On January 8, 1863, Confederate forces failed to dislodge Union supply and medical facilities in Springfield, Missouri. The attack force of approximately 1,700 Confederates was commanded by Brigadier General John S. Marmaduke.
Facing the attack was a Union force of 2,000, which had the advantage of solid defensive fortifications and the higher ground. At the outbreak of the Civil War, the slaveholding state of Missouri had declared itself to be an “armed neutral.”
Nonetheless, both the Union and Confederacy vied for control of the strategically located state. The Union first established a presence in Springfield in October 1861. Able to retain control of the city with its second victory in 1863, the Union was in a firm position to continue its efforts in Confederate territory further to the south.