Battle of Hartville

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Battle of Hartville

January 9, 1863


January 11, 1863


Wright County, Missouri


Trans-Mississippi Theater


Marmaduke’s First Expedition into Missouri


Confederate victory

33 star flag.png
Conf Navy Jack.png

Detachments of infantry,
cavalry, and artillery

4th Division, I Corps,
Trans-Mississippi Department


Samuel Merrill
Colonel, USA

John S. Marmaduke
Brigadier General, CSA







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. (NPS summary)