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PROGRESS OF THE CONFLICT.
was duly felt and appreciated. Our moment the enemy showed his true colbrave little army was scattered and ors, and at once commenced along our broken ; over 20,000 men were still in entire lines the fiercest and most bloody our front, and our men had had no water engagement of the day. Lieutenant Dusince 5 o'clock the evening before, and bois' battery on our left, gallantly supcould hope for none short of Springfield, ported by Major Osterhaus' battalion twelve miles distant; if we should go and the rallied fragments of the Missouri forward, our own success would prove ist, soon silenced the enemy's battery on our certain defeat in the end ; if we re- the hill, and repulsed the right wing of treated, disaster stared us in the face ; his infantry. Captain Totten's battery our ammunition was well nigh exhausted, in the centre, supported by the Iowas and should the enemy make this discov- and regulars, was the main point of atery through a slackening of our fire, total tack. The enemy could frequently be annihilation was all we could expect. seen within twenty feet of Totten's guns, The great question in my mind was, and the smoke of the opposing lines was * Where is Sigel ?' If I could still hope often so confounded as to seem but one. for a vigorous attack by him on the en- Now, for the first time during the day, emy's right flank or rear, then we could our entire line inaintained its position go forward with some hope of success. with perfect firmness. Not that the If he had retreated, there was nothing slightest disposition to give way was left for us also. In this perplexing con- manifested at any point, and while Capdition of affairs, I summoned the princi- tain Steele’s battalion, which was some pal officers for consultation. The great yards in front of the line, together with question with most of them was, 'Is re- the troops on the right and left, were in treat possible ? The consultation was imminent danger of being overwhelmed brought to a close by the advance of a by superior numbers, the contending heavy column of infantry from the hill, lines being almost muzzle to muzzle, where Sigel's guns had been heard be- Captain Granger rushed to the rear and fore. Thinking they were Sigel's men, a brought up the supports of Dubois' batline was formed for an advance, with the tery, consisting of two or three companies hope of forming a junction with him. of the 1st Missouri, three companies of These troops wore a dress much resem- the 1st Kansas, and two companies of bling that of Sigel's brigade, and carried the 1st Iowa, in quick time, and fell upon the American flag. They were there the enemy's right flank, and poured into fore permitted to move down the hill it a murderous volley, killing or woundwithin easy range of Dubois' battery, ing nearly every man within sixty or until they had reached the covered posi- seventy yards. From this moment a tion at the foot of the ridge on which we perfect route took place throughout the were posted, and from which we had rebel front, while ours on the right flank been fiercely assailed before, when sud- continued to pour a galling fire into their denly a battery was planted on the hill disorganized masses. in our front, and began to pour on us “It was then evident that Totten's batshrapnel and canister—a species of shot tery and Steele's little battalion were not before fired by the enemy. At this safe. Among the officers conspicuous in
leading this assault were Adjutant Hez- here remembered, that just after the cock, Captains Burke, Miller, Maunter, order to retire was given, and while it Maurice, and Richardson, and Lieuten- was undecided whether the retreat should ant Howard, all of the 1st Missouri. be continued, or whether we should ocThere were others of the 1st Kansas and cupy the more favorable position of our 1st Iowa who participated, and whose rear, and await tidings of Colonel Sigel, names I do not remember. The enemy one of his non-commissioned officers arthen fled from the field. A few moments rived, and reported that the Colonel's before the close of the engagement, the brigade had been totally routed, and all 20 Kansas, which had firmly maintained his artillery captured, Colonel Sigel himits position, on the extreme right, from self having been either killed or made the time it was first sent there, found its prisoner. Most of our men having fired ammunition exhausted, and I directed it away all their ammunition, and all that to withdraw slowly and in good order could be obtained from the boxes of the from the field, which it did, bringing off killed and wounded. Nothing, thereits wounded, which left our right flank fore, was left to do but to return to exposed, and the enemy renewed the at- Springfield, where two hundred and fifty tack at that point, after it had ceased Home Guards, with two pieces of aralong the whole line ; but it was gal- tillery, had been left to take care of the lantly met by Captain Steele's battalion train. On reaching the Little York of regulars, which had just driven the Road, we met Lieutenant Farrand, with enemy from the right of the centre, and, his company of dragoons, and a conafter a sharp engagement, drove him siderable portion of Colonel Sigel's comprecipitately from the field. Thus closed mand, with one piece of artillery. At -at about half-past eleven o'clockan five o'clock we reached Springfield.” almost uninterrupted conflict of six From this account of the main action, hours. The order to retreat was given we turn to the narrative of Colonel soon after the enemy gave way from our Sigel of the part borne by his command front and centre. Lieutenant Dubois' at the opposite or southern end of the having been previously sent to occupy the valley. “On Friday, the 9th of with its supports the hill in our rear. August,” says he, “General Lyon inCaptain Totten's battery, as soon as his formed me, that it was his intention to disabled horses could be replaced, retired attack the enemy in his camp at Wilslowly with the main body of the in- son's Creek, on the morning of the 10th ; fantry, while Captain Steele was meeting that the attack should be made from two the demonstrations upon our right flank. sides, and that I should take command This having been repulsed, and no enemy of the left. The troops assigned to me being in sight, the whole column moved consisted of the Second Brigade, Misslowly to the high open prairie, about souri volunteers—900 men-infantry of two miles from the battle-ground ; mean the 31 and 5th regiments, under the while our ambulances passed to and fro, command of Lieutenant-Colonel Albert carrying off our wounded. After making and Colonel Salomon, and six pieces of a shor' halt on the prairie, we continued artillery, under Lieutenants Schaeffer our march to Springfield. It should be and Scheutzenbach ; besides two com
COLONEL SIGEL'S ATTACK.
