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STORY XX.

ZAGONYI'S CHARGE.

It was a glorious fight. These is nothing more brilliant known to our history-perhaps, to any history. Wilson's Creek is doubly historic ground; upon it, on the 10th of August, 1861, occurred the terrible battle in which a thousand of our brave men poured out their blood like water; and the heroic Lyon laid down his life for the country which shall ever cherish his name in green and grateful remembrance; and eleven weeks after, on the head waters of the same stream, was made that charge of the Fremont Body-Guard, under the gallant Zagonyi, which will be ever coupled hereafter with that of the Light Brigade of Balaklava, when

“ Into the jaws of death,

Into the gates of hell,
Rode the six hundred.”

Time will not permit me to record any thing more than a few incidents of the battle, if battle it can be called; but it is clear beyond dispute, that 150 raw men, never before under fire, after a wearying ride of fifty miles, deliberately rode through a galling fire for more than a quarter of a mile, dismounted, tore down a fence, remounted and formed, all while the bullets were flying about them like hail, and then, with enthusiastic shouts for “Fremont and the Union," charged through and through a body of more than 1,000 cavalry and infantry, completely routing and dispersing them; that they then dashed into the city and chased the remainder of the flying Rebels through the streets for an hour and a half, until the last man of them was driven out of Springfield; in short, that 150 men defeated and drove 2,000 away, so effectually, that the little guard left behind was able to hold the town for two days, until the remainder of the army came up.

The loss of the Body-Guard, as far as could be ascertained at the time, amounted to 16 killed, 25 wounded, and 10 missing. Many who were slightly wounded were not included in these figures.

Major Zagonyi, who rode at the head of his men through the whole fight, did not receive a single scratch; though one bullet cut his clothing across the breast. One of his sergeants had three horses shot under him. Another of his men received one ball in a blacking-box, which he carried in his pocket; and a second bullet passed through his coat, vest, and shirt, but did not break the skin. Sergeant Hunter of Company C, had his horse shot in seven places; and more than two-thirds of all the horses were wounded.

On visiting the field on the west side of town, where the first change was made, I found the dead horses still lying upon the ground. The trees in the vicinity were cut and torn with balls, and thirty-six bullet holes were found in a single fence rail, and the ground was in many places still red with blood.

There were three companies of the body-guard in the engagement-A, B, and C. The latter was armed with Beal's revolvers, and sabres; the two former, in addition to those weapons, carried Colt's revolving carbines. After having once given all their fire, there was no time to reload, and the most effective work of the day was done with the sabres. At the close of it, almost every sabre of the command was stained with blood.

The funeral of fourteen of the body-guard, and two of Major White's men, occurred on the 29th of October, the third day after the fight, and was attended by the major-general and his staff, a portion of the army, and many of the people of Springfield. The bodies were enclosed in plain, unpainted coffins, and all interred in one grave, with military honors. The services were conducted by the Rev. C. M. Blake, the staff chaplain.

The sixteen riderless horses, which followed the remains to the grave, told the cost at which the victory was won; and while the dust was being committed to dust, with the solemn and impressive Episcopal service, there were few dry eyes among the stricken band who had gathered together to do the last earthly honors to their fallen comrades.

When Major Zagonyi was sent out to reconnoitre the country, and if practicable, take possession of Springfield, it was not supposed that there were more than three or four hundred Rebels there, as was actually the case but a few days before. When he reached that vicinity, and learned of their overwhelming numbers, it would doubtless have been good generalship for him to have fallen back, and wait for reinforcements. But the idea had been so industriously given out, by those who seemed to hate the commanding general of that department, more than they loved the Union, that the body-guard was a sort of kid-glove ornamental corps, intended only to swell the retinue, and add to the display of General Fremont, and not fit for hard service; that every man in it was eager to remove the unjust. and ungenerous imputation. That they accomplished it, none will deny, and if any think the cost great, let them remember where the blame lies.—COR. N. Y. TRIBUNE.

The following is Major Zagonyi's dispatch to General Fremont:

Five miles sont btof, Bolivar

, Mo.,} GENERAL :-I report, respectfully, that yesterday afternoon, at four o'clock, I met, in Springfield, from 2,000 to 2,200 of the Rebels, in their camp, formed in line of battle. They gave me a warm receptionwarmer than I expected. But your guard, with one feeling, made a charge, and in less than three minutes, the 2,000 or 2,200 Rebels were routed by 150 men of the body guard.

We cleared out the city perfectly from every Rebel, and raised the Union flag on the court-house. It getting too dark, I concluded to leave the city, not being able to keep it with 150 men. Major White's men did not participate in the charge.

Allow me, General, to make you acquainted with the soldiers and officers. I have seen charges; but such brilliant unanimity and bravery, I had never seen, and did not expect it. Their war cry, “Fremont and the Union," broke forth like thunder.

Our loss is comparatively small; I expected to remain on the field with them all. I will write about particulars. With the highest respect, your obedient servant,

CHAS. ZAGONYI, Major Commanding Body-Guard.

ZAGONYI.

Bold captain of the body-guard,

I'll troll a stave to thee!
My voice is somewhat harsh and hard,

And rough my minstrelsy.
I've cheered until my throat is sore
For how our boys at Beaufort bore,

Yet here's a cheer for thee !

I hear thy jingling spears and reins,

Thy sabre at thy knee;
The blood runs lighter through my veins,

As I before me see
Thy hundred men, with thrusts and blows,
Ride down a thousand stubborn foes,

The foremost led by thee

With pistol snap, and rifle crack

Mere salvos fired to honor theeYe plunge, and stamp, and shoot, and hack,

The way your swords made free; Then back again, the path is wide This time. Ye gods! it was a ride,

The ride they took with thee ! No guardsman of the whole command,

Halts, quails, or turns to flee;
With bloody spur and steady hand,

They gallop where they see
Thy leading plume stream out ahead,
O'er flying, wounded, dying, dead-

They can but follow thee,
So, captain of the body-guard,

I pledge a health to thee!
I hope to see thy shoulders starred,

My Paladin; and we
Shall laugh at fortune in the fray,
Whene'er you

lead
your

well-known way To death or victory.-G. H. BOKER,

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