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[595] and destruction. The poor people, naturally desirous of carrying off all they could, filled their wagons with boxes and baggage, to the exclusion (as we found before the train was complete) of many of the women and wounded. I was, therefore, compelled to order all articles of a bulky nature to be tumbled out, and their places supplied by more valuable freight. It was hard, but necessary, and the inhabitants yielded with less reluctance than I had anticipated.

About nine A. M. we moved with one hundred and fifty-three wagon-loads of women, children, sick, and wounded, and a large company on foot. Lieut. Cox took the general disposition of the escort, and the various commands were posted so as best to protect the whole in case of attack. It was a melancholy spectacle to see two thousand people, who, a few days before, had been prosperous and happy, reduced to utter beggary, starting upon a journey of thirty miles, through a hostile country, every inch of which we expected to be called upon to defend from an attack, the issue of which was life or horrid butchery. Beggary, starvation, and probable destruction were at one end of the road; a doubtful escape from the latter at the other. We took the latter alternative, and, under Providence, got through.

During the battle we lost, as near as I can ascertain, about ten killed and fifty wounded. I can give you no accurate detail of either, as the casualties occurred among citizens, soldiers, and strangers. The physicians, of whom, fortunately, we had a good supply, may have kept some hospital lists, but I have been too much occupied to ascertain. I was satisfied to know the wounded were well cared for, without knowing who they were.

I was seconded ably and bravely by all the officers and most of the men of the companies, and many citizens from different parts of the State, and strangers who were present, so uniform was their good conduct and valuable their services that one could not be mentioned without naming all. There were several cases of abandonment immediately preceding the attack, which, if designed to evade the struggle, were disgraceful in the extreme, and unworthy of Americans. But as they may have arisen from other causes, I will not report the names of the parties.

Many narrow escapes occurred during the protracted fight. Several persons were shot through the hat. One young man received three bullets through the pantaloons in rapid succession, without being hurt in the least.

We did not burn the town on leaving, thinking possibly that the Indians might not return and destroy it, and not deeming it much of a defence for them should they occupy it on our return.

It was my design that the country between New-Ulm and Mankato should be immediately reoccupied by our troops, and the ground, temporarily lost by our withdrawal, regained at once by fresh troops, well equipped, and capable of remaining on the field; and I looked for material of that sort for the business, on my arrival, but not a soldier from the regular service, except Capt. Dane with one hundred horses, has yet reached that part of the country, which is at this moment utterly defenceless, except so far as he is capable of holding it. The citizen volunteers that went to the assistance of New-Ulm, disbanded pretty generally on their return, being barefooted, overworked, and required at their homes.

I wish your Excellency would turn the tide of soldiers flowing into the valley to the Blue Earth region, from which the whole southern part of the State can be protected, and efficient cooperation afforded the column advancing upon the north side of the Minnesota.

Hoping my operations may meet your approval, I am truly your obedient servant,

Charles E. Flandrau, Commanding West of the Minnesota.

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