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ran across a curve, and in a deep narrow cut wrenched the spikes from four rails.
The train came along at good speed, the rails spread, the locomotive plunged into the ground, the cars crashed on top of it, and it was twenty-four hours before the train could go ahead. In the meantime Louisville was saved. The hero of the occasion had not had time to get out of the cut before the crash came, and was taken, but in the confusion and excitement managed to escape to a place of safety.
The shades of night were falling fast,
His hair was red, his toes beneath,
He saw no household fire where he
“O stay,” a colored person said,
“Beware McClellan, Buell and Banks,
At break of day, as several boys
A chap was found, and at his side
There, in the twilight, thick and gray,
Skedaddle !-VANITY FAIR.
STORY X V.
MASTERLY RETREAT OF SIGEL.
GENERAL Lyon, having posted troops at the principal places where needed throughout Northern Missouri, leaving Colonel Schaeffer with about five hundred men at Boonsville, took his departure with 2,000 men, on the morning of the 3d of July, 1861, for the southwest. Colonel Sigel had preceded him from Rolla, and occupied a position to the west of Springfield.
Governor Jackson was collecting his forces on Clear creek, eight miles south of Osceola, where he had some 1,500 men, 300 horses and 6,000 muskets. General Rains was encamped a little further south, with 4,000 men and 6 cannon. General Price had 250 men on the north fork of Spring river.
On the 5th of July, Generals Rains and Parsons, with a force of 5,000 men, 1,500 being cavalry, took position on a ridge or elevation in the prairie, seven miles east of Carthage, which being known to Colonel Sigel's troops, though the force of the enemy was unknown by them, they were impatient for a brush; and Colonel Sigel determined to give them battle. Starting at three o'clock in the morning he came upon them with his command of only about 1,100 men, at about half-past eight o'clock. He found the Rebels strongly posted, having five pieces of artillery,-one 12-pounder in front, and two 6-pounders on each flank. The infantry were in rear of the artillery, and the cavalry on each flank.
Colonel Sigel arrayed his forces to the best advantage, having four pieces of artillery in the centre, and one on each flank, the infantry in columns on the right, and left, and in the rear. Before opening fire the Colonel briefly addressed his troops, reminding them of former victories, and asking them to stand by him now. He then commenced firing with shrapnell from the piece of artillery on his left, and soon the engagement became general. The Rebels had no grape-shot, nothing but balls, and proved themselves poor artillerists, as most of their balls flew high, plowing up the prairie behind our troops. They had Confederate flags flying on their extreme right and left divisions, and the Missouri State flag in the centre. Twice were the Confederate flags shot down by Sigel's troops, their first shots being
especially aimed at those objects, the men saying they had no desire to fire on the State flag.
In three-quarters of an hour the 12-pounder in the Rebels' central front was dismounted, and their centre column completely broken. In two hours more their artillery was entirely silenced. After a short interval they renewed their fire, but were again silenced. They then commenced flank movements with their cavalry, threatening an attack in the rear, and the capture of Colonel Sigel's baggage train, three miles behind.
To prevent such a calamity, the colonel hurried back one piece of artillery and a detachment of infantry to guard a ferry, with a view to secure his retreat from being cut off; and then adroitly commenced a retrograde movement with his entire command, dispatching at the same time an order for the advance of the baggage train.
In this movement he preserved the order of his columns, the artillery continuing to do admirable service, and fighting deliberately over every inch of ground till the baggage wagons were reached; when they were immediately formed in solid columns of eight, with the infantry and artillery posted on all sides, presenting an impregnable array.
Thus, with perfect order, with Colonel Solomon's battalion in front, the column continued alternately fighting and retreating, in the face of greatly superior numbers. At the crossing of Dry fork, our lines were very near being broken, when by the timely arrival of 200 men from Shoal creek, they effected a crossing, with a loss of five killed and two mortally wounded.
The retrograde toward Carthage continued, till at last, at five o'clock, they came to a place where the road passed directly through a high bluff, after passing a small creek. On the two sides of this divided bluff, 800 of the Rebel cavalry took position, prepared to resist the passage of the creek and the road. The position was one of difficulty, and would have seriously perplexed any less skillful officer than Colonel Sigel.
With the utmost coolness he instantly conceived and adopted a splendid stratagem, which placed his foes entirely at his mercy, and eventually secured the unimpeded movements of his command. He ordered an oblique movement on the right and left of his forces, as if to pass around the sides of the bluff, at the same time advancing the two pieces of artillery on the sides, to a position in front, giving Colonel Solomon's battalion the strength of two pieces on his right, and two on his left.
The oblique movements of the infantry were accompanied by a feint of the artillery in the same direction. The Rebel cavalry construing these manoeuvres very much in their favor, rushed down into the road from both sides of the bluff, evidently intending to make a grand charge upon Colonel Sigel's centre.
With the quickness of thought the movements to the right and left were reversed, and a terribly destructive cross-fire was opened upon the Rebels, the distance being about 300 yards, and the guns heavily charged with grape-shot. In ten minutes the route of the cavalry was complete. They fled in great disorder ; and the the prairie was full of flying and riderless horses, of which our men captured 85. They also picked up 65 double-barrel shot guns, which the flying Rebels had cast away. Two officers were also here captured, who stated that up to this time they had lost 250 men.