Page images

of the District in which any alien enemy or apparent that the substitution of military for persons offending against the provisions of this judicial measures for the enforcement of such act shall be apprehended, who, by the Pres- claims must be attended by great inconvenience, ident of the Confederate States, or by the order embarrassments, and injuries. Under these cirof any Court, Judge, or Justice, as aforesaid, cumstances, it seems quite clear that the subshall be required to depart and to be removed stantial rights of loyal masters are still best proas aforesaid, to execute such order by himself tected by receiving such fugitives, as well as or deputy, or other discrete person; and for fugitives from disloyal masters, into the service such execution the Marshal have the warrant of the United States and employing them under of the President or the Court, or Judge, as the such organizations and in such occupations as case may be.

circumstances may suggest or require. Of

course a record should be kept showing the Doo. 173.

names and descriptions of the fugitives, the

names and characters, as loyal or disloyal, of SECRETARY CAMERON'S LETTER the masters, and such facts as may be necessary TO GENERAL B. F. BUTLER.

to a correct understanding of the circumstances

of each case. WASHINGTON, August 8, 1861.

After tranquillity shall have been restored General :--The important question of the upon the return of peace, Congress will doubtproper disposition to be made of fugitives from less properly provide for all the persons thus service in the States in insurrection against the received into the service of the Union, and Federal Government, to which you have again for a just compensation to loyal masters. In directed my attention, in your letter of July 20, this way only, it would seem, can the duty and has received my most attentive consideration. safety of the Government and just rights of al. It is the desire of the President that all existing be fully reconciled and harmonized. You will rights in all the State be fully respected and therefore consider yourself instructed to govmaintained. The war now prosecuted on the ern your future action in respect to fugitives part of the Federal Government is a war for the from service by the premises herein stated, and Union, for the preservation of all the constitu- will report from time to time, and at least twice tional rights of the States and the citizens of in each month your action in the premises to the States in the Union; hence no question can this Department. You will, however, neither arise as to fugitives from service within the authorize nor permit any interference by the States and Territories in which the authority troops under your command with the servants of the Union is fully acknowledged. The ordi- of peaceable citizens in a house or field, nor will nary forms of judicial proceedings must be re- you in any manner encourage such citizens to spected by the military and civil authorities leave the lawful service of their masters, nor alike for the enforcement of legal forms. But will you, except in cases where the public good in the States wholly or in part under insurrec- may seem to require it, prevent the voluntary tionary control, where the laws of the United return of any fugitive to the service from which States are so far opposed and resisted that they he may have escaped. I am, very respectfully, cannot be effectually enforced, it is obvious that your obedient servant, Simon CAMERON, the rights dependent upon the execution of

Secretary of War. these laws must temporarily fail, and it is

To Major-General Butler, commanding Department of

Virginia, Fortress Monroe. equally obvious that the rights dependent on the laws of the States within which military operations are conducted must necessarily be subordinate to the military exigencies created

Doo. 1731. by the insurrection, if not wholly forfeited by U. S. EXECUTIVE GOVERNMENT, the treasonable conduct of the parties claiming

1857–61. them. To this the general rule of the right to service forms an exception. The act of Con- President.-James Buchanan, of Penn. gress approved Aug. 6, 1861, declares that if Vice-President.-John C. Breckinridge, of Ky. persons held to service shall be employed in Secretaries of State.Lewis Cass, of Michigan; hostility to the United States, the right to their Jeremiah S. Black of Penn., appt. Dec. 17, services shall be discharged therefrom. It fol- 1860. lows of necessity that no claim can be recog- Secretary of the Navy.- Isaac Toucey, of Conn. nized by the military authority of the Union to Secretaries of War.—John B. Floyd, of Va.; the services of such persons when fugitives. Joseph Holt, of Ky., appt. Jan. 18, 1861.

