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 Research ACW US War Dept. Official Records HTML Ser. I, Vol. 3, Ch. X–Reports.

THE
WAR OF THE REBELLION:
A COMPILATION OF THE
OFFICIAL RECORDS
OF THE
UNION AND CONFEDERATE ARMIES.

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CHAPTER X.
OPERATIONS IN MISSOURI, ARKANSAS, KANSAS, AND THE INDIAN TERRITORY.*
May 10-November 19, 1861.
(Wilson’s Creek, Lexington, Belmont)
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REPORTS, ETC.

SUMMARY OF THE PRINCIPAL EVENTS.**

May10, 1861.–Capture of Camp Jackson, near Saint Louis, Mo.
11, 1861.–Riot in Saint Louis, Mo.
Brig. Gen. William S. Harney, U. S. Army, resumes command of the Department of the West.
13, 1861.–Brig. Gen. Ben. McCulloch, C. S. Army, assigned to command in the Indian Territory.
15, 1861.–Expedition from Saint Louis to Potosi, Mo.
21, 1861.–Convention between General Harney and Maj. Gen. Sterling Price, Missouri State Guard.
31, 1861.–Brig. Gen. Nathaniel Lyon, U. S. Army, supersedes General Harney.
June6, 1861.–Missouri transferred to the Department of the Ohio, commanded by Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, U. S. Army.
17, 1861.–Engagement at Booneville, Mo.
24, 1861.–Skirmish at Jackson, Mo.
July3, 1861.–The Western Department constituted.
4, 1861.–Skirmish at Farmington, Mo.
5, 1861.–Engagement near Carthage, Mo., embracing actions at Dry Fork Creek and Brier Fork.
Capture of Union troops at Neosho, Mo.
9-11, 1861.–Skirmishes at and near Monroe Station, Mo.
15, 1861.–Skirmish at Mexico, Mo.
Military forces, stores, &c., of Arkansas transferred to the Confederate States.
15-17, 1861.–Skirmish at Wentzville, Mo.
17, 1861.–Skirmish at Fulton, Mo.
17-19, 1861.–Skirmish at Parkersville, Mo.
18, 1861.–Action near Harrisonville, Mo.
Skirmish at Martinsburg, Mo.
20-25, 1861.–Expedition from Springfield to Forsyth, Mo.
22, 1861.–Skirmish at Forsyth, Mo.
Skirmish at Etna, Mo.
Brig. Gen. William J. Hardee, C. S. Army, assumes command in Northwestern Arkansas. {p.2}
24, 1861.–Action at Blue Mills, Mo.
25, 1861.–Maj. Gen. John C. Frémont, U. S. Army, assumes command of the Western Department.
Skirmish at Dug Springs, Mo.
25-27, 1861.–Skirmishes at Harrisonville, Mo.
26, 1861.–Skirmish at McCulla’s Store, Mo.
28, 1861.–New Madrid, Mo., occupied by Confederate troops.
29, 1861.–Brig. Gen. John Pope, U. S. Army, assumes command in Northern Missouri.
Aug.1, 1861.–Skirmish at Edina, Mo.
2, 1861.–Reconnaissance from Ironton to Centreville, Mo.
2, 1861.–Skirmish at Dug Springs, Mo.
3, 1861.–Skirmish at McCulla’s Store, Mo.
5, 1861.–Skirmish at Athens, Mo.
7-10, 1861.–Expedition to Price’s Landing, Commerce, Benton, and Hamburg, Mo.
8, 1861.–Brig. Gen. U. S. Grant, U. S. Army, assumes command of the District of Ironton Mo.
10, 1861.–Battle of Oak Hills, Springfield, or Wilson’s Creek, Mo.
Skirmish at Potosi, Mo.
11, 1861.–Affair at Hamburg, Mo.
14, 1861.–Martial law declared in Saint Louis, Mo.
15, 1861.–Expedition to Saint Genevieve, Mo.
16, 1861.–Expedition to Fredericktown, Mo.
16-21, 1861.–Operations around Kirksville, Mo.
17, 1861.–Affairs at Hunnewell and Palmyra, Mo.
Skirmish at Brunswick, Mo.
19, 1861.–Skirmish at Klapsford, Mo.
Skirmish at Charleston, Mo.
20, 1861.–Skirmish at Fish Lake, Mo.
Attack on railroad train near Lookout Station, Mo.
21-22, 1861.–Skirmishes at Jonesborough, Mo.
23, 1861.–Skirmish at Medoc, Mo.
28, 1861.–Skirmish at Ball’s Mills, Mo.
28-Sept 5, 1861.–Operations in Southeastern Missouri.
29, 1861.–Skirmish at Morse’s Mills, Mo.
30, 1861.–“Emancipation Proclamation,” issued by General Frémont.
30-Sept 7, 1861.–Operations in Northeastern Missouri.
Sept.1, 1861.–Brigadier-General Grant, U. S. Army, assumes command in Southeastern Missouri.
Skirmish at Bennight’s Mills, Mo.
Skirmish near Fort Scott, Kans.
1– 3, 1861.–Expeditions through Jefferson County, Mo.
2, 1861.–The State of Arkansas and all military operations in Missouri placed under the command of Maj. Gen. Leonidas Polk, commanding Confederate Department No. 2.
Action at Dry Wood Creek, Mo.
Expeditions toward Columbia and Iberia, Mo.
Skirmish at Dallas, Mo.
3, 1861.–Columbus and Hickman, Ky., occupied by Confederate forces.****
4, 1861.–Engagement at Hickman and Columbus, Ky.
Action at Shelbina, Mo.
5, 1861.–Skirmish at Papinsville, Mo.
6, 1861.–Paducah, Ky., occupied by U. S. forces.****
Skirmish at Monticello Bridge, Mo. {p.3}
7, 1861.–Expedition to Big Springs, Mo.
8-9, 1861.–Operations against Green’s Guerrillas in Missouri.
8-10, 1861.–Reconnaissance from Cairo, Ill., and engagement at Lucas Bend, Mo.
10, 1861.–Reconnaissance toward Norfolk, Mo.
12, 1861.–Skirmish at Black River, Mo.
13, 1861.–Action at Booneville, Mo.
13-20, 1861.–Siege of Lexington, Mo.
14, 1861.–Skirmish at Old Randolph, Mo.
17, 1861.–Action at Blue Mills Landing, Mo.
Skirmish at Morristown, Mo.
Brig. Gen. B. M. Prentiss, U. S. Army, assigned to command along and north of the Hannibal and Saint Joseph Railroad.
21-22, 1861.–Reconnaissance toward Columbus and skirmish at Mayfield Creek, Ky.****
22 1861.–Destruction of Osceola, Mo.
26, 1861.–Skirmish at Hunter’s farm, near Belmont, Mo.
27, 1861.–Skirmish near Norfolk, Mo.
Oct.2, 1861.–Expedition from Bird’s Point to Charleston, Mo.
7, 1861.–Reconnaissance from Cairo, Ill., to Lucas Bend, Mo.
12-13, 1861.–Skirmishes near Clintonville and on the Pomme de Terre, Mo.
12-25, 1861.–Operations about Ironton and Fredericktown, Mo.
13, 1861.–Action at Wet Glaze, or Dutch or Monday Hollow, near Henrytown, Mo.
14, 1861.–Affair at Linn Creek, Mo.
Skirmish at Underwood’s farm, near Bird’s Point, Mo.
16, 1861.–Skirmish near Linn Creek, Mo.
Descent upon Lexington, Mo., by Union troops.
18, 1861.–Reconnaissance down the Mississippi River.
Skirmish at Warrensburg, Mo.
19, 1861.–Action at Big Hurricane Creek, Missouri.
24, 1861.–Maj. Gen. David Hunter, U. S. Army, ordered to supersede General Frémont.
25, 1861.–Action at Springfield, Mo.
27, 1861.–Skirmish near Spring Hill, Mo.
28, 1861.–Expedition to Fulton Mo.
Nov. 1– 9, 1861.–Expedition from Rolla, Mo., against Freeman’s forces.
2, 1861.–General Frémont relieved by Major-General Hunter.
2-12, 1861.–Operations from Bird’s Point, Cape Girardeau, and Ironton, Mo., against General Thompson’s (Confederate) forces.
6, 1861.–Action at Little Santa Fe, Mo.
7, 1861.–Engagement at Belmont, Mo., and demonstration from Paducah, upon Columbus, Ky.
9, 1861.–The Department of the Missouri constituted.
The Department of Kansas constituted.
11, 1861.–Action at Little Blue, Mo.
13-15, 1861.–Expedition from Greenville to Doniphan, Mo.
13-18, 1861.–Scout through Texas and Wright Counties, Mo.
18, 1861.–Affair near Warrensburg, Mo.
Attack on steamer Platte Valley at Price’s Landing, Mo.
19, 1861.–Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck, U. S. Army, assumes command of the Department of the Missouri.

* And including some events in Kentucky, west of the Tennessee River, immediately connected with the operations in Missouri.

** Of some of the minor conflicts noted in this summary, no circumstantial reports are on file, the only record of such events being references thereto on muster rolls or returns.

*** He had relinquished command April 23, pursuant to orders of April 21 (p. 669, Vol. 1, of this series), and Capt. Nathaniel Lyon, Second U. S. Infantry, seems to have exercised command during General Harney’s absence.

**** For reports, see Chap. XII of this series.

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MAY 10, 1861.– Capture of Camp Jackson, near Saint Louis, Mo.

REPORTS, ETC.

No. 1.–Report of Capt. Nathaniel Lyon, Second U. S. Infantry.
No. 2.–Protest of Brig. Gen. Daniel M. Frost, Missouri State Militia.
No. 3.–General Harney’s letter transmitting General Frost’s protest.

No. 1.

Report of Capt. Nathaniel Lyon, Second U. S. Infantry.

SAINT LOUIS ARSENAL, May 11, 1861.

SIR: In compliance with instructions from your office of the 30th ultimo, I accepted, swore in, and armed 3,436 men and 70 officers of the loyal citizens of Saint Louis, as a “reserve corps.” for the protection of Government property and enforcement of its laws, on the 7th and 8th instant, and should probably have still further proceeded in receiving further offers but for events to which I will now advert. The steamer J. C. Swan arrived at Saint Louis on the night of the 8th, with a large supply of military stores, including, as I was informed, muskets, ammunition, and cannon taken on board at Baton Rouge, and there obtained from the arsenal. The boat arriving in the night, great industry was used to transport these stores during the night (and before being likely to be exposed in the morning) to the camp of what is called the State militia, and which is made up for the most part of what has for a long time been known as a body of rabid and violent opposers of the General Government, and who have, during this time been a terror to all loyal and peaceful citizens.

Their extraordinary and unscrupulous conduct, and their evident design, and of the governor of this State, to take a position of hostility to the United States, are matters of extensive detail and of abounding evidence. Having appealed to the South for assistance, every appearance indicated a rapid accumulation of men and means for seizing Government property and overturning its authority. I accordingly foresaw that under the extraordinary measures of the governor and legislature of this State aggressions would soon commence against the General Government on the part of these opposers of it, and of all who were in such a state of hostilities, willing to support the State against the Government. Of this there can be no doubt, as also that the issue would be taken by the State as soon as she felt able to sustain it. It was therefore necessary to meet this embarrassing complication as early as possible, and accordingly I proceeded yesterday with a large body of troops, supported by artillery, to the camp above referred to, and which is situated in the western part of the city, at what is known as Lindell’s Grove, between Olive street and Laclede avenue, and arrived at 3.15 o’clock p. m., and demanded of General Frost, the commander, a surrender of his entire command. Copies of the correspondence are herewith inclosed.* Of the stores from Baton Rouge Arsenal, so far as understood, there were found three 32-pounder guns, one mortar, three mortar beds, and a large supply of shot and shells in ale barrels, All these artillery pieces were in boxes of heavy plank, and were addressed “Tamora, care of Greely & Gale, Saint Louis,” “I. C. R. R.” to whom no delivery was made, this being a guise to cover the movement, and {p.5} Greely & Gale being known as strong Union men saved them from close scrutiny. No doubt many arms, the mortars corresponding to the beds, and other war materials were received, agreeably to numerous reports made, but which can be obtained only by a thorough search over the city. Of the material besides tents, baggage, camp equipments, &c., left in camp by the troops, were 1,200 rifle muskets of United States manufacture, late model, .58 caliber; 6 field pieces, brass; 25 kegs of powder; from 30 to 40 horses, and several arm chests of arms understood to be like the 1,200 muskets mentioned.

During the surrender of Camp Jackson and their passage into our lines a mob attacked our force, a published account of which will be transmitted. The prisoners, some 50 officers and 639 men, were marched under guard to this post, previous to which Camp Jackson was taken possession of by two regiments of volunteers and two companies of regulars, under command of Captain Sweeny, who remained in possession all night, bringing the entire camp equipage and munitions of war into this arsenal this morning. To-day the prisoners were all released (with the exception of one captain, who declined this parole)–the officers on their parole of honor not to fight against the United States during this war and the men on their oath to the same effect. You will see by the returns of an election of brigadier-general for the volunteer brigade raised here, that I have been elected to this office, which, so far as depends upon me, I have accepted, and the duties of which I am now performing under the authority of the President. This subject is submitted for such action as the Department may determine to be proper.

Since the foregoing was written, I have noticed among the stores taken from Camp Jackson were parts of muskets, all separate, and apparently without ever having been put together, and were doubtless taken in this condition from the arsenal.

It is proper and gratifying to mention that Captain Callender, in charge of the ordnance, has not, either through punctilious exactions about forms and responsibilities or assumed monopoly of corps above the power of the Government itself, attempted to embarrass me, but, on the contrary, has cordially and most efficiently co-operated to advance the Government interests.

Col. F. A. Dick, of this city, who has to this time served as adjutant-general of the brigade of volunteers, will be the bearer of this, and visits Washington on business connected with the Government interests at this place.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. LYON, Captain, Second Infantry, Commanding.

Col. L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General U. S. Army.

* For General Frost’s second letter of May 10, inclosed by Captain Lyon, see General Frost’s protest, p. 7.

[Inclosure A.]

HDQRS. CAMP JACKSON, MISSOURI MILITIA, May 10, 1861.

SIR: I am constantly in receipt of information that you contemplate an attack upon my camp, whilst I understand that you are impressed with the idea that an attack upon the arsenal and United States troops is intended on the part of the militia of Missouri. I am greatly at a loss to know what could justify you in attacking citizens of the United States who are in the lawful performance of duties devolving upon them under the Constitution in organizing and instructing the militia of the {p.6} State in obedience to her laws, and therefore have been disposed to doubt the correctness of the information I have received.

I would be glad to know from you personally whether there is any truth in the statements that are constantly poured into my ears. So far as regards any hostility being intended toward the United States or its property or representatives, by any portion of my command, or, as far as I can learn (and I think I am fully informed), of any other part of the State forces, I can say positively that the idea has never been entertained. On the contrary, prior to your taking command of the arsenal, I proffered to Major Bell, then in command of the very few troops constituting its guard, the services of myself and all my command, and, if necessary, the whole power of the State, to protect the United States in the full possession of all her property. Upon General Harney’s taking command of this department, I made the same proffer of services to him, and authorized his adjutant-general, Captain Williams, to communicate the fact that such had been done to the War Department. I have had no occasion since to change any of the views I entertained at that time, neither of my own volition nor through the orders of my constitutional commander.

I trust that, after this explicit statement, we may be able, by fully understanding each other, to keep far from our borders the misfortunes which so unhappily afflict our common country.

This communication will be handed to you by Colonel Bowen, my chief of staff, who will be able to explain anything not fully set forth in the foregoing.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. M. FROST, Brig. Gen., Comdg. Camp Jackson, M. V. M.

Capt. N. LYON, Comdg. U. S. Troops in and about Saint Louis Arsenal.

[Inclosure B.]

HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES TROOPS, Saint Louis, Mo., May 10, 1861.

SIR: Your command is regarded as evidently hostile towards the Government of the United States. It is, for the most part, made up of those secessionists who have openly avowed their hostility to the General Government, and have been plotting at the seizure of its property and the overthrow of its authority.

You are openly in communication with the so-called Southern Confederacy, which is now at war with the United States; and you are receiving at your camp, from the said Confederacy, and under its flag, large supplies of the material of war, most of which is known to be the property of the United States.

These extraordinary preparations plainly indicate none other than the well-known purpose of the governor of this State, under whose orders you are acting, and whose purposes, recently communicated to the legislature, have just been responded to by that body in the most unparalleled legislation, having in direct view hostilities to the General Government and co-operation with its enemies.

In view of these considerations, and of your failure to disperse in obedience to the proclamation of the President, and of the eminent necessities of State policy and welfare, and the obligations imposed upon me by instructions from Washington, it is my duty to demand, and I do hereby demand, of you an immediate surrender of your command, with {p.7} no other conditions than that all persons surrendering under this demand shall be humanely and kindly treated. Believing myself prepared to enforce this demand, one-half hour’s time, before doing so, will be allowed for your compliance therewith.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. LYON, Captain, Second Infantry, Comdg. Troops.

General D. M. FROST, Commanding Camp Jackson.

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No. 2.

Protest of Brig. Gen. Daniel M. Frost, Missouri State Militia.

SAINT LOUIS ARSENAL, MISSOURI, May 11, 1861.

SIR: In accordance with the laws of the State of Missouri, which have been existing for some years, and in obedience to the orders of the governor, on Monday last I entered into an encampment with the militia force of Saint Louis County, for the purpose of instructing the same, in accordance with the laws of the United States and of this State.

Every officer and soldier in my command had taken, with uplifted hand, the following oath, to wit:

You, each, and every one of you, do solemnly swear that you will honestly and faithfully serve the State of Missouri against all her enemies, and that you will do your utmost to sustain the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this State against all violence, of whatsoever kind or description, and you do further swear that you will well and truly execute and obey the legal orders of all officers properly placed over you whilst on duty: so help you God.

Whilst in the peaceable performance of the duties devolved upon me and my command under these laws, my encampment was yesterday surrounded by an overwhelming force of armed men, acting under the command of Capt. N. Lyon, Second Infantry, U. S. Army, and called upon by him through a written command (marked A) accompanying this.*

To which communication I replied in the following terms, to wit:

CAMP JACKSON, MO., May 10, 1861.

SIR: I never for a moment having conceived the idea that so illegal and unconstitutional a demand as I have just received from you would be made by an officer of the United States Army, I am wholly unprepared to defend my command from this unwarranted attack, and shall therefore be forced to comply with your demand.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. M. FROST, Brig. Gen., Comdg. Camp Jackson, M. V. M.

Capt. N LYON, Commanding U. S. Troops.

My command was, in accordance with the above, deprived of their arms, and surrendered into the hands of Captain Lyon. After which, whilst thus disarmed and surrounded, a fire was opened upon a portion of it by his troops, and a number of my men put to death, together with several innocent lookers-on–men, women, and children.

My command was then marched as prisoners of war in triumph to this place. I am now informed, as I was at the time of the surrender, by the captain, that my command may be released upon the officers {p.8} and men giving their parole “not to take up arms or to serve in a military capacity against the United States during the present civil war.”

Against the whole proceeding of Captain Lyon, as well as against the terms of release, I most earnestly protest, for the following reasons:

That, in addition to the obligation of loyalty which rests upon every citizen, every man of my command now held as a prisoner has voluntarily taken an oath to sustain the Constitution and laws of the United States.

That, when my camp was attacked in this unwarrantable manner, and during the previous days of its existence, the only flags that floated there were those of the United States, with all the stars, and its fellow, bearing alone the coat of arms of the State of Missouri.

That, in addition to all this, on the morning before this attack was made, I addressed to Captain Lyon a communication, informing him of the proffer of services I had previously made of myself and of all my command, and, if necessary, the whole power of the State of Missouri, to protect the United States property, and assuring him that I had in no respect changed those views or opinions, either of my own volition or through any orders emanating from my constitutional commander.**

Under all these circumstances I appeal to you, as the chief representative of the United States in this department, for justice on behalf of those loyal citizens who are now held as prisoners of war, captured under and marching to their place of confinement with the flag of the Union flying over their heads. I ask that you will not put upon the command the additional indignity of requiring us to give our parole, when we have already given our oath in support of the Constitution, but that you will order our restoration to the liberties of which we have been illegally deprived, as well as of the property of the State and individuals, as the larger portion of the equipments have been purchased with the private funds of the individuals of my command, both officers and men.

I trust that such as have been so purchased will at least be restored to the proper owners.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. M. FROST, Brigadier-General, Missouri Volunteer Militia.

General WILLIAM S. HARNEY, U. S. A., Commanding the Department of the West.

* See inclosure B to report No. 1, p. 6.

** See inclosure A to report No. 1, p. 5.

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No. 3.

General Harney’s letter transmitting General Frost’s protest.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE WEST, Saint Louis, Mo., May 18, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith a communication [No. 2] addressed to me under date of the 10th instant, by Brig. Gen. D. M. Frost, Missouri Volunteer Militia, in relation to the capture of his command at Camp Jackson, near this city, May 10, 1861, by the U. S. troops, under the command of Capt. N. Lyon, Second Infantry.*

I respectfully request the instructions of the Government respecting {p.9} the transaction to which General Frost invites attention, and I recommend that the private property captured, munitions of war excepted, be restored.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. S. HARNEY, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Lieut. Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Hdqrs. of the Army, Washington, D. C.

* See also Harney to Townsend, May 13, in “Correspondence, etc.,” post.

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MAY 11, 1861.–Riot in Saint Louis, Mo.

Report of Capt. Nathaniel Lyon, Second U. S. Infantry.

SAINT LOUIS ARSENAL, May 12, 1861.

SIR: On yesterday I left to Captain Callender and Lieutenant Saxton the duty of receiving and arming about 1,200 men from the northern portion of the city, who on returning to their station were fired upon by a mob, which fire was returned by the troops, from which, all told on both sides, about twelve persons were killed, two of whom, so far as I am informed, were of the United States troops; further particulars of which may be hereafter transmitted.

General Harney having arrived has assumed command of the department, and has ordered into the city all the troops of the regular service now here (except my own company) and four pieces of artillery.

It is with great delicacy and hesitancy I take the liberty to observe that the energetic and necessary measures of day before yesterday, and reported in my communication of yesterday, require persevering and consistent exertion to effect the object in view of anticipating combinations and measures of hostility against the General Government, and that the authority of General Harney under these circumstances embarrasses, in the most painful manner, the execution of the plans I had contemplated, and upon which the safety and welfare of the Government, as I conceive, so much depend, and which must be decided in a very short period.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. LYON, Captain, Second Infantry, Commanding.

Col. L. THOMAS, Adjt. Gen. U. S. Army, Washington.

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MAY 15, 1861.–Expedition from Saint Louis to Potosi, Mo.

REPORTS .

No. 1.–Capt. Nathaniel Lyon, Second U. S. Infantry.
No. 2.–Capt. Nelson Cole, Fifth Missouri Infantry.

No. 1.

Report of Capt. Nathaniel Lyon, Second U. S. Infantry.

SAINT LOUIS ARSENAL, May 16, 1861.

SIR: In consequence of the frequent arrivals at this place of persons from Potosi, complaining of revolting outrages, and being driven from their homes because of their loyalty to the General Government, I {p.10} caused a party to proceed to that place, to apprehend offending parties and give consolation and relief to the sufferers. The object seems to have been very judiciously accomplished by Captain Cole, of the Fifth Missouri Volunteers, whose report is herewith inclosed. It will be seen that at De Soto a large secession meeting was defeated and their flag taken by the timely arrival of Captain Cole. A list of the prisoners detained, and against whom most palpable evidence is understood to exist of persevering and systematic cruelty towards the friends of the Government, is herewith inclosed.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. LYON, Captain, Second Infantry, Commanding.

Capt. S. WILLIAMS, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Hdqrs. Dept. West, Saint Louis, Mo.

–––

No. 2.

Report of Capt. Nelson Cole, Fifth Missouri Infantry.

SAINT LOUIS ARSENAL, May 16, 1861.

SIR: Herewith I respectfully submit the report of an expedition under me in Washington County, Missouri.

Agreeably to instructions, I left this post last night at 10 o’clock with two companies of infantry, consisting of Company A, Fifth Regiment Missouri Volunteers, commanded by Capt. N Cole and Company A, Rifle Battalion, First Regiment Missouri Volunteers, Capt. L. E. Koniuszeski commanding, with staff officers Surg. E. C. Franklin and Asst. Surg. S. H. Melcher, Fifth Regiment Missouri Volunteers, consisting of 176 men, rank and file.

Arrived at Potosi 3 o’clock a. m.; surrounded the town by a line of sentinels; posted sentinels around the houses of all persons opposed to the Government who had been active in driving from the town good and loyal citizens and threatening with death other residents of the place. At a preconcerted signal, the inmates of each house were simultaneously arrested, and confined in the court-house of the town previously taken possession of by a detachment of my troops. The residences of the respective parties were diligently searched, but no arms of any amount were found. Arrested in all 56 men. Forty-seven took the oath of allegiance to the Government, and 9 were returned to this post as prisoners of war.

I next proceeded to visit two smelting furnaces, the owners of which have been recently engaged in furnishing lead to the enemies of this Government, and captured 100 pigs of lead; also seized 325 pigs of lead at the railroad depot; seized also a quantity of wearing material, partly manufactured into uniforms for disloyal troops. At 12 o’clock proceeded on our return to Saint Louis, stopping at De Soto, about 20 miles distant, where a large secession meeting was being held. Disembarking the troops, I found the meeting dispersed on our approach. Being informed that a body of mounted men, about 50 in number, were still hovering about the outskirts of the town, I dispatched a platoon of 40 men to capture them, if possible. On being commanded to halt they dismounted, fled to the woods, and we succeeded in capturing 15 horses; seized some fire-arms and a secession flag; hoisted the American flag in the town, and left 30 men, under command of First Lieutenant Murphy of Company {p.11} A, Rifle Battalion, Missouri Volunteers, to protect the citizens from apprehended violence. Embarked the troops on cars; stopped at Victoria; seized one of Jeff. Davis’ men, who persisted in hurrahing for Jeff. Davis, as a prisoner of war, and returned safely to this post at 6 o’clock p. m.

Respectfully submitted.

N. COLE, Captain Company A, Fifth Regiment, Comdg.

General LYON, Commanding.

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JUNE 17, 1861.– Engagement at Booneville, Mo.

Reports of Brig. Gen. Nathaniel Lyon, U. S. Army.

CAMP CAMERON, Near Booneville, Mo., June 22, 1861.

DEAR SIR: I have received the orders from the War Department including this State in the military department under your command. Prior to the receipt of these orders I had, in consequence of the proclamation of Governor Jackson, of this State, which seemed to me tantamount to a declaration of war, ordered a movement of a portion of the troops under my command to Jefferson City and in the direction of Springfield, Mo., for the purpose of breaking up the hostile organizations which I had reason to believe had been formed in those parts of the State to resist the authority of the Government. On reaching Jefferson City with the force under my immediate command, consisting of the regular troops and the regiment of Colonel Blair, Missouri volunteers, I found that the governor and the State troops had retired to this place, and had collected together three or four thousand men.

As soon therefore as I was joined at Jefferson City by the regiment of Colonel Boernstein, Missouri Volunteers, I left that city under his command with three companies, and proceeded to this place with the balance of the regiment of Colonel Boernstein, the regiment of Colonel Blair, and the regular troops, consisting of Captain Totten’s battery and three companies of infantry, the whole command amounting to about 1,700 men . With this force I landed, on the morning of the 17th June, about 6 miles below Booneville, and about 2 miles below the camp of the enemy, and had proceeded a short distance in the direction of Booneville when the enemy opened fire upon us. The action, however, lasted a very short time, and the enemy were soon routed, their camp taken, and the city of Booneville occupied by our troops. I will in a few days prepare and forward to you a more detailed account of the affair.

I have ascertained to-day, from reliable and undoubted information, that another camp of the State troops which had collected at Lexington, in this State, consisted of many of those who fled from this place and the force that had collected at Blue Mills to oppose the movement of troops from Leavenworth and Kansas City, and variously estimated from 5,000 to 6,000 men, broke up their camp yesterday, and started toward the south with the intention of uniting with the troops said to be collecting in Arkansas to invade this State. The rumor which has been so long prevalent in regard to the contemplated movement from Arkansas under Ben. McCulloch appears to me to have assumed shape and consistency, and it is no longer to be doubted that such an enterprise {p.12} is on foot. To meet it, I had already, before leaving Saint Louis, dispatched a large force, consisting of the regiments of Colonel Sigel, Colonel Salomon, and Colonel Brown, under the command of Brigadier General Sweeny, commanding the Home Guard in Saint Louis. I cannot speak with precision as to the amount of force under Ben. McCulloch, but I am disposed to think it cannot be less than 5,000 men, and all that I hear makes it lunch greater.

It is my purpose to order the force under Captain Sturgis and the volunteers with him from Kansas and Iowa to follow the retreating forces of the State from Lexington in the direction of Springfield, and to follow with all the speed I can, and as soon as I can procure transportation, another body of the State troops under General Parsons and Governor Jackson, who are retreating in the same direction through the town of Warsaw. I have hopes that the retreat of the party from Lexington may be cut off by the cavalry under Captain Sturgis, and that the party under General Parsons may be intercepted by the command which has already been to Springfield. But if these parties should be able to unite with McCulloch and the troops from Arkansas, it will swell his numbers to 10,000 or 12,000 men; and as it will be necessary for me to leave detachments at various points to secure my communications with Saint Louis, it will be necessary to have an additional force to repel the invading force from Arkansas, and I will therefore ask, if you approve the disposition of the troops made and contemplated by me, that you will order three regiments from Illinois to march out by the Southwestern Branch of the Pacific Railroad to Springfield. This route has already been secured and guarded, and the passage of troops can be rapid and safe, and when the force is concentrated at Springfield will, I trust, enable me to repel any force which may be brought from Arkansas. Allow me to add that I think too much attention cannot be given to the necessity of re-enforcing the troops now in the southwestern part of this State, as I am persuaded that formidable preparations have been made by the enemy in that quarter.

Colonel Blair, who is on his way to Washington to attend the session of Congress, will see you and give you full explanations in regard to affairs here and in Missouri.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. LYON, Brig. Gen., U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Commanding Western Division.

P. S.–I am not advised whether this State continues a portion of the Department of the West, nor whether the Department of the West, with the troops of it, will co-operate with you in this State.

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BOONEVILLE, MO., June 30, 1861.

SIR: I have been too much absorbed in unavoidable business to make a report of the recent operations of the troops under my command. The proclamation of Governor Jackson, of this State, on the 12th instant, calling for 50,000 men to war upon the United States, made it necessary for me to move up the river, in order to anticipate the collection of his forces where it appeared likely such collection would be made. I accordingly proceeded on the 13th instant from Saint Louis with the {p.13} light battery, under Captain Totten, Second Artillery; Company B, Second Infantry (my company); two companies of recruits for the regular service, under Lieut. W. L. Lothrop, Fourth Artillery; First Regiment Missouri Volunteers, under Col. F. P. Blair, jr.; nine companies Second Regiment Missouri Volunteers, under Col. Henry Boernstein, and advanced by boats to Jefferson City, where I arrived on the 15th about 2 o’clock p. m., and found the governor had fled and taken his forces to Booneville, where, so far as I could then learn, a large force was gathering.

Leaving Colonel Boernstein at Jefferson City, with three companies of his regiment, I proceeded on the following day (16th) towards this place, and reached a distance of about fifteen miles below here that night; and starting again early next morning, I came to within about eight miles, and then landed nearly all my forces, leaving one 8-inch howitzer, with an artillery party and Captain Richardson’s company, First Missouri Volunteers, as guard to the three boats, and this party had instructions to advance within range for the siege howitzer of what was understood to be the position of the rebel camp, and to fire upon it. This was done with good effect. In the morning two companies of the Second Regiment Missouri Volunteers, under Major Osterhaus, Companies A and B, Captains Schadt and Kohr, were thrown forward as skirmishers with excellent effect. Company B, Second Infantry, under Sergt. Wm. Griffin; Captain Totten’s battery, two companies of recruits, regular service, under Lieutenant Lothrop; Colonel Blair’s First Regiment, and four companies of the Second Missouri Volunteers, under Lieutenant-Colonel Schaeffer, formed the order of column in march.

After about two miles’ march we met an advanced party of the rebel forces, which opened fire upon us, but soon fell back. To meet this resistance, the skirmishers already forward were collected to the right of our road. Company B, Second Infantry, was thrown out to the left, and opened fire. Two pieces of Captain Totten’s battery were brought into play, and several shots fired. In advancing from this point, Lieutenant Lothrop, with a company of artillery recruits, Captain Yates’ Company H, Missouri Volunteers, and one additional company from the Third Missouri Volunteers, were thrown forward to the right of the road, and in line with our advance.

After proceeding about one mile, the enemy was discovered in force. Company B, Second Infantry, on the left, was now supported by Company B, First Missouri Volunteers, Captain Maurice. The enemy, having shelter of a house (owned by Win. M. Adams) and a thicket of wood behind it, held their position for a while, during which time our approach brought us on to high and open ground, and here most of our casualties occurred. Captain Totten’s battery here did effective service, and our troops on both flanks steadily advanced. Captain Burke’s company, K, First Regiment Missouri Volunteers, now came forward on the left, and engaged the enemy. In falling back the enemy took advantage of sundry points to deliver a fire and continue retreating. This continued till we arrived above their camp, which was situated to our right, near the river, and which about this time was taken possession of by Captain Cole, with his company, E, First Regiment Missouri Volunteers, who had been sent to the right to extend our front.

Companies C, Captain Stone; A, Captain Fuchs; F, Captain Gratz; G, Captain Cavender, took part in skirmishing and relieving those first engaged. Two pieces of artillery were taken (iron 6-pounders). Considerable camp equipage and about 500 stand of arms of all sorts were taken. About 60 prisoners taken were released upon oath to obey the {p.14} laws of the General Government and not oppose it during the present civil troubles.

On approaching this city I was met by a deputation of citizens, asking security from plunder from my troops, to which I gave an affirmative response, on condition of no opposition to my entrance and occupying of it. This was promised, so far as in their power, and on reaching the town I required the mayor and city council to accompany my entrance. A part of my command was now quartered in the city, and the remainder returned to the boats, now located opposite the fair grounds, at the lower side of the town. This fair ground had been taken by the State for an arsenal, and a considerable number of old rusty arms and cartridges were found.

Our loss consisted of 2 killed, 1 missing, and 9 wounded, two of whom have since died. The loss of the rebel force is not known.

The troops of Governor Jackson dispersed, but for the purpose of assembling at Lexington. This assembly, however, did not continue, and was broken up soon after, many persons, I am informed, returning to their homes, and a considerable portion going south, in expectation of meeting re-enforcements from Arkansas. It is certain that Governor Jackson, with an escort, has gone from here in that direction, and most of his military leaders with him. I had intended pursuit soon after the breaking up of the Lexington camp, but have been unavoidably delayed by the trouble of, getting up a train here and by continued and heavy rains. I hope to start soon with about 2,400 troops and some artillery, and proceed to Springfield, and there conform to emergencies as they shall be found to exist. In the mean time I have given orders to have this river occupied, with a view to keep hostile forces from getting it under control.

Surg. F. M. Cornyn, First Regiment Missouri Volunteers, and Maj. H. A. Conant acted as staff officers for me during the day with the utmost zeal and intelligence.*

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. LYON, Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding.

Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Commanding Division of Volunteers, Cincinnati, Ohio.

* See, also, Lyon to Harding, June 18, in “Correspondence, etc.,” post.

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JULY 5, 1861.– Engagement near Carthage, Mo., embracing actions at Dry Fork Creek and Brier Fork.

REPORTS, ETC.

No. 1.–Capt. Thomas W. Sweeny, Second U. S. Infantry.
No. 2.–Col. Franz Sigel, Third Missouri Infantry (Union), with congratulatory letter from General Lyon.
No. 3.–Brig. Gen. James S. Rains, commanding Second Division Missouri State Guard (Confederate).
No. 4.–Col. Richard H. Weightman, commanding First Brigade, Second Division, Missouri State Guard.
No. 5.–Col. James McCown, Second Cavalry, Eighth Division Missouri State Guard.
No. 6.–Col. R. L. Y. Peyton, Third Cavalry, Eighth Division Missouri State Guard.{p.15}
No. 7.–Lieut. Col. Richard A. Vaughan [Baughan ?], Seventh Cavalry, Eighth Division, Missouri State Guard.
No. 8.–Brig. Gnu. John B. Clark, commanding Third Division Missouri State Guard.
No. 9.–Brig. Gnu. William Y. Slack, commanding Fourth Division Missouri State Guard.
No. 10.–Col. B. A. Rives, First Cavalry, Fourth Division Missouri State Guard.
No. 11. – Brig. Gen. Monroe M. Parsons, commanding Sixth Division Missouri State Guard.

No. 1.

Report of Capt. Thomas W. Sweeny, Second U. S. Infantry.

HEADQUARTERS SOUTHWEST EXPEDITION, Springfield, Mo., July 12, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to inform you that I left Saint Louis Sunday, June 23, with 360 men, and arrived at Rolla, the terminus of the Southwest Branch of the Pacific Railroad, the same day, where I established a depot. I proceeded from that point the following day, and arrived at this place Monday, July 1, having established garrisons at various points along the route to keep my communications open.

After taking the necessary steps to make this my center of operations, I issued orders to Colonel Sigel and Colonel Salomon, the headquarters of whose regiments were at Sarcoxie and Neosho, to concentrate their forces and move in the direction of Carthage, where, I was led to believe from information received, Governor Jackson’s and General Rains’ forces were encamped. In compliance with my orders, Colonel Sigel advanced with all his force, except one company left at Neosho, to the point designated, and at about 10 o’clock in the morning of the 5th instant engaged the enemy. The enemy, being vastly superior in numbers, completely surrounded our troops and attempted to cut them off. Upon receiving information of these facts, I hastily collected about 400 men, and within three hours after receiving the intelligence was on my way to relieve Colonel Sigel’s command. I fell in with the retreating column at Mount Vernon, Lawrence County, and prepared to give the enemy battle, who I learned from my scouts was advancing in great force. Having remained at Mount Vernon for two days, I took up my line of march for this place, fearing an attack on it from the combined forces of Jackson, Rains Price, and McCulloch, whose troops I learned were about to form a junction on the Arkansas frontier, towards which the enemy retired from Carthage.

I have an effective force of 2,600 officers and men at this point under my command, and feel confident in my ability to hold until joined by General Lyon, who I learn is within two or three days’ march of me.

I am very deficient in ammunition for the eight field pieces attached to this command; also for the .69-caliber rifle musket with which the principal part of my command is armed. I have repeatedly presented my wants in these particulars, and pressed them upon the attention of the authorities at the Saint Louis Arsenal without effect.

The inhabitants of this portion of the country are generally loyal, and since my arrival here I have organized several regiments of Home Guards, but they are very deficient in arms and ammunition. Mounted troops are much needed. Colonel Wyman’s regiment Illinois Volunteers is expected to arrive here soon.

Inclosed please find official report of the battle at Dry Fork [No. 2]; {p.16} also a plan of the battle.* I inclose a printed copy of a proclamation issued by me at this place on the 4th instant.**

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

T. W. SWEENY, Captain, Second Infantry, Commanding.

Hon. SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.

* Omitted as unimportant.

** Not found.

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No. 9.

Report of Col. Franz Sigel, Third Missouri Infantry (Union).

HEADQUARTERS COLONEL SIGEL’S COMMAND, Springfield, Mo., July 11, 1861.

SIR: After having arrived at Sarcoxie, 22 miles from Neosho, at 5 o’clock p. m. on Friday, the 28th of June, I was informed that a force of 700 to 800 men were encamped at Pool’s Prairie, about 6 miles south of Neosho, under the command of General Price. I also received a report that Jackson’s troops, Parsons in command, camped 15 miles north of Lamar, on Thursday, the 27th, and on Friday, the 28th, and that they were there first informed of Government troops being in Springfield on their march to the West. Rains’ forces were reported having passed Papinsville on Thursday evening, the 27th, and being a day’s march behind Jackson on the 28th. I immediately resolved to march first against the troops at Pool’s Prairie, and then, turning to the north, attack the forces of Jackson and Rains, and to open my communication with General Lyon’s troops, who were said to have had an engagement on the 28th of June at Ball’s Mill, on the banks of the Little Osage River, about 15 miles north of Nevada City, and to whom I had sent several scouts of which our only one returned, but without bringing reliable intelligence.

Scarcely troops left Sarcoxie on the morning of the 29th, when I received information that the camp at Pool’s Prairie was broken up on the same morning, and that the troops had fled towards Elk Mills, 30 miles southwest of Neosho, in the direction of Camp Walker, near Maysville, which place is not far from the southwest corner of the State of Missouri.

It was now my duty to give all my attention to the northern forces of the enemy. Apprehending that they would try to find their way to Arkansas, I ordered a detachment of two companies and two pieces of artillery, under the command of Captain Cramer, to Cedar Creek and Grand Falls, to occupy the Military and Kansas line road, and to obtain all possible information relative to the northern troops of the enemy. I also ordered the battalion under Colonel Salomon on his march from Mount Vernon to Sarcoxie, to unite with the troops under my command at Neosho by forced marches. As soon as this battalion had arrived, and our troops were sufficiently prepared, I directed them from Neosho and Grand Falls to Diamond Grove (7 miles south of Carthage), where they arrived at noon and advanced towards the north.

One company of Captain Hackmann I ordered to move from Mount Vernon to Sarcoxie. Captain Conrad, of Company B, Rifle Battalion, {p.17} Third Regiment, I ordered to stay in Neosho as garrison, and for the protection of the Union-loving people against bands of secessionists, but to retreat to Sarcoxie if he should find it necessary. Company H, Captain Indest, was one of the two companies sent to Grand Falls, from which place this company had not returned when the battle commenced.

On the evening of the 4th of July, after a march of 20 miles, the troops went into camp on the southeast of Carthage, behind the Spring River. It was now as much as certain that Jackson’s troops, reported 4,000 strong, were about nine miles before us, their scouts swarming over the great plateau to the north of Carthage, and almost within our sight.

The troops under my command on the 5th of July who were engaged in the action of the day were composed as follows: Nine companies of the Third Regiment, with a total effective strength of 550 men; seven companies of the Fifth Regiment, numbering 400 men; two batteries of artillery, four pieces each. With these troops I advanced slowly towards the enemy, our skirmishers driving before them numerous squads of mounted riflemen, who were observing our march. The baggage train followed our troops at a distance of about three miles.

After crossing Dry Fork Creek, 6 miles beyond Carthage, and advancing 3 miles farther, we found the enemy in line of battle on an elevated ground, gradually rising from the creek, and about one and a half miles distant. Their first line was formed in three regiments, deployed in line, and with proper intervals between them. Two regiments, forming the wings, consisted of cavalry, the center of infantry, cavalry, and two pieces of artillery. The other pieces were posted on the right, and one on the left wing. The whole force within our sight may have numbered 3,500 men, besides a strong reserve in the rear.

As our advance guard was already engaged, I sent two pieces of artillery and two companies of the Third Regiment forward to assist them. One piece of artillery and one company of the Third Regiment of infantry I posted behind the creek, as a guard against movements of the cavalry towards our rear and our baggage. The remainder of our troops I formed in the following order: The second battalion of the Third Regiment, under the command of Major Bischoff, on the left in close column; next to them, four pieces of artillery; in the center, the Fifth Regiment, in two separate battalions, under Colonel Salomon and Lieutenant-Colonel Wolff; on the right, three pieces of artillery, under the command of Captain Essig, and to his right the First Battalion of the Third Regiment, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Hassendeubel.

When these dispositions were made, and after we had advanced a few hundred yards, I ordered Major Backof to commence his fire with all the seven pieces against the enemy’s lines. The fire was answered promptly. I observed now that the two mounted regiments of the rebel army prepared themselves to turn our right and left. They moved by the hank, and, describing a wide circle, left great intervals between them and the center. I immediately directed the whole fire of our artillery against the right of the enemy’s center, so that in a short time the fire of his artillery began to slacken on this point.

I formed now a chain of skirmishers between our pieces, ordered two pieces of Captain Essig’s battery from the right to our left wing, and made known to the commanders and troops that it was my intention to gain the heights by advancing with our left and taking position on the right flank of the enemy’s center. In this critical moment, Captain Wilkins, commander of one of the two batteries, declared that he was {p.18} unable to advance for want of ammunition. No time could be lost. One part of the troops on the extreme right and left were already engaged with the mounted troops, and to advance with the rest without the assistance of artillery seemed to me a movement which could easily turn out into a deroute. The moral effect of the enemy’s mounted regiments behind our lines, although the real danger was not great, could not be denied. To lose our whole baggage was another consideration of importance. It was therefore with great mortification that I ordered one part of the troops behind Dry Fork Creek, whilst Lieutenant-Colonel Hassendeubel, with the First Battalion of the Third and a battalion of the Fifth Regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Wolff; followed by four pieces of Captain Wilkins’ battery, repaired to the baggage train to defend it against the projected attack.

The enemy followed slowly toward Dry Fork Creek. Captain Essig’s battery had taken position behind the ford, assisted by one company of the Fifth Regiment (Captain Stephani) on the left, and two companies of the Third Regiment (Captains Dengler and Golmer) on the right, whilst two companies of the Fifth Regiment (Stark and Meissner) remained as a reserve behind both wings. It was at this point that these troops resisted the enemy’s entire force for two hours and inflicted on him the severest losses.

Up to this time the rebellious flag had sunk twice amidst the triumphant shouts of the United States volunteers. Meanwhile the two large bodies of cavalry had completely surrounded us, and had formed into line against our rear. They were posted behind a small creek, called Buck’s Branch, which we had to pass. To meet them, I left the position on Dry Fork, and ordered two pieces to the right and two pieces to the left of our reserve and baggage, assisted by parts of the Fifth and Third Regiments in column, under Colonel Salomon and Lieutenant-Colonel Wolff whilst Lieutenant-Colonel Hassendeubel, with his well-known ability, formed three companies of the First Battalion, Third Regiment, in line, and in front of the baggage, against the cavalry. Behind these troops and baggage Lieutenant Schrickel, of the First Battery of Artillery, with two companies, was acting as a rear guard against the main body of the enemy, moving from Dry Fork. After one round of our whole line, the infantry moved in double-quick time towards the enemy, and routed him completely. His flight was accompanied by tremendous hurrahs of our little army.

The troops and baggage train crossed the creek, and retreated unmolested to the heights crowning the north side of Carthage before Spring River. Here they took position again. The enemy advanced slowly with his center, while he pushed forward his cavalry to turn our right and left, and to gain the Springfield road. As I thought it most necessary and important to keep open my communications with Mount Vernon and Springfield, I ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Wolff with two pieces of artillery (Lieutenant Schaefer Second Battery), to pass Carthage, and to occupy the eastern heights of the Sarcoxie road. Captain Cramer, with two companies (Indest and Zeis), had to follow him, and to guard the west side of the town against a movement of the enemy towards this side. Our rear guard took possession of the town to give the remainder of the troops time to rest, as they had, after a march of 22 miles on the 4th and 18 miles on the 5th, been in action the whole day since 9 o’clock in the morning, exposed to an intense heat, and almost without eating or drinking. The enemy, taking advantage of his cavalry, forded Spring River on different points, spread through the woods, and, partly dismounted, harassed our troops from all sides. I therefore ordered the {p.19} retreat towards Sarcoxie, under the protection of our artillery and infantry, taking first position on the heights behind Carthage, and then at the entrance of the road of Sarcoxie into the woods 2 1/2 miles southeast of Carthage. From this place our troops passed unmolested to Sarcoxie. The losses of all the troops under my command on this day were 13 killed and 31 wounded. Among the latter, Captain Strodtmann, Company E, Third Regiment, and Lieutenant Bischoff, Company B, of the same regiment. The First Battery lost nine horses, the Third Regiment, Major Bischoff, one. One baggage wagon was lost in Carthage for want of horses to move it.

According to reliable information, the enemy’s losses have not been less than 350 to 400. One of their pieces was dismounted and another burst.

It is with the deepest regret that I must report the surprise and capture of Captain Conrad and his company of 94 men at Neosho on the 5th of July. Officers and men were released on oath not to bear arms against the Confederate States during the war.

With the greatest pleasure, and to do justice to the officers and men under my command, I must say that they fought with the greatest skill and bravery. Although more than once menaced in flank and rear by large forces of cavalry, and attacked in front by an overwhelming force, they stood like veterans, and defended one position after the other without one man leaving the ranks.

With the most sincere thanks, I acknowledge the services of the Fifth Regiment under their brave commanders and adjutant; they showed themselves as true friends and comrades of battle. And so did the artillery and their able commander, Major Backof, who, as well as Adjutants Albert and Heinrichs, assisted me during the whole day in performing the duties involved in my command.

I am, sir, with the greatest respect, yours,

F. SIGEL, Colonel, Commanding Second Brigade Missouri Volunteers.

Brigadier-General SWEENY, Commanding Southwest Expedition.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE WEST, Springfield, Mo., July 25, 1861.

J. M. SCHOFIELD, Assistant Adjutant-General:

The general commanding, having examined with care the official report made by Col. F. Sigel, commanding Second Brigade, Missouri Volunteers, of the engagement between the troops under his command and the rebel forces on the 5th instant, takes great pleasure in expressing in this official manner his high appreciation of the generalship displayed by this able commander and of the high soldierly qualities exhibited by his officers and men. The general commanding tenders to Colonel Sigel and his command his thanks, and those of a grateful country, for their brilliant service.

N. LYON, Brigadier-General, Commanding Army of the West.

{p.20}

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No. 3.

Report of Brig. Gen. James S. Rains, Missouri State Guard (Confederate).*

* This report is printed from an official copy, and it has been impossible to verify the names of individuals or organizations.

HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION MISSOURI STATE GUARD, July 20, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report to you the action of my division in the several engagements of the 5th instant.

About 1 o’clock on the morning of the 5th I received an order from your excellency to take up the line of march at 4 a. m. southward towards Carthage, assigning my command to the right front. My force consisted of the First Brigade, commanded by Colonel Weightman, of the First Cavalry. This brigade was composed of Capt. Hiram Bledsoe’s company of artillery (three pieces – one 12-pounder and two 6-pounders), 40 men, and Captain McKinney’s detachment of infantry, 16 men, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Rosser, of the First Infantry; Colonel Graves’ independent regiment infantry, 271 men; Colonel Hurst’s Third Regiment Infantry, 521 men, and Lieutenant-Colonel O’Kane’s battalion of infantry, 350 men, being in all 1,204 strong.

The cavalry brought on the field consisted of Companies A and B and part of H of the Third Cavalry, 115 men, commanded by Colonel Peyton, to whom was attached the companies of Captains Stone and Owens. The First Battalion of the Independent Cavalry, 250 men, commanded by Colonel McCown; Lieutenant-Colonel Baughn’s [Vaughn] battalion of the Fourth Cavalry, 200 men, and Capt. Joseph O. Shelby’s company of Rangers, 43 men, making a total of 1,812 men. The remaining portion of my command, being unarmed, was used to present the appearance of a reserve corps and baggage guard. My division took up the line of march as ordered, and most of them without having prepared any breakfast.

About 7 a. m., having marched some 5 miles, our scouts reported the enemy in force 3 miles in advance. I immediately went forward with some of my staff to reconnoiter their movements and examine the ground. Perceiving that they were descending a slope towards a creek skirted on both sides with timber, I sent orders to Captain Shelby, who was in the advance to halt and detain the whole command out of view, hoping that the enemy would cross the creek when I could oblige them to take position in the bottom, while I drew up my force on the height commanding it. My expectations were realized, and after the enemy had crossed the creek I ordered Captain Shelby forward to check their advance. I then directed Colonel Weightman to deploy the brigade in order of battle on the ridge of prairie overlooking the enemy. This order was executed with celerity and precision, he placing Colonel Graves on the right, the artillery in the center, and Colonel Peyton to take position on the right of the First Brigade, and extend over their line as far as practicable towards the timber, the other division taking position on the left of my command. The ground upon which our army was drawn up was a high ridge of prairie, gently sloping southward, with undulations to a creek about one mile and a quarter distant. In front of our right was a large field of corn extending to the timber on the creek. The enemy, under command of Colonel Sigel, apparently about 2,000 strong, with seven pieces of artillery, took up their position on the north side of the creek, about {p.21} three-quarters of a mile from the timber, and threw a few spherical-case shot at Captain Shelby’s company, which was ordered back to the main line. This movement, conducted in the face of both armies, was executed with a precision worthy of the parade ground.

I then sent this company to the extreme right, to reconnoiter the timber and examine for a crossing. The action commenced by the enemy opening a heavy fire from their battery. This was promptly responded to by the artillery of General Parsons’ command, which had unlimbered on the left of my division. Captain Bledsoe, under the direction of Colonel Weightman, then opened a steady and well-directed fire upon the densest of the enemy’s masses, forcing them to take refuge in the depression of prairie and finally to retire some 200 yards, when Colonel Weightman promptly and gallantly advanced his whole brigade in battle order and reopened his fire from Captain Bledsoe’s guns. By this time I had led the cavalry on the right through the corn field with a view of our flanking the enemy, or, if the ground was suitable, of charging their battery.

The enemy opened with some execution a well-directed fire of grape and spherical-case shot upon our advancing column, which sustained itself with much gallantry, and Colonel Sigel, fearing that his army would be outflanked, and suffering very much from the rapid and well-directed fire from Captain Bledsoe’s battery, retired under cover of his battery across the creek.

Colonel Weightman, in his report, speaks in the highest terms of the coolness and steadiness of the First Brigade throughout this portion of the engagement, and I bear grateful testimony as to the eagerness with which the cavalry desired to charge over the most unfavorable ground. Our loss up to this time was very small.

Colonel Weightman, now joined by Colonel Hurst’s regiment, advanced, and perceiving the enemy posted on a ridge beyond the creek, unlimbered within 400 yards of the enemy’s battery and opened upon them with round shot and canister, while the infantry advanced to engage the enemy at close quarters. This point was severely contested and the loss great.

The officers of Captain Bledsoe’s artillery are reported to have most gallantly served their guns in person, two of them (Lieutenants Wallace and Higgins) after being wounded; the latter falling exhausted under the muzzle of his piece.

Lieutenant-Colonel O’Kane, in the most gallant style, pressed forward with his command, and, aided by a portion of General Clark’s division, repulsed the enemy from their position.

Colonel Sigel again commenced a retrograde movement, and retreated across a prairie 5 miles to Spring River, closely followed by the infantry and artillery. The cavalry under my command, joined by a regiment of General Slack’s division, commanded by Colonel Rives, endeavored to outflank them on the right, but the retreat was so rapid as to defeat our object. On nearing Spring River we attempted to intercept the enemy’s crossing, but they again opened a heavy and destructive fire from their artillery, which compelled us to take a crossing higher up, and, pushing forward, endeavored to surround the town.

For the details of the actions of the First Brigade in their several contests for the city I refer you to the able report of Colonel Weightman.

As I was enabled to reach the rear of Carthage, I dismounted the whole command, who eagerly pressed to the support of their comrades {p.22} engaged in town, and just arrived in time to see the complete rout of the enemy.

Our loss in these engagements amounts to 44 killed and wounded.

Lieutenant-Colonels Rosser and O’Kane and Captain Bledsoe are favorably introduced to my notice by Colonel Weightman, and I take great pleasure in seconding his recommendation, and ask leave to add to the list the name of Col. Richard H. Weightman as deserving a brevet for gallant and meritorious [conduct].

To the officers and men of my command I return my thanks for their gallant bearing and their dauntless zeal for the cause so dear to us all.

The great object of our march is about complete, and, though commenced under difficulties that discourage many, yet, with a column of veteran troops threatening our rear and powerful force of the enemy in front, we can congratulate ourselves on a victory which is but the prestige of our ultimate success.

To Colonels McMertre [McMurtry ?] and Woodard, Assistant Quartermaster Barkery, and others of my staff, I am indebted for their aid in conveying orders, and to my aide-de-camp, Lieutenant-Colonel Maclean, for his assistance in the disposition of the forces and arrangement of the line of battle.

The report of Colonel Weightman and other officers, along with the list of killed and wounded, is here by attached and made a part of this report.*

I am, sir, with much consideration, your obedient servant,

JAMES S. RAINS, Brig. Gen., Comdg. Second Division Missouri State Guard,

Brig. Gen. W. HOUGH, Adjutant-General Missouri State Guard.

* Nominal list of casualties, omitted, shows – Killed, 1 officer and 2 enlisted men, and wounded, 5 officers and 36 enlisted men.

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No. 4.

Report of Col. Richard H. Weightman, commanding First Brigade, Second Division, Missouri State Guard.

HDQRS. FIRST BRIGADE, SECOND DIVISION, July 17, 1861.

GENERAL: In obedience to your orders I have the honor to report the operations of my First Brigade of your division of the Missouri State Guards in the battles of 5th instant, and will of course strictly confine myself to its operations without mention of the actions of others, unless in cases where such mention may be necessary to explain the movements, &c., of this brigade. The First Brigade on the day of the battles was 1,204 strong, composed as follows: Lieutenant-Colonel Rosser, First Regiment Infantry, commanding; Capt. Hiram Bledsoe’s company of artillery, three pieces (one 12 and two 6 pounders), 46 men, and Captain McKinney’s detachment of infantry, 16 men, and Colonel Graves’ Second Regiment of Infantry, 271 men; Colonel Hurst’s Third Regiment of Infantry, 521 men; Lieutenant-Colonel O’Kane’s battalion of infantry, 350 men.

On the morning of the 5th of July, about 8 o’clock, while the Army of Missouri was on the march southward towards Carthage, about 10 miles from that place (your division in advance), I was directed by you to deploy my brigade in order of battle, to meet the enemy, more than {p.23} 2,000 strong, with eight pieces of artillery, then advancing to attack us. Accordingly I arranged the brigade in order of battle, Colonel Graves on the right, the artillery in the center, and Lieutenant-Colonel O’Kane on the left. At this time Colonel Hurst was 3 miles in the rear with his regiment, which, having marched since 4 o’clock in the morning without breakfast, had, with my authority and of necessity, stopped to prepare a meal. I immediately dispatched a courier to the rear for him, and directed him to come forward at speed and take position on the right of Colonel Graves. You, general, with the remainder and greater portion of your command (composed principally of mounted men), while I was deploying, took position on the extreme right of the Army of Missouri. On the line thus taken by your division the other divisions formed as they successively came on the ground.

The engagement was begun about 8.30 o’clock a. m. by the enemy’s artillery, which opened a heavy fire of round shot, shell, spherical-case shot, and grape. This was promptly responded to by the artillery of General Parsons’ division, four 6-pounders, which had unlimbered in gallant style immediately on the left of my brigade. Captain Bledsoe then opened upon the enemy a steady and well-directed fire, by my direction, aiming at the densest of the enemy’s masses, ceasing fire whenever the enemy, driven from their ranks, took refuge in depressions on the plains so as to be out of sight, and reopening upon them as they again showed themselves in masses, notwithstanding the fire from the enemy’s artillery was rapid and well directed, and continued for forty minutes. Our loss, owing to the fact that our line presented no depth to them, was small.

At this point Major Murray, of Lieutenant-Colonel O’Kane’s battalion, had his horse shot under him by grape shot. The enemy then slowly retired for about 200 yards, halted, and commenced the engagement, when I advanced the whole line of the brigade in battle order, and reopened fire upon him by Captain Bledsoe’s guns, General Parsons’ artillery having by this time retired, as I learn, for want of ammunition. At this time the cavalry of your division, under your immediate command, was closing on the enemy’s left flank, and at the same time a large body of cavalry from some of the other divisions was threatening his right flank, and the enemy, after cannonading us but a few minutes, again retired under cover of the fire of his artillery, passing through the timber which skirted its banks, crossed Bear Creek, one of the tributaries of Spring River, about 1 1/2 miles in rear of their second position.

Up to this time the engagement had been in the open prairie, without shelter for the infantry or artillery of my brigade, who, being immediately in front of the enemy and in his line of attack, received the great severity of his fire. I cannot too much commend to your favorable notice the steadiness, worthy of disciplined troops, displayed by infantry and artillery of the brigade. Before the enemy returned the second time, Colonel Hurst, with his regiment, came forward from the rear at double-quick time, and took the position assigned him on the right of Colonel Graves. I again advanced in battle order the whole line of the brigade.

As I neared the timber, proceeding along the road I discovered the enemy through the openings through which the road passed posted in force on the brow of the hill on the opposite bank of the creek, distant about 400 yards, and only to be seen through the opening. At this exposed point I directed Lieutenant-Colonel Rosser to have the artillery unlimbered and to open fire upon the enemy, and at the same time I directed the infantry on either wing of the brigade to pass into and {p.24} through the timber, and engage the enemy at close quarters. All these orders were promptly obeyed amidst a storm of grape. The artillery steadily unlimbered, and opened a carefully-aimed fire upon the enemy. Lieut. Col. T. H. Rosser in person, with the calmness of a professor of entomology examining a rare addition to his collection, aimed one of the guns, while the enemy’s grape shot tore up the earth and disabled men and horses around him. In the course of the cannonading at this point Capt. Hiram Bledsoe and Lieutenant Wallace, of the artillery, and Capt. F. M. McKinney, of infantry, all of Lieutenant-Colonel Rosser’s command, in person served the guns, in consequence of the number of men disabled, Lieutenant Wallace remaining at his post, though twice wounded in the leg.

At this point the artillery lost in wounded the gallant Lieut. Charles Higgins, seriously but not fatally wounded, who, shot down at the gun he was serving, gained his feet and continued the loading until completed, and fell exhausted under the muzzle of his piece; Lieutenant Wallace very slightly wounded, and 5 privates. Three horses were also wounded, and 4 killed.

Lieutenant-Colonel O’Kane, with his battalion, upon the receipt of my order, advanced rapidly through a field, and on the skirt of the timber nearest to us fell in with the enemy, and aided by Captains Gaines’ and Kelly’s companies (General Clark’s division) and Colonel Burbridge’s regiment (General Clark’s division), engaged the enemy, and after a short conflict drove him through the timber across the creek back upon his main body. Lieutenant-Colonel O’Kane had his horse shot under him, and suffered a loss of 2 killed and 20 wounded. Lieutenant-Colonel O’Kane makes honorable mention of Captains Hale and Vaughn, who rushed into the conflict, and also of Captains McElrath and Gray, and Lieutenant Taylor, commanding Captain Warren’s company – Captain Warren having been shot through the leg by a grape shot.

Responding with spirit and zeal to my order, Colonels Graves and Hurst threw their regiments into the timber on the fight of the artillery, and advancing to the creek found it impassable on the direct line of attack at which they reached it, and, being forced to seek a ford at a point below, passed through the timber on the farther bank of the creek on the enemy’s left flank, but not until he was in the act of retiring. The enemy was a third time forced to retire.

By this time it was 2 o’clock p. m. The entire brigade, with the exception of Colonel Graves’ command, had been marching since 4 o’clock a. m. (Colonel Hurst’s regiment without breakfast), and I was proceeding to encamp the brigade upon the ground recently held by the enemy, the scene of their victory, when, learning that Colonel Rives, of General Slack’s command, with his regiment of cavalry, had engaged the enemy and needed support, I again called upon my wearied brigade to advance, to which they promptly responded; but the enemy before our arrival had again retreated.

The brigade advancing crossed Spring River, and was passing through the timber on its banks, and was nearing Carthage, when the enemy from a concealed position opened upon us his artillery. I halted the artillery, and ordered the infantry regiments of Colonels Graves and Hurst to leave the road and pass through the timber and flank the enemy on his left. In obedience to the order, Colonels Graves and Hurst, with their regiments, passed through the timber to the right of the road, and arriving in town fell on the rear of the retreating enemy, but being uncertain of his identity, did not at once open fire on him. As soon, however, as it was made certain by a reconnaissance that it {p.26} was the enemy, and not our comrades in arms, Colonels Graves and Hurst, together with the infantry regiment of Col. John T. Hughes, of General Slack’s division, opened a heavy and well-directed fire upon the enemy’s infantry, throwing it into confusion and forcing it to retreat with great precipitation. The enemy’s artillery again opened their fire, to which our artillery, which I had brought up, responded, aided by two pieces of General Parsons’ artillery, which had by his order reported to me at this point. The enemy retreated on the Sarcoxie road, and was followed for a mile or two by our indefatigable artillery and infantry. Night put a stop to the conflict, and my brigade encamped in and around Carthage.

The battles of this day of victory for Missouri extended over a space of 10 miles, and were continued for twelve hours. They opened the communication between Missouri and her friends, and gave her access to arms and munitions of war.

In view of the magnitude of these results, so important to the cause of liberty, political and private, in Missouri, and also of the steady courage of the raw levies of Missouri in face of a disciplined enemy, the 5th of July last past is a day to be remembered.

General, it may be safely said that this brigade, your whole division, and the whole Army of the Missouri engaged in that day’s battles have done the State some service.

I have no means of computing the loss of the enemy. The loss of this brigade is as follows: Killed, 2; wounded, 38; total casualties, 40.

Col. R. M. Stith, brigade quartermaster; Maj. George W. Morris, of Clay County, aide-de-camp, adjutant of the brigade; Maj. Thomas M. McCrowder and Sergt. Maj. J. Thomas Whitfield, all of my staff, deserve honorable mention for the zeal, discretion, and gallantry with which they conveyed my orders in different parts of the field wherever duty led throughout the day. Capt. Emmett MacDonald, volunteer aide; Maj. Charles C. Martin, and Mr. Joseph Donaldson, in like manner, rendered valuable service. To Capt. Charles S. Rogers, of your staff, I express my obligations for valuable information of the enemy’s movements, derived by him from personal reconnaissance of the enemy upon the field.

Without disparagement to the many officers of this brigade who faithfully and honorably served the State on the 5th instant, I recommend for brevet commissions Lieut. Col. Thomas H. Rosser, Lieut. Col. W. S. O’Kane, and Capt. Hiram Bledsoe.

With highest consideration, I have the honor to be, yours, &c.,

R. H. WEIGHTMAN, Colonel, Commanding First Brigade, Second Division, M. S. G.

Brig. Gen. JAMES S. RAINS, Commanding Second Division Missouri State Guard.

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No. 5.

Report of Col. James McCown, Second Cavalry, Eighth Division Missouri State Guard.

CAMP LEE, Cowskin Prairie, Mo., July 16, 1861.

Herewith please find my report of the engagement of our force with the Federal troops under command of Colonel Sigel [on the] 5th instant, near Coon Creek, 10 miles north of Carthage, Mo.:

My battalion of cavalry consisted of Company A, commanded by Captain {p.26} Crenshaw; Company B, commanded by Captain Johnson; Company C, commanded by Captain King, and Company D, commanded by Captain McCowan. The aggregate number of my command engaged was 250 men. The position assigned my command in the field was the extreme right wing of the army. From that position I was ordered up by Brigadier-General Rains in the direction of the enemy’s battery for the purpose of making a charge. My command advanced up beyond a cabin and near the middle of a grain field, when Brigadier General Rains joined me, and continued at and near the head of my column during the engagement and the entire day. Upon being joined by General Rains, I understood from him we were to charge upon the enemy’s battery on a given signal from the commanding officer of cavalry on the east wing. I neither saw nor heard any signal from the east wing to charge, nor was any order given by Brigadier-General Rains at any time for my battalion.

The movement of cavalry throughout from the west wing was a flank movement, and in passing out of the grain field my command [was] exposed to a heavy fire from the enemy’s battery, wounding Private George W. O’Haver, of Captain Crenshaw’s company deft arm shot off), of which wound he died at the end of two days; his horse was also wounded. And [we] advanced, wounding Private Elijah Wood, of Captain McCowan’s company deft leg shot off, but in a fair way to recover). Six horses killed in Captain McCowan’s company; several slightly wounded.

After passing through the grain field in the midst of the fire we were led into and across a body of timber and halted by General Rains, some time after which we were ordered across the prairie to the timber on Spring River in order to gain a position in rear of the enemy, but arrived too late, the enemy having gained the timber in their retreat before we arrived.

While halted for the purpose of ascertaining the position of the enemy near the timber on Spring River, we received shots from the enemy’s battery, one of which wounded Private John Byler, of Captain McCowan’s company, in the left thigh and leg, and also wounded his horse.

In consequence of failing to gain the rear of the enemy at the timber on the north side of Spring River, we had to pass some distance down Spring River in order to gain a crossing. After crossing to the south side of the river we traveled up the road leading to Carthage until within a mile and a half of Carthage, when we obliqued to the right of the road, marched up to a point of timber opposite to and about 1 mile south of Carthage, when we formed the line, and marched into the town of Carthage soon after the enemy had retreated out of town.

All of our movements during the engagement were according to the orders of Brigadier-General Rains.

I am proud in being able to state that during the whole day [my] command, both officers and privates, demeaned themselves well, and evinced more cool courage than is generally found among raw recruits.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES McCOWN, Col., Comdg. First Bat’n Second Cav., Eighth Div. Mo. S. G.

Brigadier-General RAINS, Comdg. Eighth Military Division Missouri State Guard.

{p.27}

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No. 6.

Report of Col. R L. Y. Peyton, Third Cavalry, Eighth Division Missouri State Guard.*

* Printed from an official copy.

CAMP LEE, Cowskin Prairie, Mo., July 19, 1861.

GENERAL: I have the honor to say that on the morning of July 5, while the army was on the march towards Carthage, I was informed by you that the Federal troops were some miles just ahead of us; then directed to ascertain the number of companies in my regiment properly armed and supplied with ammunition. I did so immediately, and found that only two companies and part of another had the necessary ammunition; the remaining six and a half, though the most of them had good arms, were totally without ammunition and could obtain none. I reported this to you, and was then directed, as senior colonel, to take command of the cavalry, composed of my own force, just mentioned, and also the battalions of Colonel McCown and Lieutenant-Colonel Baughn [Vaughan ?], and the companies of Captains Owens and Stone, of Henry County, and march them forward in the direction of the enemy. The force from my own regiment, composed of Company A, commanded by Captain Dook; Company B, commanded by Captain Marchbanks, and part of Company H, commanded by Captain Erwin, as also the battalions of Colonel McCown and Lieutenant-Colonel Baughn [Vaughan ?] and the companies of Captains Owens and Stone in a few moments were on the line of march. The balance of my regiment was left under command of Lieutenant-Colonel White. Major Tyler, of the regiment, went with us.

After a march of some 6 miles, and when arriving on the brow of the hill north of Coon Creek, we found the enemy posted about a mile ahead of us on the main road. Here a halt was ordered, and in a very few moments, our artillery coming up, the cavalry, by your directions, were deployed to the right, and moving down a sloping plain for about 400 or 500 yards, were halted to await further orders from yourself, my own regiment at the head of the main body, and the battalion of Colonel McCown filing to the right and taking position some 300 yards in advance of us. While resting here I received an order to send off the companies of my regiment to join that of Captain Shelby, detailed for some special service, and immediately sent Captain Dook and his company. While in this position the batteries of the enemy were on the left, to the southeast and north of the creek, distant about three-quarters of a mile from my regiment, with a large corn field between us, and directly south of us to the timber of the creek it was, I suppose, a little over half a mile, with fencing to pass through. After remaining at the point I have mentioned for some short time you appeared on the field and took command in person of the whole column.

By your order my regiment and those in rear of me turned to the left, and entering the field (the fence being thrown down for that purpose) came up in the rear [of] Colonel McCown’s battalion, who had entered the same before us and from a different point, and then the whole force by your command passed through to the timber of the creek. This was done under a severe and heavy fire from the cannon of the enemy, yourself in the advance. In rushing for nearly a quarter of a mile under the fire of the artillery, my own regiment (consisting then of only 60 {p.28} men), both officers and privates, bore themselves with calmness and gallantry, and halting at the edge of the timber reformed and passed through in good order to the prairie on the south side of the creek. Every officer and private in the whole column, as yourself can testify, were ready to obey any call you might give them.

After crossing over on the south side of the timber and gaining the prairie the whole column was halted, and remained there for some time. In a short while Captain Dook, with his company, regained his regiment, and the whole column, moving forward, keeping the course of the enemy, after a march of some 4 miles, was halted, in order that you might cross over and confer with those in command of our army on the left of us, you leaving instructions not to move until you should appear in person or send orders. Before your return to my command the column was marched forward in order to intercept the enemy at or before he should march to Carthage, which movement afterwards met with your approbation.

In a very short while you overtook us at the second creek, and the command was marched rapidly forward between the second creek and Spring River; the cannon of the Federal forces again opened upon us. After crossing Spring River, when within about a mile and a half of Carthage, the firing of cannon was heard in the direction of the town, and the command was by you then marched as quickly as possible towards that point. When within about a mile of Carthage, by your order we dismounted in the road, and, forming in line, entered the town, but too late to engage in any action.

I have further to report to you that all of the men in my regiment who left in the, morning with Lieutenant-Colonel White who could procure arms and ammunition did so, and then acted throughout the day with the forces on the left. Captain Moore, of Company C; Lieutenant-Colonel Graves, Leaky, and 27 privates; Captain Smith, of Company E; Lieutenants Ferly, Williams, and Bennett, with his 6 privates; Captain Bryant and Lieutenant Campbell, of Company F, with 4 privates; Lieutenant Martin, of Company G, with 2 privates; Lieutenant Brookoust, of Company H, with 12 privates, and Lieutenant Williams, of Company A, they being all who could procure arms and ammunition, with Lieutenant-Colonel White, I am informed, did gallant service in different parts of the field.

In the affair at Carthage Captain Moore was injured and Private Lewis Highley severely wounded.

I have great pleasure in stating to you that the officers and privates of my regiment and the officers and privates of the whole brigade while under my immediate command obeyed with promptness any order given by you, and conducted themselves with the courage and steadiness of true soldiers.

I have further to say that the whole number of men, officers and privates, of my regiment that took part in the affair of the 5th instant was 181.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. L. Y PEYTON, Colonel, Comdg. Third Reg’t Cav., Second Div. Mo. S. G.

Brig. Gen. JAMES S. RAINS, Commanding Eighth Division Missouri State Guard.

{p.29}

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No. 7.

Report of Lieut Col. Richard A. Vaughan [Baughan ?], Seventh Cavalry, Eighth Division Missouri State Guard.

CAMP LEE, MO., July 19, 1861.

SIR: Herewith please find report of the battalion under my command in the engagement had with the Federal forces on the prairie near Dry Fork, 12 miles north of Carthage, the county seat of Jasper County, Mo., on the 5th day of this month.

The force under my command that day from my own battalion was 200 men, two-thirds of whom were armed with common rifles and shotguns, viz: Company A, Capt. R. H. Williams, 4 officers and 60 men; Company B, Capt. C. D. Smith, 4 officers and 40 men; Company C, Capt. J. F. Stone, 3 officers and 32 men; Company D, Capt. George W. Hopkins, 4 officers and 30 men, and Company B, Captain J. Crockett, 3 officers and 30 men, making an aggregate of 200 men. Colonel Hyde, of Saint Joseph, Mo., with about 100 men, was ordered to attach his command to my battalion for that day, and the position assigned to me was on the left of Colonel Peyton’s regiment.

When the order was given to charge on the battery of the enemy I moved forward with the whole command, having divided the force under me into two squadrons, giving to Colonel Hyde the command of the first, assisted by Major Bolton, and I commanded the second squadron, assisted by Captain Cunningham, of Colonel Hyde’s battalion. The men marched off in good order, and were anxious to fight. We were prevented from making a direct charge on the battery of the enemy from the fact [that] a strong fence ran parallel with, north, and between my command and the position taken by the enemy. We therefore followed in rear of Colonel Peyton’s regiment through the field, wheat and corn, until some confusion, occasioned by pulling down a strong fence, was discovered at the head of the column, when I obliqued to the right, intending to get a position in rear of the enemy and charge from that point. From the time we passed the brow of the hill in the field we were exposed to a raking fire of canister and round shot until we reached the timber. I am proud to say the men behaved admirably, promptly obeying every order given to them, and were remarkably calm and cool for young soldiers.

Lieutenant Kimble, of Company B, had his leg broken and his horse killed under him by a cannon ball. Lieutenant Badger, of the same company, had his saber and scabbard broken in two by the explosion of a bomb.* Private Hockaby, of the same company, had his horse killed under him. Capt. J. F. Stone, of Company C, had his horse killed under him while at the head of his company. Private Wilson, of the same company, lost his horse at this time.

I was ordered to take my command down the creek and cross over at the first crossing I could find. I did so, and joined the cavalry brigade on the prairie south of the creek. We were not near enough again during the day to give or receive a shot from the enemy.

Very respectfully,

RICHARD A. VAUGHAN [BAUGHAN ?], Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Vernon County Battalion.

To the ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL, Eighth Division Missouri State Guard.

* Casualty list appended to copy shows loss to have been 1 officer wounded and 4 horses killed.

{p.30}

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No. 8.

Report of Brig. Gen. John B. Clark, commanding Third Division Missouri State Guard.

HDQRS. THIRD DIVISION MISSOURI STATE GUARD, July 19, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to submit for your consideration the following report of the part taken by the forces under my command in the engagement with the enemy on the 5th instant in Jasper County, in this State.

On the morning of the 5th instant, at about 6 o’clock the line of march in the direction of Carthage was resumed in the following order: Brigadier-General Rains occupying the extreme right, Brigadier-General Slack on his left, my division on the left of General Slack’s and on the right of Brigadier-General Parsons, who formed the extreme left of the advancing columns. After marching about 5 miles, I received intelligence that the enemy was strongly posted in line of battle 2 miles in my advance and 8 miles from Carthage, on the road we were traveling. I immediately dismounted such of my men as were mounted, and caused all under my command who were supplied with guns to be formed into line of battle, under the immediate command of Col. J. Q. Burbridge, Lieut. Col. Edwin Price, and Maj. John B. Clark, jr. The line thus formed contained 365 men, rank and file. With this force I in person advanced, and on nearing the line of battle formed by the command of Colonel Weightman I observed Brigadier-General Parsons advancing with his artillery and infantry, and seeking to take his position in line immediately on the left of Colonel Weightman’s command, such position being the only available point for using successfully his battery against the enemy. Seeing this movement of General Parsons, and concurring with him in the propriety of changing our positions as observed in the line of march, I deployed my forces to the left, thus making my command occupy the extreme left of our line of battle.

It was now 11 o’clock. The enemy being posted something near a thousand yards from our front, with eight pieces of artillery, responded to the fire of General Parsons’ artillery with brisk and continuous fire of shell, grape, and shot, lasting between twenty and thirty minutes, which was spiritedly replied to by the artillery from the batteries of Captain Guibor, of General Parsons’ command, and Colonel Rosser and Captain Bledsoe, of Colonel Weightman’s command, killing and wounding a number of the enemy’s men and horses. At this engagement, and while taking my position with my force in the line of battle, my horse was severely wounded in the neck by a shot from the enemy’s artillery, which circumstance, together with the shower of grape and shell continuously poured upon my forces, caused a momentary confusion in the line, but was soon repaired, and every officer and soldier received the fire with the coolness and composure of veterans. Upon consultation with Colonel Kelly, commanding a regiment of General Parsons’ division immediately on my right, I ordered an advance of my forces in the direction of the enemy. At this moment General Parsons came up from his batteries and gave a similar order, when our commands, together with the battalion of Colonel O’Kane, of Colonel Weightman’s command, made a rapid movement in the direction of the enemy. After advancing some fifty yards the enemy made a retrograde movement in double-quick time over the eminence on which he had been {p.31} posted into a ravine, which effectually concealed him from our view. Supposing his design by such movement was to gain a position on oar left and to make an attack on our flank, the several commands changed their direction from the south to the east, each marching in separated columns, Colonel O’Kane forming the extreme right, with Major Dills on his left, Colonel Kelly on my right, and my column forming the extreme left. Continuing in this direction for half a mile, and upon ascending the hill, I discovered the enemy, who seemed to be rapidly forming into line of battle about one mile and a half from his first position, behind a cluster of trees, and upon an eminence on the south side of Bear Creek. Immediately in the front and for some miles above him was a skirt of thick brush timber, through which the creek ran, and upon which his line was being formed. We immediately advanced to the timber on the north side of the creek and took a position near the enemy, when a sharp and incessant fire of small-arms on either side occurred, lasting for about thirty minutes; but by well-directed fire from the battery of Captain Bledsoe, which early in the engagement was run near the enemy, and the fatal aim and steady advance of the infantry, the enemy was driven from his second position and forced to make a rapid retreat, losing one piece of his artillery and suffering a heavy loss of killed and wounded.

In this engagement my command, having engaged the enemy at a distance of from forty to fifty yards, and in attempting to cross the creek to charge the enemy, suffered a loss of 10 men killed and wounded. At this engagement Lieut. Col. Edwin Price had his horse killed under him while gallantly urging and cheering forward the forces.

A detailed report of the surgeon is hereto attached, and made a part of this report.*

When the enemy commenced his second retreat my forces were compelled to make a detour of half a mile up the creek before they could find a crossing, the depth of the stream, together with the abruptness of the banks, being of such a character as not to allow crossing at a shorter distance. When we had effected a crossing we heard the firing of cannon in the direction of Carthage, about 1 mile in our advance, to which point we rapidly hurried. On arriving there we found the enemy still retreating in the direction of Carthage, but occasionally firing his artillery to cover his retreat. At Carthage a sharp conflict occurred, of some fifteen or twenty minutes, between the enemy and portions of the cavalry, infantry, and artillery of the several divisions, when he again retreated, and were pursued for several miles beyond Carthage, and until the darkness of the night caused a cessation of the pursuit.

Thus ended a conflict in which the citizen soldiery of Missouri have given to the world an earnest of their determination to defend their rights and redress their wrongs, and which inspires hope of success in the stormy future upon which we are now entering.

I have no means at hand to give an accurate account of the loss of the enemy. From the number of his dead and wounded scattered upon his line of retreat it cannot be otherwise than great.

In this connection it gives me pleasure to state that my entire command, officers and soldiers, acquitted themselves with honor, and deserve the gratitude of the country; and I desire in this public manner to bear my testimony to their valor and zeal, and to make my public acknowledgment to my entire staff and to Col. J. Q. Burbridge, Lieut. Col. Edwin Price, and Maj. John B. Clark, jr., of the First Regiment of {p.32} Infantry, and to the respective captains, lieutenants, and privates under their immediate commands in the several engagements. A full and complete list of the names of officers and privates is hereto attached, and made a part of this report.**

Surg. W. C. Boon, of Fayette, Howard County, Missouri, and John J. Grinstead, of Chariton County, and Asst. Surg. S. A. Peters, of Boone County, Missouri, by their unremitting attention to the wounded in the several engagements and the skill and success with which they performed a number of critical surgical operations, are entitled to the highest commendation.

Before closing this report I desire to express my thanks to Brig. Gen. M. M. Parsons, Colonels Weightman, Kelly, Rosser, and O’Kane, Major Dills, Captains Bledsoe and Guibor, with whom I was thrown during the engagement, and who at the head of their respective forces cordially and efficiently united and acted with me in every movement of the forces under my command. Brigadier-Generals Slack and Rains, with portions of their respective commands, engaged the enemy at points which could not be observed from my position, and I therefore am unable to speak from personal observation of their movements.

I avail myself of this opportunity to tender my thanks to Col. Thomas L. Snead and Col. William M. Cooke, who volunteered to me their services through the several engagements, and gave me most valuable aid, and under circumstances of continued exposure of their lives.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO. B. CLARK, Brigadier-General, Third Division Mo. S. G.

His Excellency C. F. JACKSON, Commander-in-Chief Missouri State Guard.

* Not found.

** Not found.

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No. 9.

Report of Brig. Gen. William Y. Slack, commanding Fourth Division Missouri State Guard.

HDQRS. FOURTH DIVISION MISSOURI STATE GUARD, July 7, 1861.

The undersigned, commanding the Fourth Division, begs leave to report that on the 5th of July instant his command consisted of Col. B. A. Rives’ regiment of cavalry, in the aggregate 500 men, and Col. John T. Hughes’ regiment and J. C. Thornton’s battalion of infantry, in the aggregate 700 men. At 11 a. m. of the 5th we met the enemy, 2,300 strong, in the road 5 miles north of Carthage, in Jasper County, where the line of battle was formed. Colonel Hughes’ regiment, with Major Thornton’s battalion, under Hughes’ command, formed the center of the line, the right being formed by the infantry of Colonel Weightman and Colonel O’Kane, the left with the infantry under General Clark. The enemy’s position being 700 yards in our front, a brisk cannonading was opened from the batteries on both sides, which was kept up for fifty-five minutes. Colonel Rives’ regiment of cavalry was ordered to threaten the right flank and rear of the enemy, which he did with considerable success, diverting their fire from the front.

The enemy retired from their first position with considerable loss, {p.33} but took position again about one mile south of the first and in the road, opening a brisk fire from their batteries upon our front ranks at a distance of some three or four hundred yards, which was promptly returned by Colonel Weightman’s battery. Colonel Hughes’ command attempted to occupy a woods skirting the enemy, where his small-arms could have been brought to bear upon the enemy, but owing to the deep water in the stream failed in his effort until the enemy had again retired in the direction of Carthage, being closely pursued by Colonel Hughes’ command.

In the town of Carthage the enemy took his next position, taking shelter in and behind houses, walls, and fences. This stand of the enemy was an obstinate one, dealing shot and shell freely from their batteries into our ranks. Colonel Hughes’ command, under his direction, and that of Lieutenant-Colonel Prichard and Major Thornton; was brought in close proximity to the enemy’s lines, when a deadly fire was opened upon them by our infantry. The enemy retired in great haste from his position in town, being hotly pursued by Colonel Hughes’ command, a constant fire being kept up. The enemy again planted his batteries on the heights one mile east of town, and succeeded in a large degree in protecting the hasty retreat of his shattered and disorganized column. Colonel Hughes’ command was pushed forward under shelter of a skirt of woods, and was again brought in very close proximity in the rear of the enemy’s retreating forces, and again opened a destructive fire upon their lines, the enemy still continuing to retire in rapid haste.

By this time nightfall had set in, and, owing to the exhausted condition of Colonel Hughes’ command, they were called from the field. A portion of Colonel Rives’ cavalry, m command of Captain McNeil, continued in pursuit of the enemy, continuing to annoy their flank and rear until it was entirely dark, and capturing a portion of their baggage, when the chase of the enemy was entirely abandoned. During the whole of the enemy’s retreat his flank was successively annoyed by Colonel Rives’ command.

In these several engagements the losses in my command were as follows: In Colonel Rives’ regiment 2 were killed on the field, 2 mortally wounded, and missing, supposed to be a prisoner; in Colonel Hughes’ command 2 were mortally wounded, 4 were severely wounded, and 2 slightly wounded.

I have the gratification to report that all the commissioned officers and non-commissioned officers and privates in my command during the several engagements on the 5th displayed all the energy and endurance of veterans, giving abundant evidence that they can be relied on in any emergency.

Colonel Rives’ separate report, herewith submitted, will show more particularly the operations of his regiment on that occasion. The undersigned, being employed the whole day with Colonel Hughes’ command, reports the conduct of that branch of the army front his own personal observation. My command captured on that occasion 8 prisoners, and 2 baggage wagons loaded with tents and other quartermaster’s stores. Valuable service was rendered me that day on the field by my entire staff.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

W. V. SLACK, Brigadier-General, Fourth Division Mo. S. G.

Maj. Gen. S. PRICE, Commander-in-Chief Missouri State Guard. {p.34}

No. 10.

Report of Col. B. A. Rives, First Cavalry, Fourth Division Missouri State Guard.

CAMP, COWSKIN PRAIRIE, July 24, 1861.

SIR: In obedience to your orders I herewith submit a brief report of the participation of the First Regiment Cavalry, Fourth Missouri State Guard, in the engagement of the 5th July.

My regiment was stationed on the extreme left of our line of battle within seven or eight hundred yards of the batteries of the enemy. A brisk cannonade was opened on our lines about 10 o’clock a. m. At the second discharge from the enemy’s guns two horses of my command were killed, and grape shot and shell fell thick in our ranks, the officers and men remaining perfectly cool under the fire. I was ordered by you to flank the enemy’s right and threaten his rear, which order was executed with as little delay as possible, having to tear down a strong plank fence which was directly in our way. In executing this order a masked battery, discharging grape shot and shell, was opened on my regiment, by which I lost 4 brave and gallant men. Capt. John N. Stone, of Company D, fell bravely leading his command. First Sergt. Joel Stamper and Private James Heron of Company G, and Private William R. Burton, of Company A, were either killed or mortally wounded in this action.

I crossed Bear Creek, and after the second engagement between our artillery and infantry and that of the enemy I got in front of the enemy, and formed my command on the north side of Buck Branch, in conjunction with Colonel Brown, commanding First Regiment Cavalry, Sixth Division Missouri State Guard, when another short engagement ensued, but Colonel Weightman coming up with his artillery, the enemy again retreated.

I was then ordered to report to and co-operate with Brigadier-General Rains, and endeavor to intercept the retreat of the enemy through Carthage, but in consequence of the difficulty in crossing Spring River, when we arrived there the enemy had passed through the town, being hotly pursued by Colonel Hughes and others. I joined in the pursuit and continued it on foot until dark. Captain McNeil, of Company B, being separated from my command, succeeded in capturing a portion of the transportation and baggage of the enemy.

Too much credit cannot be awarded to the officers and men under my command for the bravery exhibited by them on this their first battlefield, and the fidelity with which they executed my commands.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

B. A. RIVES, Colonel, Comdg. First Reg’t Cavalry, Second Div. Mo. S. G.

Brig. Gen. W. Y. SLACK.

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No. 11.

Report of Brig. Gen. Monroe M. Parsons, commanding Sixth Division Missouri State Guard.

HDQRS. 6TH DIV. Mo. S. G., 1ST DIV. ARMY CORPS, Camp on Cowskin Prairie, July 10, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report to you the movements of my division in front of the enemy on the 4th and 5th instants.

{p.35}

About 6 o’clock in the evening on the 4th of July I received intelligence from my quartermaster, Colonel Monroe, whom I had sent forward with an escort of 95 men to take possession of the hills near Carthage, that the enemy were in strong force in that vicinity, and the colonel demanded of me immediate relief. I ordered my division to halt for refreshment at Camp Slack. By 10 o’clock that night my wagons were reloaded with all the camp equipage, the animals hitched up, and my division under arms, ready for an immediate movement on Carthage, of which I had the honor of informing your excellency at the time. In a very short time thereafter I received an order from you to order my division into quarters and remain in camp during the night. Early on the next morning I received orders from your excellency to march my division in the rear of the army, which position I took immediately, Generals Rains’, Slack’s, and Clark’s divisions marching in my front in the direction of Carthage, which was about 12 miles distant. About 10 o’clock a. m. I received your dispatch, stating that the enemy were forming for battle in our front. I put my column in rapid motion, and upon arriving within about a mile and a half of the creek called Bear Creek, I discovered that the advanced divisions of Generals Rains and Slack had formed in line of battle. At this time I did not know the position nor the strength of the enemy, but hurrying up my battery, consisting of four brass sixes, on arrival to the left of Colonel Weightman’s battery I discovered the enemy formed for attack at the distance of 1,000 yards, and in numbers apparently 2,500 or 3,000, formed in the following order: one regiment to the right of the road, one to the left, supporting in the first instance seven pieces of artillery, with their third regiment in reserve 100 yards in the rear.

Advancing my batteries to the front and to the left of Colonel Weightman’s, forming my infantry, under Colonel Kelly and Major Dills, to the left of my artillery, General Clark’s division coming rapidly into line upon the left of my infantry, my cavalry, under Colonel Brown, Captain Alexander, and Captain Crews, I ordered to take position on the extreme left of General Clark’s line.

Having made this disposition of my forces, being so cordially and promptly co-operated with by General Clark, I rode up to my battery and ordered Captain Guibor, its commandant, to open fire, which was done instanter. The enemy’s batteries immediately responded, Colonel Weightman’s battery returning the fire as promptly. Without any material change of position, the batteries continued their conflict for about twenty minutes to the great disadvantage of the enemy; but not wishing to have my infantry any longer exposed to the enemy’s batteries, I determined to harass them with the cavalry, so as to draw their fire, at the same time sending a body of mounted riflemen to Bear Creek for the purpose of cutting the enemy’s rear and to get possession of the crossing in that direction. I ordered Colonel Brown’s regiment of cavalry to make a demonstration on the enemy’s right flank, at the same time leaving orders with my adjutant, Colonel Standish, for Colonel Kelly, that so soon as I could make any efficient movement with the cavalry, to advance my whole line.

Colonel Brown advanced with his cavalry upon the enemy’s right flank, which caused him to change the position of his right, as well of infantry as of artillery. Two pieces of artillery were at this time diverted from my infantry, and directed exclusively upon my cavalry. Seeing that there was a prospect of surrounding the enemy, I ordered the whole of my cavalry, Colonel Brown commanding, to Bear Creek, to occupy the timber at the crossing, and, if possible, prevent their {p.36} retreat. The enemy, discovering the object of this movement, commenced a slow and sullen retreat by their right flank, Colonel Kelly, General Clark, and my battery promptly advancing upon them. The cavalry did not succeed in getting the position designated for them, in consequence of which the enemy were successful in recrossing Bear Creek and establishing themselves on a steep eminence on its south bank. Reconnoitering this position, which was about three-quarters of a mile from the first occupied by the enemy, I found the enemy’s batteries stationed so as to completely command the crossing, which was about 30 feet wide, the creek itself being about the same distance in width, thick timber and undergrowth lining the banks of the stream on either side for about 30 yards in width to the right and left of the crossing for several miles above and below. On their right flank on the north side of the creek and to our left of the ford was a large field, its southern boundary being on the timber north of the creek. The enemy’s batteries from the eminence on which they were posted completely commanded the field. Discovering their forces deploying to their right, and taking possession of the timber on their side of the creek, I found it absolutely necessary for the success of the day to make a rapid movement of the infantry through the field above mentioned and get possession of the timber on our side of the stream. This movement was executed with great gallantry by the following commands in the following order: Colonel Kelly’s regiment leading, and to the left of my division; Major Dills’ battalion close upon his right; Colonel O’Kane, of the Warsaw regiment, on the right, and Colonel Clark, with his usual promptness, co-operating upon my extreme left. The enemy used every effort in their power to prevent the success of this movement. They fired rapid volleys of grape, shell, and round shot upon this command in its advance through the field; yet our troops, without wavering, gallantly succeeded in gaining the south side of it, and, rapidly deploying, threw themselves over the fence and into the timber. In the mean time Colonel Weightman had planted his battery on our side of the creek in the road immediately in front of the enemy’s and opened fire.

The action on the enemy’s right with General Clark’s infantry and mine now became general, the opposing lines having arrived within 30 or 40 yards of each other. Brisk volleys on both sides were kept up for nearly half an hour, and the enemy finally gave way and retreated under cover of their artillery.

Not being advised as to what was going on to the right of the road and to the right of Colonel Weightman’s battery, I then rode up to a high point of ground which commanded a view of the enemy’s position and our own lines to the right. I then discovered that the whole force of the enemy were in full retreat. I then ordered my infantry and artillery forward. Colonel Kelly, Major Dills, and Captain Guibor, of the artillery, although having been engaged in a fatiguing action, promptly advanced. Having obtained position upon the open plain, I discovered that the enemy had obtained a position upon the plain about 2 miles from Spring River, having formed at a house merely as a feint to cover their retreat through the defiles on Spring River in the direction of Carthage. This river is about one and a half miles from Carthage. I advanced my infantry and two pieces of my artillery for the purpose of again giving them battle, but before my forces came up the enemy had accomplished their object, and again retreated.

