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UNION HEROISM_DEATH OF GEN. LYON.

579

upon the Rebels in front, while Sigel, both sides were brought into action; with his 1,200 men and 6 guns, al- and the 1st Missouri, 1st and 2d most simultaneously, assailed the rear Kansas, and 1st Iowa regiments, with of the enemy's right. The battle was Steele's battalion of regulars, won obstinate and bloody; but the dis- | immortal honor by the persistent and parity of numbers was too great, and heroic gallantry with which they for the division of forces proved, there hours maintained their ground against fore, a mistake. The Rebels, at first immense odds. The Rebels were resurprised by Sigel's unexpected at- peatedly driven back in confusion, tack, and most gallantly charged by and the firing would be nearly or quite him, gave way before him; and he suspended for ten to twenty minutes; soon secured a commanding position when, perceiving their decided sufor his artillery. But the weakness periority in numbers, since the rout of his force was now manifest; and and flight of Sigel's command, the he was deceived by the advance of a Confederate officers would rally their Rebel regiment, which was mistaken men and bring them once more to by his men for Lyon's victorious van- the charge. Meantime, Gen. Lyon, guard, and thus came close to them who had led out his little army to unopposed. At a signal, Sigel was fight against his own judgment, upon assailed by two batteries and a strong the representation of Gen. Sweeny, column of infantry, and instantly that to abandon all south-west Misthrown into confusion. The enemy's souri without a battle would be worse fire was so hot that our cannoneers | than a defeat, and who had evinced were driven by it from their pieces, the most reckless bravery throughout, the horses killed, and five guns cap- had been twice wounded, and had tured. Our infantry fell back in con- had his horse killed under him. The fusion, followed and assailed by large second ball struck him in the head, bodies of Rebel cavalry. Of Sigel's and seemed for the moment to con1,200, less than 400 were present at fuse him.

fuse him. He walked a few

He walked a few paces to the next roll-call. One of his regi- the rear, saying to Maj. Schofield, his ments, 400 strong, under Col. Salo- Adjutant, “I fear the day is lost;' mon, was composed of three-months' to which Schofield responded, “No, men, who had already overstaid their General ; let us try them once more." term of enlistment, and who had re- Maj. Sturgis offered him his own luctantly consented to take part in horse, which Lyon at first declined, this battle; but who, when charged by but soon after mounted, and, bleedan overwhelming Rebel force, were ing from his two wounds, swung his suddenly seized with a fit of home- hat in the air, and called upon the sickness, and fled in all directions. troops nearest him to prepare for a

Meantime, our front or main ad- bayonet-charge on the lines of the vance, under Gen. Lyon, had waked enemy.

The 2d Kansas rallied up the great body of the Rebels; around him, but in a moment its Capt. Totten's and Lieut. Dubois's brave Col. Mitchell fell severely batteries opening upon their immense wounded, and his soldiers cried out: masses with great vigor and decided “We are ready to follow-who will effect. Very soon, the infantry on lead us?” “I will lead you l” replied Lyon;

come on, brave men !" and before fired by the enemy. At this moment, at that moment a third bullet struck

the enemy showed his true colors, and at

once commenced along our entire lines the him in his breast, and he fell mor- fiercest and most bloody engagement of the tally wounded.

day. Lieut. Dubois's battery on our left, Still, the battle was not lost. For falion and the rallied fragments of the Mis

gallantly supported by Maj. Osterhaus's batthe enthusiastic, death-defying valor souri 1st, soon silenced the enemy's battery of the Unionists had repelled the as

on the hill, and repulsed the right wing of

his infantry. Capt. Totten's battery, in the saults of their enemies along their center, supported by the Iowas and regulars, entire front, and scarcely a shot was

was the main point of attack. The enemy fired for the twenty minutes following of Totten's guns, and the smoke of the op

could frequently be seen within twenty feet Gen. Lyon's death. Maj. Sturgis, in posing lines was often so confounded as to his official report of the battle, says:

Wet's

seem but one. Now, for the first time during the day, our entire line maintained its

position with perfect firmness. Not the After the death of Gen. Lyon, when the slightest disposition to give way was manienemy fled and left the field clear, so far as fested at any point; and, while Capt. Steele's we could see, an almost total silence reigned battery, which was some yards in front of for a space of twenty minutes. Maj. Scho- the line, together with the troops on the

| Lyon, and reported for orders. The respon-being overwhelmed by superior numbers, sibility which now rested upon me was duly the contending lines being almost muzzle to felt and appreciated. Our brave little army muzzle, Capt. Granger rushed to the rear was scattered and broken; over 20,000 foes and brought up the supports of Dubois's were still in our front; and our men had had battery, consisting of two or three compano water since 5 o'clock the evening before, nies of the 1st Missouri, three companies of and could hope for none short of Springfield, the 1st Kansas, and two companies of twelve miles distant; if we should go for- the 1st Iowa, in quick time, and fell upon ward, our own success would prove our the enemy's right flank, and poured into it certain defeat in the end ; if we retreated, a murderous fire, killing or wounding nearly disaster stared us in the face; our ammuni- every man within sixty or seventy yards. ţion was well-nigh exhausted; and, should From this moment, a perfect rout took place the enemy make this discovery, through a throughout the Rebel front, while ours, on slackening of our fire, total annihilation was the right flank, continued to pour a galling all we could expect. The great question in fire into their disorganized masses. my mind was, "Where is Sigel ?? If I could "It was then evident that Totten's batstill hope for a vigorous attack by him on tery and Steele's little battalion were safe. the enemy's right flank or rear, then we Among the officers conspicuous in leading could go forward with some hope of success. this assault were Adj. Hezcock, Capts. If he had retreated, there was nothing left Burke, Miller, Maunter, Maurice, and Richfor us but to retreat also. In this perplexing ardson, and Lieut. Howard, all of the 1st condition of affairs, I summoned the principal | Missouri. There were others of the 1st officers for consultation. The great question Kansas and 1st Iowa who participated, and with most was, “Is retreat possible?' The whose names I do not remember. The consultation was brought to a close by the enemy then fled from the field. advance of a heavy column of infantry from 66 A few moments before the close of the the hill, where Sigel's guns had been heard engagement, the 2d Kansas, which had firmbefore. Thinking they were Sigel's men, a ly maintained its position, on the extreme line was formed for an advance, with the right, from the time it was first sent there, hope of forming a junction with him. These found its ammunition exhausted, and I ditroops wore a dress much resembling that of rected it to withdraw slowly, and in good Sigel's brigade, and carried the American order, from the field, which it did, bringing flag. They were, therefore, permitted to off its wounded, which left our right flank move down the hill within easy range of exposed, and the enemy renewed the attack Dubois's battery, until they had reached the at that point, after it had ceased along the covered position at the foot of the ridge on whole line; but it was gallantly met by which we were posted, and from which we Capt. Steele's battalion of regulars, which had been fiercely assailed before; when, had just driven the enemy from the right of suddenly, a battery was planted on the hill the center, and, after a sharp engagement, in our front, and began to pour upon us drove him precipitately from the field. shrapnell and canister--a species of shot not “ Thus closed-at about half-past 11 * It was very hard for our soldiers engaged in that.

RESULT AND LOSSES AT WILSON'S CREEK.

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o'clock--an almost uninterrupted conflict of show as trophies five of Sigel's six six hours. The order to retreat was given soon after the enemy gave way from our

guns; but there is no pretense, on front and center, Lieut. Dubois's battery their part, of having pursued those having been previously sent to occupy, with whom they claimed to have beaten; its supports, the hill in our rear. Capt. Totten's battery, as soon as his disabled

and McCulloch's first official report horses could be replaced, retired slowly only says of our army, “They have with the main body of the infantry, while Capt. Steele was meeting the demonstra

met with a signal repulse-—which tions upon our right flank. This having was the truth. He admits a loss of been repulsed, and no enemy being in sight, 265 killed, 800 wounded, and 30 the whole column moved slowly to the high, open prairie

, about two miles from the bat- missing. Our official reports make tle-ground; our ambulances, meanwhile, our loss 223 killed, 721 wounded, and passing to and fro, carrying off our wounded. 292 missing. McCulloch says: “My After making a short halt on the prairie, we continued our march to Springfield.

effective force was 5,300 infantry, 15 “It should be here remembered that, just pieces of artillery, and 6,000 horseafter the order to retire was given, and while it was undecided whether the retreat

men, armed with flint-lock muskets, should be continued, or whether we should rifles, and shot-guns.

