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[514] and who said he was now acting as aid to General Price, was taken prisoner early in the day. The Illinois Twentieth made themselves useful by guarding the prisoners. One of them had a horse shot under him. When General Siegel, who commanded the eastern division, heard the roar of Totten's artillery, he at once attacked the enemy in his quarter, driving him half a mile, and taking possession of his camp extending westward to the Fayetteville road. Here a terrible fire was poured into his ranks by a regiment which he had permitted to advance within a few paces of him, supposing it to be the Iowa First. His men scattered considerably, and Col. Salomon's could not be rallied. Consequently Siegel lost five of his guns, the other being brought away by Capt. Flagg, who compelled his prisoners, some sixty in number, to draw the artillery off the field. Our troops took some four hundred horses and about seventy prisoners, and compelled the enemy to burn nearly all of his baggage to keep it from falling into our hands. The enemy had twenty-one pieces of cannon, and at least twenty-six, including those taken from Siegel. There were none of them worked with precision, every shot for nearly an hour going whiz twenty feet over our heads. Our army reached Springfield in safety, and are now preparing to move toward Rolla, but with no hopes whatever of reaching there. With a baggage train five miles long to protect, it will be singular, indeed, if the enemy does not prove enterprising enough to cut off a portion of it, having such a heavy force of cavalry. With two more regiments we should have driven the enemy entirely from the valley, and, with a proper cavalry force, could have followed up such a victory with decisive results. Our loss is about two hundred killed and six hundred or seven hundred wounded, while the loss of the enemy must have been double our own. Dr. Schenck, who was in the rebel camp at a late hour last evening, bringing away our wounded, reports our men comparatively few with those of the enemy, whose dead were lying thick under the trees.

--St. Louis Democrat, August 15.

New York Tribune narrative.

Springfield, Green Co., Mo., Sunday, August 11, 1861.
We have passed through one of the most terrible battles ever fought upon the continent, and, though we drove the enemy from his stronghold and successfully repulsed his repeated attempts to retake it, forced him to burn his baggage train and tents to keep them from falling into our hands, and captured large numbers of prisoners and horses, we have lost our commander, and our army is compelled to fall back by the numerical force of the rebels, who are seeking to outflank us, and cut off our communication with St. Louis. A review of the events immediately preceding the battle, will show the causes which induced Gen. Lyon to attack an army formidably armed and equipped and outnumbering his own more than three to one. It will be seen that to the last he was the gallant soldier and true patriot, with an eye single to the cause of the Union, and counting his own life as nothing compared with the honor and glory of his country.

As I wrote you on the 7th, the enemy were encamped twelve miles from Springfield on Tuesday, while our force was scattered upon the different roads leading to the city, at a distance of three to five miles. Two thousand were five miles from town, on the Fayetteville road, under command of Major Sturgis, of the regular army. This force was ordered by Gen. Lyon to be ready to move at a moment's notice, and at 6 P. M. on that day they were in ranks, artillery horses harnessed, and every thing in readiness. Shortly after 9 o'clock an incessant stream of visitors, messengers, and communications poured in upon the General, some reporting the engagement of Capt. Stockton of the Kansas First, and two companies of Home Guards with a party of rebel cavalry, on the prairie west of the town, in which two of the latter were wounded and carried off by their comrades; others receiving orders, and still others waiting for the same. Two companies were ordered to the relief of Capt. Stockton. Eight companies of the Kansas First, part of the Kansas Second, and Major Osterhaus' battalion Missouri Second, were ordered to a certain point in town to await the arrival of Gen. Lyon, who, strange to say, was so entirely occupied that, instead of starting at 10 o'clock, it was two hours later when he left his Headquarters, and without looking at his watch he proceeded to Camp Hunter, having already ordered Major Sturgis to drive in the enemy's pickets if within two miles of his own. Captain Steele's company of cavalry were despatched on this errand at half-past 12, and General Lyon, with the troops above mentioned, arrived at 3 A. M. Here he consulted his watch, and finding it more than two hours later than he supposed, at once called together the principal officers, communicated his embarrassing position, and took their advice, which resulted in the withdrawal of the entire force to Springfield. The General had intended moving his force seven miles further, and attacking the enemy at daylight. On the return to town, the General said to a friend that he had a premonition that a night attack would prove disastrous, and yet he had felt impelled to try it once, and did not know but he must do so again. Before we reached Springfield it was daylight. An ambush was prepared a mile from the city, which would open upon the enemy if they pursued.

During Wednesday continual alarms were circulating, and a real panic prevailed among the citizens, who rapidly packed up and left for supposed places of safety. The troops were under arms in every quarter, and several times it was reported that fighting had actually commenced.

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N. Lyon (8)
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