When I arrived at Spring River, having ascertained that two pieces of my artillery, under Captain Guibor, had already crossed and were in the front, I delayed a while for my infantry to come up, which they did {p.37} as promptly as they could. The river being deep, and the men wearied from their long exertion, I turned my carriage back to ford them over the stream. Immediately thereafter I ordered them to the front at as quick a pace as I thought they were able to march. About this time I heard cannonading in Carthage, about one mile in advance. Hurrying up with my infantry, I arrived in town, and found there a body of cavalry. I ordered them to the front immediately. Passing to the east of the town I found my artillery engaged with the enemy at a mile distant, the enemy having occupied the wood at my left, about 400 yards distant. By this time, Colonel Kelly having arrived with my infantry, I ordered him to advance immediately and take possession of the wood to my left. After a few minutes’ sharp firing the enemy was again dislodged and in full retreat across the prairie.

It is due to Major Dills, of the infantry, and to Captain Alexander, of the mounted service, to say that they and their commands acted with great discretion and bravery in driving the enemy from this last position.

At this position it is with regret that I report to your excellency that one of my bravest and best officers fell at the head of his command, viz, Captain McKinzie, of the Clark Township Southern Guards. Your excellency will pardon me for the digression when I state that this valuable officer was my orderly sergeant through Doniphan’s campaign in Mexico, when we were striving to uphold the very flag which now floats at the head of the menials that attempt to oppress us. I deem this testimonial of my regard for him as due on account of our long association together in defense of our country.

Our army at this time (it being sunset) having driven the enemy beyond the mills east of Carthage, which it was my original intention to occupy, and having ordered my commissary, Colonel Roberts, to move forward with a detachment to take possession of a considerable quantity of flour which I had ascertained was in the mill, I then directed my infantry and cavalry and artillery to retire into camp about one-quarter of a mile to the east of Carthage.

While it is due that I should say to your excellency that my artillery and cavalry acted with the greatest bravery and precision; and, without any intention to detract from the merits of any other officer upon the field, it is due that I should call to your excellency’s especial notice the ability and daring of Colonel Kelly, of my regiment of infantry, and all the officers under his command; also Major Dills and the battalion under his command, and also Captain Guibor and Lieutenant Barlow, of the artillery. I might recount several instances of personal valor of the two last-mentioned officers which came under my own observation, but it is sufficient to say that by their prowess the artillery of my division won a position upon the field. I will also state that I was gallantly sustained upon the field by all my staff.

My casualties were as follows: Killed, Captain McKinzie; wounded, Jesse Gilfillan, second lieutenant, Colonel Kelly’s regiment; Thomas Doyle, William D. Hicks, and Garret Scott. Capt. Lucius Gaines, of Major Dills’ battalion B. F. Asbury, of Captain Crews’ company, and R. E. Baber, of Captain Livingston’s company, were slightly wounded. The number of the enemy killed and wounded in the field has, I presume, been already reported to you by the proper authorities.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. M. PARSONS, Brigadier-General.

Gov. C. F. JACKSON, Commander-in-Chief Missouri State Guard.

{p.38}

JULY 5, 1861.–Capture of Union Troops at Neosho, Mo.

REPORTS.

No. 1.–Capt. Joseph Conrad, Third Missouri Infantry (Union).
No. 2.–Brig. Gen. Ben. McCulloch, C. S. Army.
No. 3.–Capt. James McIntosh, C. S. Army.

No. 1.

Report of Capt. Joseph Conrad, Third Missouri Infantry (Union).

SPRINGFIELD, MO., July 11, 1861.

SIR: In accordance with your order, I most respectfully make hereby a statement of facts concerning the surrender of myself and men at Neosho, July 5, 1861:

After you had left Neosho, on the 4th day of July, I observed that the city was very unquiet. I took all necessary precautions, by placing extra sentinels and sending out patrols every half hour, day and night. The Fourth passed off quietly.

On the 5th day of July the same precaution was taken. About 11 o’clock I heard the cannonading, whereon I immediately dispatched a patrol of 20 men, under the command of Lieutenant Damde, to inquire, if possible, the cause of it. At 1 o’clock I received orders, signed by Brigade Quartermaster Richardson, to retreat with my command, if necessary. Lieutenant Damde, with his patrol returned about the same time. They had scarcely returned-in fact, had not been in camp more than ten minutes-before the enemy came pouring in in all directions to the number of about 1,200 to 1,500 men, under the command of Colonel Churchill and Major McIntosh (Arkansas Rangers). Finding it impossible for me to hold my post with success, after due deliberation, after due consultation with my officers and men, I concluded it would be best to make the surrender as it was required-namely, unconditionally.

We were, after the surrender of our arms, placed in the court-house, where we remained until Monday, the 8th.

I must mention here that the officers of the Arkansas Rangers, as well as of the Missouri troops, behaved themselves quietly, accommodatingly, and friendly, both towards myself and men; but their privates, on the contrary, in a most insulting and brutal manner.

On the 8th we were released, we officers having before given our parole of honor not to serve any more against the Confederate States of America during the war, my men having before sworn to the same effect. We left Neosho on the evening of the 8th at 5.30 o’clock, with an escort of about 30 men, under the command of Captain Boone, for our security and protection, the people of Neosho and farmers of that vicinity having threatened to kill us in the streets. Captain Boone escorted us about 4 miles from the camp. After innumerable hardships and dangers, without food and water, our canteens having all been stolen from us by the Southern troops, we at last reached Springfield, my men all broken down, having traveled the distance of 85 miles in fifty hours, with hardly any food at all.

Having made this statement, I respectfully place the same in your hands to judge my actions.

Very respectfully, yours,

JOSEPH CONRAD, Captain of Rifle Company B, Third Regiment Mo. Vols.

Col. F. SIGEL.

{p.39}

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No. 2.

Report of Brig. Gen. Ben. McCulloch, C. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS MCCULLOCH’S BRIGADE, Camp on Buffalo Creek, Mo., July 5, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to transmit the inclosed report, detailing an account of the taking of the town of Neosho, Mo., by a part of my brigade, and of the surrender to them of 80 men, with their arms, &c. I am now within about 25 miles of the governor of the State, who I learn has been fighting his way to me during the day. I will push a portion of my force (now nearly 4,000 men) as near to him as possible to-morrow, and do all in my power to relieve him. It will depend upon his fate what my future movements may be. My great object in coming into the State has been to relieve the governor and the force under him. I will again inform you of my whereabouts in the course of a few days.*

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

BEN. MCCULLOCH, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War.

* See McCulloch to Walker, July 9, in “Correspondence, etc.,” post.

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No. 3.

Report of Capt. James McIntosh, C. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS MCCULLOCH’S BRIGADE, Camp at Barlin’s Mill, July 5, 1861.

GENERAL: I have the honor to inform you that in obedience to your orders I started at 11 o’clock a. m. to-day with four companies of Colonel Churchill’s regiment of Arkansas Mounted Riflemen and Captain Carroll’s company of Arkansas State troops to make an attack upon some Federal troops at Neosho, Mo., in conjunction with Colonel Churchill, commanding six companies of his regiment. We started on different roads which entered the town-one from the west, the other from the south-with an arrangement to make the march of 16 miles in four hours, and upon entering the town to make a simultaneous attack. I found that the distance was not so much as stated. It would therefore be necessary for me to have waited near the town an hour, and fearing that information would be carried into town to the enemy, I determined to attack at once, and made my arrangements accordingly. I dismounted the four companies of Churchill’s regiment about a quarter of a mile of the town, and marched them by platoon at double-quick within 200 yards of the Court-House, where we found a company 80 strong. I sent Captain Carroll with his company to make a detour and to take them in rear.

After halting my command I sent Dr. Armstrong, volunteer aide-de-camp, to demand a surrender of the forces. I allowed them ten minutes to decide. At the end of the time the captain in command made an unconditional surrender of the company, laying down their arms and side-arms. We took 100 rifles with saber bayonets, a quantity of ammunition, and a train of seven wagons loaded with provisions. Colonel {p.40} Churchill came up in good time with his command, and made an imposing sight with his mounted riflemen.

The officers and men did everything in their power to make the movement as prompt as possible, and they marched up to within a short distance of a force whose numbers were unknown with a step as regular and a front as unbroken as a body of veterans.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,

JAMES McINTOSH, Captain, C. S. Army, and Adjutant-General.

Brig. Gen. BEN. MCCULLOCH, Commanding Brigade, Camp on Buffalo Creek, Mo.

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JULY 9-11, 1861.–Skirmishes near and at Monroe Station, Mo.

Report of Cot. Robert F. Smith, Sixteenth Illinois Infantry.

HDQRS. SIXTEENTH REGIMENT ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS, Monroe Station, Mo., July 14, 1861.

SIR: In accordance with your order, on the 8th of this month I left my headquarters at Palmyra, Mo., with Companies F and H of the Sixteenth Illinois Regiment, and Companies A, F, H, and K of Third Iowa Regiment, and Company A, of Hannibal Home Guard, and one 6-pounder, and proceeded to this place. A heavy rain-storm coming on retarded our further progress. Early on the morning of the 9th I started south in search of the rebel force under Harris. At 4 o’clock p. m., when about 12 miles south of Monroe, our advance guard was fired into by the enemy, concealed in a clump of timber and brush, the first volley severely wounding Captain McAllister, of Company G, Sixteenth Illinois Regiment; also Private Prentiss, of Company A, same regiment, and slightly wounding a private of the Iowa regiment. I immediately ordered a charge, and drove the enemy from their cover. As they were all mounted, it was impossible to follow them farther with advantage. We found one of their men mortally wounded, and have reason to believe several more shot and carried off by their friends, and captured seven horses, saddled and bridled. We made camp near this place for the night.

On the morning of the 10th, having heard rumors of trouble at Monroe Station, moved my command back. On coming in sight of Monroe, found the station outhouses, seventeen passenger and freight cars, and other railroad property in flames, and found the enemy collected to the number of three or four hundred on our left. On nearing them they began to move off, when I brought forward the field piece and sent a few round shot into their ranks, scattering them in all directions. The only damage done here that I know of was one horse killed.

After coming into Monroe, I took possession of a brick building known as “The Seminary,” and inclosed grounds adjoining, its position answering my purpose for defense, if necessary, and the apartments good quarters for the men, who were without tents. During the day we made several advances on the enemy, without being able to get near enough to do much damage.

On the morning of the 11th the enemy began to collect from all quarters, and by noon we were surrounded by from 1,500 to 2,000 men. {p.41} At 1 o’clock p. m. they opened fire on us from one 9 and one 6 pounder, at a distance of about a mile. Their firing was very inaccurate, only three shots out of the first twenty-seven striking the building, and they did very little damage, my men being well covered by a breastwork they had thrown up. After throwing the first six shots, they moved their cannon some 400 yards nearer and opened fire. I immediately answered with the 6-pounder, dismounting their smaller gun, which made a general scattering, and caused them to carry their 9-pounder to a safer distance. Their firing from this time had little or no effect.

Much credit is due Captain Fritz, of Company F, Sixteenth Regiment, for the able manner he led his men throughout our little expedition. Also to Gunner Fishbourn, who planted his shot among them every time, but who had to deal sparingly, as he was almost out of shot when we were relieved. I was also much pleased with the officers and men generally for their coolness and obedience to orders throughout.

At 4.30 o’clock p. m. of the 11th a train was seen coming from the east with re-enforcements. It proved to be Major Hays, of my regiment, with Companies D, B, and A, of the Sixteenth Illinois, and one 9-pounder field piece. The enemy now began to move off, and by dark had left the field entirely, since which time they have been skulking about the country in squads, burning wood-piles, small bridges, and culverts, when opportunity offered of doing so without danger.

On the morning of the 12th we were again re-enforced by Colonel Palmer’s Fourteenth Regiment, who returned to Quincy to-day, leaving us in a worse position than ever, with the exception that we have more ammunition.

Colonel Palmer brought two brass field pieces with him, which he has again taken away. Something of the kind would be very acceptable here just now, as there is a slight probability of their being useful.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

ROBERT F. SMITH.

Brigadier-General LYON.

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JULY 18, 1861.–Action near Harrisonville, Mo.

Report of Maj. R. T. Van Horn, Missouri Reserve Corps.

HEADQUARTERS CAMP UNION, Kansas City, August 3, 1861.

SIR A former report of operations under my command having been intercepted by the enemy and taken from my special messenger, I reindite at this date:

In pursuance of your order by telegraph of July 16, I left Camp Union at 5 o’clock next (Wednesday) morning, to relieve Major Dean, of the Cass County Home Guard, at Austin, 45 miles distant. I camped same night south of the Little Blue River, 20 miles, with my command, consisting of Company A, Captain Von Daun, and Company B, Captain Millar, of the U. S. Reserve Corps, stationed here, comprising 150 men, together with 10 citizens, mounted as volunteers, under Captain Bugher. Our baggage consisted of ten days’ rations and a hospital wagon with officers’ baggage.

On Thursday, the 18th, at 11 o’clock, we halted at a spring in the edge of a timber, 5 miles north of Harrisonville, in Cass County, Missouri, {p.42} intending to remain until 5 o’clock in the afternoon before resuming the march. While the men were cooking dinner, I was waited upon by a man giving his name as Benjamin F. Hays, and representing himself to be sheriff of Cass County, who stated that he had come to meet the command, for the purpose of ascertaining who they were and what its object was, stating that the citizens of Harrisonville were very much alarmed, and that men were collecting with arms to dispute my march; that if he could get an assurance in writing that no person would be molested he believed he could allay the excitement and prevent trouble. I gave him a note stating “that I was an officer in the service of the United States, under military orders, on my march to a point south of Harrisonville; that my route lay through the town; that I had no intention of molesting any one, but that to the extent of my power every citizen, without even inquiry as to his feelings towards the Government, would be protected in person and property, if he remained peaceably at his home or business; that none but those in arms against the authority of the Government would be molested, and warning all such to disperse.” He then left my camp, first pledging his honor to return at 5 o’clock p. m. and report to me the result of his mission to the people. He never returned, and I have strong reasons for believing that he used his position as sheriff to gain admittance to my camp for the purpose of ascertaining the strength of the command.

About 2 o’clock p. m. parties of horsemen were discovered on the prairie within 400 yards of my camp, and I sent Adjutant Spiers and 3 mounted men to ascertain their characters. He reported from 350 to 400 men within half a mile, mostly mounted, but one company on foot, and that the officer in command desired an interview. I rode out, and was introduced “Colonel Duncan,” of Jackson County, Missouri. After stating to him in substance what was written for the sheriff and calling his attention to the United States flag, which was in full view, he informed me that “the people of that part of the country had determined that no United States troops should be stationed among them, and that if I persisted in marching forward I would meet with resistance.” I then rode back to my command, which had meantime been drawn up in line in front of the timber, and within fifteen minutes fire was opened upon us. My position was in the edge of a body of timber, the right of my command resting upon a cornfield, in the edge of which were two log houses; the left upon a ravine, on the opposite side of which, and about 150 yards distant, was a small log cabin. The effort on the part of the attacking force seemed to be to turn our flanks, and get the cover of the timber in our rear. To prevent this, I stationed a squad of 15 men, tinder Second Lieutenant O’Neil, of Company B, aided by Private Sharkey, at the cabin on the left, and afterwards occupied the ravine with another squad of 10 men, under Captain Millar.

It was on this flank that most of the fighting was done, the officers and men behaving with great gallantry and steadiness, holding back the whole force of the enemy’s cavalry for three hours, and finally repulsing them from the field. On the right, in the standing corn, and covered by a log house or stable, I placed a squad of 15 men, under Second Lieutenant Klingler, Company A, to prevent a surprise from the corn field. Learning that a body of foot had passed during the parley in the direction west of the corn field, I detailed 12 men under First Lieutenant Loos, to the rear of the right, to take possession of the third house and guard the woods in that direction.

A force of some 50 men had succeeded in passing entirely round the corn field, and were approaching our rear through timber and thick underbrush. {p.43} They were received by a well-delivered fire from the squad and repulsed, leaving one of their number dead and the captain of the company (Coots) mortally wounded. He died the next day. It was here that we lost one man killed (Private Heil, of Company A). The firing was kept up until near sundown, when the enemy retired.

In summing up the casualties, we found but one man killed, Captain Millar, of Company B, received a slight wound in the head from a buck-shot. I cannot too highly praise the gallantry of the citizen mounted men, who stood the whole time of the action under fire in the most exposed portions of the field, and carrying orders and making observations and reconnaissances with the greatest alacrity and fearlessness. It is to them that I owe much of the success attending the day.

At sundown I fell back into the field on the right, occupying the dwelling-house of Mr. James Smith, cutting away the corn around the house in order to command the approaches with our rifles. At this time my scouts reported a re-enforcement to the enemy, from our rear, of 100 men. I called a council of officers, and it was thought we could, by felling trees around the house, hold our position until re-enforced. We had, as we supposed, about 1,200 rounds of ammunition besides what was in the cartridge-boxes, but on opening the full box found them to be musket cartridges, each containing a ball and three buckshot. This determined me to attempt reaching the open country before morning, and endeavor to form a junction with Major Dean. I dispatched two messengers, one to ask re-enforcements from Fort Leavenworth and one to Major Dean, who, I had learned, had changed his camp from Austin to West Point, Mo., a day’s march.

In the midst of a heavy rain, at 2 o’clock in the morning, we broke up camp and started west. One of our wagons broke down in the deep mud, and was left, before we reached the road. We had made about a mile, when it became so densely dark that a halt was compelled, and the men stood in the road, under as hard a rain as I ever witnessed, until daylight, when the march was resumed. On reaching a branch of Grand River, I found it swollen to a torrent, and in places over its banks. I selected a tree about 100 yards below the ford, at a narrow part of the stream, with high banks, and felled it across for the men to pass over, then swam the horses, and attempted to float our stores and baggage across in the beds of the wagons, which unfortunately sank, thus compelling us to abandon them and two of our wagons. The march was continued all that day, fording streams and marching through overflowed bottom lands, until we reached the State line, some 18 miles southwest of Harrisonville, at Camp Prince, where I halted three days awaiting re-enforcements and supplies.

On Monday, July 22, Colonel Weer arrived at camp, and, assuming command, has kept you advised of operations since that date. I cannot close this too lengthy report without alluding once more to the conduct of the men of my command, many of whom lost their shoes and coats. We had no blankets, save private property-in fact, all our clothing was such-the men having only what they enlisted with; without tents, through drenching rains, yet bearing everything with fortitude and cheerfulness, with but few exceptions.

Respectfully,

R. T. VAN HORN, Major, Commanding U. S. Reserve Corps.

Capt. W. B. PRINCE, Commanding Officer Fort Leavenworth.

{p.44}

[Indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS FORT LEAVENWORTH, August 6, 1861.

ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL, Headquarters Western Department, Saint Louis, Mo.:

I commend the major’s report to the favorable notice of the commanding general. Major Van Horn’s command has done excellent service since being mustered in.

Respectfully,

W. E. PRINCE, Captain, First U. S. Infantry, Commanding.

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JULY 20-25, 1861.–Expedition from Springfield to and Skirmish (July 22) at Forsyth, Mo.

Report of Brig. Gen. Thomas W. Sweeny, U. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS SOUTHWEST EXPEDITION, Springfield, Mo., July 27, 1861.

SIR: In compliance with verbal orders received from you, I left this place on the evening of the 20th instant, and proceeded with dispatch to Forsyth, where I arrived at about 6 p. m. of the 22d.

On approaching the town I took every possible precaution to prevent the hostile force assembled there from becoming aware of our presence. The advance guard, which consisted of a company of mounted Kansas Rangers, fell in with a picket guard of the enemy some 3 1/2 miles from town, and succeeded in capturing 2 of them. Upon an examination of the prisoners, they informed me that there were only 150 men stationed at Forsyth; whereupon I ordered Captain Stanley’s cavalry command and the Kansas Rangers to press rapidly forward and surround the town.

After they had passed on, and before the remainder of my force had come up, one of the prisoners remarked, “If that is all you have, you will get badly whipped, for we have a thousand men in Forsyth.” Supposing this statement might be true, although contradictory of his former assertion, I dispatched an order to Captain Stanley to keep the enemy in check if he found the resistance formidable, while I hastened forward with the artillery and infantry to his support. The enemy in the mean time had received information of our approach, and having partially formed in the town, opened a scattering fire on the cavalry, but as it was returned with a well-directed volley from our troops, they fled to the hills and surrounding thickets, keeping up a scattering fire as they retreated. Under cover of the trees and bushes, they collected in considerable numbers upon the hills to the left of the town, from which they were dislodged by a well-directed fire of shell and canister from the artillery. The infantry meanwhile had been deployed as skirmishers through the woods and in the rear of the city, and but a short time elapsed before we were in complete possession of the place.

From the best information I could gather, the loss of the enemy in killed was 8 or 10, and in wounded must have been several times that number. Among the dead was Captain Jackson, who took an active part in the skirmish. Our own loss consisted of 2 men wounded, neither {p.45} of them dangerously, and 4 horses killed, including the one shot from under Captain Stanley, First Cavalry. The men belonged to the cavalry. Three prisoners were taken on the day of the action, and 2 on the day following.

The entire affair lasted about an hour, and both the officers and men engaged exhibited great coolness and courage. With the town we also captured 7 horses, and a quantity of arms, munitions of war, flour, meal, sugar, sirup, salt, clothing, cloth, boots, shoes, hats, camp furniture, mule and horse shoes, &c., most of which we found in the court-house, which was used as a barracks for their troops. The arms and munitions of war were distributed among the Home Guards of the county, and the clothing and provisions among our troops, of which they stood in great need.

The country through which we passed is exceedingly hilly and broken, and the latter part of the route almost entirely destitute of provisions for men and forage for horses.

Notwithstanding the adverse weather, which was remarkably stormy for a portion of the time, the march of 45 miles and the capture of the place occupied but little over fifty hours. The last day the troops marched 28 miles, the last four of which were passed over at double-quick time.

I remained in Forsyth till noon of the 23d receiving the captured property, and then took up the line of march for Springfield, which I reached at 2 p. m. of Thursday, the 25th instant.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant

T. W. SWEENY, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Brig. Gen. N. LYON, U. S. A.

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AUGUST 2, 1861.–Reconnaissance from Ironton to Centreville, Mo.

Report of Col. B. Gratz Brown, Fourth Missouri Infantry (U. S. R. C.)

HEADQUARTERS AT IRONTON, August 3-11 p. m.

SIR: I have to report a day of very contradictory rumors, but of some decisive information at last. On yesterday, as you have been already advised, I deemed it well to push forward a strong reconnaissance upon Centreville, to ascertain the movements of troops in the valley of the Saint Francis. The detachment, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Mihalotzy, of Hecker’s regiment, 150 strong, pushed forward to within two or three miles of Centreville, where they found the secession troops in force, and soon afterwards found themselves threatened on the flank from Buford by 1,700 men, under McBride. The officer in command at once advised me of the fact, and fell back towards Ironton. I dispatched Colonel Hecker, with 200 men, on the route towards Buford, to threaten McBride’s flank, and to establish communication with Colonel Mihalotzy. My latest advices are that the latter had reached in safety the point where the Buford road leaves the Centreville road, 5 miles from here, and, I presume, by this time has been joined by Colonel Hecker’s detachment. It will be observed, however, that the necessity of this concentration back upon Ironton leaves open the various roads to Potosi, Iron Mountain, and other points on the railroad. I cannot as yet ascertain what force is {p.46} supporting this movement from the Current River Valley. If it be of a formidable character, I shall have to rely upon intrenchments at this point. If it be only the movement of McBride’s forces, I shall cut off his communications if he advances, and fall upon his rear.

It will be necessary that two companies of pioneers, with their equipments, should be sent forward forthwith to this point, if it be designed to put this post in a defensible attitude. So far, I have had nothing, neither tools nor men of experience in engineering, other than Major Trout. If the position is deemed of sufficient importance, it should not only be cared for in such respects, but the necessary artillery, with a sufficient number of artillerists, should be at once sent down. I have scrutinized Colonel Hecker’s regiment, and found seventeen good artillerists, who are now organizing to take charge of the guns at this point. As the company of artillery whose time is out refuse to do any further service other than such as I have compelled them to perform, they should be recalled.

I would also ask for information what I am to do with spies and suspicious characters I find daily haunting this vicinity. Courts-martial will disable my command. I had thought of forming a military commission of three officers to take such cases in hand as a court of inquiry. Where the proof is found on the men they ought to be dealt with promptly.

In addition to the other embarrassments, I have to report that there is a portion of my own immediate command whose term of service expires on the 8th instant, and they insist upon being returned to Saint Louis at that time. Such persons are not fit to be relied on as soldiers, and I would submit the propriety of dispensing with the further service of all such. In fact, the three-months’ volunteers have been only a source of demoralization to the Army of the West at the best, and I shall be heartily glad to get rid of them.

There has been for some days past a movement of the families and goods of secessionists from this point, which either betrays fear of our presence or a knowledge of the approach of the enemy. I am inclined to think the latter.

If I shall receive no further advices this evening I shall call in Colonel Hecker’s command in the morning, only leaving strong pickets to note the movements to the west of this position, and sending out scouts to glean all the information possible.

Colonel Bland’s regiment returned barefooted, and with a very insufficient supply of clothing. It should be put in condition for effective service promptly. He complains very bitterly that his requisitions have received no attention.

Yours, respectfully,

B. GRATZ BROWN, Colonel, Commanding.

Capt. JOHN C. KELTON, Assistant Adjutant-General, Saint Louis.

{p.47}

AUGUST 2, 1861.–Skirmish at Dug Springs, Mo.

REPORTS.

No. 1.–Brig. Gen. Nathaniel Lyon, U. S. Army.
No. 2.–Capt. Frederick Steele, Second U. S. Infantry.
No. 3.–Brig. Gen. James S. Rains, Missouri State Guard (Confederate).
No. 4.–Capt. James McIntosh, C. S. Army.

No. 1.

Report of Brig. Gen. Nathaniel Lyon, U. S. Army.

HDQRS. U. S. TROOPS, MCCULLA’S FARM, 24 miles from Springfield, Fayetteville Road, August 4, 1861.

SIR: On the 1st instant I found the enemy advancing upon Springfield, and, so far as my information went, it was his intention to center upon it three columns, and this road being the one on which was the largest force and most advanced, I started out to meet it, in hopes to drive it back in time to turn upon other points to the west and northwest, where the other columns are expected. I reached Wilson’s Creek, about 10 miles out, on the first day, and on the second moved about 6 miles, and found an advanced party about 1 mile on from Hayden’s farm. Having little else than meat for my troops, and for nearly three weeks past having less than half rations of everything but beef which has caused considerable diarrhea, my command of volunteers, badly disciplined and clothed, were unfit to march forward and drive in the enemy’s advance, and proceed to the only camp in advance where water could be obtained, some 4 or 5 miles farther on, and where the rebel forces under Rains were some 3,000 strong, and who must be dislodged before we could camp for the night. I therefore stopped at Hayden’s.

The rebels’ advance perceived my halt, and being mostly mounted, became bold, and threatened me from various points, though in small force-though about 1,000 infantry advanced pretty well forward at one time under an advance of cavalry force. My advance guards of infantry opened fire upon them, and without orders from me, by a spontaneous emotion, the advance guard of my cavalry charged and drove back the rebels, but lost 4 killed and 5 wounded. Cavalry again advanced, but were driven back by my artillery, under Captain Totten.

Yesterday (3d) I advanced to this point, where General Rains, of Jackson’s forces, had his headquarters, and from which he retired without resistance. I cannot say with definiteness how far in advance the main body is, but without supplies, and the danger of being turned by a force to cut off our communication with Springfield, I deem it impracticable to advance; and now, as I determine to fall back upon Springfield, I perceive evidence of an attempt on the part of the enemy to reach Springfield, by a road to the north of us, in advance of our return. I hope the forces in Springfield will be able to hold out till our return. But, painful as it is to announce, I fear much my inability to retain position in Springfield, for the enemy, mostly mounted and very numerous, will cut off our means of obtaining flour, and we shall be forced to retire. I should still hope to retain Springfield and hold out against the enemy in this region but for the expiration of the term of the three-months’ volunteers, of whom Colonel Bates’ First Iowa Regiment claiming discharge on the 14th instant, Colonel Salomon’s Fifth Missouri Regiment at different periods by companies from the 9th to the 18th instant, and a considerable portion of Colonel Sigel’s regiment in a similar manner, {p.48} by which my force will be reduced to about 3,500 men, badly clothed and without a prospect of supplies. Prudence seems now to indicate the necessity of withdrawing, if possible, from the country, and falling upon either Saint Louis or Kansas. Saint Louis via Rolla will most likely be selected, with a view to re-enforcements and supplies. My forces are now nearly as follows, which I make up from recollection, not having returns for some time past, in consequence of the troops having been scattered around in the vicinity of Springfield:

First Brigade, Major Sturgis’.
Four companies cavalry250
Four companies First U. S. Infantry (Plummer’s)350
Two companies Second Missouri Volunteers200
One company artillery (Captain Totten’s battery)84
884
Second Brigade, Sigel’s.
Third Missouri Volunteers700
Fifth Missouri Volunteers600
Second Artillery (battery)120
1,420
Third Brigade, Lieutenant-Colonel Andrews’.
First Missouri Volunteers900
Four companies infantry (regulars)300
One battery artillery64
1,264
Fourth Brigade, Deitzler’s.
Two Kansas regiments1,400
First Iowa Regiment (Colonel Bates)900
2,300
Grand total 5,868

I have made every exertion to ascertain the enemy’s forces, and though this is very difficult, I am satisfied it will reach 15,000, and in an attempt to surround and cut me off there may be gathered 20,000, most of whom will be ill-conditioned troops, collected from Missouri and Arkansas, with such fire-arms as each man may have, and being mounted, have the means of threatening and annoying my command. In addition to the above will be of the enemy’s forces the organized forces of McCulloch, of Texas, supposed to be 4,000, well-armed, and prepared for effective service.

In fact, I am under the painful necessity of retreating, and can at most only hope to make my retreat good. I am in too great haste to explain at length more fully. I have given timely notice of my danger, and can only in the worst emergencies submit to them.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

K. LYON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Capt. JOHN C. KELTON, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Hdqrs. Dept. of the West, Saint Louis, Mo.

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No. 2.

Report of Capt. Frederick Steele, Second U. S. Infantry.

CAMP NEAR ROLLA, MO., August 18, 1861.

CAPTAIN: In compliance with instructions from headquarters, I have the honor to make the following report in regard to the affair at Dug Springs on the 2d instant:

{p.49}

The advance guard was composed of Totten’s battery and my battalion of four companies. About 9 o’clock in the morning a scouting party of the enemy’s cavalry was discovered a hundred yards in advance on the road. Two companies of my battalion were deployed as skirmishers, one on either side of the road, to act as flankers through the bushes. A shell from Totten’s battery dispersed the enemy, and we saw nothing of him for several miles, when some shots were fired at our cavalry flankers two or three hundred yards on the left of the road. Two companies of my battalion were again sent out as flankers, one on each side of the road.

After advancing about a mile and a half, the enemy’s cavalry, in considerable force, was discovered crossing and recrossing the road in front, where it ascended a hill, and was lost from our view in a dense forest. The road passed through a narrow valley, and on the left was a succession of spurs, sparsely covered with scrubby oak, and running perpendicularly to it, up to about a mile from the enemy’s position. Along the ridge of the last spur was Company E, Second Infantry, deployed as skirmishers, under command of First Sergt. G. H. McLaughlin. On the next spur, in rear of this position, was Lieutenant Lothrop, with his company of general-service recruits, acting as a reserve. On the right of the road the company of Mounted Rifle recruits, under Lance-Sergeant Morine, was deployed to skirmish through a corn field, and Company B, Second Infantry, commanded by First Sergeant Griffin, acting as a reserve. Capt. D. S. Stanley’s troop of cavalry was a short distance in rear, on the right of the road.

General Lyon left me with this force, and drew off the remainder of the command a mile and a half to the rear, in order to encamp near water. I was directed to hold this position unless too hotly pressed by the enemy, when I was to retire, holding him in check. From our position the valley sloped towards that of the enemy up to the foot of the hill, where it turned off to their right. From behind the hills, on our left was a deep ravine, running towards the enemy’s position. The bed of a dry stream ran along to the left of the road, and in places was deep, and skirted with tall, thick brush-wood. On the right of the road (the enemy’s left) was a deep ravine, running perpendicularly to the road. In a country of such conformation it was impossible for us to form any estimate of the enemy’s strength. Two small field pieces were in position on the slope of the hill on either side of the road. For several hours they took advantage of their hiding places to annoy us with random shots, none of which took effect.

About 5 o’clock p. m. Sergeant McLaughlin’s line of skirmishers was attacked on the left and front by a large body of cavalry, some 200 or more of whom were on foot and about the same number mounted. At the same time the enemy was seen advancing upon us along the road in column, with two pieces of artillery. Sergeant McLaughlin gallantly repulsed the first attack, but was soon overwhelmed with numbers and obliged to retreat upon the reserve, and all fell back into the road, where I came to their support with the other two companies of my battalion. We then advanced upon the enemy, driving him rapidly back. Captain Stanley, with his troop, took position on a commanding spur on our left and front, to prevent our flank from being turned.

The enemy was now in complete rout, a part of Captain Stanley’s troop having gallantly charged and cut through his line. While we were pursuing the enemy, who had fled, leaving over 200 cavalry horses {p.50} tied in the ravine, I received orders from General Lyon to retreat. We could easily have captured all those horses, but I supposed we were being cut off by the enemy’s column which was concealed from our view. We fell back in good order upon a position chosen by General Lyon, occasionally fronting towards the enemy, but without being molested by him. The enemy expended a large amount of ammunition, but aimed too high to do the infantry much harm, Private John Buskirk, of Company E, Second Infantry, received a severe wound in the hand.

The strength of the battalion in this skirmish, excluding the guard in charge of prisoners, was about 200.

The following is Captain Stanley’s report of the number of his troop engaged, killed, wounded, &c.* Conspicuous in the fight, First Sergeant Coates, Sergeant Sullivan.

About 800 of the enemy’s cavalry, in column, followed us up to within 600 yards of General Lyon’s line of battle, and were soon dispersed by a sharp practice from Totten’s battery.

It is impossible for me to make an accurate report of the enemy’s loss in this affair, but from the best information that I can obtain it is probable that their loss was about 20 killed and 50 wounded, including their loss from the shells thrown by Totten’s battery. Some of the enemy’s wounded men, found in a house near the field, told us it took three six-mule wagons to carry off the dead, and that their loss in killed and wounded was over 70.

Very respectfully, captain, your obedient servant,

FRED’K STEELE, Captain, Second Infantry, Comdg. Detachment.

Capt. G. GRANGER, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

* Nominal list omitted shows 42 engaged, 4 killed, and 6 wounded.

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No. 3.

Report of Brig. Gen. James S. Rains, Missouri State Guard (Confederate).

HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION MISSOURI STATE GUARD, August 3, 1861.

SIR: In consequence of the conflicting rumors which have reached headquarters regarding the action yesterday between the advance guard and the forces of General Lyon, I have the honor to report the following facts in the case:

About 9 a. m. our pickets reported that they had met the advance guard of the enemy, and had fallen back before them after receiving two fires from their artillery. I immediately ordered the whole advance guard not on duty (amounting to nearly 400 men) forward, and at a point about 3 miles from our encampment I found the enemy in position. Their forces were covered by the timber and brush, in which they could occasionally be seen deploying. At short intervals they threw out reconnoitering parties, which were checked and driven back by a party of sharpshooters, picked for that purpose. After having thus kept them in check for about five hours Colonel McIntosh arrived on the ground with a force of 150 mounted men, which, by my direction, he kept concealed. In person he reconnoitered the enemy, and reported to us as the result that there were not more than 150 of them on the {p.51} ground, which he presumed we were able to keep in check, and therefore withdrew his forces from the field.

In a short time the enemy attempted to outflank us on the right. I sent Colonel Cravens, with 150 men, to check them, and they soon were engaged, driving the enemy back in the utmost confusion. I immediately sent a messenger to report to Colonel McIntosh that we were engaged with a large force. The enemy, re-enforced by the regular U. S. cavalry, renewed the attack on Colonel Cravens’ command, when the conflict became severe and hand to hand. I then took the remaining portion of the guard with the view to cut off the attacking party on the right, when, on reaching them, the enemy opened upon us with two batteries, dispersing the mounted men, a portion of whom became panic-stricken and retired in the utmost confusion. I had been led to expect re-enforcements of infantry and artillery at McCulla’s Spring, and not finding any, fell back, in accordance with instructions, to the main army.*

I found from two of the wounded enemy, one a captain, that we were attacked by the army under General Lyon, over 5,000 strong, with eight pieces of artillery, which we held in check for seven hours.

I have to report a loss of 1 officer (Lieutenant Northcut) and 5 men wounded, while the loss of the enemy, as far as can be ascertained, amounts to 14 killed on the field.

I cannot speak too highly of the gallantry of the officers and men, particularly that portion who acted as infantry; but to notice individual instances of bravery would occupy too much space.

I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES S. RAINS, Brigadier-General, Commanding Advance Guard.

Col. THOMAS L. SNEAD, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

* See, also, General Price’s report of battle of Wilson’s Creek, August 10, post.

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No. 4.

Report of Capt. James McIntosh, C. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS MCCULLOCH’S BRIGADE, Camp on Crane Creek, August 3, 1861.

GENERAL: I was sent forward yesterday by your order with 150 men to ascertain the position of the enemy, who it was reported were attacking an advance guard of 500 men under General Rains. I marched rapidly 7 miles and met General Rains’ adjutant-general, who told me General Rains was engaging the enemy in front. I screened my men and rode forward with the adjutant-general, and found General Rains with his command. He reported that the enemy were immediately in front. I could see nothing, and told him that I did not believe that they were in force. I then rode forward to reconnoiter the enemy. From a hill I had a good view of the road in advance, and saw either a train or an encampment near it. I reported the fact to the general, and told him repeatedly that he was not sent forward to engage the enemy if in force; that all required of him was to find out their position and strength, and late in the evening to fall back to his position of the night before, take a strong position, and, if attacked, that he would be re-enforced. Having obeyed your instructions, I returned. When about {p.52} 3 miles from your camp, the command of General Rains, as I expected, came down upon us in full flight and in the greatest confusion.

I drew up my men across the road, and rallied the greater portion of them and sent them on in regular order. General Rains had engaged the enemy unadvisedly, and had sent for my small command to re-enforce him, which I respectfully declined, having no disposition to sacrifice it in such company.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,

JAS. MCINTOSH, Captain, C. S. Army, and Adjutant-General of Brigade.

Brig. Gen. BEN. MCCULLOCH, Commanding, &c.

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AUGUST 7-10, 1861.– Expedition to Price’s Landing, Commerce, Benton, and Hamburg, Mo.

Report of Maj. John McDonald, Eighth Missouri Infantry.

CAMP FRÉMONT Cape Girardeau, Mo., August 12, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report:

Agreeably to instructions, dated “Headquarters U. S. Forces, Cape Girardeau, August 7, 186l,” I proceeded in command of two companies (F, Eighth Regiment Missouri Volunteers, and F, Twentieth Illinois), on board steamer Luella, on the night of the 7th instant, for Price’s Landing, on the Mississippi, about 25 miles from here. Landed my command 2 miles on this side of Price’s Landing, and took up a line of march through woods and corn fields to Price’s residence, where I arrived at 2 o’clock a. m.; surrounded his premises, and at daylight entered his house, expecting to find him there; was however doomed to disappointment, as he had not yet returned from his camp, which is said to be established 14 miles south of his residence, with a force of 1,100 rebels; apprehended then as prisoners his son (William Price), who it is said held the rank of captain under his father, and his son-in-law; found in his warehouse a quantity of provisions marked “General Price, Charleston, Mo.” Among the lot were twenty barrels, containing in the center firkins of butter, on top of which were potatoes and oats, in order to deceive the public. This, together with other provisions, which were intended for the rebel camp, with the exception of six or seven firkins of butter (which I had the honor to turn over to you), I caused to be burned, having no means of transportation to bring it all with me. I did also take the teams which I found ready to haul these provisions to the rebels, together with one teamster.

I left there about 5 a. m. same day for Commerce; halted on the route about 3 miles above Price’s, where I had been informed I would find one of Price’s leaders, but on my arrival I learned from his family that he was in Price’s camp. I took there several head of stock, which his servants told me were intended for the rebel camp; after which I proceeded on my way to Commerce, and arrived there at 3 p. m. While there I apprehended two rebels, one of them known as the “Rebel Post Office,” a notorious rascal.

I proceeded from thence to Benton, 8 miles west of Commerce. I was, however, informed on the way that I would find there Jeff. Thompson with 1,100 rebels, but on my arrival found that there had been only two {p.53} or three hundred, who on learning of our approach fled to General Pillow’s camp, 48 miles from Benton. Halted at Benton until the following morning, when I found two teams belonging to parties who had been in Jeff. Thompson’s camp for over three months.

I then proceeded to Hamburg, about 5 miles northwest from Benton, where I was told I would find 1,400 rebels, but on my arrival there I found the place deserted of all male inhabitants, who were apprehending an attack from the above rebels. Receiving this information, I concluded to remain there twenty-four hours at the urgent request of the deserted families, and, at the same time expecting their arrival, I did, of course, make the necessary preparations to receive them; but obtaining no positive information of their whereabouts, I concluded to return to my camp, where I arrived on the 10th instant at 4 o’clock p. m.

In conclusion, I am under the disagreeable necessity of reporting that Capt. T. Q. Hildebrandt, commanding Company F, Twentieth Illinois, did disobey my orders on several occasions by allowing his men to leave the ranks on the line of march, and did on one occasion allow two of his men to go some distance and procure two horses under the pretense of visiting a rebel camp (as they said), which conduct the said captain did not report to me. On my accidentally hearing of this breach of discipline next day, I asked the captain how he came to allow such conduct, when he remarked “that the horses were loaned to his men in order to visit a rebel camp.” On another occasion, while at Benton, I gave positive orders that no man should pass the line of sentinels without my permission, in defiance of which the aforesaid captain did pass a number of his men out without consulting me, and the first intimation I had of it was that I saw two of his men breaking open a house which had been vacated and locked. I reported this to him, and directed him to bring his men back, and to attend more strictly to his company, which he failed to do. All of which I respectfully submit.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN McDONALD, Major Eighth Regiment Mo. Vols., Comdg. Expedition.

DANIEL BRADLEY, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

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AUGUST 10, 1861.–Battle of Oak Hills, Springfield, or Wilson’s Creek, No.

REPORTS, ETC.

No. 1.–Maj. Gen. John C. Frémont, U. S. Army, commanding Western Department.
No. 2.–Brig. Gen. Nathaniel Lyon, U. S. Army, commanding Army of the West, of operations August 5-9.
No. 3.–Maj. John M. Schofield, First Missouri Infantry, and acting adjutant-general, of operations of the Army of the West, August 1-14.
No. 4.–Maj. Samuel D. Sturgis, First U. S. Cavalry, commanding First Brigade, with return of casualties.
No. 5.–Capt. Joseph B. Plummer, First U. S. Infantry.
No. 6.–Capt. James Totten, Second U. S. Artillery.
No. 7.–Lieut. Col. George L. Andrews, First Missouri Infantry.
No. 8.–Capt. Frederick Steele, Second U. S. Infantry.
No. 9.–Lieut. John V. Du Bois, U. S. Mounted Rifles.
No. 10.–Lieut. Col. William H. Merritt, First Iowa Infantry.
No. 11.–Maj. John A. Halderman, First Kansas Infantry.
No. 12.–Lieut. Col. Charles W Blair, Second Kansas Infantry.{p.54}
No. 13.–Col. Franz Sigel, Third Missouri Infantry, commanding Army of the West.
No. 14.–Capt. Eugene A. Carr, First U. S. Cavalry.
No. 15.–Lieut. Charles E. Farrand, First U. S. Infantry.
No. 16.–Congratulatory orders from General Frémont.
No. 17.–Thanks of U. S. Congress to General Lyon’s command.
No. 18.–Statements as to conduct of General Sigel, forwarded by Major-General Halleck, U. 5. Army.
No. 19.–Maj. Gen. Sterling Price, Missouri State Guard (Confederate), of operations July 25-August 11.
No. 20.–Lieut. Col. L. A. Maclean, C. S. Army, of movements August 2.
No. 21.–Brig. Gen. Ben. McCulloch, C. S. Army, commanding, with orders and proclamation.
No. 22.–Col. T. J. Churchill, First Arkansas Mounted Rifles.
No. 23.–Col. James McIntosh, Second Arkansas Mounted Rifles.
No. 24.–Lieut. Col. Benjamin T. Embry, Second Arkansas Mounted Rifles.
No. 25.–Lieut. Col. D. McRae, Arkansas Battalion.
No. 26.–Col. Louis Hebert, Third Louisiana Infantry.
No. 27.–Lieut. Col. S. M. Hyams, Third Louisiana Infantry.
No. 28.–Maj. W. F. Tunnard, Third Louisiana Infantry.
No. 29.–Capt. John P. Vigilini, Third Louisiana Infantry.
No. 30.–Col. E. Greer, South Kansas-Texas Regiment.
No. 31.–Capt. J. G. Reid, commanding battery.
No. 32.–Brig. Gen. N. B. Pearce, Arkansas Forces.
No. 33.–Col. John R. Gratiot, Third Arkansas Infantry.
No. 34.–Col. J. D. Walker, Fourth Arkansas Infantry.
No. 35.–Col. Tom P. Dockery, Fifth Arkansas Infantry.
No. 36.–Col. De Rosey Carroll, First Arkansas Cavalry.
No. 37.–Capt. Charles A. Carroll, Arkansas Cavalry.
No. 38.–Brig. Gen. James S. Rains, Missouri State Guard.
No. 39.–Col. John R. Graves, commanding First Brigade, Second Division, Missouri State Guard.
No. 40.–Congratulatory letter from Confederate Secretary of War to General McCulloch.

No. 1.

Reports of Maj. Gen. J. C. Frémont, U. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Saint Louis, August 13, 1861.

General Lyon, in three columns, under himself; Sigel, and Sturgis, attacked the enemy at 6.30 o’clock on the morning of the 10th, 9 miles southeast of Springfield. Engagement severe. Our loss about 800 killed and wounded. General Lyon killed in charge at head of his column. Our force 8,000, including 2,000 Home Guards. Muster roll reported taken from the enemy 23,000, including regiments from Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, with Texan Rangers and Cherokee half-breeds. This statement corroborated by prisoners.

Their loss reported heavy, including Generals McCulloch and Price. Their tents and wagons destroyed in the action. Sigel left one gun on the field, and returned to Springfield, whence, at 3 o’clock in the morning of the 11th, continued his retreat upon Rolla, bringing off his baggage trains and $250,000 in specie from Springfield Bank. I am doing what is possible to support him, but need aid of some organized force to repel the enemy, reported advancing on other points in considerable strength.

JOHN C. FRÉMONT.

Col. E. D. TOWNSEND.

{p.55}

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SAINT LOUIS, August 30, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith the official reports of the several commanders of the United States forces lately engaged under the late Brigadier-General Lyon at Wilson’s Creek, near Springfield, Mo., August 10, 1861. The duties at my headquarters have been so various and pressing that I have not until now been able to submit these reports. I have thought proper to make them a substitute for the more formal return of killed, wounded, and missing, as required by regulations; tables or lists of which will be found embraced with the reports.*

The attention of the Department will be attracted to the very commendable gallantry of our troops, contending as they did against fearful odds-that of more than five to one-and I cordially recommend that this appreciation of the services of the officers and soldiers be accompanied with more substantial marks of the favor of the Government.

After completely driving the enemy from his positions with none of his force in sight, the successor of the brave General Lyon, Maj. S. D. Sturgis, U. S. Army, drew off his column, in good order, to a position 2 miles from the battle ground, awaiting the movements of General Sigel’s column.

The further withdrawal of the army from Springfield to Rolla was undoubtedly based upon good reasons, such as will appear evident from Major Sturgis’ report. The exhaustion consequent upon a six hours’ conflict, the great drain upon their supply of ammunition, and the expected re-enforcement of the enemy, all seem to justify the act of the commander in deciding to make no further efforts for maintaining his position in or near Springfield.

The following-named officers, distinguished for highly important services and marked gallantry, are hereby recommended to the special consideration of the Government:

Maj. S. D. Sturgis, First Cavalry, U. S. Army, distinguished for marked intrepidity and gallantry and for highly meritorious services, both before and after the fall of General Lyon.

Maj. J. M. Schofield, first lieutenant First Artillery, major First Missouri Volunteers, and acting adjutant-general to General Lyon, distinguished for cool and conspicuous courage and for his constant effort to Inspire confidence among the troops.

Capt. Gordon Granger, Regiment Mounted Rifles, acting assistant adjutant-general to Major Sturgis, distinguished for active and conspicuous gallantry, and for highly valuable services in reconnoitering the enemy, assisting in the service of the batteries, and in rallying and inspiring confidence amongst the troops.

Capt. James Totten, Second Artillery, commanding light battery, distinguished for conspicuously gallant and meritorious conduct and for highly important and valuable services in the command of his battery throughout all the operations of the day. His name deserves to become “a household word.”

Second Lieut. J. V. Du Bois, Regiment Mounted Rifles, U. S. Army, commanding light battery, for gallant and meritorious conduct and for highly important services in the command of his light battery throughout the entire conflict.

Lieutenant Sokalski, attached to Totten’s light battery, distinguished {p.56} “for coolness and bravery throughout the day” and for highly meritorious services in command of his section of the light battery of artillery.

Capt. Thomas W. Sweeny, Second Infantry, acting inspector-general, for gallant and highly meritorious services, “especially distinguished for his zeal in rallying broken fragments of various regiments and in leading them into the hottest of the fight.”

Capt. Joseph B. Plummer, First Infantry; Capt. Charles C. Gilbert, First Infantry; Capt. Daniel Huston, jr., First Infantry; Capt. Frederick Steele, Second Infantry; First Lieut. Henry C. Wood, First Infantry; First Lieut. W. L, Lothrop, Fourth Artillery; Lieutenant Canfield, First Cavalry, for conspicuous gallantry and highly meritorious conduct from the beginning to the close of the battle.

Colonel Deitzler, First Kansas Volunteers, distinguished for coolness and courage while leading his regiment against the enemy.

Maj. John A. Halderman, First Kansas Volunteers, distinguished for gallantry and good conduct in leading a battalion of four companies of his regiment against the enemy.

Col. R. B. Mitchell, Second Kansas Volunteers, distinguished for gallantry and good conduct at the head of his regiment, being “severely wounded in the thickest of the fight.”

Lieut. Col. Charles W. Blair, Second Regiment Kansas Volunteers, distinguished for cool and intrepid conduct in the command of his regiment, “attracting the admiration of all who saw him.”

Major Cloud, Second Kansas Volunteers; Lieutenant-Colonel Andrews, First Missouri Volunteers; Lieutenant-Colonel Merritt, First Iowa Volunteers; Major Porter, First Iowa Volunteers; Captain Herron, First Iowa Volunteers, for gallant and meritorious services.

Lieutenant Conrad, Second Infantry; Major Wherry, volunteer A. D.C.; Major Shepard, volunteer A. D. C.; Mr. E. Cozzens, volunteer A. D. C., especially mentioned for the zeal and courage they displayed throughout the action.

Brig. Gen. F. Sigel, commanding Second Brigade Missouri Volunteers, distinguished for gallant and meritorious conduct in the command of his brigade.

Maj. P. J. Osterhaus, commanding battalion Second Missouri Volunteers, distinguished for gallant and meritorious conduct in command of his battalion of volunteers.

Capt. E. A. Carr, First Regiment U. S. Cavalry, distinguished for gallant and meritorious conduct under the orders of General Sigel.

Second Lieut. Charles E. Farrand, First Regiment U. S. Infantry, distinguished for gallant and meritorious conduct under the command of General Sigel.

First Lieut. D. Murphy, First Missouri Volunteers, distinguished for gallant conduct and for meritorious services, particularly in assisting in the service of Totten’s battery.

Sergt. Robert Armstrong, Sergt. Gustave Deyand, Corp. Albert Watchman, Corp. Lorenzo D. Trummel, Light Company F, Second Artillery, for gallant and meritorious conduct, “being on several occasions greatly exposed and severely tried.”

First Sergt. George H. McLaughlin, commanding Company E, Second Infantry; First Sergt. Griffin, commanding Company B, Second Infantry, for gallant and meritorious conduct (especially mentioned by their commander, Captain Steele).

I also forward herewith Captain Steele’s report of the “affair” at Dug {p.57} Springs,** which preceded the battle at Springfield, and was most creditable to our arms.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. C. FRÉMONT, Major-General, Commanding.

Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Hdqrs. of the Army, Washington, D. C.

* See inclosure to report No. 4, p. 72.

** See p. 48.

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No. 2.

Report of Brig. Gen. Nathaniel Lyon, U. S. Army, commanding Army of the West, of operations August 5-9.

SPRINGFIELD, MO., August 9, 1861.

GENERAL: I have just received your note of the 6th instant by special messenger.

I retired to this place, as I have before informed you, reaching here on the 5th. The enemy followed to within 10 miles of here. He has taken a strong position, and is recruiting his supplies of horses, mules, and provisions by foraging into the surrounding country, his large force of mounted men enabling him to do this without much annoyance from me. I find my position extremely embarrassing, and am at present unable to determine whether I shall be able to maintain my ground or be forced to retire. I can resist any attack from the front, but if the enemy move to surround me, I must retire. I shall hold my ground as long as possible, though I may, without knowing how far, endanger the safety of my entire force, with its valuable material, being induced by the important considerations involved to take this step. The enemy yesterday made a show of force about five miles distant, and has doubtless a full purpose of making an attack upon me.

N. LYON, Brigadier-General, Commanding S. W. Expedition.

Maj. Gen. J. C. FRÉMONT, Commanding Department of the West.

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No. 3.

Report of Maj. John M. Schofield, First Missouri Infantry, and Acting Adjutant-General Army of the West, of operations August 1-14.

CAMP NEAR ROLLA, MO., August 20, 1861.

From the time of the arrival of General Lyon’s command at Springfield till that of the battle we were well informed through our scouts and spies of the movements and strength of the enemy. It was General Lyon’s opinion, and doubtless a correct one, that could we have moved forward at once and succeeded in bringing the enemy to an engagement, we would have gained an easy victory; but this movement was impossible. We found our commissary stores, which had been ordered from Saint Louis at the time of our marching from Booneville, {p.58} were still lying at Rolla for transportation. We were consequently thrown upon such resources as the country afforded for subsistence. The heavy rains prevented the farmers from thrashing their wheat, and our daily expected supplies from Rolla failed to come, so that at no time could our troops have full rations of bread, and much of the time they had no coffee or sugar. In the event of a forward movement even these limited supplies must have failed. Under these circumstances, the general made frequent and urgent appeals to the Government for aid in troops and provisions. It was well known that the strength of the enemy was rapidly increasing; that he was continually receiving small-arms and artillery from the South, with well-disciplined troops, while our numbers were continually diminishing by the discharge of three-months’ volunteers, and the strength of our troops wasting from privation, and large numbers of them were entirely without shoes.

To all these appeals for aid no favorable response was received. We were not even encouraged to hope for re-enforcements. Amidst these embarrassments General Lyon early and frequently expressed the most gloomy forebodings for the future. He saw clearly the inevitable necessity of either retiring to Rolla, and abandoning to the enemy all the southwest portion of Missouri and Southern Kansas, or of risking the utter destruction of his little army and the loss of all his material of war in a desperate engagement with a vastly superior force of the enemy.

It soon appeared that the enemy’s design was to move upon Springfield in three different columns, by the routes leading to that place from Cassville, Harrisonville, and Greenfield. General Lyon at once determined to await their approach only till they were within about two days’ march of our position, and then to move out and attack the strongest column, and in the event of success to turn upon the others.

In pursuance of this plan, it having been ascertained that the advance guard of the enemy had reached a point on the Cassville road about 18 miles from Springfield, General Lyon marched on the [1st] of August to the crossing of Wilson’s Creek, 10 miles from Springfield, and was there joined by the force under Major Sturgis, then encamped near Little York, about 4 miles west from the crossing; two detachments, under Colonel Deitzler and Captain Carr, which were absent, obtaining provisions, having been ordered to join the command as soon as possible.

A small advanced picket of the enemy was met at about 9 o’clock the next morning, and fled upon our approach. Toward evening of the same day the enemy’s advanced guard, of considerable strength, was met near Dug Springs, about 23 miles from Springfield, and after a brisk skirmish of several hours with a few companies of infantry, under Capt. Frederick Steele, Second Infantry, and Lieut. W. L. Lothrop, Fourth Artillery, a company of cavalry under Captain Stanley, and, finally, Captain Totten’s battery, together with two pieces of the battery attached to Colonel Sigel’s brigade, was driven in confusion from the field, suffering considerable loss.

The next morning a small force was again discovered at Curran Post Office, 3 miles from Dug Springs, but fled upon the first fire of artillery, our whole column moving forward and occupying their camp, the Second Regiment Kansas Volunteers (Colonel Mitchell) even pushing on by the left flank of our position to McCulla’s, 2 miles beyond, without seeing any sign of the enemy in force. It was too late in the {p.59} day to make an attack upon what appeared to be the enemy’s position, and hence our troops bivouacked for the night.

It had now become apparent that the enemy was only seeking to amuse us by demonstrations upon our front and flanks while he could retire to a strong position and be re-enforced by the columns that had been moving towards Springfield by the other routes, and which were making forced marches to join him, The general therefore called a council of the principal officers of his command, and laid before them the question whether we should advance or retreat, explained at some length the possible and probable consequences of either course, and asked the opinion of each officer present. The question was discussed at considerable length and opinions freely given. While all appeared to be willing, and most, if not all, anxious, to risk a pitched battle, if one could be brought on before our supplies were exhausted and our men so far weakened as to leave no chance of success, it was the unanimous opinion of all present that under the existing circumstances there was nothing left us but to retire. The order to retire was therefore given, and on the afternoon of the 6th the main body encamped about Springfield, while about 2,000 regulars and volunteers, under Major Sturgis and Lieutenant-Colonel Andrews, remained 4 miles from the town.

The enemy did not make his appearance during our retreat but the next day after our arrival at Springfield, his advance guard encamped at Wilson’s Creek. An attack upon this advanced force was planned for the night after its arrival at Wilson’s Creek, and orders were issued for the advance of a portion of the force under Major Sturgis and Lieutenant-Colonel Andrews; but owing to the lateness of the hour when our spies returned with the necessary information, and other adverse circumstances, the plan was abandoned, and the commands of Major Sturgis and Lieutenant-Colonel Andrews took position in the line of defense about Springfield the next day.

Strong advanced parties of the enemy moved forward during the day, and were engaged by our cavalry scouts. An attack was hourly expected, and our troops were kept upon their arms during the day. Frequent alarms from country people and Home Guards, who came rushing into town and reporting the advance of the enemy, served to worry and fatigue the troops, and deprive them of the rest which was absolutely necessary to fit them for battle after their fatiguing march. At length, about the middle of the day, a report from one of our scouting parties showed the enemy advancing, with a considerable force of infantry and two pieces of artillery, on the Little York road, and a force of regulars and Kansas volunteers, with two pieces of artillery from Colonel Sigel’s brigade, was sent out to meet them. The report proved in the main false, the small force of the enemy fled, and our troops returned without meeting it, having made a rapid march of 9 miles.

General Lyon then determined to make a night march with his entire force down the Cassville road, upon the front of the enemy’s position, and attack him at dawn in the morning. The chief officers of his command were called together to receive instructions relative to the order of march and plan of attack. Many of the officers were so strongly of the opinion that the execution of the plan was impossible, on account of the exhausted condition of a large portion of the troops, that the plan was abandoned, and the evening and next day spent in recruiting the Strength of the men, supplying them with shoes, which had recently arrived from Rolla, and in making all possible preparations for battle. Meanwhile our scouts were kept well out towards the enemy’s position, {p.60} and attacked his scouts with vigor whenever opportunity offered. The enemy showed no indication of an intention to advance in force, and hence our troops enjoyed comparative quiet during the day, and at evening were in good condition for battle.

During the forenoon of that day, the 9th of August, General Lyon and Colonel Sigel held a consultation, the result of which was the plan of attack upon the enemy’s position at Wilson’s Creek, which led to the battle of the 10th. I was not present at the conference, having spent the morning in going the rounds of the camp to see if any improvement could be made in our dispositions for defense, thinking all intention of making an attack had been abandoned. Upon my return General Lyon informed me of his determination to make the attack the next morning, and gave me the general features of the plan, but owing to press of business did not go much into detail. Colonel Sigel was to move with his brigade, consisting of the Third and Fifth Regiments of Missouri troops, six pieces of artillery, and two companies of cavalry (regulars), to the left of the main Cassville road, and leading to the right of the enemy’s position, while General Lyon, with the remainder of his force, consisting of the First Missouri, First Iowa, First and Second Kansas, two companies of the Second Missouri, a company of riflemen, eight companies of regular infantry and rifle recruits, ten pieces of artillery, and two companies of cavalry, amounting to about 4,000 men, besides about 250 mounted Home Guards, was to move down the road towards Little York to a point nearly opposite the enemy’s advanced pickets on Wilson’s Creek, and thence across the prairie, and attack his left flank. Colonel Sigel was to make the attack as soon as he heard that of General Lyon.

The column under General Lyon reached the point where the enemy’s most advanced picket was expected to be found at about 1 o’clock at night. The picket not having been found, the column halted and the men lay on their arms till early dawn, when the march was resumed, Captain Plummer’s battalion of regular infantry in advance, Major Osterhaus’ battalion of Missouri volunteers following, with Captain Totten’s battery. At about 4 o’clock the enemy’s picket was reached, and fled upon our approach. Major Osterhaus’ battalion was then sent on the right as skirmishers, Captain Plummer being on the left, and the First Regiment Missouri Volunteers, under Lieutenant-Colonel Andrews, brought forward to the support of Totten’s battery.

With this disposition the column moved forward about one and a half miles, when at about 5 o’clock a brisk skirmish was opened along our entire front. The enemy was now discovered in considerable force, occupying the crest of a ridge running nearly perpendicularly to our line of march and also to the valley of Wilson’s Creek, and lying between us and his main camp. The First Missouri Volunteers was now sent forward and deployed in line of battle, at once advancing upon the ridge under a brisk fire, and driving the enemy from his position on our right, while the First Kansas came forward and engaged the enemy on our left, causing him to retire. Captain Totten’s battery meanwhile moved forward in the center and reached the crest of time ridge.

The enemy now rallied in large force near the foot of the slope, and under considerable cover opposite our left wing and along the slope in front and on our right towards the crest of the main ridge running parallel to the creek. During this time Captain Plummer, with his four companies of infantry, had moved down a ridge about 500 yards to our left, and separated from us by a deep ravine, and reached its abrupt terminus, where he found his farther progress arrested by a large force {p.61} of infantry occupying a corn field in the valley in his front. At this moment an artillery fire was opened from a high point about 2 miles nearly in our front, from which Colonel Sigel was to have commenced his attack. This fire was answered from the opposite side of the valley, and at a little greater distance from us, the line of fire of the two batteries being nearly perpendicular to our own. After about ten or twelve shots on either side the firing ceased, and we neither heard nor saw anything more of Colonel Sigel’s brigade till about 8.30 o’clock, when a brisk cannonading was heard for a few minutes about a mile to our right of that heard before, and from 2 to 3 miles distant. This was the last during the battle.

Our whole line now advanced with much energy upon the enemy’s position, the firing, which had been spirited for the last half hour, now increasing to a continuous roar. During this time Captain Totten’s battery came into action by section and by piece, as the nature of the ground would permit (it being wooded with much undergrowth), and played upon the enemy’s lines with great effect. After a fierce engagement, lasting perhaps half an hour, and in which our troops retired two or three times in more or less of disorder, but never more than a few yards, again to rally and press forward with increased vigor, the enemy gave way in the utmost confusion, and left us in possession of the position.

Meanwhile Captain Plummer was ordered to move forward on our left, but meeting with overpowering resistance from the large mass of infantry in the corn field in his front and in the woods beyond, was compelled to fall back; but at this moment Lieutenant Du Bois’ battery, which had taken position on our left flank, supported by Major Osterhaus’ battalion, opened upon the enemy in the corn field a fire of shells with such marked effect as to drive him in the utmost disorder from the field.

There was now a momentary cessation of fire along nearly the whole line, except the extreme right, where the First Missouri was still hotly engaged with a superior force of the enemy attempting to turn our right. The general having been informed of this movement sent the Second Kansas Regiment to the support of the First Missouri. It came up in time to prevent the Missourians from being destroyed by the overwhelming force against which they were unflinchingly holding their position.

The battalion of regular infantry, under Captain Steele, which had been detailed to the support of Lieutenant Du Bois’ battery, was during this time brought forward to the support of Captain Totten’s battery. Scarcely had these dispositions been made when the enemy again appeared in very large force along our entire front and moving towards each flank. The engagement at once became general, and almost inconceivably fierce, along the entire line, the enemy appearing in front often in three or four ranks, lying down, kneeling, and standing, the lines often approaching to within 30 or 40 yards, as the enemy would charge upon Captain Totten’s battery and be driven back. Early in this engagement the First Iowa Regiment came into line, and relieved the First Kansas, which had been thrown into some disorder and compelled to retire.

Every available battalion was now brought into action, and the battle raged with unabated fury for more than an hour, the scale seeming all the time nearly equally balanced, our troops sometimes gaining a little ground and again giving way a few yards to rally again.

Early in this engagement, while General Lyon was leading his horse {p.62} along the line on the left of Captain Totten’s battery, and endeavoring to rally our troops, which were at this time in considerable disorder his horse was killed, and he received a wound in the leg and one in the head. He walked slowly a few paces to the rear and said, “I fear the day is lost.” But upon being encouraged that our troops could again be rallied, that the disorder was only temporary, he passed over to the right of the center, where our line seemed to be giving way, obtained another horse, and, swinging his hat in the air, led for ward the troops, who promptly rallied around him. A few moments later he was carried from the field dead. His death was known at the time to but very few, and those few seemed to fight with redoubled valor.

Meanwhile our disordered line on the left was again rallied, and pressed the enemy with great vigor and coolness, particularly the First Iowa Regiment, which fought like veterans. This hot encounter lasted perhaps half an hour after General Lyon’s death, when the enemy fled, and left the field clear as far as we could see, and almost total silence reigned for twenty-five or thirty minutes.

As soon as the enemy began to give way, and it became apparent that the field was at least for the present ours, the principal officers of the command were informed of General Lyon’s death, and Major Sturgis assumed command. He at once called together the chief officers in his vicinity, and consulted with them as to the course that should be pursued. The question was a very perplexing one. Nothing had been heard from Colonel Sigel for a long time. No one could tell where he was or what he was doing. Should we move forward in pursuit of the enemy without knowing whether we should receive any support from Sigel, should we make a detour to the left and attempt to join him, or should we withdraw from the field?

At this time a considerable force of infantry was seen to move around the right of the position from which Sigel’s cannonading had been seen some time before and advance in column toward the front of our left wing. These troops wore a dress resembling extremely that of Colonel Sigel’s men, and carried the American flag. The opinion was general that this was Sigel’s brigade, and preparations were commenced to move to the left and front and join him. Meanwhile the column in front moved down the hill within easy reach of our artillery, but was permitted to move on unmolested till it had reached the covered position at the foot of the ridge on which we were posted, and from which we had been so fiercely assailed before. But suddenly a battery was planted on the hill in our front, and began to pour upon us shrapnel and canister, species of shot which had not been fired by the enemy before. At this moment the enemy showed his true colors, and at once commenced along our entire line the fiercest and most bloody engagement of the day. Lieutenant Du Bois’ battery on our left, gallantly supported by Major Osterhaus’ battalion and the rallied fragments of the First Missouri, soon silenced the enemy’s battery on the hill and repulsed the right wing of his infantry. Captain Totten’s battery in the center, supported by the First Iowa and regulars, was the main point of attack. The enemy could frequently be seen within 20 or 30 feet of his guns, and the smoke of the opposing lines was often so confounded as to seem but one.

Now for the first time during the day our entire line maintained its position with perfect firmness. Not the slightest disposition to give way was manifested at any point, till finally the enemy gave way and fled from the field.

A few moments before the close of the engagement the Second Kansas {p.63} Regiment, which had firmly maintained its position on the extreme right from the time it was first sent there, found its ammunition exhausted, and was ordered to retire, which it did slowly and in good order, bringing off its wounded. This left our right exposed, and the enemy renewed the attack at that point after it had ceased along the line, but was met by Captain Steele’s battalion, which had just driven the enemy from the right of the center, and after a sharp engagement drove him precipitately from the field.

Thus closed, at about 11.30 o’clock, an almost uninterrupted conflict of nearly six hours. The order to retire was given immediately after the enemy gave way from our front and center, and Lieutenant Du Bois’ battery at once took position with its supports on a hill in our rear. Captain Totten’s battery, as soon as his disabled horses could be replaced, retired slowly with the main body of the infantry, while Captain Steele was meeting the demonstration upon our right flank. This having been repulsed, and no enemy being in sight, the whole column moved slowly to the high open prairie about 2 miles from the battle ground. Our ambulances meanwhile passed to and fro, carrying off our wounded, and after making a short halt upon the prairie we continued our march to Springfield.

It should be here remarked that just after the order to retire had been given, and while it was still undecided whether the retreat should be continued or whether we should occupy the more favorable position in our rear and await tidings of Colonel Sigel, one of his men reached us, and reported that his brigade had been totally routed and all his artillery captured, Colonel Sigel himself having been either killed or taken prisoner. Most of our men had fired away all their ammunition and all that could be obtained from the boxes of the killed and wounded. There was then nothing left us but to return to Springfield.

Upon reaching the Little York road we met Lieutenant Farrand with his company of cavalry and a considerable portion of Colonel Sigel’s command, with one piece of artillery. We reached Springfield at 5 o’clock p. m., and had the satisfaction of learning that Colonels Sigel and Salomon had each arrived there some hours before in safety. I at once started for Colonel Sigel’s quarters, and met him riding towards mine. He told me of his disaster, and said we must decide upon our course for the future. A council was called at my quarters, and was attended by nearly all the chief officers who were able.

Major Sturgis explained the circumstances under which he had assumed command upon the field; stated his convictions of the necessity for our retreating towards Rolla at once and before the enemy could organize for pursuit, and resigned his command to Colonel Sigel.

No difference of opinion seemed to exist as to the propriety and even necessity of the course proposed by Major Sturgis, and the necessary orders were at once issued, 2 o’clock a. m. being the hour designated for the march to commence, in order that the entire column, with its long train (370 wagons), might leave the town and obtain favorable ground for defense before dawn, when an attack would probably be made if one were contemplated.

Colonel Sigel arranged the order of march, his brigade and the Iowa regiment forming the advance guard, followed by the baggage train, then the main body of the army, and lastly Major Sturgis’ brigade of regulars. I gave the necessary instructions for the movement of the various portions of the train and of the different commands; made provision for the transportation of such of the wounded as could be carried with us and for the care of such as must be left behind, detailing four {p.64} surgeons for this duty; went to the various camps, except Colonel Sigel’s, and saw that all possible preparation was made. At 1.30 o’clock I went to Colonel Sigel’s camp, and found his wagons not loaded, his men apparently making preparations to cook their breakfast, and no preparations to march. I could find no officer to execute my commands nor any one to pay the slightest heed to what I said. I rode at once to Colonel Sigel’s quarters, arriving there at 2 o’clock, and found him asleep in bed. I aroused him, told him the hour for marching had arrived, and that all were ready except his brigade. I urged upon him the importance of marching at once if at all. He said, “Yes; I will move at once.” I started the train immediately, and sent the Iowa regiment ahead, directing it to halt about a mile from town. In this condition the column was delayed more than two hours for Colonel Sigel’s brigade, so that the rear guard could not leave town till about 6 o’clock.

During the first three days of our retreat the same order of march was preserved, the same troops doing the fatiguing duties of rear guard, in spite of my remonstrances. Although we made daily marches of only ordinary length, long halts were made in the middle of the day, so that while the advance guard would reach camp at night early enough to obtain and cook provisions, the rear guard would be in the road till long after dark, and in the inextricable confusion resulting from the attempt to encamp a large force with an immense train in an extremely rough and wooded country in a dark night, many would abandon as hopeless the attempt to find their wagons and get them in position, and lie down without food. Many of our men were compelled to go twenty-four hours without a morsel, and some much longer.

On the morning of the third day the whole column was detained three hours for Colonel Sigel’s brigade to have beef killed and cooked for breakfast, the remainder of the command having made their breakfast upon such as they had, and, with the exception of the Iowa regiment, marched 6 miles before the killing of beef for Colonel Sigel’s breakfast commenced.

By this time the clamor for relief became such that almost total anarchy reigned in the command. At length, after numerous entreaties from officers of the command, Major Sturgis resumed command of the army, giving as his reason for so doing, that, although Colonel Sigel had been for a long time acting as an officer of the army, he had no appointment from any competent authority.

Upon this change of command I was relieved from the duties of adjutant-general, and took command of my regiment, then without a field officer, and much in need of my care. My functions as acting adjutant-general of this command therefore ceased on the 14th instant,

Respectfully submitted.

J. M. SCHOFIELD, Maj., First Reg. Mo. Vols., late A. A. G., Army of the West.

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No. 4.

Report of Maj. S. D. Sturgis, First U. S. Cavalry.

HDQRS. ARMY OF THE WEST, CAMP CARY GRATZ, Near Rolla, Mo., August 20, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the battle of Springfield, fought on the 10th instant, at Wilson’s Creek, some 10 {p.65} miles south of the city, between the United States troops under General Lyon and the rebel forces under McCulloch.

On the 9th instant General Lyon came to the determination of attacking the enemy’s camp, and accordingly dispositions were made on the afternoon of that day for an attack at daylight next morning (10th). The command was to move in two columns, composed as follows:

The first, under General Lyon, consisted of one battalion regular infantry, under Captain Plummer-Companies B, C, and D, First Infantry, Captains Gilbert, Plummer, and Huston-with one company of rifle recruits, under Lieutenant Wood; Major Osterhaus’ battalion, Second Missouri Volunteers, two companies; Captain Totten’s light battery, six pieces, and Captain Wood’s mounted company of the Second Kansas Volunteers, with Lieutenant Canfield’s company, First Cavalry, regulars. This constituted the First Brigade, under Major Sturgis.

The Second Brigade, under Lieutenant-Colonel Andrews, First Missouri Volunteers, was composed of Captain Steele’s battalion of regulars, Companies B and E, Second Infantry; one company of recruits, under Lieutenant Lothrop, Fourth Artillery; one company of recruits, under Sergeant Morine; Lieutenant Du Bois’ light battery, consisting of four pieces, one of which was a 12-pounder gun, and the First Missouri Volunteers.

The Third Brigade was made up of the First and Second Kansas Volunteers, under Deitzler, Colonel Mitchell commanding the latter regiment. The First Regiment Iowa Volunteers, with some 200 Home Guards (mounted), completed the column under General Lyon.

The second column, under Colonel Sigel, consisted of the Third and Fifth Regiments Missouri Volunteers; one company of cavalry, under Captain Carr; one company Second Dragoons, under Lieutenant Farrand (First Infantry), and one light battery of six pieces. This column was to march by road on the left of the main Cassville road, and leading to the supposed right of the enemy’s position.

Here my official information of the movements of Colonel Sigel’s column ceases, as we have not been able to procure any written report of its operations. General Lyon marched from Springfield at 5 o’clock p. m. on the 9th, making a detour to the right, at 1 o’clock in the morning arriving in view of the enemy’s guard fires. Here the column halted and lay on their arms until the dawn of day, when it again moved forward. Captain Gilbert’s company, which had formed the advance during the night, still remained in advance, and the column moved in the same order in which it had halted.

A southeasterly direction was now taken, with a view to strike the extreme northern point of the enemy’s camp. At daylight a line of battle was formed, closely followed by Totten’s battery, supported by a strong reserve. In this order we advanced, with skirmishers in front, until the first outpost of the rebels was encountered and driven in, when the column was halted, and the following dispositions made, viz: Captain Plummer’s battalion, with the Home Guards on his left, were to cross Wilson’s Creek and move towards the front, keeping pace with the advance on the opposite bank, for the purpose of protecting our left flank against any attempt of the enemy to turn it. After crossing a ravine and ascending a high ridge, we came in full view of a considerable force of the enemy’s skirmishers. Major Osterhaus’ battalion was at once deployed to the right, and two companies of the First Missouri Volunteers, under Captains Yates and Cavender, were deployed to the left, all as skirmishers. The firing now became very severe, and {p.66} it was evident we were approaching the enemy’s stronghold, where they intended giving battle. A few shells from Totten’s battery assisted our skirmishers in clearing the ground in front.

The First Missouri and First Kansas moved at once to the front, supported by Totten’s battery; and the First Iowa Regiment, Du Bois’ battery, Steele’s battalion, and the Second Kansas were held in reserve. The Missouri First now took its position in front, upon the crest of a small elevated plateau. The First Kansas was posted on the left of the First Missouri, and separated from it some 60 yards on account of a ravine. The First Iowa took its position on the left of the First Kansas, while Totten’s battery was placed opposite the interval between the First Kansas and the First Missouri. Major Osterhaus’ battalion occupied the extreme right, with his right resting on a ravine which turned abruptly to our right and rear. Du Bois’ battery, supported by Steele’s battalion, was placed some 80 yards to left and rear of Totten’s guns, so as to bear upon a powerful battery of the enemy, posted to our left and front, on the opposite side of Wilson’s Creek, to sweep the entire plateau upon which our troops were formed.

The enemy now rallied in large force near the foot of the slope, and under considerable cover opposite our left wing, and along the slope in front, and on our right towards the crest of the main range running parallel to the creek. During this time Captain Plummer, with his four companies of infantry, had moved down a ridge about 500 yards to our left, and separated from us by a deep ravine, and reached its abrupt terminus, where he found his farther progress arrested by a large force of infantry occupying a corn field in the valley in his front. At this moment an artillery fire was opened from a high point about 2 miles distant, and nearly in our front, from which Colonel Sigel was to have commenced his attack. This fire was answered from the opposite side of the valley, and at a little greater distance from us, the line of fire of the batteries being nearly perpendicular to our own. After about ten or twelve shots on either side the firing ceased, and we neither heard nor saw anything more of Colonel Sigel’s brigade until about 8.30 o’clock, when a brisk cannonading was heard for a few minutes about a mile to the right of that heard before, and from 2 to 3 miles distant.

Our whole line now advanced with much energy upon the enemy’s position. The firing, which had been spirited for the last half hour, was now increasing to a continuous roar. During this time, Captain Totten’s battery came into action by section and by piece, as the nature of the ground would permit (it being wooded, with much undergrowth), and played upon the enemy’s lines with great effect. After a fierce engagement, lasting perhaps half an hour, and in which our troops retired two or three times, in more or less disorder, but never more than a few yards, again to rally and press forward with increased vigor, the enemy gave way in the utmost confusion, and left us in possession of the position. Meanwhile Captain Plummer was ordered to move forward on our left, but meeting with overpowering resistance from the large mass of infantry in the corn field in his front and in the woods beyond, was compelled to fall back; but at this moment Lieutenant Du Bois’ battery, which had taken position on our left flank, supported by Captain Steele’s battalion, opened upon the enemy in the corn field a fire of shells with such marked effect as to drive him in the utmost confusion and with great slaughter from the field.

There was now a momentary cessation of fire along nearly the whole line, except the extreme right, where the First Missouri was still engaged {p.67} with a superior force of the enemy, attempting to turn our right. The general having been informed of this movement, sent the Second Kansas to the support of the First Missouri. It came up in time to prevent the Missourians from being destroyed by the overwhelming force against which they were unflinchingly holding their position.

The battalion of regular infantry, under Captain Steele, which had been detailed to the support of Lieutenant Du Bois’ battery, was during this time brought forward to the support of Captain Totten’s battery. Scarcely had these dispositions been made, when the enemy again appeared in very large force along our entire front and moving towards each flank. The engagement at once became general, and almost inconceivably fierce, along the entire line; the enemy appearing in front often in three or four ranks, lying down, kneeling, and standing, the lines often approaching to within 30 or 40 yards of each other, as the enemy would charge upon Captain Totten’s battery and be driven back. Early in the engagement the First Iowa came to the support of the First Kansas and First Missouri, both of which had stood like veteran troops, exposed to a galling fire of the enemy.

Every available battalion was now brought into action, and the battle raged with unabated fury for more than an hour; the scales seeming all the time nearly equally balanced, our troops sometimes gaining a little ground, and again giving way a few yards to rally again. Early in this engagement, while General Lyon was leading his horse along the line on the left of Captain Totten’s battery and endeavoring to rally our troops, which were at this time in considerable disorder, his horse was killed, and he received a wound in the leg and one in the head. He walked slowly a few paces to the rear and said, “I fear the day is lost.” I then dismounted one of my orderlies, and tendered the horse to the general, who at first declined, saying it was not necessary. The horse, however, was left with him, and I moved off to rally a portion of the Iowa regiment, which was beginning to break in considerable numbers.

In the mean time the general mounted, and swinging his hat in the air, called to the troops nearest him to follow. The Second Kansas, or at least a portion of it, gallantly rallied around him, headed by the brave Colonel Mitchell. In a few moments the colonel fell, severely wounded; about the same time a fatal ball was lodged in the general’s breast, and he was carried from the field a corpse. Thus gloriously fell as brave a soldier as ever drew a sword, a man whose honesty of purpose was proverbial, a noble patriot, and one who held his life as nothing when his country demanded it of him.

Of this dire calamity I was not informed until perhaps half an hour after its occurrence. In the mean time our disordered line on the left was again rallied and pressed the enemy with great vigor and coolness, particularly the First Iowa Regiment, which fought like veterans. This hot encounter lasted perhaps half aim hour.

Major Schofield now informed me of the death of General Lyon, and reported for orders. The responsibility which rested upon me was duly felt and appreciated. Our brave little army was scattered and broken; over 20,000 men were still in our front, and our men had had no water since 5 o’clock the evening before, and could hope for none short of Springfield, 12 miles distant. If we should go forward, our own success would prove our certain defeat in the end; if we retreated, disaster stared us in the face. Our ammunition was well-nigh exhausted, and should the enemy make this discovery through a slackening of our fire, total annihilation was all we could expect. The great {p.68} question in my mind was, “Where is Sigel ?” If I could still hope for a vigorous attack by him on the enemy’s right flank or rear, then we could go forward with some hope of success. If he had retreated, there was nothing else left for us.

In this perplexing condition of affairs I summoned the principal officers for consultation. The question with most of them was, “Is retreat possible?” The consultation was brought to a close by the advance of a heavy column of infantry advancing from the hill where Sigel’s guns had been heard before. Supposing they were Sigel’s men, the line was formed for an advance, with the hope of forming a junction with him. These troops wore a dress much resembling that of Sigel’s brigade, and carried the American flag. They were therefore permitted to move down the hill within easy range of Du Bois’ battery, until they had reached the covered position at the foot of the ridge on which we were posted, and from which we had been fiercely assailed before, when suddenly a battery was planted on the hill in our front, and began to pour upon us shrapnel and canister-a species of shot not before fired by the enemy.

At this moment the enemy showed his true colors, and at once commenced along our entire lines the fiercest and most bloody engagement of the day. Lieutenant Du Bois’ battery on our left, gallantly supported by Major Osterhaus’ battalion and the rallied fragments of the Missouri First, soon silenced the enemy’s battery on the hill and repulsed the right wing of the infantry. Captain Totten’s battery in the center, supported by the Iowas and regulars, was the main point of attack. The enemy could frequently be seen within 20 feet of Totten’s guns, and the smoke of the opposing lines was often so confounded as to seem but one.

Now for the first time during the day our entire line maintained its position with perfect firmness. Not the slightest disposition to give way was manifested at any point, and while Captain Steele’s battalion, which was some yards in front of the line, together with the troops on the right and left, were in imminent danger of being overwhelmed by superior numbers, the contending lines being almost muzzle to muzzle, Captain Granger rushed to the rear and brought up the supports of Du Bois’ battery, consisting of two or three companies of the First Missouri, three companies of the First Kansas, and two companies of the First Iowa, in quick time, and fell upon the enemy’s right flank, and poured into it a murderous volley, killing or wounding nearly every man within 60 or 70 yards. From this moment a perfect rout took place throughout the rebel front, while ours, on the right flank, continued to pour a galling fire into their disorganized masses. It was then evident that Totten’s battery and Steele’s little battalion were safe. Among the officers conspicuous in leading this assault were Adjutant Hescock, Captains Burke, Miller, Manter, Maurice, and Richardson, and Lieutenant Howard, all of the First Missouri. There were others of the First Kansas and First Iowa who participated, but whose names I do not remember. The enemy then fled from the field. A few moments before the close of the engagement the Second Kansas, which had firmly maintained its position on the extreme right from the time it was first sent there, found its ammunition exhausted, and I directed it to withdraw slowly and in good order from the field, which it did, bringing off its wounded. This left our right flank exposed, and the enemy renewed the attack at that point, after it had ceased along the whole line; but it was gallantly met by Captain Steele’s battalion of regulars, which had just driven the enemy from the right of the center, and after a sharp engagement drove him precipitately from the field.

{p.69}

Thus closed, at about 11.30 o’clock, an almost uninterrupted conflict of six hours. The order to retreat was given soon after the enemy gave way from our front and center, Lieutenant Du Bois’ battery having been previously sent to occupy, with its supports, the hill in our rear. Captain Totten’s battery, as soon as his disabled horses could be replaced, retired slowly with the main body of the infantry, while Captain Steele was meeting the demonstrations upon our right flank. This having been repulsed, and no enemy being in sight, the whole column moved slowly to the high open prairie about 2 miles from the battle ground. Meanwhile our ambulances passed to and fro, carrying off our wounded. After making a short halt on the prairie, we continued our march to Springfield.

It should be remembered that just after the order to retire was given, and while it was undecided whether the retreat should be continued, or whether we should occupy the more favorable position in our rear, and await tidings of Colonel Sigel, one of his non-commissioned officers arrived, and reported that the colonel’s brigade had been totally routed and all his artillery captured, Colonel Sigel himself being either killed or made prisoner. Most of our men had fired away all their ammunition and all that could be obtained from the boxes of the killed and wounded. Nothing, therefore, was left to do but to return to Springfield, where 250 Home Guards, with two pieces of artillery, had been left to take care of the train. On reaching the Little York road we met Lieutenant Farrand, with his company of dragoons and a considerable portion of Colonel Sigel’s command, with one piece of artillery. At 5 o’clock p. m. we reached Springfield.

Thus closed a day long to be remembered in the annals of history; a day which has brought gloom and sorrow to many hearts throughout the land; but fathers and mothers, widows and orphans, may receive some consolation from the fact that their relatives and friends presented on that day a wall of adamant to the enemies of their country, and when they fell it was in defense of a great cause, and with their breasts to the enemy. That 3,700 men, after a fatiguing night march, attacked the enemy, numbering 23,000, on their own ground, and after a bloody conflict of six hours withdrew at their leisure to return to their provisions and to water, is the best eulogium I can pass on their conduct that day; and, indeed, it would be impossible to refer to individual acts of courage without doing injustice to many gallant men; yet I am constrained to call the attention of the general commanding to the particularly important services rendered by several officers which came under my own observation.

Wherever the battle most fiercely raged there was General Lyon to be found, and there, too, was Major Schofield, his principal staff officer. The coolness and equanimity with which he moved from point to point carrying orders was a theme of universal admiration. I cannot speak too highly of the invaluable services of Major Schofield and the confidence his example inspired.

Captain Granger, acting assistant adjutant-general on my staff, rendered such excellent aid in various ways, that a full mention of those services would render this report too voluminous for an official statement. Suffice it to say that he appeared to be almost ubiquitous-now sighting a gun of Du Bois’ battery, and before the smoke had cleared away sighting one of Totten’s; at one moment reconnoitering the enemy, and the next either bringing up re-enforcements or rallying some broken line. To whatever part of the field I might direct my attention, there would I find Captain Granger, hard at work at some important service; {p.70} his energy and industry seemed inexhaustible. To the important services rendered by him I beg to call the attention of the commanding general.

The services of Captain Totten are so emphatically interwoven with the various operations of the day as to appear in many, if not all the subreports, and his name deserves to become a “household word.”

Lieutenant Sokalski also deserves great credit for the energy with which he managed the pieces of his section.

I cannot speak in too high praise of the coolness and accuracy with which Lieutenant Du Bois handled his guns, and of the valuable services he rendered throughout the entire conflict.

The following-named officers came under my personal observation during the day, and deserve especial mention for the zeal and courage they displayed, although it would prolong this report to too great a length if I should particularize in each individual case: Lieutenant Conrad, Second Infantry, A. C. S. to General Lyon (wounded); Major Wherry, volunteer aide-de-camp to General Lyon; Major Shepard, volunteer aide-de-camp to General Lyon; Mr. E. Cozzens, volunteer aide-de-camp to myself.

General Sweeny, inspector-general. This gallant officer was especially distinguished by his zeal in rallying broken fragments of various regiments (even after receiving a severe wound in the leg), and leading them into the hottest of the fight.

Assistant Surgeon Sprague, medical department, attended the wounded with as much self-possession as though no battle was raging around him.

Surgeon Cornyn, First Missouri Volunteers, not only took charge of the wounded as they were brought to him, but found time to use a musket with good effect from time to time against the enemy.

Colonel Deitzler, First Kansas. He led his regiment into a galling fire as coolly and as handsomely as if on drill. He was wounded twice.

Major Halderman, First Kansas. Early in the action he led four companies of his regiment (which had been held in reserve) gallantly, cheering them on with the cry of “Forward, men, for Kansas and the old flag!”

Colonel Mitchell, of the Second Kansas. He fell severely wounded in the thickest of the fight, and, as he was carried from the field, he met a member of my staff; and called out, “For God’s sake, support my regiment.”

Lieutenant-Colonel Blair, Second Kansas. This excellent soldier took command of the regiment when Colonel Mitchell was wounded, and under a most deadly fire from the enemy rode along the front of his line, encouraging his men, to the great admiration of all who saw him.

Major Cloud, Second Kansas; Lieutenant-Colonel Andrews, First Missouri; Lieutenant-Colonel Merritt, First Iowa; Major Porter, First Iowa; Captain Herron, First Iowa.

The gallantry of the following officers was conspicuous from the beginning to the close of the battle:

Captain Plummer, First Infantry; Captain Gilbert, First Infantry; Captain Huston, First Infantry; Lieutenant Wood, First Infantry; Captain Steele, Second Infantry; Lieutenant Lothrop, Fourth Artillery; Lieutenant Canfield, First Cavalry.

Here would I gladly close and draw the vail of silence, and had a report of the operations of the column under Colonel Sigel been received, I would have permitted it to explain itself without comment. But none {p.71} has been received, and justice to the cause of truth compels me to give such account of the operations of that column as I have received from some of the officers and men who formed a part of it.

When Colonel Sigel opened his fire the enemy were completely surprised and fled from their camp, whereupon many of Colonel Sigel’s men and officers, instead of standing to their guns or pursuing the enemy, turned their attention to plunder, and thus permitted the enemy to return, seize all his guns, drive the entire column from the field in every possible direction, and finally turn our own guns upon the gallant men under Lyon, who were contending against such fearful odds already.

Lieutenant Farrand, First Infantry, temporarily in command of a company of dragoons, happened to encounter one of the guns after they had been deserted, and brought it safely from the field, and on our march back to Springfield we met this gallant young officer coming from the direction of Little York at the head of a large portion of such of the command as had escaped being taken prisoners. However it may be in regard to the loss of these guns, one thing is certain (according to Lieutenant Powell), namely: That the gun brought in by Lieutenant Farrand had been abandoned when there was no enemy in sight.

Accompanying this report you will please find reports of the commanders of brigades, regiments, and battalions; also, a list of the killed, wounded, and missing. I beg to state that I am under many obligations to Major Schofield, from whose memoranda of the movement of troops, &c., on the field I have drawn largely, and in many cases I have copied them literally.

Our total loss in killed, wounded, and missing amounts to 1,235. That of the enemy will probably reach 3,000.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

S. D. STURGIS, Major, First Cavalry, Commanding.

To the ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL, Headquarters Western Department.

[Indorsement.]

FEBRUARY 18, 1862.

The inclosed report is submitted to the honorable Secretary for his attentive consideration. I am informed that the copy forwarded officially was most garbled, and I would call the attention of the Secretary to the part really played by General Sigel in this battle. I recommend that all the regular officers honorably mentioned by General Sturgis be brevetted for their gallantry, and that the gallant general himself be not forgotten.

I also recommend that the Secretary request the governors of the States to which the officers of volunteers here mentioned with praise belong, to give them, at the earliest opportunity, one grade as a reward, and that time General Commanding the Army be authorized to mention all their names in orders.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.

I would urge that no promotion be given General Sigel until this matter is fully examined.

{p.72}

[Inclosure.]

Return of casualties in the Army of the West (Union), at the battle of Wilson’s Creek, Mo., August 10, 1861.

Command. Killed.Wounded.Missing.Aggregate.
Plummer’s battalion1952950
Steele’s battalion1544261
First U. S. cavalry, Company D134
Du Bois’ battery213
First Missouri Infantry7620811295
Carr’s squadron44
First Kansas Infantry7718720284
Second Kansas Infantry559670
Totten’s battery4711
Sigel’s brigade1520231267
Kansas Rangers11
Wright’s Home Guards22
First Iowa Infantry121384154
Total2237212911,235

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No. 5.

Report of Capt. Joseph B. Plummer, First U. S. Infantry.

HDQRS. BATTALION FIRST INFANTRY, August 16, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the operations of my command on the 10th of this month:

Immediately before setting out, Captain Gilbert’s company (B) was thrown forward to feel for the enemy, whose camp was known to be in the valley of Wilson’s Creek. As soon as his position was ascertained, which was shortly after sunrise, the general directed me to follow Captain Gilbert with the balance of the battalion, and, uniting with him, to carry forward the left flank of the attack. I overtook Captain Gilbert with his skirmishers in a deep jungle, where he had been checked by an impassable lagoon. Much time was consumed in effecting the passage of this obstacle. The battalion, however, finally emerged in good order, and all present, into the corn field to the left of the attack, which by this time was in full progress.

The battalion was pushed forward rapidly, and soon the enemy opened on us from the left, but his fire was light and easily quelled. Our advance was in the direction of the enemy’s battery, on the hill opposite Lieutenant Du Bois’ battery, with the intention of storming it, should the opportunity offer. This was observed by the enemy, and a large force was accumulated in our front and on our left flank, and our forward progress was checked. Nevertheless, the men stood steadily and squarely up to their work, until I deemed our position no longer tenable, and I then drew off my command, steadily and without confusion, in the direction of Totten’s battery, the key of our position. In this field I had many men killed and wounded. Lieutenant Wood and myself are among the latter. We were materially aided in extricating ourselves by the timely aid of Du Bois’ battery, which beat back the advance of the enemy with much slaughter. On arriving at the foot of the hill, and in the rear of Totten’s battery, I formed the battalion and relinquished the command to Captain Huston, being no longer able {p.73} to keep my saddle. Captain Gilbert, with a part of his company, was not present, but I have subsequently learned that he proceeded directly to the battery, and took part in the defense of the position until nearly the close of the action, at which time he was wounded and compelled to leave the field.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. B. PLUMMER, Captain, First infantry, Commanding Battalion.

Second Lieut. JAMES POWELL, A. A. A. G. First Brigade, Army of the West.

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No. 6.

Report of Capt. James Totten, Second U. S. Artillery.

