Relocating to Springfield, MO

1838 incorporation

Springfield was incorporated in 1838 . That same year, Cherokee Native Americans were coercively removed by the U.S. government from their lands s in Alabama, Tennessee , Georgia and North Carolina to the “Indian Territory.” Their route became known as the Trail of Tears due to the thousands of Cherokee deaths on the journey and as a result of the move . The Trail of Tears passed through the Springfield area via what is known today as the Old Wire Road. The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail auto tour route is along Interstate 44 westward to U.S. 160 (West By-pass in Springfield) and westward along U.S. 60.

The Old Wire Road, once known as the Military Road, served until the mid-1840s as a tie between Springfield and the garrison at Fort Smith, Arkansas. By 1858, the Butterfield Overland Stage began utilizing the road offering passageway to California. Two years later, the region’s first telegraph line was put up along the road, and it was dubbed the Telegraph or Wire Road. The road proved vital during the Civil War, and its mostnotable connection is to the Battle of Pea Ridge in Arkansas. While portions of the road exist today, the most easily accessible is within Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield.

1848 The railroad arrives

The Missouri Pacific (then the Pacific Railroad) was the first railroad to travel across the Mississippi River and thence into Springfield and other locations. Eventually on the St. Louis San Francisco Railroad (Frisco Railroad) established its headquarters in Springfield, Missouri. Although some in the area thought of it as large , it was one of the smaller railroads (the Missouri Pacific was in 12 states and the Frisco was in about three to6 states). Commercial and industrial diversification came with the railroads and strengthened the City of Springfield and North Springfield when the 2 towns merged 17 years later in 1887. Today visitors can take pleasure in  the view from the Jefferson Avenue Footbridge, peering below to the locomotive path which is still in use.

1861–65 Civil War

With the Civil War imminent and Missouri a border state, Springfield was divided in its sentiments. On August 10, 1861, army units clashed in the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, the site of the first major struggle west of the Mississippi River, involving about 5,400 Union troops and 12,000 Confederates. Gen. Nathaniel Lyon was killed, the first Union general to die in battle, and the Confederates were victorious. Union troops fell back to Lebanon, then Rolla, and regrouped. When they returned to Springfield, the Confederates had withdrawn.

The First Battle of Springfield, or Zagonyi’s Charge, occurred on October 25, 1861. It was the only Union victory that year in southwestern Missouri. The fighting led to increased military activity in Missouri and set the stage for the Battle of Pea Ridge in March 1862, which essentially cemented Union control of the state.

For the next year, possession of the city seesawed. Then on January 8, 1863, Confederate forces under Gen. John S. Marmaduke advanced toward the town square and the Second Battle of Springfield ensued. As evening approached, the Confederates withdrew. The next morning, Gen. Marmaduke sent a message to Union forces asking for proper burials for Confederate casualties. The city would stay under Union control until the end of the war.

Two years after the war concluded, Springfield National Cemetery was created. The dead of both the North and the South were interred there, though separated by a low stone wall (later removed). In 1960, the National Park Service, recognizing the significance of the 1861 battle, designated Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield. The 1,750-acre (7.1 km2) battlefield near Republic remains greatly unchanged and stands as one of the most historically pristine battle sites in the land.

Free Relocation Packages for Springfield, MO

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