70.-the battle of Carthage, Mo. Fought July 5, 1861.
The following detailed description of the battle which occurred near Carthage
, is given by a correspondent in the St. Louis Republican
, to whom it was communicated by Lieut. M. Tosk
, an officer who acted as Adjutant to Col. Siegel
during the engagement:
On the morning of the 5th, at 5 o'clock, a scouting party, sent out by Col. Siegel
, encountered, about two miles distant from Carthage
, a picket guard of the State
troops, who were attacked and three taken prisoners. With all despatch, Col. Siegel
prepared to go forward, expecting to meet the State
troops some distance west of Carthage
About 9 1/2 o'clock the meeting took place in an open prairie, seven miles beyond Carthage
estimates the numbers of the opposing army at five thousand, chiefly cavalry, but supplied with a battery of five cannon--four six-pounders and one twelve-pounder — while Col. Siegel
's command consisted of his own regiment of two battalions, and Col. Salomon
's detached regiment, with several pieces of artillery under command of Major Backof
. Col. Siegel
's regiment had six hundred men, and Col. Salomon
's five hundred.
The State troops were commanded by Generals Parsons
. Maj. Backof
, under the direction of Col. Siegel
, opened the fire, which continued briskly for nearly two hours. In less than an hour the twelve-pounder of the State
troops was dismounted, and soon afterwards the whole battery was silenced.
The superior arms of the Federals
enabled them to maintain a situation of comparatively little danger.
The State troops, whom for convenience we shall call Jackson
's men, twice broke their ranks, but were rallied and held their position very well, considering the destructive discharges against them, until their guns gave out, when their column was again broken.
At this juncture about 1,500 of the cavalry started back with the intention of cutting off Siegel
's transportation train, seeing which movement a retreat was ordered, and word sent immediately for the wagons to advance as rapidly as possible.
By keeping up the fire with the infantry, and bringing the artillery in range whenever practicable, Col. Siegel
managed to retard the progress of Jackson
's cavalry, and eventually to fall back almost unobstructed to the baggage train, which was some 3 1/2 miles from the scene of the first engagement.
By a skilful movement the wagons were placed in the centre of the column in such a manner that there were artillery and infantry forces both in front and rear.
's troops then retreated and endeavored to surround the entire column by taking a position upon some high bluffs or hills overlooking a creek.
There was but one road leading across this stream, and to progress at all without further retreating in the direction of Carthage
it was necessary to cross the elevation where the cavalry were mainly posted.
ordered two of the artillery pieces in front to oblique to the left and two to the right, and at the same time a similar movement was made from Col. Siegel
This was a manoeuvre to induce Jackson
's men to believe that Siegel
was seeking to pass out on the extremes of their lines, and to outflank the cavalry.
It was followed by a closing up to the right and to the left by the forces on the bluffs, when, on reaching a point 350 yards from the cavalry, the four pieces were ordered to a transverse oblique, and immediately a heavy cross-fire was opened with canister.
At the same time the infantry charged in double-quick, and in ten minutes the State
troops were scattered in every direction.
Ten rounds of canister were fired from each of the cannon, together with several rounds by the infantry.
This was at about 5 o'clock in the evening, and the engagement, with the manoeuvring, had occupied in the neighborhood of two hours. Jackson
's cavalry were poorly mounted, being armed chiefly with shot-guns and common rifles.
They had no cannon on the bluff or hills, and were consequently able to make little or no resistance to the attacks of Col. Siegel
. Forty-five men and eighty horses were taken, belonging to Jackson
's troops, and there were also captured sixty double-barrelled shot-guns, and some revolvers and bowie-knives
Our informant states that one of the prisoners, on being asked how many had been killed on his side, estimated the loss at from two hundred and fifty to three hundred.
says that it is undeniable that the officers of Jackson
's troops displayed great ability in their manoeuvres, showing much strategic skill, but the men were raw and undisciplined, their inexperience in the art of war leading them continually into danger.
