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Battle of Wilson's
Battle of Wilson's
for himself while he placed | noticed. Under these cir-
he had already unwisely ex- had about determined to posed himself. Seeing blood upon his hat, I cross his command through the valley (the reinquired, “General, are you badly hurt ?" to cent northern camp of the enemy) eastward, which he replied, "I think not seriously.” | and, if possible, make a junction with Siegel on He had mounted another horse, and was as or near the Fayetteville road. Before he had busily engaged as ever.
time to give the necessary orders, another at“ The Iowa First, under Lieutenant-Col- tack from the enemy was announced by tlie onel Merritt, and part of the Kansas troops volleys of musketry which were heard on our were ordered forward to take the place of right. Major Sturgis directed liis attention the Missouris. They fought like tigers, stood that way, and the enemy were again repulsed. firm as trees, and saved us from utter and “ Captain Totten then reported his cannon overwhelming defeat. General Lyon saw ammunition nearly gone. This decided the their indomitable perseverance and bravery, course to be pursued, and Major Sturgis at and with almost his last breath praised their once sent the ambulances towards the city, behavior in glowing terms. Three companies and Lieutenant DuBois' battery back to the of the Iowans were placed in ambush by Cap- hill at the north end of the valley, to protect tain Granger, of the regulars. Lying down the retreat. Then, in good order, the remnant close to the brow of the hill, they waited for of the bravest body of soldiers in the United another attempt of the enemy to retake their States commenced a retreat, even while they position. On they came, in overwhelming were victorious in battle. numbers. Not a breath was heard among “ Siegel was experiencing the fortunes of the Iowans, till their enemies came within a reverse on the East. He had advanced so thirty-five or forty feet, when they poured the rapidly as to surprise the enemy, and, by capcontents of their Minnie muskets into the turing his pickets, was upon them like a enemy, and routed them, though suffering whirlwind. They flew before him as he pressterribly themselves at the same time. Two ed his way toward the Fayetteville road, Kansas companies afterward did the same which he reached, and a fine position was thing on the eastern slope, and repulsed a secured on a•lill. Having heard the firing vigorous attack of the enemy.
suddenly cease in the direction of Lyon's * Lyon now desired the men to prepare to forces, he supposed the Federal attack, like make a bayonet charge immediately after de his own, to have been successful; and, that livering their next fire. The Iowans at once Lyon's troops were pursuing the enemy, he offered to go, and asked for a leader. On came deemed conclusive from the large bodies of the enemy. No time could be lost to select the rebels moving towards the South. He a leader. “I will lead you,” exclaimed Lyon. stated, in his report; “Come on, brave men.” He had about “ This was the state of affairs
Siegel's Report. placed himself in the van of the Iowans, while at half-past eight o'clock A. M., General Sweeney took a similar position to when it was reported that Lyon's men were coming lead on a portion of the Kansas troop, when up the road. Lientenant Albert, of the Third, and the enemy came only near enough to dis- Colonel Salomon, of the Fifth, notified their regi. charge their pieces, and retired before the ments not to fire on troops coming in that direction, destructive fire of our men. Before the gall
whilst I cautioned the artillery in the same manuer.
Our troops, at this moment, expected with anxiety ing fire from the enemy, the brave General
the approach of our friends, and were waving the Lyon fell.
flag raised as a signal to their comrades, when at “The command now devolved upon Major
once two hatteries opened their fire against us--one Sturgis. There was no certainty that Siegel in front, on the Fayetteville road, and the other had been engaged in the fight at all, as our upon the hill upon which we had supposed Lyon's artillery had kept up such a constant roar forces were in pursuit of the enemy, whilst a strong tnat guns three miles distant were but little column of infantry-supposed to be the Iowa regi.
ment -- advanced from the upon Rolla, immediately, Siegel'e Report.
Fayetteville road, and attack since it was evident the ed our right.
enemy would soon cut off retreat in that "It is impossible for me to describe the conster direction. Siegel took command of the nation and frightful confusion which was occasioned by this important event. The cry, “They (Lyon's called upon to exercise all his ingenuity to
general disposition for the retreat.
