = N36 27.145 W94 00.569 ] for the Clemens House on the right and Clemens Field on your left.

“Clemens House” Sign text reads as follows:

“The Clemens family probably lived here, fleeing while the battle raged. Confederates under Price emerged from Williams Hollow a few yards to your right and fought Dodge's Iowa troops in these fields. Next day the Confederates used this road in their withdrawal.”

Description: You are standing at the location of fighting that took place in the early afternoon on March 7th. In order to get around the Federal right flank, Major General Sterling Price had led his Southern troops out of Williams Hollow and across the Huntsville Road. But Union Colonel Grenville Dodge had realized what was happening and pulled his right flank back. The Federals were now facing east lined up behind the rail fence at the west end of Clemens Field.

Gun Carriage Marking Location of Confeddrate Line at Clemens FieldWalk out in Clemens Field to the gun carriages [ Waypoint = N36 27.082 W94 00.534 ] that mark the location of the Confederate battery. Notice that there is a slight rise in elevation in the middle of the field that made it difficult to see the enemy on the other side of the field. The Federal line was at the western edge of the field behind the fence in the wooded area. It was from here that Price sent the 3rd Division of the Missouri State Guard commanded by Colonel John B. Clark against the Federal defenders. Unsupported the Southerners were easily turned back by the Federals.


Looking East From Federl Line at Clemens FieldReturn to the Huntsville Road and walk east to the western edge of Clemens Field. Walk south along the hiking trail that follows the edge of the field until you come to an opening in the snake rail fence. You are now standing near the location [ Waypoint N36 27.053 W94 00.643 ] where Colonel Dodge pulled the right part of his line back to face the Confederates threatening his right flank.

Now retrace your steps to the Huntsville Road and walk west toward Elkhorn Tavern. You should notice a wooded ravine about 75 yards west of Clemens Field. After his initial repulse at Clemens Field, Price decided to try another flanking maneuver against Dodge's position. To flank the Federal left, he sent Brigadier General James S. Rains and the 8th Division of the Missouri State Guard south and west around the Clemens House and then north up the Middle Ravine [ Waypoint = N36 27.126 W94 00.684 ] in which you are now standing. He also sent Colonel James P. Saunders and the 5th Division of the Missouri State Guard through the woods south of the open field to flank the Federal right. In danger of having their flanks turned, the Federals had to withdraw back to Ruddick's Field later that afternoon.

Looking North Into Middle Ravine From Huntsville Road

On Huntsville Road Looking Towards Clemens Field From Middle Ravine

Looking Towards Clemens Field From Middle Ravine

Union Colonel Grenville Dodge described the scene at Clemens Field in his official report:

Union General Grenville Dodge“As soon as the engagement had fairly begun I closed up my line to the left and awaited the attack, keeping the section of the battery at work with my skirmishers until near 2 o'clock, when the enemy ceased firing and drew back. I soon discovered that the enemy were preparing for a general attack, and changed front to the right, covering my men with a rail fence, forcing the enemy to cross an open field reach me. I formed my line and opened fire with one section of my battery, the other four pieces having left the field for want of ammunition. The enemy answered with eight pieces of artillery, and advanced on my right, left, and front. I brought up the skirmishers and placed them on the left, and held the position for more than two hours with at least 6,000 infantry and eight pieces of artillery against me, the artillery playing upon us at short range with canister.”


The Muse South African