BATTLE OF WENTZVILLE, MISSOURI

Re-enactment in Rotary Park in Wentzville on 6-7 September 2008.

Attending the event with a recruiting booth was the Missouri Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Major James Morgan Utz Camp out of Florissant Missouri.

Wentzville began as a depot on the Northern Missouri Railroad in 1855. The town is named after Erasmus Livingston Wentz, a railroad engineer of the time. In mid-July, 1861, Wentzville saw some minor skirmishes in the American Civil War as the occupying Union troops sustained the railroad from Confederate attack. Wentzville was incorporated as a city in 1871.

On July 15, 1861 four companies of the 2nd Missouri Infantry and two companies of the 8th Missouri Infantry left St. Louis by train, heading west on the North Missouri Railroad Line to Mexico Missouri. Their mission was to join forces with Col. Franz Sigel. When the train was about six miles west of St. Charles, the Union troops found that they were entering an area that had not yet been taken over by Union forces therefore occasional gunfire occurred as a warning for the occupiers to get out of town.

Upon arriving in Wentzville in the evening, the soldiers ate supper, then proceeded down the railroad line into the dark and rainy night. About three miles west of town the train was attacked. Union Soldiers stepped off of the train to see what was going on but the Confederates could not be found.

After re-boarding the train, they returned to Wentzville where the wounded were treated at the Wentzville Hotel (present site of the West Allen Grill). The main room of the hotel was made into a temorary hospital.

The next morning, the Union soldiers continued their journey. Again they were attacked. After repulsing there attacks by Missouri Bushwackers, the train was able to proceed to link up with Sigel in Mexico Missouri. The actual number wounded or killed in this engagement is unknown. Some accounts place wounded at 30 and killed at 7. Cannon balls found near the railroad tracks in the area are on display at the Wentzville Historical Society’s Museum room at the Green Lantern Center.

A historic marker commemorating this event is located just west of linn Avenue on Peaarce Boulevard in Bicentenial Park.

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