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[518] picking and roasting ears of corn, gathering tomatoes and other vegetables for the rebel commissary department. Siegel advanced upon the enemy without being seen, taking their pickets prisoners except one, who was driven away from the camp, and drove their force from their southeastern camp, chasing them up as far as the Fayetteville road. Here he was met by a regiment uniformed very much like the Iowa First, coming over the summit from the northwest, and supposing it was the latter men, allowed them to come within a few paces of him, when they poured a murderous fire into his ranks and scattered his men like sheep. The enemy's cannon, also, now began against him, killing the horses attached to his own six pieces, and he was forced to retire leaving them behind. Capt. Flagg, seeing the position of affairs, took ropes, fastened them to one cannon and placed them in the hands of his prisoners, compelling them to draw the cannon off the field. One caisson also was saved, and another tipped into the creek. The others fell into the hands of the enemy. The cause of Siegel's repulse was owing very much to the behavior of Col. Salomon's men, who were three months men whose time had expired, and who, at request, had agreed to serve ten days longer. At the first severe fire, those, who in Carthage had fought like veterans, began to lament that they had lengthened their time of service, and wished they were with their families at home. Such men as these could not be brought up to fight well against overwhelming numbers, and their dissatisfaction communicated itself to many of Siegel's regiment. Notwithstanding these very adverse circumstances, Siegel brought in about one hundred prisoners and many horses.

During the latter part of the battle the smoke from cannons and muskets, which hung like a dense cloud over the valley, was increased by the enemy setting fire to a train of thirty or forty wagons, for fear they would be captured by our advancing troops. The battle commenced about six o'clock, and continued, with but slight cessation, until eleven, at which time our ambulances, being filled with the wounded officers and others, commenced moving toward Springfield, under protection of Dubois' battery. The enemy, however, made no attempt to follow, which is sufficient proof that they were badly whipped.

Government had been repeatedly urged to send Gen. Lyon reinforcements, at least sufficient to make up for the loss of three months, men who were about leaving or had already left; but, alas! none were furnished; while thousands in the North would gladly have gone and succored their friends, and saved the key of the Southwest from falling into the hands of the rebels. It was better for the Union cause that the battle should be fought, even against such great odds, than that Springfield should fall without a struggle.

After retreating in good order nearly two miles, Totten's battery and three companies of infantry were posted as protection, and Dubois then ordered back with his battery. Still the, enemy made no demonstration, and not until Dubois was leaving the hill commanding the valley from the north did the enemy reoccupy the heights on the west, from which we had driven them. Then meeting no resistance from us they assembled in large numbers, and, raising their traitorous banner, made an effort at cheering.

The enemy's force was not far from twenty-two thousand, all but about three thousand of whom were armed, and generally pretty well armed. According to Lieut.-Col. Horace H. Brand, of Booneville, who was taken prisoner in the early part of the day, they had twenty-one pieces of cannon and plenty of ammunition, though toward the last of the battle it is said the five guns, lost by Siegel, were also turned against us. The guns of the enemy were not worked with great rapidity or precision, not a ball coming within twenty feet of the ground for the first half hour, at about the end of which time, however, one ploughed up a terrible dust within fifteen feet of where I was standing. Adjutant Waldron, of the Iowa regiment, behaved gallantly, and received a slight wound. Capt. Burke, of the Missouri First, said to me in the morning: “My boys are going to fight to kill to-day, and if we don't whip the rebels, not one of my men shall leave the field alive.” His men did fight well, and the enemy were defeated. Burke himself was struck by a spent ball, then one tore through his blouse without injuring him, and another twice through his pants, barely scraping his knee. Major Schofield had a few of his whiskers trimmed off by a passing bullet, but was otherwise uninjured. Major Halderman, of the Kansas First, was slightly wounded. Two rebel surgeons were among those taken prisoners. One was released by Dr. Melcher, who afterward accompanied him to the rebel camp, and saw and conversed with McCulloch, Price, and Rains, and arranged for our wagons returning to gather the wounded and dead. The other surgeon was marched to Springfield before his position was known, when he was set at liberty and passed through our lines. He expressed himself satisfied with the treatment he had received, except being marched twelve miles out of his way. He invited Dr. Franklin and Dr. Davis of the regular hospital to accompany him to the rebel camp, assuring them of good treatment. Among the prisoners taken were ten or fifteen negroes, none of whom, I think, were armed, but simply acting as servants.

On the return to Springfield we fell in with Col. Salomon, who said his men had acted badly, and that he could form no idea of the extent of their loss, but knew that it was serious. Had the enemy been at all enterprising, they could have caught hundreds who were wandering around in small squads, attempting to return to town, from Siegel's division, as well as harassed us to death on our retreat from the west side of the bloody field.

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