The Front Blog

Conversations from the Four Rivers Region

Datebook: November 7 – Battle of Belmont 150 Years Ago

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The Battle of Belmont was fought on November 7, 1861, in Mississippi County, Missouri. It was the first combat test in the American Civil War for Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant, whose troops in this battle were the “nucleus” of the Union’s notable Army of the Tennessee. On November 6, Grant sailed from Cairo, Illinois, to attack the Confederate fortress at Columbus, Kentucky. The next morning, he learned that Confederate troops had crossed the Mississippi River to Belmont, Missouri. He landed his men on the Missouri side and marched to Belmont. Grant’s troops overran the Confederate camp and destroyed it. However, the scattered Confederate forces quickly reorganized and were reinforced from Columbus. They then counterattacked, supported by heavy artillery fire from across the river. Grant retreated to his riverboats and took his men to Paducah, Kentucky. The Confederates claimed Belmont as a Southern victory, but it was actually inconclusive. Grant had staged a demonstration and it was beaten off. Union losses were 607 (120 dead, 383 wounded, and 104 captured or missing). Confederate casualties were slightly higher at 641 (105 killed, 419 wounded, 106 captured, and 11 missing). The most important result of the battle was simply to give Grant combat experience at commanding a large force. It also gave President Abraham Lincoln, who was desperate for his armies to attack the Confederates somewhere that winter, a positive impression of Grant.

It’s Monday, November 7

The Murray State University Jazz Band and Jazz Orchestra perform their Fall Big Band Concert tomorrow night at 7:30 in Murray State’s Lovett Auditorium. The free hour long program includes jazz and standards from the great American Songbook.

Murray’s Playhouse in the Park fundraises with “Murray Dance Stars” Friday, November 18th at the Curris Center Ballroom. Tickets are $50 for a VIP table seat, $25 for General Admission. The Playhouse seeks to meet a match of up to $7500. Get tickets from one of the stars: Lance Allison, Erin Carrico, Gale Cornelison, Tawnya Hunter, Judi Little, Dr. William Robinson or Mark Welch.

First Presbyterian Church in Murray hosts a come and go as you wish event called Ecclesiaudio, sounds for sacred spaces, Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. Meditation and prayer occurs with soundscape created by Like Water, the duo Danny Granstaff and Dean Hughes of Princeton, and presenters from Nashville and Murray. The church is at 1601 Main.

WKMS continues its quiet fall fundraising. See wkms.org. Thanks!

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