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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 Capt. Totten's battery came into action by section and by piece, as the nature of the ground would permit, (it being wooded, with much undergrowth,) and played upon the enemy's lines with great effect. After a fierce engagement, lasting perhaps half an hour, and in which our troops retired two or three times in more or less disorder, but never more than a few yards, again to rally and press forward with increased vigor, the enemy gave way in the utmost confusion, and left us in possession of the position.

Meanwhile, Capt. Plummer was ordered to move forward on our left, but meeting with overpowering resistance from the large mass of infantry in the corn-field in his front, and in the woods beyond, was compelled to fall back; but at this moment Lieut. Dubois' battery, which had taken position on our left flank, supported by Capt. Steele's battalion, opened upon the enemy in the corn-field a fire of shells, with such marked effect, as to drive him, in the utmost disorder, and with great slaughter, from the field.

There was now a momentary cessation of fire along nearly the whole line, except the extreme right, where the First Missouri was still engaged with a superior force of the enemy, attempting to turn our right. The General having been informed of this movement, sent the Second Kansas to the support of the First Missouri. It came up in time to prevent the Missourians from being destroyed by the overwhelming force against which they were unflinchingly holding their position.

The battalion of regular infantry under Capt. Steele, which had been detailed to the support of Lieut. Dubois' battery, was during this time brought forward to the support of Capt. Totten's battery. Scarcely had these dispositions been made, when the enemy again appeared in very large force along our entire front, and moving toward each flank. The engagement at once became general, and almost inconceivably fierce, along the entire line; the enemy appearing in front often in three or four ranks, lying down, kneeling, and standing, the lines often approaching to within thirty or forty yards of each other, as the enemy would charge upon Capt. Totten's battery, and be driven back.

Early in the engagement, the First Iowa came to the support of the First Kansas and First Missouri, both of which had stood like veteran troops, exposed to a galling fire of the enemy.

Every available battalion was now brought into action, and the battle raged with unabated fury for more than an hour, the scales seeming all the time nearly equally balanced, our troops sometimes gaining a little ground, and again giving way a few yards to rally again. Early in this engagement, while Gen. Lyon was leading his horse along the line on the left of Capt. Totten's battery, and endeavoring to rally our troops, which were at this time in considerable disorder, his horse was killed, and he received a wound in the leg and one in the head. He walked slowly a few paces to the rear and said, “I fear the day is lost.” I then dismounted one of my orderlies and tendered the horse to the General, who at first declined, saying it was not necessary. The horse, however, was left with him, and I moved off to rally a portion of the Iowa regiment, which was beginning to break in considerable numbers.

In the mean time the General mounted, and, swinging his hat in the air, called to the troops nearest him to follow. The Second Kansas gallantly rallied around him, headed by the brave Col. Mitchell. In a few moments the Colonel fell, severely wounded; about the same time a fatal ball was lodged in the General's breast, and he was carried from the field — a corpse. Thus gloriously fell as brave a soldier as ever drew a sword — a man whose honesty of purpose was proverbial — a noble patriot, and one who held his life as nothing when his country demanded it of him.

Of this dire calamity I was not informed until perhaps half an hour after its occurrence. In the mean time our disordered line on the left was again rallied, and pressed the enemy with great vigor and coolness, particularly the First Iowa regiment, which fought like veterans. This hot encounter lasted perhaps half an hour.

After the death of Gen. Lyon, when the enemy fled and left the field clear, so far as we [497] could see, an almost total silence reigned for a space of twenty minutes. Major Schofield now informed me of the death of Gen. Lyon, and reported for orders. The responsibility which now rested upon me was duly felt and appreciated. Our brave little army was scattered and broken; over 20,000 men were still in our front, and our men had had no water since 5 o'clock the evening before, and could hope for none short of Springfield, twelve miles distant; if we should go forward, our own success would prove our certain defeat in the end; if we retreated, disaster stared us in the face; our ammunition was well nigh exhausted, and should the enemy make this discovery through a slackening of our fire, total annihilation was all we could expect. The great question in my mind was, “Where is Siegel?” If I could still hope for a vigorous attack by him on the enemy's right flank or rear, then we could go forward with some hope of success. If he had retreated, there was nothing left for us also. In this perplexing condition of affairs I summoned the principal officers for consultation. The great question with most of them was, “Is retreat possible?” The consultation was brought to a close by the advance of a heavy column of infantry from the hill, where Siegel's guns had been heard before. Thinking they were Siegel's men, a line was formed for an advance, with the hope of forming a junction with him. These troops wore a dress much resembling that of Siegel's brigade, and carried the American flag. They were therefore permitted to move down the hill within easy range of Dubois' battery, until they had reached the covered position at the foot of the ridge on which we were posted, and from which we had been fiercely assailed before, when suddenly a battery was planted on the hill in our front, and began to pour upon us shrapnell and canister — a species of shot not before fired by the enemy. At this moment, the enemy showed his true colors, and at once commenced along our entire lines the fiercest and most bloody engagement of the day. Lieut. Dubois' battery on our left, gallantly supported by Major Osterhaus' battalion and the rallied fragments of the Missouri First, soon silenced the enemy's battery on the hill, and repulsed the right wing of his infantry. Capt. Totten's battery in the centre, supported by the Iowas and regulars, was the main point of attack. The enemy could frequently be seen within twenty feet of Totten's guns, and the smoke of the opposing lines was often so confounded as to seem but one. Now, for the first time during the day, our entire line maintained its position with perfect firmness. Not the slightest disposition to give way was manifested at any point, and while Capt. Steele's battalion, which was some yards in front of the line, together with the troops on the right and left, were in imminent danger of being overwhelmed by superior numbers, the contending lines being almost muzzle to muzzle, Capt. Granger rushed to the rear and brought up the supports of Dubois' battery, consisting of two or three companies of the First Missouri, three companies of the First Kansas, and two companies of the First Iowa, in quick time, and fell upon the enemy's right flank, and poured into it a murderous volley, killing or wounding nearly every man within sixty or seventy yards. From this moment a perfect rout took place throughout the rebel front, while ours on the right flank continued to pour a galling fire into their disorganized masses.

It was then evident that Totten's battery and Steele's little battalion were safe. Among the officers conspicuous in leading this assault were Adjutant Hezcock, Captains Burke, Miller, Maunter, Maurice, and Richardson, and Lieut. Howard, all of the First Missouri. There were others of the First Kansas and First Iowa who participated, and whose names I do not remember. The enemy then fled from the field. A few moments before the close of the engagement, the Second Kansas, which had firmly maintained its position, on the extreme right, from the time it was first sent there, found its ammunition exhausted, and I directed it to withdraw slowly and in good order from the field, which it did, bringing off its wounded, which left our right flank exposed, and the enemy renewed the attack at that point, after it had ceased along the whole line; but it was gallantly met by Capt. Steele's battalion of regulars, which had just driven the enemy from the right of the centre, and, after a sharp engagement, drove him precipitately from the field. Thus closed — at about half-past 11 o'clock--an almost uninterrupted conflict of six hours. The order to retreat was given soon after the enemy gave way from our front and centre, Lieut. Dubois' battery having been previously sent to occupy with its supports the hill in our rear. Capt. Totten's battery, as soon as his disabled horses could be replaced, retired slowly with the main body of the infantry, while Capt. Steele was meeting the demonstrations upon our right flank. This having been repulsed, and no enemy being in sight, the whole column moved slowly to the high open prairie, about two miles from the battle-ground; meanwhile our ambulances passed to and fro, carrying off our wounded. After making a short halt on the prairie, we continued our march to Springfield.

It should be here remembered that, just after the order to retire was given, and while it was undecided whether the retreat should be continued, or whether we should occupy the more favorable position of our rear, and await tidings of Col. Siegel, one of his non-commissioned officers arrived, and reported that the Colonel's brigade had been totally routed, and all his artillery captured, Col. Siegel himself having been either killed or made prisoner. Most of our men had fired away all their ammunition, and all that could be obtained from the boxes of the killed and wounded. Nothing, therefore, was left to do but to return to Springfield [498] where two hundred and fifty Home Guards, with two pieces of artillery, had been left to take care of the train. On reaching the Little York Road, we met Lieut. Farrand, with his company of dragoons, and a considerable portion of Col. Siegel's command, with one piece of artillery. At five o'clock P. M. we reached Springfield.

Thus closed a day long to be remembered in the annals of history; a day which has brought gloom and sorrow to many hearts throughout the land; but fathers and mothers, widows and orphans, may receive some consolation from the fact that their relatives and friends presented on that day a wall of adamant to the enemies of their country, and when they fell it was in defence of a great cause, and with their breasts to the enemy.

That three thousand seven hundred men, after a fatiguing night march, attacked the enemy, numbering twenty-three thousand, on their own ground, and, after a bloody conflict of six hours, withdrew at their leisure to return to their provisions and to water, is the best eulogium I can pass on their conduct that day; and indeed it would be impossible to refer to individual acts of courage without doing injustice to many gallant men. Yet, I am constrained to call the attention of the general commanding to the particularly important services rendered by several officers which came under my own observation.

Wherever the battle most fiercely raged there was Gen. Lyon to be found; and there, too, was Major Schofield, his principal staff officer. The coolness and equanimity with which he moved from point to point, carrying orders, was a theme of universal conversation. I cannot too highly speak of the invaluable services Major Schofield rendered by the confidence his example inspired. Capt. Granger, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General on my staff, rendered such excellent aid in various ways that a full mention of these services would render this report too voluminous for an official statement; suffice it to say, that he appeared to be almost ubiquitous — now sighting a gun of Dubois' battery, and before the smoke had cleared away, sighting one of Totten's; at one moment reconnoitring the enemy, and the next, either bringing up reinforcements or rallying some broken line. To whatever part of the field I might direct my attention, there would I find Capt. Granger, hard at work at some important service; his energy and industry seemed inexhaustible. To the important services rendered by him, I beg to call the attention of the commanding General.

The services of Capt. Totten are so emphatically interwoven with the various operations of the day as to appear in many, if not all, of the table reports, and his name deserves to become a “household word.”

Lieut. Sokalski also deserves great credit for the energy with which he managed the pieces of his section.

I cannot speak in too high praise of the coolness and accuracy with which Lieut. Dubois handled his guns, and of the valuable services he rendered throughout the entire conflict.

The following named officers came under my personal observation during the day, and deserve especial mention for the zeal and courage they displayed, although it would prolong this report to too great a length if I should particularize in each individual case: Lieut. Conrad, Second Infantry, A. C. S. to Gen. Lyon, (wounded;) Major Wherry, volunteer aide-de-camp to Gen. Lyon; Major Shepard, volunteer aide-de-camp to Gen. Lyon; Mr. E. Cozzens, volunteer aide-de-camp to myself.

Gen. Sweeny, Inspector-General.--This gallant officer was especially distinguished by his zeal in rallying broken fragments of various regiments, and leading them into the hottest of the fight. Assistant-Surgeon Sprague, Medical Department, attended the wounded with as much self-possession as though no battle was raging around him, not only took charge of the wounded as they were brought to him, but found time to use a musket with good effect from time to time against the enemy.

Col. Deitzler, First Kansas.--He led his regiment into a galling fire as coolly and as handsomely as if on drill. He was wounded twice.

Major Haldeman, First Kansas.--Early in the action he led four companies of his regiment (which had been held in reserve) gallantly, cheering them on with the cry of “Forward, men, for Kansas and the old flag.”

Col. Mitchell, of the Second Kansas.--He fell severely wounded in the thickest of the fight, and as he was carried from the field, he met a member of my staff, and called out, “For God's sake, support my regiment.”

Lieut.-Col. Blair, Second Kansas.--This excellent soldier took command of the regiment when Col. Mitchell was wounded, and, under a most deadly fire from the enemy, rode along the front of his line, encouraging his men, to the great admiration of all who saw him.

Major Cloud, Second Kansas; Lieut.-Col. Andrews, First Missouri; Lieut.-Col. Merritt, First Iowa; Major Porter, First Iowa; Capt. Herran, First Iowa.

The gallantry of the following officers was conspicuous from the beginning to the close of the battle:

Capt. Plummer, First Infantry; Capt. Gilbert, First Infantry; Capt. Huston, First Infantry; Lieut. Wood, First Infantry; Capt. Steele, Second Infantry; Lieut. Lothrop, Fourth Artillery; Lieut. Caulfield, First Cavalry.

Accompanying this report you will please find reports of the commanders of brigades, regiments, and battalions, also a list of the killed, wounded, and missing. I beg to say here that I am under many obligations to Major Schofield, from whose memoranda of the movements of troops, &c., on the field, I have drawn [499] largely, and in many cases I have copied them literally.

Our total loss in killed, wounded, and missing, amounts to one thousand two hundred and thirty-five--that of the enemy will probably reach three thousand.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

S. D. Sturgis, Major. To Assistant Adjutant-General, Headquarters, Western Department.

General Siegel's report.

