, where I arrived in the early part of October, 1861, General Fremont
had taken the field in the central part of Missouri
, with the main body of his army, in which were eight batteries of my regiment.
I was instructed to remain in St. Louis
and complete the organization and equipment of the regiment upon the arrival of guns and equipments procured in the East
It was while waiting for the expected guns that a demand for artillery came from Colonel W. P. Carlin
, commanding a brigade at Pilot Knob
and threatened with an attack by a Confederate force under Jeff. Thompson
The latter had already made a raid in Carlin
's rear, destroyed the railroad bridge across the Big River
, and interfered seriously with the communication to St. Louis
In the nervous condition of the military as well as the public mind at that time, even St. Louis
was regarded as in danger.
There was no organized battery in St. Louis
, but there were officers and men enough belonging to the different batteries of the 1st Missouri, and recruits, to make a medium-sized company.
They had been instructed in the school of the piece, but no more.
I hastily put them upon the cars, with four old smooth-bore bronze guns, horses that had never been hitched to a piece, and harness that had not been fitted to the horses.
Early next morning we arrived at Big River
where the bridge had been burned, unloaded the battery and horses by the use of platforms extemporized from railroad ties, hitched up, and forded the river.
On the other side we converted platform-cars into stock-cars, loaded up, and arrived at Pilot Knob
the next morning (October 20). The enemy was understood to be at Fredericktown
, about twenty miles distant, and Colonel Carlin
determined to march that night and attack him at daylight the next morning.
's command consisted of the 8th Wisconsin Volunteers, 21st Illinois Volunteers, parts of the 33d and 38th Illinois Volunteers,