He was troops) are firing against us !' spread like wildfire through our ranks ; the artillerymen, ordered to fire, get out of the net now thrown around him and directed by myself, could hardly be brought by the strong columns of the rebels, who forward to serve their pieces; the infantry would well knew every rood of soil in that section. not load their arms until it was too late. The enemy Preparations were begun for the retreat on arrived within ten paces of the muzzles of our can the night of the 14th. By daybreak the non, killed the horses, turned the flanks of the in- Federal columns were on the march towards fantry, and forced them to fly. The troops were the Gasconade. A correspondent, on the throwing themselves into the bushes and by-roads, evening of the 10th, wrote: “ With a bagretreating as well as they could, followed and at. tacked incessantly by large bodies of Arkansas and gage train five miles long to protect, it will
be singular, indeed, if the enemy does not Texas cavalry. In this retreat we lost five cannon (of which three were spiked,) and the colors of the prove enterprising enough to cut off a porThird-the color-hearer having been wounded and
tion of it, having such a heavy force of cavhis substitute killed. The total loss of the two regi- alry.” But, the retreat was safely effected, ments, the artillery and the pioneers, in killed, and the vicinity of Rolla was reached Saturwounded and missing, amounts to eight hundred and day, August 19th. There the three-months ninety-two men."
men were disposed for disbandment, and the Siegel stated, as the chief cause of the re- gallant Iowa First was sent forward immedipulse, that four hundred men of the three- ately to St. Louis to be mustered out of sermonths troops, (Colonel Salomon's regiment,) vice—its term having also expired. whose term of enlistment had expired, were The official reports of unrilling to go into the fight, and stampeded the Federal losses showed at the first opportunity. Their defection and them to be as follows: killed, two hundred insubordination lost all at the critical moment. and twenty-three; wounded, seven hundred
The affair was, notwithstanding these re- and twenty-one; missing, two hundred and verses, a drawn battle. The enemy, after their ninety-two. Of the wounded, two hundred last repulse by Major Sturgis, retired in confir- | and eight were of the First Missouri; one sion and prepared to retreat, fearing an ad hundred and eighty-one of the First Kansas, vance by our troops-which would have been and one hundred and thirty-eight of the First the case had not the artillery ammunition | Iowa volunteers ; proving how obstinately given out, as reported. The rebels set fire to these regiments must have fought. It is a and consumed a large train of their stores, record of blood, but also one of honor. Well munitions and camp equipment, to save their did the troops win the right to-have “Springcapture by the Federals. This alone proves field” blazoned on their banners ! bow nearly the battle was won on the right The rebel loss was equally great. Price and front. Had Siegel appeared at that op- confessed his own division of five thousand portune moment, the large army of the ene- two hundred and twenty-one officers and my (confessed to have been twenty-three men to have suffered to the extent of one thousand strong) would have been over-' hundred and fifty-six killed, five hundred whelmed with defeat by five thousand five and seventeen wounded. In this proportion hundred Federal troops!
for the other divisions the killed and wound. The Federal forces, un- ' ed would reach a sum greater than that of
der Major Sturgis, fell the Federalists. Ben McCullough in his offiback, in good order, towards Springfield—cial report stated their entire loss to have the enemy not pursuing--another proof of been two hundred and sixty-five killed and their own repulse. After the arrival at eight hundred wounded. There is good reaSpringfield it was determined to fall back son for believing these figures to be greatly
smaller than were confirmed by the surgeon | dinary avocation, with the full assurance that they, and regimental returns. McCullough's statis- their families, their homes, and their property shall tics never were regarded as worthy of much be carefully protected. credence where his own vanity or personal
"I at the same time warn all evil-disposed per
sons who may support the usurpations of any one importance was concerned. This disaster was followed by an inroad of claiming to be provisional or temporary Governor
of Missouri, or who shall in any other way give aid the enemy, as Lyon foresaw, which soon gave
or comfort to the enemy, that they will be held as them possession of that portion of the State. enemies and treated accordingly. It cost much blood and treasure, and many (Signed)
STERLING PRICE, months of hard campaiguing to dislodge
“Major-General Commanding them. Had Lyon been reenforced all would
• Missouri State Guard." have been well. Even two or three fresh This had the effect to throw into his ranks regiments of infantry and one of cavalry a large number of those people in the soutliwould have filled up the ranks of the retiring western portion of the State who awaited three-months men, and have afforded forces the result of this conflict before determining enough to have kept the enemy at bay until their allegiance. It also forced acquiescence Fremont could come on in force. The loss from all settlers who did not flee with the of Springfield inflicted untold suffering upon Federal army; but, even that acquiescence the Unionists of that section. It was a dis- did not protect their farms from devastation aster for which the country did not cease to by the hordes of veritable vagabonds of hold Fremont responsible, although the Gen- which the invading army was largely comeral urged the strong plea that what men he posed. It is certain that the army brought had were totally unfit for the field from want by McCullough into Missouri was composed of arms, transportation, &c.
almost exclusively of Texan and Arkansas Price, immediately after Rangers-men as wild as Indians and as fe
the retreat, moved his en- rocious as hyenas. They never, in all their tire forces into Springfield, from whence he service in the Confederate ranks, were brought issued the following highly characteristic under subjugation to discipline. The “ borproclamation to the people of Missouri: der ruffians” who also gathered around Price “ Fellow-Citizens :
were but little better. It was of such ele“The army under my command has been organ-ments that the armies of Price, Van Dorn, ized under the laws of the State for the protection McCullough and Rains were afterwards in a of your homes and firesides, and for the mainte
great degree composed. pance of the rights, dignity, and honor of Missouri.
