BATTLE OF BELMONT – NOVEMBER 7, 1861
First attack of war led by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant
Forces Engaged: Union 3,000 vs. CSA 5,000
Marker Location: N 36o45.952′, W 89o 07.429′. From Wilson City, go south on Rt. 77 for 11 miles. At Rt. 80 turn left, go 6 miles to water’s edge.
Stamp Location: Hunter-Dawson State Historic Site (p. 36)
Address: 312 Dawson Road, New Madrid, Mo 63869
Phone Number: 573-748-5340
Staff Available: Mar-Nov, Mon-Fri: 8:30 am-5pm; Sat: 10 am-4 pm; Sun: 12-4pm ; Dec-Feb, Tue-Fri: 8:30 am-5 pm; Sat: 10 am-4 pm
Tours: Check above website for tour schedule
Visit Fee: $5 tour fee. Fee not required for stamp.
On November 6, 1861, General Grant with two gunboats and a half-dozen troop transport steamboats carrying two combat brigades of just over 3000 men departed south out of Cairo. The next morning Grant’s force disembarked at Hunter’s Farm three miles above Belmont, but out of sight of the artillery battery at Columbus, KY, across from the steamboat landing at Belmont, Grant’s objection. Belmont landing was occupied by a detachment of troops from Columbus, giving the Confederates control of both sides of the Mississippi at that point.
After the landing, Grant’s troops moved down the toward Belmont surprising and overrunning the Confederate force at that location. However, Grant lost control of his men as they celebrated their victory, which gave the Confederates that fled the attack an opportunity to regroup and forces from across the river to cross and join the battle. In the end, Grant’s force had to fight their way back to their transport and barely escape the pursuing Confederates. After the battle, both sides declared a victory.
Click below for a short video on the battle from Things You Should Know:
Click below for a short article from the New York Herald, Nov. 9, 1861 which includes a cool map:
OFFICIAL AFTER ACTION REPORTS OF THE BATTLE OF BELMONT
The War of the Rebellion: the Official Records, Series 1, Volume 3; pages 266-364. [Link to Page 266]
NEWSPAPER ARTICLES ABOUT THE BATTLE OF BELMONT
Nov 9, 1861 · Missouri Democrat “Battle at Belmont” [Summary: Brief report from Gen. Grant and a few dispatched reports on the Battle at Belmont, Nov. 7th.]
Nov 9, 1861 · Missouri Democrat “The Battle a Complete Victory” [Summary: Short article says Gen. Grant declares the Battle of Belmont a complete victory. Includes a short report from Grant.]
Nov 11, 1861 · Missouri Democrat “The Battle of Belmont” [Summary: of the battle says the Union losses aren’t as bad as first reported.]
Nov 11, 1861 · Missouri Democrat “Further Particulars of the Battle of Belmont” [Summary: Twenty-five men with the 22nd Illinois are estimated missing and fifty with the 7th Iowa. Other details are reported about the Union and Confederate causalities.]
Nov 13, 1861 · Missouri Democrat “Official Report of Gen. Grant” [Summary: A quick report on the events leading up to the battle were designed and loss totals.]
Nov 13, 1861 · Missouri Democrat “The Belmont Battle” [Summary: An intelligible and graphic account of the fight.]
Nov 13, 1861 · Missouri Democrat “Full Lists of the Killed, Wounded, Missing and Prisoners in the Late Battle” [Summary: Extensive list of the killed, wounded, missing and prisoners in the Battle of Belmont, grouped by regiment and company.]
Nov 13, 1861 · Missouri Democrat “Iowa Seventh at Belmont” [Summary: Specifically shows what impact the 7th Iowa had in the battle.]
Nov 14, 1861 · Missouri Democrat “From Cairo–More of the Battle at Belmont” [Summary: Letter seeks to correct facts wrongly reported and states why this battle was a Union victory.]
Nov 15, 1861 · Missouri Democrat “The Battle of Belmont–The Reception of the News in the City [Memphis]“ [Summary: Article from the Memphis Appeal gives a report of the battle and includes two letters from the field.]
Nov 16, 1861 · Missouri Democrat “The Belmont Battle–More of the Rebel Accounts” [Summary: Article from the Memphis Avalanche about the Battle of Belmont. Includes reports from Col. J.T. Bryson and Maj. Bledsoe Harmon.]
Nov 19, 1861 · Missouri Democrat “Battle of Belmont–Official List of Casualties” [Summary: An amendment to a previously published list of Confederate killed and wounded from the Memphis Appeal.]
Nov 20, 1861 · Missouri Democrat “Gen. McClernand’s Report of the Battle of Belmont” [Summary: Long report of the Battle of Belmont from Brigadier-General John A. McClernand.]
Jan 2, 1886 · Missouri Republican “Tales of the War: Gen. Grant’s Belmont” [Summary: Criticism of Gen. Grant’s Recent memoirs concerning his account of the Battle of Belmont, Missouri.]