Nathaniel Lyon

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Nathaniel Lyon (1818-1861) - Born 14 Jul 1818 in Ashford, Connecticut. A career U.S. Army Infantry Officer and United States Military Academy graduate. Died 10 Aug 1861, at the Battle of Wilson's Creek, Springfield, Missouri, during the U.S. Civil War.

Nathaniel Lyon
Nathaniel Lyon Monument in Lyon Park by St. Louis Arsenal

He entered the United States Military Academy 1 Jul 1837 and graduated in the Class of 1841 ranking 11th out of 52 graduates.

He served in the Mexican-American War and was wounded at Belen Gate during the battle for Mexico City. He was breveted Captain, 20 Aug 1847, for his conduct at the Battles of Contreras and Churubusco, Mexico.

He served in the U.S. Civil War on the Union side and distinguished himself by securing the St. Louis Arsenal and other United States property and preventing its loss to the Confederate forces and sympathizers. On 10 May 1861, riots broke out in St. Louis. Lyons' suppressed the uprising with his troops. Lyon was promoted to brigadier general and he assumed command of the Army of the West on 2 Jul 1861. He took action to secure Missouri for the union that eventually culminated in a battle between Lyon's troops and the superior forces of the Missouri State Guard at Springfield. The union forces lost the battle but nullified the Confederate forces and Missouri was secured for the Union. Nathaniel Lyon was killed in the battle while rallying his troops. He had one horse shot from under him and was wounded twice, he mounted a second horse and was shot dead urging his troops forward. He died 10 Aug 1861, at the Battle of Wilson's Creek, Springfield, Missouri. He is buried in Phoenixville Cemetery, Eastford, Connecticut.

See the links below for a more detailed account of his life.

Nathaniel Lyon had three forts and numerous counties named after him:


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