the enemy and cutting off their supply of water.
Without water it was impossible for Mulligan
to hold his position.
He lost a number of men going to and returning from the spring upon which he depended.
At last a woman was sent or volunteered to go. This was a silent appeal to the chivalry of the Missourians, and it was effective.
Not a shot was fired at her, but she was cheered as she filled her canteens and returned with them in safety to her friends.
During the day Colonel Rives
, with his and Colonel Hughes
' regiments, captured the Anderson
residence, which was used by Mulligan
both as a hospital and a fortification.
This brought them within effective rifle range of the enemy.
The divisions of McBride
stormed and occupied the bluffs immediately north of the Anderson house
watched his opportunity and by a sudden dash retook the house and heights, but they were directly afterward again taken, and held to the last.
It happened that there was a large number of bales of hemp lying on the wharf, and on the morning of the 20th, General Price
, at the suggestion, it is said, of Gen. Thomas A. Harris
, determined to try the experiment of using them as movable breastworks.
He first had them thoroughly soaked in the river to prevent them taking fire, and then rolled up the steep bank to the plain surrounding Mulligan
Men rolled them forward with hooks, while from the cover they afforded riflemen kept up a steady fire which was constantly advancing.
The enemy had not reckoned on any such mode of attack, and at two o'clock in the afternoon a white flag was displayed in token of surrender, and the Federal
forces laid down their arms and gave themselves up as prisoners of war.
The results of this victory to the Missourians were 3,500 prisoners—among them were Colonels Mulligan
, Major Van Horn
and 118 other commissioned officers—five field-pieces, two mortars, more than 3,000 stand of arms, a large number of