Fort Davidson, Pilot Knob, Missouri

Who would have thought that there was a major battle in Missouri in 1864, in the small town of Pilot Knob? The hexagonal Fort Davidson, recently clearly of historically inaccurate trees, is a site to behold.

In a last ditch attempt to capture St. Louis from Union forces, a large Confederate force headed north from Arkansas, but were stopped at the earthen parapets of Fort Davidson. The fort is not large, and it is amazing to consider that 1,500 soldiers lived and worked in its confines. Perhaps it is not surprising that such a densely packed force could deliver such withering fire from such a compact site.

The Union abandoned the fort in the middle of the night after repulsing wave after wave of Confederate soldiers in the fields around the fort. The Union was running low on ammunition, and felt leaving was the best option, after already inflicting over a thousand casualties on the ill-prepared Confederate army.

You can still see the hole where the Union soldiers blew up their gunpowder stores in the middle of the night as they escaped through Confederate lines to St. Louis. The Confederate army waited until the next day to investigate what they thought had been an accidental detonation of the gunpowder, only to discover the fort empty.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Fort Davidson is one of the sites from which former Gov. Bob Holden ordered the REBEL flag removed a few years ago.Some myopic folks have since campaigned for its restoration, as their revisionist view is that it is not a "terrorist" symbol -and 'only' represents "states' rights" combatants who lived in Missourah.

  2. Jean Robb says:

    History should never be changed to conform to current 'political correctness'. Truth is truth and can't be and shouldn't be distorted. We can learn from the past and our mistakes or regrets. This doesn't make the event right or wrong; just factual at that moment in time.(this is written in ref. to Tom's 5/13th comment)

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