Click here to visit the Mary Whitney Phelps Tent 22 website.
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Namesake of Tent No. 22: On August 10, 1861, Union General Nathaniel Lyon was killed in the battle of Wilson's Creek. He was the first Union General to meet his death in the war. His body could not be properly cared for before the Union forces retreated. Mrs. Phelps took the body to the farm and later temporarily buried it until his family could come and claim the body. Congress awarded her $20,000 for her service in caring for General Lyon's body.
Mrs. Phelps used the money to establish an orphanage for children who had lost their fathers in the war. When the money ran out she organized fund raisers. She tended the orphanage as superintendent and teacher, and managed a cheese-making venture conducted on her farm near Springfield.
Tent No. 22 and the Springfield-Greene County Library co-sponsored a Civil War Fair on September 19, 2009. Civil War related organizations participating with Tent No. 22 were: Wilson's Creek National Battlefield staff, Greene County Library staff, Wilson's Creek National Battlefield Foundation, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Sons of Confederate Veterans, and the Civil War Roundtable of the Ozarks. Prof. Emeritus Hal Funk presented a program entitled "Mary Todd Lincoln" and Library staff member, John Rutherford, presented "Tracing Your Civil War Ancestor." Each organization was given an opportunity to tell about their organization. Over 100 people attended the event.
Tent No. 22 celebrated its 10th Anniversary on October 31, 2009, with a luncheon at the Tower Club in Springfield, Missouri. Twenty-eight members and five guests attended, including Department President Phyllis Freeman. Past Presidents recounted highlights of each year since chartering. Tributes were given to President Abraham Lincoln, General Ulysses S. Grant, General Nathaniel Lyon, and to each member's ancestor. Deceased members were memorialized with the ringing of a bell.
On Monday, December 21, 2009, our Tent observed the setting of the Fort Sand Springs marker just west of the site of the Fort in Webster County. During the Civil War, Fort Sand Springs, which was located on the Wire Road, was an important Federal satellite outpost, and locally-recruited units used it as a base of operations for Union forays into the region. Confederate General John S. Marmaduke's expedition into Missouri resulted in a skirmish and the burning of this Federal fort on January 9, 1863.
Tent No. 22 completed a book documenting Civil War monuments and markers in a 24 county area in southwest Missouri. The book contains photos of the markers, along with transcriptions and historical data.
In 2011 Tent No. 22 dedicated a new marker in honor of Mary Whitney Phelps at the site of the orphanage she founded.