Page images

Intense Excitement

in the State.

galloping and neighing pointed to the “Department Battle of Carthage.

about the plain, and the of the West,” July 9th, but riders in a perfect panic. We took here did not assume

an active two or three prisoners, who, upon being command until late in the month, In the questioned, said their force numbered about meantime, the State was in the throes of an five thousand five hundred, and expressed extroardinary excitement. Innumerable contheir astonishment at the manner in which flicts occurred between detached bodies of our troops behaved."

rebels and Unionists— several of which as. The retreat upon Carthage was continued. sumed the magnitude of well performed batSeveral brief conflicts occurred at the creek | tles. Proclamations flew around as briskly crossings. A stand at Carthage would have as new commanders came into the field. Major been made but for fear of the exhaustion of Sturgis issued one at Clinton, July 4th. The artillery ammunition, which already was same day General Sweeny promulgated his running low. The enemy disputed the pas- manifesto at Springfield. General Hurlburt sage at the village, when a severe encounter addressed the people of North-eastern Misfollowed, in which the rebels suffered so se souri July 15th. Brigadier-General Pope, the verely as to prevent them from any further people of North Missouri, July 19th. Colonel pursuit in that masterly retreat before im- McNeil suppressed the State Journal at St. mensely superior numbers.* The Federalists Louis, July 11th, and a proclamation immefell back upon Sarcoxie. It was a most for- diately followed. These documents are chieftunate escape, indeed, for during the evening ly valuable as showing under what orders the of the 5th, and the morning of the 6th, Jack- various commanding officers acted. All proson, Parsons and Rains were joined by mised protection to citizens, respect for proPrice, Ben McCullough and General Pierce-perty and State laws, &c., &c., and asserted whose united commands of Texan and Ark- the purposes of the General Government to ansas troops amounted to about five thou- be the suppression of all acts of rebellion, visand, with heavy reenforcements on the way. olence and treason. Tliis extraordinary conjunction of notable These numerous small enSouthern leaders gave promise of desperate gagements embraced the work. If defeated, the Secessionists' power affair at Munroe Station, on in Missouri would be broken effectually; if the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railway. Colosuccessful in overcoming Lyon and Sweeny, nel Smith, learning of the gathering in that or in compelling their retreat, the way to vicinity of a large body of Secessionists unJefferson City and the Government would der command of General Harris, moved from be opened. Lyon at once comprehended his Palmyra upon that place, July 10th, and great danger and moved with all celerity thence to Palmyra, where the insurgents were upon Springfield, whither Siegel's little encamped. A sharp fight occurred at that band of heroes also retired by way of Mount point, when the enemy fell back upon MunVernon, soon after the affair at Carthage.

A detachment under Colonel Owens The Federal loss on the 5th was thirteen (rebel), of mounted men, preceded their rekilled and thirty-one wounded-all of which treat and destroyed a large amount of railwere brought off. The rebel loss was con- road property at the Station. Smith followfessed by the prisoners to have been very ed to the Station, and, taking possession of heavy, but no authentic report has been the female seminary building, prepared to made. A letter written by Colonel Hughes, hold it until a force could reach him sufficient commanding the First regiment of the Mis- to clear out the enemy. He dispatched a call souri State Guards, confessed the loss of his for help to Quincy, and was soon in a state own regiment to have been fifteen killed and of siege. His guns, however, kept the wouldforty wounded.

be assailants at bay, and help arriving in Major-General John C. Fremont was ap- good season, General Harris soon found it too * See Appendix, page 508, for diagrams and inci- hot for him. Being pressed front and rear dents of this retreat.

he disappeared, leaving seventy-five prisoners.

The Affair at Munroe






That paper sought to inspire

an Hearing of the concen


one gun and a large number of horses in the foes drawn chiefly from the vagabonds of hands of the Unionists.

Arkansas, Texas and Missouri; yet, no sucIt was for rejoicing over cor came, and Lyon resolved to strike with Suppression of the

this temporary success of his weak ranks rather than to end his brief

Harris, that the State Jour campaign in dishonor, by retreat-thus opennal at St. Louis was suppressed by Colonel ing an easy path to the North for the enemy. McNeil.