The State Convention acIt is kept in the field for these purposes alone, and to aid in accomplishing them our gallant Southern cording to call of the Combrethren have come into our State.
mittee, assembled at Jeffer“We have júst achieved a glorious victory over
son City, July 20th, to provide for the reorganithe foe, and scattered far and wide the appointed zation of the State Executive pending a reguarmy which the usurper at Washington has been lar election of State officers. The Convenmore than six months gathering for your subjuga- tion, as elected early in the year, was comtion and enslavement. This victory frees a large posed of secessionists and loyalists--the latportion of the State from the power of the invaders, ter in the majority. Its proceedings were of and restores it to the protection of its army. It
course accompanied with much excitement, consequently becomes my duty to assure you that and the presence at the Capitol of a strong it is any firm determination to protect every peacea- guard was deemed necessary to prevent a deble and law-abiding citizen in the full enjoyment of
scent on, and the seizure of, the delegates by all his rights, whatever may have been his sympathies in the present unhappy struggle, if he has not
the revolutionists, whose secret and open or
It is said a taken an active part in the cruel warfare which has ganizations were everywhere. been waged against the good people of this state well-perfected plan of uprising had been arby the ruthless enemies whom we have just de- ranged by Price, which was only frustrated feated. I therefore invite all good citizens to re- by the presence, throughout the surrounding turn to their homes and the practice of their or- country, and within calling distance, of sever.
Assemblage of the
TIE CONVENTION'S ADDRESS
The Resolutions of
al Federal regiments, whose retention, though on the 3d Monday in De
Address to the People. it weakened Lyon, was deemed of vital neces-cember, Before adjournsity for the safety of the Government. ment an address to the people was prepared,
July 30th, the Conven- giving an exposition of affairs and defending
tion adopted its report, its action in legislating for the loyal GovernState Reorganization.
covering the entire ground ment of the State. It was a document of of a loyal reorganization and an anti-secession much importance as well as of interest, and procedure. The features of the several reso served greatly to strengthen the Union sentilutions adopted, were:
ment among the people. After recurring to “1. Declares the offices of Governor, Lieutenant- the sad change in the peace of the State, since Governor, Secretary of State, and members of the the adjournment in March, the address proLegislature, as heretofore recognized, vacant. ceeded to show what had brought about the
“ 2. That a Governor, Lieutenant-Governor and state of war then existing within their borSecretary of State shall be appointed by the Con- ders. Governor Jackson was found to be vention to hold these offices until the first Monday deeply implicated in the conspiracy, us the in November next.
documents cited by the Address fully proved. "3. That on that day, a Governor, Lieutenant. As showing how the treacherous and unprinGovernor and Secretary of State and members of
cipled few dominated over the many, particuthe Legislature shall be chosen, and the precise
larly in the States of Virginia, North Carolina, manner of election is set forth.
“4. That certain laws passed at the last session Tennessee and Arkansas, we may quote, from of the Legislature, referring to the organization of the Convention's statement, the revelations rethe militia ; to raising money to arm the State to garding the conspiracy concocted to carry repel invasion, and to protect the lives and pro- Missouri over to the Confederacy. Several perty of the people of the State ; to suspend the letters were cited from Governor Jacksonapportionment of the school fund, and other less one dated April 19th, to the President of “he important laws, are repealed, and declared to have Arkansas Convention, and another, date: no validity whatever. That all commissions under April 28th, to the editor of a secession paper any of such laws are repealed and annulled, and all in St. Louis-in both of which he declared soldiers and other persons are disbanded and discharged. That certain other laws for the organiza- the Convention in March (see pages 29–31).
for secession, notwithstanding the action of tion of the volunteers are revived and declared to
The Conventionists then say: be in force, and under this law (December 31, 1850) volunteer forces may be enrolled-such act being
“ Here we have the fixed mind and purpose of the declared to have full force and effect.
