We received on yesterday the New York Herald, of Oct. 1st, and the Baltimore Sun of the 30th September, from which we gather the following intelligence:
Details of the battle of Lexington, Mo.The Herald copies the following full account of the surrender of Lexington from the Chicago Tribune:
Preliminary movements.On Sunday, September 1, the Irish brigade, Colonel James A. Mulligan, who were then in a partially entrenched camp at Jefferson City, were ordered to proceed to Lexington, Lafayette county, one hundred miles up the river, to reinforce the troops already at that place, under Colonel Peabody, consisting of several hundred Home Guards, a few Kansas troops, and a portion of the Missouri Eighth Regiment, Colonel White, with seven hundred of the First Regiment Illinois Cavalry, Colonel T. M. Marshall. These latter had preceded Colonel Mulligan's force one week in their advance from Jefferson City. Col. Mulligan's arrival with the Irish brigade swelled the force at Lexington to about 500 men, Col. Mulligan taking the command as senior officer. The brigade reached Lexington on Monday, Sept. 9, and found the attack by the enemy, under Gen. Price, imminently threatening. No time was lost in the work of entrenching their position, chosen about midway between the new and old towns of Lexington, which are about a mile a part, connected by a scattering settlement. Midway stands a solid brick edifice, built for a college, and about this a small breastwork had been already begun. By Col. Mulligan's orders this was extended, and the troops set about the construction of an earthwork, ten feet in height, with a ditch eight feet in width, enclosing a large area capable of containing a force of 10,000 men. The army train, consisting of numerous mule teams, six mules to a team, was brought within this. The supply of entrenching tools being inadequate, a thorough search was made through both towns, and every description of suitable or available implements appropriated. The work was pushed with great vigor, the heavy muscle of the brigade telling well as the brave follows toiled in the trenches. This went on for three days, until Thursday, the 12th, at which time the portion of the works assigned to the Irish brigade was well advanced, that of the Home Guard being weak on the west or New Lexington side. Of Lexington it should be said in advance that it has been considered a most important point by the rebel forces, and their preparations for its capture and occupancy abundantly declare this. Among other proofs that it was a coveted prize was the fact that Claib. Jackson and his Legislature had been in session there as late as only the week previous to the arrival of Col. Mulligan, holding their sessions in the Court-House, whence Claib. fulminated a proclamation counter to that of Gen. Fremont. When this worthy body prudently retired before the Federal troops they did so in such haste that eight hundred thousand dollars in gold coin, and the State seals left in the vault of the bank, fell into the hands of Col. Peabody. The college building, within the fortification, became Col. Mulligan's headquarters. The magazine and treasure were stored in the cellar and suitably protected. The hospital of our troops was located just outside the entrenchments, in a northwesterly direction. The river at that point is about half a mile wide, and about half a mile distant from the fortifications. The bluff there is high and abrupt, the steamboat landing being at New Lexington.
The first Evidences of the approaching Contest.After these several days of anxious watching and unremitting toil by the little force, on the afternoon of Thursday, the 12th instant, scouts and advanced pickets driven in reported the near approach of the rebels. At this time Col. Mulligan had a portion of his small artillery in readiness. We had only six brass pieces and two howitzers; but having no shell, the latter were useless. Two pieces belonged to the Kansas City company, and were worked by them splendidly. The cavalry company had only their side-arms and pistols, and having no carbines or rifles could do nothing at long range. Several mines were laid in front of the entrenchments by our men. The attack on Thursday, the 12th, was led by General Rains in person, with a battery of nine pieces of artillery on the angle least prepared to resist assault. The enemy were repulsed with heavy loss. In the fight Companies I, Capt. Fitzgerald; K, Capt. John Quirk, and G, Capt. Phillips, did gallant service. As stated, the hospital had been located on the bank, below the new town, and contained about twenty-four patients. The attacking party did not spare or respect this building. They were met by the Montgomery Guard; Captain Gleeson, who made a brave resistance, but were driven back, with the loss of twenty-five of their men killed and wounded. Captain Gleeson was shot through the jaw