The Expedition insurrectionary spirit in St. Louis; its office tration at Forsyth of a reb

against Forsyth. became the rendezvous of the most violent el force, which formed the and dangerous Secessionists; Lyon proceeded, nucleus of a corps there being enlisted, Lyon therefore, to suppress it. The excitement in dispatched General Sweeny thither to disSt. Louis, at that period, was intense, and it perse the enemy, break up the rendezvous required all the watchfulness of the military and to hold the place for further orders. to preserve the peace. As in Baltimore, many Forsyth is at the head of navigation of White leading families were uncompromisingly hos- River, about twelve miles north of the Arktile to the General Government, and secretly ansas State line. Sweeny moved from Spring. labored to perfect organizations which should field, July 20th, with two companies of regube ready, at the first propitious moment, to lar cavalry, Captain Stanley ; one section of fly to arms in behalf of Governor Jackson's Captain Totten's battery, Lieutenant Solaski;

Affairs were managed with great dis- one company of Kansas rangers, Captain cretion by Colonel McNeil, pending the arri-Wood; five hundred of the First Iowa, Coloval of Fremont, who lingered in the East to nel Merritt; and five hundred of the Kansas arrange for the stupendous campaign which Second, Colonel Mitchell. A squad of eighty he had resolved upon prosecuting down the Home Guards afterwards joined the expediiMississippi valley.

tion. The vicinity of Forsyth, (fifty miles Lyon's Position at

Lyon reached Spring- away from Springfield,) was not reached unSpringfield during

field July 10th. He was til the 22d, when the place was occupied. July. soon followed by Major The rebels, who had taken to the bluffs overSturgis. With these united commands be looking the town, made a sharp resistance, prepared at once to meet McCullough and but the cavalry and rangers soon turned his confederates, then menacing Springfield them out of their covert by dashing charges in great force. But, his resources were so ut- and flank movements. The artillery flung a terly inadequate to the task in hand, and af- shell or two into the Court House, but was fairs at St. Louis so disordered, that he not called into further requisition. The excould only await, in the consummation of pedition resulted only in scattering the foc, his work, for the advent of Fremont. Clothed to gather at some other point. with most absolute authority, it was believed After the battle at Carthage the rebel that he could give Lyon the men and guns chiefs possessed themselves of all the points needed to stay the march of the Southern surrounding Springfield. Ben McCullough armies upon Jefferson City and St. Louis. assumed the chief direction of their How that loyal, spirited soul must have movements—Governor Jackson having rechafed at its prison-bars as day by day roll- tired towards New Madrid for an easy escape ed away and no help came! Around him into the Confederate States in event of disa3were gathered a few trusty soulsma brigade ter to his cause, while Price traveled neror two of brave fellows who would follow vously and ceaselessly through the central their leader to the death-alas! that they and northern portions of the State (generally did so !--but, of all the one hundred and in secrecy), to arouse and organize the seceseighty thousand men rushing to the field, a sion elements. The bubbling and scething mere handful only were turned towards of the cauldron was owing primarily to the Springfield. There that band of heroes stood almost ubiquitous presence of that emissary during all July, far in the interior, facing of the rebellion. The labors of the State Con. a huge army of infuriated and reckless | vention, which convened July 20th, to tako

Federals Advance to

action in the matter of a restoration of the to about fifty-five hundred foot, four hun Government by the election of State (provis- dred and fifty cavalry and eighteen guns. jonal) officers-gave Price and Jackson great With this solidly com

Battle of Dog cause for uneasiness, being largely composed pacted and reliable force of Unionists. The Governor and his emis- the march was resumed

Springs sary struggled desperately to arouse the revo- early Friday morning, August 2d, taking the lutionary element so far as to render any ac- direct road to Dug Springs valley, which the tion of the Convention nugatory. They enemy were expected to pass. Arriving at struggled in vain, however ; for the Conven- that locality, tlie presence of a heavy column tion soon restored the Government, and its of the rebels was indicated by dense clouds authority was respected by the great majority of dust arising from the hills opposite. The of the people. (The proceedings of the Con- Federal army was then drawn up for battle, vention are referred to hereafter.)

and a battalion of skirmishers thrown forward Learning that McCul- with the hope of drawing the enemy out. Meet McCullough.

lough was closing his lines Much maneuvering failed to produce this

around Springfield and ad- desired result, when Lyon ordered the entire vancing in two columns by way of Cassville column to fall back as if in retreat. This on the south and Sarcoxie on the west, Lyon succeeded. The rebels pressed forward to determined not to await but to assail. The cut off Captain Steele's company of infantry, column moving up from Cassville was re- (regulars,) and Captain Stanley's company ported as being fifteen thousand. It was of cavalry, left as a decoy. This detachment composed of the combined commands of Mc-comprised about five hundred infantry. Cullough, Price, McBride and Pearce—all of These were allowed to come within close which moved out of Cassville on the morn- rifle distance, when fire was opened on them ing of the 1st, taking the direct road to with effect, creating disorder in their ranks. Springfield. To meet and crush this body An enthusiastic sub-officer of the Federal in the Federal commander called into requisition fantry cried “charge !" when forward rushed almost his entire force-leaving at Spring- about thirty of the regulars. The cavalry, field but a guard. This force, as it rendez- astonished at this reckless dash, could but voused at Crane Creek, ten miles south of support it, and flung themselves upon the Springfield, on the night of August 1st, con- enemy. Thunderstruck and broken by this sisted of five companies of the First and Sec-crushing onslaught, they soon scattered ond regulars, Major Sturgis ; five companies in utter disorder. Supports then came up of the First Missouri volunteers, Lieutenant- from both sides. Totten's guns were quickly Colonel Andrews; two companies Second in place. The enemy's advance now consistMissouri volunteers, Major Osterhaus ; three ed of a large body of cavalry. Into their companies Third Missouri volunteers, Colonel ranks shells from the battery were dropped Siegel; the Fifth regiment Missouri volun- with perfect precision, and soon the entire teers, Colonel Salomon; the First regiment force was in rapid flight. This was all of the Iowa volunteers, Colonel Bates ; the First battle of Dug Springs. Kunsas volunteers, Colonel Deitzler ; the