Headquarters Second brigade Mo. Vol., camp of good hope, near Rolla, August 18, 1861.
General: I respectfully submit to you the report of the battle at Wilson's Creek, so far as the troops under my command were concerned:

On Friday, the 9th of August, Gen. Lyon informed me that it was his intention to attack the enemy in his camp at Wilson's Creek, on the morning of the 10th; that the attack should be made from two sides, and that I should take command of the left. The troops assigned to me consisted of the Second Brigade, Missouri Volunteers--900 men — infantry of the Third and Fifth regiments, under the command of Lieut.-Col. Albert and Col. Salomon, and six pieces of artillery, under Lieuts. Schaeffer and Schuetzenbach; besides, two companies of regular cavalry, belonging to the command of Major Sturgis.

I left Camp Fremont, on the south side of Springfield, at 6 1/2 o'clock, on the evening of the 9th, and arrived at daybreak within a mile of the enemy's camp. I advanced slowly toward the camp, and, after taking forward the two cavalry companies from the right and left, I cut off about forty men of the enemy's troops, who were coming from the camp in little squads to get water and provisions. This was done in such a manner that no news of our advance could be brought into the camp.

In sight of the enemy's tents, which spread out on our front and right, I planted four pieces of artillery on a little hill, whilst the infantry advanced toward the point where the Fayetteville road crosses Wilson's Creek, and the two cavalry companies extended to the right and left to guard our flank. It was 5 1/2 o'clock when some musket firing was heard from the northwest. I therefore ordered the artillery to begin their fire against the camp of the enemy, (Missourians,) which was so destructive that the enemy were seen leaving their tents and retiring in haste toward the northeast of the valley. Meanwhile, the Third and Fifth had quickly advanced, passed the creek, and traversing the camp, formed almost in the centre of it. As the enemy made his rally in large numbers before us, about 3,000 strong, consisting of infantry and cavalry, I ordered the artillery to be brought forward from the hill and formed there in battery across the valley, with the Third and Fifth to the left, and the cavalry to the right. After an effectual fire of half an hour, the enemy retired in some confusion into the woods and up the adjoining hills. The firing toward the northwest was now more distinct, and increased, until it was evident that the main corps of General Lyon had engaged the enemy along the whole line. To give the greatest possible assistance to him, I left my position in the camp and advanced toward the northwest to attack the enemy's line of battle in the rear.

Marching forward, we struck the Fayetteville road, making our way through a large number of cattle and horses, until we arrived at an eminence used as a slaughtering place, and known as Sharp's Farm. On our route we had taken about one hundred prisoners, who were scattered over the camp. At Sharp's place we met numbers of the enemy's soldiers, who were evidently retiring in this direction, and as I suspected that the enemy, on his retreat, would follow in the same direction, I formed the troops across the road by planting the artillery on the plateau and the two infantry regiments on the right and left, across the road, whilst the cavalry companies extended on our flanks. At this time, and after some skirmishing in front of our line, the firing in the direction of the northwest, which was during an hour's time roaring in succession, had almost entirely ceased. I thereupon presumed that the attack of Gen. Lyon had been successful, and that his troops were in pursuit of the enemy, who moved in large numbers toward the south along the ridge of a hill about 700 yards opposite our right.

This was the state of affairs at 8 1/2 o'clock in the morning, when it was reported to me by Dr. Melchior and some of our skirmishers, that Lyon's men were coming up the road. Lieut. Albert, of the Third, and Col. Salomon, of the Fifth, notified their regiments not to fire on troops coming in this direction, whilst I cautioned the artillery in the same manner. Our troops in this moment expected with anxiety the approach of our friends, and were waving the flag, raised as a signal to their comrades, when at once two batteries opened their fire against us--one in front, placed on the Fayetteville road, and the other upon the hill upon which we had supposed Lyon's forces were in pursuit of the enemy, whilst a strong column of infantry, supposed to be the Iowa regiment, advanced from the Fayetteville road and attacked our right.

It is impossible for me to describe the consternation and frightful confusion which was occasioned by this important event. The cry, “They (Lyon's troops) are firing against us!” spread like wild fire through our ranks; the artillerymen, ordered to fire, and directed by myself, could hardly be brought forward to serve their pieces; the infantry would not level their arms until it was too late. The enemy arrived within ten paces of the muzzles of our cannon, killed the horses, turned the flanks of the infantry, and forced them to fly. The [500] troops were throwing themselves into the bushes and bye-roads, retreating as well as they could, followed and attacked incessantly by large bodies of Arkansas and Texas cavalry. In this retreat we lost five cannon, of which three were spiked, and the colors of the Third, the color-bearer having been wounded, and his substitute killed. The total loss of the two regiments, the artillery, and the pioneers, in killed, wounded, and missing, amounts to 892 men, as will be seen from the respective lists.

In order to understand clearly our actions and our fate, you will permit me to state the following facts:

First. According to orders, it was the duty of this brigade to attack the enemy in the rear, and to cut off his retreat, which order I tried to execute, whatever the consequences might be.

Second. Tile time of service of the Fifth regiment Missouri Volunteers had expired before the battle. I had induced them, company by company, not to leave us in the most critical moment, and had engaged them for the term of eight days, this term ending on Friday the 9th, the day before the battle.

Third. The Third regiment, of which 400 three months men had been dismissed, was composed for the greater part of recruits, who had not seen the enemy before, and were imperfectly drilled.

Fourth. The men serving the pieces, and the drivers, consisted of infantry, taken from the Third regiment, and were mostly recruits, who had only a few days' instruction.

Fifth. About two-thirds of our officers had left us; some companies had no officers at all — a great pity — but the consequence of the system of the three months service.

After the arrival of the army at Springfield, the command was intrusted to me by Major Sturgis, and the majority of the commanders of regiments. Considering all the circumstances, and in accordance with the desires of the commanding officers, I ordered the retreat of the army from Springfield. The preparations were begun in the night of the 10th, and at daybreak the troops were on the march toward the Gasconade. Before crossing the river I received information that the ford could not be passed well, and that a strong force of the enemy was moving from the south (West Plains) toward Waynesville, to cut off our retreat. I also was aware that it would take considerable time to cross the Robidoux, and the Little and Big Piney, on the old road.

To avoid all these difficulties, and to give the army an opportunity to rest, I directed the troops from Lebanon to the northern road, passing Right Point and Humboldt, and terminating opposite the mouth of Little Piney, where, in case of the ford being unpassable, the train could be sent by Vienna and Lynch to the mouth of the Gasconade, whilst the troops could ford the river at the mouth of the Little Piney to reinforce Rolla. To bring over the artillery, I ordered the ferry-boat from Big Piney Crossing to be hauled down on the Gasconade to the mouth of the Little Piney, where it arrived immediately after we had crossed the ford. Before we had reached the ford, Major Sturgis assumed the command of the army. I therefore respectfully refer to his report in regard to the main body of the troops engaged in the battle.

With the greatest respect, your most obedient servant,

F. Siegel, Commanding Second Brigade Mo. Volunteers.

Lt.-Colonel Merritt's report.

J. M. Schofield, Acting Adjutant-General:--
dear sir: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Iowa troops in the late hotly contested battle of “Wilson's Creek.”

At 6 o'clock P. M., of the 9th inst., the First regiment of Iowa Volunteers, under command of Lieut.-Col. Wm. H. Merritt, Col. J. F. Bates being sick, united with the forces at Springfield, under command of Gen. Lyon, and commenced the march to Wilson's Creek, twelve miles distant. Arriving within three miles of the enemy's camp and in close proximity to their pickets, the order was given to halt. The troops lay on their arms until 3 o'clock A. M. of the 10th inst., when they advanced on the enemy's lines. About 5 o'clock A. M. our advanced skirmishers engaged the enemy's pickets and drove them in. The First Missouri and First Kansas Volunteers, and a battalion of regular infantry under command of Captain Plummer, with Totten's battery, very soon engaged a considerable number of the rebel forces.

Dubois' battery took position a short distance east of where the enemy were being engaged, and the Iowa troops were drawn up in line of battle on its left. A brisk fire was commenced and kept up for thirty minutes. The enemy responded promptly with a battery in the ravine, but their shot passed from ten to one hundred feet over our heads. Detailed Company D, First-Lieut. Keller commanding, and Company E, First-Lieut. Abercrombie commanding, to act as skirmishers in advance of my line. Ordered to advance over the hill, engage the enemy, and relieve the First regiment of Kansas Volunteers. In advancing to engage the enemy, met the First Kansas retreating in confusion. They broke through our line on the right, separating companies A and F from the balance of the command. While in this confused state received a murderous fire from the enemy's infantry. Gave the command to fall back and re-form the line. The din of firearms and the loud talking of the retreating troops drowned my voice, so that the command could not be heard on the left. Led the two Companies, A and F, over the hill, halted them and ordered them to about face and fire on a squadron of the enemy's cavalry advancing to charge on a section of Totten's battery. The fire was executed with promptness and effect, [501] and after receiving the discharge from the battery, the enemy retired in double-quick time, leaving a number of dead and wounded on the field. Ordered Companies A and F to hold their position until further orders, and then returned to Companies I, C, H, K, G, and B, who had been left facing the enemy's line; found our troops advancing under a galling fire from the enemy's infantry. After repulsing the enemy they fell back in good order. Ordered Maj. A. B. Porter to proceed to the rear and take command of the four companies, “A,” “F,” “D,” and “E,” there stationed. Held our position in front for five hours, alternately advancing and retiring as the approach and repulse of the enemy made it necessary to do so. In every charge the enemy made we repulsed them and drove them into the ravine below. About 12 o'clock M. the order was given to retire from the field, which was done in good order. As we retired over the hill we passed a section of Totten's battery, occupying a commanding point to the right, supported on the right by companies A, F, D and E of the Iowa troops, under command of Major Porter, and on the left by one company of regular infantry under command of Captain Lothrop. This company sustained our retreat with great coolness and determination, under a most terrific discharge from the enemy's infantry. After the wounded were gathered up, our column formed in order of march, and the enemy repulsed, the battery and infantry retiring in good order. Thus closed one of the most hotly contested engagements known to the country, commencing twenty minutes after 5 o'clock A. M., and concluding twenty minutes after 12 o'clock M., in which the enemy brought to the field 14,000 well-armed and well-disciplined troops and 10,000 irregular troops, and our own force amounted to about 5,000 troops in the early part of the engagement, and considerably less than four thousand troops for the concluding four hours of it.

It is with great pleasure that I acknowledge valuable aid and assistance from Major A. B. Porter, Adjutant Geo. W. Waldron, who was wounded in the leg, and Sergeant-Major Charles Compton; and to express my unbounded admiration of the heroic conduct displayed by both officers and men. No troops, regular or volunteer, ever sustained their country's flag with more determined valor and fortitude; they have crowned themselves with imperishable honor, and must occupy a conspicuous place in the history of their country.

A list of the killed, missing, and wounded will be found attached to this report, together with such notices of individual prowess as were observed on the field.

Before concluding this report, I must bear testimony to the gallant and meritorious conduct of Captain A. L. Mason, of Company C, who fell in a charge, at the head of his company.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Wm. H. Merritt, Lieut.-Colonel Commanding.

Captain Totten's report.

Springfield, Mo., Aug. 11, 1861.
sir: In obedience to instructions, I have the honor to make the following report relative to the part taken by my company in the battle on Wilson's Creek, Aug. 10, 1861:

Light Company F, 2d regiment of Artillery, marched in company with the other troops comprising Gen. Lyon's command from Springfield on the evening of Friday, Aug. 9, for the position occupied by the enemy. Early on the following morning, Aug. 10, the camp of the Southern army was discovered about one mile and a half south of the head of Gen. Lyon's column, and soon after the infantry of our advance was fired upon by the pickets of the enemy. From that time our march, as directed by Gen. Lyon in person, lay through a small valley which debouched into that through which Wilson's Creek runs at the point immediately occupied by the front of the enemy, and just where the main road to Springfield enters the valley, keeping along the foot of the hills, and soon afterward our skirmishers found those of the enemy and the battery opened. Here the left section of my battery, under Lieut. Sokalski, was first brought to bear upon the enemy in the woods, in front, and shortly afterward the other four pieces were thrown forward into battery to the right on higher ground. A few rounds from the artillery assisted the infantry of our advance in driving the enemy back from their first position, and they fell back toward the crests of the hills, nearer and immediately over their own camp. I now conducted my battery up the hill to the left and front, and soon found a position where I brought it into battery directly over the northern position of the enemy's camp. The camp of Gen. Rains, as I afterward learned, lay directly beneath my front and to the left very close to my position, and a battery of the enemy to my front and right within easy range of my guns. The camp of Gen. Rains was entirely deserted, and., therefore, my first efforts were directed against the battery of the enemy to the right and front. The left half battery was then brought into positions but the right half battery, in reality occupying the most favorable ground, was principally directed against the enemy's battery, although the whole six pieces, as opportunity occurred, played upon the enemy's guns. As the position of the enemy's guns was masked, the gunners of my pieces were obliged to give direction to their pieces, by the flash and smoke of the opposing artillery. In the mean time, the battle was raging in the thick woods and underbrush to the front and right of the position occupied by my battery, and the 1st regiment of Missouri Volunteers was being hard pressed. I now received an order from Gen. Lyon to remove a section of my battery forward to the support of the 1st Missouri, which I did in person, coming into battery just in front of the right company of this regiment. Within 200 yards of the position occupied by the section of my battery [502] a regiment of the enemy was in line, with a Secession flag and a Federal flag displayed together. This trick of the enemy caused me for a moment some uncertainty, fearing by some accident that a portion of our own troops might have got thus far in advance; but their fire soon satisfied me upon this head. I immediately opened upon them with canister from both pieces, in which service I am happy to be able to say I was ably assisted by Capt. Gordon Granger, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, and 1st Lieut. D. Murphy, 1st Missouri Volunteers. The next step in the progress of the battle was where the enemy tried to force his way up the road, passing along by their battery toward Springfield. This was an effort to turn the left of our position on the hill, where my battery first came into position — and for a time the enemy seemed determined to execute his object. Four pieces of my battery were still in position there, and Capt. Dubois' battery of four pieces on the left near the road. As the enemy showed himself, our infantry and artillery opened upon his ranks, and drove him back, and he appeared no more during the day. About that time, and just after the enemy had been effectually driven back, as last mentioned, I met General Lyon for the last time. He was wounded, he told me, in the leg, and I observed blood trickling from his heel. I offered him some brandy, of which I had a small supply in my canteen, but he declined, and rode slowly to the right and front. Immediately after he passed forward, Gen. Lyon sent me an order to support the Kansas regiments, on the extreme right, who were then being closely pressed by the enemy. I ordered Lieutenant Sokalski to move forward with a section immediately, which he did, and most gallantly, too, relieving and saving the Kansas regiments from being overthrown and driven back. After this, the enemy tried to overwhelm us by an attack of some eight hundred cavalry, which, unobserved, had formed below the crests of the hill to our right and rear. Fortunately, some of our infantry companies, and a few pieces of artillery from my battery, were in position to meet this demonstration, and drove off this cavalry with ease. This was the only demonstration made by their cavalry; and it was so effete and ineffectual in its force and character, as to deserve only the appellation of child's play. Their cavalry is utterly worthless on the battle-field. The next and last point where the artillery of my battery was engaged was on the right of the left wing of the Iowa regiments, and somewhat in their front. The battle was then, and had been for some time, very doubtful as to its results. Gen. Lyon was killed, and our forces had been all day engaged, and several regiments were broken and had retired. The enemy, also sadly dispirited, were merely making a demonstration to cover their retreat from the immediate field of battle. At this time the left wing of the Iowa regiment was brought up to support our brave men still in action, while two pieces of my battery were in advance on the right. The last effort was short and decisive, the enemy leaving the field and retiring down through the valley, covered by thick underbrush, to the right of the centre of the field of battle, toward their camp on Wilson's Creek. After this we were left unmolested, and our forces were drawn off the field in good order under Major Sturgis, who had assumed command directly after Gen. Lyon's death. It should be borne in mind that in the foregoing report I have only glanced at the main points of the battle where the pieces of my own artillery were engaged. I have not entered into detail at all, and could not without entering into a more elaborate history of the affair than appears to be called for on this occasion from me. I wish simply now, in conclusion, to make a few deserved remarks upon the conduct of my officers, non-commissioned officers, and soldiers during the battle. In reference to Lieut. Sokalski, it gives me the liveliest satisfaction to bear witness to his coolness and bearing throughout the entire day; no officer ever behaved better, under such trying circumstances as he found himself surrounded by at times during the day. The non-commissioned officers and men, to a man, behaved admirably, but I am constrained to mention Sergeants Robert Armstrong and Gustave Dey, and Corporals Albert Watchman and Lorenzo T. Immell, who were on several occasions during the day greatly exposed and severely tried, and bore themselves with great credit. The other non-commissioned officers were equally deserving and meritorious according to the time they were in action, but those mentioned were constantly engaged, and deserve particular notice, and because they were always equal to the duties imposed upon them.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

James Totten, Captain 2d Artillery, Commanding Light Company F. Captain Gordon Granger, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the West.

Lt. Dubois' report.

camp near Rolla, Mo., Aug. 17, 1861.
Captain Gordon Granger, United States Army, Acting Adjutant-General, Army of the West:
Captain: I have the honor to report that after the pickets of the enemy were driven in on the morning of the 10th inst., I followed Captain Steele's battalion into action.

Having no position assigned me, I selected one directly opposite to and about four hundred yards from the advanced batteries of the enemy. My position was such that my men were partially and my horses entirely protected from direct musketry fire.

After assisting Captain Totten to silence the enemy's batteries, in which we perfectly succeeded, I received orders from Gen. Lyon to [503] move my battery to the right--Captain Granger was to place me in position. Three companies of the First Infantry and one of Mounted Rifles--recruits — were driven back by an overwhelming force of the enemy, (five regiments, I think,) who, in the ardor of our advance, had collected in masses.

Capt. Granger now countermanded my order to move, and by a change of front to the left I enfiladed their line and drove them back with great slaughter, Capt. Granger directing one of my guns.

Their broken troops rallied behind a house on the right of their line. I struck this house twice with a twelve pound shot, when they showed an hospital flag. I ceased firing and their troops retired.

Large bodies now collected in a ravine in front of the centre; by using small charges I succeeded in shelling the thicket, but could not judge of the effect of my fire. It seemed to check the enemy, as he changed his position to one more to my right and beyond my fire.

A new battery now opened upon us from the crest of the hill opposite, and having a plunging fire it did great execution, all the shot of which passed over me, falling among the wounded, who had been carried in rear of my battery in large numbers. We succeeded in partially silencing this fire, and at the same time drove back a large column of cavalry which had turned our position and were preparing to charge our rear.

During the entire engagement I was so embarrassed by my ignorance of General Siegel's position, that on several occasions I did not fire upon their troops until they had formed within a few hundred yards of our line, fearing they might be our own men advancing to form a junction with us. During the last effort of the enemy to break through our right wing and capture our batteries, I limbered up two to send to Captain Totten's assistance. Before I could have a road opened through the wounded, I was ordered to fall back to a hill in the rear, and protect a retreat. I remained until all our troops had passed in good order, and was marching to the rear when my twelve pound gun broke down; I asked Major Osterhaus to protect me with his battalion; he remained with me until I repaired damages, and then marched in my rear until I joined the command on the prairie.

I now received orders to take command of a rear guard, but as I had already joined Captain Steele's battalion of regulars, and we had formed a rear guard under his command, I reported this fact, and marched to Springfield under Captain Steele. We were not followed by the enemy, who had, I think, been driven from the field before we left it.

Many of the company — myself included — were struck and slightly injured by spent musket and canister shot, but only two were wounded and one missing. My men behaved well, and cannot be convinced that we were not victorious.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

John V. Dubois, Second Lieutenant Mounted Rifles, Commanding Light Artillery Battery.

Captain Steele's report.

camp near Rolla, Mo., August 17, 1861.
Captain: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my battalion, at the battle near Springfield, Mo., on the 10th instant. The battalion was composed of companies B and E, Second Infantry, commanded by First Sergeants Griffin and G. H. McLaughlin, a company of general service recruits, commanded by First Lieutenant W. L. Lothrop, Fourth Artillery, and a company of mounted rifle recruits, commanded by Lance Sergeant Morine. During the early part of the action the battalion was in position to support Dubois' battery, but had no opportunity of engaging the enemy except to assist in dispersing a large body of cavalry that frequently threatened our rear.

Soon after the fall of Gen. Lyon, Capt. C. C. Gilbert, First Infantry, joined my battalion with a part of his company, and we made arrangements to repel a threatened assault on the battery in front, which was repelled without our becoming engaged with the enemy. Major Sturgis then ordered me to form line of battle and advance upon the enemy's front, whence the heaviest firing had proceeded during the day. We very soon came within range of the enemy's rifles, when a fierce contest ensued, the enemy gradually retiring upon his reserve, where he made a stand from which our small force was unable to drive him. After a heavy firing on both sides in this position, without any apparent advantage on either side, the contest ceased for a short time, as if by mutual consent. We were opposed to vastly superior guns numbers, and many of our men were killed and wounded, so that I did not deem it discreet to charge upon the enemy without support, although Captain Gilbert suggested it.

During this suspension of hostilities I received orders from Major Sturgis to send a company of skirmishers on the brow of the hill to our left and front. Lieutenant Lothrop went in command of this company, but was met with such a galling fire from the enemy that he was compelled to retire; all of which service he performed with coolness and intrepidity. Lieutenant Lothrop's retreat was followed up by a vigorous attack from the enemy upon us as well as upon Totten's battery, on our left and rear. The enemy had a field-piece established under the crest of the hill to our left and front, which threw grape with spitefulness — and occasionally a shell — with more moral effect than damage to us.

This piece was now reinforced by one or two pieces of the same character, all of which threw an incessant shower of missiles at us; but my men were ordered to stoop, and very few took effect on us. It was now evident that the enemy [504] intended to take Totten's battery, as a strong column of infantry was advancing upon it. Totten mowed them down with canister in front, and our infantry poured a murderous fire into their flanks, which compelled them to beat a hasty retreat. The enemy had failed in all his endeavors to dislodge us from our position, which I conceived to be the strategic point of the battle-field, and was determined to hold it at all hazards.

Another short suspension of hostilities ensued. After a consultation with the officers, Major Sturgis sent me orders to retire. Just at that time Captain Granger came up to me, and we discovered that the enemy were about to renew the attack upon us. Captain Granger rushed to the rear and collected several hundred volunteers of different regiments, while we held the enemy in check, and formed them on our left. We then advanced upon the enemy and drove them off the field, and never saw one of them afterward. After collecting our command we retired slowly from the field.

I commanded the rear guard on the retreat toward Springfield, but saw nothing of the enemy. It was evident that he had been severely punished.

I wish to call the attention of the Major commanding to the gallant conduct of Captain C. C. Gilbert, of First Infantry; of First Lieutenant Lothrop, Fourth Artillery, and George H. McLaughlin received the highest commendations of all the officers present. I also mention the First Sergeant of Captain Gilbert's company, Mandrazz, who was killed in the last assault of the enemy; also First Sergeant Griffin, commanding Company B, Second Infantry, and Lance Sergeant Morine, commanding the company of Mounted Rifle recruits, each of whom behaved with distinguished gallantry. Sergeant Morine was mortally wounded, and died on the field.

During the critical state of the combat, I conferred with Captain Gilbert, whose intelligence and soldierly qualities are well known, and whose self-possession during the battle was calculated to inspire the men with confidence. In the latter part of the contest he received a wound in the shoulder, which compelled him to retire from the field.

I furnish herewith a list of the killed, wounded, and missing of my command during the day. I have the honor to be, Captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Fred. K. Steele, Captain Second Infantry, Commanding Battalion.

Report of Captain Carr.

camp near Rolla, Mo., August 17, 1861.
sir: Having been requested, through Major Sheppard, to write a report of my share in the late battle, I have the honor to state that:--On the afternoon of the 9th inst. I was ordered to report to Colonel Siegel at six o'clock with my company, (I, First Cavalry,) which I did. Company C, Second Dragoons, commanded by Lieutenant Farrand, First Infantry, also reported to Colonel Siegel, but was not under my command, being placed at the opposite extremity of the brigade. Colonel Siegel placed me in advance, with orders to seize persons who might give information to the enemy, and the command moved about sunset. The night was very dark, and it was with great difficulty that we avoided losing our way or getting separated. At about eleven o'clock the command was halted, and rested till two, when it moved on, approaching the rear of the enemy's camp. Upon nearing the camp, after daylight, different stragglers were met going from the camp to the surrounding country, and all captured, so that no intimation was given to the enemy of our presence till the first gun was fired. Colonel Siegel directed me to take the right flank, and then proceeded into the valley below the camp, and opened fire of cannon upon it; I, in the mean time, moving to the edge of the bluff and opening fire with our carbines, for the purpose of distracting the attention of the enemy, being at too great a distance to do much execution. A few minutes before Colonel Siegel opened fire, I heard the firing at the opposite end of the camp, and sent word to him that General Lyon was engaged. This was a little after six A. M. The enemy ran out of their camp, which was of cavalry, and contained the Headquarters and tents of McCulloch and McIntosh. Colonel Siegel then took position on their camp ground, and I moved up along the bluff. Up to this time I had observed wagons and horsemen moving up toward the west and going south along the Fayetteville road, the point where we struck the camp being in the valley below that road and probably two miles from where it crosses the creek. At this time I was about a mile from the main command — it being on the west side of the valley, while I was on the bluff and higher up — when I observed a large body of cavalry forming and approaching the command. I immediately sent word to Colonel Siegel and retired myself, as it was getting between me and him. I was obliged to go back to get across the creek, and in the mean time the cavalry had formed to charge and had been broken up by Colonel Siegel and put to flight, though their officers raved and stormed and tore their hair in trying to make their men advance. When I reached Colonel Siegel again he told me he was going to advance, and to take my place on the left flank, which I did, keeping in line with the advance along the road. After advancing a short distance — I think to within about half a mile of the Fayetteville crossing, and over a mile from where we first engaged — the command encountered a concealed battery, on or near the Fayetteville road, into which ours had forked. The action hero was hot, and there was continued cannonading with some firing of musketry, for, I should think, half an hour. I could see but little, being mostly in the timber to the left, with my company, among which [505] bullets, shot and shell frequently struck, without, however, killing a man. At that time many were in doubt if it were not our own troops firing upon us. At about ten o'clock one of my corporals told me that one of Colonel Siegel's staff officers had brought our order to retreat, and as all the troops in sight were retreating I did so too, bringing up the rear. After retiring about one and a half miles, during which we were fired on from a bushy hillside, by a body of men, whom I repulsed, but who caused the loss of one of our remaining guns by killing a wheel-horse, I saw Colonel Siegel at the spring where we camped the first night, when returning from Dug Spring. It was then decided to move south on the Fayetteville road till we could go out and circle round the enemy toward Springfield. We then had my company, (fifty-six men,) about one hundred and fifty infantry badly demoralized, one piece, and two caissons. After retiring about one and a half miles, a large body of cavalry was discovered in front of us, and I was sent to the front, where I observed a column of horse of at least a quarter of a mile in length, moving toward the south on our right and filing into the road in front. I watched them for a few moments, when Colonel Siegel sent me word to take the first left-hand road, which luckily happened to be just at that point. While retreating along this road, Col. Siegel asked me to march slowly so that the infantry could keep up. I urged upon him that the enemy would try to cut us off in crossing Wilson's Creek, and that the infantry and artillery should at least march as fast as the ordinary walk of my horses; he assented and told me to go on, which I did at a walk, and upon arriving at the creek I was much surprised and pained to find that he was not up; as, however, I observed a great body coming from the enemy's camp, which was not far off, I concluded that it was no time for delay and moved on, after watering my horses, till I arrived at a spot where I thought I could venture to halt and wait for Col. Siegel, which I did for some time, and then pursued my march to Springfield.

It turned out that the Colonel was ambuscaded as I anticipated, his whole party broken. up, and that he himself narrowly escaped. It is a subject of regret with me to have left him behind, but I supposed all the time that he was close behind me, until I got to the creek, and it would have done no good for my company to have been cut to pieces also. As it was, four of my men were lost, who had been placed in the rear of his infantry.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. A. Carr, Captain First Cavalry. A. A.-G. Army of the West.

Report of Captain Wright.

camp near Rolla, August 19, 1861.
Major: On the morning of the 10th, at half-past 5 oclock, the squadron commanded by me was ordered from the rear to the front of the command by General Lyon. When I advanced, I found the General occupying a point on the right of the ravine overlooking the head of the rebel forces in camp on Wilson's Creek. He at once called my attention to parties occupying the ridges and corn-fields on the left, asking me if I could drive them back; to which I replied that I would try. I was then ordered to take the extreme left with my command, (consisting of my own and Capt. Switzler's company of cavalry,) and sustain it if possible. I at once took position on the left, and immediately in front of the corn-fields.

At six A. M. the fire was opened on our right. Ten minutes later the enemy showed themselves in our front. I ordered a charge, which resulted in the entire rout of the enemy, about 1,000 in number, and drove them from the brush into the upper corn-field. The second was by the right of my command, making through the fence at the upper end of the cornfield, under Captain Switzler; the left under my immediate command to the left of the cornfield, with a right wheel, forming a cross fire and junction with the Eighth, telling fearfully on the enemy, and resulting in an entire rout and abandonment of the field. The squadron then retired to the left, and occupied a high ridge for observation. It was soon discovered that a company of cavalry and some four or five companies of infantry were flanking us on the left.

In their detached condition it was thought prudent to make an advance upon them. We advanced steadily until evident signs of retreat were visible, when a charge was ordered, which resulted in cutting off one company, and the entire destruction of it except two. At this point we were immediately south of the second or large corn-field, and immediately back of their hospital, at the mouth of a ravine leading to the left, and no doubt would have been cut off by a column in the upper end of the cornfield, (that had escaped my notice,) had it not been for the relief of Captain Totten's battery on the extreme right. A few shots told with fearful effect, relieved my command, and drove the enemy below.

Our victory at this time appeared complete on the left. In twenty minutes, perhaps, a body of cavalry appeared half a mile to our left. We advanced steadily upon them before coming in gun-shot. They gave way; we followed to the top of the ridge, when we found ourselves in the face of a camp not before discovered. Captain Switzler and myself took a position of observation, and estimated the forces in this camp at ten thousand. We soon learned from the movements that they were falling into column, and evidently going to march on the Federal troops to the right. We at once retired to our former position.

Finding no appearance of the enemy at that point on the left, (except the column referred to,) I at once rode up to Headquarters in person [506] and reported their approach; at the time they were first seen coming down the hill, Captain Switzler fell back and brought out the command. The command of the left was a complete success. I cannot speak too highly in praise of Captain Switzler and his entire company. To single any out would be superfluous. They acted as a unit. Officers and men under my immediate command acted bravely, nobly. In short, every order was promptly obeyed and courageously carried out, without the tremor of a single man.

Very respectfully submitted,

Clark W. Wright, Captain Commanding Dade County Squadron.

Report of the National loss.

The official reports of the fight at Wilson's Creek make up the following result:

Capt. Plummer's Battery,19529
Capt. Elliot's Co. D, 1st Cav'y,013
Capt. Dubois' Battery,021
First Missouri Volunteers,7620811
Capt. Steele's Battery,15442
Capt. Carr's Co. I, 1st Cav'y,004
First Kansas Volunteers,7718720
Second Kansas Volunteers,5596
Capt. Totten's Co. F, 2d Art'y,470
Col. Siegel's Brigade,1520231
Capt. Wood's Co. Ks. Rangers,010
Capt. Clark Wright's Co. Dade County Home Guard,020
First Iowa Volunteers121384

Secession official reports.

General Price's report.

Headquarters Missouri State Guard, Springfield, August 12, 1861.
To His Excellency, Claiborne F. Jackson, Governor of the State of Missouri:
I have the honor to submit to your Excellency the following report of the operations of the army under my command, at and immediately preceding the battle of Springfield.

I began to move my command from its encampment on Cowskin Prairie, in McDonald County, on the 25th of July, toward Cassville, in Barry County, at which place it had been agreed between Gens. McCulloch, Pearce, and myself, that our respective forces, together with those of Brig.-Gen. McBride, should be concentrated, preparatory to a forward movement. We reached Cassville on Sunday, the 28th of July, and on the next day effected a junction with the armies of Gens. McCulloch and Pearce.

The combined armies were then put under marching orders, and the First Division, Gen. McCulloch commanding, left Cassville on the 1st of August, upon the road to this city. The Second Division, under Gen. Pearce, of Arkansas, left on the 1st day of August; and the Third Division, Brig.-Gen. Steen, of this State, commanding, left on the 2d day of August. I went forward with the Second Division, which embraced the greater portion of my infantry, and encamped with it some twelve miles north-west of Cassville. The next morning, a messenger from Gen. McCulloch informed me that he had reason to believe that the enemy were in force on the road to Springfield, and that he should remain at his then encampment on Crane Creek until the Second and Third Divisions of the army had come up. The Second Division consequently moved forward to Crane Creek, and I ordered the Third Division to a position within three miles of the same place.

The advance guard of the army, consisting of six companies of mounted Missourians, under command of Brig.-Gen. Rains, was at that time (Friday, Aug. 2) encamped on the Springfield road, about five miles beyond Crane Creek. About 9 o'clock A. M. of that day, Gen. Rains' pickets reported to him that they had been driven in by the enemy's advance guard; and that officer immediately led forward his whole force, amounting to nearly 400 men, until he found the enemy in position, some three miles on the road. He sent back at once to Gen. McCulloch for reinforcements, and Col. Me Intosh, C. S. A., was sent forward with 150 men; but a reconnoissance of the ground haying satisfied the latter that the enemy did not have more than 150 men on the ground, he withdrew his men and returned to Crane Creek.

Gen. Rains soon discovered, however, that he was in presence of the main body of the enemy, numbering, according to his estimate, more than five thousand men, with eight pieces of artillery, and supported by a considerable body of cavalry. A severe skirmish ensued, which lasted several hours, until the enemy opened their batteries, and compelled our troops to retire. In this engagement the greater portion of Gen. Rains' command, and especially that part which acted as infantry, behaved with great gallantry, as the result demonstrates; for our loss was only one killed, (Lieut. Northcut,) and five wounded, while five of the enemy's dead were buried on the field, and a large number are known to have been wounded.

Our whole forces were concentrated the next day near Crane Creek, and during the same night, the Texan regiment, under Col. Greer, came up within a few miles of the same place.

Reasons, which will be hereafter assigned, induced me, on Sunday, the 4th inst., to put the Missouri forces under the direction, for the time being, of Gen. McCulloch, who accordingly assumed the command in chief of the combined armies. A little after midnight we took up the line of march, leaving our baggage trains, and expecting to find the enemy near the scene of the late skirmish; but we found, as we advanced, that they were retreating rapidly toward Springfield. We followed them hastily about 17 miles, to a place known as Moody's [507] Spring, where we were compelled to halt our forces, who were already nearly exhausted by the intense heat of the weather and the dustiness of the roads.

Early the next morning we moved forward to Wilson's Creek, ten miles southwest of Springfield, where we encamped. Our forces were here put in readiness to meet the enemy, who were posted at Springfield, to the number of about ten thousand. It was finally decided to march against them; and on Friday afternoon orders were issued to march in four separate columns, at nine o'clock that night, so as to surround the city and begin a simultaneous attack at daybreak. The darkness of the night and a threatened storm caused General McCulloch, just as the army was about to march, to countermand this order, and to direct that the troops should hold themselves in readiness to move whenever ordered. Our men were consequently kept under arms till toward daybreak, expecting, momentarily, an order to march. The morning of Saturday, the 10th of August, found them still encamped at Wilson's Creek, fatigued by a night's watching and loss of rest.

About six o'clock, I received a messenger from Gen. Rains that the enemy were advancing in great force from the direction of Springfield, and were already within 200 or 300 yards of the position where he was encamped with the Second Brigade of his division, consisting of about 1,200 mounted men under Col. Cawthorn. A second messenger came immediately afterward from Gen. Rains to announce that the main body of the enemy was upon him, but that he would endeavor to hold him in check until he could receive reinforcements. Gen. McCulloch was with me when these messengers caine, and left at once for his own Headquarters to make the necessary disposition of our forces.

I rode forward instantly toward Gen. Rains' position, at the same time ordering Gens. Slack, McBride, Clark, and Parsons to move their infantry and artillery rapidly forward. I had ridden but a few hundred yards when I came suddenly upon the main body of the enemy, commanded by Gen. Lyon in person. The infantry and artillery which I had ordered to follow 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 upon the rear of our position, where a large body of the enemy, under Col. Siegel, had taken position, in close proximity to Colonel Churchill's regiment, Colonel Greer's Texan Rangers, and 679 mounted Missourians, under command of Colonel Brown and Lieutenant-Colonel Major.

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-in-chief, General Lyon, dead upon the battle-field, over five hundred killed, and a great number wounded.

The forces under my command have possession of three 12-pounder howitzers, two brass 6-pounders, and a great quantity of small-arms and ammunition, taken from the enemy; also, the standard of Siegel's regiment, captured by Captain Staples. They have also a large number of prisoners.

The brilliant victory thus achieved upon this hard-fought field, was won only by the most determined bravery, and distinguished gallantry of the combined armies, which fought nobly side by side, in defence of their common rights and liberties, with as much courage and constancy as were ever exhibited upon any battlefield.

Where all behaved so well, it is invidious to make any distinction, but I cannot refrain from expressing my sense of the splendid services rendered, under my own eyes, by the Arkansas infantry, under Gen. Pearce, the Louisiana regiment of Col. Hebert, and Col. Churchill's regiment of mounted riflemen. These gallant officers and their brave soldiers won upon that day the gratitude of every true Missourian.

This great victory was dearly bought, by the loss of many a skilful officer and brave man. Others will report the losses sustained by the Confederate forces; I shall willingly confine myself to the losses within my own army.

Among those who fell mortally wounded upon the battle-field, none deserve a dearer place in the memory of Missourians than Richard Hanson Weightman, Colonel commanding the First brigade of the second division of the army. Taking up arms at the very beginning of this unhappy contest, he had already done distinguished services at the battle of Rock Creek, where he commanded the State forces after the death of the lamented Holloway, and at Carthage, where he won unfading laurels by the display of extraordinary coolness, courage, and skill. He fell at the head of his brigade, wounded in three places, and died just as the victorious shout of our army began to rise upon the air.

Here, too, died in the discharge of his duty, Col. Ben. Brown, of Ray County, President of the Senate, a good man and true.

Brig.-Gen. Slack's division suffered severely. He himself fell dangerously wounded at the head of his column. Of his regiment of infantry, under Col. John T. Hughes, consisting of about 650 men, 36 were killed, 76 wounded, many of them mortally, and 30 are missing. Among the killed were C. H. Bennet, adjutant of the regiment, Capt. Blackwell, and Lieut. Hughes. Col. Rives' squadron of cavalry, (dismounted,) numbering some 234 men, lost 4 killed and 8 wounded. Among the former were Lieut.-Col. Austin and Capt. Engart. [508]

Brig.-Gen. Clark was also wounded. His infantry (200 men) lost, in killed, 17, and wounded, 71. Col. Burbridge was severely wounded. Capts. Farris and Halleck, and Lieut. Haskins, were killed. Gen. Clark's cavalry, together with the Windsor Guards, were under the command of Lieut.-Col. Major, who did good service. They lost 6 killed and 5 wounded.