SPRINGFIELD, MO., August 19, 1861.

SIR : In obedience to instructions I have the honor to make the following report relative to the part taken by my company in the battle on Wilson’s Creek, August 10, 1861:

Light Company F, Second Regiment of Artillery, marched, in company with the other troops composing General Lyon’s command, from Springfield on the evening of Friday, August 9, for the position occupied by the enemy. Early on the following morning (August 10, 1861), the camp of the Southern army was discovered about one mile and a half south of the head of General Lyon’s command, and soon after the infantry of our advance was fired upon by the pickets of the enemy. From this time our march, as directed by General Lyon in person, lay through a small wheat field, across a hill, and down into a small valley which debouches into that through which Wilson’s Creek runs at the point immediately occupied by the front of the enemy, and just where the main road to Springfield enters the valley. Keeping somewhat to the west, our advance crossed this road along the foot of the hills, and soon afterwards our skirmishers found those of the enemy, and the battle opened. Here the left section of my battery, under Lieutenant Sokalski, was at first brought to bear upon the enemy in the woods in front, and shortly afterwards the other four pieces were thrown forward into battery to the right on higher ground. A few rounds from the artillery assisted the infantry of our advance in driving the enemy back from their first position, and they fell back towards the crests of the hills nearer and immediately over their own camp. I now conducted my battery up the hills to the left and, front, and soon found a position, where I brought it into battery directly over the northern position of the enemy’s camp.

The camp of General Rains (as I afterwards learned) lay directly beneath my front and to the left, very close to my position, and a battery of the enemy to my front and right, within easy range of my guns. The camp of General Rains was entirely deserted, and therefore my first efforts were directed against the battery of the enemy to the right and front. The left half battery was then brought into position, but the right half battery, in reality occupying the most favorable ground, was principally directed against the enemy’s battery, although the whole six pieces, as opportunity occurred, played upon the enemy’s guns. As the position of the enemy’s guns was masked, the gunners of my pieces were obliged to give direction to their pieces by the flash and smoke of the opposing artillery.

{p.74}

In the mean time the battle was raging in the thick woods and underbrush to the front and right of the position occupied by my battery, and the First Regiment Missouri Volunteers was being hardly pressed. I now received an order from General Lyon to move a section of my battery forward to the support of the First Missouri, which I did in person, coming into battery just in front of the right company of this regiment. Within 200 yards of the position occupied by this section of my battery a regiment of the enemy were in line, with a secession flag and a Federal flag displayed together. This trick of the enemy caused me for a moment some uncertainty, fearing that by some accident a portion of our own troops might have got thus far in advance but their fire soon satisfied me upon this head. I immediately opened upon them with canister from both pieces, in which service, I am happy to be able to say, I was ably and gallantly assisted by Capt. Gordon Granger, acting adjutant-general, and First Lieutenant D. Murphy, First Missouri Volunteers.

The next step in the progress of the battle was where the enemy tried to force his way up the road passing along by their battery towards Springfield. This was an effort to turn the left of our position on the hill where my battery first came into position, and for a time the enemy seemed determined to execute his object. Four pieces of my battery were still in position there, and Captain Du Bois’ battery of four pieces on the left nearer the road. As the enemy showed himself our infantry and artillery opened upon his ranks and drove him back, and they appeared no more during the day.

About this time and just after the enemy had been effectually driven back, as last mentioned, I met General Lyon for the last time. He was wounded, he told me, in the leg, and I observed blood trickling from his head. I offered him some brandy, of which I had a small supply in my canteen, but he declined, and rode slowly to the right and front. Immediately after he passed forward General Lyon sent me an order to support the Kansas regiments on the extreme right, who were then being closely pressed by the enemy. I ordered Lieutenant Sokalski to move forward with his section immediately, which he did, and most gallantly, too, relieving and saving the Kansas regiments from being overthrown and driven back. After this the enemy tried to overwhelm us by an attack of some 800 cavalry, which, unobserved, had formed below the crests of the hills to our right and rear. Fortunately, some of our infantry companies and a few pieces of artillery from my battery were in position to meet this demonstration, and drove off their cavalry with ease. This was the only demonstration made by their cavalry, and it was so effete and ineffectual in its force and character as to deserve only the appellation of child’s play. Their cavalry is utterly worthless on the battle-field.

The next and last point where the artillery of my battery was engaged was on the right of the left wing of the Iowa regiment and somewhat in their front. The battle was then, and had been for some time, very doubtful as to its results. General Lyon was killed, and all our forces had been all day engaged, and several regiments were broken and had retired. The enemy, also sadly dispirited, were merely making a demonstration to cover their retreat from the immediate field of battle. At this time the left wing of the Iowa regiment was brought up to support our brave men still in action, while two pieces of my battery were in advance on their right. The last effort was short and decisive, the enemy leaving the field and retiring down through the valley, covered by thick underbrush, to the right of the center of the field of battle towards {p.75} their camp on Wilson’s Creek. After this we were left unmolested, and our forces were drawn off the field in good order under Major Sturgis, who had assumed command directly after General Lyon’s death.

It should be borne in mind that in the foregoing report I have only glanced at the main points of the battle where the pieces of my own battery of artillery were engaged. I have not entered into details at all, and could not without entering into a more elaborate history of the affair than appears to be called for on this occasion from me.

I wish simply now, in conclusion, to make a few deserving remarks upon the conduct of my officers, non-commissioned officers, and soldiers during the battle. In reference to Lieutenant Sokalski, it gives me the liveliest satisfaction to bear witness to his coolness and bravery throughout the entire day. No officer ever behaved better under as trying circumstances as he found himself surrounded by at times during the day.

The non-commissioned officers and men to a man behaved admirably, and it is hard to distinguish between them in this particular; but I am constrained to mention Sergeants Robert Armstrong and Gustavus Deyand, Corporals Albert Watchman and Lorenzo D. Trummel, who were on several occasions during the day greatly exposed and severely tried, and bore themselves with great credit. The other non commissioned officers and men were equally deserving and meritorious according to the time they were in action, but those mentioned were constantly engaged nearly, and deserve particular notice, because they were always equal to the duties imposed upon them.*

...

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAS. TOTTEN, Capt., Second Artillery, Comdg. Light Co. F.

Capt. GORDON GRANGER, U. S. A., Acting Adjutant-General, Army of the West.

* For casualties, here omitted, see p. 72.

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No. 7.

Report of Lieut. Col. George L Andrews, First Missouri Infantry.

SAINT LOUIS, August 28, 1861.

CAPTAIN: My absence from the regiment in consequence of wounds and injuries received in the battle at Wilson’s Creek, near Springfield, Mo., on the 10th instant, has necessarily delayed my report of the part enacted on that day by the First Regiment Missouri Volunteers. I have now the honor to report that the regiment under my command joined the column under the immediate command of General Lyon at 6.30 o’clock p. m. on the 9th instant, and marched out on the road to Little York about 6 miles, when, taking a road running southeast, we advanced in that direction until the head of the column discovered the camp-fires of the rebels. Here the column halted, and remained until 4.15 o’clock on the morning of the 10th instant, when our advance was continued. Soon after the column was again in motion I received an order to bring the regiment forward, and when it arrived up with the head of the column, upon inquiry, was desired to march parallel with {p.76} it, and about 60 yards distant. In a few moments I received orders to deploy one company forward as skirmishers, and this was the last order that reached me during the entire day. Company H, Captain Yates, was at once thrown out as skirmishers, closely followed by the regiment in column of companies, and advancing up the hill, the action was commenced by a shot from my skirmishers at 10 minutes past 5 o’clock. Immediately advancing in person, I was informed by Captain Yates, and in another instant saw for myself, that the enemy were in force immediately in our front, and re-enforcing our line of skirmishers with Captain Maurice’s company (B), I ordered the regiment forward into line. At this moment a heavy fire was opened upon our then left flank by a force heretofore concealed, the regiment wheeling into line and returning the fire, while the first division, deployed as skirmishers, assembled on the right of the regiment, and prevented our flank being turned. The action now became general, and for a short time the fire was very hot. The enemy giving way, the firing almost ceased for a short time. Again they advanced upon us in front, and the right division having been brought into the line of battle, the regiment continued to advance under a galling fire until the enemy again gave way.

At this moment our advance unmasked one of their batteries, which up to this time had played no part in the action. Before I could complete my arrangements to charge this battery I noticed an apparent attempt on the part of the enemy to turn our right flank, and was forced to abandon the attempt; but, sending word to Captain Totten of its position, I placed the first division of the regiment in its original position at right angles with the line of battle, and opening our fire, we after a time again drove them back. The battery we had unmasked had during this time been playing upon us, and caused no little uneasiness, as the shells which fell in our ranks were pronounced to be those supplied to our column which took the Cassville road. During all this tune the firing had been equally heavy upon the left of our line, and finding the right wing apparently able to stand its ground, I went towards the left. As I passed each company I found it well up to its work, both officers and men cool and determined, using their arms with care and precision.

Upon arriving to the left of Du Bois’ battery and approaching Company E, I met Captain Cole, of that company, being taken to the rear in consequence of a wound in the lower jaw, and, although unable to speak, still by every action encouraging his men.

Continuing on, I missed Capt. Cary Gratz, commanding Company E, and soon learned, while advancing at the head of his men, he discovered a body of the enemy approaching, led on by a mounted officer, carrying a Union flag. Captain Gratz, drawing his revolver, fired and knocked him off his horse, but upon reaching the ground he immediately arose and rushed through his lines, at which instant Captain Gratz fired a second shot, pitching him headlong out of sight. The enemy now opened fire and Captain Gratz fell, pierced by five shots.

I soon came up with Captain Cavender, who, with his company (G), still maintained an advanced position, and had already by their courage and firmness several times prevented our left flank from being turned. Once more the enemy advanced upon us, and the fire again became very heavy. I now received a shot myself; and returning towards the right of the regiment and meeting Captain Yates, informed him I had been hit, and he must, in case he missed me, assume the command and keep the men together, as by this time the alignment was considerably broken. Feeling faint, I returned again to our left and obtained a {p.77} stimulant, and soon after my horse being killed and falling upon me prevented my again being able to reach the right of the regiment.

The enemy now made another rally, and would undoubtedly have forced us back had not the First Iowa Regiment, led on by General Lyon and Major Schofield, arrived at the critical moment, together with the battalion of the Second Regiment, led by Major Osterhaus, assisted by Lieut. David Murphy, of our regiment, who came up at the same time, and most gallantly seconded the efforts of our now nearly exhausted men. As the fire again slackened I met General Lyon, and asked him, “Have you seen or heard from our other column?” To this inquiry he shook his head. I now noticed he appeared to be suffering, and found he had just received a shot in his leg.

The firing had now ceased for so long a time I concluded the engagement over, and going to Du Bois’ battery, was met by our surgeon and by him sent to the rear, but had hardly got out of his hands when the enemy made another and last rally, and for a few moments the fire was terrible, but they were again repulsed. After a time our infantry were seen approaching, and at a few minutes past 11 o’clock a. m., being six hours after I heard the first shot, I saw them in three columns emerge from the timber into the small cleared space between myself and our recent line of battle.

Never have I found it so difficult to do justice to all, and in a position where every man so well performed his part it is almost impossible to single out individuals. That every officer did his duty no better evidence can be adduced than the fact that 13 out of 27 officers who went into the action bore away with them the marks of the enemy’s shot. That the men did their duty I have but to refer you to our mortality report, forwarded some days since.

With every desire to be strictly impartial, I cannot close this report without expressing our obligations to Captain Totten and Lieutenant Du Bois, who by their masterly co-operation so effectually assisted the regiment to maintain its position.

Capt. Madison Miller, commanding Company I, who, by his coolness and deliberate observation, discovered at the critical moment a large body of cavalry preparing to charge us in rear, and who, by his well-directed fire, assisted by a few shells from Captain Totten’s battery, rapidly dispersed them. Capt. John S. Cavender, who, though severely wounded, still refusing to leave his post, mounted his horse, and remained there until exhausted nature could do no more. Lieut. David Murphy, although shot through the leg, I saw advancing at the head of the battalion, brought to our aid, with a spirit and courage that defied his wounds. Surg. F. M. Cornyn, who, while carrying aid and comfort wherever they were required, utterly regardless of personal danger, forgot not, when human aid was of no avail, to seize the musket of the dying man, and with unerring aim avenging his death. Lieut. and Adjt. Henry Hescock, who, from the organization of the regiment, has been of invaluable service in rendering it efficient, and in action was always found where his services were most valuable.

Among the men I must be allowed to call attention to Corporal Kane, of Company K, who, when the color sergeant was killed and nearly all the color guard either killed or wounded, brought the colors safely off the field; also Sergt. Chas. M. Callahan, of same company, who so ably filled the place of his lieutenant, and materially assisted Captain Burke when his only subaltern was disabled; Sergt. Christ. Conrad, of Company G, whose assistance was indispensable to Lieutenant Sheldon {p.78} when he alone was left to rally his men; Private Elworthy, of Company F, who was particularly observed for his coolness and bravery.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. L. ANDREWS, Lieutenant-Colonel First Regiment Missouri Vols., Comdg.

Capt. G. GRANGER, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Saint Louis, Mo.

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No. 8.

Report of Capt. Frederick Steele, Second U. S. Infantry.

CAMP NEAR ROLLA, MO., August 17, 1861.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my battalion at the battle near Springfield, Mo., on the 10th instant:

The battalion was composed of Companies B and E, Second Infantry, commanded by First Sergeants Griffin and G. H. McLaughlin; a company of General Service Recruits, commanded by First Lieut. W. L. Lothrop, Fourth Artillery, and a company of Mounted Rifles, recruits, commanded by Lance Sergeant Morine. During the early part of the action the battalion was in position to support Du Bois’ battery, but had no opportunity of engaging the enemy, except to assist in dispersing a large body of cavalry that frequently threatened our rear. Soon after the fall of General Lyon, Capt. C. C. Gilbert, First Infantry, joined my battalion with a part of his company, and we made arrangements to repel a threatened assault on the battery in front which was repelled without our becoming engaged with the enemy. Major Sturgis then ordered me to form line of battle and advance upon the enemy’s front, whence the heaviest firing had proceeded during the day. We very soon came within range of the enemy’s rifles, when a fierce contest ensued, the enemy gradually retiring upon his reserve, where he made a stand, from which our small force was unable to drive him.

After a heavy firing on both sides in this position, without any apparent advantage on either side the contest ceased for a short time, as if by mutual consent.

We were opposed to vastly superior numbers, and many of our men were killed and wounded, so that I did not deem it discreet to charge upon the enemy without support, although Captain Gilbert suggested it.

During this suspension of hostilities, I received orders from Major Sturgis to send a company of skirmishers on the brow of the hill to our left and front. Lieutenant Lothrop went in command of this company, but was met with such a galling fire from the enemy that he was obliged to retire-all of which service he performed with coolness and intrepidity. Lieutenant Lothrop’s retreat was followed up by a vigorous attack from the enemy upon us, as well as upon Totten’s battery on our left and rear. The enemy had a field piece established under the crest of the hill to our left and front, which threw grape with spitefulness, and occasionally a shell, with more moral effect than damage to us. This piece was now re-enforced by one or two pieces of the same character, all of which threw an incessant shower of missiles at us; but my men were ordered to stoop, and very few took effect upon us. It was now evident that the enemy intended to take Totten’s battery, as a {p.79} strong column of infantry was advancing upon it. Totten mowed them down with canister in front, and our infantry poured a murderous fire into their flanks, which compelled them to a hasty retreat.

The enemy had failed in all his endeavors to dislodge us from our position, which I conceived to be the strategic point of the battle-field, and was determined to hold it at all hazards.

Another short suspension of hostilities ensued. After a consultation with the officers, Major Sturgis sent me orders to retire. Just at that time Captain Granger came up to me, and we discovered that the enemy were about to renew the attack upon us. Captain Granger rushed to the rear and collected several hundred volunteers of different regiments, while we held the enemy in check, and formed them on our left. We then advanced upon the enemy, and drove them off the field, and never saw one of them afterwards. After collecting our wounded we retired slowly from the field. I commanded the rear guard on the retreat towards Springfield, but saw nothing of the enemy; it was evident that he had been severely punished.

I wish to call the attention of the major commanding to the gallant conduct of Capt. C. C. Gilbert, First infantry; of First Lieut. Lothrop, Fourth Artillery, and of George H. McLaughlin, first sergeant, commanding Company E, Second Infantry. Sergeant McLaughlin received the highest commendations of all the officers present. I also mention the first sergeant of Captain Gilbert’s company-Mandazy-who was killed in the last assault of the enemy; also First Sergeant Griffin, commanding Company B, Second Infantry, and Lance Sergeant Morine, commanding the company of Mounted Rifle recruits, each of whom behaved with distinguished gallantry. Sergeant Morine was mortally wounded, and died on the field. During the critical state of the combat, I conferred with Captain Gilbert, whose intelligence and soldierly qualities are well known, and whose self-possession during the battle was calculated to inspire the men with confidence. In the latter part of the contest he received a wound in the shoulder, which compelled him to retire from the field. I furnish herewith a list of the killed, wounded, and missing of my command during the day.*

I have the honor to be, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

FRED’K STEELE, Captain, Second Infantry, Commanding Battalion.

Capt. G. GRANGER, R. M. R., A. A. G., Hdqrs. Army of the West, near Rolla, Mo.

* See return of casualties on p. 72.

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No. 9.

Report of Second Lieut. John V. Du Bois, U. S. Mounted Rifles, commanding Light Artillery Battery.

CAMP NEAR ROLLA, MO., August 17, 1861.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that after the pickets of the enemy were driven in, on the morning of the 10th instant, I followed Captain Steele’s battalion into action. Having no position assigned me, I selected one directly opposite to and about 400 yards from the advanced batteries of the enemy. My position was such that my men {p.80} were partially and my horses entirely protected from direct musketry fire.

After assisting Captain Totten to silence the enemy’s batteries, in which we perfectly succeeded, I received orders from General Lyon to move my battery to the right. Captain Granger was to place me in position. While limbering, our left flank, which consisted of three companies of the First Infantry and one of Mounted Rifle recruits, was driven back by an overwhelming force of the enemy (five regiments, I think), who, in the order of an advance, had collected in masses. Captain Granger now countermanded my order to move, and by a change of front to the left I enfiladed their line and drove them back with great slaughter, Captain Granger directing one of my guns. Their broken troops rallied behind a house on the right of their line. I struck this house twice with a 12-pounder shot, when they showed a hospital flag. I ceased firing, and their troops retired.

Large bodies now collected in a ravine in front of our center. By using small charges I succeeded in shelling the thicket, but could not judge of the effect of my fire. It seemed to check the enemy, as he changed his position to one more to my right and beyond my fire. A new battery now opened upon us from the crest of the hill opposite, and having a plunging fire, it did great execution, all the shot which passed over me falling among the wounded, who had been carried in rear of my battery in large numbers. We succeeded in partially silencing this fire, and at the same time drove back a large column of cavalry, which had turned our position, and were preparing to charge our men.

During the entire engagement I was so embarrassed by my ignorance of General Sigel’s position, that on several occasions I did not fire upon their troops until they had formed within a few hundred yards of our line, fearing they might be our own men advancing to form a junction with us. During the last effort of the enemy to break through our right wing and capture our batteries, I limbered up two guns to send to Captain Totten’s assistance. Before I could have a road opened through the wounded, I was ordered to fall back to a hill in rear and protect a retreat. I remained until all our troops had passed in good order, and was marching to the rear, when my 12-pounder gun broke down. I asked Major Osterhaus to protect me with his battalion. He remained with me until I repaired damages, and then marched in my rear until I joined the command on the prairie. I now received orders to take command of a rear guard, but as I had already joined Captain Steele’s battalion of regulars, and we had found a rear guard under his command, I reported this fact, and marched to Springfield under Captain Steele. We were not followed by the enemy, who had, I think, been driven from the field before we left it.

Many of the company, myself included, were struck and slightly injured by spent musket and canister shot; but only two were wounded and one missing. My men behaved well and cannot be convinced that we were not victorious.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN V. DU BOIS, Second Lieutenant, Mounted Rifles, Comdg. Light Art. Bat.

Capt. GORDON GRANGER, Acting Adjutant-General, Army of the West.

{p.81}

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No. 10.

Report of Lieut. Col. William H. Merritt, First Iowa Infantry.

DEAR SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Iowa troops in the late hotly-contested battle of Wilson’s Creek.

At 6 o’clock p. m. of the 9th instant the First Regiment of Iowa Volunteers, under command of Lieut. Col. William H. Merritt, Col. J. F. Bates being sick, united with the forces at Springfield under command of General Lyon, and commenced the march to Wilson’s Creek, 12 miles distant. Arriving within 3 miles of the enemy’s camp, and in close proximity of their pickets, the order was given to halt. The troops lay on their arms until 3 o’clock a. m. of the 10th instant, when they advanced on the enemy’s lines. About 5 o’clock a. m. our advanced skirmishers engaged the enemy’s pickets and drove them in. The First Missouri and First Kansas Volunteers, and a battalion of regular infantry, under command of Captain Plummer, with Totten’s battery, very soon engaged a considerable number of the rebel forces.

Du Bois’ battery took position a short distance east of where the enemy were being engaged, and the Iowa troops were drawn up in line of battle on its left. A brisk fire was commenced and kept up for thirty minutes. The enemy responded promptly with a battery in the ravine, but their shot passed from 10 to 100 feet over our heads. Detailed Company D, First Lieutenant Keller commanding, and Company E, First Lieutenant Abercrombie commanding, to act as skirmishers in advance of my line. Ordered to advance over the hill, engage the enemy, and relieve the First Regiment Kansas Volunteers. In advancing to engage the enemy, met the First Kansas retreating in confusion. They broke through our line on the right, separating Companies A and F from the balance of the command. While in this confused state received a murderous fire from the enemy’s infantry. Gave the command to fall back and reform the line. The din of fire-arms and the loud talking of the retreating troops drowned my voice, so that the command could not be heard on the left. Led the two companies, A and F, over the hill, halted them ,and ordered them to about face and fire on a squadron of the enemy’s cavalry advancing to charge on a section of Totten’s battery. The fire was executed with promptness and effect, and after receiving the discharge from the battery the enemy retired in double-quick time, leaving a number of dead and wounded on the field. Ordered Companies A and F to hold their position until further orders, and then returned to Companies I, C, H, K, G, and B, who had been left facing the enemy’s line. Found our troops advancing under a galling fire from the enemy’s infantry. After repulsing the enemy they fell back in good order. Ordered Maj. A. B. Porter to proceed to the rear and take command of the four companies, A, F, D, and E, there stationed. Held our position in front for five hours, alternately advancing and retiring, as the approach and repulse of the enemy made it necessary to do so. In every charge the enemy made we repulsed them, and drove them into the ravine below. About 12 o’clock m. the order was given to retire from the field, which was done in good order. As we retired over the hill we passed a section of Totten’s battery, occupying a commanding point to the right, supported on the right by Companies A, F, D, and E, of the Iowa troops, under command of Major Porter, and on the left by one company of regular infantry, under command of Captain Lothrop. This command {p.82} sustained our retreat with great coolness and determination under a most terrific discharge from the enemy’s infantry. After the wounded were gathered up our column formed in order of march, and, the enemy repulsed, the battery and infantry retired in good order.

Thus closed one of the most hotly-contested engagements known to the country, commencing 5.20 o’clock a. m. and concluding 12.20 o’clock p. m., in which the enemy brought to the field 14,000 well-armed and well-disciplined troops and 10,000 irregular troops, and our own force amounted to about 5,000 troops in the early part of the engagement, and considerably less than 4,000 troops for the concluding four hours of it.

It is with great pleasure that I acknowledge valuable aid and assistance from Maj. A. B. Porter, Adjt. George W. Waldron, who was wounded in the leg, and Sergt. Maj. Charles Compton, and to express my unbounded admiration of the heroic conduct displayed by both officers and men. No troops, regular or volunteer, ever sustained their country’s flag with more determined valor and fortitude. They have crowned themselves with imperishable honor, and must occupy a conspicuous place in the history of their country.

A list of the killed, wounded, and missing will be found attached to this report,* together with such notices of individual prowess as were observed on the field.

Before concluding this report I must bear testimony to the gallant and meritorious conduct of Capt. A. L. Mason, of Company C, who fell in a charge at the head of his company.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. MERRITT, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

J. M. SCHOFIELD, Acting Adjutant-General.

* See return of casualties on p. 72.

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No. 11.

Report of Maj. John A. Halderman, First Kansas Infantry.

HDQRS. FIRST REGIMENT KANSAS VOLUNTEERS, Camp Rolla, August 19, 1861.

SIR: The regimental commander has the honor to report, that after a fatiguing night march of 12 miles, the First Kansas came upon the battle-field near Springfield, Mo., on the morning of August 10, in rear of the First Missouri and Iowa Regiments, the former, with a battalion of regular infantry, having been deployed as skirmishers. Very soon the enemy’s outposts were driven in, and Totten’s battery took position and opened fire, while the First Missouri was closed up in line on the right and in front, where they engaged the enemy and maintained position for some moments under a heavy fire.

At this time, under order from General Lyon, the First Kansas moved to the front in double-quick, while the right wing and one company from the left, under command, respectively, of Captains Chenoweth, Walker, Swift, Zesch, McFarland, and Lieutenant MeGonigle, all under Colonel Deitzler, advanced to a position beyond that occupied by the First Missouri, and here, forming in the very face of the enemy, engaged a rebel force four times their number, and held their ground steadfastly under an uninterrupted and murderous fire of artillery and infantry.

The four remaining companies of Captains Clayton, Roberts, Stockton, {p.83} and Lieu tenant Agniel, all under command of Major Halderman, having been posted on the right of Totten’s battery as support, where they suffered severely from a constant fire from the enemy’s lines, were here ordered to the front, where they aligned upon the remnant of the six right companies, which had thus far borne the brunt of the battle. With but slight and immaterial changes of position the First Kansas occupied this ground for over two hours, repulsing or cutting to pieces one regiment after another as it was brought to the front.

While thus employed, Captain Chenoweth, Captain Clayton, and a portion of Captain McFarland’s company, under Lieutenant Malone, were ordered to charge the enemy with their commands, which order they executed with great promptness, driving the enemy inside their encampment lines at the base of the hill, and returning to the main force, when threatened by a flank movement, at their own imminent peril and with considerable loss of life. While leading this charge Colonel Deitzler had his horse shot under him and was himself severely wounded.

About this time the Second Kansas Regiment was ordered to the front, but when at a point in rear of that occupied by the First Kansas they were fired upon by the enemy from an ambuscade, by which General Lyon was killed and Colonel Mitchell severely wounded, both of whom were at the head of the column. Here, too, many officers and men of the Second were killed and wounded.

After this the regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Blair, fell back in order to the brow of the hill, where it formed, and at which place the remaining companies of the First Kansas formed upon their left, three companies having been posted on the brow of the hill and on the right of the battery.

After a short cessation of the volley firing it was recommenced by the enemy with great fury, and so continued for at least ten minutes, when our whole line opened upon them a most destructive fire, at which they broke and fled down the hill towards their encampment. At this time, by command of Major Sturgis, who throughout the engagement had acted with the utmost courage and self-possession, we retired from the field in good order, preceded by the ambulances containing our wounded. With scarcely any material change of position the First Kansas stood under fire maintained every ground assigned it, without once turning its back upon the foe, for the five long hours during which the battle raged.

With about 800 men we marched upon the field; we left it with but 500.

The regimental commander deems it hardly necessary to say that all the officers and men of this command fought with a courage and heroism rarely, if ever, equaled. The list of killed, wounded, and missing hereto attached, is the strongest witness for the valor of the living as well as for the memory of the gallant dead.*

I am, sir, very respectfully, yours,

JOHN A. HALDERMAN, Major, First Regiment Kansas Volunteers, Commanding.

Capt. G. GRANGER, Acting Adjutant-General.

* See return of casualties on p 72.

{p.84}

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No. 12.

Report of Lieut. Col. Charles W. Blair, Second Kansas Infantry.

ARMY OF THE WEST, HDQRS. SECOND REG’T KANS. VOLS., August 17, 1861.

SIR: I herewith inclose you a list of the killed and wounded of my regiment,* which came under my command after the fall of Colonel Mitchell, who was dangerously wounded at the first fire we encountered. The regiment had been stationed as a reserve on a hill on the right of and overlooking the corn field in which Captain Plummer’s battalion was deployed. After they had been driven back by overpowering numbers, and the advance of the enemy against them checked by Lieutenant Du Bois’ battery, which was stationed near us, I rode forward to Captain Totten’s battery, still farther in our front, to see General Lyon and request him to order us forward. Upon a statement of our position, he replied, “Order the Second Kansas to the front!” I informed Colonel Mitchell, and he brought the regiment forward promptly. As we raised the crest of the hill beyond the advanced battery, and were still marching in column by the flank, a masked fire was opened upon us, under which General Lyon was killed (who was at the head of our column) and Colonel Mitchell was severely wounded. Colonel Mitchell sent for me and ordered me to take charge of the battalion, and see that it maintained the reputation of Kansas. He was then removed to the rear and Lieutenant Schreyer, of Captain Tholen’s company, assisted by two men, carried back the body of General Lyon.

I threw the battalion into line, and after sharp firing for fifteen or twenty minutes we drove the enemy back down the descending slope which was in our front. During this time the enemy’s artillery was playing upon our position, but his round shot and shell were too high, and only his grape, musketry, and rifle did us great injury.

During the cessation that followed the first firing Captain Clayton’s company of the First Kansas found me, which I formed on the left of my position, and the companies of Captains Roberts, Walker, and Zesch, which I formed on my right. On the right of my position a ravine stretched down to the enemy’s camp, by means of which he made three several attempts to flank us. At different times I had sent men, one or two at a time, from Captain Roberts’ company of the First, and Captain Cracklin’s company of the Second Kansas, but they did not return. At length I rode out myself, and at twenty yards to the right of my position fire was opened upon me by what seemed to be a full company. My horse was killed under me, but I escaped unhurt. My orderly, Alexander H. Lamb, brought me his horse, which I rode during the remainder of the engagement.

At this time Major Sturgis sent me, at the request of Major Cloud, of my regiment, and Captain Chenoweth, of the First Kansas, a section of Captain Totten’s battery, which came just in time to save us. As the guns stopped, Captain Chenoweth rode out to the head of the ravine before mentioned, and perceiving the approach of a large force, he, together with Major Cloud and Lieutenant Sokalski, got the guns in position and opened upon them. As the enemy approached nearer I ordered the men to lie down and load and fire in that position and not to throw away a fire, which order, I think, was obeyed to the letter. The fire upon us was terrific, but not a man under my command broke {p.85} ranks or left his place. They loaded and fired with intense earnestness and energy, and we finally drove the enemy back for the last time and utterly silenced his fire. The artillery then left us and retired to the rear.

Major Sturgis had previously sent me an order to retire as soon as I could do so with safety, and after driving the enemy completely back I took the opportunity to do so. My command came off in good order and slow time, with the men as perfectly dressed as on the drill ground. I crossed the first ravine in my rear and reformed. After waiting there some twenty minutes, I marched out by the flank and rejoined the main command.

It is proper that I should state that early in the action, before our regiment as such was under fire, a large force of cavalry attempted to flank us, and Major Cloud, taking Captain McClure’s company of my regiment and deploying them as skirmishers, succeeded in driving them back after four or five effective and well-directed volleys.

I am under the greatest obligations to Major Cloud and Adjutant Lines and Captain Ayres, of my regiment, and Captain Chenoweth, of the First Kansas, and, indeed, to every officer and man under my command, for their self-possession and courage, and for the admirable manner in which they assisted me in the action, and I would be glad to have them properly represented at headquarters.

My regiment went on the field and came off it unbroken, with its battalion organization as perfect as when it first went under fire.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHAS. W. BLAIR, Lieut. Col., Comdg. Second Regiment Kansas Volunteers.

Capt. G. GRANGER A. A. A. G., U. S. Army.

* See return of casualties on p. 72.

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No. 13.

Reports of Col. Franz Sigel, Third Missouri Infantry, commanding Army of the West.

NIANGUA CROSSING, 28 MILES EAST OF SPRINGFIELD, August 12, 1861.

SIR: I respectfully report to you that after a battle fought 10 miles south of Springfield, on Saturday, the 10th, between our forces and the rebel army, and in which General Lyon was killed, I have taken temporarily the command of the Union troops.

Arrived after the battle at Springfield, on the evening of the 10th, it was found necessary to retreat towards Rolla. We are now here with 3,000 men of infantry, 300 cavalry, and thirteen pieces of artillery. The Irish Brigade, about 900 strong, will meet us at Lebanon. The Home Guards amount to about 200 infantry and 500 mounted men, who are more or less valuable. The enemy’s forces cannot be less than 20,000 men, of which about one-fourth are infantry, the others cavalry, besides fifteen pieces of artillery.

Once in possession of Springfield, the enemy will be able to raise the southwest of the State against us, add a great number of men to his army, make Springfield a great depot, and continue his operations towards Rolla, and probably also towards the Missouri (Jefferson City). I do not see the probability of making an effective resistance without {p.86} re-enforcement of not less than 5,000 men, infantry, one or two regiments of cavalry, and at least two batteries. To meet the momentous danger we want re-enforcements, and to be prepared against the last reverses which may befall us in this State, I would respectfully propose to you to make, in the shortest time possible, the necessary preparations for two intrenched camps, one at Saint Louis, the key to the Southwest, and another at Jefferson City, or, perhaps better, between the Osage River and Moreau Creek, on the heights of Taos Post Office. At the same time it would be necessary to be master of the river between Jefferson City and Saint Louis, and to arm the two intrenched positions by heavy ordnance.

The Missouri will now become our natural line of defense, with the Osage River in advance, and the two places, Tuscumbia and Linn Creek, as the most important points where tetes-de-pont could be constructed. I make these remarks because I am aware of our strength and weakness. Our 4,000 men will be crippled by the discharge of the three-months’ men, who cannot be kept longer in our midst because they are anxious to go home, and would be of more damage than use if forced to serve longer.

I therefore respectfully request you to give your kind attention to our little army, and enable us to take up anew the struggle with our enemy.

With the greatest respect, your obedient servant,

F. SIGEL, Colonel, Commanding.

Major-General FRÉMONT, Commanding Department of the West.

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HDQRS. SECOND BRIGADE MISSOURI VOLUNTEERS Camp of Good Hope, near Rolla, August 18, 1861.

GENERAL: I respectfully submit to you the report of the battle at Wilson’s Creek, as far as the troops under my command are concerned:

On Friday, the 9th of August, General Lyon informed me that it was his intention to attack the enemy in his camp at Wilson’s Creek on the morning of the 10th; that the attack should be made from two sides, and that I should take the command of the left. The troops assigned to me consisted of the Second Brigade Missouri Volunteers (900 men, infantry, of the Third and Fifth Regiments, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Albert and Colonel Salomon, and six pieces of artillery, under Lieutenants Schaefer and Schuetzenbach), besides two companies of regular cavalry, belonging to the command of Major Sturgis.

I left Camp Frémont, on the south side of Springfield, at 6.30 o’clock in the evening of the 9th, and arrived at daybreak within a mile of the enemy’s camp. I advanced slowly towards the camp, and after taking forward the two cavalry companies from the right and left, I cut off about forty men of the enemy’s troops, who were coming from the camp ill little squads to get water and provisions. This was done in such a manner that no news of our advance could be brought into the camp.

In sight of the enemy’s tents, which spread out in our front and right, I planted four pieces of artillery on a little hill, whilst the infantry advanced towards the point where the Fayetteville road crosses Wilson’s Creek, and the two cavalry companies extended to the right and left, to guard our flanks. It was 5.30 o’clock a. m. when some musket firing was heard from the northwest. I therefore ordered the artillery {p.87} to begin their fire against the camp of the enemy (Missourians), which was of so much effect, that the enemy’s troops were seen leaving their tents and retiring in haste towards the northeast of the valley. Meanwhile the Third and Fifth Regiments had quickly advanced, passed the creek, and, traversing the camp, formed almost in the center of it.

As the enemy made his rally in large numbers before us, about 3,000 strong, consisting of infantry and cavalry, I ordered the artillery to be brought forward from the hill, and formed them in battery across the valley, with the Third and Fifth Regiments to the left and the cavalry to the right. After an effective fire of half an hour the enemy retired in some confusion into the woods and up the adjoining hills. The firing towards the northwest was now more distinct, and increased till it was evident that the main corps of General Lyon had engaged the enemy along the whole line. To give the greatest possible assistance to him, I left the position in the camp and advanced towards the northwest, to attack the enemy’s line of battle in the rear.

Marching forward, we struck the Fayetteville road, making our way through a large number of cattle and horses until we arrived at an eminence used as a slaughtering place, and known as Sharp’s farm. On our route we had taken about 100 prisoners, who were scattered over the camp.

At Sharp’s place we met numbers of the enemy’s soldiers, who were evidently retiring in this direction, and, as I suspected that the enemy on his retreat would follow in the same direction, I formed the troops across this road, by planting the artillery on the plateau and the two infantry regiments on the right and left across the road, whilst the cavalry companies extended on our flanks. At this time, and after some skirmishing in front of our line, the firing in the direction of northwest, which was during an hour’s time roaring in succession, had almost ceased entirely. I therefore thought that the attack of General Lyon had been successful, and that his troops were in pursuit of the enemy, who moved in large masses towards the south, along the ridge of a hill, about 700 yards opposite our right.

This was the state of affairs at 8.30 o’clock in the morning, when it was reported to me by Dr. Melchoir and some of our skirmishers that Lyon’s men were coming up the road. Lieutenant-Colonel Albert, of the Third, and Colonel Salomon, of the Fifth, notified their regiments not to fire on troops coming in this direction, whilst I cautioned the artillery in the same manner. Our troops in this moment expected with anxiety the approach of our friends, and were waving the flag, raised as a signal to their comrades, when at once two batteries opened their fire against us, one in front, placed on the Fayetteville road, and the other upon the hill on which we had supposed Lyon’s forces were in pursuit of the enemy, whilst a strong column of infantry, supposed to be the Iowa regiment, advanced from the Fayetteville road and at tacked our right.

It is impossible for me to describe the consternation and frightful confusion which was occasioned by this unfortunate event. The cry, “They (Lyon’s troops) are firing against us,” spread like wildfire through our ranks; the artillerymen, ordered to fire and directed by myself, could hardly be brought forward to serve their pieces; the infantry would not level their arms till it was too late. The enemy arrived within ten paces from the mouth of our cannon, killed the horses, turned the flanks of the infantry, and forced them to retire. The troops were throwing themselves into the bushes and by-roads, retreating as well as they could, followed and attacked incessantly by {p.88} large bodies of Arkansas and Texas cavalry. In this retreat we lost five cannon, of which three were spiked, and the color of the Third Regiment, the color-bearer having been wounded an& his substitute killed. The total loss of the two regiments, the artillery and the pioneers, in killed, wounded, and missing, amounts to 292 men, as will be seen from the respective lists.

In order to understand clearly our actions and our fate, you will allow me to state the following facts:

1st. According to orders, it was the duty of this brigade to attack the enemy in the rear and to cut off his retreat, which order I tried to execute, whatever the consequences might be.

2d. The time of service of the Fifth Regiment Missouri Volunteers had expired before the battle. I had induced them, company by company, not to leave us in the most critical and dangerous moment, and had engaged them for the time of eight days, this term ending on Friday, the 9th, the day before the battle.

3d. The Third Regiment, of which 400 three-months’ men had been dismissed, was composed for the greatest part of recruits, who had not seen the enemy before and were only insufficiently drilled.

4th. The men serving the pieces and the drivers consisted of infantry taken from the Third Regiment, and were mostly recruits, who had had only a few days’ instruction.

5th. About two-thirds of our officers had left us. Some companies had no officers at all; a great pity, but the consequence of the system of the three-months’ service.

After the arrival of the army at Springfield, the command was intrusted to me by Major Sturgis and the majority of the commanders of regiments. Considering all the circumstances, and in accordance with the commanding officers, I ordered the retreat of the army from Springfield. The preparations were begun in the night of the 10th, and at daybreak the troops were on their march to the Gasconade. Before crossing this river I received information that the ford could not be passed well, and that a strong force of the enemy was moving from the south (West Plains) towards Waynesville, to cut off our retreat. I also was aware that it would take a considerable time to cross the Robidoux and the Little and Big Piney on the old road.

To avoid all these difficulties, and to give the army an opportunity to rest, I directed the troops from Lebanon to the northern road, passing Right Point and Humboldt, and terminating opposite the mouth of Little Piney, where, in case of the ford not being passable, the train could be sent by Vienna and Lynch to the mouth of the Gasconade, whilst the troops could ford the river at the mouth of Little Piney to re-enforce Rolla. To bring over the artillery, I ordered the ferry-boat from Big Piney Crossing to be hauled down on the Gasconade to the mouth of Little Piney, where it arrived immediately after we had passed the ford. Before we had reached the ford Major Sturgis assumed the command of the army. I therefore respectfully refer to his report in regard to the main body of the troops engaged in the battle.

With the greatest respect, your most obedient servant,

F. SIGEL, Commanding Second Brigade Missouri Volunteers.

{p.89}

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No. 14.

Report of Capt. Eugene A. Carr, First U. S. Cavalry.

CAMP NEAR ROLLA, MO., August 17, 1861.

SIR: Having been requested, through Major Shepard, to write a report of my share in the late battle, I have the honor to state that on the afternoon of the 9th instant I was ordered to report to Colonel Sigel at 6 o’clock, with my company (I, First Cavalry), which I did. Company C, Second Dragoons, commanded by Lieutenant Farrand, First Infantry, also reported to Colonel Sigel, but was not under my command, being placed at the opposite extremity of the brigade. Colonel Sigel placed me in advance, with orders to seize persons who might give information to the enemy; and the command moved about sunset. The night was very dark, and it was with great difficulty that we avoided losing our way or getting separated. At about 11 o’clock the command was halted, and rested till 2, when it moved on, approaching the rear of the enemy’s camp. Upon nearing the camp, after daylight, different stragglers were met going from the camp to the surrounding country, and all captured, so that no intimation was given to the enemy of our presence till the first gun was fired.

Colonel Sigel directed me to take the right flank, and then proceeded into the valley below the camp and opened fire of cannon upon it, I in the mean time moving to the edge of the bluff and opening fire with my carbines, for the purpose of distracting the attention of the enemy, being at too great a distance to do much execution. A few minutes before Colonel Sigel opened fire I heard the firing at the opposite end of the camp, and sent word to him that General Lyon was engaged. This was a little after 6 a. m. The enemy ran out of their camp, which was of cavalry, and contained the headquarters and tents of McCulloch and McIntosh. Colonel Sigel then took position on their camp ground, and I moved up along the bluff.

Up to this time I had observed wagons and horsemen moving off towards the west and going south along the Fayetteville road, the point where we struck the camp being in the valley below that road and probably 2 miles from where it crosses the creek. At this time I was about a mile from the main command, it being on the west side of the valley, while I was on the bluff and higher up, when I observed a large body of cavalry forming and approaching the command. I immediately sent word to Colonel Sigel, and retired myself, as it was getting between me and him. I was obliged to go back to the ford to get across the creek, and in the mean time the cavalry had formed to charge, and had been broken up by Colonel Sigel and put to flight, though their officers raved and stormed and tore their hair in trying to make their men advance.

When I reached Colonel Sigel again he told me he was going to advance, and to take my place on the left flank, which I did, keeping in line with the advance along the road. After advancing a short distance, I think to within about half a mile to the Fayetteville crossing, and Over a mile from where we first engaged, the command encountered a Concealed battery on or near the Fayetteville road, into which ours had forked. The action here was hot, and there was continual cannonading, with some firing of musketry, for I should think half an hour. I could see but little, being mostly in the timber to the left with my company, among which bullets, shot, and shell frequently struck, without, however, {p.90} killing a man. At that time many were in doubt if it were not our own troops firing upon us.

At about 10 o’clock one of my corporals told me that one of Colonel Sigel’s staff officers had brought an order to retreat, and as all the troops in sight were retreating I did so too, bringing up the rear. After retiring about one and a half miles, during which we were fired on from a bushy hill-side by a body of men whom I repulsed, but who caused the loss of one of our remaining guns by killing a wheel-horse, I saw Colonel Sigel at the spring where we camped the first night when returning from Dug Springs. It was then decided to move south on the Fayetteville road till we could go out and circle round the enemy towards Springfield. We then had my company, 56 men, about 150 infantry, badly demoralized, one piece, and two caissons.

After retiring about one and a half miles, a large body of cavalry was discovered in front of us, and I was sent to the front, where I observed a column of horse of at least a quarter of a mile in length moving towards the south on our right and filing into the road in front. I watched them for a few moments, when Colonel Sigel sent me word to take the first left-hand road which luckily happened to be just at that point. While retreating along this road, Colonel Sigel asked me to march slowly, so that the infantry could keep up. I urged upon him that the enemy would try to cut us off in crossing Wilson’s Creek, and that the infantry and artillery should at least march as fast as the ordinary walk of my horses. He assented, and told me to go on, which I did at a walk, and upon arriving at a creek I was much surprised and pained to find that he was not up. As, however, I observed a great dust coming from the enemy’s camp, which was not far off, I concluded that it was no time for delay, and moved on, after watering my horses, till I arrived at a spot where I thought I could venture to halt and wait for Colonel Sigel, which I did for some time, and then pursued my march to Springfield. It turned out that the colonel was ambuscaded, as I anticipated, his whole party broken up, and that he himself narrowly escaped.

It is a subject of regret with me to have left him behind, but I supposed all the time that he was close behind me till I got to the creek, and it would have done no good for my company to have been cut to pieces also. As it was, four of my men were lost who had been placed in rear of his infantry.*

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. A. CARR, Captain, First Cavalry.

To the ASST. ADJT. GEN. ARMY OF THE WEST.

* See return of casualties on p. 72.

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No. 15.

Report of Second Lieut. Charles B. Farrand, First U. S. Infantry.

CAMP NEAR ROLLA, MO., August 17, 1861.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that on the evening of the 9th of August I received verbal orders from General Lyon to report with my company for duty to Colonel Sigel. I reported to the latter at 6 o’clock that evening, and by his order formed with my company the rear guard of his column, which immediately proceeded towards the {p.91} enemy’s camp. While on the march Colonel Sigel directed me to act on the right when the enemy should be engaged. Afterwards, however, this order was countermanded, and I was directed to take my position on the left.

Nothing of importance occurred on the march until about 4.30 in the morning, when several prisoners were turned over to the guard. One of these stated to me that their army was expecting re-enforcements from Louisiana, and that they had mistaken us for their re-enforcements. We were now very near the enemy’s camp, and continued to take prisoners in small numbers, most of whom said they were out in search of something to eat. At about 5 o’clock I was ordered with my company to the front. Soon after I reached the head of the column, a small party of men and horses was discovered in a ravine through which we were approaching the enemy’s camp. These I was ordered to take, as they were supposed to be the enemy’s picket. I advanced with a small party upon them. They discovered me at a distance, and mounted their horses. I did not succeed in taking the party prisoners, but cut them off from their camp, which was now in plain sight. I with my company now took my position on the extreme left, and the command moved steadily forward without having been discovered by the enemy, although very near, and at some points in plain sight of, their camp.

The attack was opened by the infantry on the center and left, and soon responded to by the artillery. It was but a moment before the camp was entirely cleared, and as we passed through it I saw many dead bodies and quantities of arms of all descriptions lying on the ground. Many of the latter I caused my men to destroy. There were in their camp a wagon load of Maynard rifles, one of regular rifled muskets, and several boxes of United States regulation sabers, all new.

There being no enemy in sight, I was ordered to move along the south side of camp. I was in a few minutes after ordered to return and support Colonel Sigel’s battery. When I reached the battery I discovered an immense body of the enemy’s cavalry forming in a field about 700 yards in front of our position. The battery immediately opened upon them with considerable effect, and forced them to retire. A large body of the enemy’s cavalry, who had dismounted and deployed in the brush on the south side of the field, were driven back and obliged to leave their horses. My company was on the field until Colonel Sigel’s forces retired, but as circumstances were such as to render it impossible to use cavalry, we did no particular service.

Upon finding myself with my company alone, I retired in a southerly direction, and accidentally meeting one of the guides who had been employed in taking us to the enemy’s camp, I forcibly detained him until I could collect some of the troops, whom I found scattered and apparently lost. I halted my company, and got quite a number together, and directed the guide to proceed to Springfield, via Little York. After proceeding a short distance we came upon one of the pieces which had been taken from Colonel Sigel. Although the tongue of the limber was broken, one horse gone, and one of the remaining three badly wounded, we succeeded in moving it on. Some distance in advance of this we found a caisson, also belonging to Colonel Sigel’s battery. I then had with me Sergeant Bradburn, of Company D, First Cavalry; Corporal Lewis and Private John Smith, of my own company (Company C, Second Dragoons). My company being some distance in advance, I caused the caisson to be opened, and on discovering that it was full of ammunition, I determined to take it on. I and the three {p.92} men with me tried to prevail upon some of the Germans to assist us in clearing some of the wounded horses from the harness, but they would not stop. After considerable trouble, my small party succeeded in clearing the wounded horses from the harness, hitching in two more and a pair of small mules I obtained, and moving on, Corporal Lewis and Private John Smith driving, while Sergeant Bradburn and I led the horses. After reaching the retreating troops again I put two other men on the animals, and joined my company with my three men.

Before reaching Springfield it became necessary to abandon the caisson in order to hitch the animals to the piece. This was done after destroying the ammunition it contained. Lieutenant Morris, adjutant of Colonel Sigel’s command, assisted me in procuring wagons, which we sent back on the road after the wounded.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHAS. E. FARRAND, Second Lieut., First Infantry, Comdg. Co. C, Second Dragoons.

Capt. GORDON GRANGER, Regiment Mounted Rifles A. A. A. G., Army of the West.

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No. 16.

Congratulatory Orders from General Frémont.

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 4.}

HDQRS. WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Saint Louis, Mo., August 25, 1861.

I. The official reports of the commanding officers of the forces engaged in the battle near Springfield, Mo., having been received, the major-general commanding announces to the troops embraced in his command, with pride and the highest commendation, the extraordinary services to their country and flag rendered by the division of the brave and lamented General Lyon.

For thus nobly battling for the honor of their flag he now publicly desires to express to the officers and soldiers his cordial thanks, and commends their conduct as an example to their comrades wherever engaged against the enemies of the Union.

Opposed by overwhelming masses of the enemy in a numerical superiority of upwards of 20,000 against 4,300, or nearly five to one, the successes of our troops were nevertheless sufficiently marked to give to their exploits the moral effect of a victory.

II. The general commanding laments, in sympathy with the country, the loss of the indomitable General Nathaniel Lyon. His fame cannot be better eulogized than in these words from the official report of his gallant successor, Major Sturgis U. S. cavalry “Thus gallantly fell as true a soldier as ever drew a sword ; a man whose honesty of purpose was proverbial; a noble patriot, and one who held his life as nothing where his country demanded it of him.” Let all emulate his prowess and undying devotion to his duty.

III. The regiments and corps engaged in this battle will be permitted to have “Springfield” emblazoned on their colors, as a distinguishing memorial of their services to the nation.

IV. The names of the officers and soldiers mentioned in the official reports as most distinguished for important services and marked gallantry {p.93} will be communicated to the War Department for the consideration of the Government.

V. This order will be read at the head of every company in this department.

By order of Major-General Frémont:

J. C. KELTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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No. 17.

Thanks of U. S. Congress to General Lyon’s command.

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 111, HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, ADJUTANT-GENERAL’S OFFICE, Washington, December 30, 1861.

The following acts of Congress are published for the information of the Army:

...

JOINT RESOLUTION expressive of the recognition by Congress of the gallant and patriotic services of the late Brigadier-General Nathaniel Lyon, and the officers and soldiers under his command, at the battle of Springfield, Missouri.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, 1. That Congress deems it just and proper to enter upon its records a recognition of the eminent and patriotic services of the late Brigadier-General Nathaniel Lyon. The country to whose service he devoted his life will guard and preserve his fame as a part of its own glory.

2. That the thanks of Congress are hereby given to the brave officers and soldiers who, under the command of the late General Lyon, sustained the honor of the flag, and achieved victory against overwhelming numbers at the battle of Springfield, in Missouri; and that, in order to commemorate an event so honorable to the country and to themselves, it is ordered that each regiment engaged shall be authorized to bear upon its colors the word “Springfield,” embroidered in letters of gold. And the President of the United States is hereby requested to cause these resolutions to be read at the head of every regiment in the Army of the United States.

Approved December 24, 1861.

V. The President of the United States directs that the foregoing joint resolution be read at the head of every regiment in the Army of the United States.

By command of Major-General McClellan:

L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General.

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No. 18.

Statements as to conduct of General Sigel, forwarded by Major-General Halleck, U. S. A.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI, Saint Louis, February 18, 1862.

Major-General MCCLELLAN, Washington:

GENERAL: Look at inclosed slips.* Very important documents will {p.94} be mailed to you to-night in relation to General Sigel, showing him unfit for the rank he now holds.

H. W. HALLECK.

* Newspaper slips omitted; the documents referred to are attached.

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SAINT LOUIS, MO., February 13, 1862.

Major-General HALLECK, Commanding Department of the Missouri:

GENERAL: The question of the merits of Brig. Gen. Franz Sigel, as a commander, having assumed such shape as to deeply involve the interests of the service, I deem it my duty to make a statement of facts which came to my knowledge during the campaign of last summer in the Southwest, ending in the death of General Lyon and the retreat of his army from Springfield.

Soon after the capture of Camp Jackson, in May, General Lyon sent Colonel Sigel, with his two regiments of infantry and two batteries of artillery, to the southwestern part of the State, by way of Rolla, to cut off the retreat of Price’s force, which he (Lyon) was about to drive from Booneville. Colonel Sigel passed beyond Springfield, reaching a point not far from the Kansas line, and on the main road used by Price’s men in their movement south to join him. Here he left a single company of infantry in a small town, with no apparent object, unless that it might fall into the hands of the enemy, which it did the next day (5th of July). Sigel met Price the next day and fought the celebrated “battle of Carthage.” Sigel had about two regiments of infantry, well armed and equipped, most of the men old German soldiers, and two good batteries of artillery. Price had about twice Sigel’s number of men, but most of them mounted, armed with shot-guns and common rifles, and entirely without organization and discipline, and a few pieces of almost worthless artillery. Sigel retreated all day before this miserable rabble, contenting himself with repelling their irregular attacks, which he did with perfect ease whenever they ventured to make them. The loss on either side was quite insignificant. Price and McCulloch were thus permitted to join each other absolutely without opposition; Sigel, who had been sent there to prevent their junction, making a “masterly retreat.” Several days before the battle of Wilson’s Creek it was ascertained beyond a doubt that the enemy’s strength was about 22,000 men, with at least twenty pieces of artillery, while our force was only about 5,000. About the 7th of August the main body of the enemy reached Wilson’s Creek, and General Lyon decided to attack him. The plan of attack was freely discussed between General Lyon, the members of his staff, Colonel Sigel, and several officers of the Regular Army. Colonel Sigel, apparently anxious for a separate command, advocated the plan of a divided attack. All others, I believe, opposed it.

On the 8th of August the plan of a single attack was adopted, to be carried out on the 9th. This had to be postponed on account of the exhaustion of a part of our troops. During the morning of the 9th, Colonel Sigel had a long interview with General Lyon, and prevailed upon him to adopt his plan, which led to the mixture of glory, disgrace, and disaster of the ever-memorable 10th of August. Sigel, in attempting to perform the part assigned to himself, lost his artillery, lost his infantry, and fled alone, or nearly so, to Springfield, arriving there long before the battle was ended. Yet he had almost nobody killed or wounded. One piece of his artillery and five or six hundred infantry were picked up and brought in by a company of regular cavalry. No effort was {p.95} made by Sigel or any of his officers to rally their men and join Lyon’s division, although the battle raged furiously for hours after Sigel’s rout and most of his men in their retreat passed in rear of Lyon’s line of battle.

On our return to Springfield, at about 5 o’clock p. m., Major Sturgis yielded the command to Colonel Sigel, and the latter, after consultation with many of the officers of the army, decided to retreat toward Rolla; starting at 2 o’clock a. m., in order that the column might be in favorable position for defense before daylight. At the hour appointed for the troops to move I found Colonel Sigel asleep in bed, and his own brigade, which was to be the advance guard, making preparations to cook their breakfast. It was 4 o’clock before I could get them started. Sigel remained in command three days, kept his two regiments in front all the time, made little more than ordinary days’ marches, but yet did not get in camp till 10 and one occasion 12 o’clock at night. On the second day he kept the main column waiting, exposed to the sun on a dry prairie, while his own men killed beef and cooked their breakfast. They finished their breakfast at about noon, and then began their day’s march.

The fatigue and annoyance to the troops soon became so intolerable that discipline was impossible. The officers, therefore, almost unanimously demanded a change. Major Sturgis, in compliance with the demand, assumed the command.

My position as General Lyon’s principal staff officer gave me very favorable opportunities for judging of General Sigel’s merits as an officer, and hence I appreciate his good as well as his bad qualities more accurately than most of those who presume to judge him. General Sigel, in point of theoretical education, is far above the average of commanders in this country. He has studied with great care the science of strategy, and seems thoroughly conversant with the campaigns of all the great captains, so far as covers their main strategic features, and also seems familiar with the duties of the staff; but in tactics, great and small logistics, and discipline he is greatly deficient. These defects are so apparent as to make it absolutely impossible for him to gain the confidence of American officers and men, and entirely unfit him for a high command in our Army. While I do not condemn General Sigel in the unmeasured terms-so common among many, but on the contrary see in him many fine qualities, I would do less than my duty did I not enter my protest against the appointment to a high command in the Army of a man who, whatever may be his merits, I know cannot have the confidence of the troops he is to command.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. M. SCHOFIELD, Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers.

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SAINT LOUIS, MO., February 17, 1862.

Major-General HALLECK, Commanding the Department of the Missouri:

GENERAL: The undersigned officers of the Army of the United States, who have been constantly more or less connected with the service since the present trouble commenced in Missouri, entirely agree with the facts, strictures, and sentiments expressed in the annexed communication of Brigadier-General Schofield, and concurring as we do with these {p.96} thoroughly, we sincerely pray that such steps and precautions may be taken by the proper authorities as will insure care at least in the future in the selection of those who are to command our armies.

JOHN V. DU BOIS, Major Volunteers. JAS. TOTTEN, Lieut. Col. First Mo. Lt. Arty., Chief of Arty. G. GRANGER, Late A. A. A. G., Army of the West, A. D. C. to General Lyon. FLORENCE M. CORNYN, Surg. First Mo. Lt. Arty., and Acting Surg. Gen. Army West. W. L. LOTHROP, Major First Missouri Light Artillery. P. E. BURKE, Captain, Fourteenth Infantry, U. S. Army. GEO. O. SOKALSKI, First Lieutenant, Second Cavalry. JOHN L. WOODS, JR., Lieutenant and Quartermaster First Regt. Mo. Lt. Artillery. LUCIEN J. BARNES, First Lieutenant, First Missouri Light Artillery.

The undersigned officers in the service of the United States, who participated in the battle of Wilson’s Creek (Springfield), believing that the erroneous accounts of the part taken by General Sigel in that engagement, which have been published in the newspapers throughout the United States, have produced wrong impressions upon the minds of the people, and deceived the administration in regard to the merits of the case, respectfully submit the following statement of facts, in a spirit of fairness and justice, pledging themselves to substantiate such items as they are not willing to testify to themselves by what they believe to be reliable evidence.

On the evening of the 8th of August, 1861, General Lyon called a council of war, composed of the principal officers of his command, for the purpose of determining what plan should be adopted to extricate his little army from the dangers which threatened it. General Lyon said in presence of the council:

Gentlemen, there is no prospect of our being re-enforced at this point; our supply of provisions is running short; there is a superior force to front; and it is reported that Hardee is marching with 9,000 men to cut our line of communication. It is evident that we must retreat. The question arises, what is the best method of doing it. Shall we endeavor to retreat without giving the enemy battle beforehand and run the risk of having to fight every inch along our line of retreat, or shall we attack him in his position, and endeavor to hurt him so that he cannot follow us. I am decidedly in favor of the latter plan. I propose to march this evening with all our available force, leaving only a small guard to protect the property which will be left behind, and, marching by the Fayetteville road, throw our whole force upon him at once, and endeavor to rout him before he can recover from his surprise.

There were no objections offered to this plan of General Lyon, except that a large part of the command had just returned from a fatiguing scout, and had taken no food since morning; it was therefore decided to defer the execution of this plan until the next night. In the mean time Sigel procured an interview with General Lyon, and persuaded the general to allow him a separate command. Sigel therefore made a detour to the left of the Fayetteville road with his brigade, about 1,300 men, including one battery of six pieces and two troops of regular cavalry, for the purpose of attacking the enemy to their left and rear. He {p.97} succeeded in capturing the pickets of the enemy, taking him by surprise, and for a time sweeping everything before him with his artillery.

After clearing the camp said to have been occupied by McCulloch and McIntosh, his command, supposing, perhaps, that there was nothing more to be done, went to plundering the camp, or in some way became disorganized. While in this state, some Louisiana troops came down upon them, when they fled, leaving the battery to the enemy without having fired a shot. It appears that Sigel and Colonel Salomon, in their flight, took a different direction from that taken by their troops, and made their way into Springfield with all possible haste, Sigel being attended only by one orderly, a private of cavalry.

As Sigel and Colonel Salomon abandoned their commands and left the rest of our little army to their fate, and arrived at Springfield before the severest part of the battle was over, it seems fair to conclude that they were more solicitous about their own personal safety than that of their companions in arms or the reputation of the flag.

Had Sigel rallied his men, and come to the assistance of General Lyon, in all probability the contest would speedily have terminated in our favor; whereas the mystery which enveloped his operations prevented our pushing the advantages we had gained over the enemy. Sigel, knowing our position, might, by communicating with us, have relieved our perplexity, and left no doubt as to the course for us to pursue.

Charles E. Farrand, then second lieutenant First U. S. Infantry, in command of a troop of Second U. S. Dragoons, collected together several hundred men of Sigel’s command, and seeing that the battery had been abandoned by the enemy, who after having taken it turned their attention to Lyon’s command, thought to carry it off, but found the horses belonging to it either wounded or missing, except those for one piece, where but one was disabled. This horse he replaced by a fresh one, and took off the piece with the caisson and the men whom he had collected. With this party he made his way unmolested by the enemy to the Little York road, which he reached 3 or 4 miles from our right flank.

In the mean time great solicitude was felt by the officers of Lyon’s command in regard to the whereabouts of Sigel. The question was frequently asked, “What has become of Sigel?” His men being dressed in the same color as the Arkansas and Louisiana troops, the latter were several times mistaken for Sigel’s men, and on two distinct occasions escaped severe punishment at our hands. Du Bois battery was making great havoc among the Louisianians (in the corn field), when Major Sturgis informed Du Bois that he was slaughtering Sigel’s men, and ordered him to cease firing. At another time one of the Louisiana regiments marched by the flank in front of our line within musket range, and were allowed to pass us unharmed, being mistaken for Sigel’s men. We were also interrupted in our operations by the appearance of Sigel’s flag in front of our line with Lyon’s name emblazoned upon it, which flag it appears had been captured by the enemy, and displayed to us out of bravado. It should be mentioned in this connection that about 200 of Sigel’s men were taken prisoners by the enemy, and that those whom Lieutenant Farrand picked up, or most of them, had thrown away their arms. Lieutenant Farrand, with his troop of cavalry, one piece of artillery, and the remnant of Sigel’s command, joined us on the Little York road, about 6 miles from the battle-field. He was obliged to abandon the caisson on account of some of the horses having given out. {p.98} In regard to what has been called “Sigel’s masterly retreat from Springfield,” it might easily be shown that while Sigel was in command our forces more nearly resembled a crowd of refugees than an army of organized troops. Sigel put his brigade in advance, and the rear was brought up by the regulars. This arrangement was the only evidence of skill manifested by him during his, memorable retreat. The column was broken by crowds of refugees, wagons, horses, mules, cows, &c., which were mixed up with the troops in such a manner that it would have been very difficult to have made any disposition for battle.

The command moved before sunrise during the three days that Sigel commanded, and was halted on the second day, and remained exposed to the rays of a burning sun for several hours. The reason given for the halt was that Sigel’s men were cooking breakfast. During the halt on the third day, the officers, having become disgusted with the manner in which Sigel conducted the retreat, insisted that Major Sturgis should assume command. Sigel yielded, on the ground that he had no commission.

FRED’K STEELE, Brigadier-General U. S. JAS. TOTTEN, Major and Lieut. Col. First Mo. Lt. Artillery. JOHN V. DU BOIS, Major First Mo. Arty., Comdg. Battery at Wilson’s Greek. G. GRANGER, A. A. A. G., late Army of the West, and A. D. C. to General Lyon at Battle of Springfield. FLORENCE M. CORNYN, Actg. Surg. Gen. Dept. West.

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No. 19.

Report of Maj. Gen. Sterling Price, commanding Missouri State Guard, of operations from July 25 to August 11.

HEADQUARTERS MISSOURI STATE GUARD, Springfield, Mo., August 12, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to submit to your excellency the following report of the operations of the army under my command at and immediately preceding the battle of Springfield:*

I began to move my command from its encampment on Cowskin Prairie, in McDonald County, on July 25, towards Cassville, in Barry County, at which place it had been agreed upon between Generals McCulloch, Pearce, and myself that our respective forces, together with those of Brigadier-General McBride, should be concentrated, preparatory to a forward movement.

We reached Cassville on Sunday, July 28, and on the next day effected a junction with the armies of Generals McCulloch and Pearce. The combined armies were then put under marching orders, and the First Division, General McCulloch commanding, left Cassville on August 1 upon the road to this city. The Second Division, under General Pearce, of Arkansas, left on August 1; and the Third Division, Brigadier-General {p.99} Steele, of this State, commanding, left on August 2. I went forward with the Second Division, which embraced the greater portion of my infantry, and encamped with it some 12 miles northwest of Cassville. The next morning a messenger from General McCulloch informed me that he had reason to believe that the enemy were in force on the road to Springfield, and that he should remain at his then encampment, on Crane Creek, until the Second and Third Divisions of the army had come up. The Second Division consequently moved forward to Crane Creek, and ordered the Third Division to a position within 3 miles of the same place. An advance guard of the army, consisting of six companies of mounted Missourians, under command of Brigadier-General Rains, was at this time (Friday, August 2) encamped on the Springfield road, about 5 miles beyond Crane Creek.

About 9 a. m. of that day General Rains’ pickets reported to him that they had been driven in by the enemy’s advance guard, and that officer immediately led forward his whole force, amounting to nearly 400 men, until he found the enemy in position some 3 miles on the road. He sent back at once to General McCulloch for re-enforcements, and Colonel McIntosh, C. S. Army, was sent forward with 150 men, but a reconnaissance of the ground having satisfied the latter that the enemy did not have more than 150 men on the ground, he withdrew his men and returned to Crane Creek. General Rains soon discovered, however, that he was in presence of the main body of the enemy, numbering, according to his estimate, more than 5,000 men, with eight pieces of artillery, and supported by a considerable body of cavalry. A severe skirmish ensued, which lasted several hours, until the enemy opened their batteries and compelled our troops to retire. In this engagement the greater portion of General Rains’ command, and especially that part which acted as infantry, behaved with great gallantry, as the result demonstrates, for our loss was only 1 killed (Lieutenant Northcut) and 5 wounded, while 5 of the enemy’s dead were buried on the field, and a large number are known to have been wounded.

Our whole forces were concentrated the next day near Crane Creek, and during the same night the Texas regiment, under Colonel Greer, came up within a few miles of the same place.

Reasons which will be hereafter assigned induced me on Sunday, the 4th instant, to put the Missouri forces under the direction, for the time being, of General McCulloch, who accordingly assumed the command in chief of the combined armies.

A little after midnight we took up the line of march, leaving our baggage trains, and expected to find the enemy near the scene of the late skirmish, but we found as we advanced that they were retreating rapidly towards Springfield. We followed them hastily about 17 miles to a place known as Moody’s Spring, where we were compelled to halt our forces, who were already nearly exhausted by the intense heat of the weather and the dustiness of the roads.

Early the next morning we moved forward to Wilson’s Creek, 10 miles southwest of Springfield, where we encamped. Our forces were here put in readiness to meet the enemy, who were posted at Springfield to the number of about 10,000. It was finally decided to march against them in four separate columns at 9 o’clock that night, so as to surround the city and begin a simultaneous attack at daybreak. The darkness of the night and a threatened storm caused General McCulloch, just as the army was about to march, to countermand this order, and to direct that the troops should hold themselves in readiness to move whenever {p.100} ordered. Our men were consequently kept under arms till towards daybreak, expecting momentarily an order to march.

The morning of Saturday, August 10, found them still encamped at Wilson’s Creek, fatigued by a night’s watching and loss of rest.

About 6 o’clock I received a messenger [message] from General Rains that the enemy were advancing in great force from the direction of Springfield, and were already within 200 or 300 yards of the position, where he was encamped with the Second Brigade of his division, consisting of about 1,200 mounted men, under Colonel Cawthorn. A second messenger came immediately afterwards from General Rains to announce that the main body of the enemy was upon him, but that he would endeavor to hold him in check until he could receive re-enforcements. General McCulloch was with me when these messengers came, and left at once for his own headquarters to make the necessary disposition of our forces. I rode forward instantly towards General Rains’ position, at the same time ordering Generals Slack, McBride, Clark, and Parsons to move their infantry and artillery rapidly forward. I had ridden but a few hundred yards when I came suddenly upon the main body of the enemy, commanded by General Lyon in person. The infantry and artillery, which I had ordered to follow me, came up immediately, to the number of 2,036 men, and engaged the enemy.

A severe and bloody conflict ensued, my officers and men behaving with the greatest bravery, and with the assistance of a portion of the Confederate forces successfully holding the enemy in check. Meanwhile, and almost simultaneously with the opening of the enemy’s batteries in this quarter, a heavy cannonading was opened upon the rear of our position, where a large body of the enemy, under Colonel Sigel, had taken position in close proximity to Colonel Churchill’s regiment, Colonel Greer’s Texan Rangers, and 679 mounted Missourians, under command of Colonel Brown and Lieutenant-Colonel Major. The action now became general, and was conducted with the greatest gallantry and vigor on both sides for more than five hours, when the enemy retreated in great confusion, leaving their commander-in-chief General Lyon, dead upon the battle-field, over 500 killed, and a great number wounded.

The forces under my command have possession of three 12-pounder howitzers, two brass 6-pounders, and a great quantity of small-arms and ammunition taken from the enemy; also the standard of Sigel’s regiment, captured by Captain Staples. They have also a large number of prisoners.

The brilliant victory thus achieved upon this hard-fought field was won only by the most determined bravery and distinguished gallantry of the combined armies, which fought nobly side by side in defense of their common rights and liberties with as much courage and constancy as were ever exhibited upon any battle-field.

Where all behaved so well it is invidious to make any distinction, but I cannot refrain from expressing my sense of the splendid services rendered under my own eyes by the Arkansas infantry, under General Pearce; the Louisiana regiment of Colonel Hebert, and Colonel Churchill’s regiment of mounted riflemen. These gallant officers and their brave soldiers won upon that day the lasting gratitude of every true Missourian.

This great victory was dearly bought by the blood of many a skillful officer and brave man.

Others will report the losses sustained by the Confederate forces. I shall willingly confine myself to the losses within my own army.

{p.101}

Among those who fell mortally wounded upon the battle-field none deserve a dearer place in the memory of Missourians than Richard Hanson Weightman, colonel, commanding the First Brigade of the Second Division of the army. Taking up arms at the very beginning of this unhappy contest, he had already done distinguished services at the battle of Rock Creek, of the lamented Holloway [sic], and at Carthage, where he won unfading laurels by the display of extraordinary coolness, courage, and skill. He fell at the head of his brigade, wounded in three places, and died just as the victorious shout of our army began to rise upon the air. Here, too, died in the discharge of his duty Col. Ben. Brown, of Ray County, president of the senate, a good man and true.

Brigadier-General Slack’s division suffered severely. He himself fell dangerously wounded at the head of his column. Of his regiment of infantry, under Col. John T. Hughes, consisting of about 650 men, 36 were killed, 76 wounded, many of them mortally, and 30 are missing. Among the killed were C. H. Bennett, adjutant of the regiment; Captain Blackburn, and Lieutenant Hughes.

Colonel Rives’ squadron of cavalry, dismounted, some 234 men, lost 4 killed and 8 wounded. Among the former were Lieutenant-Colonel Austin and Captain Engart.

Brigadier-General Clark was also wounded. His infantry, 200 men, lost in killed 17, and wounded 71. Colonel Burbridge was severely wounded; Captains Farris and Halleck and Lieutenant Haskins were killed.

General Clark’s cavalry, together with the Windsor Guards, were under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Major, who did good service. They lost 6 killed and 5 wounded.

Brigadier-General McBride’s division, 605 men, lost 22 killed, 67 severely wounded, and 57 slightly wounded. Colonel Foster and Captains Nichols, Dougherty, Armstrong, and Mings were wounded while gallantly leading their respective commands.

General Parsons’ brigade, 256 infantry and artillery, under command, respectively, of Colonel Kelly and Captain Guibor, and 406 cavalry, under Colonel Brown, lost, the artillery, 3 killed and 7 wounded; the infantry, 9 killed and 38 wounded; and the cavalry, 3 killed and 2 wounded. Colonel Kelly was wounded in the hand. Captain Coleman was mortally wounded, and has since died.

General Rains’ division was composed of two brigades. The first, under Colonel Weightman, embracing infantry and artillery, 1,306 strong, lost not only their commander, but 31 others killed and 111 wounded. The Second Brigade, mounted men, Colonel Cawthorn commanding, about 1,200 strong, lost 21 killed and 75 wounded. Colonel Cawthorn was himself wounded, and Maj. Charles Rogers, of Saint Louis, adjutant of the brigade, was mortally wounded, and died the day after the battle. He was a gallant officer, and at all times vigilant and attentive to his duties, and fearless upon the field of battle.

Your excellency will perceive that our State forces consisted of only 5,221 officers and men; that of those no less than 156 died upon the field, while 517 were wounded. These facts attest more powerfully than words can the severity of the conflict and the dauntless courage of our brave soldiers.

It is also my painful duty to announce the death of one of my aides, Lieut. Col. George W. Allen, of Saline County. He was shot down while communicating an order, and we left him buried on the field. I have appointed to the position thus sadly vacated Capt. James T. {p.102} Cearnel, in recognition of his gallant conduct and valuable services throughout the battle as a volunteer aide.

Another of my staff, Col. Horace H. Brand, was made prisoner by the enemy, but has since been released.

My thanks are due to three of your staff-Col. William M. Cook, Richard Gaines, and Thomas L. Snead-for the services which they rendered me as volunteer aides, and also to my aide-de-camp, Col. A. W. Jones.

In conclusion, I beg leave to say to your excellency that the army under my command, both officers and men, did their duty nobly, as became men fighting in defense of their homes and their honor, and that they deserve well of their State.

I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, your excellency’s obedient servant,

STERLING PRICE, Major-General, Commanding Missouri State Guard.

His Excellency CLAIBORNE F. JACKSON, Governor of State of Missouri.

* This report is printed from official copy, and it has been impossible to verify the names of individuals or organizations.

[Inclosure No. 1.]

HEADQUARTERS MCCULLOCH’S BRIGADE, Camp near Keatsville, Mo., July 29, 1861.

GENERAL: I have the honor to transmit the inclosed order of march, which you did me the honor to intrust to me. I have submitted it to General Pearce, who approves of it and will be guided by it. Should you desire to make any alteration in it, please do so, and return it to me at once. If not, and it meets with your approbation, I will thank you to have the officers of your command furnished with copies, in order that the move may be made with regularity.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,

BEN. McCULLOCH, Brigadier-General.

Major-General PRICE, Commanding Missouri Forces, Cassville, Mo.

[Inclosure No. 2.]

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 22.}

HDQRS. MCCULLOCH’S BRIGADE, Camp near Keatsville, Mo., July 29, 1861.

A forward movement of the following-named troops will commence from the camp near Cassville as early as practicable on Wednesday, the 31st instant. The troops will move on the State road to Springfield. The following will be the order of march by divisions: Six companies of well-mounted men of Brigadier-General Rains’ command to form the advance guard of the army, to be commanded in person by the general or some officer designated by him. This force will be habitually kept about 10 miles in advance of the infantry, and will keep up constant communication with them. The three companies of Captain Harbin’s command and Captain Campbell’s company, of General McBride’s command, will be under the orders of the officer commanding the advance guard, and will be used as flankers.

The First Division, composed of the following troops, will march in the following order:

1st. Colonel Hebert’s regiment of Louisiana Volunteers.

2d. The light battery now attached to the regiment.

{p.103}

3d. Lieutenant-Colonel McRae’s battalion of infantry.

4th. Colonel Gratiot’s regiment of Arkansas infantry.

5th. Colonel Weightman’s command of Missouri troops.

Should any mounted companies be in Colonel Weightman’s command, they will remain and march in rear with the Third Division.

The Second Division will be composed of the following-named troops, and will move from Cassville on the 1st of August in the order below stated:

1st. The infantry of General Price’s command by regiments and battalions.

2d. General McBride’s command.

3d. The infantry and artillery of General Pearce’s command.

All mounted companies belonging to any of the commands of the Second Division will remain and march with the Third Division.

The Third Division will be composed of the following commands, and will move from Cassville on the 2d of August in the order below stated, viz:

1st. Colonel Churchill’s regiment of mounted riflemen.

2d. Colonel Carroll’s regiment of cavalry.

3d. Colonel McIntosh’s regiment of mounted riflemen.

4th. General Price’s cavalry command.

5th. All other cavalry not mentioned above.

All persons now with the army and not forming a part of it and all unarmed men will not be allowed to come nearer than one day’s march of the rear of the Third Division.

By order of General McCulloch:

JAMES MCINTOSH, Captain, C. S. Army, Adjutant-General of Brigade.

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No. 20.

Report of Lieut. Col. 12. A. Maclean, C. S. A., aide-de-camp; of movements, August 2.

HEADQUARTERS ADVANCE GUARD, Camp McIntosh, August 2, 1861.

SIR: I am directed by Brigadier-General Rains to notify you that from information obtained the enemy’s camp at Pawn Spring was suddenly raised at 2 p. m. yesterday, and the entire force marched either to Springfield or Wilson’s Creek, where rumor says they intend making a stand. Estimation of enemy’s force, from rumor, not exceeding 12,000. Illinois troops coming, but not arrived.

Captain Allcorn and two members of Union company killed yesterday by our flankers.

We remain to-day at this point, known as McCulla’s Store.

I am, sir, with much respect, &c.,

L. A. MACLEAN, Lieutenant-Colonel, Aide-de-Camp.

Col. T. L. SNEAD, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

{p.104}

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No. 21.

Reports of Brig. Gen. Ben. McCulloch, C. S. Army, with orders and proclamation.

HEADQUARTERS MCCULLOCH’S BRIGADE, Battle-field of the Oak Hills, near Springfield, August 10, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report that the enemy, 12,000 strong, attacked us at daylight this morning.

Although they were superior in discipline and arms and had gained a strong position, we have repulsed them and gained a decided victory. The enemy fled before us at 1 o’clock, after eight hours’ hard fighting, leaving many dead and wounded and prisoners.

Six pieces of cannon were taken and many small-arms. Among the dead we found General Lyon, and sent his body to his successor this evening. The loss was also severe on our side. Our men were at great disadvantage, on account of the inferior weapons, but they fought generally with great bravery. I will as soon as possible send a more detailed account.

The Missouri and Arkansas State forces were in the battle under my command. Want of arms and discipline made my number comparatively small.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

BEN. McCULLOCH, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.

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HEADQUARTERS MCCULLOCH’S BRIGADE, Camp Weightman, near Springfield, Mo., August 12, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to make the following official report of the battle of the Oak Hills on the 10th instant:

Having taken position about 10 miles from Springfield, I endeavored to gain the necessary information of the strength and position of the enemy stationed in and about the town. The information was very conflicting and unsatisfactory. I, however, made up my mind to attack the enemy in their position, and issued orders on the 9th instant to my force to start at 9 o’clock at night to attack at four different points at daylight. A few days before General Price, in command of the Missouri force, turned over his command to me, and I assumed command of the entire force, comprising my own brigade, the brigade of Arkansas State forces under General Pearce, and General Price’s command of Missourians.

My effective force was 5,300 infantry, 15 pieces of artillery, and 6,000 horsemen armed with flint-lock muskets, rifles, and shot-guns. There were other horsemen with the army who were entirely unarmed, and instead of being a help, were continually in the way. When the time arrived for the night march, it commenced to rain slightly, and fearing, from the want of cartridge-boxes, that my ammunition would be ruined, I ordered the movement to be stopped, hoping to move the next morning. Many of my men had but twenty rounds of ammunition, and there was no more to be had.

While still hesitating in the morning the enemy were reported advancing, and I made arrangements to meet him. The attack was made {p.105} simultaneously at 5.30 a. m. on our right and left flanks, and the enemy had gained the positions they desired. General Lyon attacked us on our left, and General Sigel on our right and rear. From these points batteries opened upon us. My command was soon ready. The Missourians, under Generals Slack, Clark, McBride, Parsons, and Rains, were nearest the position taken by General Lyon with his main force. They were instantly turned to the left, and opened the battle with an incessant fire of small-arms. Woodruff opposed his battery to that of the enemy under Captain Totten, and a constant cannonading was kept up between these batteries during the battle. Hebert’s regiment of Louisiana volunteers and McIntosh’s regiment of Arkansas Mounted Riflemen were ordered to the front, and after passing the battery turned to the left, and soon engaged the enemy with regiments deployed. Colonel McIntosh dismounted his regiment, and the two marched up abreast to a fence around a large corn field, when they met the left of the enemy already posted.

A terrible conflict of small-arms took place here. The opposing force was a body of regular United States infantry, commanded by Captains Plummer and Gilbert. Notwithstanding the galling fire poured upon these two regiments, they leaped over the fence, and, gallantly led by their colonels, drove the enemy before them back upon the main body. During this time the Missourians, under General Price, were nobly attempting to sustain themselves in the center, and were hotly engaged on the sides of the height upon which the enemy were posted. Far on the right Sigel had opened his battery upon Churchill’s and Greer’s regiments, and had gradually made his way to the Springfield road, upon each side of which the army was encamped, and in a prominent position had established his battery. I at once took two companies of the Louisiana regiment which were nearest me, and marched them rapidly from the front and right to the rear, with orders to Colonel McIntosh to bring up the rest.

When we arrived near the enemy’s battery we found that Reid’s battery had opened upon it, and it was already in confusion. Advantage was taken of it, and soon the Louisianians were gallantly charging among the guns, and swept the cannoneers away. Five guns were here taken, and Sigel’s command, completely routed, were in rapid retreat with a single gun, followed by some companies of the Texas regiment and a portion of Colonel Major’s Missouri regiment of cavalry. In the pursuit many of the enemy were killed and taken prisoners, and their last gun captured.

Having cleared our right and rear, it was necessary to turn all our attention to the center, under General Lyon, who was pressing upon the Missourians, having driven them back. To this point McIntosh’s regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Embry, and Churchill’s regiment on foot, Gratiot’s regiment, and McRae’s battalion were sent to their aid. A terrible fire of musketry was now kept up along the whole side and top of the hill upon which the enemy were posted. Masses of infantry fell back and again rushed forward. The summit of the hill was covered with the dead and wounded. Both sides were fighting with desperation for the day. Carroll’s and Greer’s regiments, led gallantly by Captain Bradfute, charged the battery (Totten’s), but the whole strength of the enemy were immediately in rear, and a deadly fire was opened upon them.

At this critical moment, when the fortunes of the day seemed to be at the turning point, two regiments of General Pearce’s brigade were ordered to march from their position (as reserves) to support the center. {p.106} The order was obeyed with alacrity, and General Pearce gallantly marched with his brigade to the rescue. Reid’s battery was also ordered to move forward, and the Louisiana regiment was again called into action on the left of it. The battle then became general, and probably no two opposing forces ever fought with greater desperation. Inch by inch the enemy gave way, and were driven from their position. Totten’s battery fell back. Missourians, Arkansans, Louisianians, and Texans pushed forward. The incessant roll of musketry was deafening, and the balls fell thick as hailstones, but stilt our gallant Southerners pushed onward, and with one wild yell broke upon the enemy, pushing them back and strewing the ground with their dead. Nothing could withstand the impetuosity of our final charge. The enemy fled, and could not again be rallied, and they were seen at 12 m. fast retreating among the hills in the distance. Thus ended the battle. It lasted six hours and a half. The force of the enemy, between nine and ten thousand, was composed of well-disciplined troops, well armed, and a large part of them belonging to the old Army of the United States. With every advantage on their side they have met with a signal repulse. The loss of the enemy is 800 killed, 1,040 wounded, and 300 prisoners. We captured six pieces of artillery, several hundred stand of small arms, and several of their standards.

Major-General Lyon, chief in command, was killed, and many of their officers high in rank wounded.

Our loss was also severe, and we mourn the death of many a gallant officer and soldier. Our killed amounts to 265, 800 wounded, and 30 missing.

Colonel Weightman fell at the head of his brigade of Missourians while gallantly charging upon the enemy. His place will not easily be filled. Generals Slack and Clark, of Missouri, were severely wounded; General Price slightly. Captain Hinson, of the Louisiana regiment; Captain McAlexander, of Churchill’s regiment; Captains Bell and Brown, of Pearce’s brigade; Lieutenants Walton and Weaver, all fell while nobly and gallantly doing their duty. Colonel McIntosh was slightly wounded by a grape shot while charging with the Louisiana regiment. Lieutenant Colonel Neal, Maj. H. Ward, Captains King, Pearson, Gibbs, Ramsaur, Porter, Lieutenants Dawson, Chambers, Johnson, King, Adams, Hardesty, McIvor, and Saddler were wounded while at the head of their companies.

Where all were doing their duty so gallantly, it is almost unfair to discriminate. I must, however, bring to your notice the gallant conduct of the Missouri generals-McBride, Parsons, Clark, and Slack, and their officers. To General Price I am under many obligations for assistance on the battle-field. He was at the head of his force, leading them on, and sustaining them by his gallant bearing. General Pearce, with his Arkansas brigade (Gratiot’s, Walker’s, and Dockery’s regiments of infantry), came gallantly to the rescue when sent for, leading his men into the thickest of the fight. He contributed much to the success of the day. The commanders of regiments of my own brigade-Colonels Churchill, Greer, Embry, McIntosh, Hebert, and McRae-led their different regiments into action with the greatest coolness and bravery, always in front of their men, cheering them on. Woodruff, Bledsoe, and Reid managed their batteries with great ability, and did much execution. For those other officers and men who were particularly conspicuous I will refer the Department to the reports of the different commanders. To my personal staff I am much indebted for the coolness and rapidity with which they carried orders about the field, and {p.107} would call your attention to my volunteer aides, Captain Bradfute, Messrs. Armstrong, Ben. Johnson (who had his horse killed under him), Hamilton, Pike, and Major King. To Major Montgomery, quartermaster, I am also indebted for much service. He cheerfully volunteered his services as an aide during the battle, and was of much use to me. To Colonel McIntosh, at one time at the head of his regiment and at other times in his capacity of adjutant-general, I cannot bestow too much praise. Wherever the balls flew thickest he was gallantly leading different regiments into action, and his presence gave confidence everywhere.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

BEN. MCCULLOCH, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Brig. Gen. S. COOPER, Adjutant-General C. S. Army.

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SPRINGFIELD, MO., August 13, 1861.

The battle of the Oak Hills has been fought, and we have gained a great victory over the enemy, commanded by General N. Lyon, and the battle was fought 10 miles from Springfield. The enemy were nine or ten thousand strong; our forces about the same. The battle lasted six and a half hours. Enemy were repulsed and driven from the field, with loss of six pieces of artillery, 700 stands of small-arms, 800 killed, 1,000 wounded, and 300 prisoners. General Lyon was killed and many of their prominent officers. Our loss was 265 killed, 800 wounded, and 30 missing. We have possession of Springfield. The enemy are in full retreat towards Rolla.*

BEN. MCCULLOCH, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Hon. L. P. WALKER.

* See also McCulloch to Benjamin, December 22, 1861, in “Correspondence, etc.,” post.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 24.}

HEADQUARTERS WESTERN ARMY, Camp on Crane Creek, Mo., August 4, 1861.

The army will move at 12 m. to-night. Colonel Hebert’s regiment of Louisiana volunteers, by platoons, with Woodruff’s battery, will form the advance guard. The battery will march immediately behind the regiment, and the column will keep 200 yards in advance of the main army, and attack the enemy as soon as seen. The main army will march in the following order:

First, Colonel Gratiot’s regiment; second, Colonel McRae’s battalion; third, Colonel Weightman’s command of infantry and artillery; fourth, General Pearce’s infantry and Reid’s battery; sixth, General Price’s command of infantry.

In this column no cavalry or mounted men besides the officers will be allowed. These respective commands will form and march in column of platoons. Immediately after the infantry General Price will place his artillery. The cavalry will follow General Price’s artillery in the following order, by fours, and whenever possible by platoons:

First, Colonel Churchill’s regiment of Arkansas Mounted Riflemen; second, Colonel Carroll’s regiment of cavalry; third, Colonel McIntosh’s {p.108} regiment of Mounted Riflemen; fourth, Colonel Greer’s regiment of Texas volunteers; fifth, General Price’s command of cavalry.

General Price will order the officer in command of his cavalry, as soon as he learns that the enemy is in force, to make a flank movement to our left, and the general will, as soon as the line of battle is formed, take command of the left in person. The four other regiments of cavalry above enumerated will at the same time make a flank movement to our right, and endeavor to take the enemy in flank.

All general officers will lead their respective commands wherever the larger portion of them are. The regiments and batteries of these respective commands which are detached will be led by the immediate commanders. This movement will take place in quietness. Neither shouting nor beating of drums will be allowed, and, especially on the march, strictest silence must be observed.

The canteens will all be filled before starting, and one day’s rations (cooked) will be carried by each soldier. Each commander of regiment and company will see that a sufficient amount of ammunition is carried by each man.

No unarmed man will be permitted to march with or follow the army. No wagons will move with the command. Each regimental commander will leave a detachment of men to guard their respective wagon trains. The ambulances will move in rear of the army. The general and his aides will be distinguished by a white badge on each arm.

The general takes this occasion to say to his soldiers to look steadily to the front. Remember that the eyes of our gallant brothers in arms, who have so nobly acquitted themselves in the East, are upon you. They are looking for a second victory here. Let us move forward, then, with a common resolve, to a glorious victory.

By order of General McCulloch:

JAMES MCINTOSH, Captain, C. S. Army, and Adjutant-General of Brigade.

P. S-Each captain of company will continually caution his men to take aim. As soon as the enemy are driven from their first position, colonels of regiments and captains of companies will at once rally their companies, and hold them in hand for further orders.

By order of General McCulloch:

JAMES MCINTOSH, Captain, C. S. Army, and Adjutant-General of Brigade.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 27.}

HEADQUARTERS WESTERN ARMY, Camp near Springfield, Mo., August 12, 1861.

The general commanding takes great pleasure in announcing to the army under his command the signal victory it has just gained. Soldiers of Louisiana, of Arkansas, of Missouri, and of Texas, nobly have you sustained yourselves! Shoulder to shoulder you have met the enemy and driven him before you. Your first battle has been glorious, and your general is proud of you. The opposing force, composed mostly of the old Regular Army of the North, have thrown themselves upon you, confident of victory, but by great gallantry and determined courage you have entirely routed it with great slaughter. Several pieces of artillery and many prisoners are now in your hands. The commander-in-chief of the enemy is slain and many of the general officers wounded. {p.109} The flag of the Confederacy now floats over Springfield, the stronghold of the enemy. The friends of our cause who have been imprisoned there are released.

Whilst announcing to the army this great victory, the general hopes that the laurels you have gained will not be tarnished by a single outrage. The private property of citizens of either party must be respected. Soldiers who fought as you did day before yesterday cannot rob or plunder.

By order of General McCulloch:

JAMES MCINTOSH, Captain, C. S. Army, and Adjutant-General of Brigade.

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PROCLAMATION.

SPRINGFIELD, MO., August 15 [1861]. To the People of Missouri:

Having been called by the governor of your State to assist in driving the Federal forces out of the State and in restoring the people to their just rights, I have come among you simply with the view of making war upon our Northern foes, to drive them back, and give the oppressed of your State an opportunity of again standing up as freemen and uttering their true sentiments. You have been overrun and trampled upon by the mercenary hordes of the North. Your beautiful State has been nearly subjugated, but those true sons of Missouri who have continued in arms, together with my force, came back upon the enemy, and we have gained over them a great and signal victory. Their general-in-chief is slain and many of their other general officers wounded; their army is in full flight, and now, if the true men of Missouri will rise up and rally around their standard, the State will be redeemed.

I do not come among you to make war upon any of your people, whether Union or otherwise. The Union people will be protected in their rights and property. It is earnestly recommended to them to return to their homes. Prisoners of the Union party who have been arrested by the army will be released and allowed to return to their friends, Missouri must be allowed to choose her own destiny; no oaths binding your consciences will be administered. I have driven the enemy from among you. The time has now arrived for the people of the State to act; you cannot longer procrastinate. Missouri must now take her position, be it North or South.

BEN. MCCULLOCH, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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No. 22.

Report of Col. T. J. Churchill, First Arkansas Mounted Rifles.

CAMP ON WILSON’S CREEK, August 10, 1861.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that about breakfast the enemy opened one of their batteries upon my camp. Being in an open field and exposed to a raking fire of grape and shell, and not supported by {p.110} any of our own batteries, I fell back to the woods, and there formed my regiment. I then moved down the road in the direction of Springfield. Having reached the hollow, I was met by an aide of General Price, asking for a re-enforcement to come to the support of General Slack. I instantly moved up my regiment to his aid amid a shower of grape and musketry, and took my position on his left, and ordered my men to commence firing. We disputed the ground there with the enemy inch by inch, for about three or four hours, amidst a most terrific fire from their battery, posted on the hill, supposed to be Totten’s, and continued volleys of musketry. I there encountered the forces commanded by General Lyon in person, mostly all regulars, with a regiment of Iowa troops. The battle raged fiercely, and the firing scarcely ceased for a moment. The contest seemed doubtful. At times we would drive them up the hill, and in turn they would rally and cause us to fall back. At length we shouted and made a gallant charge and drove them over the hill.

At this moment the Louisiana regiment, with Colonel Dockery, flanked them upon my left, made a charge, and drove them completely from the field. This was the last position they abandoned, and the last stand they made. In the engagement I had two horses shot under me. The adjutant, James Harper, was shot down, mortally wounded, at his post, with his sword in hand, leading and cheering on the men. The sergeant-major, N. T. Roberts, was wounded in the shoulder while leading on the left. My volunteer aide, A. H. Sevier, was wounded in the breast while encouraging our men to stand by their colors, and had to be taken from the field. The lieutenant-colonel and major evinced great bravery and gallantry in leading their different wings to the charge; and I must say that no men displayed greater coolness than they did upon the field. Captain McAlexander was killed advancing on the enemy at the head of his company. At the same time fell Lieutenants Dawson, Chambers, and Johnson; Captains Ramsaur and Porter, and Lieutenants Thomas King, Adams, Hardesty, and McIvor severely wounded. Captains Pearson and Gibbs and Lieutenants Saddler, Wair, and Head slightly wounded. Major Harper at one time was taken prisoner by the enemy, but made his escape. Captain Reynolds was thrown from his horse early in the action, and was cut off from his company.

Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon the officers of my command for they were ever seen in the thickest of the fight, cheering on their men, who always gallantly responded to the call.

I lost in the engagement 42 killed and 155 wounded.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

T. J. CHURCHILL, Commanding First Regiment Arkansas Mounted Riflemen.

Brig. Gen. B. MCCULLOCH, Commanding.

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No. 23.

Report of Col. James McIntosh, Second Arkansas Mounted Rifles.

HDQRS. SECOND REG’T ARKANSAS MOUNTED RIFLEMEN, Camp Weightman, Mo., August 12, 1861.

GENERAL: I have the honor to state that at the opening of the battle of the Oak Hills, on the 10th instant, I left you to lead my regiment {p.111} into action. I moved forward with it to the front, going through a terrible fire of grape shot and shells, until I reached the Louisiana regiment. I immediately dismounted my men, and ordered them to face to the left and attack the right of the enemy. I led them through a dense thicket to a fence surrounding a corn field, where we became closely engaged with the enemy. My men and those of the Louisiana regiment were suffering from a deadly fire. I rode forward to the latter regiment, and told it, with my regiment, to charge the enemy. I was followed by a greater portion of both regiments, and we drove the enemy before us and swept them from the corn field and back to their rear.

A portion of the Louisiana regiment was then called for by General McCulloch, and he requested me to assist him in moving other regiments into action. The command of the regiment then devolved upon Lieutenant-Colonel Embry, who gallantly led it through the fight to victory. My officers behaved in this first fight with great bravery and coolness. Captains Gipson, King, Brown, Arrington, Witherspoon, Parker, Gambel, and Flanagin all deserve great credit for the manner in which they led their companies. The regiment lost 10 killed and 44 wounded.* Captain King was wounded. Orderly Sergeant Spencer was conspicuous for his gallantry. He was wounded while leading on his men. I submit Lieutenant-Colonel Embry’s report with mine.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,

JAMES MCINTOSH, Col. Second Reg’t Ark. Mounted Riflemen, Comdg. Reg’t. Brig.

Gen. BEN. MCCULLOCH, Commanding.

* Nominal list shows 11 killed and 44 wounded.

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No. 24.

Report of Lieut. Col. Benjamin T. Embry, Second Arkansas Mounted Rifles.

OAK HILLS, GREENE COUNTY, MO., August 11, 1861.

SIR: I hereby submit the following report of the operations of the Second Regiment of Arkansas Mounted Riflemen, under your command, at the battle of Oak Hills:

While at breakfast on the morning of the 10th instant, the regiment was surprised by the opening of the enemy’s batteries on the western heights of Oak Hills, but at the call of the bugle the regiment rallied immediately, mounted, and formed in line of battle in good order, you at the time being at General McCulloch’s headquarters. I marched the regiment to the timber north of Captain Woodruff’s battery, to shield them from the fire of the enemy’s batteries on the west, and dismounted them, at which time you made your appearance and took charge of the regiment, and in person led them in a charge upon a division of the regular Federal troops stationed upon our north. In the charge many of the enemy were slain and the rest repulsed. From some misunderstanding in regard to orders, only about half the regiment participated in the action at this point.

About this time, your services being needed or required upon other portions of the field, General McCulloch ordered me to move the regiment to the hills to the west, where a close and bloody contest was going on. I did so immediately, and in a short time after reaching the {p.112} scene of action the regiment became engaged with the enemy. We remained here for an hour and a half at different times skirmishing with the enemy. The enemy then made a desperate charge, in which they were repulsed. At this point we had several killed and wounded. I then caused the regiment to fall back to the creek, as we were informed the enemy’s cavalry were preparing to make a charge; I wishing to place the regiment in a position to receive them. After remaining there and resting we ascended the hill again, but did not become engaged. About that time the enemy ceased firing and retreated.

Killed, 10; wounded, 44.* Of the 54 killed and wounded, were 1 captain and 2 second lieutenants and 8 non-commissioned officers wounded, and 1 non-commissioned officer killed.

All of which is most respectfully submitted.

BENJ. T. EMBRY, Lieutenant-Colonel.

Col. JAMES MCINTOSH.

* Nominal list omitted.

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No. 25.

Report of Lieut. Col. D. McRae, commanding Arkansas Battalion.

CAMP NEAR WILSON’S CREEK, Greene County, Mo., August 11, 1861.

GENERAL: I have the honor to make the following report of the action of the battalion of Arkansas volunteers commanded by me in the action on yesterday, the 10th ultimo:

About 6 o’clock a. m. I was ordered to form in the rear of Colonel Hebert’s regiment of Louisiana volunteers. I then moved up to the Springfield road, and formed to the left of the Louisiana regiment, in front of Captain Woodruff’s artillery. After remaining there a short time, according to your orders I countermarched battalion and moved off across the valley to take and hold possession of an eminence towards the southwest of our first position. Unfortunately, a little before my command reached the long hill a column of mounted men broke through my column, cutting off from me all of my command but one company and a few files of the second company.

With this force I proceeded to the summit of the hill and formed my men, deployed as skirmishers, near a road leading in a northerly direction. When I first arrived upon the hill it was thronged with scattered fragments of mounted men. A short time after forming upon the hill a battery about 100 yards south of me opened a heavy fire. I at once sent some of the mounted men to find out whether they were our friends or not. They reported them as friends. I sent them out some several times, and they invariably reported the battery as being Weightman’s. Thick brush intervening, I was unable to distinguish for myself. However, suspecting from the direction of their shot that they were enemies, I sent two of my men to reconnoiter, who reported them as enemies. I at once charged at trail arms. Upon getting within twenty paces of the road I saw a heavy body of men moving off rapidly. I at once opened fire, and they fled. I at once halted, and formed my men so as to sweep the road. Another column then came up, and upon my ordering them to halt and demanding who they were, {p.113} in answer hurrahed for the South. They being clothed like our own men, and claiming to belong to the South, deceived me until the greater part of their column had passed. We then opened fire on their rear. I then wheeled to the left and met the Louisiana regiment at the enemy’s battery. There learning that the enemy were forming again upon the road north of me, I at once proceeded in that direction with the whole of my battalion (the other three companies having joined me at the point where said battery had been placed). Finding that the enemy had not rallied in reach, I returned to camp.

I will state that owing to the irregular movements of horsemen, I was deprived of almost two-thirds of my force until the action was over. I would further state that during the action it was impossible at any considerable distance to distinguish our friends from the enemy. Several persons were taken by my command who have been turned over. In my command I had 2 men killed, 1 mortally wounded, 1 severely wounded, and 5 slightly wounded.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

D. MCRAE, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Arkansas Volunteers.

Brig. Gen. BEN. MCCULLOCH.

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No. 26.

Report of Col. Louis Hebert, Third Louisiana Infantry.

HEADQUARTERS THIRD REGIMENT LA. VOLS., Camp at Wilson’s Springs, Mo., August 12, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report the part that my regiment took in the battle of the Oak Hills, on Saturday, the 10th instant. Aroused by yourself early in the morning, I formed my regiment, and following the direction of Capt. James McIntosh, brigade adjutant-general, followed the Springfield road for a short distance to a narrow by-road flanked on both sides by the thickest kind of underbrush and on one side by a rail fence. This road led to a corn field. At the moment of deploying in line of battle, and when only two companies had reached their position, the enemy opened their fire on our front, within fifteen paces at the most. Deploying the other companies, an advance was ordered, led gallantly and bravely by Captain McIntosh, to whom I owe all thanks for assistance. The enemy was posted behind a fence and in the corn field. The companies moved up bravely, broke the enemy, pursued them into the corn field, and routed them completely.

On emerging from the corn field the regiment found themselves in a naked oat field, where a battery on the left opened upon us a severe fire. The order was given to fall back to a wooded ground higher up to the right. This order was obeyed, but by some misunderstanding the right of the regiment and some of the left were separated from the left, and found themselves under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Hyams, who there received your orders to march to the attack on Sigel’s battery and command on the left of the field of battle. His report is herewith transmitted, giving an account of the operations of his battalion up to the time of my joining him. I remained myself near the above-named corn field, rallying and reforming the left wing. Succeeding in forming two companies into a detachment of some 100 men, {p.114} I advanced towards Totten’s (enemy’s) battery. I advanced to a position some 500 yards from the battery, where I remained before the line of the enemy some twenty-five or thirty minutes, when, falling back, I again rallied some other stray portions of the regiment, and marched by orders to join the right wing on the left of the field. This I did, and having reformed the regiment, I received orders to move so as to place myself in the rear of the enemy’s battery (Totten’s), then closely engaged in its front.

Although moving as expeditiously as possible, I did not reach the proper position until Totten’s battery had been drawn back in retreat. Some of the enemy still remained on the hill and in a ravine. I however, hesitated to attack, having discovered a force immediately in my rear, whom I did not ascertain to be friends for some twenty minutes. I then ordered the advance, attacked the enemy, and put them to flight. In this the regiment was very gallantly assisted by a detachment of Missourians and others, whom I then supposed to be under the immediate command of Captain Johnson, and who placed themselves under my command. This fight ended the engagements of my regiment for the day. The regiment was formed upon the hill previously occupied by the enemy, and by orders was marched back to their camp. The first engagement of the regiment commenced at 6.30 a. m., and the last ended at about 1.30 p. m. When the enemy made their final retreat my men were too exhausted to make a successful pursuit.

I transmit herewith a list of the killed, wounded, and missing,* recapitulating as follows: Killed, 1 commissioned officer, 1 non-commissioned officer, and 7 privates; total, 9. Wounded, 3 commissioned officers, 6 non-commissioned officers, and 39 privates; total, 48. Missing, 3 privates.

I also transmit a report of Maj. W. F. Tunnard. [No. 28.]

Proud of the manner in which my regiment behaved in their first fight against the enemy of our Confederate States (a fight in which officers and men displayed endurance, bravery, and determination), it is difficult for me to particularize the services of officers or men. I will, however, bring to the notice of the commanding general some cases. The whole of my staff acted with great coolness and bravery, the lieutenant-colonel leading a battalion in my absence against Sigel’s battery, and the major assisting constantly in the rear wing. Capt. Theodore Johnson, quartermaster, was of invaluable service in transmitting orders, rallying the men, and encouraging them to stand by their colors, often exposing himself to the fire of the enemy. Adjt. S. M. Hyams, jr., left his horse and fought bravely on foot. Capt. Thomas L. Maxwell, commissary, followed the regiment in battle, and assisted much in rallying the men. The lamented Capt. R. M. Hinson fell when gallantly leading his company in the charge against Sigel’s battery; a nobler gentleman and a braver soldier is not to be found. Sergt. Maj. J. P. Renwick was shot down in my sight in the first fight, while bravely fronting and fighting the enemy. He was the first killed of the regiment. Dr. George W. Kendall, a volunteer surgeon, on the field was active and untiring in his exertions to relieve the wounded. In the reports of company commanders many acts of bravery and gallantry by non-commissioned officers and privates are mentioned. With the consent of the general commanding I shall seek hereafter occasions to show that their conduct has been noted.

I cannot conclude without saying that the conduct of Capt. James {p.115} McIntosh, in throwing himself with my regiment in our first fight and in the attack on Sigel’s battery, greatly contributed to the success of our arms, and deserves unlimited praise. I must not forget also to return to the commanding general himself the thanks of the regiment and my own for his presence at the head of the right wing at the charge upon Sigel’s battery.

With high respect, I remain, your obedient servant,

LOUIS HEBERT, Colonel, Commanding.

Brig. Gen. BEN. MCCULLOCH, C. S. A., Commanding.

* Nominal list omitted.

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No. 27.

Report of Lieut. Col. S. M. Hyams, Third Louisiana Infantry.

SIR: On the morning of the 10th of August, 1861, after forming with the regiment and marching to the thicket and corn field, under your command, on the order of the charge in the thicket, I dismounted and went on foot with the command in the charge. The men behaved well, and received the fire of the enemy’s skirmishers, returned it, and rushed on. At the first fire of the regiment the sergeant-major, Renwick, of the regiment, was killed, as was Private Placide Bossier, of Pelican Rangers No. I, Natchitoches.

After crossing the fencing and running the enemy through the corn field, where the enemy’s artillery were showering grape and shell, with heavy, fire of minie muskets, I was met by General McCulloch, who ordered the regiment to face to the right and march by flank movement toward the ford of the creek, and sent an aide to communicate the order to you farther on right of the regiment. In this first encounter in the bushes and corn field, where all behaved well, it was impossible to designate any particular individual of the command. Here I first noticed the fearlessness and undaunted bravery and activity of the quartermaster, Capt. Theodore Johnson, in communicating orders from headquarters. Learning from him that you were separated from the command, he attached himself to that portion of the regiment under me composed of the Pelican Rifles, Captain Vigilini; Iberville Grays, Lieutenant Verbois; Morehouse Guards, Captain Hinson; Pelican Rangers No. 2, Captain Blair; Winn Rifles, Captain Pierson; Morehouse Fencibles, Captain Harris; Shreveport Rangers, Captain Gilmore; Pelican Rangers No. 1, Captain Breazeale. A few of the Monticello Rifles, under Sergeant Wolcott, and some seventy of the Missouri Infantry, under Captain Johnson, of Missouri troops, attached themselves to my command. We were conducted by the gallant Colonel McIntosh across the ford to the valley in front of Sigel’s battery, when, having deployed in line, the charge was ordered on my giving the order, and arriving on the brow of the hill, Lieutenant Lacey, of the Shreveport Rangers, sprang on a log, waved his sword, and called, “Come on, Caddo!” The whole command rushed forward, carried the guns, rushed to the fence, and drove the enemy off. Here the gallant Captain Hinson, in cheering his men, was killed by a shot from our own battery taking us in flank. Private Whetstone, of the Morehouse Guards, brother-in-law to Captain Hinson, was killed at his side by the same shot. I cannot, sir, speak in too high commendation of the coolness and courage of both officers and men. They had charged and taken five guns out of six of the battery, {p.116} and passed beyond them without knowing we had them, except those companies immediately in front of the guns. The standard-bearer, Felix Chaler, of Pelican Rangers No. 1, of the regiment, behaved with great coolness and courage, advancing our banner to the front in every charge. Corporal Hicock, of Shreveport Rangers; Private I. P. Hyams, of Pelican Rangers No. 1, and Corporal Gentles, of Pelican Rifles, rushed in forward and captured one cannon that was in the rear of the first guns captured, about 100 yards, where they killed the (only man that remained with his gun, the rest of the cannoneers having abandoned the gun at their approach. Orderly Sergeant Alphonse Prudhomme is reported to have cheered and acted with coolness. The color company stuck to the colors, as did the Shreveport Rangers, and all rallied to the flag.

I cannot speak too highly of the courage and bravery of all our gallant officers and men in this charge. It is impossible to say what company was in advance where all obeyed orders and went so gallantly into action. But for the unfortunate casualty created by our own battery firing into our flank and raking us, killing several and wounding many, we would have had but few regrets. Poor Hicock, of the Shreveport Rangers, after his gallant conduct, was shot through the breast, ten steps in advance of the regiment, in driving the enemy from the corn field round the large white house.

Here I beg to call attention to the gallantry and bravery of Colonel McIntosh, who conducted us to the point of attack. Quartermaster T. Johnson, of our regiment, was of great assistance, and behaved with distinguished bravery. We rolled their captured guns down the hill, and one cannon was conducted with its horses to our artillery. We were then marched back to the valley below the hill, and were in line when you joined us with the rest of the regiment. You, having resumed command, are familiar with the rest.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. M. HYAMS, Lieut. Col. Third Regiment Louisiana Volunteers.

Colonel HEBERT, Third Louisiana Regiment.

Drum-Major Patterson, of Pelican Rifles, left his drum, and with his rifle shot the first man of the enemy killed after they had called themselves friends, thereby stopping our fire and then treacherously firing into us.

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No. 28.

Report of Maj. W. F. Tunnard, Third Louisiana Infantry.

HDQRS. PELICAN RIFLES, August 12, 1861.

SIR: In the battle of the Oak Hills, in command of the left wing, I assisted in getting them in position, and charged the enemy through the bushes to the corn field. After the retreat of the enemy under time charge I found the regiment divided and scattered. I then rallied as many as possible of the left (the right having been led off by the lieutenant-colonel), and on forming in an open field we received the fire of the enemy’s battery, in which we lost two killed and several wounded. We then formed under cover of a hill in a field, where we were taken command of by yourself in person. In marching to join the right wing, {p.117} near the ford in the road, we were again fired on, wounding several and shooting my horse, and I then accompanied the regiment on foot. Nothing more occurred (the battery of the enemy having been taken by the right wing before we reached it) worthy of notice except the wounding of three of our men by the accidental discharge of a musket by one of the Morehouse Fencibles.

Respectfully,

W. F. TUNNARD, Major, Third Regiment Louisiana Volunteers.

Col. L. HEBERT, Third Regiment Louisiana Volunteers.

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No. 29.

Report of Capt. John P. Vigilini, Third Louisiana Infantry.

HEADQUARTERS PELICAN RIFLES, Camp Jackson, Ark., September 7, 1861.

DEAR SIR: To you, as former captain of the brave company I now have the honor to command, I deem it my duty to acquaint you of the part taken by the Pelican Rifles in the capture of Sigel’s battery at the battle of Oak Hills:

General McCulloch, finding that Colonel Sigel had placed his batteries in a position where they were doing terrible execution in the ranks of the Arkansas and Missouri troops, who were attacking Lyon’s forces and Totten’s battery, determined that it must be taken. Accordingly he ordered the Louisiana regiment to do so, he leading us in person. We started with about 300 men, the regiment having been much scattered in the first fight in the woods and two companies being with you, fighting the cavalry under Major Sturgis, on the left of Totten. The Pelican Rifles and Iberville Greys, under my command, were on the right, and thus marched until we were within thirty or forty yards of the battery, which was on a steep hill. When within the above-named distance a man appeared on the edge of the hill. The general then ordered us to halt, and asked the man whose forces those were. He replied, “Sigel’s regiment,” at the same time raising his rifle to shoot, but ere he had time to execute his design the sharp crack of a Mississippi rifle carried a messenger of death to him, and thus to Corporal Henry Gentles, of my company, belongs the honor of having saved the general’s life. The general then turned to me and said, “Captain, take your company up and give them h-l.” I then ordered my company forward, and was followed by the remainder of the regiment.

When near the top of the hill I ordered a halt, and went up to see the position of the enemy, and was followed by your son, Serg. William H. Tunnard. I was much surprised to find myself in front of and about fifteen feet of the battery. I asked them who they were, when your son answered and said. “Look at their Dutch faces.” We immediately fell back, and they fired two guns over us; the shot from one, as I afterwards learned, struck your horse as you were leading the left to our support. I then ordered, “Fire,” when all fired and charged the battery, the enemy falling back and retreating into a corn field, where they were followed by our men and shot down as they attempted to escape. We then returned to the battery we had taken and found the guns all in good order. A fire from Reid’s battery (which was ours) {p.118} made us give way once, and killed Captain Hinson and his brother-in-law, Private Whetstone, of the Morehouse Guards.

Each and every member behaved with great coolness and bravery, and when the word was given to forward, they responded with a determination that would do credit to old soldiers.

On the morning after the battle General McCulloch and Adjutant-General McIntosh congratulated me for the manner in which my company led the charge and for the coolness and bravery which they exhibited upon that occasion. In communicating this to you, I do so that you may know that the Pelican Rifles are worthy of all honors bestowed upon them, and that Baton Rouge may well be proud of those who represent her in the great struggle in the southwest of Missouri.

I have the honor to be, major, your obedient servant,

JOHN P. VIGILINI, Pelican Rifles, Third Regiment Louisiana Volunteers.

Maj. W. F. TUNNARD.

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No. 30.

Report of Col. E. Greer, South Kansas-Texas Regiment.

HDQRS. SOUTH KANSAS-TEXAS REGIMENT, C. S. ARMY, August 12, 1861.

I beg leave to submit to you the following report of my command during the battle of the 10th instant:

About sunrise I received orders to report my regiment at the ford of the creek on the public road to Springfield. The officer of your staff who delivered the order stated that the enemy had fired upon some of our soldiers. Our horses at the time were saddled and our guns and ammunition ready to be used. Almost simultaneously it was evident that the enemy in strong force had brought on a general engagement. The different companies of the regiment formed as rapidly as possible. I immediately determined to cross the ford opposite General Pearce’s command and charge the battery of the enemy on the hill. About half of the companies had marched out of the field in which we had been encamped, when I found that the other companies did not move out., I sent the adjutant back to where they were, with orders to have them join the other portion of the command.

By this time the enemy had appeared in the field, had planted several pieces of artillery, and had opened fire on my remaining companies. They were formed under command of Major Chilton. It was evidently the intention of the enemy to cut off this battalion from the first, which had passed out. When reaching the ford the road was blocked up with wagons. While trying to clear the road and pass around the wagons as well as I could, Captain Bradfute, one of the general’s aides, rode up, and stated that the main body of the enemy was up the creek on the west side of the stream on a large hill. I at once moved five companies of my regiment round to the left, the remaining companies having become separated from them. It was evident that the hottest of the fight was raging in that direction.

I about this time received orders from General McCulloch to flank the enemy on their right. I ordered Colonel Carroll and his regiment to move up and take their position in line on a hill, and that I would {p.119} move my regiment sufficiently far and beyond his to flank the enemy. The fight along our right as we moved up was very fierce and hotly contested. When I thought the five companies I had with me of my command had moved sufficiently far, L ordered a charge upon the enemy. This was done, with a shout for Texas. The enemy was thrown into considerable confusion. Some of them left without firing their guns, others stood still until we had nearly rode upon them, then fired and fled; others concealed themselves in the bushes and shot at us as we passed. Several of my men were killed and wounded in this charge. I would have attempted to charge the main body of the enemy’s forces still farther to our right, but for the fact that we would have been exposed to the fire not only of the enemy, but of our own guns. It was very evident that they were embarrassed by the cavalry force, which still flanked them, and were at a loss what to do. This gave our army encouragement and enabled them to strengthen their position. The enemy moved several wagons and a portion of their force back. Soon they showed themselves beyond us in considerable numbers, supported by what I took to be three pieces of artillery. They were intimidated, and were never brought into the action.

At this time the firing seemed considerably to abate on both sides. Here I remained for some time watching the movements of the enemy. Being entirely separated from the rest of our army, I then moved my companies back, so as to support our infantry on their left, at which point I sent to General McCulloch, and received orders from him to take position on a hill north of and near the main road. Here I was joined by the balance of my command.

I was informed that Colonel Sigel, with about 200 men, with two pieces of artillery, had left the field with the intention of burning or destroying our train, which was just coming up from Fort Smith. I immediately forwarded Captains Mabry’s and Russell’s companies, also a company from Lieutenant-Colonel Major’s command, to follow after and capture said Sigel and command, which they did.

For a more specific account of what they did you are referred to the report made to me by Captain Mabry, marked Exhibit A,* and hereunto attached.

Soon after this I was ordered to report at headquarters. I was sent with my regiment, accompanied by Colonel Carroll and his regiment, out to follow after and capture a body of the enemy, who it was said had left in an easterly direction with some artillery. After we had gone about 2 miles it was evident, from the dead nod wounded along the road, that some one in advance of us had followed up the enemy. I afterwards ascertained that it was when the companies sent by me had passed them. When we had reached the place where the enemy’s cannon had been captured, and most of those who had been with it either captured or killed, we took a road leading to Springfield. This road we followed for several miles. Finding none of our enemies who had been in the engagement, we returned to the battle-field about sundown. Colonel Carroll’s Regiment co-operated with me in most of the movements of the day.

Captain Dalrymple’s company, from Arkansas, which had previously been attached to my command, it is due to say, conducted itself very gallantly.

{p.120}

The following is a list of the killed, wounded, and missing from my regiment in the battle of the 10th instant.**

A number of horses were killed and wounded belonging to those of my command.

I am satisfied, from what came under my immediate observation, that it was difficult at times to distinguish between our friends and foes during the fight. This, if possible, should be the better provided for in future.

In conclusion, it is due that I should mention the gallant bearing of Lieut. Col. W. P. Lane in the battle. He had his horse shot under him in the charge, and fought on foot until he mounted another horse (whose rider had been killed), and continued the fight.

Adjutant M. D. Ector and the balance of my staff, together with Captains Winston, Cumby, Taylor, Short, Hale, and others, acted with great gallantry during the whole battle.

The balance of my officers and command were separated from me for several hours by a misunderstanding of the order, but from the account given of them they acted bravely and gallantly.

E. GREER, Colonel, Commanding, and Acting Brigadier-General.

Brig. Gen. BEN. MCCULLOCH, Commanding, C. S. Army.

* Not found.

** Nominal list of casualties, omitted, shows: Killed, enlisted men, 4; wounded, officers, 1, enlisted men, 21; missing, enlisted men, 6.

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No. 31.

Report of Capt. J. G. Reid, commanding Reid’s battery.

HEADQUARTERS REID’S LIGHT BATTERY, In Camp, August 11, 1861.

SIR: At the commencement of the battle on yesterday morning we were ordered by Captain McIntosh to take a position on the hill southeast of the camping grounds, supported by General Pearce’s Fourth and Fifth Regiments of Infantry. We immediately got into position, and remained so for one hour, at the end of which time our first fire opened on the enemy’s battery on the hill to our left. We disabled the enemy’s battery after a fire of about three minutes. The Louisiana regiment then carried it.

We were then ordered by Captain McIntosh to bring our battery into position directly west of the camping ground, distance about one-half mile, where we again opened fire upon the enemy for about five minutes, when we received orders from Captain McIntosh to cease firing, the enemy being entirely repulsed. We were then ordered back to our camping grounds.

I have the honor, sir, to state that only one man received a slight wound during our entire engagement-Private Ben. Huff. One horse lost in second engagement.

Among the men who were attached to the battery it is impossible to say that any failed to fill the most sanguine expectations as to their courage; but among them I desire to mention Lieutenant Wilcox and Sergeant Loudermilk as displaying great coolness and bravery during the engagement.

I have the honor, sir, to be, yours, most respectfully,

J. G. REID, Captain, Commanding Reid’s Light Battery.

Brigadier-General MCCULLOCH.

{p.121}

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No. 32.

Report of Brig. Gen. N B. Pearce, commanding First Division, Army of Arkansas.

HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, ARMY OF ARKANSAS, Camp near Springfield, Mo., August 11, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the engagement of yesterday:

At about 5 o’clock a. m. one of my escort came hastily into camp and informed me that the enemy were in force a short distance to the east of camp. About the same time Captain Carroll informed me that General McCulloch had received information of their approach on the west. I immediately formed the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Infantry, Arkansas Volunteers, and posted them as follows: The Fourth and Fifth on the heights to the east to support Reid’s battery, which had been ordered posted there. Woodruff’s battery was ordered to take position on the eminence north of camp, and the Third Infantry ordered to support it. I took position with the Fourth and Fifth Infantry and Reid’s battery, holding Captain Carroll’s company of cavalry in reserve in the ravine. Soon the enemy (General Sigel’s brigade) appeared in our rear in the field formerly occupied by General Churchill’s cavalry. They had infantry, cavalry, and artillery, but being some distance off I was unable to determine the character of this force, as they displayed no flag until they marched across the field and had fired several rounds with their artillery. With a glass I discovered the Stars and Stripes unfurled, and at once ordered Captain Reid to open on them, which he did with terrific effect. I am informed the enemy lost several killed and wounded and several artillery horses killed by this fire enabled the infantry of Colonel Hebert’s regiment to charge and take the battery. The movement of the enemy appearing to be directed to our left, I ordered Col. F. A. Rector to take command of the Fourth and three companies of the Fifth and support the battery, and hold his position at all hazards. Colonel McIntosh informed me that the enemy was pressing our right on the west. I sent two pieces of artillery from Reid’s battery and seven companies of the Fifth to their assistance, and went myself and took the Third, Colonel Gratiot commanding, and led it into action. Here was the fiercest and most terrific part of the battle. Here our volunteers met and repulsed the regular troops of the Federal Army. Colonel McIntosh arrived with the artillery and seven companies of the Fifth, and entered into the fight with all the vigor and determination of veterans. I deem it lost time for me to attempt to sound the praises of the brave and chivalrous McIntosh. Always in the midst of the fight cheering and leading his men forward to victory, his name and conduct were a host in our behalf.

In this part of the engagement many of the gallant Third fell. We mourn the loss of the gallant Captain Bell, the chivalrous and gentlemanly Captain Brown, the noble and brave Lieutenant Walton. Among our wounded are Lieutenant-Colonel Neal, of the Fifth Infantry, and Major Ward, of the Third. A full report of casualties is hereto appended. Captain Woodruff’s battery was engaged early in the action against Totten’s (Federal) battery, and drove it back, and afterwards, when the enemy were retreating, did efficient service by playing on them in their retreat. We are pained here to have to record the death of Lieutenant Weaver, of this battery, who acted gallantly, and received the death-wound by a cannon ball while sighting his gun.

{p.122}

Colonel Carroll’s cavalry was engaged in a part of the field away from my view, and I herewith submit his report in full. I am informed that the officers and men of his regiment did efficient service in charging the battery of the enemy. The Fourth Infantry, Colonel Walker, was placed in a trying position, especially for new troops, grape shot, shell, and minie balls flying around them and no chance of returning the fire. Much praise is due Colonel Rector for the coolness displayed in remaining in position, as well as to the officers of the regiment for their efforts to the same effect, for at this part of the field was supposed would be the main fight, and on my return to this part of the field, finding the artillery withdrawn from the height, I ordered General Parsons’ battery to take position formerly occupied by Captain Reid’s battery, and an advance movement to the east of half a mile by the fourth and third companies of the Fifth, supported by Captain Carroll’s company of cavalry, to give the enemy battle, should he desire it; but the Louisianians, under Colonel Hebert, had fully satisfied Colonel Sigel, and he retreated without giving us another chance at him. Colonel Carroll’s regiment, though badly fatigued, was ordered to proceed on the Springfield road in pursuit of the enemy, which duty he performed with his usual promptness and ability.

My thanks are especially due to the officers of the several regiments for the promptness and ability with which they obeyed, and to the men for the determined manner in which they executed, all my orders. To particularize I would have to send in a full roster. I am particularly indebted to Colonel Rector for the ability displayed during the engagement; to Commissary-General Grace, who was with me when I led the Third into action and remained in the thickest of the fight, aiding and urging the men on to victory; also to my aide, Major Cline, who was by my side in the thickest of the fight; also to Mr. Samuel Mitchell, Messrs. Brown, Taylor, and Dawson, for conveying orders during the engagement as volunteer aides; also to Surgeon-General Smith, and to the surgeons of the regiments for their kind attention to the wounded.

Our loss has been heavy, but a great victory is ours. Peace to the ashes of the dead and immortality to the names of the defenders of the lovely South, Early in the action Captain Jefferson was sent to reconnoiter the enemy and was taken prisoner, and is still in their hands.

I respectfully call the attention of the general to the praiseworthy conduct of Colonels Gratiot, Carroll, and Dockery; also to Lieutenant-Colonels Neal and Provence, the former of whom was badly wounded and the latter was continually in the midst of the battle; also to Majors Ward and Featherston.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

N. B. PEARCE, Brig. Gen., Comdg. First Division, Army of Arkansas.

General MCCULLOCH. {p.123}

[Inclosure.]

Consolidated report of casualties in the Arkansas State forces in the action of August 10, 1861.

Command.Killed.Wounded.Missing.Aggregate.Remarks.
Second [First] Cavalry518225
Third Infantry, Woodruff’s battery25841110
Fourth InfantryNot engaged.
Fifth infantry31114
General staff11Captain Jefferson captured.
Total331134150

A. H. CLINE, Major and A. D. C.

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No. 33.

Report of Col. John R. Gratiot, Third Arkansas Infantry.

BATTLE-GROUND UPON WILSON’S CREEK, MO., August 11, 1861.

SIR: Early upon the morning of the 10th of August my regiment was summoned by the report that the enemy had taken us by surprise and were upon us. As soon as the regiment was formed it was ordered to an adjacent hill, occupied by Captain Woodruff’s battery, to support it, where it remained some hours under a fire of shot and shell. At about 11.30 o’clock a. m. yourself in person gave orders for my regiment to move on to the scene of action and attack a battery and a large force then forming on the north side of Wilson’s Creek, on the ridge, and in the woods. I proceeded to execute the order under a heavy fire of shot and shell from the enemy’s batteries, crossed the creek, and marched up the ridge by a flank movement and in column of fours. I advanced until we came near the enemy. We then faced toward them, and marched in line of battle about fifty paces, when we were attacked by a large force of the enemy in front and on the left flank.

At this moment a battery commenced playing upon our left flank, enfilading the entire regiment with grape, canister, and shell. So terrific was the fire, that my regiment was obliged to lie down, and then commenced firing in that position. We remained in this attitude for about thirty minutes, firing with deadly effect, silencing the fire of the artillery and infantry upon our left and driving the enemy in front. We remained upon the ground long after the enemy had fled and all firing ceased.

During the action, I am sorry to say, we were very much annoyed, and some of the casualties hereafter mentioned are to be attributed to the fire of our own friends, who formed behind us and lower down upon the hill, and fired through my ranks after the fire had ceased from the enemy. Attached herewith find a report of casualties, which will show the heavy fire under which we were placed.*

Of my regiment I must speak in the highest terms for their coolness, prompt obedience, and daring courage, and although but few of them {p.124} had ever been upon a battle-field, they maintained their position for thirty minutes under one of the most galling fires ever delivered upon a regiment by 1,500 or 2,000 Federal troops, besides being enfiladed by a heavy battery. They stood their ground, delivering their fire with deadly effect and extreme rapidity.

I must here mention in terms of high approbation the conduct of my lieutenant-colonel, David Provence, for his coolness, skill, and gallant bearing during the whole action, his example having a powerful influence in keeping the men steady and cool. Major Ward behaved with great gallantry; also Captain Sparks and his company; Captain Hart and company; Captain Brown, up to the time of his death, and Lieutenant King, afterward in command of the company; Captain Bell, up to the time of his death. These companies bore the heat of the action, and distinguished themselves by their gallant conduct, and the conduct of the officers and men throughout was so universally gallant and courageous, that it is hard to make personal distinctions.

After my regiment had silenced all firing upon the north side of Wilson’s Creek, fears were entertained that the enemy were collecting in force with a view of attacking Woodruff’s battery, which yet remained upon the ground that it had occupied during the day. My regiment was again ordered to the support of this battery, where we remained until ordered into camp by General McCulloch. As Captain Woodruff’s battery was attached to my regiment, I feel it my duty to say something in reference to the services of Captain Woodruff and his battery. The execution which this battery did in the enemy’s ranks was prodigious, and its influence was sensibly felt in achieving the fortunes of the day, men and officers behaving with great coolness and courage.

JOHN R. GRATIOT, Colonel Third Regiment Arkansas Volunteers.

Brigadier-General PEARCE.

* See inclosure to report No. 32.

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No. 34.

Report of Col. J. D. Walker, Fourth Arkansas Infantry.

IN CAMP ON WILSON’S CREEK, MO., August 11, 1861.

The Fourth Regiment, on the morning of the 10th, was placed under the command of Adjutant-General Rector, who remained in command during the day. This regiment was not brought into immediate action, being stationed upon the hill for the protection of Reid’s battery, and although exposed to danger from the fire of the enemy, all the officers and men of the regiment behaved with the greatest promptness and coolness in all their movements during the day. There were none killed or wounded in the Fourth Regiment.

I have the honor to be, respectfully, &c.,

J. D. WALKER, Colonel Fourth Regiment Arkansas Volunteers.

Brigadier-General PEARCE.

{p.125}

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No. 35.

Report of Col. Tom. P. Dockery, Fifth Arkansas Infantry.

HDQRS. FIFTH REGIMENT ARKANSAS VOLUNTEERS, Camp Wilson’s Creek, Mo., August 11, 1861.

SIR: In conformity with military usage, I respectfully submit the following as a chronicle of the memorable occurrences of yesterday:

About sunrise an attack was commenced on Churchill’s regiment, which was posted below my command and on the opposite side of the creek, about 1 mile distant. Simultaneously an attack was made on the opposite side of the encampment of the main army. Instantly on the alarm being given my regiment was ordered into line, which order was promptly obeyed. Reid’s battery of artillery had been posted on the height southeast of our encampment, and the Fifth Regiment of Arkansas Volunteers was ordered to occupy the height as a guard for the battery. We remained in that position about two hours, and there being no indications of an attack from the direction of the position in which Churchill’s regiment had been posted, Captains Titsworth’s, Dismukes’, Neal’s, Dowd’s, Whaling’s, and Lawrence’s companies under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Neal, were ordered to support the Third Regiment of Louisiana Volunteers and the Third Regiment of Arkansas Volunteers, which had been exposed to a wasting fire from the main body of the enemy (who were posted on an eminence on the west of our encampment) from the commencement of the attack. Lieutenant-Colonel Neal moved promptly forward, and while gallantly leading the charge he fell severely wounded. I immediately took command of the battalion and led them on to the attack.

I must, in justice to my own feelings, say that Captains Titsworth, Dismukes, Neal, Dowd, Whaling, and Lawrence, and the commissioned officers and privates under their command, demeaned themselves with such gallantry, and made such splendid exhibitions of courage, that while their conduct excited my admiration, I cannot repress an expression of my commendation of their coolness and firmness. Each man did his whole duty, and although fully exposed for fifteen or twenty minutes to a most deadly fire from the enemy, no man, so far as my observation went, wavered, blanched, or quailed, but poured volley after volley into the ranks of the enemy, which soon fell back and commenced a retreat from the field, leaving it covered with their dead and wounded. Captains Hartzig’s, Arnold’s, McKean’s, and Hutchinson’s Companies were detailed, after Reid’s battery had been moved to a different position, to act as skirmishers, and continued in that service until the engagement was over. It would be injustice not to make some mention of the highly creditable manner in which these gentlemen deported themselves. Each one obeyed with alacrity and promptness the orders he received, and the men in their respective commands are entitled to all praise for their bravery and coolness in the face of danger.

From the reports submitted by the different captains in my command I find our loss to be 3 killed and 11 wounded.

Congratulating you on the result of yesterday’s battle, I am, yours, very respectfully,

TOM. P. DOCKERY, Colonel, Commanding Fifth Regiment Arkansas Volunteers.

Brig. Gen. N. B. PEARCE.

{p.126}

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No. 36.

Report of Col. De Rosey Carroll, First Arkansas Cavalry.

CAMP ON WILSON’S CREEK, Greene County, Mo., August 11, 1861.

DEAR SIR: In obedience to your order of this morning, I have the honor to submit to you the following report, to wit:

The number of killed, wounded, and missing from my regiment on yesterday is as follows:

Captain Lewis’ company: 2 killed, 5 wounded. (Two of Captain Lewis’ company wounded thought to be mortally so.)

Captain Park’s company: 1 killed, 3 wounded, 1 missing.

Captain Walker’s company: 4 wounded, 3 missing. (Captain Walker wounded, but will recover.)

Captain Withers’ company: 2 killed.

Captain Perkins’ company: 4 wounded, 4 missing.

Captain McKissick’s company: 4 wounded, 2 missing.

Captain Kelly’s company: 1 missing.

Captain Armstrong’s company: 1 wounded, 8 missing.

Recapitulation: 5 killed, 22 wounded, 19 missing.

Prisoners: 4 privates and 1 officer brought in and turned over to headquarters.

In closing this report, the most pleasing part of it now remains to be given you: that the officers and men acted well their part in the hard battle of yesterday, for a while supporting the Missouri Infantry amid a shower of balls from the enemy’s infantry, mixed with grape from their batteries, hurled thickly around us; then in the charge by flank on the Totten battery; and the execution done in the charge shows how cool and bravely all behaved; and where all did so well, there can be no discrimination. They drove the enemy in retreat from the battery, and it became easy for the infantry to march on it (Colonel McRae’s infantry). The Texas regiment flanked to the left on the charge. I had been ordered to flank with it, which we did in short range for our arms, which were discharged into the enemy. I am sure that our conduct will meet the approval of our country.*

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

DE ROSEY CARROLL, Colonel First Cavalry Regiment, Arkansas Volunteers.

Brig. Gen. N. B. PEARCE.

*A statement of ammunition on hand, omitted from above report, shows that the several companies averaged less than eight rounds per man.

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No. 37.

Report of Capt. Charles A. Carroll, Arkansas Cavalry.

CAMP ON WILSON’S CREEK, August 11, 1861.

GENERAL: On the morning of the 10th, going to General McCulloch’s quarters per orders, learned the enemy was advancing ill considerable force to attack us on the north, whereupon General McCulloch ordered me to have my men in the saddle at once. Returning to your quarters to notify you, found my men mounting, they having learned of an {p.127} attack on the south through one of my men, being one of two who went to a spring without permission, and narrowly escaped being taken, leaving his comrade in the hands of the enemy. My company was not actively engaged during the day, but was, under your orders, acting as a support to Reid’s battery, as well as a picket for the southern portion of your command.

The loss to the command is one man missing, two saddles and bridles, two guns and accouterments, and two horses. One of my sick, who was taken, escaped, but without his horse or arms.

All of which I beg leave to submit.

CHAS. A. CARROLL, Captain Company A, Arkansas Cavalry.

Brig. Gen. N. B. PEARCE.

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No. 38.

Report of Brig. Gen. James S. Rains, commanding Second Division Missouri State Guard.

HEADQUARTERS SECOND DIVISION MO. S. G., Camp at Springfield, August 12, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report that on the evening of the 9th instant I received a general order detailing the order of march and mode of attack on Springfield, and in accordance with verbal instructions drew in my pickets, with a view to take up the line of march that evening by 9 p. m. In consequence of the rain I was notified not to strike tents until further ordered.

By sunrise on the 10th the pickets which I had sent out at daybreak reported the enemy advancing in force on the west side of Wilson’s Creek and within 3 miles of camp. From time to time, as the foraging parties returned, I reported their advance to Major-General Price and General McCulloch. As they approached the position occupied by my second brigade they extended their lines, placing their artillery in battery, and opening a heavy fire on my encampment.

For an hour this brigade resisted the fire of the enemy’s artillery and infantry before being sustained, and under their gallant leader, Colonel Cawthorn, they maintained their position throughout the day.

A portion of the First Brigade (Colonel Graves’ regiment) was detached to sustain Captain Woodruff’s battery, while the remainder, under the brave and accomplished Colonel Weightman, was engaged in the thickest of-the fight on the hill, protecting the west side of our encampment. Here, while examining the position of the enemy, he fell mortally wounded, pierced by four balls. Here also, nearly at the same time, fell the leader of the Republican invaders, Major-General Lyon, under a fire from the Fifth Infantry.

About 11 a. m. Captain Bledsoe’s artillery, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Rosser, was ordered across the creek, when Lieutenant. Colonel Maclean, my aide-de-camp, having in person examined the position of Colonel Sigel’s battery, reported the same to Lieutenant-Colonel Rosser, who so promptly and efficiently replied to it as to silence it effectually, when it was gallantly charged and captured by the Louisiana regiment and other infantry, among whom was Major Murray’s battalion, of the First Brigade.

{p.128}

Valuable as this victory has been to the State of Missouri, yet it has been dearly bought by the loss in my division of 56 killed, 186 wounded, and 60 missing.

It is impossible to particularize individuals where every inch of the ground fought over bears testimony of the most desperate daring and unflinching courage. My thanks are due to the officers and men of my command for their dauntless bravery, their prompt obedience, and the noble gallantry with which they sustained the cause of their country.

To my staff I am indebted for their efficient service, among whom, for most of the day, Colonel Dyer, acting quartermaster-general, served with distinction.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES S. RAINS, Brigadier-General, Comdg. Second Division, Mo. S. G.

Col. THOMAS L. SNEAD, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

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No. 39.

Report of Col. John R. Graves, commanding First Brigade, Second Division, Missouri State Guard.

HDQRS. FIRST BRIGADE, SECOND DIVISION, MO. S. G., August -, 1861.

GENERAL: In obedience to your orders I have the honor to report the operations of the First Brigade, Second Division, Missouri State Guard, which fell under my command after the death of our noble, brave, and gallant Colonel Weightman, who fell at the head of his brigade while leading the column directly in the face of the enemy:

At an early hour in the morning, while our brigade was preparing breakfast, the enemy’s guns were heard distinctly in the direction of Springfield and also to the south of our encampment. Our lamented Colonel Weightman [ordered us] into line of battle, which order was promptly executed. After our brigade had been marched some distance from our encampment to the west, Colonel Hurst, of the Third Regiment, and Colonel Clarkson, of the Fifth Regiment, were led directly across Wilson’s Creek, towards the main body of the enemy, by Colonel Weightman in person, where they were exposed to a galling fire for more than an hour, and during which fire Colonel Weightman fell mortally wounded at the head of his column. Colonel Rosser, commanding the First Regiment and Fourth Battalion, with Captain Bledsoe’s artillery, being stationed on the extreme left, was attacked by Colonel Sigel’s battery, and his men exposed to a deadly fire for thirty minutes when Captain Bledsoe, with a well-directed fire, succeeded in disabling a portion of the enemy’s guns, and almost at the same instant a portion of the infantry, commanded by Colonel Rosser, together with the Louisiana regiment, led by General McCulloch in person, drove the enemy from their guns, capturing five pieces of artillery, three of which have been attached to Captain Bledsoe’s battery.

About the same time that Colonels Hurst’s and Clarkson’s commands were ordered across the creek, Colonel Graves’ regiment, under Major Brashear, was ordered to support Captain Woodruff’s battery, which was posted on a hill north of our encampment, which order was promptly executed, and the regiment held that position until Captain Woodruff’s battery aided in driving the enemy from his position, notwithstanding {p.129} they were exposed to a shower of grape and ball from the enemy for some half an hour.

All the officers and men under my command fought like veteran soldiers.

I must notice especially the cool deliberation and courageous deportment of Colonels Hurst and Clarkson; also Lieutenant-Colonels Rosser, Crawford, and Tracy; also the great courage of Adjutant Gordon, of this brigade, who was severely wounded in discharging his duties. Major Martin also rendered great service in delivering orders wherever duty called him; also Major Morris, who gave valuable information of the position of the enemy, though quite sick at the time; also Adjutant Trigman and volunteer aides Donaldson and Whitfield, who did great service in delivering orders; also F. L. Graves, who rendered valuable service.

I mention with satisfaction the discretion and soldierly bearing of Captains McKenny and Muse, of the First Regiment of Infantry; Captains Hall, Vaughan, [and] McElrath, of the Fourth Battalion, and Captains Cockrell, Thugs, Cunningham, King, Galliher, and Newton, of the Third Regiment of Infantry; also the discretion and bravery at the most trying time of the conflict of Lieutenants Foster, Fewell, Gibbs, Wynn, McClean, Barr, McMahan, Harper, and Martin, of the Fourth Battalion; also the promptness of Adjutant Hornwood and Sergeant-Major Murray, in delivering orders, of the First Regiment of Infantry, and Adjutant Beltzhoover, of the Fourth Battalion. And I must mention the daring bravery of Sergeant-Major Murray. He was taken prisoner by Sigel while executing an order, and as soon as the enemy commenced retreating before the galling fire of the Bledsoe Artillery he mounted, one of their cannon and cheered the Louisiana regiment, exclaiming that the enemy was in full retreat.

I must also mention the gallantry of Lieutenant Waddell, Sergeants Anderson and Bunker, and three privates of the Third Regiment of Infantry, who were taken prisoners the morning before the fight, and were exposed to a strong fire in front on the enemy’s ranks. When the enemy commenced retreating, the prisoners mounted one of Sigel’s guns and dragged it into our lines.

In conclusion, I will say that all officers and men in the brigade behaved with great courage and gallantry.

General, I will have a more extended report of Colonel Clarkson’s regiment of this brigade as soon as possible, as the colonel has not yet, up to this time, handed his detailed report in.

The following is the report of the killed, wounded, and missing in the battle:

Command.Killed.Wounded.Missing.
First Regiment, Fourth Battalion223
Second Regiment7
Third Regiment22493
Fourth Regiment14481
Total3812011

JOHN R. GRAVES, Colonel, Comdg. First Brigade, Second Division, Mo. S. G. {p.130}

No. 40.

Congratulatory Letter from Confederate Secretary of War.

WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, August 28, 1861.

Brig. Gen. BEN. MCCULLOCH, Headquarters, Springfield, Mo.:

SIR: The Department has received your letter of August 10 from the battle-field of Oak Hills, and subsequent communications have brought to the Department still more complete intelligence of that hard-fought battle and brilliant victory.

The Department of War cannot sufficiently express to you the thanks of the Government and of the country, to yourself and the gallant officers and brave soldiers under your command, for this great and glorious victory. The whole Confederacy unites in your praise; the day and field of Oak Hills have become historical in the annals of our young Confederacy, and will be mentioned in accents of gratitude not only in Missouri, probably liberated by your arms, but throughout the entire Confederacy, whose glory has been illustrated by the achievements of that day.

The country mourns with you over the brave spirits who have fallen, but with renewed and increased confidence looks forward, under such leaders and such soldiers, to the certain triumph of our cause.

You will please make known to your command the sentiments of this Department and of the Government, in whose name I have the honor to speak.

Very respectfully,

L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War.

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AUGUST 10, 1861.–Skirmish at Potosi, Mo.

REPORTS.

No. 1.–Brig. Gen. U. S. Grant, U. S. Army.
No. 2.–Col. Frederick Schaefer, Second Missouri Infantry.

No. 1.

Report of Brig. Gen. U. S. Grant, U. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES, Ironton, Mo., August 11, 1861.

Since my report of yesterday, in addition to the ordinary picket guards established, one company has been sent towards Caledonia, two companies to report to Colonel Kallmann for the protection of the railroad, four companies to Potosi, the mounted Home Guards and two spies, to ascertain the position, &c., of the Confederate troops.

An attack was made on the home Guards at Potosi last night, resulting in the wounding of five of them and the shooting and taking of six of the other party, shooting three of their horses, and getting a number of pistols, shot-guns, rifles, &c.

Quite a number of marauders are reported in the Belleville Valley, northwest of Ironton, taking all the horses they can find. The party now moving towards Caledonia may meet them.

{p.131}

The picket guards have brought in four prisoners this evening, well armed. The party of secessionists who attacked the Home Guards at Potosi are estimated to number about 120 men, commanded by Captain White, of Fredericktown. Nothing scarcely can be done towards fortifying this place, for the want of tools to work with. This matter has not been reported before, because two companies of engineers were expected, and with them all tools required. I neglected in my report of yesterday to notice the arrival of three companies of the Ninth Regiment Missouri Volunteers, also of two companies Twenty-first Regiment Illinois Volunteers. I have this day appointed First Lieut. Clark B. Lagow, Twenty-first Illinois Volunteers, aide-de-camp, and First Lieut. Joseph Vance, of same regiment, to drill and instruct the officers and non-commissioned officers of the Ninth Missouri Regiment.

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General.

Capt. J. C. KELTON, Saint Louis, Mo.

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No. 2.

Report of Col. Frederick Schaefer, Second Missouri Infantry.

HDQRS. SECOND INF’Y, ASBOTH RIFLES, MO. VOLS., Potosi, Mo., August 12, 1861.

By order received of Major-General Frémont, I hereby report myself to you.

I arrived here about 8 o’clock this morning, but did not find any more rebels here. There were two companies of Colonel Hecker’s regiment stationed here, under command of Colonel Kallmann, U. S. R. C. The information received from Captain French, of the Home Guards of this place, about the fight which took place here last Saturday [10th], is as follows: On Saturday evening, about 6 o’clock, the Home Guards were attacked by about 150 mounted rebels. At the time of the attack there were only about 20 Home Guards on duty; the rest were out protecting the bridges on the road. That brave little band of Home Guards drove those 150 mounted rebels from the town, taking several of their horses and wounding five rebels. The Home Guard had five of their men also wounded, but not seriously. When I arrived in this town, the two companies of Hecker’s regiment, U. S. Army, left to join their regiment, and took 17 prisoners with them. The town at present is all quiet.

Your respectful and obedient servant,

FRED. SCHAEFER, Colonel, Commanding Second Regiment Missouri Volunteers.

Brigadier-General GRANT, Ironton, Mo.

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AUGUST 11 or 12, 1861.–Affair at Hamburg, Mo.

Report of Brig. Gen. M. Jeff. Thompson, Missouri State Guard.

HDQRS. FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT, MO. S. G. Camp Whitewater, Mo., August 12, 1861.

DEAR GENERAL: Yours of yesterday was received about 9 o’clock last night, and gave us unusual satisfaction. I had prepared to retreat. {p.132} I will now advance, and make my headquarters in Sikeston, encamping my men at the nearest water, and will commence work on the railroad immediately. The president and engineer of the road are in my camp, and L will intrust them with the job of destroying it. Expecting to have to retire, I sent my dragoons over the river to gather transportation. The temptation to have a brush before leaving was too great, and they charged into the town of Hamburg, scattering the Dutch in all directions. My men fired at them as they ran through the fields, although unarmed, and killed 1, mortally wounded 5, seriously wounded several others, and brought away 13 prisoners and 25 horses. These men were the Federal Home Guard, but the attack was so unexpected, that they did not find their guns to fight, but as they kept them secreted, our men only got five. I hope to be able to hear from you hourly.

Yours, respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Brig. Gen. GIDEON J. PILLOW, C. S. A., New Madrid, Mo.

P. S.–Yours of 5 p. m. 11th instant is this instant at hand. The above is an answer. Send me Walker and the dragoons.

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AUGUST 15-16, 1861.– Expedition to Saint Genevieve, Mo.

Report of Maj. John McDonald, Eighth Missouri Infantry.

SAINT LOUIS, MO., August 17, 1861.

SIR: For the information of the general commanding the Department of the West, I have the honor very respectfully to submit the following report:

Agreeably to instructions, dated Headquarters U. S. Forces, Cape Girardeau, August 15, 1861, I proceeded, with 250 men of the Eighth Regiment Missouri Volunteers, and Lieutenant Morgan and 12 men of the artillery, on board the steamer Hannibal City, at 11 a. m. on the 15th instant, for Saint Genevieve, Mo.; arrived there at 11.50 p. m. same date. I immediately ordered my command to surround the city, and remained in silence until daylight, when I made inquiry relative to the whereabouts of the rebel camp, and was informed that none were nearer than the regular encampment near Pilot Knob. I then made due inquiry as to the inhabitants, their sentiments, &c., and found that very few Union men were among them, and these few were so timid as to fail to express their sentiments, that I thought it necessary to issue a proclamation, of which I have the honor herewith to inclose a copy. I then caused the branch of the Merchants’ Bank of Saint Louis to be opened, and I took from it a box said to contain $28,633.30 in coin and $29,680 in currency, total $58,313.30, and brought the same on board the steamer, which I have the honor to turn over to you in person. Stockholders and directors expressed great gratification at my taking the money, remarking that they considered it in better and safer hands than if the rebels had it, which it was thought {p.133} would be the case in a few days, as I was informed that the cashier had left for the rebel camp with that view.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN MCDONALD, Major, Eighth Regiment Mo. Vols., Comdg. Expedition.

To the ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL, Hdqrs. Department West, Saint Louis, Mo.

[Inclosure.]

PROCLAMATION.

HEADQUARTERS, SAINT GENEVIEVE, MO., August 15, 1861.

To the Citizens of the City of Saint Genevieve:

On my arrival at this place I found such a disposition on the part of parties who sympathize with the rebel forces as to seriously alarm the Union men for the safety of their lives and property. I deem it my duty to warn all persons who may in any way be connected with such forces that they will be held individually responsible, both in their persons and property, for any outrage which may be committed on Union men here. When reliably informed of such, I will not hesitate to return at once to this city and retaliate in the most summary manner. It will be no excuse that they did not assist the rebels. They must prevent any outrages on Union men or take the consequences.

JOHN MCDONALD, Major, Commanding Forces at this Post.

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AUGUST 16-21, 1861.– Operations around Kirksville, Mo.

Report of Brig. Gen. S. A. Hurlbut, U. S. Army.

KIRKSVILLE, August 21, 1861.

GENERAL: Having sent forward 500 men of Third Iowa Regiment to this point, I was deprived for several days of any direct communication from them. It at length became certain that a body of rebels, not less than 2,000, were assembled at a point on Bee Branch, near Jackson’s farm, some 5 miles northeast of this place, and were seriously threatening attack on detachment at Kirksville. Having waited a long time for reliable intelligence from John D. Foster as to his arms, I considered it my imperative duty to move from Macon City on Kirksville with seven companies of the Sixteenth.

I sent forward hospital stores and sick to Brookfield. I left Macon City on Tuesday night with wagons for transportation, and marched the command to Atlanta before morning, arriving there at 2 a. m. The latter part of the march was in a heavy rain-storm, which continued until 10 a. m. The march was then continued through to La Plata, at which place we arrived by 5 p. m., having passed through two heavy rain-storms. Left La Plata at 8 a. m., the weather fine, and reached Kirksville at 3 p. m., where the force is now encamped. Health of the command remarkably good. The position is a fine one. Water abundant and of excellent quality, and within easy reach of the disaffected regions.

Green and Franklin abandoned their camp on Bee Branch on the {p.134} day we arrived in Kirksville, and took up position at Felb’s Bridge, in the southwest corner of Knox County, on Salt River. Their numbers are daily decreasing, but the desperate men among them are moving in a body south, towards Monroe and Ralls Counties, and will probably cross the railroad near Clarence.

I have sent out daily strong parties of observation, who generally succeed in meeting small bodies going to or returning from camp. In these encounters some casualties have occurred. Before my arrival Corporal Dix, of Company C, Third Iowa, with a few Home Guards, was surrounded by a large body of rebels, and after a most desperate resistance, in which five of the enemy were killed, the corporal was killed and his detachment dispersed. The enemy laid out his body decently, and sent notice to this camp. The body was recovered, and buried with military honors. Having learned on my arrival that his weapons were in the same neighborhood, and probably in custody of a man named Jackson, on whose ground the rebel camp on Bee Branch was situated, and well known to have furnished large supplies to them, I sent a strong body into that neighborhood, who recovered the weapons, and found at Jackson’s house some fourteen rebels, guards on one of their officers, severely wounded in the skirmish with Corporal Dix. The rebels fled, and were fired upon. One, a man named Brown, from Schuyler County, was killed; Jackson wounded in the knee, and brought in, with three others, prisoners. The others escaped. The officer was too severely wounded to be moved, and was left on parole.

Communication with Macon City had been cut off by a band under Captain Gross, from the neighborhood of La Plata, who will be dispersed to-day. The mail-carrier is a secessionist, and avails himself of the disturbances to refuse to perform his duty.

I am waiting anxiously for two things--to establish communications with Moore and his command and to hear from Foster. The wealthy citizens of this county are very sick of guerrilla warfare. I have spread your proclamation as fully as possible, and informed this neighborhood that this force must be maintained by them, which is done with proper discrimination. I found about 500 Home Guards here, whom I have dismissed, except about 100 active mounted men, whom I retained for outside pickets.

A great difficulty besets us here in obtaining timely information. Union men are slow to come in and inform us, and we rarely know the movements of the enemy until too late.

The Third Iowa are entitled to great credit for their efficiency in this detached service and the steadiness with which they have held their post.

As soon as junction can be effected with Moore, I shall follow these marauders. I would not hesitate to attack, disperse, or destroy them, with three discreet companies of cavalry, though they are 1,200 strong. Without cavalry it will be difficult, but will be done.

My line of progress from this place will be down the divide of Salt River to the railroad; thence to Marion County. I have received no communication from any source since I came here. I send this by messenger, who visits Saint Louis to see Mr. William P. Linder, cashier of the Branch Bank of this city, who has foolishly fled.

As soon as communications are re-established I will report again.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. A. HURLBUT, Brigadier-General, U. S. Army.

Brig. Gen. JOHN POPE, U. S. A.

{p.135}

AUGUST 17, 1861.– Affairs at Palmyra and Hunnewell, Mo.

Report and Order of Brig. Gen. John Pope, U. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT NORTH MISSOURI, Saint Louis, August 17, 1861.

CAPTAIN: I have this moment received telegraphic dispatch from Gen. Hurlbut, stating that the train carrying the force which has been quartered upon the county of Marion to Hudson City was fired upon as it left Palmyra, and again at Hunnewell, the western edge of the same county. One man of the Sixteenth Illinois Volunteers was killed and another wounded. The train was halted, and the rebels dispersed, with loss of 5 of their number killed. This county of Marion has been the principal seat of the disturbances in North Missouri, and it is my purpose immediately to inflict such punishment as will be remembered.

I am, captain, your obedient servant,

JOHN POPE, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Capt. J. C. KELTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS, Hudson, Mo., August 19, 1861.

To MAYOR AND AUTHORITIES, City of Palmyra, State of Missouri:

Von are hereby notified and required to deliver up to the military authorities of this brigade, within six days from the date of these presents, the marauders who fired upon the train bound west on the Hannibal and Saint Joseph Railroad on the evening of 16th instant, and broke into the telegraph-office. If the guilty persons are not delivered up as required, and within the time herein specified, the whole brigade will be moved into your county, and contributions levied to the amount of $10,000 on Marion County and $5,000 on the city of Palmyra.

By order of Brig. Gen. S. A. Hurlbut, under direction of John Pope, brigadier-general, commanding North Missouri.

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AUGUST 19-20, 1861.–Skirmishes at Charleston and Fish Lake, No.

REPORTS, ETC.

No. 1.–Maj. Gen. John C. Frémont, U. S. Army, commanding Western Department.
No. 2.–Col. Michael K. Lawler, Eighteenth Illinois Infantry.
No. 3.–Col. Henry Dougherty, Twenty-second Illinois Infantry, of skirmish at Charleston.
No. 4.–Capt. Robert D. Noleman, First Illinois Cavalry, of skirmish at Fish Lake.
No. 5.–Brig. Gen. M. Jeff. Thompson, Missouri State Guard (Confederate), of skirmish at Charleston, with order arresting Confederate commander.

No. 1.

Report of Maj. Gen. John C. Frémont, U. S. Army, comdg. Western Dep’t.

SAINT LOUIS, MO., August 20, 1861.

Report from commanding officer at Cairo says that Colonel Dougherty, with 300 men, sent out yesterday at 7 from Bird’s Point, attacked {p.136} the enemy at Charleston, 1,200 strong, drove him back, killed 40, took 17 prisoners, 15 horses, and returned at 2 o’clock this morning to Bird’s Point, with loss of 1 killed and 6 wounded. Colonel Dougherty, Captain Johnson, and Lieutenant [Colonel] Ransom are among the wounded. Our forces under General Prentiss are operating from Ironton, in the direction of Hardee.

J. C. FRÉMONT, Major-General, Commanding.

Col. E. D. TOWNSEND.

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No. 2.

Report of Col. Michael K. Lawler, Eighteenth Illinois Infantry.

HEADQUARTERS, CAMP LYON, MO., August 20, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report that on yesterday evening I sent six companies of the Twenty-second Illinois Volunteers, under command of Col. Henry Dougherty, and a detachment of 50 cavalry of Captain Noleman’s company, to act in concert with Colonel Dougherty, and directed them to move upon Charleston, 13 miles distant. Colonel Dougherty’s command embarked on the cars at this point on the evening of the 19th, at dusk, and went by rail to within two and a half miles from Charleston, to a point where the trestles have been partially destroyed, and marched from thence to Charleston, and invested the town. The rebels, 500 strong, had notice of their approach, their pickets firing on our men. The rebels formed in the streets to receive us, and after a sharp contest of ten minutes fled, leaving in our hands 15 prisoners, their horses and equipments. Number of rebels killed, 13; number wounded, not known. Our loss, 1 killed, 7 wounded.

Colonel Dougherty, Lieutenant-Colonel Hart, of the Twenty second, and Lieutenant-Colonel Ransom, of the Eleventh, and the officers engaged deserve praise for the manner they performed their duties. Colonel Dougherty and Lieutenant-Colonel Ransom were wounded in a hand-to-hand contest with the rebels. Colonel Dougherty speaks in terms of praise of Lieutenant-Colonel Haft, Lieutenant-Colonel Ransom, Captains Johnson and McAdams, and all under his command.

Colonel Dougherty returned with his command to this camp this morning at 1 o’clock, bringing his prisoners, horses, and equipments. Captain Noleman arrived at Charleston two hours after the conflict occurred, and finding it partially deserted, posted his men in position to capture any scouts that might be about the town. After waiting two and a half hours, he caught two armed troopers, and forced them to show the way to their camp, where, at 4.30 o’clock, he completely surprised, and took 33 prisoners and 38 horses, with their equipments, and brought them to this camp.

Captain Noleman speaks in praise of the conduct of his men, and makes particular mention of Sergeant Casey, who was next to him in command. The manner in which Captain Noleman performed his part in the expedition deserves the highest commendation.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. K. LAWLER, Colonel, Commanding.

Col. R. J. OGLESBY, Commanding Forces at Cairo.

{p.137}

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No. 3.

Report of Col. H. Dougherty, Twenty-second Illinois Infantry, of skirmish at Charleston.

BIRD’S POINT, MO., August 20, 1861.

In obedience to your order to me last evening I detailed from my command 250 men and embarked on the Cairo and Fulton Railroad, and proceeded towards Charleston in search of the enemy. On arriving at the bridge I took a forced march in that direction. On arriving at the road leading to the city I took Companies A and E, Captains Johnson and McAdams, and Colonel Hart, with the balance of the command, proceeded up the railroad track on my right. Colonel Hart had with him Company B, Lieutenant Clift commanding; Company C, Captain Stierlin; Company D, Hubbard, and Company G, Captain Jackson. When within a short distance from the city we were fired upon by the enemy’s pickets, when we set off on a run up the road leading to the city. When within about 100 yards of the public square a cavalry company of about 200 were drawn up in front of us. We halted and gave them a fire, when they retreated to a corn field on my right, near Lieutenant-Colonel Hart and his command. We then proceeded at double-quick time to the public square, where we received the full force of the enemy, and here the principal part of the engagement took place; from the corners of the streets and houses the enemy pouring a shower of balls; the city illuminated by the blaze of fire-arms.

At this time the cavalry on my right attacked Colonel Hart, as did the infantry on my right. Lieutenant-Colonel Hart fired right and left, dispersing both cavalry and infantry.

Our killed and wounded is very small, as follows: Killed, William P. Sharp, Company A. Wounded, Col. Henry Dougherty, Lieutenant-Colonel Ransom, of the Eleventh Regiment, acting as my aide; Captain Johnson, Company A; Capt. John C. Parke; Privates George T. Perry, Lewis Sharp, and Lewis Shoemaker.

Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon Lieutenant-Colonels Hart and Ransom, Captains Jackson and McAdams, and all under my command, for the able and efficient manner in which they discharged each and every duty assigned to them.

Very respectfully,

HENRY DOUGHERTY, Colonel, Comdg, Twenty-second Regiment Ill. Vols.

Colonel LAWLER, Commanding, Camp Pope, Missouri.

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No. 4.

Report of Capt. Robert D. Noleman, First Illinois Cavalry, of skirmish at Fish Lake.

CAMP LYON, Bird’s Point, Mo., August 20, 1861.

DEAR SIR: In making out my report of the result of the expedition sent to Charleston, Mo., in obedience to your order of August 19, 1861, {p.138} to march upon Charleston with 50 men, in conjunction with six companies of infantry from the Twenty-second Regiment, under command of Colonel Dougherty, I have to submit the following:

I left Camp Lyon at 6.30 p. m. in command of 50 mounted men; proceeded to Charleston by direct route; arrived at a point 14 miles north of Charleston at 10.30 o’clock; called a halt, expecting to be joined by a detachment of infantry; remained here until 2 this a. m., but not being joined by Colonel Dougherty’s command, nor receiving the promised signals from him which were to guide my operations, I, with the command, advanced upon Charleston at 2 o’clock; passed through the principal streets without any resistance from armed forces; captured two rebels, who informed me that the infantry forces under Colonel Dougherty had preceded us there and had engaged the enemy, the result of which engagement is known to you. They also informed me that there was an encampment of mounted rebels at a point near or upon what is called Fish Lake, 5 miles east of Charleston, and about 24 miles north of the Cairo and Fulton Railroad.

Your orders having been as nearly as possible complied with, I deemed it expedient to make such examination and research as I could in regard to the reported encampment on the way of my return to Camp Lyon. Taking one of the captured men above referred to for a guide, I took up the line of march in the direction indicated. I came upon the enemy’s camp at 4.30 o’clock, which was situated in a dense wood which surrounded an open space of some eight acres.

Day was just breaking and the surprise was complete, insomuch that, after firing some forty shots from our pieces, and receiving a few from their own, they laid down their arms and surrendered. No lives were lost on either side so far as we could ascertain. According to the best information we could gain, the enemy’s forces numbered between forty and fifty.

We took 33 men prisoners, among them First Lieutenant Woodward; captured 38 horses, and took possession of about the same number of rifles and shot-guns, together with accouterments and ammunition.

During the engagement the men under my command displayed great coolness and bravery, and the manner in which my commands were executed and obeyed would have reflected great credit upon older and more tried veterans.

To Sergeant Casey, who was second in command of my forces at the time, I am under especial obligations. The coolness and courage exhibited by him, the readiness with which he gave and executed my commands, and the tact displayed in his movements, justly entitled him to the consideration and credit of all parties.

Respectfully,

R. D. NOLEMAN, Captain, Commanding Centralia Cavalry.

Colonel LAWLER, Commander of Post.

{p.139}

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No. 5.

Reports of Brig. Gen. M. Jeff. Thompson, Missouri State Guard (Confederate), of skirmish at Charleston, with order arresting Confederate commander.

HDQS. FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT, MO. S. G., Camp Benton, Mo., August 21, 1861-9 a. m.

DEAR GENERAL: Yours of yesterday is at hand, and I will try to keep my men in hand as much as possible. If you will allow me to suggest, I would that it would be very impolitic to send any of the wagons back from the troops here. We are within 8 miles of where the enemy can land 10,000 troops at ay moment, and, with cavalry, attack us on thirty minutes’ warning. I am disposed, by vigilance and impudence, to keep the enemy from knowing our weakness, but I am always prepared to retreat if he should discover his strength and march on me.

That unfortunate affair at Charleston shows the danger of giving them time to count our numbers. If Colonel Hunter had advanced only far enough to march back to his camp after driving in their pickets, the object and order would have been accomplished; but he reached Charleston at 10 a. m., remained there all day and night, within a few hours’ march of an overwhelming force. I have placed him under arrest, and will see that my brave boys shall have more sensible and brave leaders.

Yours, respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Brig. Gen. GIDEON J. PILLOW, C. S. A., Comdg. Army of Liberation, New Madrid, Mo.

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CAMP BENTON, MO., August 21, 1861-2 p. m.

DEAR GENERAL: I send you another letter from General Pillow, which he directed me to read. If the general delays his movements much longer the enemy will find our real strength and position, and can by the number of steamboats at his command, drop on us any night with an overwhelming force at some point in our rear. Each available point on the river should be taken as we advance and navigation cat off, and Cape Girardeau should be taken by a coup de main. I stopped the navigation of the Mississippi for ten days, by going to Commerce and firing four shots across into Illinois; and if I were only allowed to make my appearance at different and unexpected places, I could effectually stop all steamboats except the gunboats.

My officer acted miserably at Charleston yesterday. The enemy attacked them suddenly. My men fell in like veterans, and drove them away, when the colonel took them out of the field and retreated with them, when nearly every man thought he was charging the enemy. The other officers have made formal complaints against him, and the men refused to serve under him longer. I have ordered him under arrest. Colonel McCown, with two regiments of infantry, a battery of artillery, and four companies of cavalry, are within four miles of me; but still I am in great danger, unless allowed to keep hitting at the enemy.

Yours, respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Brig. Gen. W. J. HARDEE, C. S. A., Greenville, Mo.

{p.140}

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CAMP BENTON, MO., August 21, 1861.

Col. J. H. HUNTER, Camp Sikeston, Missouri:

SIR: You will report yourself immediately at these headquarters under arrest. It is with the greatest mortification and grief that I contemplate your abominable management of an expedition which was distinctly ordered to be a simple demonstration to draw the attention of the enemy. I did not send you to occupy Charleston, or I would have said so. You should have known the censure that was given a former expedition for remaining a few hours in the same place, and how near they came to being stampeded by a small picket. You will be charged with incompetency to command, for making the disposition you did of your forces; you will be charged with ignorance from the manner you conducted the fight, and with cowardice for bringing my brave soldiers away from their dead and wounded companions after the enemy had retired.

Yours,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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AUGUST 20, 1861.– Attack on railroad train near Lookout Station, Missouri.

Report of Lieut. Col. B. W. Grover, Twenty seventh Missouri Infantry (mounted).

Official report of the attack on the Home Guards, under command of Lieut. Col. B. W. Grover, by a body of secessionists in ambush, near Lookout Station, August 20, 1861:

The Pacific Railroad train left California at 8.30 o’clock a. m., August 20, densely filled with Home Guards, 160 belonging to my command, 70 Home Guards from Tipton, and 60 from California. When the train got near Lookout Station a concealed body of men opened a brisk fire on the cars, the top of the cars loaded with our men, who returned the fire. As soon as the train stopped, Captain Beck, assisted by Captains Hopkins and Rice, formed our men in line of skirmishers and cleaned the woods in a very short time.*

...

Respectfully,

B. W. GROVER, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

Brig. Gen. U. S. GRANT, Jefferson City.

* Nominal list of casualties (omitted) shows loss of 3 killed and 5 wounded.

{p.141}

AUGUST 28-SEPTEMBER 5, 1861.–Operations in Southeastern Missouri, including expeditions to Jackson, Charleston, and Belmont, and skirmishes at Hickman and Columbus, Ky.

REPORTS, ETC.

No. 1.–Maj. Gen. John C. Frémont, U. 5. Army, commanding Western Department, with instructions to Generals Grant, McClernand, and Prentiss.
No. 2.–Brig. Gen. U. S. Grant, U. S. Army, of operations from August 29 to September S with correspondence and orders.
No. 3.–Col. Richard J. Oglesby, Eighth Illinois Infantry, of expeditions to Belmont and Charleston.
No. 4.–Col. G. Waagner, Chief of Artillery, of expedition to Belmont.
No. 5.–Commander John Rodgers, U. 5. Navy, of engagements at Hickman and Columbus, Ky., September 4.
No. 6.–Brig. Gen. M. Jeff. Thompson, Missouri State Guard (Confederate), of operations, August 30 to September 5.

No. 1.

Reports of Maj. Gen. J. C. Frémont, U. S. Army, comdg. Western Department, with instructions to Generals Grant, McClernand, and Prentiss.

HEADQUARTERS, September 4, 1861.

Troops returned from a combined movement upon Charleston and Belmont report enemy fallen back upon Madrid from Sikeston. Exchanged shots with a rebel gunboat and battery on Kentucky shore at Hickman. Were fired upon from Columbus with small-arms and replied with big guns. None of our people injured.

J. C. FRÉMONT, Major-General, Commanding.

Adjutant-General THOMAS, War Dep’t, Washington City.

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HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, September 5, 1861.

The enemy in Southeast Missouri has retreated to New Madrid. I think he intends to throw his main force into West Kentucky. He will immediately occupy Hickman, Columbus, the ground opposite Cairo, and Paducah. Commander Rodgers reports danger to Cairo. The governor of Indiana has been getting ready ten regiments for this service. Four were to have started this afternoon, but were detained by orders from Washington. Will you allow them to come forward?

J. C. FRÉMONT, Major-General, Commanding.

To the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

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HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Saint Louis, August 28, 1861.

Brigadier-General GRANT, Present:

You are instructed to proceed forthwith to Cape Girardeau and assume command of the forces at that place. A report having reached these headquarters that 4,000 rebels are fortifying Benton, Mo., and that 1,500 more are encamped behind the hills 2 miles below Commerce, {p.142} opposite Big Island, a combined attack by the troops at Ironton and Cape Girardeau has been determined upon to destroy them. Brigadier-General Prentiss has therefore been directed to move with all his disposable force to Dallas. From that place be will proceed towards Cape Girardeau, first attacking and destroying the rebels at Jackson, should he ascertain that any are stationed at that place. Colonel Smith, now in command at Cape Girardeau, has been instructed to put himself in communication with General Prentiss at Dallas, and unite the forces at or near Jackson. Upon this junction being effected, General Prentiss has been ordered to send information to that effect to Colonel Wallace, commanding at Bird’s Point, who will thereupon move with two regiments to Charleston, and after occupying that place make reconnaissance along the railroad, and advance as far as possible.

Colonel Waagner, chief of artillery at Cairo, left Saint Louis last night, with the regiment of Colonel Pugh, by steamboat, for Bird’s Point, to exchange that regiment there with Colonel McArthur’s. and to undertake an expedition with two gunboats, under Commander Rodgers, to Belmont, to destroy the fortifications erecting by the rebels, keep possession of that place, and move thence, in concert with the two regiments just mentioned, towards Charleston, with the view of cooperating with the forces from Ironton and Cape Girardeau towards Benton.

Brigadier-General McClernand, of Illinois, is moving towards Cairo with 2,000 infantry, which he has been instructed to distribute at Centralia and Carbondale, on the Illinois Central Railroad, and at a point opposite Commerce.

It is intended, in connection with all these movements, to occupy Columbus, Ky., as soon as possible. You will therefore, upon assuming the command at Cape Girardeau, act in accordance with all the foregoing dispositions, and when the junction with the forces of General Prentiss is effected, you will take command of the combined forward movement.

Finally, I recommend you to do everything to promote the work of fortifications commenced at Cairo, Bird’s Point, Cape Girardeau and Ironton.

J. C. FRÉMONT, Major-General, Commanding.

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SAINT LOUIS, August 28, 1861.

Brig. Gen. B. M. PRENTISS:

SIR: Brigadier-General Grant has been directed to proceed to Cape Girardeau, assume the command of the forces there, and cooperate with the troops moving from Ironton. When you were ordered to go to Ironton and take the place of General Grant, who was transferred to Jefferson City, it was under the impression that his appointment was at a later date than your own. By the official list published it appears, however, that he is your senior in rank. He will, therefore, upon effecting a conjunction with your troops, take command of the whole expedition.

Brigadier-General McClernand, of Illinois, is moving towards Cairo with 2,000 infantry, which he has been instructed to distribute at important points upon the Illinois Central Railroad and on the shore opposite Commerce, it being the intention ultimately to take possession of Columbus and hold it.

Colonel Waagner, chief of artillery at Cairo, left Saint Louis last night, {p.143} with the regiment of Colonel Pugh, by steamboat, for Bird’s Point, to exchange that regiment there with Colonel McArthur’s, and to undertake an expedition with two gunboats, under Commander Rodgers, to Belmont, to destroy the fortifications erected by the rebels, keep possession of that place, and move from there in concert with two regiments from Bird’s Point towards Charleston, with the view of cooperating with the forces from Ironton and Cape Girardeau.

J. C. FRÉMONT, Major-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Saint Louis, September 2, 1861.

Brig. Gen. J. A. MCCLERNAND, Cairo, Ill.:

SIR: I am directed by Major-General Frémont to say that you will, until the arrival of General Grant, take post at Cairo and direct the public service in that quarter. To enable you to assemble your brigade for future service you are authorized to establish the rendezvous at or near Cairo, at your discretion. Please assure Colonel Oglesby that it was not the intention of the general to supersede him, but that the interests of the public in reference to your brigade could be subserved in no other way. The general has been pleased with his zeal and efficiency, and had confidence the interests intrusted to him were in good hands.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. H. EATON, Major, U. S. Army, Military Secretary.

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No. 2.

Reports of Brig. Gen. U. S. Grant, U. S. Army, of operations from August 29 to September 5, with correspondence and orders.

HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES FORCES, Cape Girardeau, Mo., August 30, 1861.

I arrived here at 4.30 o’clock this evening and assumed command of the post. Found that Colonel Marsh, with thirteen companies of infantry, two pieces of artillery, and about 50 cavalry, armed with rifles taken from the Ninth Missouri Volunteers, left here at 10 o’clock p. m. yesterday. A report is just in from him, stating that he was in Jackson. No enemy was found. This command took with it but two days’ rations, but I have ordered to leave by daylight to-morrow morning three days’ more rations, excepting meat. This I have instructed must be supplied by the country, giving special instructions, however, that it must be done in a legal way. Owing to the limited amount of transportation, it is impossible to forward much of a supply at one time. Thirteen teams are reported to me as being the extent of transportation at present available. Additional wagons, however, were received a few days ago, and as soon as harness is supplied eight more can be started from captured mules now in our possession.

The fortifications here are in a considerable state of forwardness, and I would judge, from visiting them this afternoon, are being pushed forward with vigor. I notice that a number of contrabands, in the shape {p.144} of negroes, are being employed, apparently much to their satisfaction:

I will make inquiry how they came here and, if the fact has not been previously reported, ask instructions. A junction with General Prentiss is not reported.

No blank muster-rolls have ever been received here. I have ordered one copy for each company to be ruled out, and the balance to be copied when the blanks are received.

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Capt. J. C. KELTON, Saint Louis, Mo.

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HEADQUARTERS, Cape Girardeau, Mo., September 1, 1861.

SIR: Since my report of yesterday reliable information has come in to the effect that the enemy are deserting, or have deserted, all their positions north of the line from Bird’s Point to Sikeston, and probably from there. This movement seems to have commenced on the 27th ultimo. Not hearing from General Prentiss, and learning the above facts, I have written to General McClernand, at Cairo, advising that Colonel Wallace proceed to Charleston, and reconnoiter from there, as directed to do, after a junction had been formed between this command and the one from Ironton. Should no instructions be received here different from any I now have, upon hearing of General Prentiss’ arrival at Jackson I will order the column to move south under his command, and proceed myself to Bird’s Point and take command there.

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Capt. J. C. KELTON, Asst. Adj. Gen., U. S. Army, Saint Louis, Mo.

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HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES FORCES, Cape Girardeau, Mo., September 1, 1861.

Col. M. L. SMITH, Commanding Eighth Missouri Volunteers:

SIR: The undersigned being instructed from the Western Department of the Army to take command of all the troops in Southeast Missouri, the command of this post will be relinquished in your favor. You will therefore take command at once, making your reports to General Frémont, at Saint Louis, from my departure, until otherwise instructed. It has been enjoined upon me to see that the work of fortifying be pushed vigorously forward. You will see, therefore, that the officers in charge of this work have every facility given them that your command affords.

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General.

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HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES FORCES, Cape Girardeau, Mo., September 1, 1861.

Brig. Gen. JOHN A. MCCLERNAND, Cairo, Ill.:

I learn from information which is reliable that the enemy have left Commerce, Benton, and probably Sikeston, &c. They have taken all their artillery, and probably fallen back to New Madrid. I would advise {p.145} that Colonel Wallace push out to Charleston at once and reconnoiter, without waiting to hear from the column from Ironton. As soon as a junction is formed between General Prentiss and Colonel Marsh I will be informed of it, and will assume command of all the troops cooperating from this point to Cairo, and will move down the river at once. If Colonel Waagner’s instructions are not different from mine, Belmont should have been taken possession of and held.

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General.

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HEADQUARTERS, Cape Girardeau, Mo., September 1, 1861.

SIR: General Prentiss has just arrived. Will move the column under his command to Sikeston as soon as possible. I will go to Bird’s Point and take command there, and push out from that point. General Prentiss reports that Hardee left Greenville the day he left Ironton, and has fallen back into Arkansas. The scarcity of transportation here has prevented me having provisions thrown forward to Jackson preparatory for this move, and will necessarily cause a delay of at least one day.

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Capt. J. C. KELTON, Asst. Adjt. Gen., U. S. Army, Saint Louis, Mo.

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HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES, Cape Girardeau, Mo., September 2, 1861.

Brig. Gen. B. M. PRENTISS, Cape Girardeau, Mo.:

My instructions say that the rebels are fortifying Benton. It may be that they have moved to that point some heavy ordnance, which could not be taken away in the hurry of their departure. It would be well, therefore, to make inquiries in passing through whether such is the case. Should any be found at the point, put it under the charge of some secessionist of property, who will be held responsible for its safety until removed by authority.

Should anything come to my knowledge of the enemy’s movement likely to affect your movement, I will communicate with you as early as practicable, either by way of this place or by some point on the river below. Should you learn anything of importance, keep me informed, if practicable. I would recommend the reading of General Frémont’s order (Special Orders, No. 106) to the troops before leaving Jackson.

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General.

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HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES, Cairo, Ill., September 2, 1861.

I left Cape Girardeau at 10 o’clock this morning. General Prentiss raised the question of rank, and finally refused to obey my orders. Last night he tendered his resignation after being refused a leave of absence, but said he would command as directed until your decision. To-day he positively refused, and reported himself in arrest. I have {p.146} placed Colonel Cook in command, with directions to remain at Jackson until further orders. I propose ordering General McClernand to that command if not prohibited.

Thirty thousand rations were sent to Jackson last night and this morning. I will forward by to-morrow’s mail a copy of all orders issued to General Prentiss, together with charges.

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General.

Maj. Gen. JOHN C. FRÉMONT, Commanding Western Department, Saint Louis, Mo.

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HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES Cape Girardeau, Mo., September 2, 1861.

Col. JOHN COOK, Seventh Illinois Volunteers:

General Prentiss having placed himself under arrest by his own order, the command of the column at Jackson necessarily devolves upon the senior colonel with it. The general commanding having no official notice of the relative rank of officers, will assume that they are arranged according to the numerical order of the regiments which they command, colonels from different States taking rank according to date of commission, when they have been issued. When they have not, according to the date of being sworn into the United States service. It is assumed, therefore, that Colonel Cook, Seventh Regiment Illinois Volunteers, is the senior, and the command will devolve upon you. You will at once assume command. Hold the troops at Jackson for further orders, and make requisitions for one more day’s rations from this place and get them out to camp.

The regiment under Col. C. C. Marsh, Twentieth Illinois Volunteers, is to accompany the expedition when it moves. He will therefore be directed to send back all his surplus baggage to this place for shipment by river. Transportation being so limited, nothing will be taken not strictly required.

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General.

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HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Saint Louis, Mo., September 3, 1861.

Brigadier-General GRANT, Cairo, Ill.:

According to intelligence received by me the enemy has left Benton, but, if your own means of information are not more reliable than mine, you will still direct the forces at Jackson to move with all precaution, sending scouts along the road as they advance. Should Benton be still occupied by the enemy, they are to make an attack, annihilate him and take possession of the place. With the same precautions you will proceed from Bird’s Point and cause Colonel Waagner to advance with his force from Belmont towards Charleston and occupy that place. From Charleston you are immediately to open a direct communication with Benton, and from the information you gain at those places you will determine whether a united attack would prove advantageous to our forces. Should you regard an attack advisable, you will leave an adequate reserve on both lines.

The united force of the enemy at Sikeston is estimated at 16,000, {p.147} strongly supported by artillery as well as cavalry, the latter being thoroughly experienced in scouting, and having full control over the swampy country around Sikeston.

Before leaving Bird’s Point you will see that all the important points on the Illinois Central Railroad are guarded by small squads and that the gunboats watch all the crossings on the river between Commerce and Hickman. Should you, instead of moving forward, make a stand at Benton as well as at Charleston, you will throw up, without delay, earthworks to strengthen your position, and report immediately the disposition of our own forces; and also, as far as possible, from your reconnaissances and the intelligence brought by your scouts, the numbers and position of the enemy.

J. C. FRÉMONT, Major-General, Commanding.

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HDQRS. DISTRICT OF SOUTHEASTERN MISSOURI, Cairo, September 3, 1861.

Col. G. WAAGNER, Chief of Artillery, Belmont, Mo.:

The movements from Jackson having been detained, you will retain possession of Belmont until otherwise directed. The movement upon Charleston being deferred, you may make such reconnaissance as is safe, and report to me at this place.

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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HDQRS. DISTRICT OF SOUTHEASTERN MISSOURI, Cairo, Ill., September 3, 1861.

Brig. Gen. B. M, PRENTISS, Cape Girardeau, Mo.:

Having received from General Frémont orders for you to proceed to Saint Louis, I of course decline placing you in arrest, Having sent charges to headquarters Department of the West against you, as in duty bound, I send you a copy of them. In justice to myself I must say that in this matter I have no personal feeling, but have acted strictly from a sense of duty, and, should it be General Frémont’s wish, am perfectly willing to see the charges quashed and the whole matter buried in oblivion. A sacrifice of my own feelings is no sacrifice when the good of the country calls for it.

Some of the dispatches sent here for telegraphing by one of the newspaper correspondents accompanying you were of such a character, and so detrimental to the good of the service, that I felt it my duty to suppress them.

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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HDQRS. DISTRICT OF SOUTHEASTERN MISSOURI, Cairo, Ill., September 4, 1861.

Col. JOHN COOK, Commanding, Jackson, Mo.:

Yours just received. I have no special instructions for your command, only to keep them under restraint. Allow no marauding, {p.148} insulting of citizens, searching of houses, except you may find it necessary, and then let it be done by persons specially detailed for the purpose. Keep four days’ provisions at least on hand, and be ready to move the column at any time it may be ordered. You will not probably leave where you are until General Prentiss has gone to Saint Louis, and maybe until his return. Should the cavalry horses or mules require shoeing, have it done while you are lying still.

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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HDQRS. DISTRICT OF SOUTHEASTERN MISSOURI, Cairo, Ill., September 4, 1861.

Lieut. S. L. PHELPS, Commanding Gunboat Conestoga:

Heavy cannonading being reported south of here, you will proceed with all dispatch, and render such assistance as your disposable means can afford. Should the alarm prove false, you will return immediately and report.

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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CAIRO, ILL., September 4, 1861.

On advice of Commander Rodgers I have ordered the withdrawal of troops from Belmont until such time as the column from Jackson may move. I have no accurate information of the strength of the rebels at Sikeston, but hope to have to-day.

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General.

Maj. Gen. JOHN C. FRÉMONT, Saint Louis, Mo.

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CAIRO, ILL., September 4, 1861.

SIR: The prompt execution of your plan by the troops under my command having been defeated by General Prentiss’ withdrawal from the command at Jackson and delaying the movement of that column, and the representation of Commander Rodgers as to the efficiency of the rebel inland navy, coupled with the impossibility of making a retreat from Belmont, except by falling back into the country as far as Charleston, and the weakness of the force at Belmont, makes me deem it advisable to withdraw the troops from that point until the command assumes shape for concert of action. Orders have been given accordingly. From information gathered from the rebel district I inclose you reports of Colonel McArthur* and Colonel Waagner,** reserving copies. As fast as information is received I will keep you informed by telegraph.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Maj. Gen. JOHN C. FRÉMONT, Comdg. Dept. of the West, Saint Louis, Mo.

* Not found.

** Not found but see No. 4.

{p.149}

CAIRO, ILL., September 4, 1861.

GENERAL: Information is just in from Sikeston, which I am disposed to credit, although the authority is a negro man. He tells a very straight story. Says that the rebels left Sikeston last Monday; had there four regiments of Tennessee and Mississippi troops, ten or twelve pieces of artillery drawn by horses, one large piece drawn by five yoke of oxen, and one mortar drawn by three yoke. In addition to this Jeff. Thompson had 1,500 men. They said they were going to New Madrid and then to Memphis.

On the strength of reconnaissances made by Colonel Waagner I telegraphed this evening that troops-artillery, cavalry, and infantry can be spared from here by sending those from Jackson promptly to take possession of Columbus Heights, and New Madrid will fall within five days after. This should be done to-morrow night. Inclosed I send you the report of Commander Rodgers [No. 5], retaining copy.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Maj. Gen. JOHN C. FRÉMONT, Comdg. Dept. of the West, Saint Louis, Mo.

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HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Saint Louis, Mo., September 5, 1861.

Brig. Gen. U. S. GRANT, Cairo, Ill.:

You will commence and prosecute with the utmost speed all the preparation of the place selected for the fort and intrenched camp on the Kentucky shore, forming a triangle with Cairo and Bird’s Point, which fortification we will call Fort Holt. The point, if not determined now, should be defined by Colonels Waagner and Webster, and Lieutenant Freeman, who was especially intrusted with the selection of the spot. To protect the place and the work to be done there you will order a sufficient force of infantry, cavalry, and artillery, selecting the troops, according to your own judgment, from Cape Girardeau, Cairo, and Bird’s Point, and replacing them from our forces concentrated at Jackson. The force employed on the Kentucky shore should number at least six regiments of infantry, two squadrons of cavalry, and a battery of artillery, and only after the force is there and the place secured against attack will you plant the four heavy guns to be brought by Captain Schwartz. Besides one of the two artillery companies organized by Colonel Waagner, you will detach all the artillerists of Colonel Smith’s regiment of Zouaves to Fort Holt; and, using the sand-bags at Cairo and the gabions going with the guns, and employing day and night the largest force of workmen obtainable, you will put the place in a state of defense in the shortest possible time.

The ammunition called for by requisition of Captain Brinck, acting ordnance officer at Cairo, will be sent to-morrow. If you feel strong enough, you will take possession of Paducah; but if not, then opposite that place, on the Illinois side of the river, which you will do without delay, with the view of planting a battery which shall command the Ohio and the mouth of the Tennessee River. In a few days I will send an adequate force with sufficient artillery to hold that position. If in your power, it would be well to make preparation for building a bridge to connect the Illinois shore with Paducah.

{p.150}

While conducting these operations on the Kentucky and Illinois shores, you will not abandon your operations in Missouri, and taking Charleston and Sikeston, as well as holding Belmont, you will follow the retreating rebels to New Madrid. This, however, must depend upon your disposable force and the truth of the report that the enemy’s troops from Greenville have retreated to Arkansas.

J. C. FRÉMONT, Major-General.

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HDQRS. DISTRICT OF SOUTHEASTERN MISSOURI, Cairo, Ill., September 5, 1861.

Inclosed I send you plans and estimates of the work proposed opposite this place and at Bird’s Point.* A party has been on the Kentucky shore most of the day making the preliminary arrangements for prosecuting the work with larger details hereafter. The labor of clearing will have to be done by the troops exclusively, and probably a great portion of the digging. All information to-day has been telegraphed fully. I am now nearly ready for Paducah, should not telegram arrive preventing the movement on the strength of the information telegraphed.

On the subject of fortifications I scarcely feel myself sufficiently conversant to make recommendations, but it appears to me that the fortifications there need much more labor expended in that way, and heavier armament, before labor is expended on the opposite shore. The works ordered by you will be prosecuted, however, with all the force available for that service.

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General.

Maj. Gen. JOHN C. FRÉMONT, Saint Louis, Mo.

*Not found.

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SPECIAL ORDERS No. -.}

HDQRS. DISTRICT OF S. E. Mo., Cairo, Ill., September 5, 1861.

The people of Southwest Kentucky having permitted large bodies of armed men in rebellion to the Government to assemble upon her soil, to erect batteries, and fire upon the Federal flag, are guilty of an offense which must be resisted and punished. All commanders, therefore, on the Kentucky borders, within this military district, are directed to embarrass their communications with rebels in every way possible. To this end all ferries, yawls, flats, and other boats within the reach of these troops will be seized and taken in charge. Such orders as may be necessary for carrying into execution this order will be promulgated at once by post commanders.

By order of Brig. Gen. U. S. Grant:

[WM. S. HILLYER,] A. D. C. and A. A. A. General.

{p.151}

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No. 3.

Report of Col. Richard J. Oglesby, Eighth Illinois Infantry, of expeditions to Belmont and Charleston.

CAIRO, ILL., September 3, 1861.

SIR: I inclose you the official report of Col. G. Waagner, commanding expedition to Belmont and Charleston.

