who had now taken position on the bluffs on the south side of a creek, cutting through the only road leading to Carthage. Here Gen. Price thought his State troops could cut off all further progress of Siegel's forces, and at the first show of a retreat fall on their rear with his cavalry and cut them to pieces. To Col. Siegel it was absolutely necessary to pass the creek and clear the road to Carthage, as he could not run the risk of being surrounded by an army of such a numerical superiority by remaining where he was, or of retreating. To dupe the enemy, he ordered his artillery to oblique, two pieces to the right and two to the left, following the movement with part of his force. The enemy, supposing it to be Siegel's intention to escape them by cutting a road at their extreme sides, immediately left the road leading over the bluffs, south of the creek, to Carthage, and advanced to the right and left, to prevent Siegel's forces from crossing their line. But scarcely had they advanced within four hundred yards of our troops, when our artillery suddenly wheeled round, and poured a most terrific volley of canister on the rebel cavalry, from both sides. Simultaneously our infantry was ordered to advance at doublequick step across the bridge, and in a few minutes the whole body of State troops were flying in all directions. Not a show of resistance was made. Eighty-one horses, sixty-five double shot-guns, and some revolvers fell into the hands of our troops. Some fifty prisoners were taken, and from them the number of killed was ascertained to amount to nearly three hundred. Very few on our side were lost. After this splendid achievement, Col. Siegel proceeded to move toward Carthage, the road to which place was now open. But all along the road, squads of the State troops kept at the side of our forces, though not daring to attack, and were occasionally saluted by a discharge from the rifles of our infantry. Arriving at Carthage, Col. Siegel found it in possession of the enemy; a Secession flag, waving from the top of the court-house, was quickly shot down by our troops. Col. Siegel now found it necessary to retire to Sarcoxie, eight miles southwest of Carthage, as his ammunition was beginning to give out, and it was necessary to connect again with the balance of our South-western army, concentrated at Mount Vernon and Springfield. The road to Sarcoxie passes around Carthage, and is covered by heavy woods, which it was Col. Siegel's object to gain, since the State troops at Carthage, almost altogether cavalry, could not follow him there. Fully aware of this, the enemy had taken his position on the road leading into the woods, prepared to dispute Col. Siegel's advance to the last. The most desperate conflict now commenced; the infantry on both sides engaging for the first time. Our troops fought splendidly, and for the first time the rebel troops screwed up some courage. But their arms were very inefficient, and their cavalry could be of little use. The battle raged for over two hours, from quarter-past six to half-past 8 o'clock, and was altogether the most hotly contested encounter of the day. Over two hundred of the rebels bit the dust; our loss was eight killed, and some twenty wounded. One officer, Capt. Strodtmann, was wounded. Our cannon fired 95 rounds. When the enemy retreated to Carthage, about a mile from the place of the engagement, Col. Siegel had got his troops into the wood, where they were secure from any further attack. Although exhausted from ten hours severe fighting in the heat, and suffering intensely from thirst, Col. Siegel ordered his forces to press on towards Sarcoxie, where they arrived on Saturday morning. On Sunday afternoon the retreat was continued to Mount Vernon, Lawrence County, where he has since been reinforced by Col. Brown's regiment of Home Guards, and Gen. Sweeeny, with another detachment or Home Guards. Thus the first serious conflict between the United States troops and the rebels has been fought in Missouri, by our brave German Missouri volunteers, resulting in a brilliant victory. Gen. Lyon will perhaps repent that he delayed so long at Boonville, and was thereby prevented from being present and sharing the honors of this glorious victory with Col. Siegel. That Col. Siegel would fight, and when fighting be victorious, none who knew him ever doubted. He is, perhaps, the best educated tactician we have in Missouri, and has gained a valuable experience in actual warfare, in Schleswig-Holstein and Baden, during the revolutionary period of 1848. His soldiers love and admire him, and his regiment is the best drilled of all our volunteer regiments. When he fights, hoe means fight, and is not so very humane as to confine himself to taking prisoners, merely for the pleasure of letting them run again. His appointment to the rank of Brigadier-General has long been urged by his friends, though his own modesty would prevent him from aspiring to a higher rank than he now holds. Perhaps none of our officers deserve a promotion more than Col. Siegel, and in his case everybody would know that a promotion was not given on account of nationality, but by reason of merit. The State troops seem to have behaved better than usual in these engagements, and would undoubtedly have met with better success, if they had not been so miserably armed. Besides, their cavalry was altogether disproportionate to their infantry, and was rather a hindrance than otherwise. The artillery did the fighting, and as the enemy's battery was silenced two hours after the commencement of the battle, it was all on one side. This accounts for the heavy loss on the enemy's side, over seven hundred, and the small loss on ours, amounting only to twenty-eight.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Battle of Bull Run .
Doc . 4 .- N. Y. Tribune narrative.
Doc . 59 : a Virginian who is not a traitor: response of Lieut. Mayo , U. S. N. , to the proclamation of Gov. Letcher .
Doc . 65 -speech of Galusha A. Grow , on taking the Chair of the House of Representatives of the United States , July 4 .
Doc . 135 .- Virginia ordinance, prohibiting citizens of Virginia from holding office under the United States , passed July , 1861 .
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.