previous next

[504] intended to take Totten's battery, as a strong column of infantry was advancing upon it. Totten mowed them down with canister in front, and our infantry poured a murderous fire into their flanks, which compelled them to beat a hasty retreat. The enemy had failed in all his endeavors to dislodge us from our position, which I conceived to be the strategic point of the battle-field, and was determined to hold it at all hazards.

Another short suspension of hostilities ensued. After a consultation with the officers, Major Sturgis sent me orders to retire. Just at that time Captain Granger came up to me, and we discovered that the enemy were about to renew the attack upon us. Captain Granger rushed to the rear and collected several hundred volunteers of different regiments, while we held the enemy in check, and formed them on our left. We then advanced upon the enemy and drove them off the field, and never saw one of them afterward. After collecting our command we retired slowly from the field.

I commanded the rear guard on the retreat toward Springfield, but saw nothing of the enemy. It was evident that he had been severely punished.

I wish to call the attention of the Major commanding to the gallant conduct of Captain C. C. Gilbert, of First Infantry; of First Lieutenant Lothrop, Fourth Artillery, and George H. McLaughlin received the highest commendations of all the officers present. I also mention the First Sergeant of Captain Gilbert's company, Mandrazz, who was killed in the last assault of the enemy; also First Sergeant Griffin, commanding Company B, Second Infantry, and Lance Sergeant Morine, commanding the company of Mounted Rifle recruits, each of whom behaved with distinguished gallantry. Sergeant Morine was mortally wounded, and died on the field.

During the critical state of the combat, I conferred with Captain Gilbert, whose intelligence and soldierly qualities are well known, and whose self-possession during the battle was calculated to inspire the men with confidence. In the latter part of the contest he received a wound in the shoulder, which compelled him to retire from the field.

I furnish herewith a list of the killed, wounded, and missing of my command during the day. I have the honor to be, Captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Fred. K. Steele, Captain Second Infantry, Commanding Battalion.


Report of Captain Carr.

camp near Rolla, Mo., August 17, 1861.
sir: Having been requested, through Major Sheppard, to write a report of my share in the late battle, I have the honor to state that:--On the afternoon of the 9th inst. I was ordered to report to Colonel Siegel at six o'clock with my company, (I, First Cavalry,) which I did. Company C, Second Dragoons, commanded by Lieutenant Farrand, First Infantry, also reported to Colonel Siegel, but was not under my command, being placed at the opposite extremity of the brigade. Colonel Siegel placed me in advance, with orders to seize persons who might give information to the enemy, and the command moved about sunset. The night was very dark, and it was with great difficulty that we avoided losing our way or getting separated. At about eleven o'clock the command was halted, and rested till two, when it moved on, approaching the rear of the enemy's camp. Upon nearing the camp, after daylight, different stragglers were met going from the camp to the surrounding country, and all captured, so that no intimation was given to the enemy of our presence till the first gun was fired. Colonel Siegel directed me to take the right flank, and then proceeded into the valley below the camp, and opened fire of cannon upon it; I, in the mean time, moving to the edge of the bluff and opening fire with our carbines, for the purpose of distracting the attention of the enemy, being at too great a distance to do much execution. A few minutes before Colonel Siegel opened fire, I heard the firing at the opposite end of the camp, and sent word to him that General Lyon was engaged. This was a little after six A. M. The enemy ran out of their camp, which was of cavalry, and contained the Headquarters and tents of McCulloch and McIntosh. Colonel Siegel then took position on their camp ground, and I moved up along the bluff. Up to this time I had observed wagons and horsemen moving up toward the west and going south along the Fayetteville road, the point where we struck the camp being in the valley below that road and probably two miles from where it crosses the creek. At this time I was about a mile from the main command — it being on the west side of the valley, while I was on the bluff and higher up — when I observed a large body of cavalry forming and approaching the command. I immediately sent word to Colonel Siegel and retired myself, as it was getting between me and him. I was obliged to go back to get across the creek, and in the mean time the cavalry had formed to charge and had been broken up by Colonel Siegel and put to flight, though their officers raved and stormed and tore their hair in trying to make their men advance. When I reached Colonel Siegel again he told me he was going to advance, and to take my place on the left flank, which I did, keeping in line with the advance along the road. After advancing a short distance — I think to within about half a mile of the Fayetteville crossing, and over a mile from where we first engaged — the command encountered a concealed battery, on or near the Fayetteville road, into which ours had forked. The action hero was hot, and there was continued cannonading with some firing of musketry, for, I should think, half an hour. I could see but little, being mostly in the timber to the left, with my company, among which


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
August 17th, 1861 AD (1)
9th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: