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[112] MacDonald's unattached mounted regiment held the extreme left. The line advanced over the open prairie under a heavy artillery fire. Springfield was strongly fortified. Inside the town were heavy earthworks, flanked by rifle-pits and deep ditches, and on the outskirts was a strong stockade protected by the guns of the earthworks.

The garrison was commanded by General Brown, and neither he nor his men appeared at all disturbed by the demonstrations being made against them. His soldiers marched to their places with perfect calmness, and he, with his staff and a strong escort, rode out and took a critical view of the number and disposition of his assailants. But for all that, his escort was charged and scattered and he was severely wounded before he reached the protection of his fortifications again. The whole Confederate line charged and one piece of artillery was captured, but that was all. The Federals fired the buildings outside of their line of fortifications, and the Confederates fought with the smoke and the flame in their faces. The men were falling fast and gaining no permanent advantage. Shelby led the charge into the town and beat back everything that opposed him in the streets, but was unequal to the effort when it came to assaulting the heavy earthworks and stockade.

The place was stronger in men and defenses than Marmaduke had been led to believe. There was nothing for it but to protect his troops as well as he could, and wait for night to enable him to withdraw successfully. Porter's brigade had not come up, and he was compelled to make the attack with hardly more than half his force. Had Porter's brigade been present, the result might have been different. The capture of Springfield, however, was not the primary object of the expedition. It was to cut Blunt's line of communication and supplies, and to compel him to abandon the upper Arkansas river. To accomplish this, Marmaduke turned his attention to the road between Springfield and Rolla, and destroyed everything

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Springfield, Mo. (Missouri, United States) (3)
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