A more difficult question is presented in re- Secretaries of the Treasury.Howell Cobb, of spect to persons escaping from the service of Ga.; Philip F. Thomas, of Md., appt. Dec. loyal masters. It is quite apparent that the 12, 1860; John A. Dix, of N. Y., appt. Jan. laws of the State under which only the services 11, 1861. of such fugitives can be claimed must needs be Secretary of the Interior.–Jacob Thompson, wholly or almost wholly superseded, as to the of Miss. remedies, by the insurrection and the military Postmasters- General.-Joseph Holt, of Ky. ; measures necessitated by it; and it is equally | Horatio King, of Me., appt. Feb. 12, 1861.

Attorneys-General.-Jeremiah s. Black, of Leavenworth, from Kearney, in ten or fifteen

Penn. ; Edwin M. Stanton, of Penn., appt. days from this time.
Dec. 20, 1860.

4. Publish a proclamation to the people of

the State, warning them that the President has Doo. 174.

acted illegally in calling out troops, thus arro

gating to himself the war-making power; that THE MISSOURI TREASON.

he has illegally ordered the secret issue of the LETTER FROM GEN. D. M. FROST TO GOV. JACKSON. public arms (to the number of 5,000) to socie

ties in the State, who have declared their inSt. Louis, Mo., April 15, 1861. tention to resist the constituted authorities, His Excellency C. F. Jackson, Governor of Mis- whenever these authorities may adopt a course souri :

distasteful to them; and that they are, thereSIR: You have doubtless observed by this fore, by no means bound to give him aid or morning's despatches, that the President, by comfort in his attempts to subjugate, by force calling seventy-five thousand of the militia of of arms, a people who are still free; but, on the different states into the service of his Gov- the contrary, that they should prepare them. ernment, proposes to inaugurate civil war on a selves to maintain all their rights as citizens of comprehensive plan.

Missouri. Under the circumstances, I have thought it 5. Authorize, or order the commanding offinot inappropriate that I should offer some sug- cer of the present military district to form a gestions to your Excellency, in my capacity of military camp of instruction at or near the city commanding officer of the first military district. of St. Louis, to muster military companies into

Presuming that Mr. Lincoln will be advised the service of the State, to erect batteries, and by good military talent, he will doubtless re- do all things necessary and proper to be done gard this place as next in importance, in a to maintain the peace, dignity, and sovereignty strategic point of view, to Charleston and Pen- of the State. sacola. He will therefore retain at the arsenal 6. Order Col. Bowen's whole command to all of the troops now there, and augment it as proceed at once to the said camp and report to soon as possible. The commanding officer of the commanding officer for duty. that place, as you are perhaps aware, has Doubtless, many things which ought to be strengthened his position by the erection of done, will occur to your Excellency which have numerous batteries and earthworks. You are not to me, and your Excellency may deem what not, however, aware that he has recently put I have suggested as improper or unnecessary, in position guns of large calibre, to command If so, I can only say, that I have been actuated the

approaches to the city by the river, as well solely by a sense of official duty in saying what as heavy ten-inch mortars, with which he I have, and will most cheerfully acquiesce in could, at any moment, bombard our town. whatever course your Excellency may lay down

If, 'therefore, he is permitted to go on for my government. strengthening his position, whilst the Govern I would not have presumed to have advised ment

increases his force, it will be but a short your Excellency, but for the fact that you were time before he will have this town and the kind enough to express a desire to consult with commerce of the Mississippi at his mercy. You me upon these subjects on your recent visit to will readily see how this complete possession this city. and control of our commercial metropolis I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient might, and in all probability would, affect any servant,

D. M. Frost, future action that the State might otherwise feel

Drig.-Gen. Com. First Mil. Dist. of No. disposed to take.

P.S. I highly approve of the suggestions of I fully appreciate the very delicate position Gen. Frost, and await your commands. occupied by your Excellency, and do not expect

J. A. BROWNLEE. you to take any action, or do any thing not legal or proper to be done under the circumstances; but, nevertheless, would respectfully

Doo. 175. suggest the following as both legal and proper, BATTLE OF WILSON'S CREEK, MO.* viz. : 1. To call the Legislature together at once,

GENERAL FREMONT'S REPORT. for the purpose of placing the State in a condi

HEAD-QUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, tion to enable you to suppress insurrection or

ST. LOUIS, August 13, 1861. repel invasion.

Col. E. D. Tounsend:2. To send an agent to the Governor of Lou Gen. Lyon, in three columns, under himself, isiana, (or further, if necessary,) to ascertain if Siegel, and Sturgis, attacked the enemy at mortars and siege guns could be obtained from half-past 6 o'clock on the morning of the 10th Baton Rouge, or other points.

instant, nine miles south-east of Springfield. 3. To send an agent to Liberty, to see what the engagement was severe. Our loss is about is there, and to put the people of that vicinity eight hundred killed and wounded. General on their guard, to prevent its being garrisoned, as several United States troops will be at Fort | Creek, Springfield, and Oak Ilin.

* This battle is variously known as that of Wilson's

Lyon was killed in a charge at the head of his under Lieut. Farrand, (First Infantry,) and one column. Our force was eight thousand, includ- light battery of six pieces. This column was ing two thousand Home Guards. The muster to march by a road on the left of the main roll reported to have been taken from the ene- Cassville Road, and leading to the supposed my gives their force at 23,000, including regi- right of the enemy's position. Here my official ments from Louisiana, Tennessee, and Missis- information of the movements of Col. Siegel's sippi, with Texan Rangers and Cherokee half-column ceases, as we have not been able to breeds. This statement is corroborated by procure any written report of its operation. prisoners. The enemy's loss is reported to have Gen. Lyon marched from Springfield at 5 been heavy, including Generals McCulloch and o'clock P. M., on the 9th, making a detour to Price. Their tents and wagons were all de- | the right-at 1 o'clock in the morning arriving stroyed in the action. Gen. Siegel left one gun in view of the enemy's guard-fires. Here the on the field and retreated to Springfield, where, column halted, and lay on their arms until the at three o'clock in the morning of the 11th, he dawn of day, when it again moved forward. continued his retreat upon Rolla, bringing off Capt. Gilbert's company, which had formed the his baggage trains and $250,000 in specie from advance during the night, still remained in adthe Springfield Bank. J. O. FREMONT, vance, and the column moved in the same or

Major-General Commanding. der in which it had halted.

A southeasterly direction was now taken,

with a view to strike the extreme northern CAMP “ CAREY GRATZ," NEAR ROLLA, MO., point of the enemy's camp. At daylight a line

Aug. 20, 1861. of battle was formed, closely followed by TotSir: I have the honor to submit the follow- ten's battery, supported by a strong reserve. ing report of the battle of Springfield, fought on In this order we advanced, with skirmishers in the 10th inst. on Wilson's Creek, some ten miles front, until the first out-post of the rebels was south of the city, between the United States encountered and driven in, when the column troops under Gen. Lyon, and the rebel forces was halted, and the following dispositions under McCulloch. On the 9th inst., Gen. Lyon made, viz. : Capt. Plummer's battalion, with came to the determination of attacking the ene- the Home Guard on his left, were to cross my's camp, and accordingly dispositions were Wilson's Creek, and move toward the front, made on the afternoon of that day for an attack keeping pace with the advance on the left opat daylight next morning, (10th.) The com- posite bank, for the purpose of protecting our mand was to move in two columns, composed left flank against any attempt of the enemy to as follows:

turn it. After crossing a ravine, and ascending The first, under Gen. Lyon, consisted of one a high ridge, we came in full view of a considbattalion regular infantry, under Capt. Plum- erable force of the enemy's skirmishers. Major mer, Companies B, O, and D, First Infantry, Osterhaus' battalion was at once deployed to Capts. Gilbert, Plummer, and Huston, with one the right, and two companies of the First Miscompany of rifle recruits, under Lieut. Wood; souri Volunteers, under Capts. Yates and CavMaj. Osterhaus' battalion Second Missouri Vol- ender, were deployed to the left, all as skirunteers, two companies ; Capt. Totten's light mishers. The firing now became very severe, battery, six pieces, and Capt. Woods' mounted and it was evident we were approaching the company of Second Kansas Volunteers, with enemy's stronghold, where they intended giving Lieut. Caulfield's Company B, First Cavalry, battle. A few shells from Totten's battery asregulars. This constituted the first brigade, sisted our skirmishers in clearing the ground in under Major Sturgis.

front. The Second brigade, under Lieut.-Col. An The First Missouri and First Kansas moved drews, First Missouri Volunteers, was composed at once to the front, supported by Totten's of Capt. Steele's battalion of regulars, com- battery and the First Iowa regiment; Dubois' panies B and E Second Infantry ; one company battery, Steele's battalion, and the Second Kanof recruits under Lieut. Lothrop, Fourth Artil- sas were held in reserve. The First Missouri lery ; one company of recruits under Sergeant now took its position in the front, upon the Morine; Lieut. Dubois' light battery, consist- crest of a small elevated plateau. "The First ing of four pieces, one of which was a 12- Kansas was posted on the left of the First Mispounder gun, and the First Missouri Volu souri, and separated from some 60 yards on teers.

account of a ravine. The First Iowa took its The Third brigade was made up of the First position on the left of the First Kansas, while and Second Kansas Volunteers, under Deitzler, Totten's battery was placed opposite the interCol. Mitchell commanding the latter regiment. val between the First Kansas and First MisThe First regiment Iowa Volunteers, with some souri. Major Osterhaus' battalion occupied the 200 Home Guards, (mounted,) completed the extreme right, with his right resting on a column under Gen. Lyon.

ravine which turned abruptly to our right and The second column, under Col. Siegel, con- rear. Dubois' battery, supported by Steele's sisted of the Third and Fifth regiments Missouri battalion, was placed some 80 yards to the left Volunteers, one company of cavalry, under and rear of Totten's guns, so as to bear upon a Capt. Carr, one company of Second Dragoons, I powerful battery of the enemy, posted to our

left and front, on the opposite side of Wilson's whelming force against which they were unCreek, to sweep the entire plateau upon which flinchingly holding their position. our troops were formed.

The battalion of regular infantry under Capt. The enemy now rallied in large force near Steele, which had been detailed to the support the foot of the slope, and under considerable of Lieut. Dubois' battery, was during this time cover, opposite our left wing, and along the brought forward to the support of Capt. Totslope in front and on our right toward the ten's battery. Scarcely had these dispositions crest of the main ridge running parallel to the been made, when the enemy again appeared in creek. During this time, Capt. Plummer, with very large force along our entire front, and his four companies of 'infantry, had moved moving toward each flank. The engagement down a ridge about 500 yards to our left, and at once became general, and almost inconceivseparated from us by a deep ravine, and reached ably fierce, along

the entire line; the enemy apits abrupt terminus, where he found his further pearing in front often in three or four ranks, progress arrested by a large force of infantry Tying down, kneeling, and standing, the lines occupying a corn-field in the valley in his front. often approaching to within thirty or forty At this moment an artillery fire was opened yards of each other, as the enemy would charge from a high point about two miles distant, and upon Capt. Totten's battery, and be driven nearly in our front, from which Col. Siegel was back. to have commenced his attack. This fire was Early in the engagement, the First Iowa answered from the opposite side of the valley, came to the support of the First Kansas and and at a greater distance from us; the line of First Missouri, both of which had stood like fire of the two batteries being nearly perpen- veteran troops, exposed to a galling fire of the dicular to our own. After about ten or twelve enemy. shots on either side, the firing ceased, and we Every available battalion was now brought neither heard nor saw any thing more of Gen. into action, and the battle raged with unabated Siegel's brigade until about 8} o'clock, when a fury for more than an hour, the scales seeming brisk cannonading was heard for a few minutes, all the time nearly equally balanced, our troops about a mile to the right of that heard before, sometimes gaining a little ground, and again and from two to three miles distant.

giving way a few yards to rally again. Early Our whole line now advanced with much in this engagement, while Gen. Lyon was leadenergy upon the enemy's position. The firing, ing his horse along the line on the left of Capt. which had been spirited for the last half hour, Totten's battery, and endeavoring to rally our now increased to a continuous roar, During troops, which were at this time in considerable this time Capt. Totten's battery came into ac- disorder, his horse was killed, and he received tion by section and by piece, as the nature of a wound in the leg and one in the head. He the ground would permit, (it being wooded, walked slowly a few paces to the rear and said, with much undergrowth,) and played upon the “I fear the day is lost." I then dismounted enemy's lines with great effect. After a fierce one of my orderlies and tendered the horse to engagement, lasting perhaps half an hour, and the General, who at first declined, saying it in which our troops retired two or three times was not necessary. The horse, however, was in more or less disorder, but never more than a left with him, and I moved off to rally a portion few yards, again to rally and press forward of the Iowa regiment, which was beginning to with increased vigor, the enemy gave way in break in considerable numbers. the utmost confusion, and left us in possession In the mean time the General mounted, and, of the position.

swinging his hat in the air, called to the troops Meanwhile, Capt. Plummer was ordered to nearest him to follow. The Second Kansas galmove forward on our left, but meeting with lantly rallied around him, headed by the brave overpowering resistance from the large mass of Col. Mitchell. In a few moments the Colonel infantry in the corn-field in his front, and in fell, severely wounded ; about the same time a the woods beyond, was compelled to fall back; fatal ball was lodged in the General's breast, but at this moment Lieut. Dubois' battery, and he was carried from the field-a corpse. which had taken position on our left flank, sup- Thus gloriously fell as brave a soldier as ever ported by Capt. Steele's battalion, opened upon drew a sword-a man whose honesty of purthe enemy in the corn-field a fire of shells, with pose was proverbial—a noble patriot, and one such marked effect, as to drive him, in the ut- who held his life as nothing when his country most disorder, and with great slaughter, from denianded it of him. the field.

Of this dire calamity I was not informed unThere was now a momentary cessation of fire til perhaps half an hour after its occurrence. along nearly the whole line, except the extreme In the mean time our disordered line on the right, where the First Missouri was still en left was again rallied, and pressed the enemy gaged with a superior force of the enemy, at- with great vigor and coolness, particularly the tempting to turn our right. The General bav- First Iowa regiment, which fought like vetering been informed of this movement, sent the ans. This hot encounter lasted perhaps half Second Kansas to the support of the First Mis- an hour. souri. It came up in time to prevent the Mis After the death of Gen. Lyon, when the enesourians from being destroyed by the over- my fled and left the field clear, so far as we

could see, an almost total silence reigned for supports of Dubois' battery, consisting of two a space of twenty minutes. Major Schofield or three companies of the First Missouri