McCullough's advance Second Kansas volunteers, Colonel Mitchell; brigade engaged fell back

Springfield. two companies of regular cavalry, Captains toward Curran, whither Stanley and Carr; three companics cavalry Lyon followed on the morning of August (recruits), Lieutenant Lathrop; Captain Tot- 3d, occupying Curran on that day. After ten's (regular) battery of six guns-six and tarrying there a day, and finding that the tirelve-pounders; Lieutenant DuBois' battery entire rebel column had deflected and moved (regular) of four guns-six and twelve- off toward Sarcoxie to make a junction with pounders; Captain Shaeffers' battery (Mis- the second column and strike Springfield souri volunteer artillery) of six guns-six from the west, Lyon retraced his march, reachand twelve-pounders :-amounting, all told, ing his old camps at Springfield on the 6th

—the troops having suffered greatly from

Advance to Curran

and return to




The Advance for the

heat and want of water. The loss of the already within three hundred yards of the position Federals in the entire expedition was three where he was encamped with the Second Division, killed, two deaths from heat, and eight consisting of about twelve hundred men, ander Colo. wounded. The rebel loss could not be as

nel Crawford. A second messenger came immedicertained, though it is known to have been ately afterward from General Rains to announce quite serious. That cavalry dash sent many he would endeavor to hold him in check until he

that the enemy's main body was upon him, but that à poor wretch to his last account. Their could receive reenforcements. General McCullough wounded, it was ascertained, numbered forty.

was with me when these messengers came, and left The enemy, under the chief command of

at once for his own head-quarters, to make the nePrice, advanced slowly but in full strength cessary disposition of our forces. toward Springfield, arriving at Wilson's “I rode forward instantly towards General Rains' Creek, ten miles south of Springfield, on the position, ordering Generals Slack, McBride, Clark 7th. Knowing that his only hope lay in ob- and Parsons to move their infantry and artillery fortaining some advantage over the opposing ward. I had ridden but a few hundred yards, when host — numbering, as it did, fully twenty I came suddenly upon the main body of the enemy,

The inthousand men--Lyon studied a surprise and commanded by General Lyon in person. arranged for a night attack on the 7th, but, fantry and artillery which I had ordered to follow

me, came up immediately, to the number of 2,036 midnight was so far past when all was in rea

men, and engaged the enemy. A severe and bloody diness for moving, that an attack was deferred. conflict ensued; my officers and men behaving with The enterprise was, however, again attempt the greatest bravery, and, with the assistance of a

ed. On the night of the portion of the Confederate forces, successfully hold

9th the entire Federal force ing the enemy in check. Night Attack.

marched out from Spring- “Meanwhile, and almost simultaneously with the field and the adjoining camps, in two columns opening of the enemy's batteries in this quarter, a -one commanded by Lyon, the other by Siegel, heavy cannonading was opened on the rear of our Lyon was to advance and assault by the position, where a large body of the enemy, under front, while Siegel should pass the enemy's

Colonel Siegel, had taken position, in close proximiCamps to the cast, and, falling upon them, ty to Colonel Churchill's regiment, Colonel Greer's cut through their right while Lyon drove mounted Missourians, under command of Lieutenant

Texan Rangers, and six hundred and seventy-nine through their centre.

