Last modified on June 27, 2016, at 04:16

Battle of Belmont

Battle of Belmont

November 7, 1861


Same day


Mississippi County, Missouri


Western Theater


Operations at the Ohio and Mississippi River Confluence


Union victory

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Grant's Expeditionary Command,
District of Southeast Missouri

First Division,
Western Department


Ulysses S. Grant
Brigadier General, USA

Gideon J. Pillow
Brigadier General, CSA



5,000 est.


Killed: 120
Wounded: 383
Missing/captured: 104

Killed: 105
Wounded: 419
Missing/captured: 117


On November 6, 1861, Brig. Gen. U.S. Grant left Cairo, Illinois, by steamers, in conjunction with two gunboats, to make a demonstration against Columbus, Kentucky. The next morning, Grant learned that Confederate troops had crossed the Mississippi River from Columbus to Belmont, Missouri, to intercept two detachments sent in pursuit of Brig. Gen. M. Jeff Thompson and, possibly, to reinforce Maj. Gen. Sterling Price’s force. He landed on the Missouri shore, out of the range of Confederate artillery at Columbus, and started marching the mile to Belmont. At 9:00 in the morning, an engagement began. The Federals routed the Confederates out of their Belmont cantonment and destroyed the Rebel supplies and equipment they found because they did not have the means to carry them off. The scattered Confederate forces reorganized and received reinforcements from Columbus. Counterattacked by the Confederates, the Union force withdrew, reembarked, and returned to Cairo. Grant did not accomplish much in this operation, but, at a time when little Union action occurred anywhere, many were heartened by any activity. (NPS summary)