Two Union columns, one under Colonel J.B. Plummer and another under Colonel William P. Carlin, advanced on Fredericktown to overtake Brigadier General M. Jeff Thompson and his men.
On the morning of October 21, Thompson's force left Fredericktown headed south. About twelve miles out, Thompson left his supply train in a secure position and returned toward Fredericktown.
He then learned that Union forces had occupied Fredericktown, so Thompson spent the morning attempting to discern the enemy numbers and disposition. Unable to do so, he attacked anyway, around noon.
Plummer, with his force and a detachment of Colonel William P. Carlin's troops, met the Rebel forces outside town and a two-hour fight ensued. Overwhelming Union forces took their toll, and Thompson's men retreated. Union cavalry pursued.
Fredericktown cemented Union control of southeastern Missouri.
Result(s): Union victory
Location: Madison County
Campaign: Operations to Control Missouri (1861)
Date(s): October 21, 1861
Principal Commanders: Colonel J.B. Plummer and Colonel William P. Carlin [US]; Brigadier General M. Jeff Thompson [CS]
Forces Engaged: Brigade size force (approx. 2,500-3,500) [US]; Missouri State Guard [CS]
Estimated Casualties: Total unknown (US unknown; CS 62)