There were occupy the more favorable position of our other horsemen with the army, who rear, and await tidings of Col. Sigel, one of his non-commissioned officers arrived, and were entirely unarmed, and, instead reported that the Colonel's brigade had been of being a help, were continually in totally routed, and all his artillery captured,

the way.” Lieut. Col. Merritt, of Col. Sigel himself having been either killed or made prisoner. Most of our men had

the 1st Iowa, in his report, says: fired away all their ammunition, and all that could be obtained from the boxes of the

The enemy brought to the field 14,000 killed and wounded. Nothing, therefore,

well-armed and well-disciplined troops, and was left to do but to return to Springfield; | 10,000 irregular troops; and our own force where 250 Home Guards, with two pieces

amounted to about 5,000 troops in the early of artillery, had been left to take care of the part of the engagement, and considerably train. On reaching the Little York road,

less than 4,000 troops for the concluding we met Lieut. Farrand, with his company

four hours of it." of dragoons, and a considerable portion of Col. Sigel's command, with one piece of

Maj. Sturgis, in his official report artillery. At 5 o'clock, P. M., we reached of the battle, says: Springfield.”

“That 3,700 men, after a fatiguing nightOf course, the Confederates claimed march, attacked the enemy, numbering the result as a success; and with good 23,000, on their own ground, and, after a reason, since they stood on the de- bloody conflict of six hours, withdrew at

their pleasure, is the best eulogium I can fensive and held the field, and could pass on their conduct that day.”

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Schofield also stated that, in the main or front attack to admit that the day attempting to ride forward to reconnoiter and went against us, when they never saw the faces

see where the enemy were, their dead were of the Rebels throughout the fight without see

piled up so thick that he could not ride over

them, but had to make a considerable détour. ing their backs directly, afterward. Thus Col.

“There was a flag of truce sent out after our John B. Plummer, 11th Missouri (who was bad- return to Springfield, as I heard. A young docly wounded), testifies before the Committee on tor of the army went out with it, with a few men the Conduct of the War:

and some wagons, to obtain the body of Gen. "I have but little more to say in regard to the

Lyon, and to look for our wounded left on the

field. He told me that Gen. McCulloch remarked battle except that we whipped them. I was severely wounded, and, in the course of

to a non-commissioned officer--a sergeant-who an hour and a half , was myself in an ambulance.

attended the party, 'Your loss was very great; I did not see the latter part of the action, but

but ours was four times yours;' and I think it Major Schofield stated to me that, after the last

but à fair estimate to put their loss at least as repulse, it was a perfect rout-that the enemy

high as 4,000 men, killed and wounded." fled in the wildest confusion. Everybody says Gen. Lyon's entire force, as l'eturned by his

It em

He further says:

sciences. I have driven the enemy from

among you. The time has now arrived for Our total loss, in killed, wounded, and the people of the State to act.

You can no missing, amounts to 1,235—that of the longer procrastinate. Missouri must now enemy will probably reach 3,000.”'

take her position, be it North or South."

In an order to his army, issued that Beyond doubt, the Rebel army

day, he says: was considerably larger than oursprobably about two to one.

"The flag of the Confederacy now floats

near Springfield, the stronghold of the bodied not only the mass of the Mis

enemy, souri Rebels under Gen. Price, as well proving that he did not, even yet, as those of Arkansas under McCul- feel strong enough to attack that loch, but a considerable force, also, city. But Springfield was neither from Texas, with one regiment from fortified nor provisioned for a siege; Louisiana. Among its losses were while the immense preponderance of Col. Weightman, commanding a brig- the Rebels in cavalry would have ade of Missourians, while Gens. Slack enabled them to cut off our supplies and Clark were severely, and Gen. from every quarter: a retreat was, Price slightly wounded. Yet the pre- therefore, wisely determined on, and ponderance of losses was undoubted- commenced during the night of the ly on our side; that of Lyon alone 14th. On the 19th, our little army, being a national disaster. McCul- with a baggage train five miles long, loch, from his camp near Springfield, reached Rolla utterly unmolested. on the 12th, after learning that the Indeed, it does not seem to have Union army, under Sturgis and been even pursued.' Sigel, had retreated from that city, issued an exulting proclamation, in

JOHN C. FREMONT had, on the 9th which he said:

of July, been appointed to the com“We have gained over them a great and mand of the Western District, insignal victory. Their general-in-chief is cluding the States of Illinois, Kenslain, and many of their other general offi- tucky, Missouri, and Kansas, with the cers wounded; their army is in full flight; and now, if the true men of Missouri will Territories stretching westward of rise up and rally around our standard, the these; but was still in New-York, State will be redeemed.

“ Missouri must be allowed to choose her endeavoring to obtain necessary arms, own destiny-no oaths binding your con- equipments, and munitions, when Adjutant, J. C. Kelton, on the 8th of August preciated the force of audacity and quick de(the day before the battle), was 5,368; which in

cision in a revolutionary war. To military edu

cation and talents, he united a rare energy and duded his sick and wounded in hospital, all who

promptitude. No doubts or scruples unsettled were absent on special duty, and his guard left

A Connecticut Yankee, without a in Springfield. It is, therefore, certain that he

trace of chivalric feeling or personal sensibility fought the battle of Wilson's Creek with less -one of those who submit to insult with inthan 5,500, and, after the rout of Sigel, with difference, yet are brave on the field-he was less than 4,500. We have seen that the Rebels,

this exception to the politics of the late regular

army of the United States, that he was an by their own account, had at least twice this

unmitigated, undisguised, and fanatical Abonumber in the field, beside those left in camp litionist.”

'Pollard, in his "Southern History,” says: 8 Pollard, in his “ Southern History," says:

“Shortly after the battle, the. Confederate "The death of Gen. Lyon was a serious loss to army returned to the frontier of Arkansas; the Federals in Missouri. He was an able and Gens. McCulloch and Price having failed to dangerous man-a man of the times, who ap- agree upon the plan of a campaign in Missouri."

his mind.

for want of arms.

GEN. FREMONT IN MISSOURI.

583

tidings were received of the Union night, hiding in the forests, or disdisaster at Bull Run. He left that persing to their homes and pretendcity on the evening of that day ing to be peaceful citizens, by day: (July 22d), and reached St. Louis The bolder traitors were ready and on the 25th.

eager for open hostilities; the more The bad news had, of course, pre-cowardly would follow their leaders ceded him; and he found most of in a midnight raid on a peaceful the Union soldiers in his department Union settlement, or aid them in just ready to be mustered out of ser- burning railroad bridges. Kentucky, vice at the close of their three months' though hitherto closed against Union enlistment-disaffected, because un soldiers, received without objection paid ; while arms, money, and nearly large bodies of Rebels from Tenneseverything else required by the public see and below, and, from her thoroughexigency, were wanting. The Union- ly disloyal Western district, formiists were temporarily stunned and dably threatened Cairo. Gen. Frealmost paralyzed by their great and mont's position and its difficulties are unexpected disaster near Washing- very forcibly depicted in the private ton. The energies of the Govern- letter which he addressed, five days ment were absorbed in hurrying to after his arrival, to the President, as the Potomac every available regiment follows: and battery from whatever quarter;

“HEAD-QUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, while the Secessionists, exultant and

“ST. LOUIS, July 30th, 1861.

"MY DEAR Sir: You were kind enough sanguine, were preparing on all sides

to say that, as occasions of sufficient gravity to push their advantage promptly arose, I might send you a private note. and to the utmost.

“I have found this command in disorder; Lieut. Gov. Reynolds, in a procla- condition, and the enemy advancing in force mation to the people of Missouri, by different points of the Southern frontier. dated New Madrid, July 31st, with Within a circle of fifty miles around Gen.

Prentiss, there are about 12,000 of the Congood reason assured them, that “the federate forces ; 10 and 5,000 Tennessee' and sun which shone in its full, midday. Arkansas men, under Hardee, well armed splendor at Manassas, is about to with rifles, are advancing upon Ironton. Of

these, 2,000 are cavalry, which, yesterday rise upon Missouri.” Every young morning, were within twenty-four hours slaveholder instinctively snatched his march of Ironton. Col. Bland, who had rifle, mounted his horse, and started been seduced from this post, is falling back

upon it. I have already reënforced it with for the nearest Rebel camp. Each old one regiment; sent another this morning, one stayed at home, professed neu

and fortified it. I am holding the railroad

to Ironton and that to Rolla, so securing trality, if the Union sentiment of

our connections with the South, his neighborhood were decidedly pre- measures, which I am taking, I will not dominant, but sent his older sons to

trust to a letter; and I write this only to in

form you as to our true condition, and to reënforce Jackson and Price. Wher- say that, if I can obtain the material aid I ever, as in north-eastern Missouri, am expecting, you may feel secure that the and along the great lines of railroad, duced to order. I have ordered Gen. Popo

enemy will be driven out, and the State reRebel armies could not be main- / back to North Missouri, of which he is now tained, there guerrilla bands were

in command. I am sorely pressed for want

of arms. I have arranged with Adams's organized, to operate with vigor by Express Company to bring me everything

Other

10 That is, in Kentucky and south-eastern Missouri, threatening Cairo, where Prentiss commanded.

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