Lyon, Nathaniel

Lyon, Nathaniel,

1818–61, Union general in the American Civil War, b. Eastford, Conn. After serving against the Seminole and in the Mexican War, he was stationed in California and Kansas until the outbreak of the Civil War, when he was put in command of the St. Louis arsenal. He immediately broke up Camp Jackson, where the secessionist governor, Claiborne F. JacksonJackson, Claiborne Fox,
1806–62, governor of Missouri, b. Fleming co., Ky. In 1822 he moved to Missouri, where he practiced law. Speaker of the state legislature (1844–46), he later was a leader of the pro-slavery Democrats who eventually defeated Sen. Thomas H.
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, had quartered the state militia. By the spring of 1861, Lyon had subdued all the hostile sections of the state. When a Confederate force from Arkansas advanced into Missouri and was joined by Missouri's secessionist militia, Lyon attacked them at Wilson's creek, Aug. 10. He was killed in the battle.
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Lyon, Nathaniel

(1818–61) soldier; born in Ashford, Conn. A West Point graduate (1841), he served in the Mexican War. The North's first hero of the Civil War, his prompt action as commander of the garrison in St. Louis saved the city for the Union. Lyon led a campaign to drive Confederate forces out of Missouri and was killed in action at Wilson's Creek on August 10, 1861.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.