say: ‘Never before—considering the number engaged —had so bloody a battle been fought on American soil; seldom has a bloodier one been fought on any modern field.’
The Federals retreated to Springfield
leaving the body of their dead general on the field.
By order of General Price
the body was identified and delivered to his friends, who came to ask for it under a flag of truce.
But it was again left behind, when they abandoned Springfield
, and was taken in charge of and given decent burial by Mrs. John S. Phelps
, the wife of a former representative in congress from that district, then an officer in the Federal
The fruits of this splendid victory were lost As soon as it was known that the Federals
were retreating, General Price
urged General McCulloch
to make pursuit, but McCulloch
The Federals had not only lost heavily in the battle, but were badly demoralized, and had a long and difficult road to travel before they could reach a point where they could hope for assistance.
That point was Rolla
, and the road ran through a rugged, broken country, with many streams to ford or ferry, and was already crowded with hundreds of Union refugees, with their teams and families, who were fleeing in mortal terror from Ben McCulloch
and his Texans.
refused then and afterward to make even a pretense of pursuit.
So the dead were buried where they fell, and that for which they fought and died, and dying, thought they had attained, was left in the possession of the enemy.
Though General Price
insisted on pursuit, and had the right to resume the command of the Missourians whenever he pleased, he did not feel strong enough, and lacked the necessary ammunition to make the pursuit alone.