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Battle of Westport: McGhee's Charge

Tour Stop 7 [ Waypoint = N39 01.813 W94 35.542 ]

"On October 23, 1864, near noon, Colonel McGhee's mounted Arkansans charged north on Wornall Lane to capture McLain's Colorado Battery. Captain Johnson of the 15th Kansas Cavalry attacked saving the guns. McGhee was killed in a hand-to-hand fight with Captain Johnson who was wounded. Troops of the 2nd Colorado Cavalry came up capturing the Confederates and driving back the rest who left 25 dead and wounded on the field. Union artillery fire destroyed the Simpson Home which stood on the southeast corner of 53rd Terrace and Wornall."

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Directions to Stop #7: You may find it easier to walk to the next two stops. In Loose Park there is a walking/jogging trail that runs around the park's perimeter. Follow this trail south. Tour stop 7 is located in the park along Wornall about half way between 53rd Terrace and 54th Street. This tour stop is located in Kansas City, Missouri 64112.

Description: Once Shelby's position had been flanked by the 9th Wisconsin Battery, he had to pull back. Blunt now succeeded in advancing south from Brush Creek bringing with him the rest of the Union Artillery. The Union attack now had 30 guns shelling the Confederate positions. McLain's Colorado Battery was located on Wornall Lane close to where you are standing.

McLain's Battery was being particularly effective as it moved along just west of Wornall Lane. Colonel James H. McGhee's Arkansas Cavalry, Dobbin's Brigade in Fagan's Division attacked. McGhee wanted to capture McLain's Battery and put it out of action. Union Colonel Charles R. Jennison was quick to respond and ordered Captain Curtis Johnson's company E of the 15th Kansas Cavalry to protect the battery. They were almost overwhelmed until the battery's escort joined in the fight and beat back the attacking Confederates. McGhee was wounded during this fierce hand-to-hand fighting. Altogether the Confederates lost 25 killed and wounded and around 100 prisoners. McLain's Battery was saved and the Union forces continued to move forward.

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