Battle of Roan's Tan Yard
|Battle of Roan's Tan Yard|
|Part of the American Civil War|
|United States (Union)||Missouri State Guard|
|Commanders and leaders|
|W.M.G. Torrence||John A. Poindexter|
|1st Missouri Cavalry
2nd Missouri Cavalry
4th Ohio Cavalry
1st Iowa Cavalry
Birge's Western Sharpshooters
|Missouri State Guard|
|Casualties and losses|
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 Missouri State Guard 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.
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 
Confederate (800 men)
- 5th Regiment, 3rd Division Missouri State Guard (Col. John A. Poindexter)
- Union — 6 killed, 19 wounded.
- Confederate — 40 killed, 80 wounded, 28 captured.
- 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
- U.S. National Park Service battle summary
- U.S. War Dept., The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume VIII, Chapter XVIII, pg. 49, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1880–1901.
- National Park Services battlefield survey