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Situated on the Kentucky Bend of the Mississippi River, the city of New Madrid is the county seat of New Madrid County, Missouri. Settled in the late 1770s, the town was originally platted by the Spanish in 1783, who named all of its streets for saints, except for Limit Street, which formed the northern boundary of the city. Before the river was stabilized in the 1890s, the river steadily encroached upon the town. As the town moved back out of the flood waters, new additions were added, many of which later fell into the river. When the town receded just ahead of the eroding banks of the river, street names that ran parallel with the river were lost, including Limit, Lawrence, Perry, and Prairie, while most of the streets running north retained their names, although some were discontinued or changed. The Battle of Island Number Ten, a Mississippi River battle was fought near New Madrid from February 28 to April 8, 1862, eventually resulting in the first Union victory on the Mississippi River, opening the river to the Union Navy as far as Fort Pillow. New Madrid is just east of Interstate Highway 55, east of Lilbourn, northeast of Marston and Howardville, and south of Ristine and La Forge.



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