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opened their fire. Colonel Pea- | ing General Parsons, with ten Mulligan's Defense of body was ordered ont to meet thousand men at his back, sent
Mulligan's Defense of Lexington. them. The camp then present- in a flag of truce to a little gar.
Lexington. ed a lively scene ; officers were hurrying hither and rison of two thousand seven hundred men, asking thither, drawing the troops in line and giving ordersa permission to enter the town and bury his dead, and the Commander was riding with his staff to the claiming that when the noble Lyon went down, his bridge to encourage his men to plant his artillery. corpse had fallen into his hands, and he had granted Two six-pounders were planted to oppose the ene. every privilege to the Federal officers sent after it. my, and placed in charge of Captain Dan. Quirk, It was not necessary to adduce this as a reason why who remained at his post till day-break. It was a he should be permitted to perform an act which hu. night of fearful anxiety. None knew at what momanity would dictate. The request was willingly ment the epemy would be upon the little band, and granted, and we cheerfully assisted in burying the the hours passed in silence and anxious waiting. | fallen foe. On Friday the work of throwing up inSo it continued until morning, when the Chaplain trenchments went on. It rained all day, and the rushed into headquarters, saying that the enemy men stood knee deep in the mud, building them. were pushing forward. Two companies of the Mis- Troops were sent out for forage, and returned with souri Thirteenth were ordered out, and the Colonel, large quantities of provisions and fodder. On Fri. with the aid of his glass, saw General Price urging day, Saturday and Sunday, we stole seven days' his men to the fight. They were met by Company provisions for two thousand seven hundred men. K, of the Irish brigade, under Captain Quirk, who We had found no provisions at Lexington, and were held them in check until Captain Dillon's company, compelled to get our rations as best we could. A of the Missouri Thirteenth, drove them back and quantity of powder was obtained, and then large burned the bridge. That closed our work before cisterns were filled with water. The men made breakfast. Immediately six companies of the Mis- cartridges in the cellar of the college building, and souri Thirteenth and two companies of Illinois car. cast one hundred and fifty rounds of shot for the alry were despatched in search of the retreating guns, at the foundries of Lexington. During the enemy. They engaged them in a cornfield, fought | little respite the evening gave us, we cast our shot, with them gallantly, and harassed them to such an made our cartridges, and stole our own provisions. extent as to delay their progress, in order to give We had stacks of forage, plenty of hams, bacon, &c., time for constructing intrenchments around the and felt that good times were in store for us. All camp on College Hill. This had the desired effect, this time, our pickets were constantly engaged with and we succeeded in throwing up earthworks three the enemy, and we were well aware that ten thou. or four feet in height. This consumed the night, sand men were threatening us, and knew that the and was coutinued during the next day, the out. struggle was to be a desperate one. Earth works posts still opposing the enemy, and keeping them had been raised breast-high, enclosing an area of back as far as possible. At three o'clock in the af- fifteen to eighteen acres, and surrounded by a ditch. ternoon of the 12th, the engagement opened with Outside of this was a circle of twenty-one mines, artillery. A volley of grapeshot was thrown among and still further down were pits to embarrass the the officers, who stood in front of the breastworks. progress of the enemy. During the night of the The guns within the intrenchments immediately re- 17th, we were getting ready for the defense, and plied with a vigor which converted the scene into heard the sounds of preparation in the camp of the one of the wildest description. The gunners were enemy for the attack on the morrow. Father Butinexperienced, and the firing was bad. We had five ler went around among the men and blessed them, six-pounders, and the musketry was firing at every and they reverently uncovered their heads and reangle. Those who were not shooting at the moon ceived his benediction, At nine o'clock on the were shooting above it. The men were ordered to morning of the 18th, the drums beat to arms, and cease firing, and they were arranged in ranks, the terrible struggle commenced. The enemy's kneeling, the front rank shooting and the others force had been increased to twenty-eight thousand loading. The artillery was served with more care, men and thirteen pieces of artillery. They came on and within an hour a shot from one of our guns dis. as one dark moving mass; men armed to the teeth, mounted their largest piece, a twelve pounder, and as far as the eye could reach-men, men, men, Were exploded a powder caisson. This achievement was visible. They planted two batteries in front, oue received with shouts of exultation from the belear, on the left, one on the right, and one in the rear, vred garrison. The enemy retired a distance of and opened with a terrible fire, which was answer. three miles. At seven o'clock the engagement had ed with the utmost bravery and determination. Our ceased, and Lexington was ours again. Next morn- spies bad informed us that the rebels intended to
make one grand rout, and bury · when we asked for quarter it Mulligan's Defense of