and badly wounded. The gallant Montgomery made many of the Texans bite the dust. This fight was very fierce. Some of the sick were actually bayonetted or sabred in their cots. Rev. Father Butler, an esteemed Catholic clergyman of this city, and the Chaplain of the Irish brigade, was wounded in the forehead by a ball which passed across it, laying open the skin. He was taken prisoner, as was also Dr. Winer, Surgeon of the brigade, thus depriving the regiment of the valuable services of both during the dark and trying days that followed preceding the surrender. The issue of the 12th warned the enemy that they had a task before them which was no easy one, and they commenced on Friday morning a new system of approaches. They scoured the entire region for its staple, hemp in bales. These were thoroughly wetted as a safeguard against red-hot shot, and then were skillfully used to mask the batteries of the rebels, and rolled forward as they made their advance. The fight went on thus for several days, the enemy bringing more of their artillery into action. Following the skirmish of Thursday, Mulligan ordered a portion of the old town on the east to be burned, to prevent the rebels from gaining therefrom the advantage of shelter. Meanwhile the little garrison, already worn by labor on the entrenchments, began to look eagerly for the coming of reinforcements. On the 10th, Col. Mulligan had sent Lieut. Rains, of Company K, of the brigade, with a squad of twelve men, on the steamer Sunshine, to Jefferson City, one hundred and sixty miles distant, pressing the necessity for reinforcements. Forty miles below the Sunshine was captured, and Rains and his men brought back to New Lexington and lodged as prisoners in the old Fair Ground. Other messengers were sent off to guard against the failure of any one. The enemy were in sufficient force to throw out parties to intercept the Federal troops en route to the relief of Col. Mulligan. Thus, a detachment of 5,000 strong met and turned back 1,500 Iowa troops from Richmond, sixteen miles from the river, they retreating, it is reported, to St. Joseph. Our informant says heavy cannonading was heard at a distance several times by them in various directions from Lexington, which they understood to be encounters between the enemy and these relief parties.
Progress of the siege — the situation of the Federals Becoming desperate.The situation of the Federal troops grew more desperate as day after day passed.--Within their lines were picketed about the wagons and trains a large number of horses and mules, nearly three thousand in all, now a serious cause of care and anxiety; for as shot and shell plunged among them, many of the animals were killed and wounded, and from the struggles of these latter the danger of a general stampede was imminent. The havoc in the centre of the entrenchment was immense. Wagons were knocked to pieces, stores scattered and destroyed, and the ground strewn with dead horses and mules. On Monday, the 16th, an evil from the first apprehended fell upon Col. Mulligan's command. They were cut off from the river and their water gave out. Fortunately, a heavy rain, at intervals, came greatly to their relief. But to show how severe the straits of the men, the fact may be stated of instances occurring where soldiers held their blankets spread out until thoroughly wet, and then wrung them into their camp dishes, carefully saving the priceless fluid thus obtained. Rations also began to grow short.--The fighting at this time, from the 16th to the 21st, knew little cessation. The nights were brilliant moonlight, and all night long the roar of the guns continued, with an occasional sharp sortle and skirmish without the works. From the first but one spirit pervaded our troops, and that was no thought or word of surrender, except among some of the Home Guards, who had done the least share of the work and the fighting. The cavalry behaved nobly, and could the full details be written up, some of their sharp, brave charges on the enemy's guns would shine with any battle exploits on record. Gen. Price sent Col. Mulligan a summons to surrender, to which the gallant commander sent a refusal, saying, ‘"If you want us, you must take us."’ But the defection and disheartenment of the Home Guards intensified daily, and on Friday, the 21st, while Col.Mulligan was giving his attention to some matters in another portion of the camp, the white flag was raised at his own instance by Major Becker, of the Home Guards, from the portion of the entrenchment assigned to him. Capt. Simpson, of the Earl Rifles, called Col. Mulligan's attention to Major Becker's action instantly, and the Jackson Guard, Capt. McDermott, of Detroit, were sent to take down the flag, which was done. The heaviest part of the fight of the day followed in a charge upon the nearest battery of the enemy, the Illinois cavalry suffering severely.
