What Was George Bent’s Involvement in the Civil War and How Did Fort Lyon Get its Name?

Chuck and Mike Bowen visited the Battle of Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield Sunday, October 22. It is located near Springfield, MO. 

The Battle of Wilson’s Creek was a Confederate victory, led by General Sterling Price. Among his troops was George Bent. After Bent was finished with his schooling years, which he completed in the Kansas City and St. Louis areas, he enlisted to fight in the Civil War. Since Missouri was a border state, he could choose to fight as either a Confederate or Union. It is likely he chose Confederate since the Bent family in Missouri was slave owners. 

George Bent didn’t write much to historians about his time in the Civil War. We do learn from his letters he fought in four Civil War battles, all between 1861 and 1862. The Battle of Wilson’s Creek was August 1861. Bent said he fought under Price at Wilson’s Creek. The Civil War began in April 1861. During the Battle of Corinth, Bent was captured and upon his release, he was sent back to Colorado Territory. He still saw the Union as the enemy when he fought Cavalry soldiers in Colorado Territory. By 1864, George was living as a Cheyenne warrior in Black Kettle’s camp and was in camp at Sand Creek. 

Union General Nathaniel Lyon was the first Union General to be killed during the Civil War. Fort Wise was renamed to Fort Lyon after him. There is a stone marker near where it’s believed he was killed in action. During the fight, his body was moved and left a few times. At one point it was left under a big oak tree. Eventually the body was taken and laid on a bed at the John Ray house. 

Fort Lyon/Fort Wise in the distance from Bent’s New Fort.
From Fort Lyon/Fort Wise showing Bent’s New Fort on a hill to the left.

Check out the video above to see more about our visit to the Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield. 

See our book for more information about George Bent. 

You may enjoy reading about our incredible Sand Creek discovery. Check out more blogs on this website and click on the Artifacts tab found at the top of the page. 

Click the Buy the Book tab in the top right of the page or you can also get our book here: WeFoundTheLostSandCreekSite

Follow us on Facebook: BowenHistory 

Don’t forget to comment below and share this blog so anyone that would like to be added to our blog update list can email us at to let us know. 

Share this post

1 comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *