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Battle of Dug
action in the matter of a restoration of the | to about fifty-five hundred foot, four hw Government by the election of State (provis- dred and fifty cavalry and eighteen guns. ional) officers-gave Price and Jackson great With this solidly comcause for uneasiness, being largely composed pacted and reliable force of Unionists. The Governor and his emis- the march was resumed sary struggled desperately to arouse the revo- early Friday morning, August 2d, taking the lutionary element so far as to render any ac- direct road to Dug Springs valley, which the tion of the Convention nugatory. They enemy were expected to pass. Arriving at struggled in vain, however; for the Conven- that locality, the presence of a heavy column tion soon restored the Government, and its of the rebels was indicated by dense clouds authority was respected by the great majority of dust arising from the hills opposite. The of the people. (The proceedings of the Con- Federal army was then drawn up for battle, vention are referred to hereafter.) and a battalion of skirmishers thrown forward
Federals Advance to
with the hope of drawing the enemy out.
Learning that McCullough was closing his lines around Springfield and advancing in two columns by way of Cassville on the south and Sarcoxie on the west, Lyon determined not to await but to assail. The column moving up from Cassville was reported as being fifteen thousand. It was composed of the combined commands of McCullough, Price, McBride and Pearce-all of which moved out of Cassville on the morning of the 1st, taking the direct road to Springfield. To meet and crush this body the Federal commander called into requisition almost his entire force-leaving at Springfield but a guard. This force, as it rendezvoused at Crane Creek, ten miles south of Springfield, on the night of August 1st, consisted of five companies of the First and Second regulars, Major Sturgis; five companies of the First Missouri volunteers, LieutenantColonel Andrews; two companies Second Missouri volunteers, Major Osterhaus; three companies Third Missouri volunteers, Colonel Siegel; the Fifth regiment Missouri volunteers, Colonel Salomon; the First regiment Iowa volunteers, Colonel Bates; the First Kansas volunteers, Colonel Deitzler; the Second Kansas volunteers, Colonel Mitchell; two companies of regular cavalry, Captains Stanley and Carr; three companies cavalry (recruits), Lieutenant Lathrop; Captain Totten's (regular) battery of six guns-six and twelve-pounders; Lieutenant DuBois' battery (regular) of four guns-six and twelve-off toward Sarcoxie to make a junction with pounders; Captain Shaeffers' battery (Missouri volunteer artillery) of six guns-six and twelve-pounders :-amounting, all told,
Advance to Curran and return to Springfield.
McCullough's advance brigade engaged fell back toward Curran, whither Lyon followed on the morning of August 3d, occupying Curran on that day. After tarrying there a day, and finding that the entire rebel column had deflected and moved
the second column and strike Springfield from the west, Lyon retraced his march, reaching his old camps at Springfield on the 6th -the troops having suffered greatly from
BATTLE OF WILSON'S CREEK.
already within three hundred yards of the position where he was encamped with the Second Division, consisting of about twelve hundred men, under Colonel Crawford. A second messenger came immediately afterward from General Rains to announce that the enemy's main body was upon him, but that he would endeavor to hold him in check until he
was with me when these messengers came, and left at once for his own head-quarters, to make the necessary disposition of our forces.
"I rode forward instantly towards General Rains' position, ordering Generals Slack, McBride, Clark and Parsons to move their infantry and artillery forward. I had ridden but a few hundred yards, when I came suddenly upon the main body of the enemy, The incommanded by General Lyon in person. fantry and artillery which I had ordered to follow
heat and want of water. The loss of the Federals in the entire expedition was three Killed, two deaths from heat, and eight wounded. The rebel loss could not be ascertained, though it is known to have been quite serious. That cavalry dash sent many a poor wretch to his last account. Their could receive reenforcements. General McCullough wounded, it was ascertained, numbered forty. The enemy, under the chief command of Price, advanced slowly but in full strength toward Springfield, arriving at Wilson's Creek, ten miles south of Springfield, on the 7th. Knowing that his only hope lay in obtaining some advantage over the opposing host-numbering, as it did, fully twenty thousand men-Lyon studied a surprise and arranged for a night attack on the 7th, but, midnight was so far past when all was in readiness for moving, that an attack was deferred. The enterprise was, however, again attempted. On the night of the 9th the entire Federal force marched out from Springfield and the adjoining camps, in two columns -one commanded by Lyon, the other by Siegel, Lyon was to advance and assault by the front, while Siegel should pass the enemy's camps to the east, and, falling upon them, cut through their right while Lyon drove through their centre.
The Advance for the
me, came up immediately, to the number of 2,036 men, and engaged the enemy. A severe and bloody conflict ensued; my officers and men behaving with the greatest bravery, and, with the assistance of a portion of the Confederate forces, successfully holding the enemy in check.
Meanwhile, and almost simultaneously with the opening of the enemy's batteries in this quarter, a heavy cannonading was opened on the rear of our position, where a large body of the enemy, under Colonel Siegel, had taken position, in close proximi
ty to Colonel Churchill's regiment, Colonel Greer's
Texan Rangers, and six hundred and seventy-nine mounted Missourians, under command of LieutenantColonels Major and Brown.