Hope Abandoned — the surrender — Affecting scenes.The Home Guards then left the outer work and retreated within the line of the inner entrenchments, about the college building, refusing to fight longer, and here again raised the white flag, this time from the centre of the fortifications, when the fire of the enemy slackened and ceased. Under this state of affairs Col. Mulligan, calling his officers into council, decided to capitulate, and Captain McDermott went out to the enemy's lines with a handkerchief tied to a ramrod, and a parley took place. Major Moore, of the brigade, was sent to Gen. Price's headquarters, at New Lexington, to know the terms of capitulation. These were made unconditional, the officers to be retained as prisoners of war, the men to be allowed to depart with their personal property, surrendering their arms and accoutrements. Reluctantly this was acceded to, and the surrender took place. At 4 P. M. on Saturday the Federal forces, having laid down their arms, were marched out of the entrenchments to the tune of "Dixie," played by the rebel bands. They left behind them their arms and accoutrements, reserving only their clothing. The boys of the brigade, many of them, wept to leave behind their colors, each company in the brigade having its own standard presented to it by their friends. At the surrender the muster rolls of the companies were taken to Gen. Price's headquarters, the list of officers made out, and these ordered to report themselves as prisoners of war. The scenes at the capitulation were extraordinary. Col. Mulligan shed tears. The men threw themselves upon the ground, raved and stormed in well nigh frenzy, demanding to be led out again to "finish the thing." In Col. Marshall's cavalry regiment the feeling was equally as great. Much havoc had already been done among their horses during the siege, and but little more than half of them remained. Numbers of the privates actually shot their horses dead on the spot, unwilling that their companions in the campaign should now fall into the enemy's hands. The privates, numbering some 1,500 strong, were first made to take the oath not to serve against the Confederate States, when they were put across the river, and in charge of Gen. Rains marched on Saturday night to Richmond, sixteen miles, whence on Sunday they marched to Hamilton, a station on the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad, where they were declared free to go where they pleased. While on this march they experienced generous and humane treatment, both from Gen. Rains and from the residents along the route. Such is the statement of several of our men. Gen. Rains ordered an entire flock of sheep to be given to them, and there was no time lost in apportionment or appropriation. The inhabitants also liberally gave them provisions. Wagons were provided for those unable to wall, either from wounds or fatigue, and the whole party thus came through with extraordinary expedition. Word was sent to Gen. Prentiss, at Quincy, and means of transportation provided by which the men were brought down to Quincy, where they arrived on Monday. There were with the force only eight women, Col. Mulligan and several of his officers having left their wives at Jefferson City.
The prisoners — the wounded and the dead.The prisoners will be taken to Springfield, and held for exchange, rank for rank. Claib. Jackson came into Lexington on Saturday, it is reported, bringing his traveling Legislature with him. We have thus hastily thrown together the main features of the protracted defence of Lexington, without detail, and almost without touching upon the question of loss. That of the enemy is variously estimated at from one thousand to two thousand killed and wounded, and on the side of the Federals from three hundred to five hundred. Of our men, one hundred and forty were left in the hospital at Lexington. A full list of killed and wounded must be awaited. Colonel Mulligan was wounded on the last day of the fight by a ball through the calf of the leaf, and a flesh wound in the right arm from a grape shot. We have already referred to the injury of Captain Gleeson, received in the defence o the hospital. In the same encounter, among the killed was John Saville, a private in Company G, Irish brigade; also, Corporal Andrew Hill, of the Jackson Guard, and Cornelius O'Leary. Sergeant Moony was shot through the shoulder. Private Morris was instantly killed by a round shot, half his head being carried away. Col. Marshall is wounded, a ball having struck him in the chest, inflicting a serious wound. James Conway, the hospital steward of the Irish brigade, is killed. Our last night's dispatches, in the telegraph column, give a continued list of the killed and wounded as far as made up last evening. Among the lamented dead is Col. White, of St. Louis, of the Missouri Eighth, a gallant officer, who did his duty nobly, and was mortally wounded in the last day's fight. The incidents of the eventful week so sadly terminated would fill a volume if written out. In one charge on the enemy's battery our boys captured a flag, which one of our informants assures us will be brought to this city. The inhabitants of Quincy turned out in generous style to receive and refresh the worn and weary soldiers. An immense store of provisions awaited their arrival at that city, and no word or token of welcome and sympathy was lacking. But one sentiment prevails in the ranks of our gallant Irish brigade, and that is to demand that they be re-officered and led into the field, to revenge their reverses and win back their noble commander. And they will do it. Let them be generously cared for, for they have wrought well and gloriously.--They will remain at Quincy until they are paid off. Let them be at once re-armed and accoutred, and this time with the best that can fall to the soldier's lot. They have shown themselves worthy the best.
