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Battle of Roan's Tan Yard
Part of the American Civil War
DateJanuary 8, 1862 (1862-01-08)
LocationRandolph County, Missouri
Result Union victory
United States United States (Union) Confederate States of America CSA (Confederacy)
Commanders and leaders
W.M.G. Torrence John A. Poindexter
Units involved
1st Missouri Cavalry
2nd Missouri Cavalry
4th Ohio Cavalry
1st Iowa Cavalry
Birge's Western Sharpshooters
Missouri State Guard
450 800
Casualties and losses
25 total
6 killed
19 wounded
148 total
40 killed
80 wounded
28 captured

The Battle of Roan's Tan Yard (also known as Silver Creek) was an action during the American Civil War, occurring on January 8, 1862, in Randolph County, Missouri.

Rumors and sightings of a Confederate force in the Howard County area had circulated for more than a week, but the Union troops could not locate them. On January 7, 1862, information came to hand that Col. John A. Poindexter and his force of 800 Confederate recruits were camped on Silver Creek. Detachments from various Union units came together and headed towards the Confederate camp which was about 14 miles northwest of Fayette. After finding the camp despite heavy fog, the Federal troops attacked in the late afternoon, routing the enemy in only 40 minutes and sending those that were not killed, wounded, or captured fleeing for safety. Two companies of Federal cavalry were ordered to cut off the Confederates' retreat, but darkness and heavy fog, together with thick underbrush, rendered it impossible.

Afterwards, the Union force destroyed the camp to prevent its further use. The Confederates could no longer use their Randolph County base for recruiting and raiding.

Forces engaged

Union (450 men)

  • 4 companies, 1st Missouri Cavalry (Maj. James M. Hubbard)
  • 3 companies, 2nd Missouri Cavalry aka "Merrill's Horse" (Maj. Charles B. Hunt)
  • 1st Battalion, 1st Iowa Cavalry (Maj. W. G. M. Torrence)
  • 4th Ohio Independent Cavalry Company (Capt. John S. Foster)
  • Detachment of Birge's Western Sharpshooters [1]

Confederate (800 men)

Approximate losses

  • Union — 6 killed, 19 wounded.
  • Confederate — 40 killed, 80 wounded, 28 captured.


  1. The participation by the Western Sharpshooters is not recorded in the Official Report, but is verified by the official report of regimental surgeon of the 1st Iowa Cav in "A History of the First Regiment of Iowa Cavalry Veteran Volunteers" by Charles H. Lathrop, Beers & Eaton, Lyons, Iowa , 1890

Coordinates: 39°19′29″N 92°33′30″W / 39.3246°N 92.5584°W / 39.3246; -92.5584

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