Over 3100 re-enactors will re-create what is called the first major battle of the Civil War west of the Mississippi, this weekend south of Springfield.

     The Battle of Wilson’s creek came amid increased tension over where Missouri would fall in the War; with the North or the South.  Superintendent of the battle’s National Historic Site, Ted Hillmer, says the Union placed great importance on Missouri for its rivers, railroads and crops.

     He says factors that make historians consider the battle “major” include the fact that the first Union general to die in the War, Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon, was killed at Wilson’s Creek. 

     In the original battle, over 12 thousand Confederate troops faced nearly 5500 Federal soldiers in what went down as a Southern victory that historians say eventually contributed to Missouri being a Union state.

     A weekend-long celebration will mark the sesquicentennial.  Five reenactments will take place between Friday and Sunday on about 800 acres located north of the original battle site.       The weekend begins with free educational events Thursday night.

     Find more details here.