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Chapter 3: military operations in Missouri and Kentucky.

Contrary to general expectation, the Confederates did not pursue the shattered little army that was led by Sigel, from Springfield to Rolla.1 McCulloch contented himself with issuing a proclamation to the people of Missouri,
Aug. 12, 1861.
telling them that he had come, on the invitation of their Governor, “to assist in driving the National forces out of the State, and in restoring to the people their just rights.” He assured them that he had driven the enemy from among them, and that the Union troops were then in full flight, after defeat. He called upon the people to act promptly in co-operation with him, saying, “Missouri must be allowed to choose her own destiny--no oaths binding your consciences.” This was all that the Texan did in the way of “driving the enemy out of the State,” after the battle of Wilson's Creek. His assumptions and deportment were offensive to Price and his soldiers. Alienation ensued, and McCulloch soon abandoned the fortunes of the Missouri leader for the moment, and, with his army, left the State.

Price now called upon the secessionists to fill his shattered ranks. They responded with alacrity, and at the middle of August he moved northward toward the Missouri River, in the direction of Lexington, in a curve that bent far toward the eastern frontier of Kansas, from which Unionists were advancing under General James H. Lane. With these he had some skirmishing on the 7th of September, at Drywood Creek, about fifteen miles east of the border. He drove them across the line, and pursued them to Fort Scott, which he found abandoned. Leaving a small force there, he resumed his September. march, and reached Warrensburg, in Johnson County, on the 11th.

In the mean time, he had issued a proclamation to inhabitants of Missouri,
Aug. 28.
dated at Jefferson City, the capital of the State, in which he spoke of a great victory at Wilson's Creek, and gave the peaceable citizens assurance of full protection in person and property.

Lexington,2 a town on the southern bank of the Missouri River, three hundred miles, by its course, above St. Louis, and occupying an important frontier position, was now brought into great prominence as the theatre of a desperate struggle. It commanded the approach to Fort Leavenworth by water; and when Fremont was apprised of Price's northward movement, and the increasing boldness of the secessionists in that region, he sent a [67] small force to Lexington to take charge of the money in the bank there, and to protect the loyal inhabitants. This little force was increased from time to time, until early in September, when

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