Battle of Lexington State Historic Site

Quick Facts

Battle of Lexington State Historic Site

Missouri

(660) 259-4654

Map Directions

Things To Do

     

Overview

It was once called "the largest and best arranged dwelling house west of St. Louis." Today Oliver Anderson's mansion is best known for the three bloody days in 1861 when it was a fiercely contested prize in a Civil War battle between the Union army and the Missouri State Guard.

Today, it is restored and furnished in the mid-19th century fashion, but it still displays damage from the shot and shell that hammered it during the Battle of Lexington. The house changed hands three times, and soldiers met their death in the downstairs hallway.

The battlefield is quiet now, and restored gardens and orchards dot the landscape. But the remnants of the trenches can still be seen, and the graves of unknown Union dead echo a time less peaceful.

In addition to tours of the 1853 Anderson House, you may explore the 100 acres of the battlefield preserved at the historic site. A visitor center with exhibits and audio-visual programs explains the stirring events of Sept. 18-20, 1861, and why the "Battle of the Hemp Bales" lifted Southern spirits and furthur dampened Northern hopes of an easy victory in the struggle for Missouri.

Map of Battle of Lexington (MO)

Latitude, Longitude: 39.189425, -93.879976

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Activities

  • Hiking

    A one-half mile self-guided walking tour of the battlefield is available. There are four kiosks on the grounds, which describe the action that took place at those locations. You can pick up a map in the visitor center during business hours or from the brochure dispenser outside the visitor center after hours.

  • Historic Sites

    To get the most out of your visit and to better understand what occurred here in 1861, take a tour inside one of the best antebellum homes in Missouri. Knowledgeable interpreters conduct guided tours of the historic Anderson House and battleground on the hour. Each tour takes approximately 50 minutes and includes the cellar, first floor and second floor of the Anderson House, where there are several sets of stairs and uneven terrain. For those unable to climb stairs, informational booklets with descriptive text and photographs are available

  • Picnicking

    Relax in the small picnic area with five tables east of the visitor center parking lot.

Seasonality/Weather

The site is open sunrise to sunset, daily, and year-round, excluding some holidays. Days in the late fall will be cooler and less busy which can result in an enjoyable experience.

Directions

Driving

From St. Louis Take I-70 west for approximately 4 hours. Exit onto Hwy. 13 north, remaining on it for 19 miles into Lexington. Travel through Lexington to the intersection with Main Street. Continue north, straight on John Shea Dr., then left/west onto Delaware St. until reaching the historic site entrance.

From Kansas City Take I-70 east for approximately one hour. Exit onto Hwy. 13 north, remaining on it for 19 miles into Lexington. Travel through Lexington to the intersection with Main Street. Continue north, straight on John Shea Dr., then left/west onto Delaware St. until reaching the historic site entrance.

From Independence Take U.S. Hwy. 24 east to the Hwy. 13 exit. Take Hwy. 13 north through Lexington to the intersection with Main Street. Continue north, straight on John Shea Drive, then left/west onto Delaware St. until reaching the historic site entrance.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(660) 259-4654

Links