I received a series of photographs and the following narrative from veteran dioramist Stephen Schultheis, Jr., whose previous work has been featured here on the JRGS’s Charge! blog in the past.
Here is a selection of the photos he submitted of his impressive layout.
“My diorama is of the battle of Wilson’s Creek, southwest of Springfield, Missouri. It took place on August 10, 1861, not long after the first battle of Manassas/Bull Run. Nathaniel Lyon, the first Federal general killed in the Civil War, died in this battle.
“Missouri, being a border state during the war, had not committed soldiers to fight for the Confederacy. Missouri had State Guardsmen, who fought for secession. They were led by Sterling Price, a veteran of the war with Mexico. The Confederate army, led by Ben McCulloch, was also at this battle and worked in conjunction with the State Guard of Missouri. Their plan was to push the Federal army out of the southwest corner of the state.
“Missouri was a true hot spot during the early years of the war. The Federal surprise attack on the “Southern army” almost led to a route but the inability of the Federal advance to push the secesh from the field led to a Southern victory and pushed the Federals back to Springfield and Rolla.
“The diorama depicts the center of the second ‘Southern’ assault on Bloody Hill. The Federal infantry regiments of the 1st Missouri, 1st Kansas, U. S. Army Regulars (Steele) and the 1st Iowa were the defensive line to this second assault. The Federal artillery is the Totten Battery.
“The Secessionist units of the State Guard are those of Hughes, Weightman, and the dismounted cavalry of Cawthorn. The lone Confederate unit is the cavalry of the 1st Arkansas Rifles.
“The grade of Bloody Hill varied from 3% to 9% approximately. The size of the figures are 15mm/5/8 inches. The layout is 4 feet by 4 feet. The landscape was slightly varied but mostly was made up of prairie fields with a lot of scrub brush, ravines and wooded sections.
“The armies fought each other at close range due to the terrain, as well as the poor weapons the State Guard carried at the time.”