But he was deceived again.
It was the advance guard under Rains
which was in front of him. The main body was in camp twelve miles back.
The next day he moved to within six miles of the Southern
force, but not being able to learn anything about its strength, and fearing he might be flanked, he determined to return to Springfield
, which he did, reaching there the next evening.
The united Southern forces had remained in their position during this time, and had been reinforced by Greer
's Texas regiment.
While the two armies were thus maneuvering and watching each other, General Price
was anxious to attack, but General McCulloch
declined unless Price
would consent to give him the command of the combined army.
At last, after a good deal of wrangling, General Price
yielded, reserving to himself, however, the right to resume command of the Missourians whenever he chose.
Believing that Lyon
was still in front of him, McCulloch
marched at midnight of August 5th, expecting to surprise and attack him at daybreak.
But he soon learned that Lyon
had left the day before for Springfield
He followed him until he came to Wilson
's creek, where he encamped.
There the army remained three days, the dispute all the time going on between Price
, the former insisting on attacking, and the latter declining to do so. At last McCulloch
yielded and ordered the army to be ready to move that night, August 9th, at 9 o'clock. But before that time it began to rain and the order was countermanded, chiefly because the Missourians had no cartridge boxes, but carried their ammunition in their pockets, and it was liable to be ruined if it rained hard.
The troops, therefore, lay on their arms during the night, awaiting the development of events.
Late in the afternoon of the same day, Lyon
moved out of Springfield
, marched about five miles west, then turned southward across the prairie, and about midnight came in sight of Rains
' camp fires.
He had turned McCulloch