Notwithstanding their losses, the State
troops still held their position so far as to cut off Siegel
's advance over the creek, and that officer was compelled to retreat in the direction of Carthage
's men following and surrounding the column on three sides.
During the retreat, firing by the infantry was kept up, and in this way the cavalry was kept at some distance.
's command got back to Carthage
at 6 1/2 o'clock, and at once undertook to enter the woods about a mile distant.
This movement was strongly and desperately resisted, Jackson
's men feeling that once in the timber they could do nothing, being on horseback.
An effort to rally the cavalry to a charge was made, which brought the whole of the infantry into action.
After some hard fighting, Col. Siegel
got his men into the woods, and so covered his retreat as to force the State
troops to relinquish the further prosecution of the fight for the night.
The latter returned to Carthage
with the evident purpose of renewing the battle in the morning.
, without any positive information on the subject, thinks that in this last engagement near Carthage
's men must have suffered a loss of not less than two hundred killed. He says that during the whole day the loss on the National
side was but eight killed and forty-five wounded, though we understand that the despatches of Col. Siegel
to Col. Harding
, at the Arsenal, place the number of killed at twenty-four.
The report that Lieut.-Col. Wolff
was killed is erroneous, the only officer even wounded being Captain Stoudtman
, of Siegel
, notwithstanding the great fatigue of the day — his men being in action nearly twelve hours, and suffering severely from the heat and from lack of water — ordered his men to press on in retreat from Carthage
A forced march was made to Sarcoxie
, in the south-east corner of Jasper County
being the county seat,) a distance of twelve or fourteen miles. There they went into camp at 3 o'clock Saturday morning. In the afternoon of the next day the retreat was continued to Mount Vernon, in Lawrence County
, sixteen or eighteen miles east of Sarcoxie
, where Siegel
took a stand, and where his Headquarters were located when Lieut. Tosk
left, which was at 4 o'clock on the evening of the 7th.
We should have stated that our informant says that the cannon of the State
troops was only provided with round balls, and was worked by very poor artillerists.
met Gen. Sweeny
with his force five miles from Mount Vernon
, and Col. Brown
16 miles from there, so that the army under Col. Siegel
had been largely augmented, and we may soon hear more exciting news from the Southwest
The Union troops in the battle.
The troops engaged under Colonel Siegel
, were composed of the whole of the Third Regiment and a battalion of the Fifth Regiment of Missouri
Union Volunteers, as follows:
Third regiment of Missouri
commanding expedition, Franz Siegel
First battalion.--First Artillery Company, designated as Company A--Capt. Backoff
; Company A--Capt. Henry Bishop
; Company B--Capt. D. Conrath
; Company C--Capt. Cramer
; Company D--Capt. Zais
Second battalion.--Second Artillery Company, designated as Company E--Capt. Wilkins
; Company F--Capt. Hartmann
; Company G-Capt. Hackmann
; Company H--Capt. J. E. Stroudtmann
; Company I--Capt. F. E. Schreiner
; Quartermaster, C. E. Stark
; Ordnance Officer, F. Koerner
Fifth regiment of Missouri
Colonel, C. E. Salomon
, C. D. Wolff
(As Colonel Salomon
was in command at Springfield
at last advices, doubtless the battalion was under the charge of Lieutenant-Colonel Wolff
, who has since been reported killed.)
Company A--Capt. N. Cole
; Company B--Capt. L. G. Gottschalk
; Company C-Capt. J. Nemett
; Company D-Capt. C. Mehl
; Company E-Capt. Richardson
; Company F--Capt. Arnaud
, M. D.; Company G--Capt. C. E. Stark
, M. D.; Company H--Capt. W. J. Hawkins
; Company I--Capt. C. Meisner
; Company K--Capt. S. Flagg
The balance of the men was composed of regulars, a small body of which bad joined the command previous to the departure from Springfield
New York world's narrative.
New York times' narrative.