Confederate Forces Commanded by Maj. Gen. Sterling Price and
Brig. Gen. James S. Rains
Conclusion: Confederate Victory
The Battle of Dry Wood Creek was also known as the Battle of Big Dry Wood Creek or the Battle of the Mules. The Confederate troops were successful in their campaign to force the Union army to abandon southwestern Missouri and to concentrate on holding the Missouri Valley.
Following the Battle of Wilson's Creek, Maj. Gen. Sterling Price and his Missouri State Guard occupied Springfield. Price headed northwest with 6,000 poorly trained guardsmen to capture Fort Scott, Kansas. Former Pro-Union Kansas "Jayhawker" and senator Col. James M. "Jim" Lane led a 600-man battalion of Union cavalry from Fort Scott to learn the whereabouts of the rumored Confederate force. They were using the fort as a base for raids into Missouri
They soon encountered a Confederate force, about 6,000-strong, near Big Dry Wood Creek, roughly 12 miles from the fort, along the Kansas-Missouri border. Lane surprised the Confederates, but soon the Confederate army's numerical superiority soon determined the battle ’s outcome. They skirmished with them for about 2 hours through tall prairie grass. Price captured their mules and forced Lane to retire.
Lane withdrew to Fort Scott and, after securing it and providing for its security, headed north to guard the approaches to Kansas City. Price advanced north toward Lexington, recruiting more pro-Confederates. The Confederates were forcing the Federals to abandon southwestern Missouri and to concentrate on holding the Missouri Valley.