I have but a moment, as the steamer is on the move.

Last night I sent steamer to communicate with Colonel Waagner. Left here at 10 o’clock. I noticed from my headquarters signals on the Kentucky shore, rockets and balloons, small, announcing to some other post the coming and return of the steamer; she returned at 5 o’clock this morning. Captain Bruce, of my regiment, will hand you dispatches.

Colonel Wallace moves to-day on Charleston; will telegraph you again to-day, on return of my man from Charleston.

No marked change in position of enemy since Saturday; yet between New Madrid and Sikeston and in rear of latter place.

Very respectfully, yours, &c.,

R. J. OGLESBY, Colonel.

Capt. J. MCKINSTRY, Assistant Adjutant-General, Saint Louis, Mo.

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No. 4.

Report of Col. G. Waagner, commanding, of expedition to Belmont.

HEADQUARTERS EXPEDITION TO BELMONT, Belmont, Mo., September 2, 1861-6 p. m.

SIR: I have the honor respectfully to report that in accordance with your order I started this morning from Cairo, at 5 o’clock, on the steamer Graham, with the Twelfth Regiment Illinois Volunteers, Colonel McArthur, 600 strong, for the purpose of destroying the reported fortifications at this place.

One gunboat, under the command of Commander Rodgers, and myself left Cairo at 5 o’clock this morning, and proceeded up the Mississippi River about 20 miles, for the purpose of reconnoitering our weak points, returning to Bird’s Point at 5 o’clock. The second gunboat, under command of Captain Stembel, I ordered to Norfolk, to await the arrival of the convoy.

In the mean time the steamer Graham was ordered to take on board the necessary troops at Bird’s Point, this disposition of the gunboats being made to mask our movements. At 10 o’clock I left Bird’s Point with my command on the steamer Graham, and on arriving at Norfolk at 10.30 I found both the gunboats awaiting our arrival, as previously arranged. I made a reconnaissance of Norfolk, but finding nothing of importance, I re-embarked for this place, being well protected by the gunboats which protected the landing of our troops in the best military manner. The people residing on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers have a very great respect for the gunboats. I arrived at Belmont at 1.30 p. m. I have not as yet been able to discover any building in the town.

Our first reconnoiter of three companies Twelfth Regiment was successful in capturing a small ferry-boat and a boat fitted up with a good set of tools for repairing muskets, pistols, &c.

We found one man on the last-mentioned boat, who will be sent to Cairo. The ferry-boat, I think, can be made useful as a messenger to {p.152} Cairo. A small party of three mounted scouts observed two horsemen at a short distance watching our movements while landing our troops, and immediately gave chase, but were unsuccessful in the pursuit. One of the rebels in his flight dropped three letters, a copy of one of which I inclose herewith.

A Dr. Travers, a resident here for ten years, coming down to see us, I concluded to detain him a few days.

I have received reliable information this evening that Island No. 10 is fortified with 10 heavy guns. At Union City they have 44 heavy guns. At Columbus the rebels fly the secession flag from the top of a lofty pole in the center of the village in defiance of our gunboats. What shall I do with Columbus? What with Hickman? What with New Madrid? In a few days I shall be able to give you correct information in regard to this latter post.

There are no rebel troops between this place and Charleston, except a few of the enemy’s mounted pickets.

Your obedient servant,

G. WAAGNER, Colonel, Commanding.

Maj. Gen. JOHN C. FRÉMONT Commanding Department of the West, Saint Louis.

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No. 5.

Report of Commander John Rodgers, U. S. Navy, of engagements at Hickman and Columbus, Ky.

U. S. GUNBOAT TAYLOR, Near Cairo, September 4, 1861.

GENERAL: It was agreed upon this morning, upon parting with Colonel Waagner at Belmont, that the gunboats Tyler and Lexington should make a reconnaissance down the river as far as Hickman. When we arrived in sight of Hickman we discovered a rebel gunboat, with the Confederate flag flying, off that town.

The boat fired a shot at us, to which we replied; a number of tents extending for half a mile were upon the shore fronting the river. When three or four shots had been exchanged a battery on shore fired several guns, then another battery opened upon us.

The Lexington and this vessel fired some twenty shots, when, finding the current fast setting us down upon their batteries, with which we were in no condition to cope, having very little powder on board and only half enough gun tackles for working the battery, we returned. I think both officers and crew were remarkably cool under the fire; it was not, indeed, so close as to be very dangerous.

I intended to wait for this gunboat when away from her batteries, but she ran alongside the river bank and made fast. Upon passing Columbus and the chalk-banks we were fired upon by rebels with muskets. This was returned with muskets principally, but also by two great guns.

The army at Hickman is considerable.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN RODGERS, Commander, U. S. Navy.

Maj. Gen. JOHN C. FRÉMONT Commanding Department of the West.

{p.153}

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No. 6.

Reports of Brig. Gen. it. Jeff. Thompson, Missouri State Guard (Confederate), of operations in Southeastern Missouri, August 30 to September 5, with correspondence.

CAMP HUNTER, MO., August 30, 1861. Col. McCOWN, C. S. A., commanding Brigade, Sikeston, Mo.:

DEAR GENERAL: My picket at Benton just sends me word that 4,000 troops landed at Commerce to-day, and that a man from the Cape states that a large force will leave there to-night. I see from the Saint Louis papers that General Prentiss left Ironton with a large force, to hunt Hardee. So it seems we have attracted their attention at last, and they are after us. What is now to be done? Send Pillow word, or go on with the programme? They cannot more than drive me back, at the worst. I will send up immediately to find out the truth about Commerce, and will carefully watch the Cape. Some gentlemen in from Bollinger say there are 1,000 Federals at Dallas and 1,200 of my men at Lakeville. If I should be compelled to go across to Bloomfield, your movement will be covered by a general retreat, and be probably more effectually done than if I were to stay fighting in squads. I will write every hour, if necessary.

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier. General, Commanding.

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HDQRS. FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT, MO. S. G., Camp Hunter, Mo., August 31, 1861-6.30 a. m.

Brig. Gen. GIDEON J. PILLOW, C. S. A., New Madrid, Mo.:

DEAR GENERAL: After promising to be more careful and economical in future, I must request you to place a little more ammunition at my disposal. My men from Hardee are at Lakeville, and have scarcely any powder, but an abundance of lead, and we are rather scarce ourselves. I would be pleased, there fore, to have about 20 kegs rifle powder; 10,000 musket caps; 20,000 shot-gun caps, and 10,000 musket cartridges. With these I think I can hold the country against any force which may be sent against me. Various rumors of the movements of the enemy reached me last night, which puts me on the qui vive, but I have not had any of them confirmed by the pickets this morning, although I ordered all the pickets to advance at daybreak until they felt the enemy, never mind how strong.

Yours, respectfully,

N. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding

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HDQRS. FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT, MO. S. G., Camp Hunter, Mo., August 31, 1861-5 p. m.

DEAR GENERAL: Yours of to-day to General McCown and myself is at hand.* You need not fear in the least for my safety, when left untrammeled by other movements. I will be lynx-eyed, and run when {p.154} ever there is no prospect of whipping in a fight. If your movements can be kept secret, you succeed; but I think this is almost impossible in an army of gentlemen. It may be necessary for me to fall back on Bloomfield if attacked too strongly; but if they come after me, you will succeed in your enterprise; and if they suspect you, they cannot spare men to hunt me in these swamps, for they know that I will kill all that come. If you could noisily charter all the small steamboats for a trip up White River, it might make the people believe you were going to Hardee. Give me the ammunition and what guns you have not men for, and I will protect all this country, and, if necessary, stop the navigation of the Mississippi. As you will have no field work, can you let me have Captain Bankhead’s company

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Brig. Gen. GIDEON J. PILLOW, C. S. A., New Madrid, Mo.

* Not found.

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HDQRS. FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT, MO. S. G., Camp Hunter, Mo., September 2, 1861-1 p. m.

DEAR GENERAL: I am getting in very close quarters, but will try to remain here until your plans or the plans of the enemy are further developed to the public. If the post at Sikeston was maintained, I am in the best point in the country; but, when the enemy find that it is abandoned (if they can spare forces from Bird’s Point), I will be in danger of being cut off. Four thousand men have just reached Cape Girardeau from Ironton, having marched across, with 150 wagons. I am having them carefully watched, and will be prepared to retreat to Bloomfield at a moment’s warning. Forces from all directions are pouring into Cairo. My spies report 8,000 there on Saturday night. Having been absent when your letter came (about the prisoners’ exchange), I have not been able to send mine to you. I will try to send them to Charleston.

Yours, respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, commanding.

Brig. Gen. GIDEON J. PILLOW, New Madrid, Mo.

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HDQRS. FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT, MO. S. G., Camp Hunter, Scott County, Mo., September 3, 1861-7 p. m.

DEAR GENERAL: Yours of this day is at hand.* I will fall back as far as Sikeston to-morrow, and continue southward, if necessary, but believe my proper position to be on the White or Little Rivers, at Wagner’s or Carpenter’s Ford. Seven thousand men, now at Jackson, are to start down to Bloomfield and to the west end of the plank road to-morrow to cut off me and your retreat in that direction. These are under General Prentiss. My man from Cairo reports this morning 6,000 in Cairo, 5,000 at Bird’s Point, 1,000 at Thebes, and 1,000 went down the river yesterday. These are the ones who landed opposite Columbus. This whole force is either to occupy Columbus or move on you, to drive you back in the country from New Madrid, while General Prentiss appears at the plank road to bag you. The object is to be consummated next Saturday night. This is the information gathered from a gentleman {p.155} who left Cape Girardeau at 12 o’clock to-day and my messenger from Cairo.

The Federal troops took $700,000 from the bank at Cape Girardeau yesterday. I hope that the powder and caps, which I mentioned in mine three days ago, will be placed at the disposal of my quartermaster in New Madrid, so that they can be forwarded to meet me at Sikeston to-morrow, so as to be on the safe side if any accident should happen. The 1,200 men I have at Lakeville are nearly destitute of ammunition. I have directed them, on the approach of the enemy in force, to send their baggage to Bloomfield, and to skirmish or to fight them until I reached them, either in person or by orders. I am afraid your plans have been frustrated, and hope you will now suddenly and unexpectedly change them, and strike a severe blow somewhere. The enemy has so much the advantage of us in mails, telegraphs, steamboats, and railroads, that nothing but sudden and unexpected blows can be successful. I will keep up constant communication after tomorrow.

Yours, respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Brig. Gen. GIDEON J. PILLOW, New Madrid, Mo.

* Not found.

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HDQRS. FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT, MO. S. G., Camp Hunter, Mo., September 3, 1861.

Col. ADEN LOWE, Commanding Missouri State Guard, Camp Lakeville, Mo.:

DEAR COLONEL: A courier, in last night, reports that the enemy has turned from Jackson down in your direction. I hardly believe it, as he has his hands full elsewhere; but, for fear that the report may be true, you must be exceedingly vigilant in that direction, keeping your pickets and vedettes sufficiently advanced on that side to give you several hours’ notice of his approach and to judge of his actual strength. If he is too strong; send your baggage to Bloomfield, and maneuver your men in his front, driving in his advance on every occasion, and delay his march until I can get to your assistance. Keep me posted. I will go on transporting stores until the rumor is confirmed.

Yours, truly,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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CAMP BROWN, New Madrid, Mo., September 5, 1861-1 a. m.

Col. ADEN LOWE, Commanding Missouri State Guard, Lakeville, Mo.:

DEAR SIR: There has been such movement made on the part of our allies that it is necessary for my command to go to New Madrid, and I will immediately take 1,000 men and join General Pillow’s forces at Columbus, to act against Cairo. You will by this means be entirely unsupported, and must rely upon your own resources, and fall back, if necessary. Probably you had better fall back to Bloomfield at once, put your sick men in the hospital, have your guns repaired, and fix {p.156} the men up. I have just received a large quantity of clothing, boots, shoes, ammunition, &c., and will save your share. You had better send over some one who is posted in your wants, with all the teams, except those necessary for your traveling, and get such things as are needed. I need not write you a longer letter, as you can appreciate my interest in your command.

Yours, truly,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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AUGUST 30-SEPTEMBER 7, 1861.–Operations in Northeastern Missouri, including action September 4, at Shelbina.

REPORTS.

No. 1.–Brig. Gen. S. A. Hurlbut, U. S. Army.
No. 2.–Col. Nelson G. Williams. Third Iowa Infantry.
No. 3.–Lieut. Col. Charles W. Blair and Maj. William F. Cloud, Second Kansas Infantry.

No. 1.

Report of Brig. Gen. S. A. Hurlbut, U. S. Army.

GENERAL: I inclose herewith the report of Col. N. G. Williams Third Iowa, in relation to the affair at Shelbina. Certain other facts relative to my movements are necessary for the full understanding of the matter.

I left Kirksville, in Adair County, on August 30, with detachment of 500 men, Third Iowa, in command of Lieutenant-Colonel Scott; seven companies Sixteenth Illinois, Colonel Smith; Mattison’s artillery, two pieces, and one other piece attached to the Sixteenth. There were also about 150 Home Guards, nearly all mounted, temporarily led by Lieutenant Call, of Third Iowa. We marched that day to Wilson’s, 16 miles. On the 31st of August we moved from Wilson to Lakeland, 15 miles. On the 1st of September from Lakeland to Bethel, 15 miles.

At Bethel I was joined by Colonel Moore’s command, 850 men, with one piece of artillery. I then ordered Colonel Smith and Colonel Moore, with their commands, to proceed by Philadelphia to Palmyra; Colonel Smith to hold Palmyra, and Colonel Moore to follow Green’s force wherever he might be advised it was, giving them all the artillery and cavalry. My information there was that Green was at Philadelphia.

With the sick men of the command, numbering over 120, and the Third Iowa, I moved from Bethel, through Shelbyville, to Shelbina. I reached Shelbina in a terrific rain and wind storm on the 2d September about 7 p. m. It was impossible to telegraph for railroad transportation on account of the storm, and the men went into quarters for the night. Transportation was ordered in the morning of the 3d; arrived about noon, and the command was transported to Brookfield. At Shelbina I first learned that Colonel Williams had gone to Paris, but I was also informed that he had not less than 1,200 men with him, including his own force and the Second Kansas Regiment. There were no supplies of any kind at Shelbina and I saw no reason to suppose that there was any cause for holding my immediate command there.

{p.157}

On the 4th I sent trains down from Brookfield to bring up Colonel Williams’ force. About 11 a. m. I received a dispatch from Colonel Williams asking re-enforcements; that he was surrounded by some 3,000 men. I answered by telegraph that I would come down with 350 men to assist him and to hold the place. Shortly after I received another dispatch that the enemy had opened fire with two pieces of artillery. I ordered that the troops charge at once and take the battery.

These dispatches were received at Shelbina. I hurried forward the embarkation of the men at Brookfield, and started as rapidly as possible. On arriving at Macon City, I learned by telegraph that Colonel Williams’ force had abandoned Shelbina, and were then near Clarence, 12 miles east of Macon. As it was now near night, I concluded to wait for their arrival. They came up about 5 p. m. I sent for Colonel Williams and the officers of the Second Kansas Regiment, and demanded the reasons for withdrawal. Colonel Blair and Major Cloud stated that they had insisted on the abandonment of the place against Colonel Williams’ consent; that they considered the order to charge the battery impracticable. They further informed me that their time of service was out; that by orders from General Frémont they were on their way home to reorganize the regiment; showed me Major-General Frémont’s orders for their transportation west, and demanded transportation accordingly. I requested them as a matter of justice to Colonel Williams to put their statement into writing, which was done, and a copy of which is hereto attached.

In the morning of the 6th I ordered down the balance of my force from Brookfield, and sent the Second Kansas west. Great delay occurred in obtaining the necessary timber and material for the repair of the road, which we had ascertained to be very much torn up in the neighborhood of Shelbina, especially as the engineers refused to run after dark.

On the morning of the 7th of September, having collected the necessary material, and taking under my command the Third Iowa and two hundred men of the Illinois Sixteenth, I started east on the road and worked through without opposition, but with considerable delay, to Shelbina, where I had the honor of opening communications with you. I was in hopes that the Second Kansas would have remained with the command, but did not consider that I had any authority to order them to do so. As Brookfield was, in my judgment, munch exposed to attack, and had a large amount of Government property, I requested them to remain and guard that point. This they also declined, but afterwards, on arriving at the post, concluded to do so.

It appears from Colonel Williams’ statement that he had only 2-80 of his own men; that he was willing to hold Shelbina, and wholly refused to abandon it, but was compelled to do so by the action of the Second Kansas.

The only casualty that occurred at Shelbina was that Captain McClure, of the Second Kansas, lost his foot by a cannon ball. I learned from good sources at that point that at least seven of the enemy were killed. The force was commanded by Martin E. Green, the same that was at Philadelphia, and fell away from that point before the advance of Moore and Smith, re-enforced largely by sudden levies from Monroe, Marion, and Ralls Counties. Their numbers I only gather from the reports made to me. I do not think that Green had of his own command more than 1,200.

It is my opinion that Shelbina could have been held, but the fault of {p.158} surrendering that position does not rest, in my judgment, on any of the officers or men of my command.

I have the honor, general, to be your most obedient servant,

S. A. HURLBUT, Brigadier-General, U. S. Army.

Brig. Gen. JOHN POPE, Commanding Northern Missouri.

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No. 2.

Report of Col. Nelson G. Williams, Third Iowa Infantry.

MACON, September 5, 1861.

SIR: In obedience to your order, I respectfully submit the following statement of facts connected with the Paris expedition and the reasons why I retired from Shelbina:

Late Friday evening (August 30) I received a telegraphic dispatch from General Pope to take my effective command, together with Loring’s cavalry, proceed to Palmyra, open the road, and then go to Paris and take the specie and funds in the bank, and send it to Saint Louis. Early Saturday morning I started from Brookfield to execute the order. I arrived at Palmyra about noon, was there informed by the railroad employés that we would have to go to Hannibal in order to turn the engine west, they telling me it would be impossible to back the train. As a further reason for going to Hannibal, there was $150,000 in specie on board, and from instructions I received it would be in some danger of being seized by the rebels. I arrived at Hannibal, and while feeding my men the Second Kansas Regiment arrived per boat, en route for Kansas, to recruit. I immediately invited them to join me in the Paris expedition, as I had learned on my down trip that it would be unsafe with my force (320 men) to go into Monroe County. They consented, and we started Sunday morning. Arrived at Shelbina about noon. I pressed into service some wagons to carry provisions and sick men, and started for Paris about 8 o’clock in the evening. My entire force consisted of about 620 men, viz, 520 infantry and 100 cavalry. I arrived in Paris at daylight Monday morning, September 2. I immediately proceeded to the bank, in company with M. Cassel, esq. (agent to receive money). We called the directors together. They informed us that the cashier had taken the money to a safe place, and that they did not know where he or the money was. We waited during the day, thinking that they would get the money. In the afternoon I learned that the whole country was rising in arms against us. About 5 o’clock I gave the order to prepare for our return march, but a tremendous storm coming up I countermanded the order, and resolved to stay in Paris overnight. I quartered my men in the court-house and vacant buildings. About midnight we received an alarm and turned out under arms, and remained so during the night. Started on our return at daybreak. In the mean time I had learned that Green and his forces had got past General Hurlbut, and that he had prepared an ambush for me on the straight road to Shelbina. I determined to take the road to Clinton, making a detour of 10 miles. Every step of the way I found evidence that the whole people were in arms. I arrived, however, in Shelbina at night, having escaped the ambush, but had one man wounded (supposed mortally) by the enemy’s pickets. When I arrived in Shelbina I found {p.159} no communication east or west; also learned that General Hurlbut had left that day for Brookfield. During the night had two alarms. In the morning, and after the enemy had shown himself in force, a train arrived from the west, and brought word that another train was coming to take my command away. In the mean time the enemy was gathering in still greater force, so that I could make out about 3,000. About noon I received a note from the rebel commander, giving me thirty minutes to move the women and children and to surrender. I ordered the women to leave, but made no reply to Green. I barricaded the streets and prepared to resist the enemy. After a short time the enemy opened on us with two pieces of artillery, one 9 and one 6 pounder (reported to me to be brass by an escaped prisoner). Their battery was planted a full mile off. I am satisfied that at this time the enemy numbered full 4,000. With my glass I could discover a strong force under cover of timber to support their artillery. I offered to lead the men out on the plain and offer the enemy battle. Major Cloud, of the Second Kansas, objected. I did not insist, as I thought the opposing force too great. During the firing I discovered the enemy some 2 miles in the west tearing up the track. I immediately ordered one company on the train to run up to them, which was done, and the enemy driven from that point. I observed also a force in the east tearing up track, and started a train that way, but the train came back, as the enemy opened upon it with their artillery. The officer in command reported to me that he supposed the engine and train of more value than a little piece of track. I told him he did right.

The enemy fired well. Almost every shot was well pointed, either striking the building or falling in the square. Captain McClure, of the Second Kansas, had his foot shot off. After receiving some thirty shots, the officers of the Second Kansas held a meeting, and sent Major Cloud to me, demanding that I should withdraw the men, saying they had been in one Springfield fight and did not wish to be in another (meaning fighting against such odds), and also that if I would withdraw and get artillery they would come back with me. He further stated that his men were discontented, and supposed they were going home, and did not like being brought on the expedition; that he, to encourage them, had held out the inducement to them that the money in the bank was to pay them off with; that they only considered themselves in the light of volunteers, &c. I still resisted, and declared I would not mention the subject of retreating to my men, as I had been to them and told them we could hold the place; but finally they insisted so strongly, and fearing there might be a stampede, I consented to call the officers together. When they met, I said to them I had nothing further to say. After they had decided it to be expedient to retire, I told them to wait orders. I delayed giving orders any further than to tell them to go to their companies and prepare to move. After a few minutes I saw the Kansas men starting for the cars. They filled the first train and started. I jumped on the engine, and ordered the engineer to move slow, so that the cavalry could keep up with him on the right flank (the enemy was on the south). I then jumped off, and started back for my own men (280), but they, seeing the Kansas men off, had got on the second train and started before I got back. In the confusion the Iowa men left some of their coats and knapsacks in quarters. They did not know at the time we were retiring from the enemy. There were also one transportation wagon and four mules left, all of which might have been brought off had they waited for orders.

{p.160}

It is proper for me to state that I had but one captain with me at the time, and he had been quite sick some days, and was unfit for duty at the time, but he turned out and rendered me valuable assistance. I was extremely short for officers. I had sent three home sick. I then moved the trains to Hudson and reported to you in person.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. G. WILLIAMS, Colonel Third Iowa.

Brig. Gen. S. A. HURLBUT, U. S. A.

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No. 3.

Report of Lieut. Col. Charles W. Blair and Maj. William F. Cloud, Second Kansas Infantry.

HUDSON, MO., September 5, 1861.

SIR: It is perhaps proper for me to state formally to you a fact or two relative to the evacuation of Shelbina on yesterday.

The enemy numbered, as nearly as we could ascertain, about 3,000, and we had about 600 effective men. We drove them several times, and held our position until the enemy brought to bear upon us two pieces of artillery, one 6 and one 9 pounder. We having no artillery, and not being able to reach them otherwise, but being compelled to sit still behind barricades and receive discharges of artillery which would inevitably have destroyed the command, I, after consultation with Major Cloud and the officers of the Second Kansas, insisted upon the men being withdrawn until we could be re-enforced by artillery, which we understood was at Brookfield. Colonel Williams was averse to the withdrawal, but we insisted that it should be done, and he finally yielded a reluctant and unwilling assent, and as we had volunteered to serve in the Paris expedition, he was in courtesy compelled to pay some attention to our wishes in the matter, and consequently he at last yielded.

Very respectfully,

CHAS. W. BLAIR, Lieut. Col., Comdg. Second Regt. Kansas Vols. W. F. CLOUD, Major.

Brig. Gen. S. A. HURLBUT.

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SEPTEMBER 1-3, 1861.– Expeditions through Jefferson County, Mo.

Report of Col. Chester Harding, Tenth Missouri Infantry.

PACIFIC [Mo.], September 3, 1861.

SIR: Major Holmes, with a detachment of 320 men, returned from Jefferson County on the 1st instant. He did not succeed in finding the enemy in force, but found a camp which had recently been deserted, and saw squads of mounted men at a distance too great for pursuit by infantry. Several flying rebels were fired upon, and some of the men say two were killed, but Major Holmes thinks this to be a mistake.

I desired very much to arrest two of the more notorious leaders of the rebels, one Hildebrand and a Dr. Smith; both fled. The expedition {p.161} captured four horses, abandoned by their owners, who had fled to the brush, which were turned over to the quartermaster, and six prisoners who are named as follows: Charles Williams (half-breed), John Feehan, Peter Hogg, Michael Bannon, John Ryan, and Augustus Hymers, all of whom will be sent to Saint Louis to-night. Williams was caught with a huge knife in his hands, apparently creeping upon one of our sentries. I shall deliver him to Colonel Burbank, to be kept for such action as may be deemed requisite. I suggest that he, at least, be sent to Cairo. The four next named are Irishmen, from Saint Louis, who say they visited the region in which they were found to seek employment. They were doubtless sent there to find employment as recruits for the Southern Army, but as there is no positive evidence against them, I shall release them on their arrival in Saint Louis, having first administered the oath to them. The last one, Hymers, is a Jew, 45 Spruce street, between Third and Fourth, Saint Louis. He gives a most confused account of himself; but although it is most probable that he has been used as recruiting agent and spy, no positive evidence can be brought against him. He will also be released at Saint Louis.

Having heard that the secessionists had assembled again after Major Holmes left, I sent another party to attempt to surprise them last night. As they probably supposed our men to be wearied out, and as the night was dark and stormy, the attempt may be successful. I shall not hear from them before the evening train leaves.

Yesterday morning I went to Washington, and there directed Colonel Kallmann to leave guards at the Saint John Boeuf Creek, Big and Little Berger Bridges, and take the remainder of his force from Miller’s Landing south to Georgetown, near the Bourbeuse River, on the line between Franklin and Gasconade Counties, to chastise some rebels who had gathered in that vicinity and were committing depredations on the Union men. He was to relieve the Home Guard then guarding those bridges, who were to come to this place. I also directed Colonel Owens, of the Home Guard, to ascertain if he could induce 200 of them to volunteer for a four days’ expedition into Crawford County, leaving the Southwest Branch Railroad at Stanton, proceeding up the Bourbeuse to a point opposite Cuba, and within a few miles of the point to which Kallmann was going, via Cuba to the Meramec, thence down the Meramec to a point opposite Stanton, and thence return for muster. That region is full of the most pestiferous traitors. This morning, however, Owens telegraphed me that Colonel Kallmann did not relieve his men, who would have readily volunteered, but proceeded with his whole command from Miller’s Landing. The superintendent of the Pacific Railroad also informed me that I could not have a special train, as Colonel Wyman at Rolla, had an engine and train which was likely to be on the road at any moment excepting when it would come in conflict with the regular trains.

I was the more disappointed to learn this fact, as Colonel Wyman had sent a messenger to me last night, urging me to send a force to Cuba (25 miles distant from Rolla), for its protection, and to disperse a large body of rebels said to be in camp near there. This expedition must be deferred, therefore. Colonel Wyman may have concluded to use the means at his command to effect the same purpose.

A regiment is started to-day by the enrollment of one company. Several others are ready to join it as soon as they can be relieved. The bridges from Cheltenham to Meramec Station (outside of my district) are guarded by Home Guards which belong here, and are anxious {p.162} to enlist for three years. My power to accomplish the object for which I was ordered here would be increased if their places could be filled by troops from Saint Louis.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHESTER HARDING, Colonel Tenth Missouri Volunteers.

Capt. JOHN C. KELTON, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Western Department.

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SEPTEMBER 2, 1861.–Action at Dry Wood Creek,* Mo.

REPORTS, ETC.

No. 1.–Letter of Capt. W. E. Prince, First U. S. Infantry, transmitting report, &c.
No. 2.–Report of Brig. Gen. J. H. Lane, commanding Kansas Brigade.
No. 3.–Letters from General Lane relative to future operations.
No. 4.–Instructions from Captain Prince to Colonel Peabody, U. S. R. C.

* From a return of casualties in the Eighth Division Missouri State Guard, Brig. Gen. J. S. Rains commanding, it appears that the Confederate loss in this action was 4 killed and 16 wounded.

No. 1.

Letter of Capt. W. B. Prince, First U. S. Infantry, transmitting report of General Lane, &c.

HEADQUARTERS FORT LEAVENWORTH, KANS., September 5, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to inclose a copy of the communication received from General Lane at 1.30 a. m. this morning [No. 2], also a copy of the letter addressed to Colonel Peabody and dispatched by express at 4 a. m. this morning [No. 4]. If Colonel Peabody is able to co-operate with General Lane, it will afford him some assistance. You will perceive that this is the only aid which I could extend. The general commanding must be aware that the communication via the Hannibal and Saint Joe Road is seriously interrupted, and must remain so for some time; therefore, if it will not be considered presumptuous in me, I would suggest, as the best means of augmenting the forces under General Lane, a column of at least 3,000 troops be detached at once from Jefferson City, with orders to unite with Lane on the Osage; the only way, in my judgment, which will afford Lane the necessary and timely succor.

Our mail and telegraph connections with the east are and have been entirely cut off for the past five days, and I have availed myself of the movements of a private individual in the hope this may reach you.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. E. PRINCE, Captain, First Infantry, Commanding.

Capt. JOHN C. KELTON, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Hdqrs. Western Dept., Saint Louis, Mo.

P. S.–I have sent General Lane a copy of this and my letter to Colonel Peabody.

{p.163}

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No. 2.

Report of Brig. Gen. J. H. Lane, commanding Kansas Brigade.

FORT LINCOLN, September 3, 1861.

I informed you that we drove back the advanced guard of the enemy and of the loss of Weer’s mules. My cavalry engaged the whole force of the enemy yesterday for two hours 12 miles east of Fort Scott. It turns out to be the column of Price and Rains, numbering from 6,000 to 10,000, with seven pieces of artillery, some 12-pounders. I last night fell back upon this point, leaving there at midnight. I left my cavalry to amuse the enemy until we could establish ourselves here and remove our good stores from Fort Scott. I have ordered Major Dean to join me by forced marches. I am compelled to make a stand here, or give up Kansas to disgrace and destruction.

If you do not hear from me again, you can understand I am surrounded by a superior force. When thus situated, I trust the Government will see the necessity for re-enforcing me. My loss so far is about S killed and 6 wounded. The enemy has suffered considerably.

The fight yesterday was a gallant one on our part. Colonel Montgomery and Colonel Weer behaved admirably. In fact, all the troops engaged behaved steadily. Lieutenant Hollister is here, and is making himself useful. I can only try again. Send me re-enforcements.

Yours, truly,

J. H. LANE, Commanding Kansas Brigade.

Captain PRINCE, Commanding Fort Leavenworth.

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No. 3.

Letters from General Lane relative to future operations.

HEADQUARTERS KANSAS BRIGADE, Fort Lincoln, September 4, 1861.

Capt. W. E. PRINCE, Commanding Post Fort Leavenworth:

SIR: I dispatched Lieutenant Hollister to you to intelligently post you as to the situation of affairs on this border. I also inclose you a note from Colonel Montgomery, the last dispatch from him.* I am holding Fort Scott with a cavalry force, regular and irregular, of about 800 men within 4 miles of the border and 12 miles of the enemy’s position. I am holding Barnesville, 12 miles northeast of Fort Scott, within 1 1/2 miles of the border, with an irregular force of about 250 men, stationed in log buildings, and am now strengthening their position with earth intrenchments.

I have here a regular force of about 1,200 men, and an irregular force I am now organizing, amounting in all to about 400 or 600 men, and am strengthening the position to stay. I have before given you all the information as to the strength of the enemy. All sources of information concur that their force is in the neighborhood of 6,000; that they have fortified themselves on the Dry Wood, 10 miles northeast of Fort Scott, and are rapidly re-enforcing; that they have seven pieces of artillery, either one or two 12-pounder howitzers, and the balance 6-poundcrs; {p.164} that they have already 1,000 mounted men, that are increasing much more rapidly than their infantry. The cavalry that we engaged are armed with minie rifles, and from the prisoners we have taken we learn the entire force is armed with the same. In their artillery are some of the guns taken from our army at the battle near Springfield. To retake those guns it seems to me would benefit the cause of the country as much as any other event that could transpire. Cannot this Government supply me without delay with sufficient artillery and men to destroy that army and capture those guns? It is within 15 miles of me, with a smooth prairie between us. In twelve hours after being re-enforced I can be upon them, give peace to Kansas, confuse the enemy, and advance the cause of the Union. I have detailed Lieutenant Hollister to the command, in the absence of Colonel Johnson, of the two companies of Iowa troops, and should like to retain him here in that command and as mustering officer. He has proved himself a gallant officer.

Rumors that the enemy is moving are coming in, but I do not fully rely upon them.

I send you the last note from Montgomery.

J. H. LANE, Commanding Kansas Brigade.

* Inclosure not found.

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HEADQUARTERS KANSAS BRIGADE, Fort Lincoln, September 5, 1861.

Captain PRINCE, Commanding Post Port Leavenworth:

I have just received information from the advance at Fort Scott that the enemy has broken up camp and is moving to the rear, and from a deserter that their destination is Lexington. It may be true that they are moving upon Lexington, but I am acting upon the opinion that they are moving to the rear for the purpose of crossing over to the north side of the Osage, expecting to attack Barnesville, this post, and Fort Scott, in detail. Should my opinion be correct, this movement places us in rather an awkward situation, but I hope to extricate myself and defeat them. If the move is upon Lexington, I will annoy them as far as my forces and the protection of Kansas will admit of. I cannot believe, however, that that army has retreated satisfied with the stealing of 60 mules and with a loss of from 150 to 200 men in killed and wounded. I will therefore move over to meet them on the north side of the Osage, first at Barnesville, and the final stand at this place.

J. H. LANE Commanding Kansas Brigade, By ABRAM CUTLER, Acting Assistant Adjutant General.

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No. 4.

Instructions from Capt. W. K. Prince to Colonel Peabody.

HEADQUARTERS FORT LEAVENWORTH, KANS., September 5, 1861.

Colonel PEABODY, Commanding U. S. Reserve Corps, Lexington, Mo.:

SIR: I have this moment (1.30 o’clock the morning of the 5th instant) received an express from General Lane, who states that the enemy in {p.165} force engaged his cavalry 12 miles east of Fort Scott, on the 2d instant, for two hours. Lane has withdrawn from Fort Scott, and taken up a position 12 miles north of that place, called Fort Lincoln. It is of the utmost importance that re-enforcements reach him the earliest moment, and it is presumed that re-enforcements from Jefferson City intended for Lexington have reached that place. You will be at liberty to proceed by forced marches to the aid of General Lane, taking the route either direct from Lexington or via the river and Kansas City. General Lane has supplies; therefore it will not be necessary to incumber yourself with them. Take Captain Graham’s company with you, your artillery, and leave at Kansas City such forces only as will protect that place. Please acknowledge the receipt of this, and inform me of your movements, and endeavor to communicate your intentions to General Lane.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. E. PRINCE, Captain, First Infantry, Commanding.

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SEPTEMBER 2, 1861.– Expeditions in the direction of Columbia, Boone County, Mo., and Iberia, Mo.

Report of Cot. Jefferson C. Davis, Twenty-second Indiana Infantry.

HEADQUARTERS, Jefferson City, Mo., September 3, 1861.

GENERAL: Last night I started an expedition, consisting of the Fifth Iowa Regiment, under command of Colonel Worthington, with some cavalry, across the river in the direction of Columbia, Boone County, with orders to capture or disperse all armed parties he could find, and also to take into possession all property belonging to such parties. This expedition was sent under my immediate supervision, during the terrible rain, which continued most of the night, and is by this (11 o’clock) time on its march from the river to Columbia. I hope to surprise some of the rebel camps. Colonel Worthington’s command will return on Saturday. I have taken steps to secure the money in the banks at Kansas City, Independence, and Lexington, and will immediately take steps to secure that at the other points mentioned, if possible.

An expedition which I sent out a few days ago in the direction of Iberia returned yesterday with some four or five prisoners, two of whom were captured with United States muskets in their possession. I have them confined. Colonel McClelland, who commanded this expedition, reports troops collecting there for the Confederate Army.

Reports vary much in estimating the number of troops collecting in the vicinity of Warsaw, but all agree that this part of the country is very active in furnishing recruits and supplies.

It is now time for the mail to leave.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JEFF. C. DAVIS, Colonel, Commanding.

Maj. Gen. JOHN C. FRÉMONT, Saint Louis, Mo.

{p.166}

SEPTEMBER 3, 1861.– Occupation of Columbus and Hickman, Ky., by the Confederate Forces. *

Report of Brig. Gen. U. S. Grant, U. S. A., commanding District of Southeastern Missouri.

CAIRO, ILL., September 5 1861.

I regret to inform you that Confederate forces in considerable numbers have invaded the territory of Kentucky, and are occupying and fortifying strong positions at Hickman and Chalk Bluffs.

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General, U. S. Army.

SPEAKER HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, Frankfort, Ky.

* This date is taken from Confederate records; for which in reference to the occupation of these places, see “September 3-12, 1861.–Advance of Confederate Forces into Kentucky,” in Chap. XII of this series.

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SEPTEMBER 7, 1861.– Expedition to Big Springs, Mo.

Report of Cot. A. P. Hovey, Twenty-fourth Indiana Infantry.

SULPHUR SPRINGS, September 7, 1861.

SIR: As directed, I proceeded last night to the supposed locality of the rebel camp near Big Springs. We arrived about 4 o’clock in the morning. We found no rebels near, and from the best information there is no rebel force in the county.

I have the honor to be, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

ALVIN P. HOVEY, Commanding Twenty-fourth Indiana.

Maj. J. H. EATON.

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SEPTEMBER 8-9, 1861.–Expedition against Green’s Guerrillas in Missouri.

REPORTS.

No. 1.–Maj. Gen. John C. Frémont, U. S. Army.
No. 2.–Brig. Gen. John Pope, U. S. Army.

No. 1.

Report of Maj. Gen. John C. Frémont, U. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS, September 11, 1861.

Report of General Pope to-day from Hunnewell. Made night marches on Green Sunday night, who, however, got notice of his approach, but was successful in causing the dispersion of Green’s 3,000 rebel force, leaving behind them much baggage, provisions, and forage, and the public property captured by Green at Shelbina. Pope’s infantry too much fatigued to pursue. The horsemen followed in pursuit 10 or 15 miles until the enemy scattered. He starts west with Sixteenth Illinois Volunteers to continue pursuit immediately, but, as Green’s force is mounted, infantry cannot do much in overtaking them. Railroad east of Brookfield is open, and no more secession camps will be made within 20 miles, {p.167} General Grant telegraphs from Cairo that the first gun is in position at Fort Holt, Kentucky.

J. C. FRÉMONT, Major-General, Commanding.

Col. E. D. TOWNSEND Asst. Adjt. Gen., Hdqrs. of the Army, Washington, D. C.

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No. 2.

Report of Brig. Gen. John Pope, U. S. Army.

HUNNEWELL, September 10, 1861.

I marched on Green at dark Sunday. Reached his camp at daylight in morning. As usual, he had received notice of our approach, but, in consequence of night marches, few hours before I reached there. His force, about 3,000, scattered in every direction, leaving much baggage, provisions, and forage, as also the public property captured at Shelbina. The infantry of my command was, of course, unable to pursue after a forced night march of 23 miles. The few horsemen followed the train for 10 or 15 miles until it scattered in various directions. The bulk of his force has crossed the North Missouri road at Renick, and are making for woods of Chariton. I go west with Sixteenth Illinois and Third Iowa immediately in pursuit.

Moore’s force proceeded by land to Canton, and will there organize. Four hundred of Bussey’s cavalry are in Northeast Missouri, but I think not doing much. As soon as I can run down Green’s force I will go to Keokuk. Please send Colonel Tindall back to Brookfield immediately; he went down for his arms to Saint Louis, and can now be of much service.

Glover and Moore will organize their regiments I hope in a few days. Green’s force is mounted, and infantry cannot do much in overtaking them.

The railroad east of Brookfield is open, and I think no more secession camps will be made within 20 miles.

JOHN POPE, Brigadier-General.

Major-General FRÉMONT.

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SEPTEMBER 8-10.–Reconnaissances from Cairo, Ill., and engagements at Lucas Bend, Mo.

REPORTS.

No. 1.–Col. G. Waagner, Chief of Artillery, of reconnaissance, September 8.
No. 2.–Brig. Gen. U. S. Grant, U. S. Army, of reconnaissance, September 10.

No. 1.

Report of Col. G. Waagner, of reconnaissance, September 8.

ARTILLERY DEPARTMENT, Cairo, Ill., September 8, 1861.

SIR: In consequence of your order received yesterday, I started this morning at 5 o’clock on the gunboat Lexington, commanded by Captain {p.168} Stembel, for a reconnaissance to Columbus. About 7 o’clock a. m. we passed Islands Nos. 3 and 4, where we discovered the camp fires a few miles above Columbus, on the Kentucky shore, exactly in the center of the two natural platform bluffs commanding the river and Belmont. In attempting to pass the foot of Lucas Bend, near Columbus, two batteries opened fire on us, one consisting of three the other of four guns, but, notwithstanding the high elevation given to their pieces, their shot all fell short. We did not answer, as they were out of range and we could not do them any damage, the caliber of the guns being two 24-pounder howitzers and 24 and 32 pounders on barbette carriages. The direction of their guns was good, the powder weak, and the fuses entirely too long. I was quite well satisfied with the reconnaissance, but, having some suspicion of gunboats lying in Lucas Bend, I requested Captain Stembel to throw some shell in the bend. This was done, and caused the appearance of two gunboats. One of them followed us. As it was not our intention to enter into an engagement we retreated, and arrived at Cairo this day at 10 o’clock a. m. It is beyond doubt that on the bluffs at Columbus there is a camp of at least 2,000 m en, with two batteries of heavy guns, about six pieces in all, and opposite between Belmont and Lucas Bend there are about 1,000 men and some field pieces.

It affords me pleasure to report the cool, calculating, and energetic behavior of Captain Stembel, his officers and men.

Very respectfully,

G. WAAGNER, Chief of Artillery.

Brig. Gen. U. S. GRANT, Commanding Forces, Southeast Missouri.

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No. 2.

Reports of Brig. Gen. U. S. Grant, U. S. Army, of reconnaissance, September 10.

CAIRO, September 10, 1861.

Gunboats returned. Engaged batteries at Lucas Bend all day. Found 16 guns on Missouri shore. Rebel batteries all silenced. One man wounded on Conestoga. The gunboat Yankee was disabled, and would have been taken but for land batteries near Columbus. The rebels must have suffered severely. Discovered large bodies of cavalry on Missouri side. Saw no troops on Kentucky side.

U. S. GRANT.

Maj. Gen. JOHN C. FRÉMONT.

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HDQRS. DISTRICT SOUTHEASTERN MISSOURI, Cairo, September 10, 1861.

This morning Colonel Waagner started from Norfolk, with all the force that could be spared from that point, to reconnoiter towards Belmont, supported by the gunboats Conestoga and Lexington. They went as far as Beckwith’s farm, about 5 miles below Norfolk. Found no regular force, but had 1 man wounded and lost 1 horse by shots from the pickets of the rebels. The gunboats, however, penetrated {p.169} farther, and found large numbers of cavalry on the Missouri shore, and as near as they could ascertain 15 pieces of artillery on wheels and 1 large piece in position. Some of the pieces were ascertained to be 24-pounder rifled guns.

The gunboat Yankee could not be induced to come far from a battery on the Kentucky shore. Captain Stembel, however, succeeded in bursting a shell in her wheel-house, disabling her so much that she retired, working but one engine.

The batteries on shore were silenced, and the officers commanding gunboats think with considerable loss to the enemy. On two occasions they saw shell explode in the midst of the batteries, after which they could see by the aid of their glasses men being carried to the rear. One man was wounded dangerously by a musket-ball fired from the shore. Further than this no damage was sustained by either of the boats. The machinery of the Lexington is out of order, and I have permitted her to go to Mound City for repairs.

All the forces show great alacrity in preparing for any movement that looks as if it was to meet an enemy, and if discipline and drill were equal to their zeal, I should feel great confidence even against large odds.

The enemy were seen to cross and recross the river, with what design I am at a loss to tell. My impression is that they want time to prepare for defense of their present position or for an advance on one of our positions, likely Paducah. If it were discretionary with me, with a little addition to my present force I would take Columbus. Your order will, however, be executed.

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General.

Maj. Gen. JOHN C. FRÉMONT, Saint Louis, Mo.

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SEPTEMBER 10, 1861.– Reconnaissance towards Norfolk, Mo.

Reports of Brig. Gen. John A. McClernand, U. S. Army.

CAIRO, September 10, 1861.

Colonel Oglesby reports at 8 this morning he moved with his regiment, with 20 cavalry and five pieces light artillery, 5 miles below Norfolk, and reconnoitered in sight of the enemy. An engagement between gunboats took place, ours being successful. Colonel Oglesby, not being strong enough to attack the enemy, returned to Norfolk. The events of the day are encouraging.

JOHN A. MCCLERNAND.

Major-General FRÉMONT.

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CAIRO, September 11, 1861.

A squad of 15 unarmed cavalry, under Captain Burrell, sent to reconnoiter in the neighborhood of Norfolk, were intercepted by 100 rebel cavalry. In a running fight 1 rebel was killed and 3 of our men lost in the woods, and 2 slightly wounded. All was quiet at Norfolk this morning. If too strong a force appears, our forces are in good condition to retire to Bird’s Point.

JOHN A. MCCLERNAND.

Major-General FRÉMONT.

{p.170}

SEPTEMBER 12, 1861.– Skirmish at Black River, Mo.

Report of Maj. Gen. John C. Frémont, commanding Western Department.

HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Saint Louis, September 19, 1861.

Major Gavitt, First Indiana Regiment of Cavalry, who was sent out in reconnaissance towards Hardee’s position at Greenville, met the enemy’s pickets, drove them in, attacked Talbot’s camp, killing 2, and took 3 of the enemy prisoners; also captured 60 muskets and 25 horses.

J. C. FRÉMONT, Major-General, Commanding.

Col. E. D. TOWNSEND.

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SEPTEMBER 13, 1861.–Action at Booneville, Mo.

Reports of Col. Jefferson C. Davis, Twenty-second Indiana Infantry.

JEFFERSON CITY, September 13, 1861.

Express from Colonel Eads, commanding at Syracuse, says that about 3,000 from Price’s column are advancing to Booneville, and later information indicates that as the most threatened point. Large re-enforcements for future operations from this point can no longer be delayed. A force of sufficient strength to give the enemy a successful battle in his rear would settle all trouble about here.

JEFF. C. DAVIS.

Major-General FRÉMONT.

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JEFFERSON CITY, September 13, 1861.

Dispatch from Booneville since 6 o’clock this morning. The Home Guards were still defending their intrenchments. Enemy 600 or 800 strong. I shall re-enforce Booneville to-morrow, but think it probable that that point is Price’s aim; all day goes to confirm it.

JEFF. C. DAVIS.

General JOHN C. FRÉMONT.

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JEFFERSON CITY, September 14, 1861.

Rumor states that the troops at Booneville have surrendered. The War Eagle is off for there. I shall have 1,200 men ready to march from Syracuse to-night. The heavy rains of the last 36 hours have caused some delay. Push forward re-enforcements.

JEFF. C. DAVIS, Colonel, Commanding.

General JOHN C. FRÉMONT.

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JEFFERSON CITY, September 14, 1861.

Major Eppstein has held his position at Booneville. The rebels had given up the fight and were waiting for Green. All right to-night, if my troops get in his rear. The detachment I ordered back a few days ago {p.171} to retrieve their conduct gave battle to Green’s forces while crossing the river at Glasgow. They exchanged fire half an hour, when a battery opened upon them, and they returned here to-day. Green had captured the steamer Clara Bell. Probable rebel loss at Booneville 12 killed and 40 wounded; Eppstein’s, 1 killed and 4 wounded. The rebels lost some at Glasgow, we hear.

JEFF. C. DAVIS, Colonel, Commanding.

Major-General FRÉMONT.

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SEPTEMBER 13-20, 1861.–Siege of Lexington, Mo.

REPORTS, ETC.

No. 1.–Miscellaneous, of Union commanders, with orders and correspondence.
No. 2.–Maj. Gen. Sterling Price, commanding Missouri State Guard (Confederate), of operations September 10-20.
No. 3.–Brig. Gen. James 5. Rains, Missouri State Guard
No. 4.–Brig. Gen. Thomas A. Harris, Missouri State Guard.

No. 1.

Miscellaneous reports, correspondence, and orders of the several Union commanders, September 12-23.

JEFFERSON CITY, September 12, 1861.

I have just received the following, latest from Colonel Mulligan, at Lexington: “Ten or fifteen thousand men, under Price, Jackson & Co., are reported near Warrensburg, moving on to this post. We will hold out. Strengthen us; we will require it.” The expressman had his horse taken from him, but saved his dispatches.

JEFF. C. DAVIS, Colonel, Commanding.

General FRÉMONT.

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JEFFERSON CITY, September 12, 1861.

Received dispatch last night from Lexington by the hands of Lieutenant Pease, dated 9th. Colonel Mulligan had arrived all safe, and Colonel Marshall was scouring the country. Dispatches from Warrensburg leave no doubt but that Price is there in strong force, and is moving on towards Lexington. Some of his cavalry took possession of Georgetown Tuesday, causing great consternation among the people. Booneville is menaced by a small force, but if the troops I sent yesterday do their duty, they have landed there by this time.

JEFF. C. DAVIS, Colonel, Commanding.

General JOHN C. FRÉMONT.

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JEFFERSON CITY, September 12, 1861.

GENERAL: I have been in hourly receipt of dispatches from above. Much confusion exists in the different accounts, but that Price is at {p.172} Warrensburg with considerable force, and moving in the direction of Lexington, is now beyond doubt. Many persons are coming in hourly from that vicinity, confirming the fact.

His force is variously estimated at from 5,000 to 15,000. His cavalry took possession of Georgetown on Tuesday. The commander at Booneville sent me two dispatches last night, asking for re-enforcements, as that place was also threatened by 600 men. I had, however, anticipated this, and sent a detachment up the river yesterday, sufficient to drive them off, if they do their duty.

Lieutenant Pease, a very intelligent officer, arrived last night with dispatches from Colonel Mulligan, at Lexington, and reports all quiet there. They had not heard of Price’s advance, but the colonel informed me that he had secured the money in the bank at that place, and was taking steps to secure that of other banks, in obedience to my orders. I also ordered him, immediately after his arrival, to commence fortifying Lexington, which he informs me he is doing. No troops from Kansas, except about 300, had arrived. Nothing was known there of General Pope’s movements. Affairs south of this, and in Calloway County, are being vigorously straightened out by some detachments I sent out some days ago.

The mail closes.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JEFF. C. DAVIS, Colonel, Commanding.

Maj. Gen. JOHN C. FRÉMONT, Saint Louis, Mo.

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HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Saint Louis, September 12, 1861.

What is your effective force, and how located?

J. C. FRÉMONT, Major-General, Commanding.

Col. JEFFERSON C. DAVIS, Jefferson City.

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JEFFERSON CITY, September 12, 1861.

Two Indiana regiments, 1,986 Twenty-fifth Illinois, 860; Fifth Iowa, 850; Davidson’s battery, 4 pieces, 4 horses each, and 99 men; Home Guards, 1,362, not efficient-want of organization and equipments. Some ammunition wanted for all. Will present requisition.

JEFF. C. DAVIS.

Maj. Gen. JOHN C. FRÉMONT.

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HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Saint Louis, September 12, 1861.

Col. JEFFERSON C. DAVIS, Jefferson City:

The following information received here from General Pope, at Hudson, to-day: “Illinois Sixteenth and Kansas Second, 1,100 strong, with two pieces of artillery, go this morning to Saint Joseph. Green and Bevier are aiming to cross the Missouri at Glasgow in three columns, {p.173} from Hudson, Brookfield, and Sturgeon. I shall march upon Glasgow when Platte River Bridge is repaired; small squads from Green’s command at Florida.”

J. C. FRÉMONT, Major-General, Commanding.

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JEFFERSON CITY, September 12, 1861.

Major-General FRÉMONT:

When General Pope arrives at Glasgow how will he cross the river, the boats having been withdrawn recently? Shall I send one? Do you not mean Lexington instead of Glasgow that you intend to march upon?

Telegraph confused.

JEFF. C. DAVIS, Colonel, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Saint Louis, September 13, 1861.

Col. JEFFERSON C. DAVIS, Jefferson City:

In my dispatch to you I was quoting General Pope’s words; refer to it. Pope did not say when Platte Bridge would be finished. I send you to-day two regiments, to remain at Jefferson City. In the mean time send forward immediately two regiments to the relief of Lexington, provided nothing has occurred since your last dispatch to render it inexpedient. Perhaps they may aid General Pope at Glasgow. Nothing heard from General Sturgis for several days. Move promptly. Inform me minutely.

J. C. FRÉMONT, Major-General, Commanding.

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JEFFERSON CITY, September 13, 1861.

General FRÉMONT:

Received a courier from Lexington to-day. Union troops burning the bridges ahead of Price. His force still estimated 10,000 to 15,000. Shall send a regiment on the War Eagle, with some cannon, to Arrow Rock and Glasgow. Hope to prevent Green’s crossing.

JEFF. C. DAVIS, Colonel, Commanding.

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JEFFERSON CITY, September 13, 1861.

Major-General FRÉMONT:

Green has crossed at Arrow Rock and is marching on to Booneville. The Iowa Fifth leaves early to-morrow morning on War Eagle to that place. The Indiana regiments I shall send to Syracuse, and make a forced march to-morrow night, so as to get in Green’s rear with a view to capture him. Send me the troops, and I will take care of this place and Booneville. Let General Sturgis operate higher up the river and support Lexington. Let Sturgis send a courier to me when he leaves the Hannibal and Saint Joseph road, informing me where he will strike the river.

JEFF. C. DAVIS, Colonel, Commanding.

{p.174}

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HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Saint Louis, September 13, 1861.

Col. JEFFERSON C. DAVIS. Jefferson City:

The general commanding desires to say that two Indiana regiments leave for Jefferson City to-night or to-morrow early; a third regiment leaves to-morrow, and probably two batteries of artillery. Brigadier-General Sturgis will be ordered from Mexico to move on. Have you forwarded the two regiments to Lexington? What other news?

L. C. WOODS, Major and Aide-de-Camp.

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SAINT LOUIS, September 13, 1861.

Major General FRÉMONT:

SIR: The advance guard of General Price’s force was at Warrensburg on Tuesday night en route for Lexington. His force 11,000. Unless re-enforcements can reach that post, it will most probably fall. It would be a great disaster, giving control to the enemy of the upper country.

If by telegraph a train of cars could leave Saint Charles immediately (empty), for the purpose of taking up the troops under General Sturgis, and another train could leave Hannibal empty so as to take the troops of General Sturgis and General Pope along the Hannibal and Saint Joseph Railroad to Hamilton, a point about 40 miles from Lexington, the place might be relieved by a forced march from Hamilton. I make the suggestion because of the great importance to the country of maintaining the position. It may be too late now, but it is worth the effort.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. R. GAMBLE.

P. S.–I learn there is coin to the amount of $750,000 in the bank at Lexington.

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HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Saint Louis, September 14, 1861.

SIR: As a column of the enemy’s forces is moving upon Lexington, you are hereby directed immediately to order two of the regiments under your command to the re-enforcement of that place. Orders have already been issued to two regiments in this city to proceed to Jefferson City and re-enforce your command.

Brigadier-General Sturgis, now at Mexico, will also repair to Jefferson City with his entire force of infantry and a battery of artillery. On his arrival he will assume command of all the troops at that place.

J. C. FRÉMONT, Major-General, Commanding.

Col. JEFFERSON C. DAVIS, Commanding at Jefferson City.

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HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Saint Louis, September 14, 1861.

Re-enforcements will be sent you to-day. The Eighth Indiana left at 6 a. m. this morning for Jefferson City. Other regiments will follow {p.175} to-day. Sturgis will move forward. We will telegraph you further respecting his movements. General Pope, with some force, is at or near Saint Joseph.

J. C. FRÉMONT, Major-General, Commanding.

Col. JEFFERSON C. DAVIS, Jefferson City.

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SAINT LOUIS, September 14, 1861.

SIR: You are hereby directed to move by way of Utica, with all practicable speed, to Lexington, on the Missouri River, with your force of infantry and artillery. You will send back the three companies of the Frémont Hussars, under Captain Bloom, to Saint Louis. The most practicable route from Utica to Lexington for you will be by Austinville, Grove, and Morton.

J. C. FRÉMONT, Major-General, Commanding.

Brigadier-General STURGIS.

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HEADQUARTERS, September 15, 1861.

JEFFERSON C. DAVIS, Jefferson City:

What is the strength of Price, according to latest accounts?

J. C. FRÉMONT, Major-General, Commanding.

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JEFFERSON CITY, September 15, 1861.

Major-General FRÉMONT:

Information, reliable, just received, shows Price at Warrensburg with 11,000; Parsons at Georgetown with 4,000. Green had not probably crossed the La Mine near Booneville last night, so I ordered my troops not to make the march from Syracuse until to-night. As soon as he has crossed I have ordered the bridge destroyed. Two Indiana regiments have arrived.

JEFF. C. DAVIS.

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JEFFERSON CITY, September 15, 1861.

Major-General FRÉMONT:

Reliable information from the vicinity of Price’s column shows his force to be 11,000 at Warrensburg and 4,000 at Georgetown, with pickets extending in the direction of Syracuse. Green is making for Booneville.

JEFF. C. DAVIS.

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JEFFERSON CITY, September 16, 1861.

General JOHN C. FRÉMONT:

Booneville tranquil. Indiana troops marched across the country last night from Syracuse. No intelligence from Lexington to-day. Green is augmenting his forces from the other side of the river. Secession {p.176} feeling increasing and people rising, particularly in Howard County. Rains have been excessive for the last four days, but we are persevering in our works.

JEFF. C. DAVIS.

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JEFFERSON CITY, September 16, 1861.

My spy has just returned from Price’s camp, not far from Lexington. He left Warrensburg yesterday, and says they report their number at 14,000. The fight at Lexington was a sortie made by Mulligan on Thursday. A regular attack had not been made up to Saturday.

JEFF. C. DAVIS, Colonel.

General JOHN C. FRÉMONT.

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HUDSON, September 16, 1861.

Presuming from General Sturgis’ dispatches that there is imminent want of troops at Lexington, I have dispatched Colonel Smith to move forward to that place with Sixteenth Illinois, Third Iowa, and three pieces of artillery from Liberty as soon as he completed the object of his expedition. He reaches Liberty to-morrow morning, and will accomplish his purpose very soon after. His pursuit will lead him in direction of Lexington. I have used the 3,000 troops under Colonels Trainor and Edwards, mentioned in yesterday’s dispatch, to replace Smith and Iowa regiment on line. Tindall is back at Chillicothe. There will be no danger in North Missouri. My presence at Canton and Keokuk is imperative, and must be there as soon as possible.

JOHN POPE, Brigadier-General.

Major-General FRÉMONT.

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PALMYRA, September 16, 1861.

From papers just handed me, I learn for first time that important matters are occurring at Lexington. The troops I sent to Lexington will be there day after to-morrow, and consist of two full regiments of infantry, four pieces of artillery, and 150 irregular horse. These, with the two Ohio regiments, which will reach there Thursday, will make a re-enforcement of 4,000 men and four pieces of artillery. Do you wish me to come down to Saint Louis, or go to Canton and Keokuk, to finish matters in this section? The following force along this road: At Hannibal, -; at Kansas, 480; at Palmyra, 320 of Twentieth Illinois; at Hudson, 450 of Foster’s men; at Brookfield, 650 of Morgan’s regiment; at Saint Joseph (coming east), 3,000 Iowa and Missouri irregular troops. Please answer to Quincy.

JOHN POPE, Brigadier-General.

Major-General FRÉMONT.

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HEADQUARTERS, September 16, 1861.

Col. JEFFERSON C. DAVIS, Jefferson City:

We were at this moment giving you the order to move forward and {p.177} attack Georgetown. Do so, and do not delay at all with a view to relieve Lexington. Exercise your judgment. Send dispatches frequently.

J. C. FRÉMONT, Major-General, Commanding.

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JEFFERSON CITY, September 17, 1861.

Send forward troops and supplies, and let me move forward to Georgetown and get in rear of enemy. If General Pope sustains Lexington, a move of this kind is all that is now required. I am determined to move in four days. I have this place so intrenched that a small force will suffice to hold it.

JEFF. C. DAVIS, Colonel.

General JOHN C. FRÉMONT.

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JEFFERSON CITY, September 18, 1861.

News just arrived from Lexington, probably reliable. The fight commenced on Monday; was very severe all day. Price assaulted the works, and was repulsed with heavy loss. On yesterday morning the fighting was very feeble. When courier left Lane was marching for Lexington, and was at Johnstown on Monday morning. The rebel loss is reported at 4,000; ours at 800. This is evidently exaggerated.

JEFF. C. DAVIS.

General JOHN C. FRÉMONT.

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JEFFERSON CITY, September 18, 1861.

Positive news from Lexington Sunday evening. Main attack had not been made. I have sent two regiments to Arrow Rock, with orders to take post in a day or two opposite Glasgow. Sent a regiment to Syracuse last evening. Will send more to Booneville. Forward harness and wagons; can’t do anything with mules without them.

JEFF. C. DAVIS, Colonel, Commanding.

Major-General FRÉMONT.

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SAINT LOUIS, September 18, 1861.

Acting Brig. Gen. JEFFERSON C. DAVIS, Commanding at Jefferson City, Mo.:

SIR: You are hereby directed to increase your forces at the crossing of the Pacific Railroad over La Mine Creek to the number of 5,000, adding artillery and cavalry, according to your judgment, and march upon the enemy stationed at Georgetown. All the information received at these headquarters leads to the conclusion that the force of the rebels at that place does not amount to more than from 3,000 to 4,000 men, of whom most are poorly armed, and over whom a victory may be certainly anticipated. You will therefore, after putting them to flight, take, with your main body, the road towards Lexington, directing your cavalry to pursue the enemy some miles on their line of retreat towards Warrensburg, {p.178} and to unite with your force against the first cross-roads. Brigadier-General Sturgis, commanding at Lexington, will be informed of this order, and directed to co-operate with you in such a manner as, if possible, to make with you a combined attack upon the enemy that now surrounds Lexington.

It is confidently expected that, even should you fail to defeat the enemy, you will be at least strong enough to break through his lines and effect a junction with our forces at Lexington, which, by your aid and that of other re-enforcements ordered to that point, will then be strong enough not only to defend that place successfully, but to assume the offensive.

It is expected that General Lane, who will be kept fully informed of these movements, will be able to act with you from Kansas City; hut should the rebels change their plan of operations and attack that place, you will unite with him and General Sturgis in its defense.

J. C. FRÉMONT, Major– General, Commanding.

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JEFFERSON CITY, September 19, 1861.

News just come says Lexington is taken. I hardly think it is reliable. I have received your order directing me to take Georgetown. This place is and has been, except for a few hours some days ago, in my possession. There are no rebel troops now threatening. I have and am sending forward troops, but I cannot take permanent possession with any considerable force until I get means either by rail or wagons to get forward supplies. I wrote you on the subject of McKissick’s conduct in regard to the bridge; also on the subject of mules, wagons, and harness. My troops will all be in advance of the means of transportation. Let it be furnished at once.

JEFF. C. DAVIS, Colonel, Commanding.

Major-General FRÉMONT.

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HEADQUARTERS, Jefferson City, September 19, 1861.

GENERAL: The news last night from Lexington I telegraphed you; nothing since has been received. I shall continue to throw forward troops, so as to concentrate them in a few hours at Georgetown. I have a small detachment of cavalry there now. I hope you will send me more cavalry.

If the rebels have been defeated at Lexington, they will in my opinion retire to the Osage, in order to be supported by McCulloch. That would be difficult if Warsaw were occupied, and I cannot get there without transportation. I am exerting every effort to get teams organized to make a move in that direction. If I were now at Georgetown I could cut off his retreat. The bridge across the La Mine is now the great obstacle to progress in that direction to Sedalia. I shall overcome that as soon as possible.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JEFF. C. DAVIS.

General JOHN C. FRÉMONT, Saint Louis, Mo.

{p.179}

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SAINT LOUIS, MO., September 20, 1861.

Acting Brig. Gen. JEFFERSON C. DAVIS, Commanding at Jefferson City:

SIR: It is reported that Lexington is surrounded by an overwhelming rebel force of 16,000, and that our re-enforcements from Utica and Liberty, under command of Brigadier-General Sturgis, are opposite to Lexington, and prevented from crossing the river by two rebel batteries. To assist Colonel Mulligan and his brave little band of 2,000, General Lane will harass the enemy by sudden attacks upon exposed posts upon his flank and rear, and you will act according to the order of the 18th, and endeavor to break through the enemy’s lines. Should you not succeed in effecting a junction with Colonel Mulligan at Lexington, you are to retreat, and take such a position as your own strength and the movements and force of the rebels may render advisable.

Should the whole force of the enemy be concentrated around Lexington, it may be sufficient to retreat to Davis’ Creek, or at farthest to Dunksburg; in either of which cases a junction with the forces of General Lane, consisting of 2,200 volunteers, with a large Home Guard force, may be effected.

Should the rebels hold Warrensburg with a larger force than yours, or if reliable information should reach you that McCulloch is also operating towards Lexington, you will take position at Georgetown or Sedalia.

Should McCulloch operate towards Jefferson City, but not be able to reach that place before I can re-enforce it (and I shall start Monday), it should not detain your forward movements from Georgetown to Lexington.

You will keep me constantly informed of your own movements and those of the enemy, and will watch constantly the re-enforcements pouring in over the Pacific Railroad, so that you may direct them immediately to their destination and correct confusion.

J. C. FRÉMONT, Major-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS, September 20, 1861.

Col. JEFFERSON C. DAVIS, Jefferson City:

Can you break through the rebel lines and effect a junction with Mulligan?

ASBOTH.

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JEFFERSON CITY, September 20, 1861.

General ASBOTH:

I can drive the rebels to the Osage if I can get to them, but I have no means of transportation here. My boats are up the river with troops. I have no teams.

JEFF. C. DAVIS.

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JEFFERSON CITY, September 20, 1861.

Send me all the cavalry you can spare. I can furnish them with carbines and ammunition.

JEFF. C. DAVIS, Acting Brigadier-General.

Major-General FRÉMONT.

{p.180}

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HEADQUARTERS, Saint Louis, September 20, 1861.

Col. JEFFERSON C. DAVIS, Jefferson City:

How many carbines and how much ammunition can you furnish?

J. C. FRÉMONT, Major-General, Commanding.

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JEFFERSON CITY, September 20, 1861.

The guns I have are those issued to Colonel Nugent’s Missouri cavalry. I don’t know the number, but I can arm a regiment some way or other. The colonel, when he left, told me there was a full supply of ammunition.

JEFF. C. DAVIS, Acting Brigadier-General.

Maj. Gen. J. C. FRÉMONT.

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HEADQUARTERS OF THE WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Saint Louis, September 20, 1861.

Col. JEFFERSON C. DAVIS, Jefferson City:

Concentrate a force strong enough, in your judgment, at Georgetown and push forward to relieve Mulligan. I trust that you can take provisions for two days with the means of transportation which you have. Order back your boats to Jefferson City, and send provisions and troops by them to Lexington. Two hundred wagons will be sent from here tonight to Syracuse, which will follow you. Troops are going from here. Answer.

J. C. FRÉMONT, Major-General, Commanding.

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JEFFERSON CITY, September 20, 1861.

I will send on the troops as fast as possible. Two days’ provisions from Syracuse won’t answer to reach Lexington and engage an enemy. I will attempt it, however.

JEFF. C. DAVIS, Acting Brigadier-General.

Major-General FRÉMONT.

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HEADQUARTERS, September 20, 1861.

Acting Brig. Gen. JEFFERSON C. DAVIS, Jefferson City:

Dispatch received. Take as much provisions as will answer. Never let the men go into action without food. We, on our part, intend to move promptly from here. Use your judgment for details.

J. C. FRÉMONT, Major-General, Commanding.

{p.181}

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JEFFERSON CITY, September 20, 1861.

I shall leave about 3,000 Home Guards and Iowa Sixth to take care of this place. I would recommend some one of energy be appointed to command them. General Thomas [L.] Price, who is now in Saint Louis, would be an excellent man. They must be kept at work on these field works, &c.

JEFF. C. DAVIS, Acting Brigadier-General, Commanding.

General JOHN C. FRÉMONT.

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SAINT LOUIS, September 20, 1861.

General JAMES H. LANE:

SIR: It is reported that Lexington is surrounded by an overwhelming rebel force of 16,000, and that our re-enforcements from Utica and Liberty, under command of Brigadier-General Sturgis, are opposite Lexington, and prevented from crossing the river by two rebel batteries. To assist Colonel Mulligan and his brave little band of 2,000, you will harass the enemy as much as possible by sudden attacks upon his flank and rear.

Should Acting Brig. Gen. Jefferson C. Davis not succeed in effecting a junction with Colonel Mulligan at Lexington he will retreat, and take such a position as his own strength and the movements and force of the enemy may render advisable. In case the whole rebel force is concentrated around Lexington, he will probably retreat to Davis’ Creek, or at farthest to Dunksburg, at either of which places a junction with your forces may be effected; Should the rebels hold Warrensburg with a larger force than that of Acting Brigadier-General Davis, or should he ascertain that McCulloch is also operating towards Lexington, he will take position at Georgetown or Sedalia. You will keep me constantly informed of your own movements and those of the enemy.

J. C. FRÉMONT, Major-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS FORT LEAVENWORTH, KANS., September 20, 1861.

General JAMES H. LANE, Commanding Kansas Brigade, West Point, Mo.:

GENERAL: The last reliable information reports Price at Lexington with his whole force, 15,000 to 20,000. He demanded a surrender of the force under Colonel Mulligan, which, as I suppose, is composed of the Irish Brigade and Peabody’s command. This demand was not complied with. A fight ensued without the results desired by the enemy. Re-enforcements are expected at Lexington from the north side of the river. The column under Colonel Smith drove the secessionists to the river opposite the Blue Mills Landing, when a fight ensued. Federal loss reported by telegraph as 50 killed, 25 wounded; the loss of the enemy 150 to 200.

I have this moment received a telegraphic dispatch from General Frémont, dated to-day. He wanted to know your position. I replied, “Last heard from (the 17th) at West Point, marching on Harrisonville.” You will readily see the importance of concentrating your force to {p.182} harass on the flank or rear of the enemy whilst being pushed from the east and south. Please communicate the strength of your column and the date of movement, and the practicable date of your arrival at Harrisonville.

By some misunderstanding the ammunition which was turned over to the Quartermaster’s Department for transportation was not sent to you. Lieutenant Weed will leave as soon as the ambulances you desire can be put in readiness, and will take with him the ammunition, as also the men now here belonging to your brigade. They (the men) number about 20. Lieutenant Weed will write you respecting his route, so that an additional escort can be furnished from your command, should it be desired.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. E. PRINCE, Captain, First Infantry, Commanding.

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SAINT LOUIS, September 21, 1861.

Brigadier-General STURGIS:

GENERAL: By a telegram of to-day, sent to Capt. W. E. Prince, of Fort Leavenworth, the officer in command of the Second Kansas Regiment has been directed to take the steamer West Wind, or any other steamer, and proceed at once carefully down the river to join you. You will therefore send a messenger up the river to communicate to the commander of the Second Kansas Regiment such orders as you may deem proper to secure a safe landing of the boat, and then make every effort to cross the river and effect a junction with Colonel Mulligan. Acting Brig. Gen. Jefferson C. Davis, of Jefferson City, will also endeavor with his force to join Colonel Mulligan from Georgetown by land and from Glasgow by steamer. Every effort, therefore, should be made to retain the post at Lexington.

J. C. FRÉMONT, Major-General, Commanding.

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JEFFERSON CITY, September 21, 1861.

The War Eagle and Iatan have just returned. The three Indiana regiments took possession of all points as far as Glasgow, but unfortunately for their reputation as soldiers their scouts fired into each other, severely wounding Major Tanner and several others, and killing three. They retook the steamer Sunshine 10 miles above Glasgow. The Twenty-sixth Indiana proceeded on for Lexington.

JEFF. C. DAVIS, Acting Brigadier-General, Commanding.

General JOHN C. FRÉMONT.

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JEFFERSON CITY, September 22, 1861.

Your communication of the 20th, directing me to move forward, just received. I am throwing forward troops to Arrow Rock, Booneville, and Syracuse as fast as possible. This I have been doing since the 18th. {p.183} Troops cannot reach Lexington without some teams. The harness for these arrived in part only night before last. Yesterday all that could be possibly gotten together were sent forward to these different points. More are leaving to-day and will continue to leave until I can move on Lexington.

JEFF. C. DAVIS, Acting Brigadier-General.

Major-General FRÉMONT.

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JEFFERSON CITY, September 22, 1861.

Released prisoners from Price’s army here to-night report fighting at Lexington noon Thursday. Mulligan not taken. Thinks if water holds out he is safe for some days; yet if efficient and prompt movements be made, he may be saved. Everything depends upon what we can do in the next few days. McCulloch last Monday in Barton County, moving on Lexington. He must be drawing close on by this time. Price’s forces are estimated at near 20,000.

THOS. L. PRICE.

Maj. Gen. JOHN C. FRÉMONT.

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BROOKFIELD, September 22, 1861.

I have just arrived here from Quincy, and have 100 of our men that were in the battle at Lexington; 2,000 more are at Hamilton 50 miles west of this. Colonel Mulligan surrendered 4 p. m. Friday. Water cut off. The entire command, after surrendering, were disarmed; non-commissioned officers and privates sworn and released; commissioned officers are held as prisoners. Federal loss, 39 killed and 120 wounded; rebel, 1,400 killed and wounded. I send provisions forward to our gallant soldiers, who have not been fed for two days. They were not re-enforced.

B. M. PRENTISS, Brigadier-General.

Maj. Gen. JOHN C. FRÉMONT.

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HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Saint Louis, September 23, 1861.

Brig. Gen. B. M. PRENTISS, Quincy, Ill.:

GENERAL: Your dispatch received. The surgeons of my staff and the sanitary commission are directed to communicate with you in regard to the wounded. Keep me fully informed of facts in relation to them, so that their wants may be provided for as promptly as possible.

J. C. FRÉMONT, Major-General.

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HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Saint Louis, September 23, 1861.

General JAMES H. LANE, Commanding:

You will forward to Brigadier-General Sturgis the dispatch herewith inclosed. Use all means to accomplish it,

RUSH PLUMLY, Major and Aide.

{p.184}

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT Saint Louis, September 22, 1861.

Brigadier-General STURGIS:

Lexington having surrendered, a combined attack upon the rebels infesting the country between Springfield and Lexington will be made by the troops under my command without delay. You are directed to watch the enemy as narrowly as possible, to hold Kansas City at all hazards, and to keep me constantly informed of his and your movements.

J. C. FRÉMONT, Major-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Saint Louis, September 23, 1861.

I have telegram from Brookfield that Lexington has fallen into Price’s hands, he having cut off Mulligan’s supply of water. Re-enforcements 4,000 strong, under Sturgis, by capture of ferry-boats, had no means of crossing the river in time. Lane’s force from the southwest and Davis’ from the southeast, upwards of 11,000, could not get there in time. I am taking the field myself, and hope to destroy the enemy either before or after the junction of forces under McCulloch. Please notify the President immediately.

J. C. FRÉMONT, Major-General, Commanding.

Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Hdqrs. of the Army, Washington, D. C.

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HEADQUARTERS FORT LEAVENWORTH, KANS., September 23, 1861.

General JAMES H. LANE, commanding Kansas Brigade:

GENERAL: The force at Lexington surrendered Friday, the 20th. General Sturgis is at Kansas City. Was unable to get into Lexington. Enemy’s force reported 35,000 strong. Your entire column expected by General Sturgis at Kansas City. The enemy will make no demonstration of any importance upon Southern Kansas. A junction of your force must be formed at once with Sturgis at Kansas City. It is to be regretted that this was not perfected as originally suggested. The several columns of the Federals in the field are too small to act independently against the enemy in mass, who are operating without the shadow of a doubt as a unit. It is supposed that General Hunter’s command (Federals) will attack to-day from the Sedalia side with 15,000 men.

Please communicate your position, movements, and strength of force.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. E. PRINCE, Captain, First Infantry, Commanding.

[Indorsement.]

FORT LEAVENWORTH, September 23, 1861.

GENERAL: This order must be complied with promptly, and you will please march by the shortest available route.

S. D. STURGIS, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

{p.185}

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HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, September 23, 1861.

Nothing since my dispatch of this morning. Our loss 39 killed, 120 wounded; loss of enemy 1,400 killed and wounded. Our non-commissioned officers and privates sworn and released. Commissioned officers held as prisoners. Our troops are gathering around the enemy. I will send you from the field more details in a few days.

JNO. C. FRÉMONT, Major-General, Commanding.

Hon. S. CAMERON, Secretary of War.

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HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, September 23, 1861.

JOHN C. FRÉMONT, Maj. Gen., Commanding, Saint Louis, Mo.:

Your dispatch of this day is received. The President is glad you are hastening to the scene of action. His words are, “He expects you to repair the disaster at Lexington without loss of time.”

WINFIELD SCOTT.

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No. 2.

Report of Maj. Gen. Sterling Price, commanding Missouri State Guard (Confederate), of operations, September 10-20.

HEADQUARTERS MISSOURI STATE GUARD, Camp Wallace, Lexington, Mo., September 21, 1861.

I have the honor to submit to your excellency the following report of the action which terminated on the 20th instant with the surrender of the United States forces and property at this place to the army under my command:

After chastising the marauding armies of Lane and Montgomery and driving them out of the State, and after compelling them to abandon Fort Scott, as detailed in my last report, I continued my march towards this point with an army increasing hourly in numbers and enthusiasm.

On the 10th instant, just as we were about to encamp for the day a mile or two west of Rose Hill, I learned that a detachment of Federal troops and Home Guards were marching from Lexington to Warrensburg, to rob the bank in that place and plunder and arrest the citizens of Johnson County, in accordance with General Frémont’s proclamation and instructions. Although my men were greatly fatigued by several days’ continuous and rapid marching, I determined to press forward so as to surprise the enemy, if possible, at Warrensburg. Therefore, after resting a few hours, we resumed the march at sunset, and marched without intermission until 2 o’clock in the morning, when it became evident that the infantry, very few of whom had eaten a mouthful in twenty-two hours, could march no farther. I then halted them, and went forward with the largest part of my mounted men until we came, about daybreak, within view of Warrensburg, where I ascertained that the enemy had hastily fled about midnight, burning the bridges behind them.

The rain began to fall about the same time. This circumstance, {p.186} coupled with the fact that my men had been fasting for more than twenty-four hours, constrained me to abandon the idea of pursuing the enemy that day. My infantry and artillery having come up, we encamped at Warrensburg, whose citizens vied with each other in feeding my almost famished soldiers.

An unusually violent storm delayed our march the next morning [September 12] until about 10 o’clock. We then pushed forward rapidly, still, hoping to overtake the enemy. Finding it impossible to do this with my infantry, I again ordered a detachment to move forward and placing myself at their head, continued the pursuit to within two and a half miles of Lexington, when, having learned that the enemy were already within town, and it being late and my men fatigued by a forced march and utterly without provisions, I halted for the night.

About daybreak the next morning [September 13] a sharp skirmish took place between our pickets and the enemy’s outposts. This threatened to become general. Being unwilling, however, to risk a doubtful engagement, when a short delay would make success certain, I fell back 2 or 3 miles and awaited the arrival of my infantry and artillery. These having come up, we advanced upon the town, driving the enemy’s pickets until we came within a short distance of the city itself. Here the enemy attempted to make a stand, but they were speedily driven from every position and forced to take shelter within their intrenchments. We then took position within easy range of the college, which building they had strongly fortified, and opened upon them a brisk fire from Bledsoe’s battery, which, in the absence of Captain Bledsoe, who had been wounded at Big Dry Wood, was gallantly commanded by Capt. Emmett MacDonald, and by Parsons’ battery, under the skillful command of Captain Guibor.

Finding, after sunset, that our ammunition, the most of which had been left behind on the march from Springfield, was nearly exhausted, and that my men, thousands of whom had not eaten a particle in thirty-six hours, required rest and food, I withdrew to the fair ground and encamped there. My ammunition wagons having been at last brought up, and large re-enforcements having been received, I again moved into town on Wednesday, the 18th instant and began the final attack on the enemy’s works.

Brigadier-General Rains’ division occupied a strong position on the east and northeast of the fortifications, from which an effective cannonading was kept up on the enemy by Bledsoe’s battery, under command, except on the last day, of Capt. Emmett MacDonald, and another battery, commanded by Capt. Churchill Clark, of Saint Louis. Both these gentlemen, and the men and officers under their command, are deservedly commended in accompanying report of Brigadier-General Rains. General Parsons took a position southwest of the works, whence his battery, under command of Captain Guibor, poured a steady fire into the enemy. Skirmishers and sharpshooters were also sent forward from both of these divisions to harass and fatigue the enemy, and to cut them off from the water on the north, east, and south of the college, and did inestimable service in the accomplishment of these purposes.

Col. Congreve Jackson’s division and a part of General Steele’s were posted near Generals Rains’ and Parsons’ as a reserve, but no occasion occurred to call them into action. They were, however, at all times vigilant and ready to rush upon the enemy.

Shortly after entering the city on the 18th Colonel Rives, who commanded the Fourth Division in the absence of General Slack, led his {p.187} regiment and Colonel Hughes’ along the river bank to a point immediately beneath and west of the fortifications, General McBride’s command and a portion of Colonel [General] Harris’ having been ordered to re-enforce him. Colonel Rives, in order to cut off the enemy’s means of escape, proceeded down the bank of the river to capture a steamboat which was lying just under their guns. Just at this moment a heavy fire was opened upon him from Colonel Anderson’s large dwelling-house on the summit of the bluffs, which the enemy were occupying as a hospital, and upon which a white flag was flying. Several companies of General Harris’ command and the gallant soldiers of the Fourth Division, who have won upon so many battle-fields the proud distinction of always being among the bravest of the brave, immediately rushed upon and took the place. The important position thus secured was within 125 yards of the enemy’s intrenchments. A company from Colonel Hughes’ regiment then took possession of the boats, one of which was richly freighted with valuable stores.

General McBride’s and General Harris’ divisions meanwhile gallantly stormed and occupied the bluffs immediately north of Anderson’s house. The possession of these heights enabled our men to harass the enemy so greatly that, resolving to regain them, they made upon the house a successful assault, and one which would have been honorable to them had it not been accompanied by an act of savage barbarity-the cold-blooded and cowardly murder of three defenseless men, who had laid down their arms and surrendered themselves as prisoners.

The position thus retaken by the enemy was soon regained by the brave men who had been driven from it, and was thenceforward held by them to the very end of the contest. The heights to the left of Anderson’s house, which had been taken, as be fore stated, by Generals McBride and Harris, and by part of Steele’s command, under Colonel Boyd and Major Winston, were rudely fortified by our soldiers, who threw up breastworks as well as they could with their slender means.

On the morning of the 20th instant I caused a number of hemp bales to be transported to the river heights, where movable breastworks were speedily constructed out of them by Generals Harris and McBride, Colonel Rives and Major Winston, and their respective commands. Captain Kelly’s battery (attached to General Steele’s division) was ordered at the same time to the position occupied by General Harris’ force, and quickly opened a very effective fire, under the direction of its gallant captain, upon the enemy. These demonstrations, and particularly the continued advance of the hempen breastworks, which were as efficient as the cotton bales at New Orleans, quickly attracted the attention and excited the alarm of the enemy, who made many daring attempts to drive us back. They were, however, repulsed in every instance by the unflinching courage and fixed determination of our men.

In these desperate encounters the veterans of McBride’s and Slack’s divisions fully sustained their proud reputation, while Colonel Martin Green and his command, and Colonel Boyd and Major Winston and their commands, proved themselves worthy to fight by the side of the men who had by their courage and valor won imperishable honor in the bloody battle of Springfield.

After 2 o’clock in the afternoon of the 20th, and after fifty-two hours of continuous firing, a white flag was displayed by the enemy on that part of the works nearest to Colonel Green’s position, and shortly afterwards another was displayed opposite to Colonel Rives’. I immediately ordered a cessation of all firing on our part, and sent forward one of my staff officers to ascertain the object of the flag and to open negotiations {p.188} with the enemy if such should be their desire. It was finally, after some delay, agreed by Colonel Marshall and the officers associated with him for that purpose by Colonel Mulligan that the United States forces should lay down their arms and surrender themselves as prisoners of war to this army. These terms having been made known, were ratified by me and immediately carried into effect.

Our entire loss in this series of engagements amounts to 25 killed and 72 wounded. The enemy’s loss was much greater.

The visible fruits of this almost bloodless victory are very great-about 3,500 prisoners, among whom are Colonels Mulligan, Marshall, Peabody, White, and Grover, Major Van Horn, and 118 other commissioned officers, 5 pieces of artillery and 2 mortars, over 3,000 stands of infantry arms, a large number of sabers, about 750 horses, many sets of cavalry equipments, wagons, teams, and ammunition, more than $100,000 worth of commissary stores, and a large amount of other property. In addition to all this, I obtained the restoration of the great seal of the State and the public records, which had been stolen from their proper custodian, and about $900,000 in money, of which the bank at this place had been robbed and which I have caused to be returned to it.

This victory has demonstrated the fitness of our citizen soldiers for the tedious operations of a siege as well as for a dashing charge. They lay for fifty-two hours in the open air without tents or covering, regardless of the sun and rain and in the very presence of a watchful and desperate foe, manfully repelling every assault and patiently awaiting any orders to storm the fortifications. No general ever commanded a braver or a better army. It is composed of the best blood and the bravest men of Missouri.

Where nearly every one, officers and men, behaved so well, as is known to your excellency, who was present with the army during the whole period embraced in this report, it is impossible to make special mention of individuals without seemingly making invidious distinctions; but I may be permitted to express my personal obligations to my volunteer aides, as well as my staff, for their efficient services and prompt attention to all my orders.

I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, your excellency’s obedient servant,

STERLING PRICE Major-General, Commanding.

Hon. C. F. JACKSON, Governor of the State of Missouri.

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No. 3.

Report of Brig. Gen. James S. Rains, Missouri State Guard.

HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION MISSOURI STATE GUARD, September 22, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor briefly to report that, in accordance with orders received, on the morning of the 18th of September I marched my division, consisting of 3,052 rank and file, and two batteries of three guns each, to take position on north and east of the Masonic College, in which the enemy were intrenched. After traveling a circuitous route to avoid the observation of the enemy, I took position near the residence of Mr. Tutt, and opened with four guns upon them. These {p.189} guns were ably served under the command of Captains Emmett MacDonald and Churchill Clark, whose gallantry and efficiency were justly spoken of by all. Here I offered a gold medal to any artillerist who would strike down the large flag on the southeast corner of the battlements. It was quickly won by Capt. Churchill Clark, though closely contended for.

About 11 a. m. I closed in and around the college, placing a large force in an entirely protected position about 350 yards north and about 500 yards east. I remained there throwing out sharpshooters and skirmishers to annoy and fatigue the enemy, while at the same time the approaches to the water were completely guarded. But one sally was made by the enemy on the evening of the 18th, which was quickly repulsed.

All the men under my command acted with a patience, courage, and endurance worthy only of the cause engaged in, and for more than fifty hours they lay there panting like the hounds in summer when they scent the stately deer, eager not for revenge, but to teach again the minions of the tyrant that Missouri shall be free.

The loss in this almost bloodless victory amounts in the Second Division to 2 killed and 20 wounded. Among the latter is Captain Vaughan, of the Fourth Infantry.

Respectfully,

J. S. RAINS, Brigadier-General, Second Division, Mo. S. G.

Col. THOMAS L. SNEAD, Act. Asst. Adjt. Gen.

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No. 4.

Report of Brig. Gen. Thomas A. Harris, Missouri State Guard.

HDQRS. IN THE FIELD SECOND DIVISION MO. S. G., Near Lexington, September 23, 1861.

SIR: In compliance with instructions, I beg leave to submit the following report of the part taken by the forces under my command in the capture of the Federal forces occupying the city of Lexington on the 18th, 19th, and 20th instants:

Leaving 200 hundred men to act as camp guard, at 9 o’clock a. m. of the 18th instant my command, in pursuance to your order, took up the line of march for Lexington. The whole command, acting as infantry, moved by flank, the battery of artillery bringing up the rear. I had proceeded about one mile en route when my advance touched upon the rear of General Parsons’ division, and I soon after received your order to take the road to the left and support the movements of that division. An order to bring my artillery to the advance caused delay of some fifteen or twenty minutes, as the infantry had to give way for its passage along the road. My command arrived at precisely 10 o’clock a. m., and I ordered Captain Kneisley, who was in command of the battery, to take position at an elevated point of intersection of two streets, and to open his fire and imitate the movements of the battery of General Parsons’ division, which was already in action. I detached Captain Davis’ company, armed with minie rifles, to act as an intermediate covering party for the battery, whilst my whole command, protected by the houses, was held in readiness to support the battery if required. Captain {p.190} Kneisley served his battery very satisfactorily, only suspending his fire from the exhaustion of his men, induced by the excessive heat and from want of sufficient ammunition. The effect of the fire upon the enemy was very evident and destructive. At one or two positions occupied by my command the enemy annoyed us slightly with both round shot and grape, but a slight change in position sufficed to afford adequate protection against his missiles.

At 11.15 o’clock I received the order from yourself in person to move any command along the bank of the river to the support of General McBride’s command and General Slack’s division, under command of Colonel Rives. At the same time you gave me instructions to capture the brick house outside of the enemy’s line of defense known as the Anderson house or hospital, provided that if upon my arrival there I was of opinion I could carry it without too severe a loss. My battery of artillery you suggested to remain in its then effective position, saying that you would look to its security.

Immediately upon the receipt of the foregoing instruction I moved my command along to the line of the river, causing the different battalions to debouch to the right and ascend the elevations which protected our movement from the fire of the enemy. I directed the men to crawl to the crests of the hills and annoy the enemy as he should expose himself above his breastworks. Lieutenant-Colonel Brace’s battalion I held to occupy the main road for several hours as a reserve. The active skirmishing of my men from the crests of the hills visibly had an annoying effect upon the enemy, and he responded throughout the day and night with great spirit and industry.

Upon my reaching the point known as the hospital I dismounted and ascended the hill on foot. Upon my arrival I found Colonel Rives’ command, supported by a portion of Lieutenant-Colonel Hull’s and Major Milton’s (Callaway’s) command of my division. From a personal inspection of the position occupied by the hospital I became satisfied that it was invaluable to me as a point of annoyance and mask for my approach to the enemy. I at the same time received your communication as to the result of your reconnaissance through your glass. I therefore immediately ordered an assault upon the position, in which I was promptly and gallantly seconded by Colonel Rives and his command, together with Colonel Hull and Major Milton and their commands of my own division. The hospital was promptly carried and occupied by our troops, but during the evening the enemy retook it, and were again driven out by our men with some loss.

Leaving a sufficient force at the hospital to hold it, I descended the hill and moved along the left wing of my command, which, under Colonel Green, had united with General McBride’s command, and had gallantly driven the enemy back from an advanced position, and was occupying an advantageous point in common with General McBride’s command in a trench taken from the enemy near a mine which had [been] sprung. Upon reconnoitering the position of the enemy I directed Colonel Green to deploy his line to the left, which he promptly did, and directed that his riflemen should continue to skirmish with the enemy, whilst his shot-gun men, being out of range, should protect themselves beneath the crest of the hill, and be in readiness if an assault from the enemy’s lines should be attempted. I then directed Lieutenant-Colonels Brace and Hull to move with their commands to the support of Green’s position, and to extend the flank to the left on Colonel Green’s front extended.

This was the position of my command on the night of the 18th instant {p.191} the men maintaining a brisk skirmishing with decided effect upon the enemy. Climbing the rugged and precipitous heights during the excessive heat of the day caused the men to suffer greatly for water, but nothing appeared to daunt their resolution, endurance, and valor, They had neither blankets nor food, but they remained steadfastly at their posts during the entire night. In repelling these assaults I had the pleasure to recognize the gallant co-operation of General McBride and his command and the timely assistance of the batteries of Generals Rains and Parsons.

At 7.30 o’clock on the evening of the 18th instant, when a sally was anticipated from the enemy through the hospital position, designed to make a diversion favorable to the landing of anticipated Federal re-enforcements and to burn steamers captured by us during the day, you were kind enough to afford me the valuable re-enforcements from General Steen’s division, commanded by Majors Thornton and Winston, and the battery of Captain Kelly. The infantry I posted to strengthen the hospital position, and the artillery was so disposed as to command the wharf and the river. Col. Congreve Jackson politely loaned me the use of a battalion commanded by Colonel Bevier, which I posted to cover the artillery. During the night I visited frequently the various positions of my command, and found both men and officers fully resolved and capable of maintaining themselves until morning.

On the 19th instant I moved Colonel MacDonald’s command to the extreme left, thus perfecting my connection with General Rains’ right flank. I directed a desultory fire to be kept up during the day by my sharpshooters along my entire front, and directed the line of some rude field fortifications. The commands of Colonel Green and Lieutenant-Colonels Hull and Brace, poorly provided with intrenching implements, perfected their defense with astonishing perseverance. None contributed more to the zealous and efficient prosecution of the work than Lieutenant-Colonel Porter, of Colonel Green’s regiment, who, although severely wounded in the head by a ball, continued to afford the most untiring example to the men by his zeal and self-sacrificing services. Where timber could be had as a shelter these field works could be constructed only at the expense of great physical exertion; but where the enemy had removed the means necessary for construction, to extend the lines of defense involved great hazard of life. By a reconnaissance of the hospital position I became satisfied that the construction of flank defenses would afford greatly increased facilities for the annoyance of the enemy, while it would materially lessen the exposure of our men; bat such had been the great exhaustion of our men, that I feared their power of endurance would be overtasked should I impose this new task upon them. Captain Robinson, commanding the Callaway infantry, however, offered to attempt the task. I then directed Capt. George A. Turner, of my staff, to request of you one hundred and thirty-two bales of hemp, which you promptly accorded. Captain Turner was intrusted with the general superintendence of transporting it to the points designated. To the extraordinary zeal, activity, and persevering industry of Captain Turner I feel under the greatest obligations. His services were invaluable to me during the entire engagement. I directed the bales to be wet in the river to protect them against the casualties of fire of our troops and of the enemy, but it was soon found that the wetting so materially increased the weight as to prevent our men in their exhausted condition from rolling them to the crest of the hill. I then adopted the idea of wetting the hemp after it had been transported to its position. In the arduous and extremely trying duty of transporting the hemp I {p.192} cannot neglect to recognize the active and cordial co-operation of the commands of Colonels Rives and Hughes, Majors Winston and Thornton, Captains Mitchell, Grooms, and Spratt, and Adjutant Flowerree, of General Steen’s division, Major Peacher, of General Clark’s division, and Major Welton, and the officers and men of General McBride’s division.