us in the trenches of Lexington. | would be time to settle that.' Mulligan's Defense of Lexington
Lexington. The batteries opened at nine | It was a terrible thing to see o'clock, and for three days they never ceased to those brave fellows mangled, and with no skillful pour deadly shot upon us. About noon the hospital | hands to bind their gaping wounds. Our surgeon was taken. It was situated on the left, outside of was held with the enemy, against all rules of war, the intrenchments. I had taken for granted, never and that, too, when we had released a surgeon of thought it necessary to build fortifications around theirs on his mere pledge that he was such. Capthe sick man's couch. I had thought that, among tain Moriarty went into the hospital, and, with civilized nations, the soldier sickened and wounded nothing but a razor, acted the part of a surgeon. in the service of his country, would, at least, be sa
We could not be without a chaplain or surgeon any cred. But I was inexperienced, and had yet to longer. There was in our ranks a Lieutenant Hicklearn that such was not the case with the rebels. ey, a rollicking, jolly fellow, who was despatched They besieged the hospital, took it, and from the from the hospital with orders to procure the surgeon balcony and roof their sharpshooters poured a dead and chaplain at all hazards. Forty minutes later ly fire within our intrenchments. It contained our and the brave Lieutenant was borne by, severely chaplain and surgeon, and one hundred and twenty wounded. As he was borne past I heard him ex. wounded men. It could not be allowed to remain claim, ' God have mercy on my little ones!' And in the possession of the enemy. A company of the God did hear his prayers, for the gay Lieutenant is Missouri Thirteenth was ordered forward to retake up, as rollicking as ever, and is now forming his the hospital. They started on their errar but brigade to return to the field. On the morning of stopped at the breastworks, 'going not out because the 19th the firing was resumed and continued all it was bad to go out.' A company of the Missouri | day. We recovered our surgeon and chaplain. Fourteenth was sent forward, but it also shrank The day was signalized by a fierce bayonet charge from the task, and refused to move outside the in upon a regiment of the enemy, which served to trenchments. The Montgomery Guard, Captain show them that our men were not yet compleiely Gleason, of the Irish brigade, were then brought worried out. The officers had told them to hold out out. The commander admonished them that the until the 19th, when they would certainly be reen. others had failed; and with a brief exhortation to forced. Through that day our little garrison stood uphold the name they bore, gave the word to with straining eyes, watching to see if some friendly *charge.' The distance was eight hundred yards. flag was bearing aid to them—with straining ear, They started out from the intrenchments, first quick, awaiting the sound of a friendly cannonade. But no then double-quick, then on a run, then faster. The reenforcements appeared, and, with the energy of enemy poured a deadly shower of bullets upon despair, they determined to do their duty at all them, but on they went, a wild line of steel, and hazards. The 19th was a horrid day. Our water what is better than steel, human will. They storm- cisterns had been drained, and we dared not leave ed up the slope to the hospital door, and with irre- the crown of the hill, and make our intrenchments sistible bravery drove the enemy before them, and on the bank of the river, for the enemy could have hurled them far down the hill beyond. At the head planted his cannon on the hill and buried us. Tho of those brave fellows, pale as marble, but not pale day was burning hot, and the men bit their cartfrom fear, stood the gallant officer, Captain Glea- ridges; their lips were parched and blistered. But
He said : Come on, my brave boys,' and in not a word of murniuring. The night of the 19th ibey rushed. But when their brave Captain return- two wells were ordered to be dug. We took a ra. ed, it was with a shot through the cheek and ano- vine, and expected to reach water in about thirty ther through the arm, and with but fifty of the hours. During the night, I passed around the field, eighty he had led forth. The hospital was in their smogthed back the clotted hair, and by the light of possession. This charge was one of the most bril- the moon, shining thrgugh the trees, recognized liant and reckless in all history, and to Captain here and there the countenances of my brave men Gleason belongs the glory. Each side felt, after who had fallen. Some were my favorites in days this charge, that a clever thing had been done, and gone past, who had stood by me in these hours of the fire of the enemy lagged. We were in a terri- terror, and had fallen on the hard fought field. ble situation. Towards night the fire increased, Sadly we buried them in the trenches. The mornand in the evening word came from the rebels that ing of the 20th broke, but no reenforcements ap. if the garrison did not surender before the next peared, and still the men fought on. The rebels day, they would hvist the black flag at their cannon had constructed movable breastworks of hemp bales, and give us no quarter. Word was sent back that rolled them up the bill, and advanced their batteries
in a manner to command the cuffs, and holding them up, Mulligan's Defense of
Muligan's Defense of fortification. Heated shot were said, “Do you know what these Lexington.