, three now informed me of the death of Gen. Lyon, companies of the First Kansas, and two comand reported for orders. The responsibility panies of the First Iowa, in quick time, and fell which now rested upon me was duly felt and upon the enemy's right flank, and poured into appreciated. Our brave little army was scat- it a murderous volley, killing or wounding tered and broken; over 20,000 men were still nearly every man within sixty or seventy in our front, and our men had had no water yards. From this moment a perfect rout took since 5 o'clock the evening before, and could place throughout the rebel front, while ours on hope for none short of Springfield, twelve miles the right flank continued to pour a galling fire distant; if we should go forward, our own suc- into their disorganized masses. cess would prove our certain defeat in the end; It was then evident that Totten's battery if we retreated, disaster stared us in the face; and Steele's little battalion were safe. Among our ammunition was well nigh exhausted, and the officers conspicuous in leading this assault should the enemy make this discovery through were Adjutant Hezcock, Captains Burke, Mila slackening of our fire, total annihilation was ler, Maunter, Maurice, and Richardson, and all we could expect. The great question in my Lieut. Howard, all of the First Missouri. There mind was, “Where is Siegel ?" If I could still were others of the First Kansas and First Iowa hope for á vigorous attack by him on the ene- who participated, and whose names I do not my's right flank or rear, then we could go for- remember. The enemy then fled from the ward with some hope of success. If he had field. A few moments before the close of the retreated, there was nothing left for us also. In engagement, the Second Kansas, which had this perplexing condition of affairs I summoned firmly maintained its position, on the extreme the principal officers for consultation. The right, from the time it was first sent there, great question with most of them was, “Is re- found its ammunition exhausted, and I directed treat possible ?” The consultation was brought it to withdraw slowly and in good order from to a close by the advance of a heavy column of the field, which it did, bringing

off its wounded, infantry from the hill, where Siegel's guns had which left our right flank exposed, and the been heard before. Thinking they were Siegel's enemy renewed the attack at that point, after men, a line was formed for an advance, with it had ceased along the whole line; but it was the hope of forming a junction with him. These gallantly met by Capt. Steele's battalion of troops wore a dress much resembling that of regulars, which had just driven the enemy Siegel's brigade, and carried the American flag. from the right of the centre, and, after a sharp They were therefore permitted to move down engagement, drove him precipitately from the the hill within easy range of Dubois' battery, field. Thus closed—at about half-past eleven until they had reached the covered position at o'clock—an almost uninterrupted conflict of the foot of the ridge on which we were posted, six hours. The order to retreat was given soon and from which we had been fiercely assailed after the enemy gave way from our front and before, when suddenly a battery was planted centre, Lieut. Dubois' battery having been preon the hill in our front and began to pour upon viously sent to occupy with its supports the us shrapnell and canister-a species of shot hill in our rear. Capt. Totten's battery, as not before fired by the enemy. At this mo- soon as his disabled horses could be replaced, ment, the enemy showed his true colors, and at retired slowly with the main body of the inonce commenced along our entire lines the fantry, while Capt. Steele was meeting the fiereest and most bloody engagement of the day. demonstrations upon our right flank. This Lieut. Dubois' battery on our left, gallantly having been repulsed, and no enemy being in supported by Major Osterhaus' battalion and sight, the whole column moved slowly to the the rallied fragments of the Missouri First, soon high open prairie, about two miles from the silenced the enemy's battery on the hill, and battle-ground; meanwhile our ambulances repulsed the right wing of his infantry. Capt. passed to and fro, carrying off our wounded. Totten's battery in the centre, supported by the After making a short halt on the prairie, we Iowas and regulars, was the main point of at- continued our march to Springfield. tack. The enemy could frequently be seen It should be here remembered that, just after within twenty feet of Totten's guns, and the the order to retire was given, and while it was smoke of the opposing lines was often so con- undecided whether the retreat should be confounded as to seem but one. Now, for the first tinued, or whether we should occupy the more time during the day, our entire liné maintained favorable position of our rear, and await tidings its position with perfect firmness. Not the of Col. Siegel, one of his non-commissioned offislightest disposition to give way was manifest-cers arrived,' and reported that the Colonel's ed at any point, and while Capt. Steele's bat-brigade had' been totally routed, and all his talion, which was some yards in front of the artillery captured, Col. Siegel himself having line, together with the troops on the right and been either killed or made prisoner. Most of left, were in imminent danger of being over- our men had fired away all their ammunition, whelmed by superior numbers, the contending and all that could be obtained from the boxes lines being almost muzzle to muzzle, Capt. of the killed and wounded. Nothing, thereGranger rushed to the rear and brought up the fore, was left to do but to return to Springfield,

VOL. II.--Doc. 39

« PreviousContinue »