"The action now became general, and was conducted with the greatest gallantry and vigor on both sides, for more than five hours, when the enemy retreated in great confusion, leaving their Commander
over five hundred killed and a great number wounded. The forces under my command have also a large number of prisoners."
The enemy, also, had resolved upon a night advance from Wilson's Creek camp, upon Springfield, hoping to surround it, and, by day-break, to close in upon Lyon so as to prevent his escape to Rolla. Every disposi-in-Chief, General Lyon, dead upon the battle-field, tion was made for the movement--the men were under arms, with orders to march, by four columns, at nine o'clock P. M. Price, for some unexplained reason, having passed over the chief command to McCullough, the latter ordered the expedition to be given up, late at night, as the darkness was intense and a storm threatened. Lyon was not intimidated by the darkness-it rather was favorable, as it covered his passage and general disposition from the observation of pickets
This brief report is the rebel view of that bloody and most notable conflict. While it was the most stubborn affair, up to that moment of the war, the field was so written over with gallant deeds and inflexible purpose as to render its story one of unusual interest.
An eye-witness wrote: "About eight o'clock on the evening of the 9th, General Siegel, with his own and Colonel Salomon's command and six pieces of artillery, moved southward, marching until nearly two o'clock, and passing around the extreme camp of the enemy, where he halted, thirteen miles from town, and on the south side of the rebels,
The Advance for the
of the battle. *
Battle of Wilson's Creek.
"The undaunted First, with ranks already thinned, again moved forward up the second hill, just on the brow of which they met still another fresh regiment, which poured a terrible volley of musketry into their diminish
ready to move forward and begin the attack as soon as he should hear the roar of General Lyon's artillery. The main body of troops under General Lyon moved from the city about the same hour, halted a short time five miles west of the city, thence in a south-ed numbers. Never yielding an inch, they westerly direction four miles, where we halt- gradually crowded their oppovers backward, ed and slept till four A. M., Saturday, the day still backward, losing many of their own men, * It was now five o'clock. killed and wounded, but covering the ground The enemy's pickets were driven in; the thick with the retreating foe. Lieutenant-Colnorthern end of the valley in which they were onel Andrews, already wounded, still kept encamped was visible, with its thousands of his position, urging the men onward by every tents and its camp-fires; the sky was cloudy, argument in his power. Lieutenant Murphy, but not threatening, and the most terribly when they once halted, wavering, stepped destructive of battles, compared with the several paces forward, waving his swerd in number engaged, was at hand. Our army the air, and called successfully upon his men moved now toward the south-west, to leave to follow him. Every Captain and Lieutenant the creek and a spring which empties in it did his duty nobly, and when they were reon our left. Passing over a spur of high called and replaced by the fresh Iowa and land which lies at the north end of the val- Kansas troops, many were the faces covered ley, they entered a valley and began to aswith powder and dripping with blood. Capcend a hill, moderately covered with trees and tain Gratz, gallantly urging his men forward underwood, which was not, however, dense against tremendous odds, fell mortally woundenough to be any impediment to the artillery.ed, and died soon after. Lieutenant Brown * * Meanwhile the opposite hill bad been calling upon his men to come forward,' fell stormed and taken by the gallant Missouri with a severe scalp wound. Captain Cole of First, and Osterhaus' battalion and Totten's the Missouri First had his lower jaw shattered battery of six pieces had taken position on by a bullet, but kept his place until the regiits summit and north side, and was belching ment was ordered to retire to give place to forth its loud-mouthed thunder much to the the First Iowa and some Kansas troops. distraction of the opposing force, who had already been started upon a full retreat by the thick-raining bullets of Colonel Blair's boys. Lieutenant DuBois' battery, four pieces, had also opened on the eastern slope, firing upon a force which was retreating toward the south-east on a road leading up the hill, which juts into the south-western angle of the creek, and upon a battery placed near by to cover their retreat. *Having driven a regiment of the enemy from one hill, the Missouri volunteers encountered, in the valley beyond, another fresh and finely equipped regiment of Louisianians, whom, after a bitter fight of forty-five minutes, they drove back and scattered, assisted by Captain Lothrop and his regular rifle recruits. Totten and DuBois were, meanwhile, firing upon the enemy forming in the south-west angle of the valley, and upon their batteries on the oppo
"Just then General Green's Tennessee regiment of cavalry, bearing a secession flag, charged down the western slope near the rear upon a few companies of the Kansas Second who were guarding the ambulance wagons and wounded, and had nearly overpowered them, when one of Totten's howitzers was turned in that direction, and a few rounds of canister effectually dispersed them. The roar of the distant and near artillery now grew terrific. On all sides it was one continuous boom, while the music of the musket and rifle balls flying like an aggravated swarm of bees around one's ears was actually pleasant, compared with the tremendous whiz of a cannon ball or the bursting of a shell in close proximity to one's dignity.
"Up to this time General Lyon had received two wounds, and had his fine dappled grey shot under him, which is sufficient evidence that he had sought no place of safety