panies of regular cavalry, belonging to and increased, until it was evident that the command of Major Sturgis. I left the main corps of General Lyon had enCamp Fremont, on the south side of gaged the enemy along the whole line. Springfield, at 6} o'clock, on the evening To give the greatest possible assistance of the 9th, and arrived at daybreak to him, I left my position in the camp within a mile of the enemy's camp, and, and advanced toward the north-west to after taking forward the two cavalry attack the enemy's line of battle in the companies from the right and left, I cut rear. off about forty men of the enemy's Marching forward, we struck the troops, who were coming from the camp Fayetteville road, making our way in little squads to get water and pro- through a large number of cattle and visions. This was done in such a man- horses, until we arrived at an eminence ner that no news of our advance could used as a slaughtering place, and known be brought into the camp. In sight of as Sharp's Farm. On our route we had the enemy's tents, which spread out on taken about two hundred prisoners, who our front and right, I planted four pieces were scattered over the camp. At of artillery on a little hill, whilst the in- Sharp's place we met numbers of the fantry advanced toward the point where enemy's soldiers, who were evidently rethe Fayetteville road crosses Wilson's tiring in this direction, and, as I susCreek, and the two cavalry companiespected, that the enemy, on his retreat, extended to the right and left to guard would follow in the same direction, I our flank. It was 5} o'clock when some formed the troops across the road by musket firing was heard from the north- planting the artillery on the plateau and West. I therefore ordered the artillery the two infantry regiments on the right to begin their fire against the camp of and left, across the road, whilst the cavthe enemy (Missourians), which was so alry companies extended on our flanks. destructive that the enemy were seen At this time, and after some skirmishing leaving their tents and retiring in haste in front of our line, the firing in the ditoward the north-east valley. Mean- rection of the north-west, which was while the 3d and 5th had quickly ad- during an hour's time, roaring in sucvanced, passed the creek, and traversing cession, had almost entirely ceased. I the camp, formed almost in the centre thereupon presumed that the attack of of it. As the enemy made his rally in General Lyon had been successful, and large numbers before us, about 3,000 that his troops were in pursuit of the strong, consisting of infantry and cav- enemy, who moved in large numbers airy, I ordered the artillery to be toward the south, along the ridge of it brought forward from the hill and form- hill about 700 yards opposite our right. ed there in battery across the valley,
“This was the state of affairs at 81 with the 3d and 5th to the left, and the o'clock in the morning, when it was recavalry to the right. After an effectual ported to me by Dr. Melchior and some fire of half an hour, the enemy retired in of our skirmishers, that Lyon's men were some confusion into the woods and up coming up the road. Lieutenant Albert the adjoining hills. The firing toward of the 3d, and Colonel Salomon of the the north-west was now more distinct, 5th, notified their regiments not to fire
on troops coming in this direction, whilst off his retreat, which order I tried to I cautioned the artillery in the same execute, whatever
whatever the consequences manner. Our troops at this moment ex- might be. Second, the time of service pected with anxiety the approach of our of the 5th regiment Missouri Volunteers friends, and were waving the flag, raised had expired before the battle. I had as a signal to their comrades, when at induced them, company by company, once two batteries opened their fire not to leave us in the most critical moagainst us—one in front, placed on the ment, and had engaged them for the Fayetteville road, and the other upon term of eight days, this term ending on the hill upon which we had supposed Friday the 9th, the day before the battle. Lyon's forces were in pursuit of the Third, the 3d regiment, of which 400 enemy, whilst a strong column of in- three months' men had been dismissed, fantry, supposed to be the Iowa regi- was composed for the greater part of rement, advanced from the Fayetteville cruits, who had not seen the enemy road and attacked our right. It is im- before, and were imperfectly drilled.
, possible for me to describe the conster- Fourth, the men serving the pieces, and nation and frightful confusion which was the drivers, consisted of infantry taken occasioned by this important event. from the 3d regiment, and were mostly The cry, They (Lyon's troops) are recruits who had only a few days' infiring against us!' spread like wild fire struction. Fifth, about two-thirds of our through our ranks; the artillerymen, or- officers had left us ; some companies had dered to fire, and directed by myself, no officers at all—a great pity--but the could hardly be brought forward to consequence of the system of the three serve their pieces; the infantry would months' service." not level their arms until it was too late. General McCulloch, the commander
, The enemy arrived within ten paces of in-chief of the several divisions of the the muzzles of our cannon, killed the insurgent forces in the field, thus reports horses, turned the flanks of the infantry, the operations of the day, his account and forced them to fly. The troops were abundantly confirming the valor of the throwing themselves into the bushes and assailants as reported by the Union bye-roads, retreating as well as they officers : “General Lyon attacked us on could, followed and attacked incessantly our left and General Sigel on our right by large bodies of Arkansas and Texas and rear. From these points batteries cavalry. In this retreat we lost five opened upon us. My command was cannon, of which three were spiked, and soon ready. The Missourians under the colors of the 3d, the color-bearer Generals Slack, Clark, McBride, Parhaving been wounded, and his substitute sons and Rains, were nearest the posikilled."
tion taken by General Lyon with his " In order," adds Colonel Sigel, “ to main force ; they were instantly turned understand clearly our actions and our to the left, and opened the battle with fate, you will permit me to state the an incessant fire of small arms. Woodfollowing facts : First, according to or- ruff opposed his battery to the battery ders, it was the duty of this brigade to of the enemy, under Captain Totten, and attack the enemy in the rear, and to cut a constant canngnade was kept up be