BATTLE OF HARTVILLE – JANUARY 9-11, 1863
Battle led by two future governors: Union Col. Samuel Merrill, governor of Iowa, 1868-1872 and CSA Gen. John S. Marmaduke, governor of Missouri, 1885 to 1887.
CSA victory, but unwise frontal assaults, resulted in the death of numerous CSA senior officers, including two brigade commanders: Col. Joseph C. Porter and Col. Emmett MacDonald. Though CSA held the ground after the battle, they initiated a rapid retreat back into Arkansas.
Forces Engaged: Union 750 vs. CSA Calvary 1,500+
Marker Location: At Steel Memorial Cemetery, just past the City Square, south on Missouri Hwy 5, on the right when traveling south.
Stamp Location: The Hardware Store, Hartville, Mo.
Website: www.hartvilleareacc.com/mo-civil-war-passport.html or thehardwarestorehartville.com
Address: 112 E. Rolla St., Hartville, Mo. 65667
Phone Number: 417-741-1244
Staff Available: Mon-Fri, 8 am-6 pm; Sat, 9 am-4 pm; closed Sundays
Visit Fee: None
INTERIOR DEPT. SUMMARY: John S. Marmaduke led a Confederate raid into Missouri in early January 1863. This movement was two-pronged. Col. Joseph C. Porter led one column, comprising his Missouri Cavalry Brigade, out of Pocahontas, Arkansas, to assault Union posts around Hartville, Missouri. When he neared Hartville, on January 9, he sent a detachment forward to reconnoiter. It succeeded in capturing the small garrison and occupying the town. The same day, Porter moved on toward Marshfield. On the 10th, some of Porter’s men raided other Union installations in the area before catching up with Marmaduke’s column east of Marshfield.
Marmaduke had received reports of Union troops approaching to surround him and prepared for a confrontation. Col. Samuel Merrill, commander of the approaching Union column, arrived in Hartville, discovered that the garrison had already surrendered and set out after the Confederates. A few minutes later, fighting began. Marmaduke feared being cut off from his retreat route back to Arkansas so he pushed Merrill’s force back to Hartville, where it established a defense line. Here, a four-hour battle ensued in which the Confederates suffered many casualties but compelled the Yankees to retreat. Although they won the battle, the Confederates were forced to abandon the raid and return to friendly territory.
Principal Commanders: Col. Samuel Merrill [US]; Brig. Gen. John S. Marmaduke [CS]
Estimated Casualties: 407 total (US 78; CS 329)
Result: Confederate victory