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Doc. 175.-battle of Wilson's Creek, Mo.1


General Fremont's report.

Headquarters Western Department, St. Louis, August 13, 1861.
Col. E. D. Townsend:--
Gen. Lyon, in three columns, under himself, Siegel, and Sturgis, attacked the enemy at half-past 6 o'clock on the morning of the 10th instant, nine miles south-east of Springfield. The engagement was severe. Our loss is about eight hundred killed and wounded. General [495] Lyon was killed in a charge at the head of his column. Our force was eight thousand, including two thousand Home Guards. The muster roll reported to have been taken from the enemy gives their force at 23,000, including regiments from Louisiana, Tennessee, and Mississippi, with Texan Rangers and Cherokee half-breeds. This statement is corroborated by prisoners. The enemy's loss is reported to have been heavy, including Generals McCulloch and Price. Their tents and wagons were all destroyed in the action. Gen. Siegel left one gun on the field and retreated to Springfield, where, at three o'clock in the morning of the 11th, he continued his retreat upon Rolla, bringing off his baggage trains and $250,000 in specie from the Springfield Bank.

J. C. Fremont, Major-General Commanding.


Report of Major Sturgis.

Headquarters, Army of the West, Camp Carey Gratz, near Rolla, Mo., Aug. 20, 1861.
sir: I have the honor to submit the following report of the battle of Springfield, fought on the 10th inst. on Wilson's Creek, some ten miles south of the city, between the United States troops under Gen. Lyon, and the rebel forces under McCulloch. On the 9th inst., Gen. Lyon came to the determination of attacking the enemy's camp, and accordingly dispositions were made on the afternoon of that day for an attack at daylight next morning, (10th.) The command was to move in two columns, composed as follows:

The first, under Gen. Lyon, consisted of one battalion regular infantry, under Capt. Plummer, Companies B, C, and D, First Infantry, Capts. Gilbert, Plummer, and Huston, with one company of rifle recruits, under Lieut. Wood; Maj. Osterhaus' battalion Second Missouri Volunteers, two companies; Capt. Totten's light battery, six pieces, and Capt. Woods' mounted company of Second Kansas Volunteers, with Lieut. Caulfield's Company B, First Cavalry, regulars. This constituted the first brigade, under Major Sturgis.

The Second brigade, under Lieut.-Col. Andrews, First Missouri Volunteers, was composed of Capt. Steele's battalion of regulars, companies B and E Second Infantry; one company of recruits under Lieut. Lothrop, Fourth Artillery; one company of recruits under Sergeant Morine; Lieut. Dubois' light battery, consisting of four pieces, one of which was a 12-pounder gun, and the First Missouri Volunteers.

The Third brigade was made up of the First and Second Kansas Volunteers, under Deitzler, Col. Mitchell commanding the latter regiment. The First regiment Iowa Volunteers, with some 200 Home Guards, (mounted,) completed the column under Gen. Lyon.

The second column, under Col. Siegel, consisted of the Third and Fifth regiments Missouri Volunteers, one company of cavalry, under Capt. Carr, one company of Second Dragoons, under Lieut. Farrand, (First Infantry,) and one light battery of six pieces. This column was to march by a road on the left of the main Cassville Road, and leading to the supposed right of the enemy's position. Here my official information of the movements of Col. Siegel's column ceases, as we have not been able to procure any written report of its operation. Gen. Lyon marched from Springfield at 5 o'clock P. M., on the 9th, making a detour to the right — at 1 o'clock in the morning arriving in view of the enemy's guard-fires. Here the column halted, and lay on their arms until the dawn of day, when it again moved forward. Capt. Gilbert's company, which had formed the advance during the night, still remained in advance, and the column moved in the same order in which it had halted.

A southeasterly direction was now taken, with a view to strike the extreme northern point of the enemy's camp. At daylight a line of battle was formed, closely followed by Totten's battery, supported by a strong reserve. In this order we advanced, with skirmishers in front, until the first out-post of the rebels was encountered and driven in, when the column was halted, and the following dispositions made, viz.: Capt. Plummer's battalion, with the Home Guard on his left, were to cross Wilson's Creek, and move toward the front, keeping pace with the advance on the left opposite bank, for the purpose of protecting our left flank against any attempt of the enemy to turn it. After crossing a ravine, and ascending a high ridge, we came in full view of a considerable force of the enemy's skirmishers. Major Osterhaus' battalion was at once deployed to the right, and two companies of the First Missouri Volunteers, under Capts. Yates and Cavender, were deployed to the left, all as skirmishers. The firing now became very severe, and it was evident we were approaching the enemy's stronghold, where they intended giving battle. A few shells from Totten's battery assisted our skirmishers in clearing the ground in front.