At 5 o’clock p. m. on the 19th instant a truce was granted by you to the enemy to enable them to remove their sick and wounded from the hospital which had been captured by us the day previous. This afforded me the opportunity to make final and complete arrangements for defense of the hospital position during the day, notwithstanding the active skirmishing along the entire line. Lieutenant-Colonels Hull and Brace had been enabled materially to improve and extend their defenses, composed of earthwork and timber. During the day and entire night of the 19th I was almost continually in the saddle, visiting the various positions, and giving detailed instructions to all grades. The extreme exhaustion and fatigues which I suffered taught me to appreciate fully the heroic patriotism and endurance of those brave men who bad been exposed with me for forty-eight hours continuously, without comparatively either food, water, or blankets, and encountering the severest physical trials.

At 8 o’clock a. m. on the 20th instant I ordered up additional hemp to extend the defenses at the position occupied by Colonel Green and Lieutenant-Colonels Hull and Brace. The activity and zeal of these commands in putting the bales in position reflect the greatest honor upon them. I directed them to be used as portable breastworks, to be pushed forward towards the enemy’s lines in parallel approaches. The disclosure of the hemp defenses or approaches, as they might be called, elicited the obstinate resentment of the enemy, who was profuse in the bestowal of round and grape shot, and was not at all economical of his minie balls; but our men, gallantly led by their officers, continued to approach the enemy, pouring in upon him a most destructive fire until about 2 o’clock p. m., when he surrendered.

The loss sustained by my division in the entire engagement was: Killed, 11; severely wounded, 18; slightly wounded, 26; making a total of casualties, 55.* I regret to state that among the killed were Lieutenant John W. Mason, of Saint Charles County, an officer of Lieutenant-Colonel Hull’s battalion, and Sergt. Maj. W. A. Chappell, of Colonel MacDonald’s regiment, both of which officers fell while gallantly leading and encouraging their men. Among so many officers and men who are entitled to honorable mention for gallant and distinguished services to make mention of a few appears like discrimination, yet I cannot refrain from mentioning the names of Colonel Green and Lieutenant-Colonel Brace and Lieutenant-Colonels Hull and Porter. Both of the latter-named gentlemen were wounded severely in the head by shot from the enemy. Lieutenant-Colonel Grimshaw severely sprained his ankle while gallantly rallying his men. Major Milton, of the Callaway Rangers, aided gallantly in the recapture of the hospital. Captain Robinson, of the Callaway infantry, deserves honorable mention for his zeal and cool, deliberate courage. Colonel MacDonald faithfully and in a soldierly manner gallantly repelled several severe assaults from the enemy. Colonel Franklin, of Schuyler County, Captain McCulloch, Captain Davis, Captain Richardson (severely wounded), Captain Grant, and Adjt. William F. Davis, all of Colonel Green’s regiment, are entitled to honorable {p.193} mention for their gallantry, zeal, and great endurance. Captain Kneisley, who commanded my artillery, won my approbation by his energy, coolness, and courage. The men all behaved admirably. To the officers of my staff I feel under especial obligations for their zeal, intelligence, and courage in carrying my plans and instructions into execution. Lieutenant-Colonels Vowles and Pittman, my aides-de-camp; Capts. George A. Turner and C. M. Randolph, my additional aides-de-camp; and Provost Marshal Pindall, who was knocked down by a ball during the heat of the action, were all alike inexhaustible in their energy, courage, and perseverance, while the excellent condition of my wounded fully commends the skill, attention, and industry of Surgeon Bailey and his corps of assistants to my most favorable consideration.

Respectfully,

THOMAS A. HARRIS, Brigadier-General, Second Division Missouri State Guard.

Maj. Gen. STERLING PRICE, Commanding Missouri State Guard.

* Nominal list omitted.

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SEPTEMBER 17, 1861.–Action at Blue Mills Landing, Mo.

REPORTS.

No. 1.–Lieut. Col. John Scott, Third Iowa Infantry.
No. 2.–“General” D. R. Atchison, Confederate service.

No. 1.

Report of Lieut. Col. John Scott, Third Iowa Infantry.

HDQRS. THIRD REGIMENT IOWA VOLUNTEERS, Liberty, September 18, 1861.

SIR: In relation to an affair of yesterday which occurred near Blue Mills Landing, about 5 miles from this place, I have the honor to report:

Agreeably to your orders I left Cameron at 3 p. m. of the 15th inst., and through a heavy rain and bad roads made but 7 miles during that afternoon. By a very active march on the 16th I reached Centreville, 10 miles north of Liberty, by sunset, where the firing of cannon was distinctly heard in the direction of Platte City, which was surmised to be from Colonel Smith’s Sixteenth Illinois command. Had sent a messenger to Colonel Smith from Hainesville, and sent another from Centreville, apprising him of my movements, but got no response. On the 17th, at 2 a. m., started from Centreville for Liberty, and at daylight the advanced guards fell in with the enemy’s pickets, which they drove in and closely followed. At 7 a. m. my command arrived at Liberty, and bivouacked on the hill north of and overlooking the town. I dispatched several scouts to examine the position of the enemy, but could gain no definite information. They had passed through Liberty during the afternoon of the 16th to the number of about 4,000, and taken the road to Blue Mills Landing, and were reported as having four {p.194} pieces of artillery. At 11 o’clock a. m. heard firing in the direction of the landing, which was reported as a conflict between the rebels and forces disputing their passage over the river. At 12 m. moved the command, consisting of 500 of the Third Iowa, a squad of German artillerists, and about 70 Home Guards, in the direction of Blue Mills Landing. On the route learned that a body of our scouts had fallen in with the enemy’s pickets, and lost 4 killed and 1 wounded. Before starting dispatched courier to Colonel Smith to hasten his command. About 2 miles from Liberty the advance guard drove in the enemy’s pickets. Skirmishers closely examined the dense growth through which our route lay, and at 3 p. m. discovered the enemy in force, concealed on both sides of the road, and occupying the dry bed of a slough, his left resting on the river and the right extending beyond our observation. He opened a heavy fire, which drove back our skirmishers, and made simultaneous attacks upon our front and right. These were well sustained, and he retired with loss to his position. In the attack on our front the artillery suffered so severely that the only piece, a brass 6-pounder, was left without sufficient force to man it, and I was only able to have it discharged twice during the action. Some of the gunners abandoned the piece, carrying off the matches and primer, and could not be rallied.

The enemy kept up a heavy fire from his position. Our artillery useless, and many of the officers and men already disabled, it was deemed advisable to fall back, which was done slowly, returning the enemy’s fire, and completely checking pursuit. The 6-pounder was brought off by hand, through the gallantry of Captain Trumbull, Lieutenants Crosley and Knight, and various officers and men of the Third Iowa, after it had been entirely abandoned by the artillerists. The ammunition wagon, becoming fastened between a tree and log at the road-side in such a manner that it could not be released without serious loss, was abandoned.

The engagement lasted one hour, and was sustained by my command with an intrepidity that merits my warmest approbation.

I have to regret the loss of a number of brave officers and men who fell gallantly fighting at their posts. I refer to the inclosed list of killed and wounded as a part of this report.* The heaviest fire was sustained by Company I, Third Iowa Volunteers, which lost 4 killed and 20 wounded, being one-fourth of our total loss.

Major Stone, Captains Warren, Willett, and O’Neill were severely wounded, and also Lieutenants Hobbs, Anderson, Tullis, and Knight. The latter refused to retire from the field after being three times wounded, and remained with his men till the close of the engagement.

Among the great number who deserve my thanks for their gallantry, I might mention Sergt. James F. Lakin, of Company F, Third Iowa, who bore the colors, and carried them into the thickest of the fight with all the coolness of a veteran.

The loss of the enemy cannot be certainly ascertained, but from accounts deemed reliable is not less than 160, any of whom were killed. His total force was about 4,400.

Your most obedient servant,

JOHN SCOTT, Lieutenant-Colonel Third Iowa Volunteers.

S. D. STURGIS, Brigadier-General, U. S Army.

* Not found.

{p.195}

No. 2.

Report of “General” D. R. Atchison,* Confederate service.

* No record of his official status.

LEXINGTON, MO., September 21, 1861.

SIR: in pursuance of your orders I left this place on the evening of the 15th instant, and proceeded forthwith to Liberty, Clay County, Missouri, where I met the State Guard, on the march from the northwest– five regiments of infantry, under the command of Colonel Saunders, and one regiment of cavalry, under the command of Colonel Wilfley, from the fifth district; five regiments of infantry, under command of Col. Jeff. Patton, and one battalion of cavalry, under Colonel Childs, from the fourth district. I delivered your orders to the above commands to hasten to this point (Lexington) with as much dispatch as possible. They marched forthwith, and arrived at the Missouri River about 4 o’clock in the evening, when Colonel Boyd’s artillery and battalion and baggage were crossed over to the south side, where the colonel took his position, Captain Kelly planting his artillery so as to completely command the river. The crossing continued all night without interruption, every officer and man using his best exertions. We received news during the night that the enemy would be in the town of Liberty, about 6 miles distant from Blue Mills Ferry, at an early hour the ensuing morning. We were crossing in three small flats, and much time was necessary to move the large train, of some hundred wagons. Colonel Childs, with his command, had taken post for the night about 2 miles from Liberty, on the road to the ferry. Here he engaged the enemy’s advance or pickets in the morning, killing 4 and wounding 1, with no loss on our side. The enemy fled, and we heard no more of them till 3 or 4 o’clock, when their approach was announced, in large force, supposed to be about 900 men, with one piece of artillery (a 6-pounder). The men of our command immediately formed, Col. Jeff. Patton leading the advance, to meet the enemy. After proceeding about 3 miles from the river they met the advance guard of the enemy, and the fight commenced. But the Federal troops almost immediately fled, our men pursuing rapidly, shooting them down, until they annihilated the rear of their army, taking one caisson, killing about 60, and wounding, it is said about 70. The Federal troops attempted two or three times to make a stand, but ran after delivering one fire. Our men followed them like hounds on a wolf chase, strewing the road with the dead and wounded, until they were compelled to give over the chase from exhaustion, the evening being very warm. Colonel Saunders, Colonel Patton, Colonel Childs, Colonel Cundiff, Colonel Wilfley, Major Gause, Adjutant Shackleford, and all the other officers and men, as far as I know or could learn, behaved gallantly.**

D. R. ATCHISON.

General PRICE.

** A return of casualties for Fourth Division Missouri State Guard reports a loss of 2 killed and 3 wounded in this action.

{p.196}

SEPTEMBER 17, 1861.– Skirmish at Morristown, Mo.

Report of Brig. Gen. James if. Lane, commanding Kansas Brigade.

HEADQUARTERS KANSAS BRIGADE, West Point, September 17, 1861.

Capt. W. E. PRINCE, First Infantry, Commanding Fort Leavenworth:

SIR: The expedition sent out yesterday afternoon, consisting of the cavalry, two mountain howitzers, and two companies of infantry of Fifth Regiment, in all about 600 men, against an encampment of the enemy at Morristown, in Cass County, 5 miles from the border, has this moment returned. They succeeded in routing the enemy, killing 7, capturing their entire camp equipage, tents, wagons, &c., some 100 horses and horse equipments. Our loss is 2 killed, 6 wounded-mere flesh wounds, with the exception of two. One of the killed, however, is Col. H. P. Johnson, who was connected with Colonel Montgomery in the command of the expedition. His loss is deemed by every member of the command as of great importance to the service; as a dashing cavalry officer he had no superior. He was killed, while leading his command, by the enemy in ambush. Details will be given you in my next. I hope you will communicate his death tenderly to his wife, and say to her that his body will be forwarded to Leavenworth to-morrow morning as soon as the coffin is prepared.*

...

J. H. LANE.

* The remainder of this letter will be found under its date in “Correspondence, etc.,” post.

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SEPTEMBER 22, 1861.*– Skirmish at, and destruction of, Osceola, Mo.

* Date not positively determined; it may have been September 20 or 24.

Report of Brig. Gen. James H. Lane, commanding Kansas Brigade.

CAMP MONTGOMERY, September 24, 1861.

SIR: Your dispatch of September 18 is this moment received. My brigade is now marching to this point from Osceola, where I have been on a forced march, expecting to cut off the enemy’s train of ammunition. The enemy ambushed the approaches to the town, and after being driven from them by the advance under Colonels Montgomery and Weer, they took refuge in the buildings of the town to annoy us. We were compelled to shell them out, and in doing so the place was burned to ashes, with an immense amount of stores of all descriptions. There were 15 or 20 of them killed and wounded; we lost none. Full particulars will be furnished you hereafter.*

...

J. H. LANE.

Major-General FRÉMONT, Commanding Western Department.

* Further reports not found, but see Plumly to Scott, October 3, post. Remainder of above letter in the general correspondence, post.

{p.197}

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SEPTEMBER 26, 1861.–Skirmish at Hunter’s Farm, near Belmont, Mo.

REPORTS.

No. 1.–Brig. Gen. U. S. Grant, U. S. Army, commanding District of Southeast Missouri.
No. 2.–Col. R. J. Oglesby, Eighth Illinois Infantry.

No. 1.

Report of Brig. Gen. U. S. Grant, U. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT SOUTHEAST MISSOURI, Cairo, September 26, 1861.

SIR: For the information of the general commanding the Western Department I have to report that reconnaissances which I have directed for the last two days show the enemy to have abandoned their position near Hunter’s farm. They are now confined in their encampments at Columbus and Belmont. A party of cavalry sent out by my order this morning succeeded in surprising a detachment of about 40 of Jeff. Thompson’s command to-day. I inclose herewith Colonel Oglesby’s report of the result [No. 2.]

I have to report the loss of two good soldiers by the culpable conduct of Lieut. J. W. Campion, Twentieth Illinois Volunteers, on yesterday. Colonel Marsh’s report of the circumstances is inclosed herewith.*

There are two companies of the Seventh Iowa Regiment stationed at Potosi, Mo., which I would respectfully request to be relieved and sent here to join their regiment.

Yesterday a party of cavalry from Columbus came up to the neighborhood of Elliott’s Mills and arrested a farmer there for the crime of loyalty to his country. To-day I directed in retaliation the arrest of two noted secessionists, who were informed that they would be released on the safe return of the Union man sent to Columbus. The party making the arrest went into Blandville and brought from there also a Mr. Blake, who is charged with recruiting a company for the Southern Army. He will be sent to Saint Louis for trial.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Capt. C. MCKEEVER, Asst. Adjt. Gen., U. S. A., Western Dept., Saint Louis, Mo.

* Not found.

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No. 2.

Report of Col. R. J. Oglesby, Eighth Illinois Infantry.

HEADQUARTERS, Norfolk, Mo., September 26, 1861.

SIR: Captain Stewart, in command of the squadron of cavalry that left here this morning, consisting of a small detachment of his own company, Captain Langen’s company, and Captain Pfaff’s company, returned at 5 o’clock p. m., with 4 prisoners and 4 horses and rigging. He met the cavalry of the enemy at the Hunter farm, near the edge of the {p.198} timber, and by a skillful maneuver surrounded and captured a portion of them. Captain Stewart reports some 10 or 12 killed and several wounded; I horse lost. I send the prisoners by the January this evening. Will retain the horses for the use of the cavalry until otherwise ordered.

You will learn from the prisoners that the position of the enemy is unchanged at Belmont. Jeff. Thompson still has only 2,500, 800 cavalry included. I will give no detailed statement, as you will learn all from the prisoners. We are not threatened by them, but the steamer Jeff. Davis is still below us, waiting to be taken. I have sent the German cavalry back to the Point to-night.

Respectfully, yours,

R. J. OGLESBY, Colonel, Commanding, &c.,

Brig. Gen. U. S. GRANT.

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SEPTEMBER 27, 1861.– Skirmish near Norfolk, Mo.

Report of Col. R. J. Oglesby, Eighth Illinois Infantry.

HEADQUARTERS, Norfolk, Mo., September 28, 1861.

GENERAL: Yesterday I sent down 200 infantry to Colonel Dougherty’s regiment (Captain Challenor), to sustain the cavalry if repulsed. At the Beckwith farm, 5 miles below here, Captain Challenor (Twenty-second Illinois Infantry) met the enemy, stationed to surprise our cavalry by drawing it into an ambuscade. Upon the first fire from Captain McAdam’s company [Twenty-second Illinois] the whole force fled in confusion. The enemy were about 400, besides a small body of cavalry. They have never been so near us before. It means nothing more than an effort to catch our cavalry companies scouting the country about Hunter’s farm. We were not troubled by the Jeff. Davis last night, although she was in 2 miles of us a part of the time.

Respectfully, yours,

R. J. OGLESBY, Commanding Forces, Norfolk.

Brig. Gen. U. S. GRANT, Commanding Division.

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OCTOBER 2, 1861.– Expedition from Bird’s Point to Charleston, Mo.

Report of Col. R. J. Oglesby, Eighth Illinois Infantry.

HEADQUARTERS, Bird’s Point, October 2, 1861.

GENERAL: In obedience to your order last night to move with a force upon Charleston to intercept the rebel forces under Jeff. Thompson, I sent Eleventh Illinois Volunteers, 450, Twentieth Illinois, 350, and the Second Iowa Volunteers, 350; total infantry, 1,150; one division of Captain Taylor’s artillery and 100 cavalry, under Captain Stewart; the whole force under command of Colonel Tuttle, of the Second Iowa {p.199} Regiment. The force left here at 3.30 o’clock this morning; arrived at Charleston at 8 o’clock. Colonel Tuttle reports that no enemy has been near Charleston in force. He immediately sent out detachments in every direction to reconnoiter. Learning that about 500 of the enemy’s cavalry would be at Charleston at noon to-day or during the day, he sent forward on the Belmont road a company of cavalry 5 miles to report their approach. The enemy did not reveal itself. At 5 o’clock p. m. the forces were put in motion, and have returned to this camp to-night. From all the information learned through Colonel Tuttle I am satisfied the enemy have not been at Charleston, and will not move by there. Belmont has been evacuated. My impression is they have fallen back on New Madrid.

Most respectfully, yours,

R. J. OGLESBY, Colonel, Commanding Bird’s Point.

Brig. Gen. U. S. GRANT, Cairo, Ill.

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OCTOBER 7, 1861.–Reconnaissance from Cairo, Ill., to Lucas Bend, Mo.

REPORTS.

No. 1.–Brig. Gen. U. S. Grant, U. S. Army, commanding District of Southeast Missouri.
No. 2.–Commander Henry Walke, U. S. Navy.

No. 1.

Report of Brig. Gen. U. S. Grant, U. S. Army.

CAIRO, October 7, 1861.

SIR: Information which I am disposed to look upon as reliable has reached me to-day that the Confederates have been re-enforced at Columbus to about 45,000. In addition to this they have a large force collected at Union City, and are being re-enforced every day. They talk boldly of making an attack upon Paducah by the 15th of this month. My own impression, however, is that they are fortifying strongly and preparing to resist a formidable attack, and have but little idea of risking anything upon a forward movement. Jeff. Thompson and Lowe are no doubt occupying positions at Sikeston and Benton. If the cavalry here were fully armed and equipped, they could be easily driven out. There is no use going after them with any other arm. I had a reconnaissance made to-day to within a few miles of Columbus. I inclose herewith Captain Walke’s report of it. I also have at Charleston a force of some 1,200, all armed. No news of an enemy passing there or having passed. This force took with them two days’ rations, and will return to-morrow, after making a reconnaissance, as far as practicable, in all directions.

Respectfully, &c.,

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Capt. CHAUNCEY MCKEEVER, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Western Dept., Saint Louis, Mo.

{p.200}

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No. 2.

Report of Commander Henry Walke, U. S. Navy.

U. S. GUNBOAT TYLER, Cairo, Ill., October 7, 1861.

GENERAL: Agreeably to your orders of this morning, I proceeded down the river with the U. S. gunboat Tyler and the Lexington, under Commander Stembel, for the purpose of reconnoitering the position of the enemy as far as practicable. When approaching the head of Iron Bluffs we saw the rebel steamer Jeff. Davis, but could not get near enough to be of effective service. Proceeding on till we came in sight of their batteries, about 2 miles above Columbus, we opened on them, and succeeded in drawing the fire of five of their batteries, some of which proved to be mounted with rifled cannon. Four of their shots passed over us, one of them coming within fifty feet of the bow. Not feeling ourselves strong enough to contend with their rifled cannon, we rounded to, and returned to Cairo. When near the foot of Lucas Bend the Lexington and ourselves fired several shell into Camp Belmont, from which they fired several rounds from their batteries; and on our return, just above Norfolk, we brought away two flat-boats, which we deliver subject to your order.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. WALKE, Commander, U. S. Navy.

Brig. Gen. U. S. GRANT, Commanding S. B. Dist., Cairo.

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OCTOBER 12-13, 1861.– Skirmishes near Clintonville and on the Pomme de Terre, Mo.

Report of Brig. Gen. Monroe M. Parsons, commanding Sixth Division Missouri State Guard (Confederate).

HEADQUARTERS, CAMP ON CEDAR CREEK, October 14, 1861.

GENERAL: General Harris’ division and my own camped on Smith’s farm, 5 miles from Clintonville, about 12 o’clock on Saturday last. About 3 o’clock in the evening of that day the pickets of General Harris were fired upon by a few jayhawkers in ambush, who killed I man and wounded 3 others. The cavalry was immediately sent out in force, and scoured the country for miles around, bringing in S prisoners, but we have no positive evidence that they were of the party that fired upon our troops.

On yesterday, about sunset, I received intelligence that another party of jayhawkers, about 20 in number, fired upon 7 of our party, who were over on the Pomme de Terre, about 20 miles distant, foraging for wheat. Two of our men were wounded. The forces that I had at Ritchie’s Mill, about 20 in number, immediately started in pursuit. I also dispatched from this camp 50 men, under Captain McCarey, with instructions to proceed immediately to the mill and occupy it in the absence of the other troops, or, if necessary, move on to their relief. Sufficient time has not yet elapsed for any further report from them.

{p.201}

My commissary is procuring his flour at Ritchie’s Mill, 9 miles distant, and General Harris is obtaining his at Caplinger’s, 5 miles distant, and they are getting on admirably in the preparation of flour. The steam-mill on the Osage, that was occupied by General Harris, had got out of repair, and he was compelled to abandon it without getting from it the quantity of flour that he had expected. I am informed that Caplinger’s Mill will turn him out a fair supply to-day.

We have here an abundance of forage in the vicinity of our camp, and the men and animals are rapidly recruiting. This being the last day allowed us to remain in this camp, I shall to-morrow morning resume the line of march. You will please indicate its direction. I have reliable information from the other side of the Osage, through Major Woods, of Versailles, who arrived in camp last night, that there are no Federals at Warsaw. About 20 are at Cole Camp; none at Warrensburg or any other point on this side of the Pacific Railroad line. They appear to be establishing themselves along the railroad line and on the Missouri River. Their whole force estimated at about 16,000. Major Woods left Versailles on Wednesday last. From the fact that the enemy are scouring the country in which they are located for transportation, I am satisfied that an overland expedition is intended.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. M. PARSONS, Brig. Gen., Sixth Div., Mo. S. G.

Maj. Gen. STERLING PRICE, Commander-in-Chief Missouri State Guard.

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OCTOBER 12-25, 1861.–Operations about Ironton and Fredericktown, Mo.

SUMMARY OF PRINCIPAL EVENTS.

October12.–Advance of Thompson’s (Confederate) forces from Stoddard County.
15.–Skirmishes near and at Blackwell Station and destruction of Big River Bridge.
17-18.–Skirmishes at Fredericktown.
18.–Advance of Plummer’s (Union) forces from Cape Girardeau.
20.–Advance of Carlin’s (Union) forces from Pilot Knob.
21.–Engagement at Fredericktown.

REPORTS, ETC.

No. 1.–Col. William P. Carlin, Thirty-eighth Illinois Infantry, of the capture of Big River Bridge.
No. 2.–Capt. Chauncey McKeever, A. A. G., U. S. Army, with instructions to General Grant.
No. 3.–Brig. Gen. U. S. Grant, U. S. Army, with instructions to Colonel Plummer.
No. 4.–Lieut. E. M. Joel, Twenty-ninth Missouri Infantry, of skirmishes at Fredericktown.
No. 5.–Col. J. B. Plummer, Eleventh Missouri Infantry, commanding, of operations October 18-24, with complimentary letter and order from General Grant.
No. 6.–Col. L. F. Ross, Seventeenth Illinois Infantry, of engagement at Fredericktown, with complimentary letter from General Grant.
No. 7.–Col. C. C. Marsh, Twentieth Illinois Infantry, of engagement at Fredericktown, with complimentary letter from General Grant.
No. 8.–Lieut. Col. W. E. Panabaker, Eleventh Missouri Infantry, of engagement at Fredericktown.{p.202}
No. 9.–Captain W. Stewart, Illinois Cavalry, of engagement at Fredericktown.
No. 10.–Lieut. P. H. White, Battery B, First Illinois Light Artillery, of engagement at Fredericktown.
No. 11.–Col. William P. Carlin, Thirty-eighth Illinois Infantry, of operations October 20-24.
No. 12.–Col. C. E. Hovey, Thirty-third Illinois Infantry, of engagement at Fredericktown.
No. 13.–Col. Conrad Baker, First Indiana Cavalry, of engagement at Fredericktown.
No. 14.–Maj. J. M. Schofield, First Missouri Light Artillery, of engagement at Fredericktown.
No. 15.–Brig. Gen. M. Jeff. Thompson, Missouri State Guard, of advance from Piketon and skirmishes at Big River Bridge and Blackwell Station.
No. 16.–Brig. Gen. M. Jeff. Thompson, of operations October 17-25, with orders and correspondence.
No. 17.–J. R Purvis, Assistant Adjutant General (Confederate), of operations October 12-28.
No. 18.–Maj. D. F. Shall, C. S. Army, of co-operation with Thompson’s forces, October 19-23.
No. 19.–Lieut. Col. Aden Lowe, Missouri State Guard, of affairs at Fredericktown October 16 and 17.

No. 1.

Reports of Col. William P. Carlin, Thirty-eighth Illinois Infantry, of the capture of Big River Bridge.

HEADQUARTERS, Pilot Knob, Mo., October 15, 1861.

CAPTAIN: I have to report that on yesterday evening the conductor of the down train reported to me that Potosi was threatened by a rebel force 400 strong. Believing the report reliable, I immediately started three companies of the Thirty-eighth Illinois Volunteers, under Maj. D. H. Gilmer, by railroad, and four companies of the First Indiana Cavalry, under Col. Conrad Baker. To-day at 10 o’clock I received reliable information that Jeff. Thompson, with a force of near 3,000, was 25 miles southeast of Crossville. Thinking the move at Potosi a feint to draw off my main force, I sent expresses to recall Colonel Baker and Major Gilmer, as I have not sufficient force to guard all the approaches to this place. At 4 o’clock to-day I received a note from Major Gilmer, informing me that the rebels had captured Captain Elliott and his guard at Big River Bridge, 6 miles above Mineral Point, and that he would go on to the bridge and wait for re-enforcements. Being still assured that the enemy design weakening this point to attack it, I reiterated my order to Colonel Baker and Major Gilmer to return, though I deeply regret the necessity of abandoning the guards at the bridge. Three regiments should be sent immediately, also one light battery and 1,000 musket cartridges.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. P. CARLIN, Colonel, Commanding.

Capt. C. MCKEEVER, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Saint Louis, Mo.

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PILOT KNOB, MO., October 18, 1861.

I expect an attack at all points to-morrow morning. I will telegraph you again to-morrow, if communication should not be cut off. If it {p.203} should be cut off, you may infer that the attack has begun. Think we will repulse the enemy, but fear the railroad may be rendered impassable to the battery, which has not arrived.

W. P. CARLIN, Colonel, Commanding.

Captain MCKEEVER.

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No. 2.

Report of Capt. Chauncey McKeever, Assistant Adjutant-General, U. S. Army, with instructions to General Grant.

HEADQUARTERS, Saint Louis, October 22, 1861.

In the absence of General Frémont, I have the honor to report that a force from Pilot Knob, under Colonel Carlin, acting in conjunction with a force from Cape Girardeau, under Col. J. B. Plummer, attacked the enemy yesterday at Fredericktown, about 25 miles from Pilot Knob, completely routing them, killing Lowe, their commander, and capturing four pieces of heavy artillery. The loss of the enemy heavy; ours small. Major Gavitt and Captain Highman, First Indiana Cavalry, were killed in charge on the rebel battery.

C. MCKEEVER, Assistant Adjutant-General.

Col. E. D. TOWNSEND.

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SAINT LOUIS, October 16, 1861.

Brig. Gen. U. S. GRANT. Cairo, Ill.:

Jeff. Thompson, with between two and three thousand men, is at Farmington, 20 miles east of Ironton. Send as large a force as you can from Cape Girardeau, in the direction of Ironton or Pilot Knob, to cut off his retreat into Arkansas.

By order of Major-General Frémont:

C. MCKEEVER, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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SAINT LOUIS, October 18, 1861.

Brig. Gen. U. S. GRANT, Cairo, Ill.:

Colonel Carlin has been driven back towards Pilot Knob by Jeff. Thompson, who is reported to have 5,000 men and four pieces of artillery. I have sent two regiments of infantry and a battery of light artillery from here to re-enforce him. Send additional force from Cairo or Cape Girardeau if it can be done with safety.

C. MCKEEVER, Assistant Adjutant-General.

{p.204}

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No. 3.

Report of Brig. Gen. U. S. Grant, U. S. Army, with instructions to Colonel Plummer.

CAIRO, ILL., October 18, 1861.

I have reliable information that Thompson and Lowe have less than 3,000 men. I have sent a force through to drive them from their haunt. It would not be prudent to send more from here.

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Captain MCKEEVER.

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HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT SOUTHEAST MISSOURI, Cairo, Ill., October 16, 1861.

Col. J. B. PLUMMER, Commanding Forces Cape Girardeau, Mo.:

COLONEL: A dispatch, just received from department headquarters, informs me that Jeff. Thompson, with between two and three thousand men, is at Farmington, Mo., and directs that I send such force as can be spared from Cape Girardeau to cut off his retreat.

I send you, in addition to the force now under your command, one regiment of infantry, one squadron of cavalry, and one section of artillery. With this force and the able-bodied men of two other regiments it will give you a force sufficient to meet Thompson, and leave sufficient force at the Cape.

The expedition should be moved with all dispatch, taking as many days’ rations as you can find transportation for. Should it become necessary, you are authorized to press into the service of the United States such private teams as the good of the service may require.

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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CAIRO, ILL., October 18, 1861.

Col. J. B. PLUMMER, Commanding Expedition, U. S. Forces, S. B. Missouri:

COLONEL: Colonel Buford has just returned from his expedition up the river, and reports that you had been informed that General Hardee was at Greenville, with a force of 5,000 men. Hardee has not been in Greenville for three or four weeks. He has been in Columbus, Ky., until quite lately, and is now with Buckner, General Sherman informs me, threatening Louisville.

I am satisfied that you can have no force to contend against but Thompson’s and Lowe’s. I feel but little confidence in your even seeing them, but information just received from Saint Louis reports Thompson as fortifying Fredericktown. You will, therefore, march upon that place, unless you should receive such information on your march as to indicate a different locality for the ubiquitous individual.

It is desirable to drive out all armed bodies now threatening the Iron Mountain Railroad, and destroy them if possible.

Having all confidence in your skill and discretion, I do not want to {p.205} cripple you by instructions, but simply give you the objects of the expedition and leave you to execute them. It is desirable, however, that you should communicate with the commanding officer at Pilot Knob, and return as soon as you may feel that point secure. It is not necessary that you should march your force in for that purpose, but simply communicate by letter from Fredericktown or such point as you may make in the expedition.

Yours, truly,

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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No. 4.

Reports of Lieut. B. M. Joel, Twenty-ninth Missouri Infantry, of skirmishes at Fredericktown.

PILOT KNOB, October 17, 1861.

From a conversation I have just had with Major Gavitt, of the First Indiana Cavalry, and who was in command in the engagement this morning, I learn that he made the attack with his cavalry at 4 this morning, and discovering the strength and position of the enemy, fell back until he came on Colonel Alexander, with 600 of the Twenty-first Infantry and one piece of artillery, the enemy following and fighting all the way. He got his gun in position and infantry in ambush. He made part of his command retreat, and the enemy followed into the ambush laid for them. They suffered severely, and fell back with heavy loss. If you will attack them in the rear, and with our force in front, they will be completely at our mercy.

E. M. JOEL, Lieutenant and Assistant Quartermaster.

Captain MCKEEVER.

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PILOT KNOB, MO., October 19, 1861.

The artillery has not arrived yet. I have had all the carpenters I could find working all night making frames for cars, so that we could bring horses, as we had no stock cars. I expect they will be here about 9 this p. m.

We have learned from prisoners which were taken last evening by some of our troops, who passed themselves for rebels, that it was the intention of the enemy to make an attack this or to-morrow morning at four different points. The prisoners also said that they were raising all the men between Pilot Knob and Irondale, and are to make the attack from the north. We have four of them in irons, and one of them is represented as being a captain in the rebel army. Another furnished a guide to our officers to go and burn the bridge. Colonel Carlin had intended to march all the force he could spare against the enemy this morning, but in consequence of the information received he has retained them. Let us have our artillery, and there is no fear but we can hold this place against all the force the enemy has within 30 miles of this point.

We have received information since yesterday that the enemy has been re-enforced, and has at Fredericktown about 7,000, and at Centreville {p.206} 2,000, and they had a force of 1,000 cavalry at Farmington. These places are on roads leading and diverging to and from Fredericktown. Spies have been sent out this morning, and I will report as soon as they come in.

Respectfully,

E. M. JOEL, Lieutenant and Assistant Quartermaster.

C. MCKEEVER, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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No. 5.

Reports of Col. J. B. Plummer, Eleventh Missouri Infantry, commanding, of operations October 18-24, with complimentary letter and order from General Grant.

HEADQUARTERS, CAMP FRÉMONT, Cape Girardeau, Mo., October 26, 1861.

GENERAL: Pursuant to your orders of the 16th, I left this post on the 18th instant, with about 1,500 men, and marched upon Fredericktown, via Jackson and Dallas, where I arrived at 12 o’clock on Monday, the 21st instant, finding there Colonel Carlin, with about 3,000 men, who had arrived at 9 o’clock that morning. He gave me a portion of his command, which I united with my own, and immediately started in pursuit of Thompson, who was reported to have evacuated the town the day before and retreated toward Greenville. I found him, however, occupying a position about 1 mile out of town on the Greenville road, which he had held since about 9 o’clock a. m., and immediately attacked him. The battle lasted about two and a half hours, and resulted in the total defeat of Thompson and route of all his forces, consisting of about 3,500 men. Their loss was severe; ours very light. Among their killed was Lowe.

On the following day I pursued Thompson 22 miles towards Greenville, for the purpose of capturing his train; but finding further pursuit useless, and believing Pilot Knob secure, and the object of the expedition accomplished, I returned to this post, where I arrived last evening, having been absent seven and a half days. I brought with me 42 prisoners and one iron 12-pounder field piece, a number of small-arms and horses, taken upon the field. I will forward a detailed report of the battle as soon as reports from colonels of regiments and commanding officers of corps are received.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. B. PLUMMER, Colonel Eleventh Missouri Volunteers, Commanding.

General U. S. GRANT, Commanding District S. E. Mo.

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HEADQUARTERS, CAMP FRÉMONT, Cape Girardeau, Mo., October 31, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of my recent expedition to Fredericktown:

I received the order on the 17th instant, and on the following morning marched with about 1,500 men, composed of the Seventeenth and {p.207} Twentieth Regiments of Illinois Volunteers, commanded by Colonels Ross and Marsh; the Eleventh Missouri, under the immediate command of Lieutenant-Colonel Panabaker; Lieutenant White’s section of Taylor’s battery, and Captains Stewart and Langen’s companies of cavalry, under the command of the former, with rations for twelve days.

Learning that Thompson and his forces were at Fredericktown instead of Farmington, I took the road from Jackson to Dallas, for the purpose of cutting off their retreat south should they attempt it. From my camp at Dallas on Saturday night I dispatched a messenger, with a communication for the commanding officer at Pilot Knob, requesting his co-operation, which unfortunately fell into the hands of the enemy, and gave them information of my intention to attack them on Monday morning. On my arrival at Fredericktown, at 12 o’clock on Monday, the 21st, I found the town had been occupied since 8 o’clock that morning by Colonel Carlin, with about 3,000 men, from Pilot Knob. The town people stated that Thompson had evacuated the town the evening before, and was en route for Greenville.

Being determined to pursue the enemy, Colonel Carlin consented to re-enforce me with the Twenty-first and Thirty-third Regiments of Illinois Volunteers, commanded by Colonels Alexander and Hovey; six companies of the First Indiana Cavalry, commanded by Colonel Baker, and one section of Major Schofield’s battery, under Lieutenant Hescock. The column thus re-enforced was put in motion about 1 o’clock p. m., and had not proceeded over half a mile on the Greenville road, when the enemy was discovered in front of us by Captain Stewart, whose vigilance and untiring energy during the whole march was conspicuous.

Colonel Ross, whose regiment was the leading one of the column, immediately deployed it to the left into a lane, and threw forward two companies as skirmishers to feel the enemy, whose exact position and strength it was difficult to determine. As soon as I arrived at the front I directed Colonel Ross to move forward his regiment into the corn field in support of his skirmishers, and ordered up Lieutenant White’s section of Taylor’s battery, which immediately opened fire, and by its effectiveness soon caused the enemy to respond. Their artillery consisted of four pieces, mashed upon the slope of a hill about six hundred yards distant. The principal body of their infantry, under Colonel Lowe, was posted in the corn field to the left of the road. With them the Seventeenth Illinois was soon engaged. The other regiments of the column were deployed to the right and left of the road as they came up. I then ordered forward the Thirty-eighth Illinois from the town, which promptly came upon the field under one of its field officers, leaving there the Eighth Wisconsin, under Colonel Murphy, and one section of Major Schofield’s battery in reserve-a post of honor, though one disagreeable to them, as all were eager to participate in the engagement.

As soon as it was practicable, Major Schofield, of the First Missouri Volunteer Light Artillery, brought upon the field two sections of his battery, under Captain Manter and Lieutenant Hescock, which were placed in position and did efficient service. At my request he then aided me in bringing the regiments on the right of the road into line of battle, and during the remainder of the day he rendered valuable service in directing their movements. In the mean time the enemy were falling back before the steady advance and deadly fire of the Seventeenth and Twentieth Illinois and a portion of the Eleventh Missouri. Their retreat soon became a rout, and they fled in every direction, pursued by our troops.

It was at this time that the enemy’s infantry on our right, where {p.208} Thompson commanded in person, being also in retreat, I ordered the Indiana cavalry to charge and pursue them. Thompson, however, had rallied a portion of his troops about half a mile in the rear of his first position, and brought one gun into battery into the road, supported by infantry on either side. The cavalry charged and took the gun, and were exposed at the same time to a deadly fire from the enemy’s infantry, but as the column I had ordered forward to their support did not reach the point in time, the enemy were enabled to carry the piece from the field. It was there that fell two of Indiana’s noblest and bravest sons, Major Gavitt and Captain Highman.

The rout now became general, and the enemy were pursued by our troops for several miles, until the approach of night induced me to recall them to town. Captain Stewart, however, with his squadron of cavalry, followed them until late in the night, and brought in several prisoners.

One field piece was taken by the Seventeenth Illinois, under Colonel Ross, whose gallantry during the action, as well as his promptness at its commencement, are indicative of the true soldier.

I would remark that Colonel Carlin, though exhausted by a long night’s march, and claiming to rank me, came upon the field during the engagement and reported to me in person for orders, remarking that as I had commenced the battle he would not interfere, and he obeyed my instructions during the remainder of the day.

It is with pleasure that I bear testimony to the good conduct of all the troops under my command and to the promptness with which every order was obeyed. Capt. George P. Edgar, who was my assistant adjutant-general, deserves special notice for the valuable service he rendered throughout the day, as also Captain Taggart, commissary of subsistence, Lieut. L. B. Mitchell, of Campbell’s battery of light artillery, and Lieutenant Henry, of the Eleventh Missouri Volunteers, who acted as my aides.

On the following morning, with the greater portion of the forces, I pursued the enemy for 10 miles on the Greenville road, and sent forward a reconnoitering party of cavalry 12 miles beyond. Finding further pursuit would be useless, and having but four days’ rations for my command, I returned to Fredericktown the next day, and on the morning of the 24th instant commenced my march for this place, where I arrived the following evening.

There were taken upon the field 80 prisoners, of whom 38 were wounded, and left at Fredericktown. Our loss consisted of 6 killed and 60 wounded. The enemy’s force was about 4,000 men, though some of their wounded stated it was 6,000. Their loss was very great. One hundred and fifty-eight of their dead were buried by our troops before my departure from Fredericktown, and many other bodies had been found.

I herewith append the reports of Colonels Ross, Marsh, Hovey, Baker, Lieutenant-Colonel Panabaker, Major Schofield, Captain Stewart, and Lieutenant White, to which I would respectfully refer you for the operations of their respective commands.

Before closing this report I feel it but proper to revert to some events which followed the victory, for the purpose of correcting many misrepresentations in regard to them. I learned from Drs. Gaulding and Lamden, who came into Fredericktown after the battle, with a flag of truce, for the purpose of obtaining the body of Colonel Lowe and burying their dead, that Thompson left the town with his forces the evening previous, and marched about 10 miles towards. Greenville, where he left his train. He then proceeded by another road to the point where he expected to find me encamped, intending to attack me at daylight in the morning, but, finding I had taken a different route, he returned without passing through the town, and assumed the position he occupied at 9 o’clock a. m.

The soldiers, after their return to town, believing the citizens, who nearly all sympathized with the enemy, had co-operated with them in their endeavor to lead us into an ambuscade, became exasperated, and some few acts of violence ensued. Six or seven buildings were burned. I exerted myself with many of the officers, to put a stop to the incendiarism, and finally succeeded. I will not attempt to justify such acts of violence; but if anything could palliate them, it would be the deserted homes and desolate fields of our Union friends which I witnessed upon the march.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. B. PLUMMER, Colonel Eleventh Missouri Volunteers, Comdg.

ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL, Hdqrs. District S. B. Missouri, Cairo, Ill.

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HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT SOUTHEAST MISSOURI, Cairo, Ill., October 27, 1861.

Col. J. B. PLUMMER, Comdg. U. S. Forces, Cape Girardeau, Mo.:

COLONEL: Your report of the expedition under your command is received. I congratulate you and the officers and soldiers of the expedition upon the result.

But little doubt can be entertained of the success of our arms when not opposed by very superior numbers, and in the action of Fredericktown they have given proof of courage and determination which shows. that they would undergo any fatigue or hardship to meet our rebellious brethren, even at great odds. Our loss, small as it is, is to be regretted; but the friends and relatives of those who fell can congratulate themselves, in the midst of their affliction, that they fell in maintaining the cause of constitutional freedom and the integrity of a flag erected in the first instance at a sacrifice of many of the noblest lives that ever graced a nation.

In conclusion, say to your troops that they have done nobly. It goes to prove that much more may be expected of them when the country and our great cause calls upon them.

Yours, &c.,

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General, Commanding..

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. -.}

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT S. E. Mo., Cairo, November 23, 1861.

Leave of absence for seven days, with permission to apply for an extension of thirty days, is hereby granted Col. J. B. Plummer, Eleventh Missouri Volunteers.

Colonel Plummer having filled the position of colonel of regiment and commander of an important post most efficiently for over two months, {p.210} whilst only holding a recognized commission of captain, I would particularly urge that the extension asked for be granted.

I would further most heartily recommend that Colonel Plummer be returned to this command with his rank confirmed by competent authority. This I conceive due him for gallantry displayed in the battle of Wilson’s Creek, where he received a wound, and for the entire credit which is due him for bringing on and fighting the battle of Fredericktown, where our arms were covered with an important victory.

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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No. 6.

Report of Col. L. F. Ross, Seventeenth Illinois Infantry, of engagement at Fredericktown, with complimentary letter from General Grant.

HDQRS, SEVENTEENTH REGIMENT ILLINOIS VOLS., Camp Frémont, Cape Girardeau, Mo., October 28, 1861.

SIR: In obedience to your orders I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations and movements of the Seventeenth Regiment Illinois Volunteers during the engagement with the enemy near Fredericktown, Mo., on the 21st instant:

At 1 o’clock p. m. on that day, agreeably to your order, I moved forward from Fredericktown on the road to Greenville with the troops under your command from Cape Girardeau, the Seventeenth Regiment Illinois Volunteers in advance, preceded by two companies of cavalry as an advance guard. On advancing about 1 mile in that direction, Captain Stewart of the cavalry, who was leading the advance guard, halted his command, and informed me that the enemy was in sight in front, and that he suspected an ambuscade. On advancing to the front, and observing the enemy at three different points, I considered it prudent to prepare for action, and immediately dispatched a messenger to advise you of the appearance of the enemy; filed my regiment into a lane to the left under cover; deployed my two right companies, A and F, as skirmishers, and directed them to advance; ordered my left company (B) forward, to form on the left of A and F, and to advance also as skirmishers.

At this period you appeared on the field, and I informed you of the steps I had taken in the matter, of which you approved. While my skirmishers were advancing under Major Smith, I returned to the main road, to attend to placing the artillery in proper position. Met Lieutenant White advancing with a section of Taylor’s battery; ordered one piece stationed in the road and to open fire with grape shot on what I supposed to be a masked battery directly in our front, and commanding the entire road to the village, but the gunner being of opinion that grape shot would not be effective at that distance, by my direction he loaded with round shot and opened fire. After firing two rounds the enemy responded, the ball passing considerably above us.

Having satisfied myself of the existence of a battery, I returned to my regiment to form for action. Before we were fairly formed the skirmishers sent forward had met those of the enemy, received their fire, and were returning it promptly with warmth and zeal. I moved rapidly forward to their support. The two right companies of skirmishers, {p.211} A and F, having met a superior force, were checked in their advance, closed intervals, and formed on the right of the regiment in line of battle. A brisk fire was now opened by my entire command on the forces of Colonel Lowe, who occupied a position directly in front and under cover of a rail fence. The firing was continued with activity on both sides for thirty-five to forty minutes. My left company of skirmishers continued to advance until they turned the right flank of the enemy, commanded by Colonel Lowe.

At this time I received an order for a force to support a battery in my rear. As Company A had suffered more severely than any other from the first fire of the enemy, I ordered it back for that purpose. The enemy now began to retire from their cover, when our fire on them proved most destructive. Leaving Companies D and I as a reserve, I advanced on a double-quick with Companies C, E, F, H, and K, and took position behind the fence which at first covered the enemy. Company K was now ordered forward to the support of Company B on the extreme left. The advance of my skirmishers was rapid, completely turning the right of the enemy’s infantry, driving them from and capturing one of their pieces of artillery.

The flight and pursuit now became general and the victory complete, Colonel Lowe, the celebrated leader of the rebel forces, was killed while bravely fighting at the head of his regiment. He fell directly in front of our center, with his pistol firmly clenched in his hand and ready to fire. Seventeen prisoners, including two captains, with a large quantity of arms, were captured.

My force in the engagement was composed of all the able-bodied men of my regiment except Company G, which was, by your order, left at Cape Girardeau, to assist in guarding the place. I had in the engagement, officers, 18; non-commissioned officers, 72; privates, 336. Aggregate, 426.

While we rejoice over the decisive victory gained over the enemy, I have to mourn the loss of 1 man killed and 27 wounded. I cannot speak too highly in praise of the conduct of both officers and men under my command. All, without exception, so far as I observed, performed their duty promptly and faithfully. The company commanders speak also in high terms of the coolness and courage exhibited by the men during the engagement. Major Smith and Lieutenant Kimball, acting adjutant, were always at their posts, and aided me materially during the contest in moving the troops, conveying orders, and executing commands. Dr. Kellogg, the surgeon of the regiment, was promptly on the field, engaged in the discharge of his duty. By his efficiency and skill he has established for himself the reputation of a first-class surgeon.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

LEONARD F. ROSS, Colonel Seventeenth Regiment Illinois Volunteers.

P. S.–In regard to the destruction of property by the troops at Fredericktown the night after the battle, it affords me pleasure to state that no member of my command participated in it.

Respectfully submitted.

L. F. ROSS, Colonel.

Col. J. B. PLUMMER.

{p.212}

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HDQRS. DIST. S. E. MISSOURI, Cairo, Ill., October 25, 1861.

Colonel Ross, Commanding Seventeenth Illinois Volunteers:

I am instructed by General Grant to inform you that he has heard with great satisfaction an unofficial, but, as he believes, a reliable report of the recent battle near Fredericktown, and he deemed it a pleasant duty to say to you that he congratulates you upon the brave and successful charge made by you and your command upon the enemy. Not wishing to make any invidious distinction where all of his forces seem to have done so nobly, he cannot but acknowledge that the post of danger and of honor allotted to your regiment as leading the van in the contest was valiantly sustained.

You will communicate to your command the high appreciation of their services entertained by their commanding general, and say to them for him that they have earned, as they deserve, the sincerest thanks of their country men.

WM. S. HILLYER, Captain and Aide-de-Camp.

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No. 7.

Report of Col. C. C. Marsh, Twentieth Illinois Infantry, of engagement at Fredericktown, with complimentary letter from General Grant.

HDQRS. TWENTIETH REG’T ILLINOIS VOLS., Camp Girardeau, Mo., October 26, 1861.

SIR: In accordance with your request, I have the honor to submit my official report of the action of the 21st instant. On Monday, the 21st instant, the regiment marched 12 miles from camp to Fredericktown, where a halt was ordered. After resting about an hour and a half I was ordered with the rest of the brigade to march toward Greenville, and took my place in line in rear of the Seventeenth Illinois, being third in position, Captain Stewart’s squadron of cavalry leading the march. The march had continued scarcely a mile when the column was halted, and information passed along the line that the enemy were in position directly in front. A moment afterwards Colonel Plummer, commanding the brigade, came up, ordered forward Taylor’s section of artillery, and ordered me to take position on the extreme right. While moving to my place the battle was commenced by our battery, which opened on the enemy, and was immediately replied to.

I had but just formed in line of battle when I was ordered to move to the left and support the Seventeenth Illinois and Eleventh Missouri, who were already engaged with the enemy, concealed in a corn field on the left. Assuming the position ordered, I ordered the third division of my regiment to act as a reserve, and deploying the remainder as skirmishers, advanced and engaged the enemy. Shortly after I came into action the infantry of Colonel Lowe commenced retreating from the corn field and the shelter of the fences, which had concealed them. They thus exposed themselves to a raking fire from my left wing, which was poured in with terrible effect. At this point I sent 4 prisoners and 6 of the enemy’s wounded to the rear. While in line of battle and in deploying as skirmishers we were exposed to the enemy’s batteries, which kept up a constant discharge of grape and round shot, which flew thickly around, but, owing to the poor manner in which they handled their guns, we fortunately escaped uninjured. Two grape shot passed through the colors, as did several rifle balls. Shortly after the retreat of Colonel Lowe the firing ceased from the enemy’s batteries, {p.213} and I pushed on as rapidly as possible in pursuit of the forces opposed, who appeared to be retreating en masse, Lieutenant-Colonel Erwin, with the right wing, being on the right side of the Greenville road, and Major Goodwin, with the left wing, on the left side of the same road. My colors were in the center of the road. While moving forward in this manner many of the enemy were killed or wounded as they retreated. Shortly after passing the place where the enemy’s batteries had been, Colonel Baker, with the Indiana cavalry, passed me in pursuit of the retreating forces. I immediately pushed forward to support him. The cavalry had passed me but a few moments when I heard a discharge of artillery and a volley of musketry in front, and almost immediately after Colonel Baker, with a portion of his cavalry, returned, requesting me to hurry forward, and stating that the enemy had planted their batteries in front of him, and that their infantry were behind fences in such a position that he could not charge on them. I at once moved on at a double-quick, passing Colonel Baker’s cavalry, who were drawn up on each side of the road.

At this time Lieutenant-Colonel Erwin discovered from the right a battery a short distance in advance, with the Union flag flying. As he had been concealed from the road for some distance by the timber through which he passed, he supposed them to be some of our own forces who had passed while he was out of sight and fearful of injuring friends, withheld his fire. While still approaching them they limbered up and moved off at a run. At this point several of the retreating forces were killed and wounded. About this time Colonel Carlin, of the Thirty-eighth Illinois, at the head of not more than two companies, came up the road. I pushed on ahead of him, pursuing the enemy. When about 2 1/2 miles from our starting point my left wing emerged from the timber into an open field. At this instant I discovered, a short distance ahead, a number of cavalry, whom I supposed from their dress to be Union troops. I rode up to a house a short distance in front, and inquiring of a woman who was there, was informed they were Union men. I immediately ordered my left wing, who were firing into them, to cease firing, fearful that they would kill our own forces. On riding up to the spot we ascertained from a wounded man that they were the rear guard of the enemy, and that Jeff. Thompson in person was with them. Pursuing them at a double-quick, I succeeded in getting within long range of them at a turn of the road, and fired, killing one. At this time I was about 3 1/2 miles from our original position, and received an order to halt and return to Fredericktown, which I did. During the engagement and pursuit my command behaved with coolness, and my orders were obeyed with a readiness truly commendable, taking into consideration the fact that it was the first time they were ever under fire.

When all do well the mention of individual names is unnecessary. My field and staff were in their proper positions, and afforded me efficient aid in the discharge of my duties. Rev. Charles Button, chaplain of my regiment, was on the field, and was untiring in his efforts to aid the wounded and dying.

I am happy to report only 3 wounded and none killed, which, considering the long time we were under fire, is truly remarkable.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

C. C. MARSH, Colonel Twentieth Regiment Illinois Volunteers.

Capt. GEORGE P. EDGAR, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

P. S.–Whole number engaged, 483.

{p.214}

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HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT SOUTHEAST MISSOURI, Cairo, Ill., November 5, 1861.

Col. C. C. MARSH, Commanding Twentieth Illinois Volunteers:

COLONEL: I am instructed by General Grant, commanding, to extend to you and your command a cordial welcome on your return from the field of battle and of victory. The reports that have reached him from Fredericktown have filled him with the highest admiration of the valor and patriotism displayed by you and your command in that engagement. Amid the gloom that filled the country on the announcement of the reverses of our arms at Leesburg, Fredericktown arose and threw athwart the clouds its bow of promise. It was your privilege to be among the foremost of that gallant band who raised our drooping banner and emblazoned it with victory. The importance of that success cannot be measured by any ordinary standard. It gave new life to tens of thousands of our discouraged soldiers. It crushed out the rebellion in Southeast Missouri; it sustained the prestige of victory to our flag, and not the least of your general’s congratulations is that you have brought back your entire command.

WM. S. HILLYER, Aide-de-Camp.

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No. 8.

Report of Lieut. Col. W. E. Panabaker, Eleventh Missouri Infantry, of engagement at Fredericktown.

HDQRS. ELEVENTH MISSOURI VOLUNTEERS, Camp Girardeau, Mo., October 26, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report that on taking up our line of march for Fredericktown, on the morning of the 21st of October instant, five companies of my command, consisting of Company A, Lieutenant O’Donnell; Company C, Captain Warner; Company D, Captain Hendee; Company F, Captain Singleton, and Company K, Captain Stewart, marched immediately in the rear of the Seventeenth Illinois and in front of the baggage train; and tour companies, consisting of Company B, Captain Weber; Company G, Lieutenant Carter; Company H, Captain Dollahan, and Company I, Acting Lieutenant Hummel, were detached as a guard to the train. About 10 o’clock a. m. I was ordered to detach a company as a guard to the center of the train, and Company D, Captain Hendee, was detached for that purpose. My command was marching in this order when the enemy was discovered. In obedience to orders I immediately formed the four companies that were in advance of the train in line of battle on the right of the Seventeenth Illinois and to the left of the battery commanded by Lieutenant White, and advanced on line with the Seventeenth until the enemy were driven from their position and completely routed, when I received an order to support Lieutenant White’s battery on my right, which I did, and advanced with it to the extreme front and remained with it until the end of the engagement. The four companies guarding the train, under command of Captain Weber, were ordered forward, and joined by Captain Hendee, to support the battery during our advance on the left, and after the retreat of the enemy on our left Captain Weber was ordered and took position in line on the right of the Thirty-third Illinois, and {p.215} advanced under fire of the enemy’s guns until the left wing of the enemy’s line was driven from the field and the rout of the enemy was complete. The four companies in my immediate command occupied a position directly in front of the rebel leader Lowe’s command and of the enemy’s heaviest artillery, and, although exposed to the hottest fire of the enemy, the officers and men fought like veterans, displaying a coolness and bravery worthy of the cause for which they were fighting.

The number of my command, rank and file, was 460, of which only 1 man was killed and 3 wounded.

Respectfully submitted.

W. E. PANABAKER, Lieut. Col. Eleventh Mo., Comdg. in the Field.

Col. J. B. PLUMMER, Commanding Expedition to Fredericktown.

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No. 9.

Report of Capt. W. Stewart, Illinois Cavalry, of engagement at Fredericktown.

FREDERICKTOWN, MO., October 22, 1861.

DEAR SIR: In compliance with your order of this date, I have the honor to report as follows:

My command consists of my first company of cavalry and Captain Langen’s company, called the “Benton Cavalry.” My company consists of 2 commissioned officers and 40 privates; Captain Langen’s consists of 2 commissioned officers and 45 privates. Aggregate, 89. By your order I took the advance at 10 o’clock a. m. on the Greenville road. At a half mile distance I discovered men on the hill in advance of us, and suspected from appearances that a masked cannon was placed to command our approach. Thereupon ordered the cavalry to flank the right behind the crest of the hill, and proceeded myself with Sergeant Goodsell to reconnoiter and ascertain the position of the enemy’s guns, and upon a near approach ascertained that Colonel Lowe, of the enemy, had posted his regiment in and near a corn field on our left, also a body of cavalry on their (the enemy’s) left, which was duly reported to you. Thereon you ordered my command a half mile to our right, to prevent the enemy from flanking us. This position we held until we were ordered to pursue the retreating enemy, which was executed at a rapid rate, 12 miles, until dark, without coming in sight of the enemy, except three prisoners whom we took. We found dead bodies, arms, saddles, and clothing on the road as far as we pursued them, the enemy apparently being in confusion. A cannon shot was fired through our ranks, but no one was killed. Captain Langen lost one man by an accidental shot.

All of which is most respectfully submitted.

WARREN STEWART, Captain, Commanding Squadron of Cavalry.

Colonel PLUMMER, Commanding Forces at the Battle at Fredericktown.

{p.216}

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No. 10.

Report of Lieut. P. H. White, Battery B, First Illinois Light Artillery, of engagement at Fredericktown.

OCTOBER 21, 1861.

Number of men engaged: 2 sergeants, 4 corporals, 26 privates; total, 33. None injured, and all in good order for duty. Twenty-three horses used in serving guns. Ten mules and two baggage wagons. Two 6-pounder brass field pieces, with caissons complete, with the following ammunition...

P. H. WHITE, Lieutenant, Commanding.

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No. 11.

Reports of Col. William P. Carlin, Thirty-eighth Illinois Infantry.

FREDERICKTOWN, MO., October 21, 1861.

I have the honor to report that the force under my command, in conjunction with Colonel Plummer’s command, gained a brilliant victory over the rebel force at this place to-day. The battle raged three hours. The Twenty-first Illinois Volunteers, the Thirty-third [Illinois] Volunteers, the Thirty-eighth Illinois Volunteers, and Major Schofield’s artillery and First Indiana Cavalry displayed great valor, and their respective commanders, Colonel Alexander, Colonel Hovey, Major Gilmer, and Major Schofield, and Colonel Baker deserve great credit for their coolness and zeal in urging on their men. During the engagement not a single retreat occurred among our troops. They constantly moved onward, driving the enemy before them for 4 miles. A charge of the First Indiana Cavalry on a battery was led by Col. Conrad Baker and was a very brilliant affair, but disastrous, as they were fired upon by a very large force in ambush, resulting in the death of Major Gavitt and Captain Highman and 5 men. This battery was driven back and the infantry support routed by the three companies of the Thirty-eighth Illinois Volunteers, under my immediate command. The enemy suffered severely in the affair. As the battle was brought on by Colonel Plummer, and had progressed for some time before I was informed of it (being sick in bed), I deemed it but just to conform to his plan and co-operate with him, which I did to the best of my ability. For the plan of the battle and disposition of the forces you are referred to his report.* The conduct of all the troops was admirable, but I wish to refer especially to Acting Adjt. Gen. A. L. Bailhache, my aides, Lieutenants Hoelcke and Willett, engineers, and Lieut. J. Forth, First Indiana Cavalry, all of whom were indefatigable in their efforts to bring up the troops and carry my orders. Major Schofield and his artillery acted with the same gallantry that distinguished them at Springfield.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. P. CARLIN, Colonel, Commanding.

Capt. C. MCKEEVER, A. A. G., Hdqrs. West. Dept., Saint Louis, Mo.

*List of casualties accompanying Colonel Carlin’s report shows the loss in his command to have been 7 killed and 41 wounded.

{p.217}

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FREDERICKTOWN, MO., October 22, 1861.

CAPTAIN: I beg leave to submit the following remarks supplementary to my report upon the engagement yesterday:

The embarrassing relations existing between Colonel Plummer and myself respecting the command induced me to confine my report to the operations of my own troops from Pilot Knob, leaving Colonel Plummer to do justice to his troops. Being senior by commission to Colonel Plummer, I claimed the command, but Colonel Ross, Seventeenth Illinois Volunteers, senior to both, had decided to claim command if Colonel Plummer had been superseded by me. To avoid the vast injury to our cause resulting from such a dispute, it was arranged between Colonel Plummer and myself that one of us should hold this place, with a force sufficient to protect the wounded and to keep communication with Pilot Knob, as well as a support for the main force if it had to fall back. In deference to the greater experience of Colonel Plummer I chose to remain here, detached from my command the Twenty-first and Thirty-third Illinois Volunteers, five companies First Indiana Cavalry, and Schofield’s artillery, to accompany him in pursuit of the rebels. My own regiment, three companies of cavalry, and two 24-pounder howitzers constitute the force at this place.

In a note to you on the 21st I informed you that the enemy had left for Greenville, but a few hours afterwards the cannonading on the Greenville road notified me that they had moved to a new position, where they were met by Colonel Plummer’s advance guard, which had just taken up its march in pursuit of the enemy. The battle was entirely unexpected by Colonel Plummer as well as myself.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. P. CARLIN, Colonel Thirty-eighth Illinois Volunteers.

Capt. C. MCKEEVER, A. A. G., Western Department, Saint Louis, Mo.

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HEADQUARTERS, Pilot Knob, Mo., October 25, 1861.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report my return to this place with the last of my force from Fredericktown, excepting Captain Hawkins’ cavalry company, which I left there to procure transportation for a few sick men and to bring them in. In my last report I informed you that I had detached the Twenty-first and Thirty-third Illinois Volunteers, the First Indiana Cavalry, and Schofield’s artillery, to accompany Colonel Plummer in pursuit of Thompson. After one day’s march the colonel decided to discontinue the pursuit, and returned on the 23d to Fredericktown. On the 24th I sent the same force above mentioned into this place, remaining at Fredericktown with my regiment, two companies of cavalry, and two 24-pounder howitzers, all of which I brought in to-day with the exception mentioned.

The prisoners not wounded were delivered to Colonel Plummer, who took them to Cape Girardeau to work on the fortifications. The wounded prisoners I left at Fredericktown in the hands of competent physicians, and well provided for generally. They are under oath to deliver themselves to me on recovery. There are 34 sick and wounded prisoners, and near 40 with Colonel Plummer. During the 22d, 23d, and 24th we were burying the dead and bringing in the wounded of the enemy. The longer we remained the nearer we could approach to accurate estimate {p.218} of their loss, and I find that it was much greater than we at first supposed. It may be safely stated at 300. Many are believed still to be in the woods.

In this connection I deem it proper to report that I ordered the destruction of two lead furnaces near Fredericktown, which had been supplying the rebels with lead, and which, from all I could learn, had long since refused to ship it to the Mississippi.

I have no reliable information of Thompson’s whereabouts since his arrival at Greenville. His forces were thoroughly demoralized, but he will probably be able to collect the majority of them. Two regiments of Arkansas cavalry had joined him, one of which was actually within 12 miles of this place on the day of battle. The prisoners informed me that it was his intention to attack this place, and I have no doubt that the attack would have taken place ere this if we had not marched on him first.

The defeat of the rebels has had a marked effect on the resident population, making Union men, by profession at least, of all of them.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. P. CARLIN, Colonel Thirty-eighth Illinois Volunteers, Commanding. Captain C. MCKEEVER, A. A. G.

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PILOT KNOB, October 26, 1861.

I have returned with all my force. Colonel Plummer discontinued the pursuit of Thompson after the 22d. Thompson has gone through the swamps with his troops as rapidly as possible. The Arkansas troops have also gone home rapidly.

W. P. CARLIN, Colonel, Commanding.

Captain C. MCKEEVER, Assistant Adjutant– General, Saint Louis, Mo.

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HEADQUARTERS, Pilot Knob, Mo., December 15, 1861.

SIR: I feel compelled to make the following statement supplementary to my report in regard to the battle of Fredericktown, Mo., October 21, 1861, to correct certain inaccuracies contained in the reports of Col. J. B. Plummer and officers of his command:

On the 20th of October, having ascertained the precise location of Thompson’s camps and guns, I marched for Fredericktown with the Eighth Wisconsin Volunteers, the Twenty-first Illinois, parts of the Thirty-third and Thirty-eighth Illinois Volunteers, 350 of the First Indiana Cavalry, Captain Hawkins’ company of Missouri Cavalry, Captain Manter’s battery of Missouri Light Artillery, and two 24-pounder howitzers, under Lieut. C. W. Purcell. Total, 3,000 men. It was my intention to surprise and attack the enemy at daylight. His camp extended from the bridge over St. Francis River, on the Pilot Knob road, for three-fourths of a mile to the center of the town, where his guns were all posted on the four main streets leading from the court-house– north, south, east, and west. At a ford a quarter of a mile below the bridge I would have crossed half my force to proceed near the town to {p.219} cut off retreat southward and to attack the camps on the south side, while I, with the other half would have crossed the bridge, attacked the enemy on the flank, and marched up the road to the town. When it is remembered that Colonel Plummer, with 1,500 men, arrived at Fredericktown between 9 and 10 o’clock of the 20th from the southeast, and that a retreat northward was impossible, it is evident that Thompson’s whole army would have been captured if my plan had not been thwarted. Marching all night, excepting such halts as were necessary to prevent a too early arrival at Fredericktown, I arrived at the usual picket stations of the enemy, but found them deserted. I proceeded on cautiously to the bridge, but still saw no enemy. I entered the town, and to my great surprise and annoyance I found that at 2 o’clock on the 20th the enemy had marched farther south on the Greenville road. This sudden move, which seemed to make my expedition fruitless, was caused by the unfortunate circumstance reported by Colonel Plummer, viz, he had sent a dispatch for me directly through the enemy’s camp, which gave them information of our movement, and of course deranged all my plans. Having arranged for a surprise, I took only two days’ rations in haversacks and five ambulance wagons, and was not prepared for pursuit, having my provision train laden, but ordered not to start till further orders.

The above statement explains why Thompson’s army was not captured. Colonel Plummer having provisions in abundance, I gave him a portion of my command to take in pursuit, intending to wait for my supply train before starting myself. About three-fourths of a mile south of the town, as stated by Colonel Plummer, his advance guard discovered the enemy, and he brought on the action, and I sent orders to all the troops by his staff officers, both my command and his, but he sent no message to me, though he knew I was his senior as a volunteer colonel, even if his rank had any effect, having been appointed by General Frémont.

Hearing the cannonading, I immediately gave orders to all the troops in town to march to the battle-field, except the Eighth Wisconsin and two 24-pounder howitzers, which were to remain to hold the town and as a reserve, and then proceeded as rapidly as possible to the point where the battle was progressing. Finding that Colonel Plummer had sent orders to all the troops, that he seemed determined not to respect my rights but to hold command, and caring more for success to our cause than for the honors of command, I withdrew to my own regiment, having first placed that on the left to guard against a flank movement of the enemy. After the enemy had given way on the left I marched with my regiment on his trail till I reached the main road, which I crossed into the field on the right, when we found the enemy had made a stand with his artillery, supported by infantry. He soon fled on south, followed by my regiment as well as nearly all our forces, who had then crowded into the road. It was here, about 3 miles from the town, where our pursuit ceased, and where Col. C. C. Marsh, of the Twentieth Illinois, very irrelevantly and untruly says, “Colonel Carlin, Thirty-eighth Illinois Volunteers, came up with not more than two companies of his regiment.” Not only my regiment, but the Thirty-third Illinois and First Indiana Cavalry, were as near me as the crowded state of the road would permit. On my return from the pursuit I met Colonel Plummer and staff going south. Considering the great forbearance I had shown towards him, I was prepared to receive a positive order from him, which, however, he did give, to wit: to go with my regiment to the right on an old road for a mile or more, to see if the {p.220} enemy had left that locality. Taking the order as a suggestion I acted on it, though I suspected at the time the colonel’s object was more to see if I would submit to his command than for purposes of utility. But I was determined not to have a public quarrel before our troops. This is the only foundation in truth for Colonel Plummer’s statement that I obeyed his orders that day.

After the fight was over I informed Colonel Plummer that there must be no further misunderstanding about our rank. He then candidly admitted that I ranked him, but that it was arranged between Colonel Ross, Seventeenth Illinois Volunteers, and himself, that if I assumed command over him (Plummer), Ross would take command over me-Ross’ commission as colonel being older than mine. By the unceasing importunities of Capt. George P. Edgar, acting assistant adjutant-general to Colonel Plummer, some of the colonels under my command were induced to report to him the operations of their regiments, and he even had the effrontery to demand a report from me. The reports of these colonels were all reluctantly given, and some of them not till I had consented to its being done.

Having never been on the battle-field before that day, I was strongly disposed to favor all Colonel Plummer’s pretensions, as he was an older soldier than myself, and had fought with credit on former occasions. But as he has not manifested that sense of justice and delicacy towards me and my command that was demanded by truth, I have felt compelled to make this report, which I desire to be filed in the War Department with Colonel Plummer’s.

On the 22d, being exhausted and sick, I again gave Colonel Plummer a large portion of my command, with which to pursue the defeated army of Thompson, expecting that he would go at least as far as Greenville, 40 miles, where the scattered bands of Thompson’s army would concentrate. I had arranged with Colonel Plummer to supply him from Pilot Knob with all the necessary provisions. He returned to Fredericktown on the 23d, having gone 10 miles in pursuit of Thompson. He wished to turn over his surplus supplies to me, but not needing them, I declined to receive them. If the pursuit had continued to Greenville, half or more of Thompson’s command would have been cut off as they were scattered in every direction, and five days elapsed before they had all joined at Greenville. This report is intended to show, first, why I did not, and why Colonel Plummer did, write an official report as commander of all the United States troops at Fredericktown; second, why Thompson’s whole army was not captured by my force, aided perhaps by Colonel Plummer; and, third, why our victory was so barren of results; and, fourth, to correct several misstatements, injurious to myself, contained in the official reports of Colonel Plummer, Col. C. C. Marsh, and some anonymous publications by officers of Colonel Plummer’s command, and apparently sanctioned by him.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. P. CARLIN, Colonel Thirty-eighth Illinois Volunteers, Commanding Troops from Pilot Knob at Fredericktown, Mo.

Capt. JOHN C. KELTON, A. A. G., Hdqrs. Dept. of Missouri, Saint Louis, Mo.

{p.221}

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No. 12.

Report of Col. C. E. Hovey, Thirty-third Illinois Infantry, of engagement at Fredericktown.

The entire regiment, consisting of eight companies present when the action began, participated. They were first stationed as a reserve in the grove to the right (westward) of the conflict, and after 10 minutes the regiment was ordered to flank the enemy’s left. Moved henceforth on the double-quick. Coming near the troops actually engaged, the regiment was separated into its wings by order of Colonel Hovey. The second, under Major Roe, following the first, under the colonel, at a distance of 100 yards en echelon, passed rapidly up to the enemy’s left by front and occasional flank movements until Company A was near enough to engage the enemy. The company was then detached as skirmishers, by order of Colonel Carlin, of the Illinois Thirty-eighth. Came within range, but Colonel Carlin, mistaking the enemy for Federal troops, restrained the fire. Company C was also detached for the same purpose, but the rapid retreat of the enemy prevented their getting within reach of our muskets. The whole regiment had arrived in good order near the point when the pursuit ended, when the rout was perfect as to end all prospects. Aggregate number of men engaged, 507; missing, none.

C. E. HOVEY, Colonel Thirty-third Illinois Volunteers.

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No. 13.

Report of Col. Conrad Baker, First Indiana Cavalry, of engagement at Fredericktown.

FREDERICKTOWN, October 22, 1861.

DEAR SIR: In the action of yesterday my regiment, consisting of parts of eight companies, was stationed behind the hill, to the right of our artillery, until the order to charge was given. Your order was that four companies of my command should pursue and charge the enemy, then supposed to be in full retreat. Major Gavitt requested me to allow him to execute the order, to which I assented, and told him to select the four companies himself wherewith to execute it. He selected the companies of Captain Highman, Captain Walker, Captain Pace (commanded by Lieutenant Mellon), and Captain Browe, and formed them in the order here stated, the company of Captain Highman being in advance. After the four companies had moved forward, with Major Gavitt at their head, I determined to accompany them myself, and reached the head of the column just as the charge was about to be made. The enemy were in ambush in the woods on the left-hand side of the road down which the column was moving, and also behind a fence at the turn of the road, and nearly in front of the head of the column, and opened a cross-fire upon the companies in advance. This fire checked to some extent the companies of Captain Highman and Captain Walker, and I immediately went back to bring up a portion of the infantry belonging to Colonel Plummer’s command, and at the same time Major Wood and Captain Walker reformed the column, with Captain Walker’s company in front, {p.222} and continued the charge in the most gallant style until they passed the gun which the enemy had planted in the road near the foot of the hill. The cross-fire to which these four companies were subjected resulted in the death of Major Gavitt and Captain Highman and 2 privates, one belonging to Captain Walker’s and the other to Captain Highman’s company, and in wounding 28 others.

After I had brought forward the infantry before alluded to, my command moved forward in pursuit of the enemy without overtaking him, until the order was received requiring them to return. The officers and men of my command received the fire of the enemy with a degree of coolness and courage that won the admiration of all who witnessed it, and their conduct on the field proved their ability and willingness to render good service to the cause in which we are engaged. The death of Major Gavitt and Captain Highman cannot be too deeply regretted, but it is consoling to know that they fell in the front of the battle, gallantly defending the flag of their country. The four companies engaged in the charge consisted of not more than 168 non-commissioned officers and privates, and the whole of my command present on the field did not exceed 360.

Respectfully, yours,

CONRAD BAKER, Colonel; Comdg. First Regiment Indiana Cavalry.

Col. J. B. PLUMMER.

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No. 14.

Report of Maj. J. M. Schofield, First Missouri Light Artillery, of engagement at Fredericktown.

SAINT LOUIS, MO., October 26, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the force under my command during the engagement between the United States troops under command of Colonel Plummer and the rebel forces commanded by Thompson and Lowe near Fredericktown, Mo., on the 21st instant:

Our artillery force consisted of four 6-pounder guns, under Captain Manter, of the First Missouri Regiment, two 6-pounder guns under Lieutenant White, of the Chicago Artillery, and two 24-pounder howitzers in charge of Lieutenant Purcell, of the Missouri Volunteers. The latter were left in position with a regiment of infantry to defend the town.

Lieutenant White’s section and a section of Captain Manter’s battery, under Lieutenant Hescock, assisted by Lieutenant Mitchell, being in advance, were brought into battery as soon as the enemy was discovered, and opened the engagement. They were immediately responded to by the enemy’s artillery, which, however, was so poorly served as to do but very trifling damage.

The other section of Captain Manter’s battery, under his immediate charge, assisted by Lieutenant Schofield, being in the town when the engagement commenced, was quickly brought forward and established upon the right.

The fire of our artillery was very spirited and effective; so much so, that by the time the main column of infantry had been brought forward and deployed it was evident that the way was fully prepared for a general {p.223} attack. This was immediately made, and the enemy’s position carried almost without resistance. With this the fire of the artillery ceased, and it was not found necessary to use it again during the day.

The officers and men of Captain Manter’s battery deserve great credit for the energy and efficiency displayed in organizing a battery from entirely new materials, making the difficult march from Saint Louis to Fredericktown, and fighting a successful battle, all in the space of four days.

Lieutenant White, of the Chicago Artillery, deserves special mention for his efficient service.

Sergeant Donaldson, of the First Missouri Artillery, who acted as my aide during the day, behaved with gallantry and rendered me much assistance.

I have the satisfaction of reporting no loss in killed or wounded in my command.

Soon after the engagement commenced the colonel commanding informed me of his determination to form line of battle in the fields on the right and left of the road and charge upon the enemy’s position, and requested me to assist him by conducting the operations of the right wing. For this purpose he placed at my disposal six companies of his own regiment (the remaining four being left as support to the artillery) and Colonel Hovey’s Thirty-third Illinois, while a squadron of cavalry was properly disposed to protect our right flank. The enemy being destitute of canister and not formidable in bayonets, the battalions were deployed, and, preceded by a line of skirmishers, moved for ward in perfect order, and drove the affrighted enemy from his position without even firing a shot.

The enemy made two attempts to rally in favorable positions, and exchanged a few shots with our skirmishers, but upon the approach of our line broke and fled. He made a stand with his artillery about 1,000 yards in rear of his first position, and gave us a few solid shot without damage, retreating before it was possible for us to reach him.

The retreat now became a perfect rout. I sent a small battalion to occupy a strong position upon our right flank, and the remainder of the infantry pressed forward in pursuit of the flying enemy, and continued the pursuit till recalled by order of the colonel commanding.

I cannot speak in too high terms of the efficiency of the troops whose movements I had the honor to direct.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. M. SCHOFIELD, Major, First Missouri Light Artillery.

Capt. GEORGE P. EDGAR, Act. Asst. Adjt. Gen.

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No. 15.

Reports of Brig. Gen. M. Jeff. Thompson, Missouri State Guard, of advance from Piketon and skirmishes at Big River Bridge and Blackwell Station.

HDQRS. FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT MO. S. G., Camp Spring Hill, Mo., October 11, 1861.

DEAR GENERAL: I march from this point in the morning. I will be at the bridge over Big River, near the tunnel, on Wednesday night, with 500 dragoons. My infantry will be at Fredericktown on the same night. If I succeed in destroying that bridge and the tunnel, I will {p.224} march back towards Ironton, with all the forces I can collect from your district, and hope you will join us as soon as possible, that we may take Ironton and then march on Saint Louis or to General Price.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Brig. Gen. M. L. CLARK, Ninth Military District, Missouri State Guard.

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CAMP SPRING HILL, MO., October 11, 1861.

DEAR COLONEL: I march in the morning. The infantry are to be at Fredericktown on Wednesday night, and I will be with the dragoons somewhere in the neighborhood of De Soto. I will burn and fight back towards Ironton, and, if fortune will only favor us, I hope to take Ironton on Sunday, the 20th instant. Please hurry up the horseshoes, and let me know what has been done towards my little cannon. I have ordered a permanent post line established between New Madrid and Bloomfield, and have made great and radical changes in the different organizations and departments. If I succeed in the adventure I will completely relieve General Price, or be near enough to operate with him.

Yours, &c.,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON. Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Col. M. H. MOORE, Brigade Quartermaster, Memphis, Tenn.

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CAMP SPRING HILL, PIKETON, MO., October 11, 1861-5 p. m.

SIR: I march from here in the morning. I expect to be at the tunnel, on the Iron Mountain Railroad, on Wednesday night, with my dragoons, and my infantry is to be at Fredericktown on the same night. My soldiers from Mississippi and New Madrid Counties are very anxious about the safety of their homes, but I tell them they can rely upon your protecting them.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

General A. S. JOHNSTON, C. S. A., Columbus, Ky.

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HDQRS. FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT MO. S. G., Camp Smith, Saint Francois County, Tuesday, October 15, 1861-6 p. m.

DEAR SIR: My men being more anxious to fight than I anticipated, traveled so fast that I reached the Big River Bridge, near Blackwell Station, two days ahead of my appointed time (Wednesday night), having reached there at daybreak this morning. I sent a portion of the Second Regiment Dragoons around to make the attack upon a stone redoubt which the enemy had built on the north side of the bridge, and a portion of the Third Regiment advanced upon the railroad from {p.225} the south. Just after daybreak the Second charged upon the redoubt and carried it by storm. The Third dashed gallantly over the bridge, and in 10 minutes after the first gun was fired the enemy surrendered at discretion. I lost 2 men killed and several wounded. We killed a number of the enemy and took 45 prisoners, captured 66 muskets, and a quantity of overcoats, &c.

I had the property carried over the bridge, and then completely burned it down. It was a large three-span bridge, and cannot be rebuilt in months. The property was taken to the Blackwell Station, and while distributing it among the men, and in the midst of the confusion, we were attacked by a company of the enemy, and then occurred one of those bushwhacking fights which proved the mettle of my men. Scarcely any of the officers were about, and but few of the men, and I ordered them to “go in on their own” and each man dashed at them. In 10 minutes we had them in full flight. In this last affair we had 4 men killed and several more wounded, but we killed another lot of the enemy and took 10 prisoners. Not having any means to transport or secure the prisoners, I swore them to refrain from fighting the Missourians or our allies until regularly exchanged. We got all the officers.

This last fight having deranged my plans for intercepting a train of cars and using the engine as a catapult on Ironton, and as the enemy were fleeing both north and south, I have brought my men back into the hills to rest their horses, and strike another blow in a different direction to-morrow. I have them terribly frightened, and if your forces were in striking distance, we could take Ironton in an hour. If my plans do not miscarry, I will take it with my own forces this week. The Mississippians with me acted splendidly, and my Indians with great propriety.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding..

Maj. Gen. A. S. JOHNSTON, C. S. A., Columbus, Ky.

[Indorsement.]

Jeff. Thompson reports two smart and successful affairs, resulting in the accomplishment of an object which has been for some time much desired.

Respectfully forwarded.

A. S. JOHNSTON, General, C. S. Army.

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No. 16.

Reports of Brig. Gen. M. Jeff. Thompson, Missouri State Guard, of operations October 17-25, with orders and correspondence.

HDQRS. FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT MO. S. G., Fredericktown, Mo., October 18, 1861-4 a. m.

DEAR SIR: I reached this place yesterday at 10 a. m., with my horsemen, just in time to find about 1,200 of the enemy marching upon my infantry. My men were prepared to fight, and each party was deployed in less than 1,000 yards of each other, with a little river between. My {p.226} horsemen came with me at full gallop, yelling like Indians. My infantry received us with three cheers, and, as we thundered over the bridge with 500 horses, it had the effect of a Chinese fight, and the enemy retired at a double-quick. My horses were entirely too much worn-out to take advantage of their retreat, but we nevertheless followed them for several miles. Just before my arrival one of my infantry pickets of 30 men laid in ambush until the enemy approached so close that in a single volley, in which but 27 guns were fired, we killed 5, severely wounded 8, and slightly wounded many more, and then fell back, without losing a man. Our surgeons, Poplin and Gaulding, went over, tendered their services, and were kindly received by the commander.

I will remain here until the enemy discovers my weakness. I have been sadly disappointed in recruiting my army, as there are no arms in the country, and the people will not go without they know when and where they are to receive them. I found, however, that the hearts of the people were all right, and, from New Madrid to Big River Bridge, we have been welcomed in the most flattering and encouraging manner.

Had I with me a few Confederate regiments I could take Ironton by Sunday, and capture 12,000,000 rations and an immense quantity of forage, which is being collected for winter quarters. My rapid and unexpected movements have fully convinced them that my force is very large, and I have also exercised my talents upon them with fictitious orders and reports, but I do not feel safe enough to undertake to ship the lead from the mines near here. The reports that come in to-day will influence the citizens, as well as myself, and I may have a week to spare here, in which case I will have a quantity of lead moved south of here, and then I can move it away at my leisure.

If you can spare me one of your brigades I can fall back to the swamps, and, by immediately advancing again with its support, we can take Ironton without any question. My men are perfectly familiar with all the roads through the country, and if my horses are recruited I can easily finish the railroad.

Preparations are being made to winter 10,000 men at Ironton, 10,000 at Springfield, with a large force at Saint Louis. If this is broken up, Southern Missouri will be comparatively free.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

General A. S. JOHNSTON, C. S. A., Columbus, Ky.

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FREDERICKTOWN, MO., October 20, 1861.

SIR: I am still here, but will probably start away to-day. We have intercepted a courier from Colonel Plummer, U. S. Army, to the commanding officer at Ironton, saying that he is marching with considerable force to intercept my retreat (I understand 3,000 men). They were to have encamped at Dallas last night, and say they will encamp within 10 miles of us to-night. I have sent out vigilant pickets to scour the country, and, if the report be true, I will shape my course accordingly. You will please make some inquiries into the matter, and, if they follow me into Wayne County, you will please send out a few regiments into Stoddard County, ready to relieve us or strike at Cape Girardeau. Frémont is too far from railroad and rivers to return to the support, and a little energy will now secure the Mississippi above Cairo, which is as important as Paducah. I have 16,000 pounds of lead secured. I {p.227} have recruited some few hundred, but not as many as I expected, although I hear of many more coming. I will not wait longer for them.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Maj. Gen. LEONIDAS POLK, C. S. A., Columbus, Ky.

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HDQRS. FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT MO. S. G., Camp at Carter’s, Mo., October 22, 1861-8.30 a. m.

DEAR SIR: Having learned on Sunday that the enemy was advancing from the east and west on my position at Fredericktown for the purpose of cutting off my retreat, I fell back southward 12 miles, and leaving my train in a condition to move, I marched back at 1 a. m. Monday, for the purpose of occupying the town with my troops alone, and fighting either party that made its appearance first. The enemy had heard of my marching the evening before, and, by a forced march, occupied the town before I reached it. I could not possibly learn their number, and wasted the whole morning in endeavoring to find out their number and position by spies, but could not succeed. At 12 o’clock I placed my men in position, and then drove in their pickets. They came, and in more than double our numbers, and deployed immediately in our front, and opened with their rifled cannon. We returned their fire with one 12-pounder and one of our sixes. This we kept up for thirty minutes, when their line, having advanced within musket range of Lowe’s regiment (which I had placed in ambush, a considerable distance from our main line), a galling fire was opened upon it, which was only returned when Lowe’s men could get dead aim. The object for which Lowe was placed having been accomplished, he should have fallen back; but, with unparalleled courage, he remained until he was shot through the head and immediately killed, when his men fell back behind my main line. About this time their rifled cannon had found the range of my guns and the main line, and their percussion shells were bursting in quick succession among us. One of them knocked off the two drivers of the limber of the 12-pounder, and the horses ran entirely away, leaving the gun without ammunition or power of motion. It being a double-trailed gun, and all the others being stock-trailed, it was impossible to remove it, and therefore I left it on the field.

Too much praise cannot be awarded to Lieut. Sam. Harris, who served this gun, with but one assistant (the other having gone in pursuit of the limber) until the ammunition in the trail-chest was exhausted. About this time one of the shells, just passing the top of the hill, behind which the Second Regiment was lying down, struck Captain Flourney in the left breast, and, exploding, instantly killed him and Captain Neveille, who was leaning on his shoulder. Captain Flourney was transferred to my command from the Bluff City Grays, of Memphis, and was a gallant young gentleman. Captain Neveille was from Stoddard County, Missouri.

Finding now that the enemy were being re-enforced with a regiment of cavalry from Iron Mountain, I ordered a retreat by the right wing, placing each battalion in ambush, to check a pursuit by their cavalry. I had scarcely placed Brown’s battalion when a charge was made by their cavalry past the fence behind which they lay. When at twenty yards a fire was poured into them, which emptied nearly every saddle. A running fight was continued for nearly 6 miles, my men keeping perfect {p.228} order, except my dragoons, who were completely stampeded several times. I continued my retreat to this place, which is 26 miles from Fredericktown. I will leave here at 12 o’clock to go to Greenville, and then shape my course by the circumstances which arise.

Major Shall has been hovering on the south side of Ironton, with 250 dragoons and 100 Missourians, to assist me, but to-day I have received a dispatch from him that his duty impels him to return to Pitman’s Ferry, to prepare to defend that post, which will be 50 miles in my rear, if I can maintain myself at Greenville. I hope you will send a few regiments over into Stoddard County, to encourage the people, as they may be discouraged by my defeat. I will give you a detailed report of the whole expedition as soon as I reach a permanent camp.*

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Maj. Gen. LEONIDAS POLK, C. S. A.

* See Polk to Johnston, October 23 and 27; and Polk to Thompson, October 25, in “Correspondence, etc.,” post.

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CAMP GREENVILLE, October 23, 1861-7 o’clock p. m.

SIR: I have just been informed that the enemy in strength, say 5,000 men, are in 20 miles of me, with the intention of following me to Pitman’s Ferry. I will start immediately, and go to Bloomfield, as I mentioned in my letter of yesterday, and if the forces I have asked are sent me, I think I can prevent their return to Ironton.

Activity will now accomplish much, and I hope to have your assistance. I will send you information constantly, and if the enemy return, you shall know it. They will try, I expect, to take Bloomfield, and I wish your troops there to disappoint them.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Major-General POLK.

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BLOOMFIELD, Friday, October 25, 1861-7 o’clock p. m.

SIR: I reached here an hour ago, having left my command at Saint Francisville. From what I can hear to-day the enemy have not followed up their intentions of pursuing us, and have returned to the line from Cape Girardeau to Ironton. I have a splendid position for defense or unexpected sortie, and by Monday I hope to begin another march after them if my horses are enough rested. My deserters have mostly come in, and I have more men, and in better spirits, now than ever before, although I did not get as many as I expected in the upper counties, on account of the scarcity of guns. The troops stationed at Pitman’s Ferry have not acted with the gallantry they should have. My adjutant will make a detailed statement as soon as possible. Let me know by courier if any re-enforcements have been sent me, so that I may make my arrangements accordingly.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Maj. Gen. LEONIDAS POLK, C. S. A., Columbus, Ky.

{p.229}

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FREDERICKTOWN, MO., October 19, 1861-6 a. m.

Col. D. F. SHALL, C. S. A., Commanding Arkansas Volunteers, Bailey’s, Mo.:

DEAR COLONEL: Unfortunately I was not credibly informed of your position until a few hours ago. I am sorry that more men arc not up with you, so that the men will not have to be held still so long. You had better assume some defensible position, and only make such demonstration as will amuse and attract the attention of the enemy and prevent his learning of the marches of the infantry and artillery until we are prepared to strike. Communicate with General McBride on the west, and when we all get at equal distances from Ironton, we will march simultaneously. Our support is near at hand, and I hope we will be ready to strike by to-morrow night or Monday. The report that Price has whipped Frémont is currently believed, but needs confirmation. If it is a fact, Southern Missouri is free. Nothing prevented me from whipping the 1,200 troops sent out here on Thursday but the fatigue of my horses, which had just returned from a 200-mile trip. And, although the men were very anxious, and the infantry were quite fretted at my making them stand still, yet I felt compelled to do so, as the other troops on the west and south were not in position. I am here with my whole force, except those left at Bloomfield and New Madrid, to garrison those posts, and I am having lead hauled away. We must keep in constant communication and act as circumstances may dictate. The enemy are reported to have about 15,000 infantry and 1,000 cavalry. We must whip all that come 10 miles out, but it will not do to approach nearer until the definite time.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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FREDERICKTOWN, MO., October 20, 1861.

Col. D. F. SHALL, Commanding Arkansas Troops, Iron County, Mo.:

DEAR COLONEL: You will please carry out the programme indicated on the second page of the letter I wrote you yesterday. Mr. Martin can give you the news of the day, which is not well to trust to paper. Feed high and be ready for active service.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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FREDERICKTOWN, MO., October 20, 1861.

Col. W. G. PHEELAN, Commandant at Bloomfield Mo.:

SIR: You must keep vigilant watch towards Cape Girardeau. The troops from there are marching out to intercept our retreat, and they may make a detour towards Bloomfield to hurry me. Collect in all the men you can. I am in a damned tight place, but I believe I will get out safely.

Yours, &c.,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

{p.230}

P. S-Use all the citizens you can to collect information, and send all that is important and reliable to me at Greenville; also, report the same, by express, to General Leonidas Polk, at Columbus.

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FREDERICKTOWN, MO., October 20, 1861-12 noon.

Col. D. F. SHALL, C. S. A., Comdg. Arkansas Troops, Iron County Missouri:

DEAR COLONEL: You will please take your whole command to Belcher’s, on Cedar Creek, to-night, and await orders there. I will march in two hours, to intercept the march of the troops from Cape Girardeau, and will probably meet them on Castor, and I wish you near enough to co-operate.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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CAMP AT CARTER’S, MO., October 22, 1861-8.30 a. m.

Maj. D. F. SHALL, C. S. A., Greenville, Mo.:

DEAR MAJOR: We reached this point at daylight, and will remain until 12 o’clock, unless compelled to leave sooner, which I do not think is at all probable. Of course you will hear very gloomy stories about our little battle yesterday, but we came out much better than might have been expected, and I am not at all discouraged, and really know that when the object of my forward movement is known, you will give me the credit of a victory. I am anxious that they shall still follow me, as every man brought into this part of the State is that much nearer the Confederate Army, and away from the pursuit of General Price. You will please move your men out to meet us, and picket all the roads well to-night, as my men will then sleep some, knowing that you are on the watch, and to-morrow we will be fresh and ready for duty. You will please send a patrol on the Ironton road until we get into Greenville.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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CAMP GREENVILLE, MO., October 23, 1861.

To the COMMANDANT AT PITMAN’S FERRY:

SIR: I retreated from Fredericktown, with my command, in good order, to this point, where I will remain until to-morrow, and then will take my dragoons northward again, to cut off the detached parties of the enemy, or force them to march southward in pursuit of me. My infantry will leave here to-morrow, via Indian Ford, to Bloomfield passing on the southwest side of the Saint Francis. There are none of the enemy south of the line from Ironton to Cape Girardeau that we can hear of, but I will go up and hunt them to-morrow. Major Shall’s discretion exceeded his valor when he retreated to assist in the defense of Pitman’s Ferry, while I was 60 miles north of there, with a victorious army of 2,000 men (for we were victorious, though we fell {p.231} back from an overwhelming force, that was afraid to follow us). They attempted to advance, but we ambushed them at every thicket and corn field, and have killed three of their men to every man I lost. I have all the roads for 10 miles north of here thoroughly picketed, and if a few hundred of your dragoons were thrown forward, you would be better posted. My men are in fine spirits. Except the loss of Colonel Lowe and of my 12-pounder, I have been a gainer in everything by the fight.

Yours, &c.,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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No. 17.

Report of J. R. Purvis, Assistant Adjutant-General (Confederate), of operations October 12-28.

HDQRS. FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT, MO. S. G., Camp Allen, Mo., October 28, 1861.

SIR: I am instructed by the general commanding this brigade to forward you a detailed account of our movements subsequent to the 12th instant, when we broke camp at Spring Hill, Stoddard County:

On the above date, about 10 a. m., the general, accompanied by 500 mounted riflemen, started in a direct course towards the Iron Mountain Railroad, designing to strike it about 40 miles south of Saint Louis, at Big River Bridge. In the absence of the general, Colonel Aden Lowe, of the Third Regiment Infantry, commanded the remaining forces, which consisted mostly of infantry. He was ordered to make his line of march on a direct route from Spring Hill to Fredericktown, moving only short distances each day, so as to keep the men in good condition, either for a fight or a hasty move, and to halt at that place and await further orders; when he arrived there to use every exertion to collect all the lead possible, and make preparations for its instant shipment. I might state here that we procured 18,000 pounds, and have it safe 10 miles south of New Madrid. In the mean while the general, with the cavalry, pushed ahead at a rapid rate, arriving at the bridge about daylight on the 15th, succeeding in surprising, and, after a short struggle, capturing 58 of the enemy, belonging to the so-called Normal Regiment of Illinois, including 1 captain (Elliott) and 3 lieutenants, who had scarce time enough to run into a low stone fort, which they had established, when our men, at a full run, broke in upon them, with the before-detailed results. We here had 2 killed and 2 wounded, and the enemy lost 4 dead and 7 wounded. The bridge was at once fired, and was soon a complete wreck. Our men at once went to work collecting all the stores of the enemy, preparing them for transportation.