Lexington. fired at them, but they had are for?' We were placed in taken the precaution to soak the bales in the Mis- file, and a figure on horseback, looking much like souri. The attack was urged with renewed vigor, | Death on the pale horse,' led us through the streets and, during the forenoon, the outer breastworks of Lexington. As we passed, the secession ladies were taken by a charge of the rebels in force. The of Lexington came from their houses, and from the whole line was broken, and the enemy rushed in fence tops jeered at us. We were then taken to a upon us. Captain Fitzgerald, whom I had known hotel with no rations and no proprietor. After we in my younger days, and whom we had been accus- had boarded there for some time, we started with toined to call by the familiar nickname, Saxy,' | General Price, on the morning of the 30th, for the was then ordered to oppose his company to the as
land of Dixie.'" sailants. As I gave the order, “Saxy, go in,' the This disaster filled the public mind with gallant Fitzgerald, at the head of company I, with indignation against the Commanding-Genea wild yell rushed in upon the enemy. The Come ral of the Department. The emeute with mander sent for a company on which he could rely; Colonel Blair had divided opinion greatly as the firing suddenly ceased, and when the smoke
to Fremont's merits and demerits, and the rose from the field, I observed the Michigan com
fall of Lexington came to confirm the worst pany, under their gallant young commander, Cap.
apprehensions excited by his opponents. tain Patrick McDermott, charging the enemy and
But there ever is two sides to a cause. In driving them back.
Many of our good fellows were lying dead, our cartridges had failed, and it was
this mstance there soon was forthcoming a evident that the fight would soon cease.
mass of evidence which went far toward renow three o'clock, and all on a sudden an orderly | lieving Fremont of public censure. In his came, saying that the enemy had sent a flag of trnce. own defense he stated the case thus: With the flag came the following note from General * On the 13th two regi
Fremont's ExplanaPrice :
merts were ordered from
tion of Causes. Colonel : What has caused the cessation of the St. Louis to Jefferson City, fight?
[Lexington is 210 miles from St. Louis and This was returned with the following reply, 115 from Jefferson City], and, in the opinion written on the back:
of General Davis, who was occupied with that " General: I hardly know, unless you have sur
place, it was deemed expedient. And, generendered.'
“ He took pains to assure me, however, that such rally, it will be seen, that all possible promptwas not the case. I learned soon after that the itude was used in sending forward troops to Home Guard had hoisted the white flag. The Lieu. the points threatened along the Missouri tenant who had thus hoisted the flag was threatened river, and meeting, with all our disposable witn instant death unless he palled it down. The force, the movements of General Price. It men all said, "we have no cartridges, and a vast will be seen that up to the 13th, Buoneville, horde of the enemy is about us,' They were told to and not Lexington, was considered the threatgo to the line and stand there, and use the charge atened point. the muzzle of their guns or perish there. They
“On the 14th General Sturgis was directel grasped their weapons the fiercer, turned calmly to move, with all practicable speed, upon about, and stood firmly at their posts. And there
Lexington. they stood, without a murmur, praying as they nev
General Pope's dispatch of the er prayed before, that the rebel horde would show
16th gave me every reason to believe, as he themselves at the earthworly. An officer remarked, did, that a reenforcement of four thousand “this is butchery.' The conviction became general, men, with artillery, would be there in abunand a council of war was held. And when, finally, dant time, and if the Committee will take the white flag was raised, Adjutant Cosgrove, of the time to read the accompanying papers, it your city, shed bitter tears. The place was given will be seen that from every disposable quarup, upon what conditions, to this day, I hardly ter where there were troops the promptest know or care. The enemy came pouring in. One efforts were made to concentrate them on foppish officer, dressed in the gaudiest uniform of Lexington, but chance defeated these efforts. his rank, strutted up and down through the camp,
“Also on the 14th, in the midst of this clestopped before our men, took out a pair of hand- | mand for troops, I was ordered by the Secre:
THE PRESIDENT'S ACTION
ON THE PROCLAMATION.