The First Missouri and First Kansas moved at once to the front, supported by Totten's battery and the First Iowa regiment; Dubois' battery, Steele's battalion, and the Second Kansas were held in reserve. The First Missouri now took its position in the front, upon the crest of a small elevated plateau. The First Kansas was posted on the left of the First Missouri, and separated from it some 60 yards on account of a ravine. The First Iowa took its position on the left of the First Kansas, while Totten's battery was placed opposite the interval between the First Kansas and First Missouri. Major Osterhaus' battalion occupied the extreme right, with his right resting on a ravine which turned abruptly to our right and rear. Dubois' battery, supported by Steele's battalion, was placed some 80 yards to the left and rear of Totten's guns, so as to bear upon a powerful battery of the enemy, posted to our [496] left and front, on the opposite side of Wilson's Creek, to sweep the entire plateau upon which our troops were formed.

The enemy now rallied in large force near the foot of the slope, and under considerable cover, opposite our left wing, and along the slope in front and on our right toward the crest of the main ridge running parallel to the creek. During this time, Capt. Plummer, with his four companies of infantry, had moved down a ridge about 500 yards to our left, and separated from us by a deep ravine, and reached its abrupt terminus, where he found his further progress arrested by a large force of infantry occupying a corn-field in the valley in his front. At this moment an artillery fire was opened from a high point about two miles distant, and nearly in our front, from which Col. Siegel was to have commenced his attack. This fire was answered from the opposite side of the valley, and at a greater distance from us; the line of fire of the two batteries being nearly perpendicular to our own. After about ten or twelve shots on either side, the firing ceased, and we neither heard nor saw any thing more of Gen. Siegel's brigade until about 8 1/2 o'clock, when a brisk cannonading was heard for a few minutes, about a mile to the right of that heard before, and from two to three miles distant.

Our whole line now advanced with much energy upon the enemy's position. The firing, which had been spirited for the last half hour, now increased to a continuous roar. During this time

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Springfield, Mo. (Missouri, United States) (93)
Wilson's Creek (Missouri, United States) (25)
Missouri (Missouri, United States) (24)
Fayetteville, Ark. (Arkansas, United States) (21)
Kansas (Kansas, United States) (17)
Rolla, Mo. (Missouri, United States) (16)
St. Louis (Missouri, United States) (13)
Crane Creek (Missouri, United States) (10)
Louisiana (Louisiana, United States) (9)
Arkansas (Arkansas, United States) (9)
Cassville (Missouri, United States) (8)
United States (United States) (6)
Iowa (Iowa, United States) (6)
Boonville (Missouri, United States) (6)
Headquarters (Washington, United States) (5)
Greene County (Missouri, United States) (4)
Connecticut (Connecticut, United States) (4)
Tennessee (Tennessee, United States) (3)
Mississippi (Mississippi, United States) (3)
Washington (United States) (2)
St. Charles County (Missouri, United States) (2)
Saline County (Missouri, United States) (2)
Rock Creek, Menard County, Illinois (Illinois, United States) (2)
Ray County (Missouri, United States) (2)
Paris, Mo. (Missouri, United States) (2)
Oakhill (Missouri, United States) (2)
Indiana (Indiana, United States) (2)
Illinois (Illinois, United States) (2)
Cowskin Prairie (Missouri, United States) (2)
Canuck (Arkansas, United States) (2)
Canaan, N. H. (New Hampshire, United States) (2)
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N. Lyon (96)
F. Siegel (82)
James Totten (66)
Nathaniel Lyon (39)
John V. DuBois (37)
Benjamin McCulloch (33)
S. D. Sturgis (31)
Sterling Price (29)
W. Y. Slack (24)
Rains (24)
Plummer (20)
Pearce (20)
Frederick K. Steele (18)
Osterhaus (17)
McIntosh (17)
C. C. Gilbert (16)
Gordon Granger (15)
M. M. Parsons (14)
John B. Clark (14)
Churchill (14)
Clark W. Wright (12)
Edward Sweeney (12)
C. E. Salomon (12)
A. B. Porter (12)
J. H. McBride (12)
Benjamin Brown (12)
J. M. Schofield (11)
Richard Hanson Weightman (10)
Sylvanus Greer (10)
Andrews (10)
W. L. Lothrop (9)
Montgomery Blair (9)
C. T. Mitchell (8)
William H. Merritt (8)
Ben McCulloch (8)
Micah P. Kelly (8)
J. Q. Burbridge (8)
Franz Siegel (7)
Woodruff (6)
W. H. Wood (6)
John T. Hughes (6)
Hebert (6)
Gratz (6)
J. C. Fremont (6)
J. B. Clark (6)
Cawthorn (6)
Horace H. Brand (6)
Switzler (5)
Cavender (5)
John Burke (5)
Robert Armstrong (5)
Samuel W. Stockton (4)
Sokalski (4)
Robert Schenck (4)
Charles Rogers (4)
George B. Reid (4)
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Neale Green (4)
Gratiot (4)
Richard Gaines (4)
S. Flagg (4)
Joseph Finks (4)
Embry (4)
Deitzler (4)
William M. Cook (4)
N. Cole (4)
A. H. Chalmers (4)
C. W. Bell (4)
W. P. Barlow (4)
Richard Yates (3)
Stephen Miller (3)
Farrand (3)
Cloud (3)
E. A. Carr (3)
J. F. Bates (3)
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