Well, the boys of the 8th Missouri Cavalry didn't waste much time trying to get back to home soil and beat back the invading Federal forces once they re-mustered to Confederate service on 11 December 1862 at Pocahontas, Arkansas. Of course, many of the troopers already had about a year of experience under their belts from their time in the First Division of the Missouri State Guard. But under Colonel William L. Jeffers, they had formed a new Cavalry Regiment, the 8th Missouri, CS. Approximately 900 strong, these troopers were ready to save their families, homes and really their hopes, dreams and Constitutional rights of self-government and determination. I can only imagine that their spirits were high as they stepped off to attack enemy strongholds.
The Battle of Hartville was the first action of the newly formed 8th MO Cavalry Regiment. Here is one synopsis of the battle. Another description is here for your historical pleasure. The red county is Wright County Missouri. Greene County, where Springfield is located, is depicted in the map to the right.
If you follow the links above there are some pretty fair descriptions of the importance of this battle. Perhaps this bit from Wikipedia on the battle sums it up the best:
" Elements of both sides observed the other withdrawing from the field as night approached, and both claimed victory as a result. The real results were mixed. From the Union command's perspective they had repulsed Marmaduke's assaults inflicting heavy casualties, but the Federals had been forced to leave the field. From the Confederate perspective Marmaduke had united his force and secured his line of withdrawal. He set up a field hospital in town and could claim to control the field briefly. However, he was compelled to make a rapid retreat into Arkansas and then an arduous trek to winter camp. Additionally, the frontal assaults had resulted in the death or mortal wounding of several senior CSA officers including: brigade commander Col. Joseph C. Porter, Col. Emmett MacDonald, Lt. Col. John Wimer, and Major George R. Kirtley.
The raid itself caused great disruption of Federal forces in the region and a number of small outposts had been overrun, destroyed, or abandoned. However, the other major objective, the depot at Springfield, remained in Union hands. The successful escape of the raiding party did foreshadow the vulnerability of Federal Missouri to fast-moving expeditions."
Indeed, this was not the last raid that Brigadier General Marmaduke undertook with his fine cavalry units. In reality, the units involved, including the 8th Missouri Cavalry Regiment, were very much alive in the fight in the often over-looked Trans-Mississippi Department throughout the entire portion of the War of Southern Independence. In fact, just a year and half or so after this battle under Major General Sterling Price, the largest cavalry movement on the American continent would occur - albeit with far more grandiose aims than taking an armory in Springfield - Price's Raid of Fall 1864 with the Army of Missouri.