tion of Causes,
The President's action
tary at War and General | in and around St. Louis, restored confidence Fremont's Explana
Scott to send five thou- somewhat, and those clamorous for the Com
sand well-armed infantry manding - General's suspension to Washington without a moment's delay.'' strained to await the issue of his first cam
This latter statement, made incidentally paign, for which all the preparation possible by others in Fremont's defense, was generally had been made. One censor said: “He let discredited—it seemed so improbable; yet, Springfield, Lexington, and the balance of it was only too true. The sacrifice of move the State go, to prepare to move on to New ments, of points of desirable occupation, to Orleans”-a statement so wholly at variance the insatiable demands of the army before with justice that it only deserves repetition the defenses of Washington, forms one of in order to show what a large class were the most unaccountable episodes of the war. willing to believe. The idea of a movement The requisition of course had to be obeyed. down the Mississippi uas entertained, but its The troops were sent, with the following fulfilment certainly could not be realized so quiet but effective protest :
long as troops were lacking not only for the “ HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, movement but also for retaining any advance St. Louis, Sept. 15th, 1861.
position which might be won. “ To Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND, Asst. Ad. Gen., Head
Sept. 11th it became quarlers of the Army, Washington, D. C.
known that the President “ Reliable information from the vicinity of Price's
had “modified" Fremont's column shows his present force to be 11,000 at Warrensburg and 4,000 at Georgetown, with his pickets proclamation of confiscation, freedom and extending to Syracuse. Green is marching for punishment. Prior to that date (Sept. 2d,) Booneville with probable force of 3,000. With Mr. Lincoln dispatched an unofficial letter, drawal of force from this part of the Missouri risks by private hands, stating his objections to the State ; from Paducah, loses Western Kentucky. the proclamation. Two points, he said, gave As the best, I have ordered two regiments from this him some anxiety. They were: city, two from Kentucky, and will make up the re- “ First : Should you shoot a man, according to the mainder from the new force being raised by the proclamation, the Confederates would very certainGovernor of Illinois.
ly shoot our best men in their hands, in retaliation ; “J. C. FREMONT, and so, man for man, indefinitely. It is, therefore,
“ Major-General Commanding." my order that you allow no man to be shot, under Were the generalship shown by Fremont the proclamation, without first having my approba. good, bad or indifferent,* the fact remained tion or consent. painfully apparent that the Secessionists were “ Second: I think there is great danger that the jubilant and the Unionists despondent. The closing paragraph, in relation to the confiscation of vigor which soon manifested itself, however, property, and the liberating slaves of traitorous
owners, will alarm our Southern Union friends, and Adjutant-General Thomas, in his report (Octo turn them against us--perhaps ruin our rather fair ber 21st,) of affairs in the Department pronounced prospect for Kentucky. Allow me, therefore, to the generalship to have been bad. He stated the | ask that you will, as of your own motion, modify case thus :
that paragraph so as to conform to the first and * No steps having been taken by General Fremont to meet fourth sections of the Act of Congress, entitled · An Price in the field, he moved forward his line of march plainly indicating his intention of proceeding to Lexington. When
Act to Confiscate Property Used for Insurrectionary within some thirty-five miles of the place, he remained ten Purposes,' approved August 6th, 1861, and a copy or more days, evidently expecting that some movement of which act I herewith send to you." would be made against him. None being made he advanced,
The President added: “This letter is writand, with his much superior forco, laid siege to Lexington, which was defended by Mulligan with 2,700 men, on the ten in a spirit of caution, and not of censure. 12th of September, and captured it in nine days thereafter, I send it by a special messenger, in order that on the 21st of September.”