About this time a new foe appeared on the field. Some 80 men from one of the posts above, having heard the firing, came in double haste to the succor of their comrades, and caught our forces in a somewhat scattered condition. For a time the battle was evenly waged, but our men soon collected together and pushed home on them, when they fled in confusion. We here had 3 killed and 6 wounded, and killed 6 of the enemy and wounded quite a number.

We captured, among other things, 50 muskets, 15 overcoats, and a number of blankets. The prisoners were all liberated on taking the {p.232} oath not to serve during the war, unless exchanged. The captured guns belonged to the Frémont purchase of Belgian guns, and are much prized by the men, who used them in the battle of the 21st. During the march of the infantry towards Fredericktown, our scouts brought in 2 Federal soldiers, which they had captured some 5 miles beyond that place, and reported a large party out trying to intercept them. We reached the town on the 17th, quietly went into camp, to await the return of the general.

Early on the morning of the 18th the camp was startled by a quick succession of musket-shots beyond the Saint Francis Bridge, which crosses a river of the same name, a quarter of a mile beyond the town. We soon discovered that it proceeded from our, pickets, who had been driven in by a very large force of cavalry. The enemy sustained a severe loss, as the picket, which was under command of Captain Holmes, consisting of 30 men, gave them a volley at the short distance of 60 yards.

The captain of our little band, as they came out at a dashing gallop, walked deliberately into the middle of the road, and, taking careful aim at a leading officer, shot him through the body. They lost 5 killed and some 15 wounded, while the picket got safely to camp.

The enemy maneuvered about all the morning, seeking to find out our numbers, but refraining from attacking us. As the general had been advised that the enemy was at hand, and as he was expected to arrive at any moment, the colonel commanding did not deem it advisable to assume the offensive, but to await his coming. About 1 o’clock the general rode into camp. At the sight of him, the whole brigade, though ordered not to cheer, broke out in one long-continued shout, which, astonishing to say, so appalled the enemy, that they at once commenced a hasty retreat, and, from all reports we can gather from those residing on the road, they used the greatest diligence in moving their wagons, and seemed to be in considerable confusion. We made hot pursuit, but failed to come up with them, and, after following them several miles, the whole command again returned to camp.

The balance of the day and all the following we were left in quiet; but on the morning of the 20th our pickets arrested a man, whom they discovered, just as the day was breaking, endeavoring to avoid them. When he found he would be caught, he threw away a package, which, on inspection, was found to be a communication from Colonel Plummer, of Cape Girardeau, to the commandant at Ironton, stating that he was approaching our camp with 3,000 men, and asked co-operation. Being thus warned in time, we made all the necessary arrangements to receive the enemy. The safety of the baggage first engaged the general’s attention, for, having once secured that, he could fight or not, at his pleasure. It was soon on its way to Greenville, in Wayne County, the whole brigade accompanying it, but was halted 10 miles south of the town, and here preparations were made to return with all our fighting force to give battle to the enemy, be their numbers what they might. After a rest of a few hours we started, at 4 o’clock in the morning of the 21st, with but 1,200 men, all told, with the expectation of giving fight to three times our numbers, but which we found, shortly before the battle opened, to have been increased to 7,000, and which were further re-enforced during the battle to 10,000.

We arrived at about 11 a. m. within half a mile of the town, and were immediately placed in position. Lowe’s Third Regiment, with Jennings’ and Rapley’s battalions, were posted on the right of the Greenville road, some 300 yards in advance of the Second and Fourth Regiments, which were in position on the left of the same. One 12-pounder, commanded {p.233} by Lieutenant Harris, was placed on a prolongation of the line of the regiments on the left, on the right of the road, 300 yards in the rear of Lowe’s position. The three 6-pounders were placed on or closely adjacent to the road. After driving in their pickets with some skirmishers detached for that purpose, at about 2 o’clock they advanced in force, and showed on the brow of the hill, which hid the town from our view. Soon their cannon were placed in position, and sent shot and shell in large quantities among us. Our 12 and little 6s replied merrily, and at once quite a stampede took place among their cavalry, which had showed incautiously in masses over the hill-top. Our 12-pounder, by its well-directed discharges of grape, prevented their cavalry from charging down the road through our center, which they evidently intended to do, as they several times formed in heavy masses on the road. During the while their infantry advanced down the hill, through the corn field immediately in front of Lowe’s command, which lay concealed behind the fence that inclosed it. The advance guard of the enemy, consisting of one company, halted within 60 yards of the fence, when, after particularly cautioning his men to shoot low and take deliberate aim, the word fire was given by the colonel, when at least 70 of the enemy bit the dust. But a moment elapsed before three full regiments were advanced within shooting distance of our little band of heroes (only about 300 men in all), and kept up an incessant volley of musketry three-quarters of an hour upon them, our men not yielding one inch; the enemy several times giving ground for an instant, but at once returning to their work. They twice gave back. On the authority of Colonel Waugh, the enemy were twice driven back; first one regiment came down the field and sent an advance of one company ahead, which was nearly annihilated; the balance of the regiment advanced, but gave back in confusion, and fled to the farther side of the field. Soon two regiments were seen marching down the field, but soon met the same fate as the first, and only when three regimental flags were seen in the field could they hold their place against our little regiment of 300 fighting men. At first they overshot us (caused as much by the nature of the ground as by defective aim), the enemy being on the descending side of the hill and our men at the foot of the same; besides, Lowe’s entire command were either on their knees or lying down, frequently loading while stretched out on their backs, but only because so ordered to do. Our men assert that the enemy frequently discharged their pieces at a ready, but fired three times to our once. They soon took better aim, and their fire became more destructive; but as the breeze wafted the smoke away at once, and our men continued to take deliberate aim, which their officers kept continually reminding them of, we killed ten to one. About this time the chivalric Lowe was shot through the head and fell quietly to the ground without giving a sign. Though many of the men by this time were out of ammunition, the showed no signs of giving ground, and only when Lieutenant-Colonel Hedgpeth gave the order to fall back under cover of the woods (some 301) yards in the rear, where the 12-pounder was in position) did they move from where they were placed. The principal loss was sustained while crossing the open space-in all, 16 killed. These men, with but few exceptions, rallied immediately in the rear of our lines, and in a short time afterwards were again fully under command. In the mean time shot, shell, and bullets were rained upon the 12-pounder so fast, that the limber was broken and the horses so repeatedly wounded that they could not be held to their places, but ran away with both it and the caisson. Besides, every one about the gun was wounded but Lieutenant Harris {p.234} and his sergeant. The latter, a moment afterwards, was killed while mounting his horse. Harris, all alone fired his gun twice, showering grape among the close ranks of the enemy while advancing upon him. At last his ammunition gave out, and as he stood all alone, resting against a tree, he received orders that if he could not bring oft his gun, to leave it. At this moment Brown’s battalion, which had been placed in the rear of the artillery, came at a run to cover the retreat of Lowe’s command. They attempted to take it off by hand, and actually dragged it up the hill a considerable distance, but were forced to leave it to the tender mercies of the enemy, as they were ordered to take ground to the rear and place themselves in ambush, while Farmer’s Second and Waugh’s Fourth were ordered to cover the retreat, which was at this time commenced in good order. Their cavalry only once attempted to charge (while our sixes were in full retreat), but paid so severely for their temerity, that they were not heard from again, for Brown’s battalion, with one volley, mowed them down as with a scythe; and here fell their major (Gavitt), 1 captain, 4 lieutenants and about 30 rank and file. A private in Brown’s battalion (Prophet by name) leaped the fence into the road and captured the major’s sword, but only after he had thrown a number of dead men off his body, the bullets raining around him all the while. The enemy at this time had outflanked us on the left, our cavalry having retired too soon. But, as they did not appear in great numbers, and our men kept such excellent order and looked so formidable, though they opened upon us, their fire was desultory and quite ineffective. Our men, moving quietly but quickly, not returning the fire of the enemy, were soon out of danger. The enemy is said to have followed us about 10 miles, to where our trains had been left, but which, when we commenced retreating, had been ordered to move on, and were far on the way to Greenville when our little band of heroes passed through in excellent order, and quite satisfied with themselves and the day’s proceedings.

Drs. Gaulding and Lamden, who had been left with our killed and wounded, are just in, and report that the enemy acknowledge to having 8,000 infantry and 2 regiments of cavalry-all infantry commands being more than full. They also had 9 guns, and the whole force under the command of Colonel Ross. Major Schofield had the guns under his immediate care.

We lost 3 men (dead), which were brought to camp. The balance– 17 killed, 27 wounded, and 15 unhurt-all fell into the enemy’s hands. The enemy acknowledge 400 killed and wounded, and were greatly exasperated at the day’s results. They believe we had 4,000 men, no doubt judging by the disposition of our forces, which embraced as large an area as a force of that number would occupy.

Our doctors were very roughly handled by the enemy, losing all their money and both their horses. Dr. Gaulding at one time was arrested as a spy, and remained in confinement several hours. This was, however, after Colonel Ross had left and Colonel Carlin was in command. Eight houses were sacked and burned, with all their contents.

Without further occurrences worth relating, we arrived at this camp on the 27th, and shall remain here a few days to recruit.

Hoping this hasty account of our movement will be satisfactorily comprehensible, I remain, very respectfully,

J. R. PURVIS, Assistant Adjutant. General.

Lieut. Gov. THOMAS C. REYNOLDS.

{p.235}

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No. 18.

Report of Maj. D. F. Shall, C. S. Army, of co-operation with Thompson’s forces, October 19-23.

HEADQUARTERS CAMP HARDEE, Pitman’s Ferry, October 23, 1861.

GENERAL: On the evening of the 18th instant received a dispatch from General M. Jeff. Thompson, inviting us to participate in the taking of Ironton, stating that he would burn Big River Bridge, and soon afterwards be ready to attack the Knob. We responded. On the morning of the 19th started with 230 mounted men of the First Regiment (including 40 men of Casey’s company) for Bailey’s, the place indicated by the general; here expected to find troops to act with, or a messenger from him, but neither were there. On the morning of the 20th camped within 8 miles of Ironton, sending forward scouts to within 4 miles of that place; here remained, expecting to hear from General Thompson; did not do so. At 11 o’clock that night started back (just as we started received a vague dispatch); reached the Stoney battery; camped for the night; next day, 21st, camped 6 miles south of Patterson, on the road to Doniphan, and to-day reach[ed] this post about 4 o’clock p. m. While near Ironton learned from a reliable gentleman living within 4 miles of that place that it had been re-enforced with artillery, cavalry, and infantry, and that the force then there was at least 7,000 strong. This is reliable.

Soon after arriving in camp here, about five hours ago, a Missourian came in from Greenville, with news to the effect that Thompson had been defeated a mile south of Fredericktown by a force from Cape Girardeau and Saint Genevieve, and that with the remnant of his command was retreating towards this place. Thompson’s force, from what I learned before the fight from a man of his at Bailey’s, was 700 mounted men and 1,000 infantry. This defeat exposes the post here and at Pocahontas to imminent danger, and to be prepared to face it I am making every exertion my poor abilities are capable of. I have made a call upon the people of the State generally, the governor, and some individuals of prominence. Hope to be able to hold our position at Pocahontas, to which point will fall back immediately. Captain Bridewell having taken all the teams and himself off in violation of orders, leaves me crippled in the way of transportation. Can you not and will you not help us?

In haste, your obedient servant,

D. F. SHALL, Major, Commanding Post.

General HARDEE, Memphis, Tenn.

P. S.–Colonel Borland will probably be here in a few days.

[Indorsement.]

Respectfully forwarded.

Before leaving Pitman’s Ferry, I gave orders to have all the stores of every description removed to Pocahontas, which is in steamboat communication, usually about twice a week, with Jacksonport and Memphis. It is 110 miles from Trenton to Pocahontas. I feel no apprehension that the force I left there will be attacked, or, if attacked, that it will not be able to make a successful resistance. This force consisted of 7 companies cavalry of Borland’s regiment and 4 companies infantry of McCarver’s {p.236} and I independent company of infantry under Captain Roberts. I also authorized a battalion of infantry, under Desha [?] (5 companies), to be mustered into service, which I presume has been done, as Colonel D. informed me they were ready. It is proper to add that I ordered the company under Captain Roberts to join me here, but it has not done so, nor do I know that it has left Pocahontas. I would recommend that all the ammunition, except a limited supply for the troops immediately on duty there, should be shipped from Pocahontas to Memphis.

Respectfully,

W. J. HARDEE, Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS BOWLING GREEN, November 3, 1861.

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No. 19.

Report of Lieut. Col. Aden Lowe, Missouri State Guard, of affairs at Fredericktown October 16 and 17.

FREDERICKTOWN, MO., October 17, 1861.

DEAR GENERAL: Yours, dated at 7 p. m. of the 16th instant, is at hand. In reply, I am happy to say to you that we are all here, safe and sound. We arrived here about 1 p. m. yesterday. I sent out scouts towards Ironton, and they captured two carbineers. Shortly after the arrival here of our advance guard a party of thirty-five cavalry made their appearance at the Little Saint Francis Bridge, upon the Ironton road, but ran away without harm. They have been seen near here twice since. All is still so far; did not appear to know who we are, or anything of our coming, until to-day. We hope to see you soon.

Yours, truly,

ADEN LOWE, Lieutenant– Colonel, Commanding.

Brig. Gen. M. JEFF. THOMPSON.

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OCTOBER 13, 1861.–Action at Wet Glaze, or Dutch or Monday Hollow, near Henrytown, Mo.

REPORTS.

No. 1.–Col. Grenville M. Dodge, Fourth Iowa Infantry.
No. 2.–Col. John B. Wyman, Thirteenth Illinois Infantry.
No. 3.–Maj. Clark Wright, Frémont Battalion (Missouri) Cavalry.
No. 4.–Maj. William D. Bowen, First Battalion Missouri Cavalry.

No. 1.

Report of Col. Granville M. Dodge, Fourth Iowa Infantry.

HEADQUARTERS POST ROLLA, MO., October 15, 1861.

CAPTAIN: The ambulances arrived to-day from Springfield with 33 wounded. The advance of Colonel Wyman’s command, under command {p.237} of Major Wright-consisting of Captains Switzler and Montgomery’s companies of cavalry-met 500 of the advance of Johnson’s or Churchill’s command 20 miles this side of Lebanon, at a place called Dutch Hollow. Major Wright attacked the enemy and dispersed them, killing 16 and wounding about 30. Our loss was 1 killed and 1 wounded. Major Wright captured 37 horses and 32 prisoners and arms. The scout first arrived from Lebanon reports about 1,500 at that place, under command of Johnson. Drenning, in charge of the wounded, reports a large commissary train on the way to Springfield from Memphis. The stores were landed at New Madrid, and then overland to Springfield.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. M. DODGE, Colonel, Commanding Post.

Capt. C. MCKEEVER, Assistant Adjutant-General, Saint Louis, Mo.

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No. 9.

Report of Col. John B. Wyman, Thirteenth Illinois Infantry.

HEADQUARTERS CAMP MCCLURG, Linn Creek, Mo., October 15, 1861.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report to you that immediately upon the departure of my messenger to you yesterday morning I put my command on the march at 7 o’clock in the following order: Major Bowen, commanding battalion attached to the Thirteenth Regiment Illinois Volunteers, in advance, with his own transportation, then the Thirteenth Regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel Gorgas commanding, immediately followed by its own transportation and that of the commissary department, the rear being brought up by Maj. C. Wright, commanding Frémont Battalion. After seeing the entire column in motion, I started for the head of it, and had proceeded about 6 miles to the point where the road turns off from the route to Lebanon for this point, and had reached the right of the Thirteenth Regiment, when I was informed that Major Bowen had discovered a party of rebels-70 in number-and had gone in pursuit of them towards Lebanon, feeling confident of his ability to cope with them successfully. I turned the column towards this point, and had proceeded about 2 miles when a rapid volley of musketry fell upon my ear. I immediately, turning towards the left of my command, ordered the train corraled at once, and at the same time met a courier from Major Bowen, informing me that “he had engaged the enemy, and that they were from 800 to 1,000 strong; that he had been obliged to fall back,” and asked for re-enforcements. This same message had also been sent to Major Wright, who, with his usual promptness, took two of his companies, himself taking the advance. At the same moment I sent an order to Lieutenant-Colonel Gorgas to send to the support of the cavalry the five left companies of the Thirteenth Regiment, reserving the other five companies, under Major Partridge, as a reserve and guard for the train. The order was promptly delivered to Colonel Gorgas, and as promptly executed. The line of march was at once taken up, headed by Lieutenant-Colonel Gorgas himself; then Company K, Captain Blanchard; Company I, Capt. Samuel Wadsworth; Company H, Captain Gardner; Company G, Captain Cole, and Company F, Captain Dutton, all at double-quick; and to show you the {p.238} rapidity of their movements, I beg to assure you that they made a march of nearly 5 miles in forty-five minutes. After issuing this order I immediately started for the scene of action.

In the mean time Major Wright had formed a junction with Major Bowen, and had made their arrangements for another attack, for particulars of which I beg to refer to their respective reports. Approving of them, I relieved Major Wright of the center command, and ordered him to join the line of flankers thrown out by him, and myself made a forward movement from the center-with one company of cavalry, supported by the five companies of infantry-of about 1 1/2 miles. The enemy by this time becoming satisfied they could not cope with us (or for some other reason known only to themselves), commenced a rapid retreat, so fast, indeed, that it was impossible even for the Thirteenth to keep up with them. I therefore ordered a halt of the infantry, and ordered the cavalry forward, with orders to drive them as far as possible, and reach camp (at the point 2 miles on the Linn Creek road) at or before sunset. They did so, and drove them nearly 12 miles toward Lebanon.

For the list of killed, wounded, and prisoners I beg to refer you to the reports of the different officers in command. I also take occasion to say that proper and respectable arrangements were made for the burial of their (the enemy’s) dead, which they had left upon the field to be devoured by swine, beasts of prey, or the vulture.

I reached camp on the return with the infantry at 4 p. m., and the entire command were all, with one exception, safely in at 6 p. m. Total enemy killed, 39; wounded, 29; prisoners, 51; horses captured, 18; guns captured or destroyed, 93; with only a loss on our side of 1 man killed and 2 horses wounded. Among the prisoners are 1 colonel (Summers), 1 lieutenant (Laughlin), 6 non-commissioned officers, and 43 privates.

Trusting that this little diversion from my line of march to join you as ordered will meet your approbation, I have the honor to subscribe myself,

Respectfully and obediently, yours,

J. B. WYMAN, Act. Brig. Gen., First Brigade, First Division, W. D.

Major-General HUNTER, Commanding First Division, Western Department.

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No. 3.

Reports of Maj. Clark Wright, Frémont Battalion (Missouri) Cavalry.

HEADQUARTERS CAMP GORGAS, October 13, 1861.

GENERAL: At 7 o’clock a. m. my command struck tents at Camp Conant, on Tavern Creek, and formed into column in rear of train. I immediately passed along the line, and requested the officers to keep the men well closed up and allow none to leave their places, but keep everything ready for service at a moment’s notice. The reports from my scouts during the night induced me to believe the enemy might attack us during the day. I also went forward and suggested to the quartermaster of the Thirteenth Regiment that the train be well closed and kept so, after which nothing of importance occurred until I arrived {p.239} at Justice Remington’s, where I learned that Second Lieut. Henry Laughlin, of rebel Johnson’s command, had come home, and lived about 1 mile north of said Remington’s, and had a lot of McClurg’s goods in the house. I at once detached Captain Crockett, with his company, to take the lieutenant and search the place. He had not been gone five minutes before I saw a courier coming from the front. I at once called Captain Crockett back. The courier arrived with a message from Major Bowen, stating that he had been attacked and needed assistance. I at once ordered Captains Montgomery and Switzler forward at full speed to the relief of Major Bowen; ordered the train corraled, and Captain Crockett, with his company, to guard it until relieved by infantry, and then dispatched a courier to your honor for a guard for the train and support for cavalry, after which I went forward to the scene of action. I found Major Bowen some 2 miles forward and half mile south of Mr. Lewis’, on the Lebanon road. I immediately had a conference with Major Bowen, and we mutually agreed as to the disposition of our forces and plan of attack. The rebels at that time occupied a high ridge immediately in our front, and half mile south of us. The presumption was that we could not expect relief from the infantry in time to secure the rebels, and an immediate attack was resolved upon. The disposition was as follows: Captain Montgomery’s company was already on the right, and I ordered Captain Switzler to join him, flank the enemy, and engage him at any hazard. Major Bowen, with two companies of his command, went to the left. I took charge of one company of Major Bowen’s (at his request) and took position in the center, or as you found us on your arrival. I observed at that time that the enemy was moving to the right. I ordered Captain Crockett forward to support them, knowing they outnumbered us greatly. I then went to the right myself, found that Captains Switzler and Montgomery had formed a junction and succeeded in flanking the enemy, and held him at bay. The enemy, commanded by Captains Sorrel, Wright, Thurman, Bell, Fair, and Hawthorne, drew up in line of battle, and gave evident signs of making a bitter stand. My two companies immediately got into line, and were ordered to receive their fire, return it steadily, and then charge with sabers, and never allow them to reload their pieces, all of which order was carried out to the very letter, with a coolness and determination that evinced true bravery in both officers and men, and struck terror along the whole rebel lines. He could not stand such a charge, so prompt, so uniform, so determined, and the result was a general rout, and in a short time a running fight for 1 1/2 miles, with the following result (as near as we could ascertain without occupying too much time to hunt through the bushes): Rebels killed, 27; mortally wounded, 4; severely, 5; slightly, 3; prisoners, 36; horses, 2; guns, 81-most were old shotguns and rifles, and were doubled around black-jacks on the field. Officers and men all agree that many more were killed and wounded, but we did not hunt them up. Our loss was 1 killed and 2 horses slightly wounded. I cannot call your especial attention to any one or number of officers or men in those two brave companies; they are, each one of them, as true as steel, and in this charge, with six to one against them, they exhibited a coolness and bravery that those of more experience might proudly imitate. Yet I feel that I would do my own feelings injustice not to speak of the tenacity with which Captain Switzler adhered to the order of charge, and the promptness and energy of Captain Montgomery in carrying it out. I cannot omit naming Lieutenants Montgomery, Paynter, and Stockstill; not a nerve quivered in those brave {p.240} men; nothing left undone that coolness and energy could do in carrying out orders, encouraging the men, and dealing death to the rebels. One incident I must be permitted to mention. Lieutenant Montgomery, after exhausting his revolver, and doubling up his saber in a hand-to-hand fight so that it was useless, not satisfied with the half-dozen he had disposed of, charged on yet another, and with one blow of his fist made him bite the dust. Such fighting is worthy of imitation.

The foregoing report embrace the principal points in the actions of my command during the battle near Henrytown, Camden County, Missouri.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your most obedient and humble servant,

CLARK WRIGHT, Major, Commanding Frémont Battalion of Cavalry.

Acting Brig. Gen. J. B. WYMAN.

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HEADQUARTERS CAMP MCCLURG, October 16, 1861.

GENERAL: Inclosed please find supplemental report of the action near Henrytown on the 13th.

The party detailed to scout the battle-field and see that the dead were all buried have returned, and report the whole number of the enemy killed 62 instead of 27, as per my official report. Also, the 4 mortally wounded have since died.

I have the honor to be, your most obedient and humble servant,

CLARK WRIGHT, Major, Commanding Frémont Battalion Cavalry.

Acting Brig. Gen. J. B. WYMAN, Commanding Brigade.

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No. 4.

Report of Maj. William D. Bowen, First Battalion Missouri Cavalry.

HEADQUARTERS FIRST BATTALION CAVALRY, October 14, 1861.

GENERAL: I respectfully submit the following report of the engagement that took place yesterday, the 13th:

My battalion was ordered to advance at 7 o’clock a. m., and after advancing some 3 miles our skirmishers rallied and reported a large body of the enemy in our from it. I immediately ordered Company B to the right of the main road, Company C to the left, and Company A to advance. After advancing about a mile 40 of the enemy were discovered in full retreat. We followed them 3 miles, when they rallied and formed a line of battle. After receiving their fire we charged on them; thereupon they retreated in great confusion. After pursuing them half a mile we discovered they numbered 600 strong, and were endeavoring to surround the party under my command, which numbered 40 men. I immediately ordered my men to fall back. I was shortly re-enforced by Companies B and C. The enemy, having confidence in their superior numbers, endeavored to surround my command by advancing first on the left. I immediately changed my position to the left and opened {p.241} tire on the enemy. After firing two volleys they retreated and took a position on a hill, which, being covered with trees, concealed the movements of the enemy. At this time Major Wright made his appearance on the field, and with his command filed to the right of the hill, on which the enemy were in position. I with my command advanced on the front and left, when we discovered a small body of the enemy in retreat. Company A, being in advance, fired upon them, and they broke into confusion, and the whole force retreated towards Lebanon, and we pursued them some 5 or 10 miles. The loss of the enemy was 12 killed, 17 wounded, and 8 prisoners. Among them was William W. Summers, called colonel.

W. D. BOWEN, Major, Commanding First Battalion Cavalry.

Acting Brig. Gen. WYMAN, Commanding.

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OCTOBER 14, 1861.–Affair at Linn Creek, Mo.

REPORTS.

No. 1.–Col. John B. Wyman, Thirteenth Illinois Infantry.
No. 2.–Maj. Clark Wright, Frémont Battalion (Missouri) Cavalry.

No. 1.

Report of Col. John B. Wyman, Thirteenth Illinois Infantry.

HEADQUARTERS CAMP MCCLURG, Linn Creek, October 15, 1861.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that I broke camp yesterday morning 24 miles southeast of this point at 6.30 a. m., and moved the column in the following order: Maj. C. Wright, commanding Frémont Battalion, in advance, followed immediately by his own transportation. Then the Thirteenth Regiment Illinois Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Gorgas, commanding, with his own and the commissary transportation, the rear being brought up by Major Bowen, commanding the battalion attached to the Thirteenth Regiment.

Before making the move I had ordered Major Wright to prevent any and all parties from, preceding him, and to enter this place at a charge, and secure all who might be found in it. How well he executed my orders I leave you to judge by inclosing a copy of his own graphic account of the affair. In closing this report I beg to say that I am much embarrassed with the prisoners I have now in keeping (88), all or nearly all of whom are guilty of high treason, and unless I soon receive orders from you I shall send them to Rolla with sufficient escort, with orders to Colonel Dodge to put them at work upon the fortifications there or send them to Saint Louis. I also take occasion to add that the river at this point is at a high stage of water, rendering it difficult to cross with my train, it being at least the work of three days and nights, and consequently am anxiously awaiting your orders.

I am, general, respectfully and obediently yours,

J. B. WYMAN, Act. Brig. Gen. First Brig., First Div., Western Dept.

Major-General HUNTER. {p.242}

No. 2.

Report of Maj. Clark Wright, Frémont Battalion (Missouri) Cavalry.

HEADQUARTERS FRÉMONT BATTALION, Camp McClurg, October 15, 1861.

GENERAL: At 7 o’clock of the morning of the 14th my command left Camp Gorgas in advance of the column in the following order: A detachment of 30 men, well mounted, from Company A, 500 yards on the extreme right; 5 mounted sentinels at the respective distances of 100 yards each, reaching back to the head of the column; 20 scouts each on the right and left flanks, to march in line with head of column,, with instructions to allow no one to pass forward or ahead of the column. Thus we moved forward, feeling our way, without any incident worthy of note until 11.30 o’clock a. m. On our arrival at Alexander Berry’s, 5 miles southeast of this place, I there learned that there was no doubt but Linn Creek was occupied with rebel forces, and rumor said 200, who had arrived the day before. I at once resolved to strike them with all the available force I had, leaving out the skirmishers and sufficient force to cover the front of the Thirteenth Illinois Regiment, out then in my immediate rear. I immediately sent forward two scouts in citizens’ dress to go into the town, take observation, and report to me 1 mile out before I arrived. Then called out Company D (Captain Crockett), myself taking the right, and ordered a descent upon the town in double-quick. Arriving at the point to meet the scouts, I called a halt. Their not returning led me to suppose they were detained. I soon learned, however, from a lady just from town, that there was a company of secesh rebels, commanded by the notorious Bill Roberts, then in town; also, that the notorious sheriff (Mr. Cummings) was at home. I at once made the preliminaries, and ordered a double-quick march, with instructions to arrest the whole camp and all the men in town. We arrived at 1 o’clock, and at once surrounded the whole thing, and demanded an unconditional surrender. The notorious captain and a few of his followers, as well as his wife, broke from some of the buildings, fired on my troops, and attempted to escape. I promptly ordered them fired on, which was promptly executed. Some fifty random shots were fired, but owing to the fences, buildings, and other means of cover none were killed, and but one slightly wounded on the rebel side. None killed or wounded of my troops. The scene was a wild one. The activity of the cavalry in guarding the avenues of the place, arresting the citizens, and the rebels running to and fro; the screams of secesh wives, daughters, and children; the firing from both sides echoing back from the bluffs on either side, made the whole thing look somewhat frantic. However, at the end of thirty minutes we had the town restored to its usual quiet, and the secesh under guard. Every member of Company D behaved well. Captain Crockett and Lieutenant Kirby executed every order with promptness and bravery. The men, without exception, acquitted themselves to my entire satisfaction.

The result of our descent was as follows: Prisoners, 37; horses, 5; mules, 2; guns, 26; holster-pistols, 2; I keg powder; 1/2 bushel of bullets, as well as the peaceable possession of the town.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CLARK WRIGHT, Major, Commanding Frémont Battalion Cavalry.

Acting Brig. Gen. WYMAN, Commanding.

{p.243}

OCTOBER 14, 1861.–Skirmish at Underwood’s Farm, near Bird’s Point, Mo.

REPORTS.

No. 1.–Col. W. H. L. Wallace, Eleventh Illinois Infantry.
No. 2.–Lieut. S. P. Tufts, First Illinois Cavalry.
No. 3.–Capt. F. A. Montgomery, Company A, First Battalion Mississippi Cavalry.

No. 1.

Reports of Col. W. H. L. Wallace, Eleventh Illinois Infantry.

BIRD’S POINT, MO., October 14, 1861.

SIR: I sent a party of 25 cavalry, under Lieutenant Tufts, of Captain Noleman’s company, down on the Rushes Ridge road this forenoon, to observe whether the enemy were making any movements in this direction. About 2 o’clock this afternoon they came in collision with some 100 of the enemy’s cavalry. After firing some eight rounds, Lieutenant Tufts observed that the enemy were making an effort to outflank him and cut off his retreat. He then fell back, the enemy pursuing him about a mile. One of his men, a private in Captain Noleman’s company, was killed, another severely wounded; one horse killed and several wounded. Lieutenant Tufts’ horse was shot under him. I have sent out a party of 60 cavalry, under Captain Stewart, on the Rushes Ridge road, and Captain Pfaff, with 30 cavalry, to Norfolk. I will send you a more detailed account as soon as I can collect all the particulars.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. H. L. WALLACE, Colonel, Commanding.

General GRANT, Cairo.

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HEADQUARTERS, Bird’s Point, October 15, 1861.

GENERAL: On yesterday morning I sent Lieutenant Tufts, of Captain Noleman’s cavalry, with 25 men of that company, southward on the Rushes Ridge road, to observe whether the enemy were making any movements in that direction. About 2 o’clock p. m., when about 9 miles from this point, they were attacked by a body of about 100 Mississippi Mounted Rifles or cavalry, armed with Maynard carbines, and after a sharp contest Lieutenant Tufts withdrew his party in good order.

I inclose herewith Lieutenant Tufts’ report. He acted with great coolness, prudence, and courage, and both he and the men under him are entitled to high commendation for their conduct. Lieutenant Tufts had his horse shot, and Corporal Fletcher, who was severely wounded, has since died of his wound.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. H. L. WALLACE, Colonel, Commanding Forces at Bird’s Point, Mo.

Brig. Gen. U. S. GRANT, Commanding District Southeast Missouri, Cairo.

{p.244}

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No. 2.

Report of Lieut. S. P. Tufts, First Illinois Cavalry.

CAMP LYON, BIRD’S POINT, MO., October 15, 1861.

SIR: Pursuant to orders, I proceeded, with 26 men of my company (Captain Noleman’s Centralia Cavalry), on a scout out upon the Rushes Ridge road, taking a direction towards the Beckwith farm. When about 9 miles out, and about 2 o’clock p. m., met a body of armed mounted rebels, about 100 strong, supposed to be Mississippi or Tennessee Mounted Rifles, armed with breech-loading rifles and revolvers. My advance guard, after giving the usual signal (the enemy continuing to advance), discharged their carbines and fell back upon the column. We were moving down the road through a clearing, the enemy being in the timber. I immediately ordered the advance, and advanced into the open timber, taking a position within 180 yards of where the enemy were forming, and engaged the enemy, who were partly concealed by dense underbrush and heavy timber. The enemy poured a rapid fire upon our ranks, and made every exertion to outflank us. We maintained our position until we were nearly surrounded and our ammunition almost exhausted. We then retired, the enemy following close upon our rear, and engaged my rear guard for about 1 1/2 miles, when the enemy retreated. We brought our wounded men and horses off of the field, with the exception of Corporal H. H. Fletcher, his horse, equipments, and arms. Corporal Fletcher was shot in the temple, some distance in advance of our line, and supposed to be instantly killed. He was afterwards discovered still living by Dr. Baker, residing in the vicinity, and by him removed to his residence. Private Louis Krenyhoff received a flesh wound in the arm, the ball passing across the chest and lodging inside the shirt. Several others received slight scratches from shattered balls. The horses of Privates J. Copeland, S. T. Maxy, W. Hutter, and E. T. Amadan were mortally wounded and left on the road. Seven other horses were wounded more or less seriously. The enemy on their retreat stripped Corporal Fletcher of his arms and spurs. Two others lost their carbines. The loss of the enemy, as near as could be ascertained, was from 6 to 10 men either killed or seriously wounded, including the officer in command. Of their horses one was left dead upon the field and others taken off evidently wounded. My men deserve great praise for the coolness, bravery, and implicit obedience to my commands exhibited throughout the engagement, several of whom stood firmly, receiving the fire of the enemy, with but one shot held in reserve, and awaiting my orders. They retired in as good order as circumstances would permit, the rear guard contesting their ground nobly.

Respectfully, &c.,

S. P. TUFTS, Lieutenant, Commanding Expedition.

Col. W. H. L. WALLACE, Commanding.

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No. 3.

Report of Capt. F. A. Montgomery, Company A, First Battalion Mississippi Cavalry.

CAMP JOHNSTON, MO., October 15, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report that on yesterday, after having discharged the duty assigned me of guarding the roads leading to Hunter’s {p.245} farm, while your wagons were being loaded with hay at that place, I proceeded, by permission of Lieutenant-Colonel Grayson, who was in command of the expedition, on a scout towards Norfolk, for the purpose of learning whether the enemy had again occupied that place. I had with me Lieutenant Lobdell, of my company, and 34 men. I went up the river within 3 miles of Norfolk without seeing any recent signs of the enemy’s presence. I then took a road leading from the river to Rushes Ridge, and thence to Bird’s Point. About one-half mile from the river I discovered abundant signs that the enemy’s cavalry were in the habit of frequenting the road to that point. After proceeding about 1 mile farther my advance guard discovered them approaching, when they fired and fell back on the company, which I had formed in single rank to receive the enemy, who came forward at a full run, evidently expecting a general stampede on our part. Upon seeing my line they halted under cover of the woods and at the distance of 150 to 200 yards from me, when I ordered a fire, which they immediately returned. The firing was very spirited on both sides for about ten minutes. I fired an average of about ten rounds to the man with the Maynard rifles, and they fired about an equal number. None of our men were killed and only 1 wounded-Henry H. Smith, who had his right arm broken after having fired several shots. I had one horse killed on the ground, two others mortally wounded, and several slightly wounded. The enemy numbered, I think, not less than 50; and from the coolness which they displayed, their arms, and uniform, I think must have been United States dragoons. They left one man-a noncommissioned officer-on the ground, shot through the head, whose arms I brought off with me. They were plainly seen during the fight to send off several who were badly wounded, and, as I learned from a citizen who lived on the road near the scene of action, many were bleeding profusely as they passed him, some being supported on their horses. They also took from him his horse, to replace one which had been killed. I did not pursue them, fearing, with my small force, to be drawn into an ambuscade.

The non-commissioned officers and soldiers of my company displayed the greatest bravery, many of them being without cover during the fight, some dismounting in the thickest of it in order to fire with better aim.

When all behaved so well it would be invidious to mention any by name; but I would mention particularly Lieutenant Lobdell, who was continually exposed, and displayed great coolness, having his horse wounded. Mr. Watson, of the Watson Battery, who accompanied me, and Dr. Ross, of Bolivar County, Mississippi, who has been attached to my company since its formation, doing duty always as a soldier, without pay, and at his own expense, both behaved with the greatest bravery, firing shot for shot with the enemy.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

F. A. MONTGOMERY, Capt. Bolivar Troops, Co. A, First Bat. Miss. Cavalry.

Col. J. C. TAPPAN.

{p.246}

OCTOBER 16, 1861.– Skirmish near Linn Creek, Mo.

Report of Maj. Clark Wright, Frémont Battalion of Missouri Cavalry.

HEADQUARTERS CAMP MCCLURG [MO.], October 17, 1861.

GENERAL: At 4.30 o’clock p. m. one of my men came into camp and reported one corn team and two of my men captured by secesh, himself escaping to bring in the news only by his superior strength. I immediately ordered Lieutenant Kirby, with 15 men, to follow the rebels, and engage them at all hazards, and if possible retake our men. I also detailed Captain Crockett with 15 others to flank them on the right, and if possible cut off their retreat, and engage them until I could come up with the reserve. I asked Major Bowen for one company to form a reserve, which request the major granted, and responded so promptly at the head of the reserve, I hastily set out for the field. On my arrival there I found that Lieutenant Kirby had overtaken and engaged 45 rebels, dispersing them in all directions, releasing our team and men who were prisoners, and driving the enemy 5 miles from the point of attack, killing 5 rebels (found), wounded 1 severely (captain), and many others escaped, bleeding; capturing I horse, 2 saddles, and 10 guns. Our loss none [killed]: wounded, I slightly.

The whole party under Lieutenant Kirby acted promptly and bravely. As evidence of their promptness, only seven minutes elapsed from the receipt of the news by the courier until the lieutenant with 15 men and orders were filing around the point of bluff to charge the enemy. I desire to call your especial attention to Lieutenant Kirby, who at all times is prompt, energetic, and brave, and ever at his post. I append a list of killed, so far as they are known to me:

John W. Candy, from Buffalo, Dallas County, belongs to Jones’ command; First Lieut. Fountain Maysfield, Dallas County; Carmelite Preacher Murline, Dallas County; 3 others unknown. Severely wounded, George Miller, Dallas County, school commissioner.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CLARK WRIGHT, Major, Commanding Frémont Battalion of Cavalry.

Acting Brigadier-General WYMAN.

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OCTOBER 16, 1861.– Descent on Lexington, Mo., by U. S. Troops.

Report of Maj. Frank J. White, A. D. C., commanding First Squadron Prairie Scouts.

CAMP LOOKOUT, Quincy, Mo., October 24, 1861.

On the 5th instant I received your orders to organize a scouting cavalry squadron for special service, and organized one by making the following details: Company L, First Missouri Cavalry, Capt. Charles Fairbanks, 65 men; Company C, First Missouri Cavalry, Capt. P. Kehoe, 65 men; the Irish Dragoons, independent, 51 men. We left Jefferson City on the 5th instant, and after a severe march reached Georgetown, our men in good condition, on the afternoon of the 8th. Our horses being {p.247} all unshod, and consequently unfit for travel, we procured a few shoes and a quantity of old iron, called for blacksmiths from our ranks, took possession of two unoccupied blacksmiths’ shops, and in five days shod our horses and mules, 232 in number.

Our scanty supply of ammunition having been destroyed by the rain, and having two small bullet-molds in our possession, we procured lead and powder, and turning a carpenter’s shop into a manufactory, made 3,000 cartridges for our revolving rifles.

On the 15th instant Colonel Hovey, commanding at Georgetown, received a dispatch from Lexington, stating that a valuable baggage train had left the vicinity of Lexington destined for Price’s rebel army; also a private dispatch from Colonel White, stating that if he and his fellow-prisoners were not relieved within twenty-four hours they would be assassinated by the rebel marauders infesting Lexington. As Colonel Hovey’s command was under marching orders, and therefore could not go to their relief, my command volunteered for the service, and Colonel Eads, of Georgetown, tendered me 70 men from his regiment. Accompanied by Colonel Eads, I started at 9 p. m. on the 15th instant, my whole force being 220 strong. By a severe forced march of nearly 60 miles we reached Lexington early the following morning, drove in the rebel pickets without loss, and took possession of the town. We made from 60 to 70 prisoners, 60 stand of arms, 25 horses, 2 steam ferry-boats, a quantity of flour and provisions, a large rebel flag, and other articles of less value. The rebels fled in every direction.

The steamer Sioux City arrived at Lexington the following morning, and was seized by us. Our first care was to rescue our fellow-soldiers captured at Lexington by Price, viz, Colonel White Colonel Grover, and some 12 or 15 others. We placed them on board the Sioux City with a guard, and dispatched them to Saint Louis. After administering the oath of allegiance to our prisoners we released them. As the rebels were recovering from their alarm, and beginning to surround us in force, we evacuated Lexington, after holding it thirty-six hours. As soon as the rebels were satisfied of our departure they attacked our deserted camp with great energy.

We then proceeded to Warrensburg, making a few captures on our route. The evening of our arrival at Warrensburg we easily repulsed a slight attack, and by threatening to burn the town if again attacked, remained two days unmolested. We next proceeded to Warsaw, and are now on our route to Stockton.

Among the interesting articles taken at Lexington were Price’s ambulance, Colonel Mulligan’s saddle, and the flag I have the pleasure of sending you.

I have no casualties to report, and my men are all in good health, anxious for further service. I cannot commend in too high terms the faithfulness and courage of the officers and men detailed on this service from Colonel Ellis’ First Missouri Cavalry, and the Irish Dragoons, commanded by Captain Naughton.

Very respectfully,

FRANK J. WHITE, Maj. and A. D. C., Comdg. First Squadron Prairie Scouts.

Major-General FRÉMONT.

{p.248}

OCTOBER 18, 1861.–Reconnaissance down the Mississippi River.

REPORTS.

No. 1.–Brig. Gen. U. S. Grant, U. S. Army.
No. 2.–Commander H. Walke, U. S. Navy.

No. 1.

Report of Brig. Gen. U. S. Grant, U. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT SOUTHEAST MISSOURI, Cairo, October 18, 1861.

CAPTAIN: By a secret agent sent by me to Columbus and New Madrid I have confirmation of the report that Hardee, with about 5,000 men, has joined Buckner. The same agent reports that Jeff. Thompson went north to join his force with Lowe’s, and attack Ironton. At Columbus a new casemate battery has been erected, a new 84-pounder rifled gun brought to the upper end of the city, and a chain brought up to throw across the river to obstruct navigation. In view of these facts I ordered a reconnaissance with gun-boat to-day. Inclosed I send you report of the commander [No. 2].

Whilst at New Madrid the same agent learned from General Watkins and others that the steamers Arago and Lake City are regularly in the employ of the South. Passengers, packages, and everything wanted South are sent aboard by Saint Louis agents, received without the authority of the provost-marshal or collector, shipped to Price’s Landing, and there meet agents to conduct them to their destination. I would recommend that all boats other than those owned or chartered by Government be prohibited from navigating below Saint Louis. Let those be authorized to carry all legal freights, mails, passengers, &c., and Government receive the benefit.

In my report of last evening I expressed the desire to be allowed to visit Saint Louis and Springfield on business connected with this command. I now withdraw the request. The journey could not be performed, leaving any time for the transaction of business, under four days. I do not deem it prudent to be absent for this length of time.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Capt. CHAUNCEY MCKEEVER, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Western Dept., Saint Louis, Mo.

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No. 2.

– Report of Commander H. Walke, U. S. Navy.

U. S. GUNBOAT TYLER, Cairo, Ill., October 18, 1861.

GENERAL: Agreeably to your verbal instructions of this morning, I proceeded down the Mississippi to reconnoiter. When near the Iron Bank I threw a shell over the opposite point, rounded to, threw one shell each in Beckwith’s and Hunter’s corn fields. Could not discover {p.249} any indication of the presence of the rebels or any change of position on their part since our last reconnaissance.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. WALKE, Commander, U. S. Navy.

General GRANT, Commanding District Southeast Missouri, Cairo, Ill.

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OCTOBER 25, 1861.–Action at Springfield, Mo.

REPORTS, ETC.

No. 1.–Maj. Gen. John C. Frémont, U. S. Army, with congratulatory orders.
No. 2.–Maj. Charles Zagonyi, Frémont’s Body-Guard.
No. 3.–Capt. Patrick Naughton, Irish (Missouri) Dragoons.

No. 1.

Report of Maj. Gen. John C. Frémont, U. S. Army, with congratulatory orders.

HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Springfield, Mo., October 27, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report that I arrived at this place this evening with General Sigel’s division as the advanced corps, and also with Major Holman’s Battalion Sharpshooters and Colonel Marshall’s Benton Cadets. The enemy had been effectually cleared out of the town, in numbers from 1,500 to 2,000, by the cavalry force under Major Zagonyi, sent out two days since. Major Zagonyi’s report of his affair in detail has not yet been presented, with his statement of killed and wounded. It will be forwarded as soon as received. From all accounts the enemy have pushed on to join General Price’s forces, understood to be at Neosho, some 75 or 80 miles to the southwest. General McCulloch, it is reported, is at Camp Walker, in the northwest corner of Arkansas. I shall proceed to clear the State entirely of the enemy, and my further operations will then be determined by the movements and condition of the enemy.

I have the honor to be, with great respect,

J. C. FRÉMONT, Major-General, Commanding.

Brig. Gen. L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General of the Army, Washington, D. C.

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HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Yost’s Station, Mo., October 26, 1861.

CAPTAIN: I inclose herewith copy of an order issued this morning announcing the handsome and bold service of the Body-Guard, under Major Zagonyi, at Springfield. The reports by reliable scouts were that there were, three days ago, but 300 of the rebel force in Springfield; they appear to have been meanwhile swelled to the strength reported by Major Signify, probably by accessions of other bands from the direction {p.250} of Lebanon. The commanding general, regarding this as an example of valor too brilliant to be passed over cursorily, directs that you transmit a copy of the order herewith to the War Department, with letter of transmittal.

In addition to Zagonyi’s 150 of the Guard, Major White had joined him with about 180 mounted men, and orders had been sent to Colonel Wyman to detach Major Wright’s battalion of rangers from Avis Plains, to co-operate with him. Other dispositions of Wright’s men, and the celerity with which Zagonyi moved, prevented immediate junction with him. Sigel’s division and force at headquarters move in now to occupy Springfield.

Respectfully,

J. H. EATON, A. A. A. G.

Capt. CHAUNCEY MCKEEVER, A. A. G., Saint Louis, Mo.

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Yost’s Station, Mo., October 26, 1861.

By order of the general commanding, the following dispatches from the brave Major Zagonyi are published, that all may know how much of success to the cause of the country may be accomplished by discipline and good conduct, viz:

EIGHT MILES FROM SPRINGFIELD, October 25, 1861-11.30 a. m.

GENERAL: The information on which I can rely is that Wednesday evening 1,500 men came into Springfield, and that at present there are not less than 1,800 or 1,900 men. I march forward, and will try what I can do. At the same time I would be thankful if some re-enforcement could come after me. Should I be successful, I need them for guard; should I be defeated, to have some troops to fall back with my worn-out command. I will report shortly again.

With high respect,

CHAS. ZAGONYI, Major, Commanding Body-Guard.

Major-General FRÉMONT, Commanding.

FIVE MILES OF BOLIVAR, October 26, 1861-1 a. m.

GENERAL: I report respectfully that yesterday afternoon at 4 o’clock I met in Springfield about 2,000 or 2,200 of the rebels in their camp, formed in line of battle. They gave me a very warm reception-warmer than I expected. But your Guard, with one feeling, made a charge, and in less than 3 minutes the 2,000 or 2,200 men were perfectly routed by 150 men of the Body-Guard. We cleared out the city perfectly of every rebel, and raised the Union flag on the court-house. It getting too dark, I concluded to leave the city, not being able to keep it with 150 men. Major White’s men did not participate in the charge.

Allow me, general, to make you acquainted with the behavior of the soldiers and officers. I have seen charges, but such brilliant unanimity and bravery I have never seen and did not expect it. Their war cry, “Frémont and the Union,” broke forth as thunder. Our loss comparatively small. I expected to remain on the field with them all. I will write about particulars.

With the highest respect, your obedient servant,

CHAS. ZAGONYI, Major, Commanding Body-Guard.

Major-General Frémont.

By order of Major-General Frémont:

J. H. EATON, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

{p.251}

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No. 2.

Report of Maj. Charles Zagonyi, Frémont’s Body-Guard.*

* See also inclosures to No 1.

SPRINGFIELD, October 28, 1861.

SIR: According to the order of Major-General Frémont, I left the camp south of Pomme de Terre River on Thursday, the 24th instant, at 8.30 p. m., and proceeded towards Springfield. About 8 miles from that place I captured five men belonging to picket guard and foraging parties. A sixth escaped and gave the alarm to the rebels. I reached Springfield, a distance of 51 miles, at 3 p. m. on the 25th. Knowing that the enemy was apprised of our coming, I made a detour of 5 miles, to attack from another side; but instead of finding the enemy in their old camp, I came suddenly upon them, drawn up in line of battle, as I emerged from a wood near the Mount Vernon road. The place was too confined for me to form my men. I had to pass 250 yards down a lane and take down a rail fence at the end of it, form in their camp, and make the first charge. My men belonging to the Body-Guard amounted to 150, and were exposed from the moment we entered the lane to a murderous cross-fire. Our first charge was completely successful. Half of my command charged upon the infantry and the remainder upon the cavalry, breaking their line at every point. The infantry retired into a thick wood, where it was impossible to follow them. The cavalry fled in all directions through the town. I rallied, and charged through the streets in all directions about twenty times, clearing the town and neighborhood, returning at last to the court-house, where I raised the flag of one of my companies, liberated the prisoners, and united my men, which now amounted to 70, the rest being scattered or lost. As it was nearly dark I retired, in order not to run the risk of sacrificing the remainder of my men, who were exhausted with the labors of the march and the battle. Twenty men, with a corporal, who were without horses, took possession of the town, collected the wounded and placed them in the hospital, picked up the dead, ordered out the Home Guard, and preserved order throughout the next day.

On the 27th, at 5 o’clock a. m., I arrived again in the city, and from the statements of citizens, scouts, and prisoners (the latter being Union soldiers placed in front of the enemy’s ranks to be shot at), I ascertained that the rebel strength, as arrayed to receive our first charge, was 2,100 men. They had concentrated all the forces in the city to receive us. From the beginning to the end the Body-Guard behaved with the most unparalleled bravery and coolness. I have seen battles and cavalry charges before, but I never imagined that a body of men could endure and accomplish so much in the face of such a fearful disadvantage. At the cry of “Frémont and the Union,” which was raised at every charge, they dashed forward repeatedly in perfect order and with resistless energy. Many of my officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates had three or even four horses killed under them, capturing new ones from the enemy. I cannot mention any names without doing great injustice to my command. Many performed acts of heroism. Not one but did his whole duty.

Our loss is as follows:

Killed-Corporals, 6; privates, 9. Wounded-Officers, 4; non-commissioned officers, 7; privates, 16. Missing-Sergeant, 1; Corporal 1, privates, 8. Total loss, 52.

{p.252}

The loss of the enemy in killed alone, from the statement of citizens, scouts, and prisoners, was at least 106. How many wounded have since died I have no means of knowing, as they removed them in the night with wagons. Twenty-three of their dead were buried by the Body-Guard. We took 27 prisoners, $4,040 in gold, and about 60 stand of arms. Inclosed I send you a detailed account of our loss, with names.*

Major White’s command left me at the beginning of the action and before my first charge, and I saw no more of them until the next day at 10 o’clock. Captain Naughton and Lieutenant Conolly, who followed part way down the lane, were both wounded, the latter mortally, whereupon their company turned and followed the other two in spite of the efforts of the sergeant. Major White himself was made a prisoner before the battle, and placed with others in the enemy’s front rank, but escaped uninjured.

In conclusion, I beg to urge the necessity of new clothing, arms, and horses for my command. Forty-five horses are killed or unfitted for use. Uniforms, haversacks, and extra clothes carried in the haversacks are so riddled with bullets as to be useless. Revolvers are also seriously damaged by the enemy’s bullets.

Very respectfully,

CHAS. ZAGONYI, Commanding Body-Guard.

Col. J. H. EATON, Acting Asst. Adjt. Gen., Springfield.

* Not found.

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No. 3.

Report of Capt. P. Naughton, commanding “Irish Dragoons.”

SAINT LOUIS, MO., December 18, 1861.

GENERAL: In accordance with the privilege granted me of making a personal report to your headquarters of the part taken by my company in the charge at Springfield on the 25th of October last, I respectfully represent that-

1st. Gross injustice has been done my company in the report of Major Zagonyi.

2d. That this injustice, after several solicitations on my part, and a forbearance extending even several weeks, has not been atoned for in any even the slightest manner.

The proof of my first accusation against Major Zagonyi consists in this: That, from a personal knowledge, he was aware of a portion of my command being connected with his own in the charge on and pursuit of the enemy’s cavalry; that from information drawn from his officers he was cognizant of the participation of the rest of my company, assisted by some dismounted Body-Guards, in three successive assaults on the enemy’s camp, and that having confessed this much in the presence of different officers of his command, he deliberately withheld all credit therefor, and even perverted a temporary and purely accidental connection with Major White’s command, so that the public might conclude my company-as stated, whether truly or not of Major White’s-was not in the fight.

The proof of my second accusation against Major Zagonyi consists in this: That with the knowledge of the untruth implied in his report, and well knowing by letter and otherwise from me how grievously we felt {p.253} the impropriety of any stigma being attached to us on account of others’ default, he nevertheless studiously avoided, except by word of mouth, any retraction or any written evidence of his inconsiderate and evidently egotistical announcement of the affair at Springfield.

I leave it to your judgment, general, whether or not, under these circumstances, I should forbear to characterize his conduct as it appears to deserve. So far from Major Zagonyi’s command being the only one engaged at Springfield, it was proved in the court of inquiry (called for, but of which the full report* never saw the light) that the dragoons were the second in the order of time into the field, and were the last to leave it. It was also proved to that court’s satisfaction that the major gave no orders, either to his men or Major White’s command, and consequently that the conduct of the dragoons in engaging the infantry of the enemy almost single handed, after his cavalry had been detached and was in the road to Springfield, was purely a voluntary, and, therefore, whether wise or not, no cowardly choice of alternatives.

It was proved, finally, that if Major Zagonyi could not recognize us as being in the field, he could count our dead and wounded as his own, barely leaving us a dozen or so as testimony to our presence and the aim of the enemy.

For reasons personal to Major Zagonyi all these facts were suppressed from publication, and the want of generosity shown by that officer has been allowed to take form in the general misconception of the public in our regard.

I beg, general, while apologizing for this personal explanation, which you have been kind enough to permit, to append the report* sent by me, shortly after the affair of Springfield, to my colonel, and also a copy of a letter in reference to this subject to Major Zagonyi. Hoping these documents transmitted will assist to do that justice to my men which I really believe they deserve,

I am, general, your obedient servant,

P. NAUGHTON, Captain Irish Dragoons, Twenty-third Illinois Volunteers.

Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK, Commanding Dep’t of the West, Hdqrs. Saint Louis, Mo.

* Not found.

[Inclosure.]

SAINT LOUIS, MO., November 12, 1861.

SIR: I have waited with a very natural impatience for your twice-promised amende of the manner in which the services of the Irish Dragoons in the late charge at Springfield have been ignored. Not seeing any publication calculated to do them justice, and feeling that they should not be unjustly debarred from whatever merit they may have deserved and you confess to belong to them, not even for the Body-Guard, I now ask you very earnestly to fulfill your promise. For myself I have nothing to ask; for them, and more particularly for the sake of the brigade to which they belong, I not only ask but demand equal and exact justice. A soldier yourself; you can appreciate my anxiety for the good fame of my command. Wounded as I am, you can only be the more willing to render further requests and other proceedings unnecessary.

I remain, sir, yours, &c.,

P. NAUGHTON, Captain, Irish Brigade.

Major ZAGONYI.

{p.254}

OCTOBER 28, 1861.– Expedition to Fulton, Mo.

Report of Brig. Gen. Chester Harding, jr., Missouri State Militia.

HERMANN, October 31, 1861.

SIR: Having ascertained that a considerable force of rebels had encamped about 5 miles north of Fulton, Callaway County, that their number was increasing, and that they designed an attack upon some one of the important bridges on the Pacific Railroad. I deemed it my duty to cross the river and disperse them. Accordingly, 650 men, taken from Morton’s Independent Ohio Regiment, and the Tenth Regiment Missouri Volunteers, with a section of artillery with two field pieces, were ordered to take a train at this point and proceed to Medora, where a boat from Jefferson City was to be in readiness to transport them over the river. The expedition was to have crossed at midnight on the 27th, but delay in furnishing railroad transportation prevented us from landing at Saint Aubert’s before Sunday afternoon (28th). At Medora I found Brigadier-General Prentiss and some of his staff who had come, from Jefferson on the boat. He accompanied us, but declined to take the command. The men had been under arms since 10 o’clock p. m. of the 27th, and I allowed them to rest for a few hours at Saint Aubert’s.

At 11 p. m. on the 28th we marched, and reached Fulton, 18 miles distant, at sunrise. I there learned that the rebels, anticipating an attack from the Federal forces, had made an arrangement with Brigadier-General Henderson by which they were allowed to disperse, and were exempted from arrest or punishment for their treasonable proceedings. General Prentiss and I had a consultation with the few leading Union men in Fulton, and decided to respect the agreement referred to, especially as I could not leave a garrison in the town to protect the loyal citizens from the vengeance which the secessionists would have taken had we interfered with the persons or property of their leaders. I therefore returned to this place, having first given General Prentiss an escort to accompany him to Jefferson City.

That whole region is thoroughly disloyal. There is no faith to be placed in anything but the fears of the rebels. On our return a single individual rode up within 200 yards of our advance guard and fired at it, and this is an indication of the universal feeling there. There are not 200 Union men in the county of Callaway. Although we met no enemy, our visit has done some good. The rebels are fully aware that they may expect an instant movement against them the moment they attempt to gather in force. I am happy to say that the most admirable good order and discipline were maintained by Lieut. Col. John A. Turley, commanding the detachment of Ohio troops; Maj. S. A. Holmes, commanding the Missouri Volunteers; and Captain Krech, of the Reserve Guard, in charge of the artillery. Although we passed through a country where we found few but enemies, there was no interference with private property, and no irregularities of any kind were committed.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHESTER HARDING, JR., Brigadier-General, Commanding District.

Capt. CHAUNCEY MCKEEVER, A. A. G., Western Department, Saint Louis.

{p.255}

NOVEMBER 1-9, 1861.– Expedition from Rolla, Mo., against Freeman’s Forces.

Report of Col. G. M. Dodge, Fourth Iowa Infantry, with instructions to Colonel Greusel.

ROLLA, MO., November 9, 1861.

CAPTAIN: Having obtained reliable information of Freeman and his forces, on Friday, November 1, I sent a detachment, consisting of 250 of Fourth Iowa, 180 of Thirty-sixth Illinois, and Wood’s Kansas Rangers, 60 strong, under command of Colonel Greusel, Thirty-sixth Illinois, with instructions to fight Freeman or drive him and forces out of the country; and, after doing this, to divide the forces, sending the cavalry home by way of Salem, leaving the infantry, under command of Maj. W. R. English, Fourth Iowa, to capture all the property belonging to rebels in Freeman’s army, and report to these headquarters.

The infantry arrived to-night, bringing in a large amount of property, stock, and several prominent rebel prisoners. They drove Freeman from Texas County, and Captain Wood, in command of cavalry, is still in pursuit of him. The amount of stock and property will amount to several thousand dollars, all of it good.

The expedition has proved a success, and I think has rid this section of a thieving, murdering rebel force.

I did not telegraph in relation to expedition, not considering it of that character that required speedy information to headquarters of department.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. M. DODGE, Colonel, Commanding Post.

Capt. C. MCKEEVER, Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Inclosure B.]

HEADQUARTERS POST, Rolla, Mo., November 4, 1861.

Colonel GREUSEL, Commanding Southern Expedition:

COLONEL: If the men who are away from home are in the rebel army, or if their families cannot give a good account of themselves or their whereabouts, take their property, or that portion of it worth taking; also their slaves. Be sure they are aiding the enemy, and then take all they have got. They have aided and abetted Freeman in all ways, and most of them are now in the rebel army. You had not been gone long before the enemy were signaled from this vicinity by firing and beacon lights. They could only guess your destination, as no one knew it except you and myself.

Keep account of everything you take and who it is taken from. I think your idea is a good one about dividing your forces. Let the infantry, on returning, visit the Pineys and look out for affairs there. Be careful in taking contraband negroes that their owners are aiding the enemy.

Your obedient servant,

G. M. DODGE, Colonel, Commanding Post at Rolla, Mo.

{p.256}

NOVEMBER 2-12, 1861.–Expeditions from Bird’s Point, Cape Girardeau and Ironton, Mo., against Thompson’s (Confederate) Forces.

REPORTS, ETC.*

No. 1.–Col. Richard J. Oglesby, Eighth Illinois Infantry, of expedition from Bird’s Point, with General Grant’s instructions to him.
No. 2.–Col. Nicholas Perczel, Tenth Iowa Infantry, of expedition from Cape Girardeau, with General Grant’s instructions.
No. 3.–Col. W. P. Carlin, Thirty-eighth Illinois Infantry, of expedition from Ironton.
No. 4.–Brig. Gen. M. Jeff. Thompson, Missouri State Guard, with instructions to his subordinates.
No. 5.–Col. Solon Borland, C. S. Army.

* See also General Grant’s report (No. 1) of engagement at Belmont, Nov. 7, post.

No. 1.

Report of Col. Richard J. Oglesby, Eighth Illinois Infantry, of expedition from Bird’s Point, with instructions from General Grant.

BIRD’S POINT, MO., November 13, 1861.

GENERAL: I have to report that upon receiving your order at 12 o’clock at night November 2, I immediately organized the expedition to move inland from this point and in the direction of the Saint Francois River. On Monday morning the forces, consisting of the Eighteenth Regiment Illinois Volunteers, commanded by Col. Michael K. Lawler; the Twenty-ninth Regiment Illinois Volunteers, commanded by Col. James Rearden, and one section of Captain Schwartz’s light artillery, commanded by Lieutenant Gumbart, from Brigadier-General McClernand’s brigade, Cairo, Ill., and the Eighth Regiment Illinois Volunteers, Lieut. Col. Frank L. Rhoads commanding; one battalion Eleventh Regiment Illinois Volunteers, Lieut. Col. T. E. G. Ransom commanding; Captain Pfaff’s cavalry; and Captain Langen’s cavalry, Lieutenant Hansen commanding, and Captain Noleman’s Centralia Cavalry, Lieutenant Tufts commanding, were landed at Commerce, Mo. The day was occupied in unloading supplies and arranging transportation for the march. Bearing in mind your order to pursue the rebel forces under Jeff. Thompson wherever they might be found, and to destroy the same if found, I marched directly for Bloomfield, Mo., at which point I was reliably informed the rebel forces were encamped. To avoid delay I moved the column directly towards the Nigger Wool Swamp, and crossed it and the swamp between it and Little River, at Stringer’s Ferry, 7 miles in one day. To do this it became necessary to construct several bridges, and to cut out a new road in several places. The rebel pickets were met by my advance guard on the bridge over the lake in the swamp. A slight skirmish ensued. An effort was made by the rebels to burn the bridge. It was soon repaired, under the direction of Dr. John M. Phipps, assistant surgeon of the Eighth Regiment. In the afternoon, Thursday, 7 miles from Bloomfield, I received a note from Colonel Perczel, of the Tenth Regiment Iowa Volunteers, informing me that he had taken possession of the town without resistance. The forces under General Thompson retreated in the direction of New Madrid on the night of the 6th instant. At Bloomfield I received your order to turn the column in the direction of New Madrid. I had already sent forward on the road towards New Madrid Colonel Perczel with his regiment about 6 miles, when Col. William H. L. Wallace came up with the {p.257} remaining companies of his regiment, and took command of the Eleventh Regiment in person. Through Colonel Wallace I received your verbal order to return to Bird’s Point. To avoid the terrible swamp in front of Bloomfield I returned by Cape Girardeau. Colonels Lawler and Rearden marched to Cape Girardeau in two days, the Eighth and Eleventh Illinois and Tenth Iowa following the next day. The whole force arrived at Bird’s Point on Tuesday, the 12th, having marched over 100 miles, and embarked and debarked twice, and traveled by water 85 miles besides, in less than nine days. I detained the forces one day at Bloomfield out of the nine.

The chief object of the expedition having failed, I have to inform you that the information derived about the country, and of the feelings of the inhabitants and the purposes of the rebellion, have fully compensated all the labor it has required. A more unhappy and deluded people I have never seen. Wherever the column moved consternation filled the whole community, and the fact that without regard to sex or age the whole people were not outraged and destroyed seemed to stupefy them.

I have to report the wanton destruction of property in one or two instances, otherwise the march through the country was most exemplary and satisfactory. My orders were obeyed with cheerfulness and alacrity. After four days I obtained forage from the people of the country for all the mules and horses. Four-fifths of the inhabitants are ready to return to the Union whenever the Government can assure them from punishment by the rebel army. The yoke of Jeff Thompson is a heavy one, and the people are becoming disgusted at his arbitrary sway. The scrip he has substituted for a good currency is totally worthless. His brutality in murdering in cold blood so many good citizens of Missouri, and suffering them to rot unburied in full view of the public, has met its just return in the horror with which he and his whole command are beginning to be appreciated by the people of Southeastern Missouri.

Respectfully, yours,

R. J. OGLESBY, Colonel Eighth Regt. Ill. Vols., Comdg. Expedition.

Brig. Gen. U. S. GRANT, Comdg. Dist. Southeast Missouri, Cairo, Ill.

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HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT SOUTHEAST MISSOURI, Cairo, November 2, 1861.

COLONEL: A dispatch just received requires me to send a force to the Saint Francois River to destroy rebels congregated there. I have determined to give you the command, and will require your regiment and three companies of cavalry from Bird’s Point to prepare for as early a move tomorrow as practicable. The balance of your command will be sent from this side of the river. You will require fourteen days’ rations and about four days’ forage. This latter article, being heavy, must be supplied by the country through which you pass. Thirty or thirty-five teams must be supplied from your side of the river, and to get them you will have to draw upon the regimental transportation of the whole command there.

Detailed instructions will be drawn up for you before starting.*

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Col. RICHARD J. OGLESBY, Bird’s Point, Mo.

* See General Grant’s report of the engagement at Belmont, November 7, p. 267.

{p.258}

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No. 2.

Report of Col. Nicholas Perczel, Tenth Iowa Infantry, of expedition from Cape Girardeau, with instructions from General Grant.

CAMP FRÉMONT, Cape Girardeau, Mo., November 12, 1861.

SIR: In accordance with orders under date of November 6, 1861, I started with the detachment under the command of Colonel Ross, taking with me the section of Campbell’s battery and a small body of Lieutenant-Colonel Murdoch’s cavalry as an advance guard. In the afternoon the advance guard saw a picket of the enemy, which retreated before them.

In the expectation of meeting the enemy I pushed forward in quick time, but found Spring Hill, where there was a camp of about 250 of the enemy’s cavalry, deserted. I marched on till evening, and encamped this side of the Castor River.

I had most reliable information of Jeff. Thompson’s forces in Bloomfield. He had 1,500 m en, part of whom were cavalry, and three pieces of artillery. I was determined to attack him the next day.

Officers and men seemed to be highly elated at the prospect of a fight, and would no doubt have done their duty.

On the morning of the 7th I received a letter from Colonel Oglesby, informing me that he would be at Bloomfield with his forces between 3 and 4 o’clock in the afternoon, and that he would wait for my arrival. As I was at that time only 6 miles from Bloomfield, and hoping that Thompson might make a stand against my forces I decided not to wait, but to march forward.

At the moment of starting my scouts brought in two citizens of Bloomfield, bearing a flag of truce; they tendered the submission of their town to the legal authorities and begged for protection. They reported that Thompson retreated the day previous toward Saint Luke. I then marched forward, arrived in Bloomfield at 10 o’clock a. m., took possession of it, and promised protection to the citizens upon condition of their good behavior. Unfortunately some disorders occurred. They were, however, speedily stopped by the appointment of a provost-marshal.

I encamped in the camp recently occupied by Jeff. Thompson, and immediately sent out scouts toward Saint Luke. At 3 o’clock in the afternoon Colonel Oglesby arrived with only a company of cavalry.

His progress having been delayed by bad roads across the swamps, he did not expect to arrive with his troops before the next day. He left a troop of cavalry with me and returned to his forces at Castor River. I sent patrols and scouting parties from Lieutenant-Colonel Murdoch’s horse guard in the direction of the enemy, and protected the camp by sufficient outposts.

At noon on the 8th Colonel Oglesby arrived with his forces, and gave me orders to be in readiness to march in two hours. His first intention was to push after Thompson; his second, to march toward New Madrid; and his third, to march towards Belmont, across Nigger Wool Swamp. He gave me orders to march in the last-named direction, promising to follow the next morning. I marched out and encamped at Bessy’s Mill.

In the night I received a letter from Colonel Oglesby, informing me that our friends had engaged the enemy at Belmont, and that they had been routed, and his determination to return to his detachment via {p.259} Cape Girardeau. On this, I in the morning cut across the country and took the shortest route to return to my post. On the road I met Colonel Oglesby, bound for this place.

I stopped at Castor River for the night. On the 10th I marched to White River, and on the 11th arrived at this place. Disappointed though we have been, yet from the spirit our soldiers have manifested in the prospect of a fight, I may venture to prognosticate favorably for the future.

I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. PERCZEL, Colonel, Commanding [Tenth Iowa Infantry].

Col. J. B. PLUMMER, Commanding Post.

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HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT SOUTHEAST MISSOURI, Cairo, Ill., November 4, 1861.

Col. J. B. PLUMMER, Commanding U. S. Forces, Cape Girardeau, Mo.:

In pursuance of directions from headquarters Western Department you will send out an expedition towards Bloomfield-the Tenth Iowa Volunteers. Send with them four days’ rations and four days’ forage. Caution the commanding officer of the expedition in your instructions that no marauding or foraging is to be allowed under any circumstances. Private houses are not to be entered against the will of the people, except in pursuance of orders of the commanding officer, and then only on business to carry out the object of the expedition. When it becomes necessary to have forage for the transportation trains it will be taken and vouchers given at a fair valuation and accounted for. On the return of this regiment it will be ordered here, unless otherwise directed. You will also send to this place, as soon as practicable, so much of the engineer force as can be spared from your command.

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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ON BOARD TRANSPORT NEAR COLUMBUS, KY., November 7, 1861.

Col. J. B. PLUMMER:

Yours of yesterday just received. When I gave directions for the expedition from Cape Girardeau I expected the force from Bird’s Point to protect them from the south, and the whole to meet at Bloomfield, or be within striking distance. Requiring Colonel Oglesby’s command with me, however, I have sent a messenger after it to him in this direction. This will leave your command wholly unprotected from this quarter; hence the necessity of having it stronger than first designed.

Receiving a report from Colonel Ross but a few minutes after you left Cairo of the force he would take with him, and knowing that he had started the morning before you left, I felt that he was strong enough, and did not think of a portion of his command being withdrawn. I should have dispatched to you immediately to prevent the expedition from continuing as it was. You will restore the command to as near what it was as a due regard for the security of your own position will permit, and allow it to proceed as originally designed. {p.260} Charge them to keep scouts well to the south, and if they get in pursuit of Thompson, in conjunction with the force from Ironton chase him to Arkansas. They should not venture far, however, unsupported.

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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No. 3.

Report of Col. William P. Carlin, Thirty-eighth Illinois Infantry, of expedition from Ironton.

HEADQUARTERS EXPEDITION TO INDIAN FORD, November 10, 1861.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that I arrived at this place yesterday evening, 70 miles from Ironton. On Tuesday last Thompson had withdrawn his detachment from this and other points in the neighborhood, and the same day fled from Bloomfield, which, I learn here, was occupied next day by Colonel Oglesby’s command from Cairo or Bird’s Point.

Last night I sent my aide, Lieutenant Willett, and a detachment of cavalry, to communicate with the commanding officer at Bloomfield, but on arriving within 3 miles of town he met a messenger, who informed him that the troops there had been ordered to return to Bird’s Point in consequence of a fight at Belmont, that had been lost by our forces.

I find that it will be impracticable to follow up Thompson without making preparations for a long campaign. To this point it is possible for wagons to come, though they retard our march greatly. But beginning here is a miry, swampy region, utterly impracticable for baggage wagons. The country is now almost destitute of forage and provisions, the inhabitants living on corn bread and pork exclusively. During the remainder of this year, if Thompson should return, he can accomplish nothing but to devour what little remains. From all accounts he is disgusted and dispirited, and his forces kept together only by fear of being arrested by us.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. P. CARLIN, Colonel Commanding.

Capt. C. MCKEEVER, Adjutant-General Western Department.

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No. 4.

Reports of Brig. Gen. M. Jeff. Thompson, Missouri State Guard, with instructions to his subordinates.

HDQRS. FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT MO. S. G., Bloomfield, Mo., November 5, 1861-3 p. m.

SIR: I have just been informed by a courier from Cape Girardeau that the enemy is advancing on this point in considerable force, and also from Commerce this way. The move must be a general one (if being made at all), from the fact that they moved also, at Greenville last night with 300 cavalry, and I was just preparing to go that way when {p.261} I heard of the other moves. I will immediately put my command in marching order, and move to meet one or other of the columns, I think the one coming here from Cape Girardeau. I cannot be cut off; but, if the report be true as to numbers, I may be driven southward towards the plank road but will keep you constantly advised, so that you can take advantage of any false movement they may make. You can rest assured, if Frémont has whipped Price, this movement is a real one; and if not, it is to cover greater ones. I hope there are post-horses from Little Rock to Price’s army, or the Federals will get four or five days’ advantage by telegraph.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Maj. Gen. LEONIDAS POLK, C. S. A., Columbus, Ky.

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BLOOMFIELD, MO., November 5, 1861-8 p. m.

DEAR GENERAL: Another courier has arrived from Scott County, confirming the report from Cape Girardeau County. The last courier says 3,500 men landed at Commerce yesterday at 11 o’clock a. m., and camped last night at Benton. No other couriers have yet arrived, but these couriers from different directions confirming the report have forced me to prepare for action. I have issued orders disposing of my forces for a defense of this position, but as the troops from Cape Girardeau will have to cross no swamp to get here, their numbers may overwhelm me, and force me southward. If there is no possible chance to whip them, I may forego the pleasure of fighting them for the purpose of trying to save this county, which has always been very true to us, and may be sacked entirely if I should kill many of their men. The reports of the night and morning will determine me.

Should they move a large force down this ridge, Columbus is turned, and you will be forced to fight them.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Maj. Gen. LEONIDAS POLK, C. S. A.

7.30 A. M., 6TH.

Several couriers from the Cape road confirming reports.

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CAMP JOHNSTON, TEN MILES SOUTH BLOOMFIELD, MO., November 7, 1861-6 o’clock a. m.

DEAR SIR: I fell back to this place last evening, as I found that I could not prevent the conjunction of the columns of the enemy. The exact amount of the enemy marching against us I cannot ascertain, but I understand that 3,000 are encamped at Carpenter’s Ferry and 4,000 at Castor Bridge, the latter 7 miles, the former 12 miles, from Bloomfield. I will be by noon at the west end of the Blanton road to New Madrid, and, if necessary, at the west end of the plank road to New Madrid or Point Pleasant to-morrow or next day. I cannot now be cut off and do not fear pursuit, as I am 20 miles ahead.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Maj. Gen. LEONIDAS POLK, C. S. A., Columbus, Ky.

{p.262}

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CAMP JOHNSTON, MO., November 7, 1861-6.30 a. m.

SIR: I moved down to this point yesterday afternoon, and I will move to Camp Prairie this morning and to Camp Watkins this afternoon, if necessary. One column of the enemy encamped at Castor Bridge and one at Carpenter’s Ferry. We are safe from any, unless a column should press on down to New Madrid, which I have every reason to believe they have not, as my vedettes left Sikeston as late as 2 o’clock yesterday. If the coast is clear I will cross over to New Madrid; if it is not, I will remain at the end of the plank road until driven away. I will send all of Lewis’ cavalry over to the east side of the swamp as soon as possible. Luke Byrne’s cavalry will cross the Blanton road to-day to picket the country on that side. Send me any news you have by a courier, on a fresh horse, to-day, over the plank road and up until he meets me.

Yours, &c.,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General Commanding.

Col. J. A. WALKER, New Madrid, Mo.

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HDQRS. FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT MO. S. G., New Madrid, Mo., November 10, 1861-10 p. m.

DEAR SIR: Yours of the 5th* per Lieutenant Owens, was received night before last while on my way to Columbus, from which place I have just returned. I took your letter with me to General Polk, and he will write to you at his earliest opportunity; but, as I can give you the information you desire (as it is possible he has his hands full for several days), I will write and let your courier return.

There was a general movement of the Federals on the 1st of this month. Those from Ironton started first and first attracted my attention. I sent my scouts out in the neighborhood of Greenville and became satisfied that their cavalry had gotten too much in advance of their infantry, and, if their infantry had not already turned back, that I could cut it off. I was making arrangements to carry out my plans, when I received notice that a simultaneous march of several large columns was being made upon Bloomfield. I immediately commenced preparing to retreat, and barely had my baggage safe, when 7,000 of the enemy closed in their net, but found me missing. They probably would have pursued me southward at once, but the descent of the Mississippi having been so signally defeated at Columbus on the 8th, that all the columns have been halted, and probably ordered to return, to plan anew. It seems that the largest force, which was to have marched from Paducah to attack Columbus on the land side, did not come to time, so that the force which landed on the Missouri side, to second the gunboats, was defeated most signally, and the boats forced to return. I understand to-night that Bloomfield has been evacuated, so that probably we may have quiet for a few days, unless the column from Ironton passed down the Black River (beyond my information), and advanced too far to receive orders promptly enough to retreat in time.

The battle at Columbus was a hotly-contested and bloody affair, and if the Paducah force had arrived in time, the fate of Columbus might have been sealed. You will see detached accounts in the newspapers, but I will simply state that not less than 300,000 rounds of musketry {p.263} were fired in a small, thickly-timbered bottom, and probably no shot longer than 150 yards. The large guns in the bottom and on the gunboats were firing all the while, and for nearly six hours the oldest soldiers say they thought hell had broke loose.

As soon as the enemy recuperate, they will probably advance again; but it will be a concentrated movement, and, consequently, you cannot expect much help from this end of the line, for we will have our hands full, and have to trust to Providence. My infantry force is now at each end of the plank road, and my cavalry is towards Bloomfield and Sikeston, watching the enemy and curtaining any movements I may determine upon.

Hoping that my anticipations are correct, and that the columns which menaced your post have returned,

I am, your obedient servant,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Col. SOLON BORLAND, C. S. A., Commanding Pocahontas, Ark.

*Not found.

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HDQRS. FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT MO. S. G., November 10, 1861-9 p. m.

Col. W. G. PHEELAN, Camp Watkins, Clarkton, Mo.:

DEAR COLONEL: I have just returned from Columbus, where I have been to receive orders, so that I can act in conjunction with the forces there. The signal defeat which the enemy received there has disconcerted all their plans, and therefore may require a change in ours. At the present time I am not disposed to believe that the enemy have really evacuated Bloomfield, although it is probable, as they may all fall back for the time being. If they really have returned, you may move northward, first to the end of the Blanton road, and when the “coast is clear” you can return to Bloomfield. I cannot, as yet, get satisfactory information as to their movements at Carpenter’s Ferry, as some say they are still crossing one way and some the other. I will know to-morrow and then will determine what to do with the rest of my forces. I could not give more definite instructions than I did, as no facts have developed themselves, and even now everything is in suspense and doubt. There seems to have been a general movement by the enemy, but the defeat of the center column may delay them a few days. In the mean time be vigilant, and I will give them “jessy” yet.

Yours, &c.,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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HDQRS. FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT MO. S. G., New Madrid, Mo., November 10, 1861-10 o’clock.

Col. A. WAUGH, Comdg. Fourth Reg’t, Missouri State Guard, Weaverville, Mo.:

DEAR SIR: I have just returned from Columbus. There was a general move of the enemy, but the defeat of the center column at Columbus has disconcerted their movements for a while, and has checked all their {p.264} columns. I do not believe Bloomfield has been evacuated, and there may be a movement down to this place. If they do they will have a power from which I cannot escape, and, as the Confederates cannot now help me, I must still exercise my discretion rather than my valor, and show them my heels. You will therefore remain where you are until further orders. If Bloomfield is evacuated, Pheelan will move up to the Blanton road, and will also move up on this side to the same road. You will send Smith’s cavalry up to this point, as you need no pickets nearer than I will have them to you. Send up my black ambulance and sorrel horse. I will be in constant communication with you.

Yours, &c.,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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HDQRS. FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT MO. S. G., New Madrid, Mo., November 12, 1861-12 p. m.

Col. W. G. PHEELAN, Commanding Camp Watkins, Mo.:

SIR: Yours of the 11th instant (8 a. m.) has just now reached me. You should not advance your train farther north than the Cut-off road to the Blanton road, say section 18, township 23, range 10, or Jimmy Nations’, until the purpose of the enemy is further understood, for I may need you on this side of the swamps. There will soon be a general move on the part of the enemy (that commenced a few days ago, but was discontinued by the fight at Columbus). They may march a large column down the Sikeston road, or they may come down the Bloomfield road; but come they assuredly will, unless they have entirely backed down. Your scouts, patrols, and pickets, both foot and horse, may go up as far as safe (which you must decide), but they must be careful of Noel Hawkins and such “ilk,” who are more dangerous than regulars. I will send Walker’s regiment to this end of the Blanton road to-morrow, and our couriers will pass over that road. If you can employ your men in repairing that road, you will be serving Stoddard County as well as the army. The quartermaster’s goods belonging to your post you will retain with you, but those boxes of clothes I want sent here, so that the Third Regiment of Infantry, which has suffered more and are more remote from home than the others, can receive a due proportion of them. My clothes are packed in some of the boxes. I desire them. The Richardson Artillery will remain with you, and I desire that you shall create the impression that the whole force is with you, for the blow I desire to strike above here I wish to be unexpected. Be vigilant.

Yours, &c.,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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HDQRS. FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT MO. S. G., New Madrid, Mo., November 13, 1861-12 noon.

Col. SOLON BORLAND, C. S. A., Pocahontas, Ark.:

DEAR SIR: Captain White has just arrived, and I hasten to give you such information in regard to my force and movements as I can in the present precarious condition of affairs. I have no doubt that my letter* {p.265} of the 11th explained matters somewhat to your satisfaction and I will do so fully to Captain White. I have now in the field about 2,000 men, of which 700 are mounted. I have eight field pieces. I did have Colonel Pheelan at Bloomfield, Colonel Walker at New Madrid, and the balance of my force with me at Fredericktown. After returning from Fredericktown I had my men placed from the Saint Francis to Little River, so that I could move towards Ironton or Cape Girardeau with facility and secrecy. I heard of the approach from Ironton, and prepared to get in the rear of the enemy, to destroy his trains and force him to return, but just then I heard of his return (except Hawkins’ command), and of the concerted movements on my post at Bloomfield. I barely had time to call in my men and leave before 8,000 of them closed down on an empty net. The fight at Columbus disconcerted their plans for the tune being, and all their troops have been called in to join the grand army, which I understand they are now concentrating to march down the Mississippi. I had yesterday Colonel Pheelan at the west end of the plank road, with 350 infantry, 200 dragoons, and 3 guns. Colonel Waugh was at the east end of the plank road, with 600 infantry. Colonel Walker was here with 200 infantry, 500 dragoons, and 5 guns. To-day Pheelan will be at the west end of the Blanton road; his dragoons will be in Bloomfield. Walker will be at the east end of the Blanton road (eight miles from here). Waugh will bring his infantry here, and I expect to take the dragoons to Sikeston, and, if possible, again destroy the Charleston Railroad, or make some diversion which will disconcert or delay the plans of the enemy at Bird’s Point. You will see that I am entirely too far away to be of any assistance to you, unless a single column should advance from Ironton (without one from Cape Girardeau), in which case I can, without the enemy being aware of my movements, be at the Indian Ford, or Saint Francisville, in four days, and either force them to come after me or go in their rear. I would be pleased to hear from you often, and any movements which I can make for your benefit, or as part of your plans, I will be pleased to make.

Yours, most respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

* Not found. Reference probably to that of 10th, p. 262.

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No. 5.

Report of Col. Solon Borland, C. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS POCAHONTAS, ARK., November 5, 1861-9 o’clock p. m.

GENERAL: I have just received information which I indorse as reliable, for it comes from my own scouts, &c., that the enemy in very large force (7,000) are coming rapidly down upon us. That number was within 30 miles of De la Plaine (58 miles north of this) this morning. As you are aware, I have a very small force here, not exceeding, even if reaching, 700 effective men of all arms, and every one of them, men and officers, raw and inexperienced. I have a few old cannon (6 and 4 pounders) that General Hardee pronounced worthless and threw aside as such before he left. Besides, I have no artillery company. Captain Roberts, with about 60 men, who have some knowledge of such service, though not regularly trained, left here yesterday evening, by order of {p.266} General Hardee, to join him in Kentucky. I have ordered them back to take charge of these guns and do the best we can with them. I hope they will get back by to-morrow night. I have sent a dispatch to General Thompson, wherever he may be in Missouri, to co-operate with me by marching upon the flank and rear of the enemy, and I have requested him to send my dispatch on to you at Columbus, as containing what I wish you to know. I write this to you via Memphis, so as to have two chances to reach you speedily. I have dispatched to every militia and volunteer officer throughout the counties an appeal to the people to rally to my support at once and from all quarters. It is only a question of time. If all to whom I have appealed come in due time we can beat the enemy, but if I am left alone with my little handful we can only die at our post, as we will do, but we cannot successfully resist such a disparity of force, at least ten to one, and with artillery.

Don’t think I exaggerate or write under undue excitement. I and the little force I have here (which I repeatedly warned both General Hardee and General Johnston was wholly inadequate for either attack or defense), are resolved to die here alone, if no one comes to help us. To this I pledge myself, for I will never, while alive, retreat. My mind has long since been made up to that; but I do feel the deepest concern that, if we are permitted to fall here, the invasion of our State will be complete before any other help can come, and our homes and families will be overwhelmed with ruin. Those who for want of timely aid shall permit us thus to be sacrificed will reap a full harvest of self-reproach at least, if not of disgrace. I have ordered up all the boats in the river to take off supplies, sick, &c., but doubt whether they can get here in sufficient number or in time. You know best what to do.

I have the honor to be, most respectfully,

SOLON BORLAND, Colonel, Commanding.

Maj. Gen. POLK, at his Headquarters.

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NOVEMBER 7, 1861.–Engagement at Belmont, Mo., and demonstration from Paducah upon Columbus, Ky.

REPORTS, ETC.*

No. 1.–Brig. Gen. U. S. Grant, U. S. Army, commanding District of Southeast Missouri, and including operations against Thompson’s forces, with orders, &c.
No. 2.–Surg. J. H. Brinton, U. S. Army, Medical Director.
No. 3.–Commander Henry Walke, U. S. Navy.
No. 4.–Brig. Gen. John A. McClernand, U. S. Army, commanding First Brigade.
No. 5.–Col. Napoleon B. Buford, Twenty-seventh Illinois Infantry.
No. 6.–Col. Philip B. Fouke, Thirtieth Illinois Infantry.
No. 7.–Col. John A. Logan, Thirty-first Illinois Infantry.
No. 8.–Capt. Ezra Taylor, Battery B, First Illinois Light Artillery.
No. 9.–Col. Henry Dougherty, Twenty-second Illinois Infantry, commanding Second Brigade.
No. 10.–Capt. John E. Detrich, Twenty-second Illinois Infantry.
No. 11.–Col. Jacob G. Lauman, Seventh Iowa Infantry.
No. 12.–Capt. Benjamin Crabb, Seventh Iowa Infantry.
No. 13.–Brig. Gen. Charles F. Smith, U. S. Army, commanding at Paducah, Ky., of demonstration upon Columbus, Ky.{p.267}
No. 14.–Maj. Gen. Leonidas Polk, C. S. Army, commanding at Columbus, Ky., with congratulatory messages and orders, correspondence, and the thanks of the Confederate Congress.
No. 15.–Brig. Gen. Gideon J. Pillow, C. S. Army, commanding First Division.
No. 16.–Col. J. Knox Walker, Second Tennessee Infantry, commanding First Brigade, First Division, transmitting Lieut. W. J. Hunt’s statement.
No. 17.–Lieut. Col. W. B. Ross, Second Tennessee Infantry.
No. 18.–Col. R. M Russell, Twelfth Tennessee Infantry.
No. 19.–Col. T. H. Bell, Twelfth Tennessee Infantry.
No. 20.–Col. John V. Wright, Thirteenth Tennessee Infantry.
No. 21.–Col. A. J. Vaughan, Jr., Thirteenth Tennessee Infantry.
No. 22.–Col. R. C. Tyler, Fifteenth Tennessee Infantry.
No. 23.–Col. Ed. Pickett, Jr., Twenty-first Tennessee Infantry, with interrogatories from General Polk and answers thereto.
No. 24.–Col. Thomas J. Freeman, Twenty-second Tennessee Infantry, in reply to interrogatories from General Polk.
No. 25.–Brig. Gen. B. F. Cheatham, C. S. Army, commanding Second Division.
No. 26.–Col. Preston Smith, One hundred and fifty-fourth Tennessee Infantry, commanding First Brigade, Second Division, and his reply to interrogatories from General Polk.
No. 27.–Lieut. Col. Marcus J. Wright, One hundred and fifty-fourth Tennessee Infantry.
No. 28.–Col. W. H. Stephens, Sixth Tennessee Infantry, commanding Second Brigade, Second Division.
No. 29.–Lieut. Col. John H. Miller, First Mississippi Cavalry Battalion.
No. 30.–Capt. A. J. Bowles, First Mississippi Cavalry Battalion.
No. 31.–Capt. Melancthon Smith, C. S. Army, commanding Light Battery.
No. 32.–Brig. Gen. J. P. McCown, C. S. Army, commanding Third Division.
No. 33.–Col. S. F. Marks, Eleventh Louisiana Infantry, commanding First Brigade, Third Division.
No. 34.–Col. J. C. Tappan, Thirteenth Arkansas Infantry, with interrogatories from General Polk and answers thereto.
No. 35.–Lieut. Col. Robert H. Barrow, Eleventh Louisiana Infantry.
No. 36.–Capt. Lawrence L. Butler, Eleventh Louisiana Infantry.
No. 37.–Lieut. Col. D. Beltzhoover, commanding Watson Battery.
No. 38.–Maj. Henry Winslow, aide-de-camp.
No. 39.–Capt. B. J. Butler, steamer Prince.
No. 40.–Capt. W. L. Trask, steamer Charm.

* Of engagement at Belmont when not otherwise indicated.

No. 1.

Reports of Brig. Gen. U. S. Grant, U. S. Army, commanding District of Southeast Missouri, and including operations against Thompson’s forces, with orders, &c.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT SOUTHEAST MISSOURI, Cairo, Ill., November 17, 1861.

GENERAL: The following order was received from headquarters Western Department:

SAINT LOUIS, November 1, 1861.

You are hereby directed to hold your whole command ready to march at an hour’s notice, until further orders, and you will take particular care to he amply supplied with transportation and ammunition. You are also directed to make demonstrations with your troops along both sides of the river towards Charleston, Norfolk, and Blandville, and to keep your columns constantly moving back and forward against these places, without, however, attacking the enemy.

Very respectfully,

CHAUNCEY McKEEVER, A. A. G.

General GRANT, Commanding at Cairo.

{p.268}

At the same time I was notified that similar instructions had been sent to Brig. Gen. C. F. Smith, commanding Paducah, Ky., and was directed to communicate with him freely as to my movements, that his might be co-operative.

On the 2d of the same month, and before it was possible for any considerable preparation to have been made for the execution of this order, the following telegraphic dispatch was received:

SAINT LOUIS, November 2, 1861.

Jeff. Thompson is at Indian Ford of the Saint Francois River, 25 miles below Greenville, with about 3,000 men. Colonel Carlin has started with force from Pilot Knob. Send a force from Cape Girardeau and Bird’s Point to assist Carlin in driving Thompson into Arkansas.

By order of Major-General Frémont:

C. McKEEVER, Assistant Adjutant-General.

Brigadier-General GRANT.

The forces I determined to send from Bird’s Point were immediately designated, and Col. R. J. Oglesby, Eighth Illinois Volunteers, assigned to the command, under the following detailed instructions:

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT SOUTHEAST MISSOURI, Cairo, November 3, 1861.

You will take command of an expedition, consisting of your regiment, four companies of the Eleventh Illinois, all of the Eighteenth and Twenty-ninth, three companies of cavalry from Bird’s Point (to be selected and notified by yourself), and a section of Schwartz’ battery, artillery, and proceed by steamboats to Commerce, Mo. From Commerce you will strike for Sikeston, Mr. Cropper acting as guide. From there you will go in pursuit of a rebel force, understood to be 3,000 strong, under Jeff. Thompson, now at Indian Ford, on the Saint Francois River.

An expedition has already left Ironton, Mo., to attack this force. Should they learn that they have left that place it will not be necessary for you to go there, but pursue the enemy in any direction he may go, always being cautious not to fall in with an unlooked-for foe too strong for the command under you.

The object of the expedition is to destroy this force, and the manner of doing it is left largely at your discretion, believing it better not to trammel you with instructions. Transportation will be furnished you for fourteen days’ rations and four or five days’ forage. All you may require outside of this must be furnished by the country through which you pass.

In taking supplies you will be careful to select a proper officer to press them, and require a receipt to be given, and the articles pressed accounted for in the same manner as if purchased.

You are particularly enjoined to allow no foraging by your men. It is demoralizing in the extreme, and is apt to make open enemies where they would not otherwise exist.

Yours, &c.,

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General.

Col. R. J. OGLESBY, Commanding, &c., Bird’s Point, Mo.

Col. J. B. Plummer, Eleventh Missouri Volunteers, commanding Cape Girardeau, was directed to send one regiment in the direction of Bloomfield, with a view to attracting the attention of the enemy.

The forces under Colonel Oglesby were all got off on the evening of the 3d.

