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The Battle of Byram's Ford (Big Blue River), MO October 22-23, 1864, US Civil War

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  • Valentine Nathaniel Lucas (USA) (1805 - 1865)
    After the Lucas farm was burned by Col. Price's Raiders (CSA) he and his sons fought during the U.S. Civil War at the battles of the Big and Little Blue (river). Mr. Lucas came to this county May 1, ...
  • Ebenezer Westley Lucas (USA) (1839 - 1921)
    Fought during the U.S. Civil War at the battles of the Big and Little Blue (river). Received a military pension. He passed at the Los Angeles Veteran's Hospital, California. THOSE WHO JOINED THE SIXT...
  • Calvin Wallace Lucas (USA) (1831 - 1900)
    Fought during the U.S. Civil War at the battles of the Big and Little Blue (river).
  • Daniel Perry Lucas (USA) (1835 - 1896)
    Fought during the U.S. Civil War at the battles of the Big and Little Blue (river).
  • Nathaniel Ebenezer Lucas (USA) (1832 - d.)
    Fought during the U.S. Civil War at the battles of the Big and Little Blue (river).

The Battle of Byram's Ford was a minor engagement of the American Civil War, comprising two separate skirmishes on October 22–23, 1864, in Jackson County, Missouri. It formed a part of the larger Battle of Westport, which ultimately resulted in a Union victory and the end of all major Confederate operations in Missouri. This battle is also sometimes referred to as the Battle of the Big Blue River.

Maj. Gen. Sterling Price’s Army of Missouri was headed west towards Kansas City and Fort Leavenworth. Maj. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis’s Army of the Border, in and around Westport, was blocking the Confederates’ way west and Maj. Gen. Alfred Pleasonton’s provisional cavalry division was pressing Price’s army’s rear. Price had nearly 500 wagons with him and required a good ford over the Big Blue River to facilitate the passage of his supplies. Byram’s Ford was the best ford in the area and became a strategic point during the fighting around Westport. On October 22, Maj. Gen. James G. Blunt’s division held a defensive position on the Big Blue River’s west bank. Around 10:00 am on the 22nd, part of Brig. Gen. Joseph O. Shelby’s Confederate division conducted a frontal attack on Blunt’s men. This attack was a ruse because the rest of Shelby’s men flanked Blunt’s hasty defenses, forcing the Federals to retire to Westport. Price’s wagon train and about 5,000 head of cattle then crossed the Big Blue River at Byram’s Ford and headed southward toward Little Santa Fe and safety. Pleasonton’s cavalry was hot on the tail of Price’s army. Brig. Gen. John S. Marmaduke’s Rebel division held the west bank of the Big Blue at Byram’s Ford to prevent Pleasonton from attacking Price’s rear. Pleasonton assaulted Marmaduke at Byram’s Ford, around 8:00 am, on the 23rd. Three hours later, Marmaduke’s men had enough and fell back toward Westport. With Pleasonton across the river, he was now an additional threat to Price who was fighting Curtis’s Army of the Border at Westport. Price had to retreat south.

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