Brig.-Gen. McBride's division (605 men) lost 22 killed, 67 severely wounded, and 57 slightly wounded. Col. Foster and Capts. Nichols, Dougherty, Armstrong, and Mings were wounded while gallantly leading their respective commands.

Gen. Parson's brigade, 256 infantry and artillery, under command respectively of Col. Kelly and Capt. Guibor, and 406 cavalry, Col. Brown, lost — the artillery three killed and seven wounded, the infantry nine killed and thirty-eight wounded, the cavalry three killed and two wounded. Col. Kelly was wounded in the hand. Capt. Coleman was mortally wounded, and has since died.

Gen. Rains' division was composed of two brigades — the first under Col. Weightman, embracing infantry, and artillery, 1,306 strong, lost not only their commander, but thirty-four others killed and 111 wounded. The Second brigade, mounted men, Col. Cawthorn commanding, about 1,200 strong, lost twenty-one killed and seventy-five wounded. Col. Cawthorn was himself wounded. Major Charles Rogers, of St. Louis, adjutant of the brigade, was mortally wounded, and died the day after the battle. He was a gallant officer, and at all times vigilant and attentive to his duties, and fearless upon the field of battle.

Your Excellency will perceive that our State forces consisted of only 5,221 officers and men; that of these no less than 156 died upon the field, while 517 were wounded. These facts attest more powerfully than any words can, the severity of the conflict, and the dauntless courage of our brave soldiers.

It is also my painful duty to announce the death of one of my aids, Lieut.-Col. George W. Allen, of Saline County. He was shot down while communicating an order, and we left him buried on the field. I have appointed to the position thus sadly vacated, Capt. James T. Cearnal, in recognition of his gallant conduct and valuable services throughout the battle as a volunteer aid. Another of my staff, Col. Horace H. Brand, was made prisoner by the enemy, but has since been released.

My thanks are due to three of your staff--Col. Wm. M. Cook, Col. Richard Gaines, and Col. Thos. L. Snead, for the services which they rendered me as volunteer aids, and also to my aide-de-camp, Col. A. W. Jones.

In conclusion, I beg leave to say to your Excellency, that the army under my command, both officers and men, did their duty nobly, as became men fighting in defence of their homes and their honor, and that they deserve well of the State.

I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, your Excellency's obedient servant,

sterling Price, Major-General, Commanding Missouri State Guard,

J. B. Clark's report

Headquarters, Third District M. S. G., August 12, 1861.
Maj.-Gen. Sterling Price, Commanding Missouri State Guard:--
General: I have the honor to submit to you the following detailed report of the part taken by the forces under my command in the action with the enemy on the 10th inst., near Springfield, Mo.:

At about 15 or 20 minutes before 6 o'clock A. M., and while at breakfast, one of your aids, Col. Richard Gaines, brought me the intelligence that the enemy were upon us, and orders from you to form my command upon the crest of the hill under which I was encamped, and upon the line that I might then find formed, by other forces, ordered to the same point; my forces consisted of one regiment of infantry, commanded by Col. J. Q. Burbridge, and Major John B. Clark, jr., with 376 men, rank and file, and one battalion of cavalry, commanded by Lieut.-Col. James P. Major, with two hundred and fifty men, rank and file. I immediately despatched one of my staff, Col. R. H. Munson, with orders to Lieut.-Col. Major, (then encamped one mile and a half from me,) to report his command to me as early as possible at Headquarters. I also ordered Col. Burbridge, with whom I was encamped, to form his command instantly into line, which was promptly executed; and hearing cannonading at this time, I determined to move forward with this regiment of infantry to the position designated by your orders, leaving Capt. Jos. Finks, one of my assistant aids, with directions to order Col. Major, when he came up, to follow with his command.

When I had moved forward about three hundred yards from my encampment, I discovered the enemy strongly posted in our front, upon the heights, engaging the command of Brig.Gen. W. Y. Slack, upon whose left my forces of infantry were formed. In a few minutes after Col. Kelly, of Gen. Parsons' command, formed upon my left, and rapidly following came the command of Gen. J. H. McBride, who formed upon the left of Col. Kelly, and commanded a flank movement upon the right of the enemy.

In this position, by your orders, and led in person by yourself, the entire line advanced in the direction of the enemy, under a continuous and heavy fire of artillery and musketry, until we approached within range of our rifle guns, when we returned the fire with such terrific effect as to drive the enemy from his position, and cause him to make a rapid retrograde movement, after having borne up and resisted the steady advance and deadly aim of our riflemen for some thirty or forty minutes. At this [509] moment, a heavy cannonading was heard immediately in our rear, which seemed to be directed at our line, producing a momentary confusion, and causing a suspension of the pursuit of the enemy until Gen. McCulloch came up, and detached the Louisiana regiment, which had been engaging the enemy on the extreme right, and a portion of my own forces, and employed them against the batteries in our rear.

Gen. Parsons' battery, which had been previously engaged against the enemy, now moved forward in line with our remaining column immediately on our right, upon the left of Gen. Slack. A portion of the Arkansas forces, under the command of Gen. Pearce, also came up and formed on the left of the line.

With this formation you ordered a rapid movement to be made in the direction the enemy retired, and after advancing a short distance we again found him drawn up in great force, who opened again with a brisk fire upon us. We continued to advance until reaching again the range of rifle shot, and then an incessant fire of artillery and small-arms commenced on either side, and was continued for about an hour, when the enemy disengaged, and terror-stricken by the number of his dead and wounded heaped around him, together with the fall of his chief and other officers, fled with consternation and confusion in small detachments, many of them abandoning their arms and ammunition as they fled.

The first battalion of cavalry, at the moment of receiving my orders, were attacked by a detachment of the enemy which had come in upon the rear, and was so hotly pressed that Lieut.-Col. Major was driven to the necessity of having to retire under cover of the wood to form his line. After forming his forces, he marched in the direction he had been ordered, when, I regret to say, large bodies of horsemen, who had been cut off from their companies, rushed through his line, dividing his forces, and leaving the colonel with but one company. I am glad, however, to be able to state that the gallant colonel, aided by Col. C. W. Bell, assistant adjutant-general, and Captain Joseph Finks, one of my assistant aids, succeeded in gathering up some 300 mounted men, who, under his command, attacked the forces in our rear, commanded by Gen. Siegel, capturing 157 prisoners, and killing 64 men; the balance of his forces, under the command of Lieut.-Col. Hyde and Major A. H. Chalmers, succeeded in reaching the line of battle in time to form upon the right of Gen. Slack, where they rendered most prompt and efficient service. For full particulars of the operations of this battalion, I refer you to the report of Lieut.-Col. Major.

In the several engagements referred to, I regret the necessity of enumerating so large a list of killed and wounded, hereinafter stated.

Before closing this report of the sanguinary battle of the 10th, I beg leave to make my acknowledgments to my staff; also Cols. Robert Walker and Woodson, my assistant aids; especially do I desire to bring before your particular notice the gallant and intrepid manner in which my orders were conveyed by Lieut.Cols. Wm. O. Burton and Samuel Farmington, the former of whom had two, and the latter one horse shot under them, while delivering orders.

Throughout the entire engagement, these officers were distinguished for their bravery and dauntless valor. I desire, also, to make my acknowledgments to Col. J. Q. Burbridge, who was severely wounded while gallantly urging forward his men. I desire, also, to commend to your favorable notice Major John B. Clark, upon whom was devolved the command of the regiment in the latter part of the engagement, and who ably and gallantly led his forces, continuously exposed to the greatest peril, but providentially escaped with a slight wound to himself and horse. I desire, also, to bring before your favorable notice Lieut.-Cols. James P. Major and Hyde, and Major A. H. Chalmers, who, at the head of their respective forces, rendered valuable service under many disadvantages. I desire, especially, to bring to your notice J. P. Orr, of Paris, Mo., who bore our standard through the heat of the conflict, though badly wounded, and having his colors torn into shreds by the bullets of the enemy.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully,

John B. Clark, Brigadier-General, Third District M. S. G.

Ben. McCulloch's despatch.

Springfield, Mo., via little Rock, Ark., Aug. 12.
Hon. L. P. Walker: The battle of Oakhill has been fought, and we have gained a great victory over the enemy, commanded by Gen. N. Lyon. The battle was fought ten miles from Springfield. The enemy were nine or ten thousand strong; our force was about the same. The battle lasted six and a half hours. The enemy were repulsed and driven from the field, with the loss of six pieces of artillery, several hundred stands of small-arms, eight hundred killed, one thousand wounded, and three hundred prisoners. Gen. Lyon was killed, and many of their prominent officers. Our loss was two hundred and sixty-five killed, eight hundred wounded, and thirty missing. We have possession of Springfield, and the enemy are in full retreat toward Rolla.

Benj. McCulloch, Brigadier-General Commanding.

Ben. McCulloch's report.

Headquarters McCulloch's brigade, camp Weightman, near Springfield, Mo., August 12, 1861.
Brigadier-General J. Cooper, Adjutant-General, C. S. A.:
General: I have the honor to make the following official report of the battle of the Oak Hills on the 10th inst. Having taken position about ten miles from Springfield, I endeavored to gain the necessary information of [510] the strength and position of the enemy, stationed in and about the town. The information was very conflicting and unsatisfactory. I however made up my mind to attack the enemy in their position, and issued orders on the 9th inst. to my force to start at nine o'clock at night to attack at four different points at daylight. A few days before, General Price, in command of the Missouri forces, turned over his command to me, and I assumed command of the entire force, comprising my own brigade, the brigade of Arkansas State forces, under General Pearce, and General Price's command of Missourians.

My effective force was five thousand three hundred infantry, fifteen pieces of artillery, and six thousand horsemen, armed with flint-lock muskets, rifles, and shot-guns. There were other horsemen with the army, who were entirely unarmed, and instead of being a help were continually in the way. When the time arrived for the night march it began to rain slightly, and fearing, from the want of cartridge boxes, that my ammunition would be ruined, I ordered the movement to be stopped, hoping to move the next morning. My men had but twenty-five rounds of cartridge apiece, and there was no more to be had. While still hesitating in the morning the enemy was reported advancing, and I made arrangements to meet him. The attack was made simultaneously at half-past 5 A. M., on our right and left flanks, and the enemy had gained the positions they desired.

General Lyon attacked us on our left and General Siegel on our right and rear. From these points batteries opened upon us. My command was soon ready. The Missourians under Generals Slack, Clark, McBride, Parsons and Rains, were nearest the position taken by General Lyon with his main force; they were instantly turned to the left and opened the battle with an incessant fire of small-arms. Woodruff opposed his battery to the battery of the enemy under Capt. Totten, and a constant cannonading was kept up between these batteries during the engagement. Hebert's regiment of Louisiana Volunteers, and McIntosh's regiment of Arkansas Mounted Riflemen, were ordered to the front, and after passing the battery, (Totten's,) turned to the left and soon engaged the enemy with the regiments deployed. Col. McIntosh dismounted his regiment and the two marched up abreast to a fence around a large corn-field, where they met the left of the enemy already posted. A terrible conflict of small-arms took place here. The opposing force was a body of regular United States infantry, commanded by Capts. Plummer and Gilbert.

Notwithstanding the galling fire poured on these two regiments, they leaped over the fence, and gallantly led by their colonels, drove the enemy before them, back upon the main body. During this time, the Missourians under General Price were nobly attempting to sustain themselves in the centre, and were hotly engaged on the sides of the height upon which the enemy were posted. Far on the right, Siegel had opened his battery upon Churchill's and Greer's regiments, and had gradually made his way to the Springfield road, upon each side of which the army was encamped, and in a prominent position he established his battery. I at once took two companies of the Louisiana regiment, who were nearest me, and marched them rapidly from the front and right to the rear, with order to Col. McIntosh to bring up the rest. When we arrived near the enemy's battery, we found that Reid's battery had opened upon it, and it was already in confusion. Advantage was taken of it, and soon the Louisianians were gallantly charging among the guns, and swept the cannoneers away. Five guns were here taken, and Siegel's command, completely routed, were in rapid retreat, with a single gun, followed by some companies of the Texan regiment and a portion of Colonel Major's Missouri cavalry. In the pursuit many of the enemy were killed and taken prisoners, and their last gun captured.

Having cleared our right and rear, it was necessary to turn all our attention to the centre, under Gen. Lyon, who was pressing upon the Missourians, having driven them back. To this point McIntosh's regiment, under Lieut.Col. Embry, and Churchill's regiment on foot, Gratiot's regiment and McRae's battalion were sent to their aid.

The terrible fire of musketry was now kept up along the whole side and top of the hill, upon which the enemy was posted. Masses of infantry fell back and again rushed forward. The summit of the hill was covered with the dead and wounded-both sides were fighting with desperation for the day, Carroll's and Greer's regiments, led gallantly by Capt. Bradfute, charged the battery, but the whole strength of the enemy was immediately in rear, and a deadly fire was opened upon them. At this critical moment, when the fortune of the day seemed to be at the turning point, two regiments of Gen. Pearce's brigade were ordered to. march from their position (as reserves) to support the centre. The order was obeyed with alacrity, and Gen. Pearce gallantly rushed with his brigade to the rescue.

Reed's battery was also ordered to move forward, and the Louisiana regiment was again called into action on the left of it. The battle then became general, and probably no two opposing forces ever fought with greater desperation; inch by inch the enemy gave way, and were driven from their position; Totten's battery fell back ; Missourians, Arkansians, Louisianians, and Texans pushed forward. The incessant roll of musketry was deafening, and the balls fell as thick as hail stones; but still our gallant Southerners pushed onward, and with one wild yell broke upon the enemy, pushing them back and strewing the ground with their dead. Nothing could withstand the impetuosity of our final charge; the enemy fled and could not again be rallied, and they were seen, at 12 M., [511] last retreating among the hills in the distance. Thus ended the battle. It lasted six hours and a half.

The force of the enemy, between nine and ten thousand, was composed of well-disciplined troops, well armed, and a large part of them belonging to the old army of the United States.

With every advantage on their side, they have met with a signal repulse. The loss of the enemy is at least eight hundred killed, one thousand wounded, and three hundred prisoners. We captured six pieces of artillery and several hundred stand of small-arms and several of their standards.

Major-General Lyon, chief in command, was killed. Many of the officers, high in rank, were wounded. Our loss was also severe, and we mourn the death of many a gallant officer and soldier. Our killed amount to two hundred and sixty-five, eight hundred wounded, and thirty missing. Col. Weightman fell at the head of his brigade of Missourians, while gallantly charging upon the enemy. His place will not be easily filled. Generals Slack and Clark of Missouri were severely wounded--Gen. Price slightly. Capt. Hinson of the Louisiana regiment, Capt. McAlexander of Churchill's regiment, Captains Bell and Brown of Pearce's brigade, Lieuts. Walton and Weaver--all fell while nobly and gallantly doing their duty. Col. McIntosh was slightly wounded by a grape-shot, while charging with the Louisiana regiment--Lieut.-Col. Neal, Major H. Ward, Captains King, Pearson, Gibbs, Ramsaur, Porter, Lieutenants Dawson, Chambers, Johnson, King, Adams, Hardista, McIvor, and Saddler, were wounded while at the head of their companies. Where all were doing their duty so gallantly, it is almost unfair to discriminate.

I must, however, bring to your notice, the gallant conduct of the Missouri GeneralsMcBride, Parsons, Clark, Black, and their officers. To Gen. Price, I am under many obligations for assistance on the battle-field. He was at the head of his force leading them on and sustaming them by his gallant bearing.

Gen. Pearce with his Arkansas brigade, (Gratiot's, Walker's, and Dockery's regiments of infantry) came gallantly to the rescue when sent for; leading his men into the thickest of the fight, he contributed much to the success of the day. The commanders of regiments of my own brigade, Cols. Churchill, Greer, Embry, McIntosh, Hebert, and McRae led their different regiments into action with great coolness and bravery, and were always in front of their men cheering them on. Woodruff and Reid managed their batteries with great ability, and did much execution. For those officers and men who were particularly conspicuous, I will refer the Department to the reports of the different commanders.

To my personal staff I am much indebted for the coolness and rapidity with which they carried orders about the field, and would call particular attention to my volunteer aids, Capt. Bledsoe, Messrs. Armstrong, Ben Johnston, (whose horse was killed under him,) Hamilton Pike, and Major King. To Major Montgomery, quartermaster, I am also indebted for much service as an aid during the battle; he was of much use to me. To Col. McIntosh, at one time at the head of his regiment, and at other times in his capacity of adjutant-general, I cannot give too much praise. Wherever the balls flew thickest he was gallantly leading different regiments into action, and his presence gave confidence everywhere.

I have the honor to be, sir,

Your obedient servant,

Ben McCulloch, Brigadier-General Commanding.

Missouri Democrat narrative.

Springfield, Green County, Mo., Sunday, August 11, 1861.
Night before last, a little army of fifty-two hundred men moved in two columns on a march of twelve or fifteen miles, to attack a body of rebels twenty-two thousand strong. In a military point of view the move was one of doubtful propriety, not to say absolute rashness. The larger force were, with the exception of three thousand men, well armed and equipped, and they had a very large body of cavalry. But the question of evacuating Springfield, the key of the entire Southwest, had already been discussed and settled in the negative. It was decided that the loyal citizens of Green and the surrounding counties should not have cause to say we had left them without a struggle, abandoned themselves, their families, their all, to a heartless and desperate foe, until the enemy had felt our steel and tried the mettle of our troops. The mettle proved itself worthy of the great cause in which it was engaged. The Union troops who fought and won the battle of yesterday need no higher mark, no brighter name, than the laurels earned justly entitle them to. They fought like brave men, long and well.

General Siegel, with six pieces of cannon, his own regiment, and that of Colonel Salomon's, moved in a southerly direction, marching about fifteen miles, passing around the extreme southeastern camp of the enemy, and halted until daylight, or for the sound of artillery from the northwest to announce the opening of the battle.

General Lyon, with the volunteers composing the Missouri First, Lieutenant-Colonel Andrews, Iowa First, Lieutenant-Colonel Merritt, Kansas First, Colonel Dietzler, and Second, Colonel Mitchell, part of the Missouri Second, under Major Osterhaus, and a detachment of twenty men from Colonel Wyman's Illinois regiment, three or four companies of mounted Home Guards, a force of regulars about eight hundred strong, and two batteries of four and six pieces respectively, left Springfield about eight o'clock P. M., marching slowly along until two A. M., [512] when we halted for two hours, at which time Captain Gilbert's company of regulars and Major Osterhaus' battalion were thrown out as skirmishers on either side of the column, and we moved forward.

Shortly after five o'clock a party of rebels, acting as a picket, were seen scattering over the hills to give the alarm; but a portion of our column had already penetrated far enough to cut off their route, unless they took a very circuitous one, in which case we should reach camp ahead of them. We soon came in sight of the valley in which they were encamped. A thousand tents, stretching off into the distance, and partially screened from view by a hill jutting into an angle of Wilson's Creek, were before us, presenting as animated appearance as a young city. The enemy's camp extended from the head of the valley, overlooked on the north, east, and west sides by hills and ridges two or three hundred feet in height southward about a mile, thence eastward a mile and a half, and then southward half a mile, following the windings of the creek, along whose banks the gently sloping hills on either side afforded the most excellent camping ground.

Near the northern end of the valley lived John McNary, formerly from Indiana, who, finding the rebels within five miles, on Tuesday last packed up his few worldly goods, took his family, and started for the good old Hoosier State, where it is not a crime to be loyal to the Government under which we live. Not less than twenty or thirty families, living on farms in the vicinity, started about the same time, most of them having little or no idea where they were going, except to escape from the danger which threatened them.

The battle-field viewed by your correspondent, where the most severe fighting was done, was along the ridges and hills on either side (mostly on the west) of the stream for the first mile mentioned above, where the creek runs in a southerly direction.

As we crossed the hill on the north, moving in a southwesterly direction, Captain Wright, with the mounted Home Guards, was sent to the east side so as to cut off a party of rebels seen in that direction. Adjutant Hascock, with a glass, rode to the brow of the hill, where, looking down, he could see every movement of the enemy beneath him. His appearance in full view caused a great hubbub in the rebel camp, which had already been thoroughly aroused by our appearance, and camps and baggage were hastily loaded and moved toward the south. We had completely surprised them. The evidence of that fact was everywhere visible; but they had got quickly into line of battle — their clouds of cavalry were visible, and their twenty-one pieces of cannon were not long silent after ours had opened the engagement.

On the sides of the first ridge on the western side of the valley, Colonel Blair's regiment, at ten minutes after six o'clock, encountered a heavy force of infantry, not less than a full regiment, and after a severe contest they gained the summit, and the defeated rebels dispersed rapidly, going in a direction which rendered it impossible for any considerable number of them to again participate in the battle. Totten's battery then threw a few balls as feelers, to draw out the enemy's cannon.

Colonel Blair's regiment moved forward, and were soon met by a well-equipped regiment of Louisiana troops, whom, after a bitter contest of forty-five minutes, they succeeded in routing, though suffering severely themselves. Captain Lathrop's company of rifle recruits now assisted them, and together they, with Major Osterhaus' men, moved up the second hill, which was considerably larger than the first, and, meeting a third regiment, finally succeeded in driving them back with the assistance of Totten's battery, and gaining the summit. In this part of the fight the gallant Missouri volunteers acted bravely; indeed, no words of praise could more than do them justice.

Of course, many acts of valor were performed not witnessed by me; but among those I saw Captain Gratz, leading his men against overwhelming odds, and falling in death just as he had repulsed the foe; Lieutenant Murphy dashing forward ahead of the line, waving his sword high in the air, shouting onward to the almost wavering men, who gained fresh courage from the exhibition, and, pushing forward, drove the enemy from the field. In this fight many of our brave soldiers fell to rise no more; while Colonel Andrews had his horse shot from under him, and was wounded himself slightly. General Lyon suffered in a similar manner. Captains Cavender, Cole, and Yates, each slightly, or at least not dangerously wounded; Lieutenants Brown and Johnson, and Corporals Conant and Rogers, more or less severely wounded.

During this engagement, two companies of regulars were sent to the east side of the creek, to engage a force which was operating against Captain Wright's cavalry, sheltering themselves behind a fence. Captain Plummer and Captain Gilbert, with their companies, marched close up to the fence and delivered an effective fire, but were compelled by great odds to retire, which they did, but again renewed the attack. The enemy, being largely reinforced, and having now at least three thousand men, jumped over into the corn-field, and Captain Plummer's gallant band was imminently threatened with annihilation. They retreated rapidly, firing as they did so, when Lieutenant Dubois, having got his battery under headway on the hill near the Missouri volunteers, seeing the position of affairs on the opposite side of the valley, threw in the most precise manner several shells, which exploded lust as they reached the dense mass of secessionists, scattering them lifeless on the ground in scores, while all who could were glad to run for dear life.

The gallant men in Colonel Blair's regiment [513] were now ordered back, and their position taken by the Iowa First. General Lyon had previously had a poor opinion of the fighting qualities of these men, formed more from supposition than upon any real failure in duty; but now the time had come for him to reverse his judgment, which he did after their first repulse of the enemy. They fought like tigers, drove the enemy back, and followed up the advantage gained for a considerable distance. Captain Mason, Company C, was killed soon after his regiment was engaged. Lieutenant Purcell was mortally wounded. Major Porter and Colonel Merritt, gallantly cheering on their boys, escaped unharmed. The Kansas First and Second regiments were now ordered forward to support the right flank of the Iowas.

Colonel Green's regiment of Tennessee cavalry, bearing a secession flag, now charged upon our wounded, who were partially guarded by one or two companies of infantry. Seeing the movement, Captain Totten poured a few rounds of canister into their ranks just in time to save our sick men from being trampled to death, dispersing the rebels so completely that nothing more was seen of them during the day.

Gen. Lyon now desired the Iowa boys, whom he had found so brave, to prepare to meet the next onset of the enemy with the bayonet immediately after firing. They said, “Give us a leader and we will follow to death.” On came the enemy in overwhelming numbers, confident of victory over such a meagre force. No time could be lost to select a leader. “I will lead you,” said Lyon. “Come on, brave men;” and placing himself in the van, received a fatal bullet in the pit of the stomach which killed him instantly. The Iowas delivered their fire and the enemy retired, so there was no need of charging bayonets. Gen. Lyon's body was carefully picked up and conveyed lifeless toward the ambulances by two of his body guard. In his death, as in his life, he was the same devoted, patriotic soldier, regarding his own life of no value if he could but rescue his country. His body has been brought hither and embalmed, for conveyance to his friends in Connecticut. There was no feeling of depression on the part of the troops at the unexpected calamity, but rather a feeling of quiet determination to revenge his death.

On the Tuesday night previous he had arranged for a night attack upon the enemy, but singularly found himself delayed two hours behind the proper time for starting, by rumors of a skirmish on the prairie west of the town, and the attack was postponed. Wednesday he said to me: “Well I begin to believe our term of soldiering is about completed. I have tried earnestly to discharge my whole duty to the Government, and appealed to them for reinforcements and supplies; but, alas, they do not come, and the enemy is getting advantage of us.” He then called a council of war, at which there was nearly an unanimous voice for evacuating Springfield. Gen. Sweeney pleaded eloquently against such a course, declared it would be the ruin of the Union cause in that quarter of the State, and urged a battle as soon as the enemy were within striking distance. He also pointed out the loss of reputation both to the General and his officers which would follow such a step. This counsel decided the course to be pursued, and Thursday, when the brigade quartermaster inquired when we were to leave Springfield, Gen. Lyon replied, “Not before we are whipped.” This was the proper course to pursue. If he retreated without a battle he would certainly have been pursued by a boastful and unpunished enemy, and very likely have his retreat entirely cut off. After being wounded, he exclaimed to Major Schofield, “The day is lost,” but the Major said, “No, General, let us try once more.” So they tried, and the General fell.

It was now a little after nine o'clock, and the battle had raged with a fierceness seldom if ever equalled for over three hours. The smoke hung like a storm cloud over the valley, a fit emblem of mourning for the departed hero.

He sleeps his last sleep, he has fought his last battle,
No sound shall awake him to glory again.

The battle raged for two hours more, the command devolving upon Major Sturgis. The enemy made repeated attempts to retake the heights from which they had been driven, but were gallantly repulsed each time. The Kansas regiments behaved with a bravery seldom or never equalled, forming ambuscades for the benefit of the rebels by laying fiat on the ground until the enemy cane near enough for them to see their eyebrows, when they would pour a deadly volley into their opponents and again remain in possession of the field. The last repulse of the enemy was the most glorious of all, and Was participated in by the members of every regiment on the field. The enemy came fresh and deceived our men by bearing a Union flag, causing them to believe Siegel was about making a junction with our forces. Discovering the ruse just in time, our gallant boys rushed upon the enemy, who, with four cannon belching forth loud-mouthed thunder, were on the point of having their efforts crowned with success, and again drove them with great loss down the slope on the south side of the hill.

Captain Totten's ammunition was now nearly exhausted, and placing Dubois' battery upon the hill at the north end of the valley, Major Sturgis ordered the ambulances to move toward town. The infantry and Totten's full battery followed in good order and were not pursued by the enemy, who was evidently glad to be let alone. Among the prisoners taken was a surgeon living in St. Charles County. He was immediately released, and Dr. Melcher accompanied him to the rebel Generals, arranging for the return of our wagons to bring in our wounded and dead. Lieutenant-Colonel Horace H. Brand, of the First regiment, Sixth Division, who commanded the rebel force at Booneville, [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. [515] Toward night the panic in a degree subsided, but many of those who remained did not retire or attempt to sleep. A consultation was held, and the question of evacuating Springfield seriously discussed. Looking at it in a military point of view, there was no doubt of the propriety, and even necessity, of the step, and many of Gen. Lyon's officers counselled such a movement. Some favored a retreat in the direction of Kansas, while others regarded Rolla as the more desirable. Gen. Sweeney, however, pointed out the disastrous results which must ensue upon retreating without a battle — how the enemy would be flushed and boastful over such an easy conquest, the Union element crushed or estranged from us, and declared himself in favor of holding on to the last moment and of giving the enemy battle as soon as he should approach within striking distance. This kind of counsel decided Gen. Lyon to remain, save his own reputation and that of the officers under him, and not evacuate Springfield until compelled.

Thursday morning the rebels were reported actually advancing upon the city. The troops were quickly in line of battle, baggage-wagons all sent to the centre of the town, and in this position they remained during nearly the entire day. The enemy having been reinforced, had encamped in position two miles nearer the city on Wilson's Creek, their tents being on either side of it, and extending a mile east and south of the road, crossing to two miles west and north of the same, the creek running nearly in the shape of a horizontal <01>. At the crossing of the Fayetteville road the hills on either side of the stream were two or three hundred feet high, the slopes being very gentle on the north and abrupt on the south side, and the valley about half a mile in width, though in many places up stream or west and northward, the slopes were so gentle that they were occupied by tents for a much greater distance. Thursday evening the troops were ready for marching orders, but a portion of the Kansas troops had been so much engaged the night before as to be really unfit for service, and an order for all except those actually on guard to retire and rest was issued, and the night attack was again deferred.

Friday the city was remarkably quiet. Those who made it a business to repeat exciting rumors had been frightened away with much of the material upon which they operated. Enlistments in the Springfield regiment “for the war” were rapid, and a feeling of security prevailed. During the afternoon Capt. Wood's Kansas cavalry with one or two companies of regulars, drove five hundred rebel rangers from the prairie five miles west of the town, capturing eight of their number and killing two, without loss to our side.

At 8 o'clock in the evening, Gen. Siegel, with his own and Colonel Salomon's command, and six pieces of artillery, moved southward, marching until nearly 2 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, ready to move forward and begin the attack as soon as he should hear the roar of Gen. Lyon's artillery.

The main body of troops, under Gen. Lyon, moved from the city about the same hour, halted a short time five miles west of the city, thence in a southwesterly direction four miles, where we halted and slept till 4 A. M., Saturday, the day of the battle.

Moving forward, with Captain Plummer's company and Major Osterhaus' battalion thrown out as skirmishers, we soon saw a party of rebel pickets near our extreme right, scampering off to alarm the camp, but as our centre and left were already partially between them and camp, they were forced to the westward, and it is doubtful whether they reached the camp at all before the battle. It was now five o'clock. The enemy's pickets were driven in; the northern end of the valley in which they were encamped was visible, with its thousands of tents and its camp-fires; the sky was cloudy, but not threatening, and the most terribly destructive of battles, compared with the number engaged, was at hand. Our army moved now toward the southwest, to leave the creek and a spring which empties in it on our left. Passing over a spur of high land which lies at the north end of the valley, they entered a valley, and began to ascend a hill moderately covered with trees and underwood, which was not, however, dense enough to be any impediment to the artillery. Capt. Wright, with three or four companies of mounted Home Guards, the only ones in the engagement, was sent to the left, across the creek, to cut off a party of horsemen visible on that side, near a house recently vacated by a Union man named Hale. Upon their approach, the rebels retired behind the south fence of a corn-field, and in the adjoining bush were soon visible swarms of men, whose fire threatened to be disastrous to the Home Guard cavalry should they approach. Through the thin stalks of the broom-corn, Capt. Wright had seen the ambuscade, and approached only near enough to draw their fire, when he withdrew, to induce them to follow him into the field, where he could charge upon them effectively. He repeated this movement three times, but the enemy were too wily, and would only remain behind the fence. Captains Plummer and Gilbert's companies of regulars were then ordered to attack them in the corn-field, which they did, and were driven back from the fence and followed by three thousand or thirty-five hundred rebels, before whom the two companies retired firing.

Meanwhile the opposite hill had been stormed and taken by the gallant Missouri First and Osterhaus' battalion, and Totten's battery of six pieces had taken position on its summit and north side, and was belching forth its loudmouthed thunder, much to the distraction of [516] the opposing force, who had already been started upon a full retreat by the thick raining bullets of Colonel Blair's boys. Lieut. Dubois' battery, four pieces, had also opened on the eastern slope, firing upon a force which was retreating toward the southeast, on a road leading up the hill, which juts into the southwestern angle of the creek, and upon a battery placed near by to cover their retreat. Observing the danger of Capt. Plummer and his gallant men, Lieut. Dubois skilfully threw a few shells among their pursuers, which, bursting just as they reached the dense mass of humanity, scattered them wounded and lifeless upon the ground by scores, while the balance ran for dear life in every direction.

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 Capt. Lothrop and his regular rifle recruits. Totten and Dubois were, meanwhile, firing upon the enemies forming in the southwest angle of the valley, and upon their batteries on the opposite hill. The brave and undaunted First, with ranks already thinned by death, 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 diminished numbers. Never yielding an inch, they gradually crowded their opposers backward, still backward, losing many of their own men, killed and wounded, but covering the ground thick with delegates from the ranks of the retreating foe. Lieut.-Col. Andrews, already wounded, still kept his position, urging the men onward by every argument in his power. Lieut. Murphy, when they once halted, wavering, stepped several paces forward, waving his sword in the air, and called successfully upon his men to follow him. Every captain and lieutenant did his duty nobly, and when they were recalled and replaced by the fresh Iowa and Kansas troops, many were the faces covered with powder, and dripping with blood. Capt. Gratz, gallantly urging his men forward against tremendous odds, fell mortally wounded and died soon after. Lieut. Brown, calling upon his men to “come forward,” fell with a severe scalp wound on the side of his head. Being carried to the rear, faint and bloody, he cheered on those brave defenders of the country whom he met, declaring that the enemy would yet be routed. Gen. Lyon meeting him pointed to him as a proper example for his comrades.

Just then Gen. Greene'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.

Capt. Cole of the Missouri First had his lower jaw shattered by a bullet, but kept his place until the regiment was ordered to retire to give place to the First Iowas and some Kansas troops.

Up to this time Gen. Lyon had received two wounds, and had his fine dappled gray shot dead under him, which is sufficient evidence that he had sought no place of safety for himself while he placed his men in danger. Indeed, he had already unwisely exposed himself. Seeing blood upon his hat, I inquired, “General, are you badly hurt?” to which he replied, “I think not seriously.” He had mounted another horse and was as busily engaged as ever. The Iowa First, under Lieutenant-Colonel Merrritt, and part of the Kansas troops were now ordered forward to take the place of the Missouris. The former had all along the march been “gay and happy,” passing the time with songs which were frequently joined in by the entire regiment, making together a chorus which could be heard for miles, and Gen. Lyon had often remarked that they had too much levity to do good fighting. Mutual friends suggested that they ought at least to have an opportunity to show themselves in case of an engagement, and many argued that they would fight the better from keeping in good spirits. Gen. Lyon at one time replied, “Yes, I will give them an opportunity, but very much fear they will disgrace themselves.” When they now came up to the front it was in splendid order and with a firm tread. The Missouri First had been almost overpowered, were almost exhausted from the severe fighting in which they had been engaged for over two hours, and had they not been relieved, must soon have fallen before the fourth body of fresh troops brought against them. The Iowas and Kansans now came upon the stage of action, and right well did they fight. The former fought like tigers, stood firm as trees, and saved us from utter and overwhelming defeat. Gen. Lyon saw their indomitable perseverance and bravery, and with almost his last breath praised their behavior in glowing terms. Major Porter was all along the line, cheering his men forward, even when bullets fell like hail, and scores were dropping all around him. Companies B, under Lieut. Graham, C, Capt. Mason, who was killed soon after entering into action, F, Capt. Wise, H, Capt. Gottschalk, I, Capt. Herron, and K, Capt. Cook, were in the very thickest of the fight. The three latter were afterward placed in ambush by Capt. Granger of the regulars. Lying down close to the brow of the hill, they waited for another attempt of the enemy to retake their [517] position. On they came, in overwhelming numbers. Not a breath was heard among the Iowas till their enemies came within thirty-five or forty feet, when they poured the contents of their Minie muskets into the enemy, and routed them, though suffering terribly themselves at the same time. Two Kansas companies afterward did the same thing on the eastern slope, and repulsed a vigorous attack of the enemy.

Lyon now desired the men to prepare to make a bayonet charge immediately after delivering their next fire and the Iowas at once offered to go, and asked for a leader. On came the enemy. No time could be lost to select a leader. “I will lead you,” exclaimed Lyon. “Come on, brave men,” and with an unnatural glare in his eyes he had about placed himself in the van of the Iowas while Gen. Sweeney took a similar position to lead on a portion of the Kansas troops, when the enemy came only near enough to discharge their pieces, and retired before the destructive fire of our men. Before the galling fire from the enemy fell the brave Gen. Lyon. An hour earlier, when the enemy had nearly regained the heights from which the Missouri, Iowa, and Kansas Volunteers had partially expelled them, when Lieut.-Col. Andrews had been wounded and his horse killed under him, when Col. Deitzler and Col. Mitchell of the two Kansas regiments had both been disabled from wounds, when the General had lost his own horse and received two wounds himself, he exclaimed wildly to his Adjutant, Major Schofield, that the day was lost, but the Major said “No, let us try once again.” So the General gave orders to rally the men into line without reference to regiments, for the latter were so thoroughly cut to pieces as to make it an impossibility to get half of any one regiment together.

Many were carrying their wounded comrades back to places of comparative safety, others were getting water, and many, very many, slept the sleep that knows no waking. The firing almost entirely ceased for half an hour. The enemy prepared for another onset, and our troops prepared to receive them. I passed where several horses, including the General's, lay dead and wounded, Dr. Comyn attending upon the mortally wounded Captain Gratz, and saw the dead of the enemy lying in scores over the ground, where the rebels had been repulsed. One of their wounded asked me for water, but I had none, and told him a man who would fight against his country poorly deserved water, when our own men were suffering for want of it. He replied that he had been forced into their army much against his will, and that he had been unable to get away, which might have been true, but was probably false. When Gen. Lyon fell he was picked up by his body-servant and one of his guard, and carried lifeless toward the ambulances, in one of which his body was placed to be conveyed to Springfield. Gen. Sweeney received a shot in his right leg, at the same fire, and limped back to the surgeon.

The command now devolved upon Maj. Sturgis. There was no certainty that Siegel had been engaged in the fight at all, as our artillery had kept up such a constant roar that guns three miles distant were but little noticed. Under these circumstances, Maj. Sturgis had about determined to cross his command through the valley (the recent northern camp of the enemy) eastward, and, if possible, make a junction with Siegel on or near the Fayetteville road. Before he had time to give the necessary orders another attack from the enemy was announced by the volleys of musketry which were heard on our right. Maj. Sturgis directed his attention that way, and the enemy were again repulsed.

Some twenty minutes now elapsed before the firing was resumed to any considerable extent on either side. I now determined to cross the creek, and see if I could find Col. Siegel, as a report had reached us that he was entirely cut to pieces. I had crossed the creek, and was passing through a portion of the corn-field adjacent to the spot where Dubois' shells had burst with such terrible effect upon the enemy, when the artillery and musketry again resounded on the hill behind me. I turned for a few moments to behold the terrible scene. The enemy, in overpowering numbers, were just on the southwestern brow of the hill, with five or six pieces of cannon, and it seemed as though surely the handful of their opposers would never be able to successfully resist them, much less drive them back. But all who had gone back with wounded, and for water, were rallied, and, after a sharp, severe, and unequalled contest, the enemy were again repulsed.

