News Release 015

Land donated to Battle of Lexington State Historic Site

Volume 38-015
(For Immediate Release)
Contact: Sue Holst
573-751- 6510

JEFFERSON CITY, MO., JAN. 14, 2010 -- A recent donation helps complete a part of history at Battle of Lexington State Historic Site in Lexington, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources announced today.

Mary Elizabeth White and Lee Summerlin recently donated 2.4 acres of land adjoining the east side of the historic site. The forested property contains a ravine where a small spring-fed creek flows. During the Civil War Battle of Lexington Sept. 18-20, 1861, both sides needed water so both the Missouri State Guard and Union troops fought to use and protect this creek.

Richard Musser, a Missouri State Guard soldier protecting the water supply during the battle, was quoted as saying "The only supply of water left to them was a half-filled cistern inside (their fortification). They very soon showed signs of distress for water for our pickets detected some camp women coming out from the earthworks to some springs in our front, relying on the chivalry of the Missourians not to fire on a petticoat. These springs were in the bottom of a ravine, about halfway between their parapet and our lines."

The western side of the ravine was already within the historic site property. With the recent donation, the eastern side of the ravine is now part of the historic site as well. "This donation helps us complete that part of history so now we have both sides of the ravine where the soldiers fought," said Janae Fuller, administrator at Battle of Lexington State Historic Site.

"Donations such as this are very important to the state park system because they help us protect pieces of history that might otherwise be lost," said Bill Bryan, director of the department's Division of State Parks. "It is this kind of generosity that has helped the state park system become what it is today."

Battle of Lexington State Historic Site, located at 1101 Delaware St., preserves and interprets the 1861 Civil War battle, which is also known as the "Battle of the Hemp Bales." In addition to the 106-acre battlefield, the historic site includes the Anderson-Davis House, which was used by both sides as a field hospital during the battle.

For more information about the site, contact Battle of Lexington State Historic Site at 660-259-4654 or the Department of Natural Resources at 800-334-6946 (voice) or 800-379-2419 (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf). For information on state parks and historic sites, visit