it may certainly and speedily reach you." He then proceeds to show, by the disposition of
To this note Fremont replied, also by priforces, that Mulligan could have been reenforced, or Price, being assailed from the west, could be made vate hands (Sept. 8th), giving his views of to retire precipitately. [See Thomas' Report for a matters, yet expressing a desire to conform fall ex parte statement of affairs in Missouri.]
to the President's wishes. Thereafter the
The Federal Advance.
proclamation was considered a dead letter; I complaint, from which we have quoted above, and those Unionists who felt keenly the ne- said: “Fremont's order to march was issued cessity of a firm hand in dealing with treason to an army of nearly 40,000, many of the reg. and assassins became despondent. The Pres- iments badly equipped, with inadequate supidlent's “ anxieties," it seemed to them, had plies of ammunition, clothing and transportshorn the cause of the traitors of half its ation. With what prospect, it must be indangers and all of its penalties.
quired, can General Fremont, under such Price proposed, after his circumstances, expect to overtake a retreat
easy capture of the line of ing army, some one hundred miles ahead, the Missouri river, to advance over it to with a deep river between ?” “ raise" the Northern counties and to discom- Deficient transportation, bad equipments, fit Pope's forces, then widely scattered ; but, inadequate supplies of ammunition, were obthe rumors of Fremont's advance in force to stacles to success which few generals could Jefferson City, to cut off retreat, hastened the overcome: if Fremont was responsible for rebel retrograde movement. Lexington was these material shortcomings then he was, inabandoned after a brief occupancy, and Price deed, incompetent. That he was not responfound himself, technically, in the condition sible for them is now conceded, even by his of defeat, although retreating loaded with enemies. spoils. Said Fremont, “Except the victory, Fremont left for Jefferson little advantage resulted to Price from the City Sept. 27th. There the capture of Lexington, exposed and resting forces rendezvoused for several days, prepaupon a broad river which there was no ratory to a march to Tipton and vicinity. chance for a large army to cross in case of The programme as arranged embraced a defeat. As a military position its occupation march into Arkansas. Said Major Dorsheihad no value for him. On the contrary, had mer, one of Fremont's aids : “ The General I possessed the means of transportation to has determined to pursue Price until he move forward my troops rapidly I should catches him. He can march faster than we have been well content to give up Lexington 'can now, but we shall soon be able to move for the certainty of being able to compel faster than it is possible for him to do. The Price to give me battle on the north side of rebels have no base of operations from which thie Osage, as he could not cross the Missouri to draw supplies; they depend entirely upon without exposing himself to certain defeat, foraging; and for this reason Price has to no other course would have remained open make long halts wherever he finds mills, and to him. In fact, when I did go forward, the grind the flour. He is so deficient in equipappearance of my advance at Sedalia was the age, also, that it will be impossible for him signal for his precipitate retreat." Adjutant- to carry his troops over great distances. But General Thomas reported: “When Lexington we can safely calculate that Price and Rains fell, Price had under his command 20,000 will not leave the State; their followers are men, and his force was receiving daily aug- enlisted for six months, and are already bementations from the disaffected in the State. coming discontented at their continued reHe was permitted to gather much plunder, treat, and will not go with them beyond the and to fall back toward Arkansas unmolest-borders. This is the uniform testimony of ed, until I was at Tipton on the 13th of Oc- deserters and scouts. Price disposed of, tober ; when the accounts were that he was either by a defeat or by the dispersal of his crossing the Osage."
army, we are to proceed to Bird's Point, or There is so much statement and counter- into Arkansas, according to circumstances. statement concerning movements and orders A blow at Little Rock seems now the wisest, after the fall of Lexington, that it is extreme- as it is the boldest plan. We can reach that ly diflicult to arrive at the truth, to fix blame place by the middle of November; and if we where it belongs for the dilatory pursuit of obtain possession of it, the position of the Price, after that pursuit was commenced. enemy upon the Mississippi will be completeGeneral Thomas in the very paragraph of l ly turned. The communications of Pillow,