The Battle of Centralia was fought on September 27, 1864, in a field 2 miles southeast of the town. Southern Partisans commanded by "Bloody Bill" Anderson met and destroyed a Union force under Maj. A.V.E. Johnson. The battle site is accessible to the public thanks to the Friends of the Centralia Battlefield.
“The Thermopylae of the West,” so named in a definitive study published in 1914, was fought on September 26-27, 1864. The battle ended with a ferocious and unsuccessful Confederate assault on Fort Davidson. (See Fort Davidson SHS)
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