Nathaniel Lyon, an American soldier, born at Ashford, Conn., July 14, 1819, killed at Wilson's creek, Missouri, Aug. 10,1861. He graduated at West Point in 1841, and served in the Florida and Mexican wars. From 1848 to 1853 he was on duty in California and Oregon, and from 1854 to 1861 in Kansas and Missouri. At the outbreak of the civil war he was in command of the arsenal at St. Louis, and broke up a camp of secessionists established by the governor, C. F. Jackson. Jackson then assembled a force at Boonesville, where he was routed (June 17, 1861) by Lyon, now brigadier general of United States volunteers. On Aug. 2 Lyon defeated a body of confederates under McCulloch at Dry Spring, near Springfield; but McCulloch, being soon after joined by Price, had a preponderance of force so great that it seemed likely that he would be able to hold all of S. W. Missouri. Rather than abandon this region, Lyon resolved to risk a battle at Wilson's creek, where, after having been twice wounded, he was leading into action a regiment whose colonel had fallen, when he was shot in the breast, and killed on the spot. He bequeathed $30,000, nearly all his property, to the government to aid in the prosecution of the war.

In 1860, while on duty in Kansas, he published in a local newspaper a series of articles advocating the election of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency. These were collected in a volume entitled "The Last Political Writings of Gen. Nathaniel Lyon" (New York, 1862).