The buried treasure.A large sum of money, estimated by some as high as a million of dollars, one-half in specie, was secured by Price after being buried by Col. Mulligan. On the train, this afternoon, were portions of Capt. Graham's Moline Company, belonging to Gen., Lane's brigade, and a cavalry company from Bloomington. The latter brought their flag with them, which private Carico saved by winding about his body after the surrender. It bears the marks of severe usage, having two cannon ball holes, and various bullet perforations, and is fearfully torn and stained. They planted it from a stick on touching Illinois shore, and the boys clung to it with the most earnest devotion. It was presented by the ladies of Bloomington. Thus ends the account, colored as much as it well could be with the warmest hues of Federal prejudice.
The grand charge of the rebels.The Chicago Times contains a lengthy account of the battle, from which we extract the following description of the grand charge of our forces: A cloud of smoke enveloped the battle field, which almost hid the combatants, and our brave little garrison watched its dense folds with intense anxiety, waiting for the grand charge of thousands which they expected, and stood ready to receive. At about 9 o'clock it came. A column of about 8,000 men emerged from the forest, and charged, on a run, at the east barricade, next to the river. Their approach was the signal for breathless anxiety within the breastworks. The gallant band spoke not a word, but knelt, every man of them, with gun leveled and finger on the trigger. The tick of a watch might have been heard the length of that inflexible line, and silence reigned unbroken, except by the whispers which directed each man to aim steadily, and hold his fire until the order was given. The swiftly advancing column, emboldened by the silence of the foe, gave forth loud hurrahs and dashed up almost to the muzzles of the guns. Scarcely fifty paces intervened, and they seemed on the point of storming over the works, when a voice of command rang out, and a line of light opened across the breastworks and ran along the entire line like a flash of lightning. It was like an avalanche of fire sweeping through the tall prairie grass. The men went down, column after column. They struggled to rise again, and fell under the trampling feet of their comrades, who, still impetuous, rushed onward to the fray. The smoke had hardly arisen before every gun was loaded, and again the murderous storm of bullets went on its deadly errand, sheathed in flame and smoke. It crushed through the serried ranks, and mowed the leaders down by columns. Still they rallied, and, led on by daring officers, again trod over the dead bodies of their comrades with desperate energy. Again the smoke arose, and a third time the terrible volley was poured into their foes. The ground was piled with dead and dying, and in despair the whole body broke up in disorder and retreated. --They rushed down the hill with an impetuosity which betokened dismay and fear, and were not rallied until they gained the refuge of the woods again. In the meantime the other side of the entrenchments was receiving obstinate attacks from a body of several thousand rebels, who were ensconced behind the hill upon which the hospital stood. They had planted artillery, which swept our works with terrible force, and were with difficulty kept from charging over the barricades. The range of our guns was such as to render the attempt a dangerous one, and they contented themselves with awaiting a more favorable opportunity. Col. Mulligan commanded here in person, but was as usual in all parts of the entrenchments, encouraging and directing the men. The position of their forces cut off the retreat to the river, and the garrison was surrounded on all sides.
Important letter from Fremont.The Herald has succeeded in obtaining a copy of the following letter, written by Fremont to a friend in New York, just before leaving St. Louis:
My Dear Sir:
John C. Fremont.
- Gunboat New Era,
- J. D. Perry,
- John Warner,
- Post Boy,
- W. L. Ewing,
- H. D. Bacon,
- Sam. Gaty,
- N. W. Graham,
- D. G. Taylor,
- A. McDowell.
Another proclamation from Gen. Anderson
Louisville, Ky., Sept. 24, 1861.