On the 5th a telegram was received from headquarters Saint Louis, stating that the enemy was re-enforcing Price’s army from Columbus by way of White River, a directing that the demonstration that had been ordered against Columbus be immediately made. Orders were accordingly at once given to the troops under my command that remained at Cairo, bird’s Point, and Fort Holt. A letter was also sent to Brig. {p.269} Gen. C. F. Smith, commanding at Paducah, requesting him to make a demonstration at the same time against Columbus.

To more effectually attain the object of the demonstration against the enemy at Belmont and Columbus, I determined on the morning of the 6th to temporarily change the direction of Colonel Oglesby’s column towards New Madrid, and also to send a small force under Col. W. H. L. Wallace, Eleventh Illinois Volunteers, to Charleston, Mo., to ultimately join Colonel Oglesby. In accordance with this determination I addressed Colonel Oglesby the following communication:

CAIRO, November 6, 1861.

On receipt of this turn your column towards New Madrid. When you arrive at the nearest point to Columbus from which there is a road to that place, communicate with me at Belmont.

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General.

Col. R. J. OGLESBY, Commanding Expedition.

which was sent to Colonel Wallace with the following letter:

CAIRO, November 6, 1861.

Herewith I send you an order to Colonel Oglesby to change the direction of his column towards New Madrid, halting to communicate with me at Belmont from the nearest point on his road.

I desire you to get up the Charleston expedition ordered for to-morrow, to start tonight, taking two days’ rations with them. You will accompany them to Charleston, and get Colonel Oglesby’s instructions to him by a messenger, if practicable, and when he is near enough you may join him. For this purpose you may substitute the remainder of your regiment in place of an equal amount from Colonel Marsh’s. The two days’ rations carried by your men in haversacks will enable you to join Colonel Oglesby’s command, and there you will find rations enough for several days more should they be necessary. You may take a limited number of tents, and at Charleston press wagons to carry them to the main column. There you will find sufficient transportation to release the pressed wagons.

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General.

Col. W. H. L. WALLACE, Bird’s Point, Mo.

On the evening of the 6th I left this place in steamers, with McClernand’s Brigade, consisting of Twenty-seventh Regiment Illinois Volunteers, Col. N. B. Buford; Thirtieth Regiment Illinois Volunteers, Col. Philip B. Fouke; Thirty-first Regiment Illinois Volunteers, Col. John A. Logan; Dollins’ Company Independent Illinois Cavalry, Capt. J. J. Dollins; Delano’s Company Adams County Illinois Cavalry, Lieut. J. K. Catlin; and Dougherty’s Brigade, consisting of Twenty-second Regiment Illinois Volunteers, Lieut. Col. H. E. Hart; Seventh Regiment Iowa Volunteers, Col. J. G. Lauman, amounting to 3,114 men of all arms, to make the demonstration against Columbus. I proceeded down the river to a point 9 miles below here, where we lay until next morning, on the Kentucky shore, which served to distract the enemy and led him to suppose that he was to be attacked in his strongly fortified position at Columbus.

About 2 o’clock on the morning of the 7th I received information from Col. W. H. L. Wallace at Charleston (sent by a messenger on steamer W. H. B.) that he had learned from a reliable Union man that the enemy had been crossing troops from Columbus to Belmont the day before, for the purpose of following after and cutting off the forces under Colonel Oglesby. Such a move on his part seemed to me more than probable, and gave at once a twofold importance to my demonstration against the enemy-namely, the prevention of reinforcements to General Price, and the cutting off of the two small columns that I had sent, in {p.270} pursuance of directions, from this place and Cape Girardeau, in pursuit of Jeff. Thompson. This information determined me to attack vigorously his forces at Belmont, knowing that should we be repulsed, we would re-embark without difficulty under the protection of the gunboats. The following order was given:

ON BOARD STEAMER BELLE MEMPHIS, November 7, 1861-2 o’clock a. m.

The troops composing the present expedition from this place will move promptly at 6 o’clock this morning. The gunboats will take the advance, and be followed by the First Brigade, under command of Brig. Gen. John A. McClernand, composed of all the troops from Cairo and Fort Holt. The Second Brigade, comprising the remainder of the troops of the expedition, commanded by Col. Hen Dougherty, will follow. The entire force will debark at the lowest point on the Missouri shore where a landing can be effected in security from the rebel batteries. The point of debarkation will be designated by Captain Walke, commanding naval forces.

By order of Brig. Gen. U. S. Grant:

JOHN A. RAWLINS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

Promptly at the hour designated we proceeded down the river to a point just out of range of the rebel batteries at Columbus, and debarked on the Missouri shore. From here the troops were marched, with skirmishers well in advance, by flank for about a mile towards Belmont, and there formed in line of battle. One battalion had been left as a reserve near the transports. Two companies from each regiment were thrown forward as skirmishers, to ascertain the position of the enemy, and about 9 o’clock met and engaged him. The balance of my force, with the exception of the reserve, was promptly thrown forward, and drove the enemy foot by foot, and from tree to tree, back to his encampment on the river bank, a distance of over 2 miles. Here he had strengthened his position by felling the timber for several hundred yards around his camp, making a sort of abatis. Our men charged through this, driving the enemy under cover of the bank and many of them into their transports, in quick time, leaving us in possession of everything not exceedingly portable.

Belmont is situated on low ground, and every foot is commanded by the guns on the opposite shore, and of course could not be held for a single hour after the enemy became aware of the withdrawal of his troops. Having no wagons with me, I could move but little of the captured property, consequently gave orders for the destruction of everything that could not be moved and an immediate return to our transports. Tents, blankets, &c., were set on fire and destroyed, and our return march commenced, taking his artillery and a large number of captured horses and prisoners with us. Three pieces of artillery being drawn by hand, and one by an inefficient team, were spiked and Left on the road; two were brought to this place.

We had but fairly got under way when the enemy, having received re-enforcements, rallied under cover of the river bank and the woods on the point of laud in the bend of the river above us, and made his appearance between us and our transports, evidently with a design of cutting off our return to them.

Our troops were not in the least discouraged, but charged the enemy and again defeated him. We then, with the exception of the Twenty-seventh Illinois, Col. N. B. Buford commanding, reached our transports and embarked without further molestation. While waiting for the arrival of this regiment, and to get some of our wounded from a field hospital near by, the enemy, having crossed fresh troops from Columbus, again made his appearance on the river bank, and commenced {p.271} firing upon our transports. The fire was returned by our men from the decks of the steamers, and also by the gunboats with terrible effect, compelling him to retire in the direction of Belmont. In the mean time Colonel Buford, although he had received orders to return with the main force, took the Charleston road from Belmont, and came in on the road leading to Bird’s Point, where we had formed the line of battle in the morning. At this point, to avoid the effect of the shells from the gunboats that were beginning to fall among his men, he took a blind path direct to the river, and followed a wood road up its bank, and thereby avoided meeting the enemy, who were retiring by the main road. On his appearance on the river bank a steamer was dropped down, and took his command on board, without his having participated or lost a man in the enemy’s attempt to cut us off from our transports.

Notwithstanding the crowded state of our transports, the only loss we sustained from the enemy’s fire upon them was three men wounded, one of whom belonged to one of the boats.

Our loss in hilled on the field was 85, 301 wounded (many of them, however, slightly), and 99 missing. Of the wounded, 125 fell into the hands of the enemy. Nearly all the missing were from the Seventh Iowa Regiment, which suffered more severely than any other. All the troops behaved with great gallantry, which was in a great degree attributable to the coolness and presence of mind of their officers, particularly the colonels commanding.

General McClernand was in the midst of danger throughout the engagement, and displayed both coolness and judgment. His horse was three times shot under him.

Colonel Dougherty, Twenty-second Illinois Volunteers, commanding the Second Brigade, by his coolness and bravery entitles himself to be named among the most competent of officers for command of troops in battle. In our second engagement he was three times wounded, and fell a prisoner in the hands of the enemy.

Among the killed was Lieut. Col. A. Wentz, Seventh Iowa Volunteers, and among the wounded were Col. J. G. Lanman and Maj. E. W. Rice, of the Seventh Iowa.

The reports of subcommanders will detail more fully particulars of the engagement, and the conduct of both officers and men.

To my staff Capt. John A. Rawlins, assistant adjutant-general; Lieuts. C. B. Lagow and William S. Hillyer, aides-de-camp, and Capt. R. B. Hatch, assistant quartermaster, I am much indebted for the promptitude with which they discharged their several duties.

Surg. J. H. Brinton, U. S. volunteers, chief medical officer, was on the field during the entire engagement, and displayed great ability and efficiency in providing for the wounded, and in organizing the medical corps.

Maj. J. D. Webster, acting chief engineer, also accompanied me on the field, and displayed soldierly qualities of a high order.

My own horse was shot under me during the engagement.

The gunboats Tyler, Captain Walke, and Lexington, Captain Stembel, convoyed the expedition, and rendered most efficient service. Immediately upon our landing they engaged the enemy’s batteries on the heights above Columbus, and protected our transports throughout. For a detailed account of the part taken by them I refer with pleasure to the accompanying report of Capt. H. Walke, senior officer [No. 3].

In pursuance of my request, General Smith, commanding at Paducah, sent on the 7th instant a force to Mayfield, Ky., and another in the direction of Columbus, with orders not to approach nearer, however, {p.272} than 12 or 15 miles of that place. I also sent a small force on the Kentucky side towards Columbus, under Col. John Cook, Seventh Illinois Volunteers, with orders not to go beyond Elliott’s Mills, distant some 12 miles from Columbus. These forces having marched to the points designated in their orders, returned without having met serious resistance.

On the evening of the 7th information of the result of the engagement at Belmont was sent to Colonel Oglesby, commanding expedition against Jeff. Thompson, and orders to return to Bird’s Point by way of Charleston, Mo. Before these reached him, however, he had learned that Jeff. Thompson had left the place where he was reported to be when the expedition started (he having gone towards New Madrid or Arkansas), and had determined to return. The same information was sent to the commanding officer at Cape Girardeau, with directions for the troops to be brought back that had gone out from that place.

From all the information I hive been able to obtain since the engagement, the enemy’s loss in killed and wounded was much greater than ours. We captured 175 prisoners, all his artillery and transportation, and destroyed his entire camp and garrison equipage. Independent of the injuries inflicted upon him, and the prevention of his re-enforcing Price or sending a force to cut off the expeditions against Jeff Thompson, the confidence inspired in our troops in the engagement will be of incalculable benefit to us in the future.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General.

Brig. Gen. SETH WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.

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HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT SOUTHEAST MISSOURI, Cairo, November 20, 1861.

GENERAL: Inclosed I send you the report of Brig. Gen. J. A. McClernand, commanding First Brigade in the late engagement at Belmont, Mo. Also the report of Surgeon Brinton, medical director, who accompanied me on that occasion. [Nos. 2 and 4.]

The Seventh Iowa and Twenty-second Illinois Volunteers were the only troops in the engagement not included in General McClernand’s command. Each of these lost their commanders, wounded, and consequently I have no official report of them. Being on the field myself during the entire engagement, I can answer for the gallantry of officers and men of both these regiments.

The Seventh Iowa lost their colonel (Lauman), wounded severely, and lieutenant-colonel (Wentz), killed, and major (Rice), severely wounded. Lieutenants Dodge and Gardner and 23 rank and file were killed; wounded, Captains Gardner, Harper, and Parrott, am Lieutenant Reams and 74 others.

Of the Twenty-second Illinois, Colonel Dougherty was badly wounded and taken prisoner. Twenty-one rank and file were killed. Captains Hubbard and McAdams and 74 men were wounded. Information received since the engagement through the Southern Press, and from persons coining from the South since, show the enemy’s force in the field to have been over 9,000 men, and their loss in killed and wounded alone not less than 600. My own impression is, their loss was much greater.

{p.273}

The city of Memphis was thrown into mourning for the dead and wounded taken there. Great apprehension is said to have prevailed lest the blow should be followed up with an attack upon them.

The officers and men, with rare exceptions, showed great personal courage, and I have every reason to be satisfied with their conduct. The lesson, though severe, will be of great advantage to the entire command. The object aimed at, to wit, to prevent the enemy from re-enforcing Price in Missouri, and from cutting off two small columns I had been directed to send towards the Saint Francois River, was accomplished to the fullest extent. The enemy have entirely abandoned Belmont, and have been receiving re-enforcements in Columbus continually since the engagement.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier. General, Commanding.

General SETH WILLIAMS, Asst. Adjt. Gen., U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.

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HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT SOUTHEAST MISSOURI, Cairo, Ill., November 5, 1861.

General C. F. SMITH, Commanding U. S. Forces, Paducah, Ky.:

In pursuance of directions from headquarters Western Department I have sent from here a force of about 3,000 men, all armed, towards Indian Ford, on the Saint Francis River, and also a force of one regiment from Cape Girardeau in the same direction. I am now, under the same instructions, fitting out an expedition to menace Belmont, and will take all the force proper to spare from here-probably not more than 3,000 men. If you can make a demonstration towards Columbus at the same time with a portion of your command, it would probably keep the enemy from throwing over the river much more force than they now have there, and might enable me to drive those they now have out of Missouri. The principal point to gain is to prevent the enemy from sending a force to fall in the rear of those now out from this command. I will leave here to-morrow night and land some 12 miles below.

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT SOUTHEAST MISSOURI, Cairo, Ill., November 6, 1861.

Col. J. COOK, Commanding U. S. Forces, Fort Holt, Ky.:

In pursuance with instructions sent this morning, you will march tomorrow morning with the command directed to Elliott’s Mills, taking two days’ rations. Should you receive no further instructions by 2 p. m., the day after to-morrow, you will return to Fort Holt. Take with you no more transportation than is absolutely necessary to the limited amount of tents and baggage for one night.

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General, Commanding. {p.274}

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT SOUTHEAST MISSOURI, Cairo, Ill., November 6, 1861.

Col. C. C. MARSH, Commanding Twentieth Illinois Volunteers:

On to-morrow I want an infantry reconnaissance made out to Charleston, to return in the evening. Take such number as can be accommodated by the cars, making one trip, not to exceed, however, your regiment.

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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ORDERS, No. -.}

HDQRS. DISTRICT SOUTHEAST MISSOURI, Cairo, November 8, 1861.

The general commanding this military district returns his thanks to the troops under his command at the battle of Belmont on yesterday.

It has been his fortune to have been in all the battles fought in Mexico by Generals Scott and Taylor save Buena Vista, and he never saw one more hotly contested or where troops behaved with more gallantry.

Such courage will insure victory wherever our flag may be borne and protected by such a class of men.

To the many brave men who fell the sympathy of the country is due, and will be manifested in a manner unmistakable.

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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No. 2.

Report of Surg. J. H. Brinton, U. S. Army, Medical Director.

MEDICAL DIRECTOR’S OFFICE, Cairo, Ill., November 18, 1861.

GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following list of soldiers wounded in the recent fight at Belmont, Mo. The total number of injured as yet reported to this office amounts to 247. Of these, as will be seen by reference to the subjoined statement, 10 have already died. It should, however, be stated that from one regiment (viz, the Seventh Iowa Volunteers) no report has as yet been rendered. The number of casualties to this corps have been more in number than to any other regiment, and when the report of the surgeon, Dr. Witter, shall have been received, the list as already submitted will doubtless be somewhat augmented.*

The reason of the delay with regard to the report of the wounded of the Seventh Iowa Regiment arises from the fact that immediately after the battle of the 7th instant that regiment was ordered to Benton Barracks, Mo., a portion of the wounded being left behind at this place and in Mound City, whilst another portion were conveyed northward with their regiment. Many of the wounded at present in our depot and general hospitals are cases of unfavorable nature. This is owing {p.275} to the circumstance that they fell into the hands of the enemy, and were left exposed on the field of battle for at least 18 or 24 hours. They were subsequently returned to us by their captors. Had the medical department of your command been provided with the proper ambulance train this disastrous and mortifying result might have been avoided. The only means of transportation which I possessed consisted of some two or three ordinary army wagons, obtained from the quartermaster’s department. These being destitute of springs, and the country over which they passed being wooded and rough, our wounded suffered much unnecessary anguish.

I would also state that Surgeon Gordon, of the Thirtieth Regiment Illinois Volunteers, and Assistant Surgeon Whitnall, of the Thirty-first Illinois Volunteers, were captured by the enemy, and still remain in their hands.

It affords me pleasure to notice the ability and efficiency of Brigade Surgeon Stearns and the corps of surgeons generally. I would especially instance the conduct of Assistant Surgeon Kendall, of Delano’s cavalry, who freely exposed himself to the fire of the enemy in his efforts to rescue and aid our wounded.

I have honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. H. BRINTON, Brigade Surgeon and Medical Director.

Brig. Gen. U. S. GRANT, Commanding District Southeast Missouri.

* The tabular statement following is from Surgeon Brinton, but of later date and more accurate than that referred to in his report.

Command.Killed.Wounded.
Twenty-seventh Illinois Volunteers1147
Thirtieth Illinois Volunteers927
Thirty-first Illinois Volunteers1070
Twenty-second Illinois Volunteers2374
Seventh Iowa volunteers2693
Cavalry and artillery111
Total50322

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No. 3.

Report of Commander Henry Walke, U. S. Navy.

U. S. GUNBOAT TYLER, Mound City, November 9, 1861.

GENERAL: Agreeably to your instructions, I proceeded on the evening of the 6th, in company with the U. S. gunboat Lexington, under Commander Stembel, down the Mississippi, convoying a number of transport steamers as far as opposite Norfolk and near the Kentucky shore, where we all anchored for the night. At 3 o’clock the following morning the gunboats Tyler and Lexington proceeded down the river with the intention of engaging the enemy at Iron Banks, but after running a short distance we were met by such a dense fog as to render any further progress hazardous and unfeasible. We therefore rounded to, and returned to the point from whence we started. I received your special order, and at 6 o’clock we all started, the two gunboats taking the lead. We proceeded to the extreme end of Lucas Bend, where I supposed we were out of the range of their guns. After your troops were disembarked and under marching orders, about 8.30 o’clock, the two gunboats proceeded to engage the batteries on Iron Banks. We each {p.276} expended several rounds of shell with seemingly good effect, but their balls from the rifled cannon flew by and over us to a great extent, some of the shot going half a mile beyond the transports. Fortunately, however, they did us no damage, and we returned to the transports, where they kept firing at us for a considerable length of time. I finally requested the captains of the transports to move above and out of the range of their guns, which subsequently they did, we ourselves doing likewise.

At 10 o’clock, hearing the battle at Belmont, our two boats again proceeded down to engage their batteries, this time expending more shell and receiving no injury. After an engagement of about twenty minutes, in the mean time the shots flying thickly about us, we again returned to the transports, continuing our fire as long as our shells reached them.

At noon, hearing the continued firing at Belmont, the two gunboats made their third attack upon the enemy’s batteries, this time going nearly a quarter of a mile nearer. We opened a brisk fire of shell, directing many of them to the enemy’s camp at Belmont, their rifled balls still passing beyond and around us, but one of their 24-pounders struck us on the starboard bulwarks, continuing obliquely through the spar deck, and in its course taking off the head of one man and injuring two others, one quite seriously.

After firing a few more rounds we returned, keeping up our fire from the stern guns till out of reach. It is truly miraculous that we have in all our engagements escaped with so little damage. After nearly all the troops had re-embarked and were about ready to start, a sudden attack was made upon the transport vessels by an apparently large re-enforcement of the rebels. Our boats being in good position, we opened fire with our grape, canister, and 5-second shells, and completely routed them-we learn with great slaughter. After silencing the enemy, we continued our fire with the broadside guns, throwing shell on the banks ahead with the bow gun to protect the transports, and throwing shell from the stern gun upon the enemy’s ground so long as we were in reach.

After passing a few miles up the river we met the Chancellor, with Brigadier-General McClernand on board, who stated that some of their troops had been left behind, and by his direction both gunboats returned some distance, picking up between us all there were to be seen, together with a large number of prisoners, some wounded and sick. Every attention was paid to alleviate the sufferings of the wounded, Acting Surgeons Kearney and Goddard dressing their wounds, and the crew of the ships furnishing them with their own hammocks and bedding. We then returned to Island No. 1; met the Rob Roy, with instructions from you; turned over to her all our soldiers and prisoners, and remained there till an hour after Colonel Cook’s return from a reconnaissance down the Kentucky side. We then weighed anchor and proceeded to Cairo. Commander Stembel, with the Lexington as consort, supported me in all the duties of the day with most commendable energy and in a most effective manner.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. WALKE, Commander, U. S. Navy.

Brig. Gen. U. S. GRANT, Commanding District Southeast Missouri.

{p.277}

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No. 4.

Reports of Brig. Gen. John A. McClernand, U. S. Army, commanding First Brigade.

CAIRO, November 8, 1861.

The expedition of which I advised you on the 6th landed yesterday morning 5 miles this side of Columbus, my command consisting of Twenty-seventh, Colonel Buford; Thirtieth, Colonel Fouke; Thirty-first, Colonel Logan; Captain Dollins’ company of cavalry, and Captain Taylor’s battery of six pieces, all Illinois volunteers; the Twenty-second Illinois and Seventh Iowa, and Captain Delano’s company of cavalry, under Colonel Dougherty. Within 2 miles from Belmont, opposite Columbus, the enemy met us in superior force. We beat them, fighting all the way into their camp immediately under the guns at Columbus; burned their encampment, took 201) prisoners, a large amount of property, spiked two or three guns, and brought away two. During the action several thousand men were thrown across from Columbus. They formed a heavy column in our rear. We fought the same ground over, and after defeating them returned to our boats. Colonel Buford’s regiment and Dollins’ cavalry, becoming separated from the main body, made a circuit and came to the river above the landing after the boats had left. I returned with transport boats and gunboats, and brought them late at night. General Grant was in chief command. The battle was a terrible one, lasting several hours, and the loss on both sides heavy-probably 300 killed, wounded, and prisoners on our part. The enemy much greater. Many officers are lost. Captain Bielaski, of my staff; killed; Colonel Dougherty missing; Colonel Lanman wounded. Our force was about 3,500 strong-the enemy double that number. Prisoners say it was more. A flag of truce goes down to-day to provide for the dead and wounded. I will report at large by mail.

JOHN A. McCLERNAND Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Major-General MCCLELLAN.

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BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS, Camp Cairo, November 12, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report the part taken by the forces under my command in the action before Columbus, Ky., on the 7th instant. These forces consisted of a portion of my own brigade, viz: the Twenty-seventh Regiment, Col. N. B. Buford; the Thirtieth, Col. Philip B. Fouke; the Thirty-first, Col. John A. Logan, including one company of cavalry, under Capt. J. J. Dollins; the strength of the Twenty-seventh being 720 rank and file; that of the Thirtieth, 500; that of the Thirty-first, 610, exclusive of 70 mounted men, making in all 1,900 rank and file. To this force you added, by your order of the 6th instant, Captain Delano’s company of Adams County cavalry, 58 men, under Lieut. J. K. Catlin, and Capt. Ezra Taylor’s battery of Chicago Light Artillery, consisting of four 6-pounder guns, two 12-pounder howitzers, and 114 men; the total disposable force under my command being 2,072 rank and file, all Illinois volunteers.

Having embarked on the steamer Scott with the Thirtieth and Thirty-first Regiments, on the evening of the 6th instant I left Cairo at 5 o’clock, {p.278} and proceeded down the Mississippi to the foot of Island No. 1, and lay to for the night on the Kentucky shore, 11 miles above Columbus, as previously instructed by you. Posting a strong guard for the protection of the boat and those that followed to the same point, I remained until 7 o’clock the following morning. At that hour, preceded by the gunboats Tyler and Lexington, and followed by the remainder of the transports, I proceeded down the river to the designated landing, on the Missouri shore, about 2 1/2 miles, in a direct line from Columbus and Belmont.

By 8.30 o’clock the rest of the transports had arrived, and the whole force was disembarked, and marching beyond a collection of corn fields in front of the landing, was formed for an advance movement, and awaited your order. I ordered Dollins’ and Delano’s cavalry to scour the woods along the road to Belmont, and report to me from time to time. The remainder of my command followed the cavalry, the Twenty-seventh in front, the Thirtieth next, supported by a section of Taylor’s battery; the Thirty-first and the remainder of Taylor’s battery next; succeeded by the Seventh Iowa, Colonel Lauman, and the Twenty-second Illinois, Colonel Dougherty, who had been assigned by you to that portion of the command. When the rear of the column had reached a road intersecting our line of march, about 1 1/2 miles from the abatis surrounding the enemy’s camp, the line of battle was formed on ground which I had previously selected; the Twenty-seventh on the right and the Thirtieth on its left, forming the right wing; a section of Taylor’s battery was disposed on the left of the Thirtieth and 200 feet in rear of the line; Thirty-first formed the center, the Seventh and Twenty-second forming the left wing, masking two sections of artillery.

By this time Dollins’ cavalry was skirmishing sharply with the enemy’s pickets to the right and in advance of our line, the enemy in the mean time having shifted the heavy fire of his batteries at Columbus from our gunboats to our advancing line, but without serious effect. With your permission I now ordered two companies from each regiment of my command to advance, instructing them to seek out and develop the position of the enemy, the Twenty-second and Seventh pushing forward similar parties at the same time. A sharp firing having immediately commenced between the skirmishing parties of the Thirtieth and Thirty-first and the enemy, I ordered forward another party to their support, rode forward, selected a new position, and ordered up the balance of my command, the Twenty-seventh, to pass around the head of a pond, the Thirtieth and Thirty-first with the artillery crossing the dry bed of the same pond in their front. On their arrival I reformed the line of battle in the same order as before, expecting that the Seventh and Twenty-second would resume their former position on the left wing. This disposition would have perfected a line sufficient to inclose the enemy’s camp on all sides accessible to us, thus enabling us to command the river above and below him, and to prevent the crossing of re-enforcements from Columbus, insuring his capture as well as defeat.

The Thirtieth and Thirty-first and the artillery moving forward promptly relieved the skirmishing parties, and soon became engaged with a heavy body of the enemy’s infantry and cavalry. This struggle, which was continued for half an hour with great obstinacy, threw our ranks into temporary disorder, but the men promptly rallied under the gallant example of Colonels Fouke and Logan, assisted by Major Brayman, acting assistant adjutant-general of my brigade; also by Captain Schwartz, acting chief of artillery, Captain Dresser, of the artillery, Lieutenant Babcock, of the Second Cavalry, and Lieutenant Eddy, of {p.279} the Twenty-ninth Illinois Regiment, who had, upon my invitation, kindly joined my staff Our men pressed vigorously upon the enemy and drove him back, his cavalry leaving that part of the field and not appearing again until attacked by Captain Dollins on the river bank below his encampment some time after and chased out of sight. Advancing about a quarter of a mile farther, this force again came up with the enemy, who by this time had been re-enforced in this part of the field, as I since learn, by three regiments and a company of cavalry. Thus strengthened, he attempted to turn our left flank, but ordering Colonel Logan to extend the line of battle by a flank movement, and bringing up a section of Taylor’s battery, commanded by First Lieut. P. H. White, under the direction of Captain Schwartz, to cover the space thus left between the Thirtieth and Thirty-first, the attempt was frustrated.

Having completed this disposition, we again opened a deadly fire from both infantry and artillery, and after a desperate resistance drove the enemy back the third time, forcing him to seek cover among thick woods and brush, protected by the heavy guns at Columbus. In this struggle, while leading the charge, I received a ball in one of my holsters, which failed of harm by striking a pistol. Here Colonels Fouke and Logan urged on their men by the most energetic appeals. Here Captain Dresser’s horse was shot under him, while Captain Schwartz’s horse was twice wounded. Here the projectiles from the enemy’s heavy guns at Columbus, and their artillery at Belmont, crashed through the woods over and among us. Here, again, all my staff who were with me displayed the greatest intrepidity and activity, and here, too, many of our officers and privates were killed or wounded. Nor should I omit to add that this gallant conduct was stimulated by your presence and inspired by your example. Here your horse was shot under you.

While this struggle was going on, a tremendous fire from the Twenty-seventh, which had, under the skillful guidance of Colonel Buford, approached the abatis on the right and rear of the tents, was heard. About the same time the Seventh and Twenty-second, which had passed the rear of the Thirtieth and Thirty-first, hastened up, and closing the space between them and the Twenty-seventh, poured a deadly fire upon the enemy. A combined movement was now made upon three sides of the enemy’s defenses, and driving him across them, we followed upon his heels into the clear space around his camp. The Twenty-seventh was the first seen by me entering upon this ground. I called the attention of the other regiments to the fact, and the whole line was quickened with eager and impatient emulation. In a few minutes our entire force was within the inclosure. Under the skillful direction of Captain Schwartz, Captain Taylor now brought up his battery within 300 yards of the enemy’s tents, and opened fire upon them. The enemy fled with precipitation from the tents, and took shelter behind some buildings near the river and into the woods above the camp, under cover of his batteries at Columbus. Near this battery I met Colonel Dougherty, who was leading the Seventh and Twenty-second through the open space towards the tents. At the same time our lines upon the right and left were pressing up to the line of fire from our battery, which now ceased firing, and our men rushed forward among the tents and towards some buildings near the river.

Passing over to the right of the camp, I met with Colonel Buford for the first time since his arduous and perilous detour around the pond, and congratulated him upon the eagerness of his men to be the first to pass the enemy’s works. During the execution of this movement Capt. Alexander Bielaski, one of my aides-de-camp, who had accompanied {p.280} Colonel Buford during the march of the Twenty-seventh separate from the main command, having dismounted from his horse, which had been several times wounded, was shot down while advancing with the flag of his adopted country in his hand, and calling on the men in his rear to follow him. His bravery was only equaled by his fidelity as a soldier and patriot. He died, making the Stars and Stripes his winding-sheet. Honored be his memory! Near him, and a few minutes afterwards, Colonel Lanman fell, severely wounded in the thigh, while leading his men in a daring charge. About the same time Capt. William A. Schmitt, of the Twenty-seventh, was also wounded while striving for the advance. Galloping my horse down to the river, I found Captain Bozarth, of Company K, Twenty-seventh Regiment, supported by squads of men who had joined him, sharply engaged with a detachment of the enemy, whom he drove into the woods above the camp. Here the firing was very hot. My own head was grazed by a ball; my horse was wounded in the shoulders, and his caparison torn in several places. Here, too, one of the enemy’s caissons fell into my hands, and a capture of artillery was made by Captain Schwartz, a portion of the Seventh Iowa gallantly assisting in achieving this result.

Having complete possession of the enemy’s camp, in full view of his formidable batteries at Columbus, I gave the word for “Three cheers for the Union,” to which the brave men around me responded with the most enthusiastic applause. Several of the enemy’s steamers being within range above and below, I ordered a section of Taylor’s battery, under the direction of Captain Schwartz, down near the river, and opened a fire upon them, and upon Columbus itself, but with what effect I could not learn. The enemy’s tents were set on fire, destroying his camp equipage, about 4,000 blankets, and all his means of transportation. Such horses and other property as could be removed were seized, and four pieces of his artillery and one caisson were brought to the rear.

The enemy at Columbus, seeing us in possession of his camp, directed upon us the fire of his heavy guns, but, ranging too high, inflicted no injury. Information came at the same time of the crossing of heavy bodies of troops above us, amounting, as I since learn, to five regiments, which, joining those which had fled in that direction, formed rapidly in our rear, with the design of cutting off our communication with our transports. To prevent this, and having fully accomplished the object of the expedition, I ordered Captain Taylor to reverse his guns and open fire upon the enemy in his new position, which was done with great spirit and effect, breaking his line and opening our way to the main road.

Promptly responding to an order to that effect, Colonel Logan ordered his flag in front of his regiment, prepared to force his way in the same direction, if necessary. Moving on, he was followed by the whole force except the Twenty-seventh and the cavalry companies of Captains Dollins and Delano. Determined to preserve my command unbroken, and to defeat the evident design of the enemy to divide it, I twice rode back across the field to bring up the Twenty-seventh and Dollins’ cavalry, and also dispatched Major Bray-man for the same purpose, but without accomplishing the object, they having sought in returning the same route by which they advanced in the morning.

On passing into the woods, the Thirtieth, the Seventh, and Twenty-second encountered a heavy fire on their right and left successively, which was returned with such vigor and effect as to drive back the superior force of the enemy and silence his firing, but not until the Seventh {p.281} and Twenty-second had been thrown into temporary disorder. Here Lieutenant-Colonel Wentz, of the Seventh, a gallant and faithful officer, and Captain Marckley, of the Thirtieth, with several privates, were killed, and Colonel Dougherty, of the Twenty-second, and Major McClurken, of the Thirtieth, who was near me, seriously wounded. Here my body servant killed one of the enemy by a pistol-shot.

Driving the enemy back on either side, we moved on, occasionally exchanging shots with straggling parties, in the course of which my horse received another ball, being one of two fired at me from the corner of the field. Captain Schwartz was at my right when these shots were fired. At this stage of the contest, according to the admission of rebel officers, the enemy’s forces had been swelled by frequent re-enforcements from the other side to be over thirteen regiments of infantry and something less than two squadrons of cavalry, excluding his artillery-four pieces of which were in our possession-two of which, after being spiked, together with part of one our own caissons, were left on the way for want of animals to bring them off. The other two, with their horses and harness, were brought off.

On reaching the landing, and not finding the detachments of the Seventh and Twenty-second, which you had left behind in the morning to guard the boats, I ordered Delano’s cavalry, which was embarking, to the rear of the fields, to watch the enemy. Within an hour all our forces which had arrived were embarked, Captain Schwartz, Captain Hatch, assistant quartermaster, and myself being the last to get on board. Suddenly the enemy in strong force, whose approach had been discovered by Lieut. Col. John H. White, of the Thirty-first, who had been conspicuous through the day for his dauntless courage and conduct, came within range of our musketry, when a terrible fire was opened upon him by the gunboats, as well as by Taylor’s battery and the infantry from the decks of the transports.

The engagement thus renewed was kept up with great spirit and with deadly effect upon the enemy until the transports had passed beyond his reach. Exposed to the terrible fire of the gunboats and Taylor’s battery, a great number of the enemy were killed and wounded in this the closing scene of a battle of six hours’ duration.

The Twenty-seventh and Dollins cavalry being yet behind, I ordered my transport to continue in the rear of the fleet, excepting the gunboats, and after proceeding a short distance landed, and directed the gunboats to return and await their appearance. At this moment Lieut. H. A. Rust, adjutant of the Twenty-seventh, a brave and enterprising officer, hastened up and announced the approach of the Twenty-seventh and Dollins’ cavalry. Accompanied by Captains Schwartz and Hatch I rode down the river bank, and met Colonel Buford with a part of his command. Informing him that my transport was waiting to receive him, I went farther down the river and met Captain Dollins, whom I also instructed to embark, and still farther down met the remainder of the Twenty-seventh, which had halted on the bank where the gunboat Tyler was lying to, the Lexington lying still farther down. The rest of the boats having gone forward, Captain Walke, of the Tyler, at my request, promptly took the remainder of the Twenty-seventh on board, Captain Stembel, of the Lexington, covering the embarkation.

Having thus embarked all my command, I returned with Captains Schwartz and Hatch to my transport and re-embarked, reaching Cairo about midnight, after a day of almost unceasing marching and conflict.

I cannot bestow too high commendation upon all whom I had the honor to command on that day. Supplied with inferior and defective {p.282} arms, many of which could not be discharged, and others bursting in use, they fought an enemy in woods with which he was familiar, behind defensive works which he had been preparing for months, in the face of a battery at Belmont and under his heavy guns at Columbus, and, although numbering three or four to our one, beat him, capturing several stand of his colors, destroying his camp, and carrying off a large amount of property already mentioned. From his own semi-official accounts, his loss was 600 killed, wounded, and missing, including among the killed and wounded a number of officers, and probably among the missing 155 prisoners, who were brought to this post.

To mention all who did well would include every man in my command who came under my personal notice. Both officers and privates did their whole duty, nobly sustaining the enviable character of Americans and Illinoisans. They shed new luster upon the flag of their country by upholding it in triumph amid the shock of battle and the din of arms. The blood they so freely poured out proved their devotion to their country, and serves to hallow a just cause with glorious recollections. Their success was that of citizen soldiers.

Major Brayman, Captains Schwartz and Dresser, and Lieutenants Eddy and Babcock, all members of my staff, are entitled to my gratitude for the zeal and alacrity with which they bore my orders in the face of danger and discharged all their duties in the field. Colonels Buford, Fouke, and Logan repeatedly led their regiments to the charge, and as often drove the enemy back in confusion, thus inspiring their men with kindred ardor and largely contributing to the success of the day. Colonel Logan’s admirable tactics not only foiled the frequent attempts of the enemy to flank him, but secured a steady advance towards the enemy’s camp. Colonel Fouke and his command, exposed throughout to a galling fire from the enemy, never ceased to press forward. His march was marked by the killed and wounded of the foe, mingled with many of his own men. Accomplishing a difficult circuit, Colonel Buford, active, eager, and emulous, was the first to throw his men within the enemy’s defenses. Captain Taylor and Lieutenant White managed the battery attached to my command with admirable skill and most successful effect. Capt. J. J. Dollins, with his company of cavalry, displayed unsurpassed activity and daring. Having been early detached from his regiment (the Thirty-first), he found his way, in company with the Twenty-seventh, to the enemy’s camp on the lower side, charging his line with an impetuosity characteristic of himself and his brave followers.

Our victory, though signal and extraordinary, cost many valuable lives.

Of the Twenty-seventh, 11 were killed, 42 wounded, and 28 are missing. Among the wounded was Captain Schmitt, already honorably mentioned, and Lieut. William Shipley, of Company A, a gallant and promising young officer, who has since died.

Of the Thirtieth, 9 were killed, 27 wounded, and 8 are missing. Among the killed is Capt. Thomas G. Marckley, of Company D, a brave and valuable officer, who died true to his trust.

Maj. Thomas McClurken, an accomplished and efficient officer, whose services were conspicuous on the field, was severely, and I fear mortally, wounded.

Of the Thirty-first, 10 were killed, 61 wounded, and 4 are missing. Capt. John W. Rigby, of Company F, a veteran and faithful officer, being among the wounded; also Capts. William A. Looney, of Company {p.283} C, and Alexander S. Somerville, of Company K, both bold and exemplary officers.

Of Dollins’ cavalry, 1 was killed and 2 wounded.

Of Taylor’s battery of light artillery, 5 were wounded; among whom was First Sergt. Charles W. Everett.

In closing this report, unavoidably somewhat imperfect, I cannot refrain from bearing testimony to the gallantry and good conduct of every arm of your whole force. Each did well; and, rejoicing in it, I cannot but sympathize in the just pride with which their valor has inspired you as their victorious commander.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. MCCLERNAND, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Brig. Gen. U. S. GRANT, Commanding District Southeast Missouri.

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No. 5.

Report of Col. Napoleon B. Buford, Twenty-seventh Illinois Infantry.

HDQRS. TWENTY-SEVENTH REG’T ILL. VOLS., Cairo, November 9, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report the part which my regiment took in the battle of Belmont on the 7th instant. The regiment, numbering 720 rank and file, were on board the steamer Montgomery at 4 o’clock p. m. of the 6th instant, which landed on the Kentucky shore at foot of Island No. 1 to await the following daybreak, at which time we steamed down the river to a point on the Missouri shore, in full view of the batteries at Columbus, Ky., and at 7 o’clock a. m. I landed the regiment, and took up the position assigned me by yourself on the right of the First Brigade, which was parallel to a bayou, which was in some places dry and in others impassable, and directly opposite one of the roads to Belmont, at the distance of 14 miles from the enemy’s camp. I immediately advanced the first platoon of Company A, under the command of Captain Schmitt and Lieutenant Shipley, across the bayou into the woods, to ascertain the nature of the ground and discover the position of the enemy, whose drums were distinctly heard. The detachment had advanced only 100 yards before they were fired upon by a body of cavalry, which they repulsed. As soon as the firing was heard I advanced the remainder of Schmitt’s company, and supported them with the whole regiment, which I caused to cross the bayou. Schmitt’s company, having advanced about 200 yards farther, were again fired upon by a larger body of cavalry, wounding one of his men, which he gallantly repulsed a second time. At this time, by your orders, Colonel Fouke brought up his regiment to my support, which he quickly formed on my left, and sent out two of his companies as skirmishers. It was here that you found me in advance of the place assigned me, and as the artillery and the other regiments, not of your brigade, had not yet come up, by your orders I moved back to the right of my first position, with Fouke’s and Logan’s regiments all formed in line of battle.

While waiting for the arrival of Taylor’s battery, my regiment was advanced half a mile to the right, and companies A and B sent forward under the command of Captain Schmitt, with orders to feel the enemy and engage him if found in that direction. Taylor’s battery having arrived, the whole attacking force, with the exception of my regiment, moved forward on the direct road to Belmont, and the engagement {p.284} became warm, you leading your brigade. From the information I received I became assured that the road I was on led to the rear of Belmont, and that by following it rapidly I would get into action at the right time and in the right place.

Guided by the sound of the fierce battle in which you were all the time engaged, I moved forward. At my request you had detached Captain Bielaski, one of your aides, to attend me, who rode with me at the head of the regiment. As we pressed forward in the woods, Captain Dollins, with his cavalry, appeared on my left, and obeyed my orders with alacrity to go forward and discover the enemy.

Our road soon led to a full view of the river and Wolf’s Island, below Belmont, where we met straggling soldiers retreating, of whom we captured several, Captain Parke securing the first one. The troops became animated and quickened their step, and came in sight of the camp, which was defended with an almost impassable abatis of huge sycamore trees.

I here formed our line of battle, the right opposite the abatis, the left in the open space in full view of Columbus, and under the fire of the field artillery in Belmont and the enemy’s guns on the opposite side of the river. As we approached by the right flank, before the line could be formed at right angles we received a heavy fire of musketry, which killed and wounded some of my men. While forming under fire the gallant Captain Bielaski, on his charger, was seen animating the men and assisting in forming the line. His heroic bearing was observed by us all. After having his horse shot under him he seized a flag, and, advancing with shouts, he fell mortally wounded. Lieutenant-Colonel Harrington and Adjutant Rust were near me on the right, leading bravely forward, while Major Wilson was doing the same on the left. The nature of the ground, the obstacles, and the heavy cannonading which was reaching us caused each company to take up the best position it could, and all kept up a constant fire, which soon drove the enemy from his camp. Here we lost about 9 killed and 3D wounded.

My next order was to advance over the abatis on the right and across the plain on the left, and occupy the camp over which the enemy’s flag still waved. The order was obeyed on the double-quick, and the camp entered simultaneously by companies A, Captain Schmitt, and G, Captain Southward, and others in such quick succession that I could not distinguish which went forward with most alacrity. Captain Schmitt, with part of his company, and Lieutenant Lytle, with part of Southward’s company, were the first to reach the flag, which was torn down by their joint efforts, and it remained in the hands of Lieutenant Lytle, who brought it away, a trophy well earned by the intrepidity he displayed during the whole day. As we advanced to make this attack the “Star-Spangled Banner,” borne by Fouke’s, Logan’s, and other of the regiments engaged, was seen steadily advancing on our left; Taylor’s battery was brought forward and opened fire, the enemy’s artillery was captured, and we had possession of Belmont.

While these deeds were being enacted you rode into our midst, and it was by your order that my regiment fired the camp. We had taken about 70 prisoners and many muskets, pistols, horses, and trophies. I placed the prisoners under charge of Captain Schmitt, who was wounded in the enemy’s camp, and he and Captain Miles, with other prisoners he had captured, began to return to the boats. Shot and shell from Columbus made it necessary that my regiment should now fall back behind the abatis and into the woods. The victory appeared won. We commenced retiring to our boats, but soon a new attack, made by fresh troops, who had been landed from Columbus in the woods, intercepted {p.285} our march. We returned their fire by a part of our regiment, and sought to find a new route to return. Covered by the woods, and guided by the descending sun, I led the regiment northward until I reached the bayou we had marched around in the morning to outflank the enemy, and recognizing the position, went confidently around it and got within 1 mile of the starting-point of the morning, but was admonished to take a northerly direction by the continued sound of musketry between us and where our boats were left in the morning and by the heavy cannonading from our own gunboats. We marched northward in rear of the farms on Lucas Bend, a distance of about 3 miles, before returning to the river near sunset, exposed during the whole march to the shot and shell of our own gunboats, which happily did us no injury.

On reaching the river the fleet of gunboats and steamboats were all far in advance, steaming towards Cairo. We marched forward, greatly fatigued, with the prospect of a long night’s march. Our wounded men were limping along, and all our horses were surrendered to them. The sun was setting. I met a settler, who had a frank, honest face, from whom I borrowed his horse, and mounted Adjutant Rust upon him to gallop forward, and if possible reach the steamer which was nearest us. The steamer was seen to be halting, floating back to Beckwith’s Landing. The adjutant reached the steamer Chancellor, hailed, and was answered by General McClernand that he was halting with the steamer and the two gunboats to take all on board. We soon met you on the shore, happy in knowing you had bravely led the brigade and continued unwearied in securing its safety.

And now how shall I distinguish those of my own command who did nobly? It was our first action. We encountered great odds; the enemy in his fortified position, the thunder of the heavy artillery from Columbus, the whizzing of rifled cannon; we had no guides. How could soldiers who had only volunteered a few days ago be expected to brave such odds? But they did brave them. My thanks are due to Lieutenant-Colonel Harrington, to Major Wilson, and to Adjutant Rust, who nobly assisted in forming the line under the fire and rallying the troops and in covering the retreat; also to Captains Schmitt, Parke, Moore, Miles, Southward, Brooks, Merrill, and Bozarth, and all the officers under their command; also to Sergeant Jansen, of Company A, and Fourth Sergeant McCormick, of Company B, whom I observed nobly doing their duty. Surg. E. H. Bowman was at his post, dressed the first wounded man, and was the last to leave his post. Happy am I that he is safe. Assistant Surgeon Barrell remained at home by my order to take care of the sick, but obeyed reluctantly. Quartermaster Sears solicited me to accompany the expedition, but as we took no train, I left him in command of the camp at home. Chaplain Rev. Dr. S. Y. McMasters accompanied the expedition, and was unwearied in consoling and dressing the wounded.

We lost 11 killed, 42 wounded, 28 missing, and 14 known to be prisoners. Among the mortally wounded was Lieut. William Shipley, of Company A, from Quincy, a young man of rare merits. He had for some time been unwell, and was by me directed to remain in camp; but when the column marched he was at his post, radiant with smiles, and was in the battle from first to last, receiving his wound on the retreat within a mile of the boats.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

N. B. BUFORD, Colonel Twenty-seventh Regiment Illinois Volunteers.

Brig. Gen. JOHN A. MCCLERNAND, Commanding First Brigade Illinois Volunteers.

{p.286}

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No. 6.

Report of Col. Philip B. Fouke, Thirtieth Illinois Infantry.

HEADQUARTERS THIRTIETH REGIMENT ILL. VOLS., Camp McClernand, November 9, 1861.

DEAR SIR: I received your order to have my Thirtieth Regiment ready to march at a moment’s warning at 11 o’clock p. m., 6th instant. I remained in camp in readiness until your second order was received to embark at 4 o’clock, which was done promptly at the hour named. After landing in Missouri I placed my regiment in the position you directed, and marched forward, with Colonel Logan on my left, and did not march far when the enemy opened upon my command, with infantry in front, and a battery of artillery obliquely raking my lines. We maintained our position steadily for thirty minutes, then moved forward slowly, driving the enemy before us. When I arrived at the corn field, or open space in front, I found Colonel Dougherty, Twenty-second Illinois Regiment, on my right. The batteries of the enemy there were abandoned. The enemy’s artillery and infantry retreated before us across the field, and took position in a ravine surrounded by fallen timber in front of their camp. Here I met with Colonel Dougherty. He charged to the right and I moved forward to time ravine, forming in forty paces of the enemy, concealed in fallen timber, and drove him from his position. At that time our artillery came up on my right. I poured a heavy fire into the retreating enemy under your immediate direction, about the same time following up to the cover he had partially abandoned. Colonel Logan’s Thirty-first Regiment came up from the left, and the two regiments charged into the enemy’s camp together.

After the defeat of the enemy at the camp I caused my colors (then riddled with balls) to be planted, my drums to beat, and rallied my regiment in position at the point where we were first attacked by the re-enforcement of the enemy. I believe I received the first fire. I lost there 1 lieutenant and 2 privates killed, and several wounded. I was then ordered by you to press forward and cut our way through and protect our batteries. I placed my men, a part in front and a part in rear of the batteries, and protected them to the boat, sometimes lifting them by main force over logs and ravines. As I entered the woods I received a galling fire from the enemy on the left. I returned three volleys, and as soon as I could disengage one of the guns of our battery which the horses were too much exhausted to pull over some logs in a ravine, I marched forward. It was then that Captain Marckley was killed. He fell dead at may feet, gallantly urging his men to stand by and protect the batteries. I there lost 3 or 4 privates killed and wounded.

When we arrived at the corn field after the first attack in the woods we were again assailed. It was there that 12 or 15 of the Seventh Iowa Regiment fell. They had been separated from their command early in the action, and had been fighting by my side in my regiment during the day, and I must add that they obeyed all my commands cheerfully, and fought gallantly during the whole of the engagement. Major McClurken here fell like a true soldier, in front of the ranks. After passing through the corn field we received one volley on the left of my regiment from the retiring enemy, which wounded 2 of my men. That was the last of the engagement until we got to the boats. My regiment came to the boats in order, bringing off quite a number of the wounded.

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I cannot speak too highly of the bravery and gallantry of my command. Three balls entered my saddle. The crupper of my saddle was cut in two by a ball. I had two horses wounded whilst on them. I have a black-silk flag with a scarlet fringe, taken by my regiment during the fight. It belonged to a Tennessee regiment. I took a whole company of Tennesseeans, but they all got away in the last engagement except 28. Those I delivered up at headquarters on my return to Cairo. My total loss of officers and men, including killed, wounded, and missing, amounts to 81.* One-fourth of the guns used by my regiment in the battle either exploded or were rendered useless before the battle was half over.

Your obedient servant,

P. B. FOUKE, Colonel Thirtieth Regiment.

Brig. Gen. JOHN A. MCCLERNAND.

* But see No. 2, p. 274.

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No. 7.

Report of Col. John A. Logan, Thirty-first Illinois Infantry.

CAMP MCCLERNAND, November 11, 1861.

SIR: In pursuance of Special Orders, No. 97, I prepared as many of my command as were in condition to march that were supplied with arms, the whole number being 610 infantry, and 70 cavalry, commanded by Captain Dollins. I proceeded at 4 o’clock on the 6th instant to the steamer Aleck Scott, and then embarked, in connection with Colonel Fouke’s regiment. We proceeded that night 11 miles below Cairo, and remained at the Kentucky shore till morning, when we proceeded with other boats, under command of Brigadier-Generals McClernand and Grant, landing at a farm some 3 1/2 miles above Belmont, in Missouri, opposite Columbus, Ky. We then, in connection with other commands, proceeded to a large farm some 2 miles in rear of Belmont, and formed line of battle under orders. My command was placed on the left, Colonel Fouke to my right, the Seventh Iowa on his right, and Colonel Buford on the extreme right, headed by Captain Dollins’ cavalry, of my command. I was ordered to throw out two companies of skirmishers, which I did-Captain Rees’ company, A, and Captain Somerville, Company K, under command of Lieut. Col. J. H. White, of my command. They advanced on double-quick some half mile. Having discovered the enemy, formed line of battle, Company A on the right and K on the left, on the east side of a small field, and there received a fire from the enemy, which was returned, where Company A lost one man killed and several wounded, and Colonel White had several holes shot through his coat, being in advance of his command. The two companies were ordered to advance, which they did, and the fight became general, when Captain Somerville (Company K) was wounded and compelled to retire, First Lieut. H. T. Snyder immediately taking command of Company K. I then ordered up Company I, of my command, under Captain McCook, to support the skirmishers, who formed on the center of Companies A and K, where the ground was hotly contested. I was then ordered to support the three companies with the remainder of my command. I immediately advanced through thick woods to a second {p.288} field from where the first engagement took place. I ordered Companies I and K to form on the left and Company A on the right of my command. I then gave Colonel White command of the left wing, and he performed his part of the work nobly. The enemy opened a heavy fire on my whole line from behind a depression that had been made at some time by the river. Several of my men were then wounded and two killed. We returned the fire, and advanced some distance, perhaps fifty paces, where we took cover from trees, logs, and underbrush. Then we opened a fire on the enemy, which was returned. Captain Looney and Captain Rigby were then wounded while fighting gallantly by their men. I ordered the men to lie down. Many of them did so, letting their returned fire pass over the line. The enemy soon gave way, and retreated some hundred yards. I was then ordered to cease firing by General Grant until the enemy’s position could be ascertained. We now formed in as good a line as we could in the timber and brush, when the enemy again opened on my line a deadly fire, killing several of my men and wounding some twenty.

The engagement then lasted for some length of time, and was really terrific. At one time then I thought they were outflanking us. I extended my line a little more to the left, in the direction of the river. The engagement was continued at the distance of 300 yards, we advancing and they gradually receding. About this time an order was given by General McClernand to advance along the line. I then ordered my whole command to charge the enemy. This charge was made with a will and a yell that sent the enemy in confusion to their boats, many of them falling on the way. In this charge, sir, I must be permitted to say that the officers and men maintained as good a line and executed the commands as well as could have been done by veteran troops. We drove the enemy from us until they disappeared under cover of fallen timber, protecting their retreat to their boats. I then moved by the right flank until we came to the open field in front of the camp at Belmont, then connecting with Colonel Fouke’s command, who were formed in a depression on the right of the fallen timber in front of the encampment. A captain of the Iowa Seventh fought bravely with me during most of the engagement, he being detached from his command.

I then formed a line of battle on a high piece of ground overlooking the camp. I saw Colonel Buford’s men down by the fallen timber down the river from the camp. I rode down to Colonel Fouke, and told him that we must charge the camp. He said that he would make the charge in connection with me. At this time I saw Captain Bielaski take the American flag and start with it, supported by Company A, Captain Rees’ company, and two companies of the Seventh Iowa., who had gone through in advance of my regiment all the way in skirmish fight. Captain Bielaski was then killed while planting the flag of our Union in their encampment. A braver man never fell on a field of battle. I then gave command to my regiment to follow me, and they did so with a yell and a will, Colonel Fouke’s regiment forming the left in the charge. In this charge I saw General McClernand, with hat in hand, leading as gallant a charge as ever was made by any troops unskilled in the arts of war. In this charge on the enemy I observed Captain Brooks’, Captain Parke’s, and a portion of another company of Colonel Buford’s regiment doing gallant service. Then the battle was hot, but for a moment. The enemy fled, and the day was ours. The flag of the enemy was cut down by E. D. Winters, of Company A, Thirty-first Regiment. In cutting it down he was wounded, as I am {p.289} informed by the whole company. When Winters was wounded the flag was torn off by a man in Colonel Buford’s regiment and retained, while the party who claimed to have done so, and have retained the flag, were at all times protected in every movement by the advance of my cavalry company, who were detached from my command, and had led Colonel Buford through the woods to the battle-field. I must here mention that Captain Rees’ company (A), of the Thirty-first Regiment, while detached as skirmishers, went through to the camp of the enemy in front of one of the guns of the enemy, and took and spiked the gun, suffering very much in doing so, having some 12 men badly wounded and 1 killed.

After we had taken the camp and burned it with the valuables, the enemy carried above us a very large force, and was attempting to surround us. I asked some of the battery men with us to bring up a gun and fire on them, as they were firing in the field in the rear of us. They did not do so at once. General McClernand ordered me to detail a company to run the battery on the elevation. I did so detail Captain McCook’s company. They ran up a gun, and it was fired twice. A portion of my regiment then opened a fire on them, and they retreated. I being the extreme left all day, I supposed that the command of the regiment on the right would naturally take the position on the right again, though I observed at the time a deployment in the woods on the left down the river and out straight from the camp. I got my men in line poorly, but as best I could, to make a stand. At that time General McClernand, who was by my side, seeing the enemy reforming in the woods between us and our boats, ordered me to take my regiment and cut their way through them. I must confess that I thought it a pretty hard task, though I felt complimented in getting the job, inasmuch as. I was outranked by every colonel on the field. I took my flag, and told Captain McCook to carry it to the head of the column, and die with it in his hands. I gave the order then for the Thirty-first Regiment, and as many more of others as desired, to follow the flag and myself. They did it with a steady and firm step. As we advanced I ordered Lieutenant Pulley, who was acting adjutant on the field, to go to the head of the column and lead, which he did. The enemy gave way before us without firing a gun until we approached the field, some mile up the river. Then they fired on us. We halted, and returned the fire. The enemy retreated, and I saw them no more until they showed themselves in the field after we had gone aboard of the steamboat Aleck Scott. They then fired a few rounds, but the gunboats soon cleared the coast. My command brought away – prisoners, who have been placed at the disposal of the general in command. Many of the guns of my command choked and burst while in battle, though the boys soon had better ones in their hands. Many of my command lost their blankets and overcoats on the field by pulling them off and throwing them down to give them fair play in the use of their fire-arms. Some few horses were captured, and many things of small value-papers, books, &c.*.

...

JOHN A. LOGAN, Commanding Thirty-first Regiment Illinois Volunteers.

Brig. Gen. JOHN A. MCCLERNAND.

* For list of casualties, see inclosure to report No. 2,. p. 275.

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No. 8.

Report of Capt. Ezra Taylor, Battery B, First Illinois Light Artillery.

CAMP LYON, MO., November 8, 1861.

SIR: I have to report the following casualties, &c., during the expedition and fight which occurred at Belmont yesterday:

Three men seriously wounded: First Sergt. Charles W. Everett, musket-shot in the head; Sergt. David F. Chase, shot in the arm; Private George Q. White, lost right hand and badly wounded in the face.

Slightly wounded: Privates C. R. Van Horn and William De Wolfe.

Horses lost: 3 shot on the field,

Horses wounded: 2 in the legs; several others slightly wounded.

Left on the field: 2 caissons, 1 baggage wagon, 2 sets artillery lead harness, 1,000 ball cartridge for Colt’s revolvers, 200 rounds ammunition for 6-pounder guns, 25 double blankets, 20 canteens, 5 coats, 3 caps, 5 Colt’s revolvers, 5 horse-blankets, 6 sabers, 5 lanterns, 3 shovels, 1 overcoat, 2 currycombs and brushes, 2 fuse-gouges. 60 friction-primers, 2 camp-kettles, 20 cups, 1 leg guard, 1 sponge and rammer, 6 whips, 20 haversacks, 2 pick-axes, 4 felling-axes, 1 trail handspike.

Captured from the enemy: 20 horses, 1 mule, 1 6-pounder brass gun, 1 12-pounder brass howitzer, and some fragments of artillery harness, and sundry small articles captured by individuals, not of any particular value to the service.

My force consisted of four 6-pounder field guns, two 12-pounder howitzers, with gun limbers and caissons complete, 81 horses and 14 mules, 1,000 rounds ammunition for guns and howitzers, 1,000 pistol cartridges, 114 men, with rations and forage for two days. Number of rounds fired on the field, 400; number lost, 200; number brought off the field, 400.

I have to regret the loss of my caissons and baggage wagon, but trust that the Government is amply repaid in the capture of two guns from the enemy. I am highly gratified to be able to report that the officers and men under my command conducted themselves in a manner to deserve my highest commendation and praise as soldiers. I take pleasure in mentioning in particular Lieut. P. H. White and the men under his immediate command for the bravery displayed in driving the enemy from his position, silencing his battery, and, under a galling fire from his infantry, capturing two of his guns; and although the result of the battle is anything but satisfactory to me, yet I cannot forbear to say that, considering the ground fought over and the extreme difficulty experienced in handling artillery in the woods, I am satisfied that no men could have effected more under the circumstances.

Your obedient servant,

EZRA TAYLOR, Captain Light Battery B, First Illinois Artillery.

General U. S. GRANT, Commanding District Southeast Missouri.

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No. 9.

Report of Col. Henry Dougherty, Twenty-second Illinois Infantry, commanding Second Brigade.

HEADQUARTERS TWENTY-SECOND ILLINOIS VOLS., Camp Lyon, December -, 1861.

In pursuance to your order issued on the 6th of November, I embarked the Twenty-second Illinois Volunteers, numbering 562 men rank and file, with two days’ rations, on board the transport Belle Memphis. Everything being on board the steamer, we moved out into the stream, and after a short trip laid to on the Kentucky shore, near the head of Island No. 1, where we remained through the night in company with other transports from Cairo and Bird’s Point, aboard of which were troops comprising the Seventh Iowa, commanded by Colonel Lauman; Twenty-seventh Illinois, Colonel Buford; Thirtieth Illinois, Colonel Fouke; Thirty-first Illinois, Colonel Logan; also Captain Taylor’s battery of light artillery, together with a small force of cavalry.

The gunboats Lexington and Tyler accompanying us, which took position in the stream, were anchored below the transports. Our officers and men, being comfortably provided for, soon retired for the night, impressed with the probability of realizing their most ardent wishes; for by this time all on board were fully impressed with the opinion that we were bound for Belmont, which the sequel proved to be true.

Having received orders from you during the night through the hands of Assistant Adjutant-General Rawlins, I ascertained that you had placed me in command of the Second Brigade. I immediately transferred the command of the Twenty-second Illinois to Lieut. Col. H. E. Hart, who in accepting it remarked that he felt satisfied that the officers and men would do their duty, which I am proud to say they did to my and I hope to your entire satisfaction.

Early on the morning of the 7th the transports, preceded by the gunboats, moved down the river until within sight of the rebel forces on the summit of the Iron Banks immediately above Columbus, on the Kentucky shore, and, as afterwards proved to be the case, within range of some of the enemy’s batteries of heavy artillery. After the disembarkation of the forces and formation of the Twenty-second Illinois and Seventh Iowa Regiments into line, three companies of the former and two companies of the latter were ordered to remain with the transports, being placed under the command of Captain Detrich, of the Twenty-second Illinois, who was ordered by you to protect the transports and engage any forces of the enemy which might approach them. His report is herewith submitted.

Having passed through a field near where we disembarked and reached the timber, we formed in line of battle, the First Brigade, consisting of the Twenty-seventh, Thirtieth, and Thirty-first Illinois Volunteers, under the command of Brig. Gen. John A. McClernand, taking the right a little in advance of the Second Brigade, composed of the Twenty-second Illinois and the Seventh Iowa Regiments, under my command, and the whole force under your command in person. As soon as the line of battle was formed the order to advance was received and promptly obeyed. The Twenty-second Illinois and Seventh Iowa advanced for about 500 yards to the margin of a slough, where an order was given to halt and wait for further orders. Here Companies C and B of the Twenty-second Illinois, under the command of Captain Seaton, {p.292} and one company of the Seventh Iowa, were deployed as skirmishers, to ascertain and if possible to discover the position of the enemy. Soon the order of advance was again given, and from this point the Second Brigade encountered heavy timber, much of which had been felled by the enemy in order to impede the progress of any attacking force. Regardless of the obstacles thus encountered, the Second Brigade advanced as rapidly as possible for about half a mile, passing over much of the distance at double-quick march.

Hearing firing on the right while the skirmishers of the Second Brigade remained silent on the left, we advanced by a flank movement to the right through almost impenetrable woods, climbing over felled trees and filing around tree-tops in the direction of the firing. Halting a few moments to form a line, we again advanced, and encountered the enemy behind logs and among tree-tops, and at this point the firing commenced on the left, which now seemed to be general along the whole line, the whole force being apparently engaged in action. The enemy for some time obstinately resisted any advance at this point, and a storm of musketry raged along the whole line of the Second Brigade. Shell and Shot from the artillery of the enemy along the Iron Banks and the field pieces at Belmont fell thick and fast, and a perfect storm of bullets from his small-arms was here encountered. Many of our brave men were wounded at this point, and some fell to rise no more, sealing their patriotism with their heart’s blood; but their valor forced the enemy to yield at last, and again the Second Brigade advanced, pressing on over the enemy’s dead and wounded, many of whom implored our men not to murder them, being evidently under the belief of the false and wicked impression so industriously sought to be made by many of the leaders of this cursed rebellion that we were barbarians and savages, but instead of murdering them some of our men ministered to their wants and conveyed them to places of safety.

Step by step we drove them until they reached a secondary bank, such as abound through the river bottoms of the West, under which they were protected from our fire, and where they made another desperate stand for about thirty minutes, when our fire became so hot that they retreated precipitately to some open ground near their encampment, covered by a rude abatis of felled timber, strewing the ground as they went with guns, coats, and canteens. Our brave troops followed them with shouts, pouring volley after volley into them. Here the enemy’s movements at this point gave unmistakable evidence of being panic-stricken and defeated, retreating to the river and up the river bank behind the shelter of some brush and timber.

On gaining the open ground near their encampment, opposite to and in sight of the lower part of Columbus, the relative positions of the different commands for the first time since the commencement of the battle became visible. The Second Brigade, being on the left, had a shorter distance to march in order to reach the enemy than the First, and consequently reached the open ground in front of the enemy’s camp in advance of the right wing. In a few minutes one section of Captain Taylor’s battery of artillery emerged from the timber on the right and took position, when the Seventh Iowa and Twenty-second Illinois fell back and supported the battery, which opened a fire on the retreating rebels and their camp. The battery was well served, and evidently disconcerted the rebels, accelerating their retreat, and spreading consternation amongst them. From that point the Second Brigade advanced with the battery, entered the encampment of the enemy, and captured three pieces of his artillery, one piece being taken possession of by Company {p.293} B, Captain Seaton, and one by Company E, Captain McAdams, both of the Twenty-second Illinois, and the third by a part of our forces unknown to me. Two of the pieces were placed in charge of Captain Taylor, who gallantly brought them away from the field, to be used in a better cause in future.

After assisting in the destruction of the rebel camp and property not movable as long as was prudent under the fire of the rebel batteries in and about Columbus, which commanded the whole ground, the order to retire to the transports was received, but not before the rebel flag had been hauled down and the Stars and Stripes, the flag of our fathers, still bright with the glorious memories of the past, was exhibited to their view. After it had been displayed and the field music had played our national air within hearing of the rebels the order to retire was received from you, and our weary forces were called from the camp which they had destroyed.

In the mean time the rebels had transported a large force of fresh troops across the river-seven regiments, according to their own statement, contained in a Memphis paper. These were formed in the timber and in some corn fields between their destroyed camp and our transports. On the return the Second Brigade encountered these fresh forces, and at once engaged them and opened a passage through them. At this time the Seventh Iowa was in the rear of the Twenty-second Illinois, and was somewhat confused. All the field officers and many of the company officers of that brave regiment being either killed, wounded, or taken by the enemy, I told the men that as we had fought our way in we could fight our way out again, and ordered them to keep up a steady fire on the left, which they did with a will, notwithstanding their exhaustion, opening the ranks of the enemy and forcing their way through, in order to reach the transports at the same place we had debarked. On reaching the transports, which were safe and in waiting for us, meeting Lieut. Col. H. E. Hart, who had conducted himself through the entire battle with the coolness and bravery of a soldier, I ordered him to embark the Twenty-second Illinois Regiment on board the Belle Memphis, while I returned to fetch up the rear of the brigade. On my return I found many of the Iowa Seventh considerably scattered. While cheering them up and harrying them forward I received a small shot in the shoulder and one on the elbow, and shortly afterwards a ball through the ankle. My horse was also shot in several places, who fell with me and soon expired. I found myself unable to travel, and was consequently captured by the rebels, who treated me with respect and kindness.

The loss of the Twenty-second Regiment Illinois Volunteers during the day was 23 killed, 74 wounded, and 37 missing; total loss, 134. Captains Challenor and Abbott were severely wounded and left upon the field, where they were afterwards taken by the enemy. Captain Hubbard was slightly wounded. Lieutenant Adams was severely wounded in the left arm and taken prisoner. Captains Challenor and Abbott and Lieutenant Adams have since been returned, together with all the noncommissioned officers and privates who were wounded. The loss of the Seventh Iowa Regiment during the action was 26 killed, 80 wounded, and 137 missing; total, 243, making the whole loss of the Second Brigade 377. Among them were Colonel Lauman, severely wounded; Lieutenant-Colonel Wentz, killed, together with most of their company officers, who fought gallantly until stricken down by the enemy. This regiment throughout the battle fought like veterans, dealing death to the {p.294} rebels wherever they encountered them. Iowa may well feel proud of her sons who fought at Belmont.

Many of the missing-nearly all, in fact-were taken prisoners, but some, of whom there is no certain information, it is feared were killed. I am informed that as soon as the steamer Memphis got out of the fire of the enemy every attention and care were paid to the wounded, of whom there was quite a number on board. Many of the officers were very active in ministering to their wants, and Surgeons Stearns and Woodward attended them, faithfully performing their duties, dressing their wounds, and extracting many balls while under way to Cairo. Lieutenant Hamilton, quartermaster of the Twenty-second Illinois Volunteers, also assisted, and rendered most efficient aid.

I am further informed that only one two-horse wagon belonging to the quartermaster’s department of the Twenty-second Illinois Regiment was left. It contained nothing, but could not be got aboard, because the bank of the river where the Memphis lay was so perpendicular that a road had to be made with shovels, which consumed too much time. All the horses, including those captured from the enemy, were got on board. Many instances of individual heroism and bravery occurred during the day, but where all acted so gallantly it would be unjust to discriminate. The whole force under your command acted like veterans, and you may justly feel proud of the manner in which they conducted themselves on the well-contested battle-field of Belmont.

H. DOUGHERTY, Colonel Twenty-second Regiment Illinois Volunteers.

Brig. Gen. U. S. GRANT, Commanding Forces in Southeast Missouri.

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No. 10.

Report of Capt. John E. Detrich, commanding detachment Twenty-second Illinois and Seventh Iowa Infantry.

CAMP LYON, Bird’s Point, Mo., November 16, 1861.

After the disembarkation of the Union forces above Belmont on the 7th instant two companies from the Seventh Iowa and three companies from the Twenty-second Illinois were placed under my command, with orders to protect the transports. While waiting for the forces which were debarked to advance out some distance from the river, before throwing out pickets I received orders from one of General Grant’s aides to march the detachment down the river road to a ravine on the point immediately above Belmont, where another road approached the river, with instructions to engage any detachment of the enemy which might attempt to approach that way, and to observe the firing and movements of the enemy as closely as possible, and to act accordingly for the protection of the transports. As soon as possible after reaching the ravine I threw out pickets on each road in the direction of Belmont. The position was well selected, and commanded both roads. Although under some of the enemy’s guns on the Iron Banks, right on the opposite side of the river, the ravine so sheltered the detachment under my command that no injury was sustained there-their shot and shell mostly passing over us, only a few striking near, and only one in the ravine at that place.

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I observed the firing closely, as ordered, after it commenced on our side, and soon felt satisfied that the forces under the command of General Grant were forcing the enemy to retire; heard the cheering of the men as they entered the rebel camp, soon after which the firing of small-arms ceased for a while. In the mean time I had heard the noise of steamers a short distance below, and felt satisfied that the rebels were crossing immediately into Belmont or above it. The two gunboats moved down to the point, and almost under some of the rebel guns, and opened fire upon them; soon steamed back again toward the transports, which had moved a short distance up the river. Lieutenant Montague, of Company H, Twenty-second Regiment Illinois Volunteers, in command of the pickets, I threw out down the river road, captured one of the artillery horses, and came to me and reported that he heard forces moving through the timber below and toward the right, which, with the movements of the gunboat, inclined me to the opinion that the enemy was moving up through the timber, back of some corn fields, in order to reach the transports unobserved. In the mean time the firing of small-arms commenced again. It was very rapid, and from the sound I judged that our forces encountered the fresh forces of the enemy, and were fighting their way back through them, which proved to be the case. I then galled in my pickets, and about 4 o’clock p. m. marched the detachment back to the place of debarkation through some corn fields, which screened it from the observation of the gunners at the batteries on the opposite side. There I formed the detachment on open ground, above the lane and below the point of timber where the steamer Memphis lay, and in which the enemy soon appeared, but kept out of range.

After our forces had about all been re-embarked, I received orders to march the detachment on board the transports, and directed the commanders of the two companies of the Seventh Iowa to march on board their transports, which had dropped down-the Memphis at the point of timber, to which place I then marched the three companies of the Twenty-second Illinois.

After all were on board, the enemy came within range on the bank and commenced firing, advancing up to the edge of the high bank where the steamer lay. The men, being fresh, hurried up on the hurricane deck, under command of their officers, a part remaining below, and spiritedly returned the fire of the rebels from the hurricane deck and forecastle of the boat, one of the engineers of which attracted attention by the cool manner in which he loaded a piece in his possession and fired upon the enemy at short intervals, as his duty permitted.

Six men out of the three companies from the Twenty-second Illinois, comprising a part of the detachment which had been placed under my command, were wounded before the boat got away from the river bank and out of range-2 in Company A, I in Company H, and 3 in Company I; 3 of the 6 severely. The two Seventh Iowa companies were on another transport, and sustained no loss that I can learn.

Your obedient servant,

JOHN E. DETRICH, Captain Company I, Twenty-second Regiment Ill. Vols.

Col. HENRY DOUGHERTY, Twenty-second Illinois Volunteers.

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No. 11.

Report of Col. Jacob G. Lauman, Seventh Iowa Infantry.

HEADQUARTERS SEVENTH IOWA VOLUNTEERS, Bird’s Point, Mo., November 10, 1861.

GENERAL: I herewith hand you the report of the movements of my regiment, with the official list of killed and wounded, at the battle of Belmont, as follows:

On the 5th instant I received your order to hold my regiment in readiness to march at 4 p. m. on the following day, with 24 hours’ rations in haversacks. It was dark, however, before we embarked on the steamer Montgomery, and we soon after got under way. We proceeded but a short distance down the river when we tied up for the night.

Early on the morning of the 7th proceeded on our way, and soon after landed on the west bank of the Mississippi, about 3 miles above Belmont, which is opposite Columbus, Ky. We immediately formed in line in the corn field on the bank of the river about 8.30 o’clock, and were soon after ordered by you to form on the left of McClernand’s brigade, which had already crossed the field. At this time I was joined by Colonel Dougherty, with the Twenty-second Illinois. We remained in this position until Taylor’s battery had disembarked and taken their position, when we received orders to march, which we did in the following order: The First Brigade, consisting of three regiments of infantry and Taylor’s battery; then followed the Second Brigade, consisting of eight companies of my regiment and seven companies of the Twenty-second Illinois, Colonel Dougherty in command of the brigade; two companies of my regiment and three companies of Colonel Dougherty’s having previously been detached to guard the boats, and the cavalry were sent in advance scouting. In this order we marched a mile or so, when we formed in line of battle in front of a corn field, the battery taking position in the field.

We remained in this position but a short time, when we advanced in line of battle across a dry slough and immediately in front of heavy timber. Here I received orders to throw forward two companies as skirmishers, which I complied with by sending Company A, commanded by Lieutenant De Hens, and Company F, Captain Kittredge; from my right wing. I soon after sent forward Company B, Captain Gardner, from my left wing. These companies were not long in engaging the rebels, who m they found in force in front and to the left of our position, and the heavy and continued firing convinced me that we now had work to do. I therefore dispatched Lieutenant-Colonel Wentz to ascertain the force of the enemy and their exact position, but before he had time to return I received, through your aide, Rawlins, an order to advance to their support, which I did, bringing my men under fire at double-quick time. From this until about 11 o’clock we fought the rebels slowly but steadily, driving them before us at every volley.

Our advance at this point was slow, in consequence of the obstructions in our way, caused by felling timber and underbrush, but we crept under and over it, at times lying down to let the fire of the artillery and musketry pass over us, and then up and onward again until we arrived at the field to the left of the rebels’ camp. There we were joined by our skirmishers, and succeeded, after a severe struggle, in driving back the enemy and forming our lines immediately. We poured volley after volley on the retiring foe across the field in our front and the battery which was stationed at the head of the encampment on our right. Our fire {p.297} was so hot that the guns were soon abandoned; the enemy, about 800, were fleeing across the field in the greatest consternation. By a flank movement to the right I brought my men into the open space in front of the battery, which was immediately taken possession of, I believe, by Lieutenant De Hens, Company A, whose flag was soon seen flying from one of the captured pieces. We were now immediately in the rear of the encampment, and were here joined by a part of Colonel Dougherty’s regiment-Twenty-second Illinois. The rebels kept up a sharp and galling fire upon us, but a few well-directed volleys induced them to abscond from their camp suddenly. It was here, where the firing was the heaviest, that Lieutenant Wallen, of Company I, seized the regimental colors and bore them aloft in front of the regiment’s line, directing the boys’ attention to a fine large flag floating over the encampment, decorated with twelve stars, and on the other with the “Harp of Erin” on a green-silk ground. They, with loud huzzas, went forward and secured it. It was in making this charge that my horse was shot. I followed the regiment on foot until we reached the lower end of the encampment, where I was supplied with another horse, which had just been captured by one of the men, when, immediately ordering another charge, we drove all the remaining rebels over the bank of the river at this point (some 12 feet high), and dashed up the river road until we came to the log house which constituted the city of Belmont. At this place there was considerable random firing, the rebels firing from cover of trees and the bank of the river; and it was here, while giving Captain Parrott, of Company E, orders to bring off two field pieces which had been abandoned by the enemy, or to throw them into the river, so as to render them useless against us, that I received a ball through my left thigh, which for a time disabled me, when I was assisted by Captain Parrott to the rear of the tents, where I remained but a short time, as, one of the guns of Captain Taylor’s battery coming along, they placed me on it and took me to the rear of the encampment.

In the mean time our men had received orders to burn and destroy the camp and property which had fallen into our hands, an din a short time the destruction was complete. The rebels, however, not being idle, having several large steamers in the river at Columbus, they were loaded down with fresh troops, which were thrown between us and our place of debarkation, so as in a measure to cut off our retreat. Those of them, also, who had been driven from their guns in the early part of the fight, seeing us falling back towards our boat, took fresh courage and commenced closing in on us; and now, as all the Illinois troops had left us or were leaving, except the Twenty-second Illinois, Colonel Dougherty, we were in danger of being surrounded and cut off. I was apprised of this state of affairs by Colonel Dougherty, to whose bravery I bear testimony, and who lost a limb in his endeavors to bring off safely the rear of his brigade, as well as to that of his noble regiment, which fought side by side on that memorable day. I immediately gave orders to my regiment to retire, myself leading the way, but by this time we were subjected to an enfilading fire which caused us heavy loss. The men behaved in the most gallant manner, deliberately loading and firing as they retired, and although every other man was killed or wounded, they scarcely accelerated their step, but coolly and deliberately made their way to the boats.

It was after the retreat had commenced that Lieutenant-Colonel Wentz was killed. He died on the field of battle like a true soldier. He was truly a brave man, and did his duty well and nobly. Lieutenant Dodge, of Company B, was killed, and Lieutenant Gardner, who {p.298} commanded Company I, and Lieutenant Ream, Company C, mortally wounded. Among my officers more or less severely wounded you will find the names of Major Rice, Captains Harper, Parrott, Kittredge, and Gardner, and First Lieutenant De Hens, who commanded Company A, of whose bravery I desire to speak in the most emphatic manner. I desire also to direct your attention to Captain Crabb, who was taken prisoner, and who behaved in the bravest manner. But I might go on in this way and name nearly all my entire command, for they all behaved like heroes; but there is one or two more I feel it my duty to name as deserving special mention-Lieutenant Boler, adjutant of the regiment, and Lieutenant Estle, whose conduct was worthy of all praise, and Private Lawrence Trigg, whose thigh was broken and he left on the field. He was taken prisoner and his leg amputated, but he died the same day, telling his captors with his dying breath that if he ever recovered to be able to move he would shoulder his musket again in his country’s cause. Under cover of the fire of the gunboats we finally reached our boat between 5 and 6 o’clock, and about 8 o’clock arrived in Cairo.

My entire loss in killed, wounded, prisoners, and missing is as follows, out of an aggregate somewhat over 400: Killed, 51; died of wounds, 3; missing, 10; prisoners, 39; wounded, 124. Total, 227.

With high esteem, permit me to subscribe myself; general, your obedient servant,

J. G. LAUMAN, Colonel, Commanding Seventh Regiment Iowa Volunteers.

Brig. Gen. U. S. GRANT, Commanding U. S. Forces, Cairo, ill.

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No. 12.

Report of Capt. Benjamin Crabb, Seventh Iowa Infantry.

WASHINGTON, IOWA, August 1, 1862.

SIR: After a long absence in Southern prisons, I have been privileged to return to my home, though in a very bad state of health, on account of close confinement and poor food.

I have had the pleasure of reading your report of the part the Seventh Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry took in the battle of Belmont, Mo. I am sorry to say it was out of my power to make a report at the time of the part Company H (the company I had the honor of commanding) took in said engagement. I ask the privilege of making a small addition to your report, and that it may be made a supplement to the same.

While the regiment was in line of battle at “the dry slough in front of heavy timber,” at the time you ordered Company B, Captain Gardner, to advance as skirmishers, Company H, myself commanding, was also ordered forward on like duty. Companies B and H advanced in skirmish line together until they arrived at a small corn field some half mile in advance of the main line, where they became separated. Company H continued to advance. Just beyond the corn field we encountered a rebel company of skirmishers, and immediately engaged them, driving them before us entirely from the woods (through which we were advancing) into the open field of Belmont, where they disappeared beyond a long ridge in the middle of the open field. We were about 80 yards in their rear, just at the edge of the timber. We were in the act of pursuit, when the rebels, who were lying behind this ridge, arose and {p.299} fired upon us with musketry and artillery. We then fell back under a heavy fire until we met the regiment advancing to our support, when we joined it.

We lost one man killed while skirmishing (John C. Temple), and we believe the first man killed that day. After the destruction of the enemy’s camp and the regiment was ordered to retreat, a part of Company H, by my orders, drew one of the enemy’s guns across the field to near the timber, when, finding it impossible to proceed with it farther (being surrounded on all sides by the enemy), we reluctantly abandoned it. I was captured soon after this.

I have the honor to remain, yours, &c.,

B. CRABB, Captain Company H, Seventh Regt. Iowa Vol. Infantry.

Brig. Gen. J. G. LAUMAN, Late Colonel Seventh Iowa Infantry.

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No. 13.

Reports of Brig. Gen. Charles F. Smith, U. S. Army, commanding at Paducah, Ky., of demonstration upon Columbus, Ky.

HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES, Paducah, Ky., November 7, 1861.

SIR: I report, for the information of the General-in-Chief, that at 2 o’clock yesterday afternoon 2,000 men of all arms (four field pieces and one company of cavalry), under command of Brigadier-General Paine, moved in the direction of Columbus, taking the road to Melvin, some 20 miles distant; from thence to return by a detour by the Lovelaceville and Blandville road; this to carry out General Frémont’s orders in making demonstrations on Columbus in conjunction with General Grant. One hour after I sent nine companies of a regiment, one company of cavalry, and a section of artillery to Viola, to keep observation on the enemy south of Mayfield, and prevent his assailing General Paine on the flank; this detachment to return by the Melvin road; both commands to be out three days. Heavy firing now heard in the direction of Columbus, caused, it is supposed, by General Grant’s movements towards Belmont.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

C. F. SMITH, Brigadier. General, Commanding.

ADJUTANT-GENERAL, Headquarters of the Army, Washington, D. C.

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HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES, Paducah, Ky., November 11, 1861.

SIR: Pursuant to the instructions of Major-General Frémont, commanding the Department of the West, dated on the 1st instant, directing me to make a demonstration on Columbus, but not to attack it without special orders (see inclosure marked A), on the 6th instant I dispatched the First Brigade of this force, commanded by Brig. Gen. E. A. Paine, and a part of the Second Brigade, under command of Col. W. L. Sanderson, Twenty-third Indiana Regiment, in the direction of {p.300} Columbus. (See inclosures marked B and C.) This movement was made in concert with one to be made by Brigadier-General Grant from Cairo, to threaten Belmont and other points west of the Mississippi, his orders being similar to those received by me to threaten but not attack Columbus. (See again inclosure marked A.)

My special instructions to Brigadier-General Paine and Colonel Sanderson (see inclosures marked D and E) were of the most precise character: to move to a certain point and return by another road; not to make battle unless pressed thereto from necessity; to make a demonstration by the march.

The reports made to me by General Paine (see inclosures marked F and G) show that he transcended my orders, as he was fully aware of the object for which the detachment was made, for I had communicated to him verbally the nature of my instructions from Major-General Frémont, and that General Grant had similar instructions, and as no circumstance had occurred he might not reasonably have anticipated, such as the cannonading in the direction of Columbus, I regard his movement to Milburn and consequent non-return by the Lovelaceville and Blandville road as an unjustifiable departure from my orders. His distinct assertion in both reports that he would in a certain contingency have moved to the attack of Columbus exhibits to my mind a fixed purpose from the start to attempt to gain notoriety without reference to the public interests or his plain duty as a soldier. Had he by chance carried out his avowed purpose, I am satisfied, from what we know of the strength of the garrison and the inland defenses of Columbus, he would have been entirely unsuccessful and his command probably cut up in its retreat, thereby greatly imperiling the safety of this post, which is deemed of much importance.

On its return his command was, as is generally asserted, totally demoralized as a military body, some of the regiments without order or discipline straggling loosely along the road and committing great excesses. This I attribute to a large extent to the broken-down condition of the men by increasing the length of the march by going to Milburn and injudicious marching altogether. (See inclosures marked H and I.)

In view of what is above set forth, I think the conduct of Brigadier-General Paine and that of the regimental commanders should be investigated for the want of discipline exhibited during the expedition, that of the former especially, for his departure from my orders; also that of the enlisted men, to ascertain who committed the excesses imputed to them.

I have, therefore, to request that application may be made for a court of inquiry to sit at an early date to sift this whole matter.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

C. F. SMITH, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

To the ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL, Hdqrs. Dept. of the West, Saint Louis, Mo.

[Inclosure A.]

HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Saint Louis, Mo., November 1, 1861.

General SMITH, Paducah, Ky.:

SIR: In order to occupy the enemy in the Mississippi Valley and prevent his throwing the greater part of his forces into Northwestern Arkansas, {p.301} you are hereby directed to make large demonstrations against Columbus by constantly keeping columns moving to and fro on the road to Melvin, and also to make minor demonstrations in the same manner on the roads to Lovelaceville and Mayfield. You will take good care, however, not to expose your columns too much, and you will not attack Columbus without special orders. General Grant has been instructed to make similar demonstrations against Columbus.

You are also directed to hold your whole command ready to march at an hour’s notice until further orders.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHAUNCEY McKEEVER, Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Inclosure B.]

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 85.}

HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES, Paducah, Ky., November 6, 1861.

Leaving one company for each regiment and a section of artillery for the protection of the regimental camps, the First Brigade will parade in full marching order at 2 o’clock p. m. to-day in front of these headquarters, with cooked rations for three days in haversacks.

By order of Brig. Gen. C. F. Smith:

THOS. J. NEWSHAM, Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Inclosure C.]

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 87.}

HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES, Paducah, Ky., November 6, 1861.

With the exception of a company to guard its camp, one regiment of the Second Brigade, with a section of artillery and a company of cavalry, will parade in marching order before these headquarters at 3 o’clock this afternoon, with cooked rations for three days.

By order of Brig. Gen. C. F. Smith:

THOS. J. NEWSHAM, Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Inclosure D.]

HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES, Paducah, Ky., November 6, 1861.

Brig. Gen. E. A. PAINE, Commanding First Brigade:

GENERAL: You will proceed with your brigade, as indicated by special orders of this date, to Melvin, 20 miles distant, from thence cross over to and return by the end of the third day from this by the Lovelaceville and Blandville road. The object of this movement is to induce the enemy to suspect an attack on Columbus is intended. Whilst not avoiding the enemy, should he be within your reach in corresponding numbers you will not attack. The object is a demonstration merely. Nine companies of the Second Brigade, with a section of artillery and some cavalry, will leave here an hour after you to go to Plumley’s Station or Viola, and then return by the road on which you went out. By cross-roads and guides you will be enabled to keep up a communication should it be necessary. Keep this order secret.

By order of Brig. Gen. C. F. Smith:

THOS. J. NEWSHAM, Assistant Adjutant-General.

{p.302}

[Inclosure E.]

HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES, Paducah, Ky., November 6, 1861.

Colonel SANDERSON, Twenty-third Indiana Regiment, Commanding Expedition:

COLONEL: You will proceed by an easy march with your command to Plumley’s Station, on the Mayfield road, to-night, bivouacking there, or proceeding to Viola-preferably the latter-remaining one day, and returning on the third. The First Brigade will move an hour before you on the road to Melvin, and remain there to-night, returning to this place on the third day by the Lovelaceville and Blandville road. Should you get information of an attack on that brigade, move across the country to its assistance; otherwise remain in observation during the day at Viola, to check any advance that might be made on General Paine’s command. Do not move to attack any force that comes within your neighborhood, except it becomes necessary, absolutely; the purpose for which both commands are sent out being a demonstration. Keep this order secret.

By order of Brig. Gen. C. F. Smith:

THOS. J. NEWSHAM, Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Inclosure F.]

NOVEMBER 8, 1861.

Capt. T. J. NEWSHAM, Assistant Adjutant-General:

SIR: We are encamped at Milburn, 31 miles from Paducah. The firing was heard on Columbus all day yesterday, and last night I heard that our troops had taken the batteries on the Missouri side, and that nearly all of the rebels had crossed over there. I sent the scout to the river to communicate with the gunboats, but found that all of the boats and barges had left at dark for Cairo. If the attack had been renewed to-day I should have marched on Columbus. As it is, I am just starting on my return. My soldiers are almost out of provisions. I wish one day’s full rations sent to me to-night on the same road I came on. I shall make 20 miles to-day. Be sure and send them, or I shall be out. No accident. All well; some foot-sore.

Yours,

E. A. PAINE.

[Inclosure G.]

HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE, U. S. FORCES, Paducah, Ky., November 9, 1861.

Captain NEWSHAM, Assistant Adjutant-General:

SIR: I was ordered by Brig. Gen. C. F. Smith, commanding at this post, to leave here with my brigade at 2 o’clock p. m. on the 6th instant, to proceed to the town of Melvin, some 20 miles nearly south of this place, from thence to return on the third day by the Lovelaceville and Blandville road. In obedience to said order my brigade, consisting of the Ninth, Twelfth, Fortieth, and Forty-first Illinois Regiments, Buell’s battery, and Thielemann’s dragoons, left at said time, and marched to Mayfield Creek, on the Clinton road, where we encamped that night. After marching 5 miles on the morning of the 7th instant heard firing at or near Columbus and immediately changed our direction, leaving {p.303} Melvin to our left, and took the shortest road leading to Columbus, and at 7 o’clock p. m. arrived at the town of Milburn, after a fatiguing march of 24 miles. I immediately dispatched three messengers to the Mississippi River, with a request to the officer in command of the Federal forces to fire a signal-gun, which, if done, I was determined to march that night on Columbus. At half past 4 o’clock on the morning of the 8th the messenger returned, and informed me that all of the gunboats and all of the Federal forces had returned to Cairo. At daylight I ordered my command to return to Paducah.

I also sent a messenger to the officer in command of a detachment from the Second Brigade to join me on the night of the 7th, but did not effect a junction until the next day. I found the country all quiet-no appearance of any rebel forces-but the Union people were glad to see us. One private of the Twelfth Illinois Regiment was accidentally wounded by the discharge of a musket. My command, being composed almost entirely of volunteers who were on their first march, became foot-sore, and by that means protracted the time of return. My great regret is that I was unable to assist General Grant in his attack on Columbus.

Respectfully submitted.

E. A. PAINE, Brig. Gen., Comdg. First Brigade, Paducah, Ky.

[Inclosure H.]

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 32.}

HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES, Paducah, Ky., November 11, 1861.

Reports of the most painful character have reached the commanding general from different sources in regard to the conduct of a portion of the troops recently marched to Milburn, under command of Brig. Gen. E. A. Paine. The imputations are of the most discreditable most disgraceful character to them as soldiers or citizens-that in returning, several regiments (the Ninth and Twelfth Illinois excepted) straggled home in parties without the semblance of military array-a mere armed mob; and that the property of citizens was wantonly destroyed, and in some instances robbery by violence committed. Such conduct implies a want of discipline that he can scarcely credit, and he calls upon the brigade and other commanders to use their utmost endeavors to remedy such a state of things. That unmerited censure may not attach to any one, the commanding general intends to ask for a legal investigation into the conduct of all concerned.

This order will be read at the head of every company in the camp.

By order of Brig. Gen. C. F. Smith:

THOS. J. NEWSHAM, Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Inclosure I.]

HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES, Paducah, Ky., November 11, 1861.

Brig. Gen. E. A. PAINE, Commanding First Brigade, Paducah, Ky.:

SIR: In acknowledging the receipt of the report of your recent expedition to Milburn, dated on the 9th instant, I am directed by Brig. Gen. C. F. Smith to express his surprise and disapprobation at your departure from his precise and distinct orders, without, as it appears to {p.304} him, any reasonable cause, and to which he attributes in great degree the military improprieties and disorders by which the return march of your command is said to have been characterized. He instructs me to add that it is his intention to ask for a legal investigation, to see how far your conduct can be justified.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

THOS. J. NEWSHAM, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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No. 14.

Reports of Maj. Gen. Leonidas Polk, C. S. Army, commanding at Columbus, Ky., with congratulatory messages and orders, correspondence, and the thanks of the Confederate Congress.

COLUMBUS, November 8, 1861.

General JOHNSTON:

I telegraphed you last night as to the battle fought yesterday and gave the principal events. As no acknowledgment has been received, fear it was not received. I have caused another to be sent. Enemy intended to attack from both sides, but from some causes failed. They have a flag here to-day to bury their dead, and admit they were badly whipped. I will send official report so soon as returns are in. Enemy at Milburn last night 7,000 strong.

L. POLK, Major-General.

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COLUMBUS, KY., November 8, 1861.

His Excellency President DAVIS:

Battle of Belmont, opposite Columbus. Fight began at 11 and lasted till 5 o’clock. General Pillow, with Tappan’s, Wright’s, Pickett’s, and Russell’s regiments, numbering 2,500 men, attacked by 8,000, under Grant, McClernand, and Buford. Till 1 o’clock alternations of successes and reverses; then re-enforced successively by Walker’s, Carroll’s, and Marks’ regiments, under Cheatham, Pillow ordered flank movement, which was made, supported by Smith’s and Blythe’s regiments, under the immediate command of General Polk. The enemy fled, and were pursued to gunboats. A complete rout-roads filled with dead, wounded, guns, ammunition, knapsacks-seven miles to transport; and gunboats attacked by sharpshooters. Cables cut. Precipitate embarkation. Watson’s battery, under Beltzhoover, immortalized; captured and retaken. Our loss heavy; less than enemy’s. Have 90 prisoners. Enemy’s loss 400 or 500. General Grant reported killed. We recaptured most of our men taken.

L. POLK.

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BOWLING GREEN, November 8, 1861.

General COOPER:

The following dispatch I have just received from General Polk:

COLUMBUS, November 7, 1861.

The enemy came down on the other side of the river at 8.30 to-day, 7,500 strong, landed under cover of gunboats, and attacked Colonel Tappan’s camp. I sent over three {p.305} regiments, under General Pillow, to his relief; then at intervals three others; then General Cheatham; then I took over two others to support a flank movement. It was a hard-fought battle; lasted from 10.30 till 5 this evening. They took Beltzhoover’s battery, which we retook. They were thoroughly routed, we pursuing them to their boats, 7 miles. The roads were strewn with their dead and wounded, guns, ammunition, and equipments. Our loss considerable; theirs heavy. We are expecting an attack from this side in the morning by large force from Mayfield Creek and Paducah. This will explain the delay of General Pillow’s movement.

A. S. JOHNSTON. <