Colonels Major and Brown. The enemy, also, had resolved upon a night

“ The action now became general, and was con. advance from Wilson's Creek camp, uponducted with the greatest gallantry and vigor on both Springfield, hoping to surround it, and, by sides, for more than five hours, when the enemy reday-break, to close in upon Lyon so as to treated in great confusion, leaving their Commanderprevent his escape to Rolla. Every disposi-in-Chief, General Lyon, dead upon the battle-field, tion was made for the movement--the men over five hundred killed and a great number woundwere under arms, with orders to march, by ed. The forces under my comniand have also a four columns, at nine o'clock P. M. Price, large number of prisoners." for some unexplained reason, having passed

This brief report is the rebel view of that over the chief command to McCullough, the bloody and most notable conflict. While it latter ordered the expedition to be gi

was the most stubborn affair, up to that mo

up, late at night, as the darkness was intense and ment of the war, the field was so written a storm threatened. Lyon was not intim- over with gallant deeds and inflexible purpose idated by the darkness---it rather was favor- as to render its story one of unusual interest. able, as it covered his passage and general

An eye-witness wrote: “ About eight disposition from the observation of pickets

o'clock on the evening of the 9th, General and scouts.

Siegel, with his own and Colonel Salomon s Price, in his report of the conflict, said:

command and six pieces of artillery, moved About six o'clock I re. southward, marching until nearly two o'clock, Price's Report.

ceived a messenger from Gen. and passing around the extreme camp of the eral Rains, that the enemy were advancing in great enemy, where he halted, thirteen miles from force, from the direction of Springfield, and were | town, and on the south side of the rebels,


The Advance for the

Battle of Wilson's Creek.




ready to move forward and

“ The undaunted First, Night Attack

begin the attack as soon as with ranks already thinned,

he should hear the roar of again moved forward up the General Lyon's artillery. The main body of second hill, just on the brow of which they met troops under General Lyon moved from the still another fresh regiment, which poured a city about the same hour, halted a short time terrible volley of musketry into their diminishfive miles west of the city, thence in a south-ed numbers. Never yielding an inch, they westerly direction four miles, where we halt- gradually crowded their oppcxers backward, ed and slept till four A. M., Saturday, the day still backward, losing many of their own men, of the battle. * It was now five o'clock. killed and wounded, but covering the ground The enemy's pickets were driven in ; the thick with the retreating foe. Lieutenant-Colnorthern end of the valley in which they were onel Andrews, already wounded, still kept encamped was visible, with its thousands of his position, urging the men onward by every tents and its camp-fires; the sky was cloudy, argument in bis power. Lieutenant Murphy, but not threatening, and the most terribly when they once halted, wavering, stepped destructive of battles, compared with the several paces forward, waving his sword in number engaged, was at hand. Our army the air, and called successfully upon his men moved now toward the south-west, to leave to follow him. Every Captain and Lieutenant the creek and a spring which empties in it did his duty nobly, and when they were reon our left. Passing over a spur of high called and replaced by the fresh Iowa and land which lies at the north end of the val. Kansas troops, many were the faces covered ley, they entered a valley and began to as

with powder and dripping with blood. Cupcend a hill, moderately covered with trees and tain Gratz, gallantly urging his men forward underwood, which was not, however, dense against tremendous odds, fell mortally woundenough to be any impediment to the artillery. ed, and died soon after. Lieutenant Brown

Meanwhile the opposite hill bad been calling upon his men to come forward,' fell stormed and taken by the gallant Missouri with a severe scalp wound. Captain Cole of First, and Osterhaug' battalion and Totten's the Missouri First had his lower jaw shattered battery of six pieces had taken position on by a bullet, but kept his place until the regiits summit and north side, and was belching ment was ordered to retire to give place to forth its loud-mouthed thunder much to the the First Iowa and some Kansas troops. distraction of the opposing force, who had

“Just then General Green's Tennessee regialready been started upon a full retreat by ment of cavalry, bearing a secession flag, the thick-raining bullets of Colonel Blair's charged down the western slope near the rear boys. Lieutenant DuBois' battery, four upon a few companies of the Kansas Second pieces, had also opened on the eastern slope, who were guarding the ambulance wagons firing upon a force which was retreating to- and wounded, and had nearly overpowered ward the south-east on a road leading up the them, when one of Totten's howitzers was hill, which juts into the south-western angle turned in that direction, and a few rounds of of the creek, and upon a battery placed near canister effectually dispersed them. The roar hy to cover their retreat. * Having dri- of the distant and near artillery now grew ven a regiment of the enemy from one hill, terrific. On all sides it was one continuous the Missouri volunteers encountered, in the boom, while the music of the musket and valley beyond, another fresh and finely equip- rifle balls flying like an aggravated swarm of ped regiment of Louisianians, whom, after a bees around one's ears was actually pleasant, bitter fight of forty-five minutes, they drove compared with the tremendous whiz of a back and scattered, assisted by Captain Lo- cannon ball or the bursting of a shell in close throp and his regular rifle recruits. Totten proximity to one's dignity. and DuBois were, meanwhile, firing upon the

“Up to this time General Lyon had reenemy forming in the south-west angle of the ceived two wounds, and had his fine dappled valley, and upon their batteries on the oppo- grey shot under him, which is sufficient evisite hill.

dence that he had sought no place of safety


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