Governor, that Missouri shall leave the Union. He “5. That at the election for Governor, and other wants time--a little time to arm the State. He officers, on the first Monday of November next, thinks secrecy should be preserved by the parties
with whom he acts in keeping their counsels. He polls shall be opened, and the people shall vote for the action of the Convention, or against the action suggests that nothing should be said about the time of the Convention; and if a majority of the legal
or the manner in which Missouri should go out; voters shall vote in favor of the amendment of the manifestly implying that the time and manner of Constitution, then the officers before referred to going out, which he and those with whom he acted shall hold their offices as provided in this ordinauce; proposed to adopt, was some other time and manner
than such as was to be fixed by the people through but if a majority be against such amendments, then the election of State officers shall be null and void, their Convention. It was no doubt to be a time and
manner to be fixed by the Governor and General As. and they shall not take their seats." These resolutions were adopted by a vote sembly, or by the Governor and a military body to
be provided with arms during the little time needed of 56 to 25—the first, only, varying, viz.: 52
by the Governor for that purpose. to 28.
“ There have been no specific disclosures made to On the 31st July the Convention elected the public of the details of this plan, but the GoverJudge Hamilton R. Gamble, Governor ; Wil
nor expresses his strong conviction that at the prolard P. Hall, Lieutenant-Governor; Mordecai per time the State will go out. Oliver, Secretary of State. The inauguration “ This correspondence of the Governor occurred at took place during the afternoon, after which a time when there was no interference by soldiers of the Convention adjourned to convene again the United States with any of the citizens, or with
the peace of the State. The organization of
military Address to the People,
Address to the People. event which produced exas- force, which was to be sus. peration through the State, the capture of camp tained by extraordinary taxation, and to be absoJackson, did not take place until the 10th of May. lutely subject to the orders of the Governor, to act Yet the evidence is conclusive that there was at the against all opposers, including the United States. time of this correspondence a secret plan for taking | By these acts schools are closed, and the demands Missouri out of the Union without any assent of the of humanity for the support of lunatics are denied, people through their Convention. An address to that the money raised for the purpose of education the people of Missouri was issued by Thomas C. Rey and benevolence may swell the fund to be expended nolds, the Lieutenant Governor, in which he declares in war. that in Arkansas, Tennessee and Virginia his efforts * Without referring more particularly to the prohave been directed unceasingly, to the best of his visions of these several acts, which are most extraor. limited ability, to the promotion of our interests, in- dinary and extremely dangerous as precedents, it is dissolubly connected with the vindication of our lib. sufficient to say that they display the same purpose erties and our speedy union with the Confederate to engage in a conflict with the General Gov. States. Here is the second executive officer of Mis- erament and to break the connection of Missouri souri avowedly engaged in travelling through States with the United States, which had before been maniwhich he must regard, while Missouri continues infested by Governor Jackson. The conduct of these the Union, as foreign States, and those States en- officers of the Legislative and Executive Departdeavoring, as he says, to promote the interest of ments has produced evil and dangers of vast magour State.
nilude, and your delegates in Convention have ad. “ The mode of promoting our interests is disclos. dressed themselves to the important und delicate ed in another passage of the address, in which he duty of attempting to free the State from these gives the people assurance that the people of the evils. Confederate States, though engaged in a war with “ The high executive officers have fled from the a powerful fve, would not hesitate still further to State, leaving us without the officers to discharge tax their energies and resources at the proper time the ordinary necessary executive functions. Bat, and on a proper occasion in aid of Missouri. The more than this, they are actually engaged in carry. mode of promoting our interests, then, was by ob- ing on a war within the State, supported by troops taining military aid, and this while Missouri continu. from States in the Southern Confederacy, so that the ed in the Union. The result of the joint action of State, while earnestly desirous to keep out of the the first and second executive officers of the State war, has become the scene of conflict without any has been that a body of the military forces of Ar-action of the people assuming such hostility. Any kansas has actnally invaded Missouri, to carry out remedy for our present evil, to be adequate, must the schemes of our own officer, who ought to have be one which shall vacate the offices held by the conformed to your will, as you had made it known officers who have thus brought our troubles upou at elections, and had expressed it by your delegates us." in Convention.
This is a dark record for the honesty and “ Still further to execute the purpose of severing good faith of those in authority, during April the connection of Missouri with the United States, and May; but is it not in perfect keeping the General Assembly was called, and when assembled sat in secret session and enacted laws which had with the dishonor and treachery successfully for their object the placing in the hands of the Gov. practiced upon the people of Virginia, Tene ernor large sums of money, to be pended in his nessee, North Carolina, Texas, and Arkansas discretion for military purposes, and a law for the by a few base spirits ?