Capt. Totten then reported his cannon ammunition nearly gone. This decided the course to be pursued, and Major Sturgis at once sent the ambulances toward the city, and Lieut. Dubois' battery back to the hill at the north end of the valley to protect the retreat. Then in good order, the remnant of the bravest body of soldiers in the United States commenced a retreat, even while they were victorious in battle.

I had not proceeded far on the eastern side of the creek when I met the son of the Hon. John S. Phelps, who had left town upon hearing the cannonading, with a few mounted Kansas troops, and not discerning the exact position of the two armies, had busied himself taking prisoners on the Fayetteville road and west of it. When I met him he had captured half a dozen, including a negro belonging to an officer in a Louisiana regiment. Placing them upon the trail for our guards, and in charge of the Kansans, Phelps and myself proceeded, but found it unsafe to attempt to cross the Fayetteville road, and seeing the army retreating, we joined them and returned to the city.

Gen. Siegel, upon hearing the battle opened by Gen. Lyon, at once began the work oh his side. He had already taken sixty prisoners, who, with several wagons, were engaged on farms in the vicinity of the camp digging potatoes, [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. [519]

We reached Springfield in safety. Our pickets were stationed, and wagons sent for the balance of our wounded and dead. Since 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon the wounded have been pouring in. The regular hospital building, a very large, new court-house, and dwelling attached, has been filled up, receiving about 120. The Bailey House has been turned into a hospital and filled with at least as many more. The Methodist church has been similarly used, and still they come.

But terrible as has been the slaughter on our side, it has been much more so on the side of the rebels. In the first place, none of their shells exploded in the midst of our ranks, as several of ours did among them in the cornfield among their cavalry, and in the valley. Our men we believe to be quite as good marksmen as theirs, and they had the advantage of firing into solid columns of the enemy. Dr. Schenck, who visited McCulloch and Rains after the battle, while gathering our wounded, says their loss is much heavier than ours; that while our dead were comparatively few, theirs were gathered in great heaps under the trees. He says that so many of their tents were destroyed by themselves, that not less than two-thirds of them would have to bivouac under trees and by camp-fires for the night.

Where so many daring acts and valorous deeds were performed, it were almost impossible to single any one as worthy of especial notice. Among the latter, however, were Capts. Cavender and Miller, members of the ex-Legislature, Capt. Granger of the regulars, Major Porter of Iowa, Major Cloud of Kansas, Capt. Wood of the Kansas cavalry, and Capt. Wright of the Home Guards. Col. Bates, of the Iowa First, who had been confined for several days with a fever and diarrhea, mounted his horse and attempted to go to the field of battle on the evening preceding it, but was compelled to return to town, much to his regret, after marching two or three miles with the column.

On the march out many of those who now lie in their graves were joyously singing and feeling as gay as larks. Among the songs I heard were the Iowas' favorite, which relates the doings of Jackson and Price at Booneville, how Lyon hived Camp Jackson, the chorus concluding:

Bound for the happy land of Canaan!

the Kansas melody,

So let the wide world wag as it will,
We'll be gay and happy still,

and many of a religious character.

We took 400 horses and 69 prisoners. One of the latter was brought in from a squad of five rebels by your correspondent, who at that time was nearly hoarse from rallying the troops, regardless of any thing like personal danger. On the return to town, many were the anxious inquiries made after friends and comrades, and lucky was the man who made successful attempts to find and see a wounded brother. Gen. Lyon's body has been carefully laid out, and will be embalmed and sent to his friends in Connecticut. Our loss will probably reach two hundred killed, and six or seven hundred wounded. Since arriving in town, the military authorities have decided not to lose a moment, but to start at once for Rolla. They will leave before daylight. The baggage train is about five miles long, and if the rebels do not attack and secure it, they will be less able to pursue than we imagine. A considerable amount of powder has just been destroyed by the ordnance officer, because of no means of transportation. The Iowa regiment have also burned a portion of their baggage. On one or two occasions the enemy raised Union flags and cheered, causing us to fear we were firing upon Col. Siegel. The battle would otherwise have been much more disastrous to the rebels.

Secession narratives.

Lieutenant Barlow's account.

Headquarters Sixth Division M. S. G.,
Brig.-Gen. M. M. Parsons Commanding, Phelps' Farm, Springfield, August 22.
Remembering several acts of kindness of yours, and hoping that you will place confidence in a report of mine, I will give you a short account, in honor of the affair at Wilson's Creek, as far as I saw it in person.

Gen. Lyon attacked us before breakfast. I was awoke by Totten's battery opening within one thousand two hundred yards of my tent. We were surprised completely. Siegel also attacked us in our rear, opposite Lyon's point of attack.

The battle ground presents large hills with deep ravines, thickly covered with small trees and underbrush. We had a “bushwhack” fight — regiment against regiment, advancing and retreating for about three hours. Siegel's battery was taken (in our rear) by the gallant Louisiana regiment at the point of the bayonet. Lyon formed for his main attack — regulars, Kansas regiments, and a few dragoons — within two hundred yards of our battery; we thought they might be our own men. Gen. Price after waiting some fifteen minutes, rode up alone within seventy-five yards, and found out who they were.

When they attacked, our battery opened with canister, our infantry advanced, and for ten minutes there was one unceasing roar of musketry and thundering of artillery, a portion of Totten's battery replying to my guns. In the end of this last and terrible fire the enemy were driven from the field, leaving Gen. Lyon dead — not even taking his papers from the body. Before this Siegel was in full retreat; was charged by some Arkansas men, and with the remnant of Lyon's command left for Springfield.

Our total loss, as near as can be ascertained, is five hundred and seventeen killed and seven hundred and twenty wounded. Five of Siegel's [520] guns were taken on the field. I had three of them in my charge that night.

We have a fine battery, nearly equal to our old one, and hope to do continued good service against our enemies.

We took about four hundred prisoners, who have been released on parole. The Federal wounded are taken as good care of as our own, though that is not the best, medicine being scarce. Lyon's corpse is now within one hundred yards of my tent; it was disinterred this afternoon, and to-morrow starts for St. Louis.

Billy Corkery and Bob Finney are our Second and Third Lieutenants. Johnny Corkery is severely wounded, but will recover. I was wounded at Carthage by shell, but am now as well as ever.

I have the honor to be,

With great respect, yours truly,

W. P. Barlow, First Lieutenant Captain G.'s Battery, M. S. G.

J. T. Hughes' account.

On the morning of the tenth, Gen. Lyon attacked our encampment at break of day with fourteen thousand men and eighteen pieces of artillery, having received large reinforcements within the last few days. The attack was made simultaneously at four different points--Gen. Lyon on the west, Siegel on the south, Sturgis on the north, and Sweeney, I think, on the east. Our encampment was taken by surprise, but in hot haste soon formed for battle. The forces engaged were about equal on each side, the Federals having the advantage in position and heavy artillery. The red harvest of death now commenced. The cannonading was most terrible, and the slaughter on both sides immense. In quick succession the hosts marshalled for the conflict and bared their breasts to the storm of battle. The Louisiana troops, the Arkansas, the Texans, and Missourians, rivalled each other in this great and bloody day. For six long hours the palm of victory remained undecided. Seven times Lyon was repulsed from the western heights by the Missouri and Arkansas forces, and seven times regained his position. He had a strong force of regulars posted with Totten's battery around his person.

The Missouri troops at the north, the Louisiana troops at the southeast and south, and General Weightman's brigade of Missouri forces at the southwest, including his fine battery of artillery, having been victorious at each point, rallied to the heights on the west, to support Gen. Slack's division, which had borne the brunt of the fight up to that time, for five or six hours, unsupported. Generals Price and Slack were both actively and gallantly urging forward this column, when Gen. Slack was severely wounded and taken from the field. Gen. Price was slightly wounded also, but not disabled. He continued to lead his wing on to victory most gallantly. Gen. Weightman now filed his column in on the right of my regiment, in Gen. Slack's division, where he fell mortally wounded, near Totten's battery, covered all over with wounds. I received his sword to keep it from the enemy. Meanwhile, the enemy's batteries were captured by the State and Confederate forces, and routed in every direction, except on the heights west, where Lyon commanded in person, and made his last, most desperate struggle.

General Parsons now advanced with his four pieces, and poured a terrific fire into the enemy's right, while Woodruff's Arkansas battery mowed down his left. At this point of time General McCulloch came up, and directed Slack's division to charge Totten's battery in front, and the Arkansas troops on the right. This was the most terrific storm of grape and musketry ever poured out upon the ranks of any American troops. On both sides the men were mowed down like the ripe harvest before the sickle. My own regiment was then decimated, and Churchill's and McIntosh's Arkansas regiments suffered most severely. Here General Lyon was killed, Totten's battery driven from the heights, and his whole force scattered in flight. This ended the bloody strife of that most bloody day. Never has a greater victory crowned the efforts of liberty and equal rights. The best blood of the land has been poured out to water afresh the tree of liberty. This is only a synopsis of the fight — it is impossible to give you details; I cannot do justice to all the officers and men. It will require volumes to do it. It is sufficient to say that all the officers and men on our side behaved most bravely, and fought like veterans. It is certain we have gained a great victory over the Federal troops. The loss on our side, as near as I can ascertain, is two hundred killed and four hundred wounded; some say more. The whole field for miles is literally covered with the dead. That of the enemy is fifteen hundred killed, and from two thousand to two thousand five hundred wounded! I have lost one hundred and forty-two in killed, wounded, and missing, from my command of six hundred and fifty men.

We captured thirteen of the enemy's best cannon, and all of the accompanying carriages and ammunition. Also some four hundred prisoners, and several stand of colors, and a large quantity of good arms. My regiment fought in that part of the field where General Lyon was slain. This is a just reward for the thirty-five men and children butchered by him on the 10th of May in St. Louis. I will furnish you a list of the killed and wounded as soon as possible.


--Western Argus, Mo.

General Fremont's order.

General orders no. 4

Headquarters, Western Department, St. Louis, Mo., August 25, 1861.
I. The official reports of the commanding officers of the forces engaged in the battle near [521] Springfield, Mo., having been received, the Major-General commanding announces to the troops embraced in his command, with pride and the highest commendation, the extraordinary services to their country and flag rendered by the division of the brave and lamented General Lyon.

For thus nobly battling for the honor of their flag, he now publicly desires to express to the officers and soldiers his cordial thanks, and commends their conduct as an example to their comrades, whenever engaged against the enemies of the Union.

Opposed by overwhelming masses of the enemy, in a numerical superiority of upward of twenty thousand against four thousand three hundred, or nearly five to one, the successes of our troops were nevertheless sufficiently marked to give to their exploits the moral effect of a victory.

II. The General commanding laments, in sympathy with the country, the loss of the indomitable General Nathaniel Lyon. His fame cannot be better eulogized than in these words from the official report of his gallant successor, Major Sturgis, U. S. Cavalry: “Thus gallantly fell as true a soldier as ever drew a sword; a man, whose honesty of purpose was proverbial; a noble patriot, and one who held his life as nothing where his country demanded it of him.” Let all emulate his prowess and undying devotion to his duty.

II. The regiments and corps engaged in this battle, will be permitted to have “Springfield” emblazoned on their colors, as a distinguished memorial of their service to the nation.

IV. The names of the officers and soldiers mentioned in the official reports as most distinguished for important services and marked gallantry, will be communicated to the War Department for the consideration of the Government.

V. This order will be read at the head of every company in this Department.

By order of Major-General Fremont.

J. C. Kelton, Assistant Adjutant-General.

A rebel shout of exultation.

The victory in Missouri is gloriously confirmed; Lyon is killed and Siegel in flight and believed to be captured; Sweeney is killed, and Southwestern Missouri cleared of the National scum of invaders. All honor and gratitude to Ben. McCulloch and the gallant men with him, who met and scourged the minions of National tyranny.

The brave sons of Louisiana were there and foremost in the fight, as at Manassas. There was a panic, it seems, of the untried and probably half-armed troops of Missouri, but the steady discipline and dashing courage of the Arkansas and Louisiana regiments retrieved the day, and after a stubborn fight with the United States regulars, under their most vaunted generals, made a clean sweep of the field. The flying enemy, intercepted by Hardee, have laid down their arms, and the day of the deliverance of Missouri is nigh. These were the best soldiers which the United States had in the State and in the West. They were well drilled by veteran officers, and confident of an easy victory in Missouri. They were the nucleus of the grand Western army which was to hold Missouri in bondage as the basis of a grand movement for the subjugation of the States on the Lower Mississippi. They have been broken and dispersed. Southwestern Missouri is free already. The Southeast cannot long stand before the advancing armies of Pillow and Hardee, joined to those of McCulloch; and the next word will be: On to St. Louis! That taken, the power of Lincolnism is broken in the whole West; and instead of shouting, Ho! for Richmond! and Ho! for New Orleans! there will be hurryings to and fro among the frightened magnates at Washington, and anxious inquiries of what they shall do to save themselves from the vengeance to come. Good tidings reach us from the North and the West. Heaven smiles on the arms of the Confederate States; and through the brightly-beaming vistas of these battles we see golden promises of the speedy triumph of a righteous cause — in the firm establishment of Southern independence.--N. O. Picayune, August 17.

1 this battle is variously known as that of Wilson's Creek, Springfield, and oak hill.

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