SAINT LOUIS, Mo., May 17, 1861.
Lieut. Col. E. D. TOWNSEND,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Hdqrs. of the Army, Washington, D.C.
SIR: I deem it of the highest importance that 10,000 stand of arms be placed at my disposal
at the earliest moment possible for issue to reliable Union men in Missouri. Loyal men are now
being driven from the State by the secessionists. Calls are constantly made upon me by Union
men for arms, that they may be enabled to defend themselves.
I also earnestly advise that Iowa be called upon to furnish at least 6,000 men for the war and
Minnesota 3,000, and that this force be placed at my disposal for operations in Missouri, should
it be required for the purpose.
Please answer by telegraph.
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
WASHINGTON, May 27, 1861.
Brig. Gen. W. S. HARNEY,
Commanding Department of the West, Saint Louis, Mo.:
SIR: The President observes with concern that, notwithstanding the pledge of the State
authorities to co-operate in preserving peace in Missouri, loyal citizens in great numbers
continue to be driven from their homes. It is immaterial whether these outrages continue from
inability or indisposition on the part of the State authorities to prevent them. It is enough that
they continue to devolve on you the duty of putting a stop to them summarily by the force under
your command, to be aided by such troops as you may require from Kansas, Iowa, and Illinois.
The professions of loyalty to the Union by the State authorities of Missouri are not to be relied
upon. They have already falsified their professions too often, and are too far committed to
secession to be entitled to your confidence, and you can only be sure of their desisting from their
wicked purposes when it is out of their power to prosecute them. You will therefore be
unceasingly watchful of their movements, and not permit the clamors of their partisans and
opponents of the wise measures already taken to prevent you from checking every movement
against the Government, however disguised, under the pretended State authority. The authority
of the United States is paramount, and whenever it is apparent that a movement, whether by
color of State authority or not, is hostile, you will not hesitate to put it down.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
BOONEVILLE, Mo., June 18, 1861.
DEAR HARDING: You have heard of us and our leaving Jefferson City on the 16th. We
debarked next morning a little above Rockport, and had not proceeded more than 2 miles before
we met their advanced pickets, and soon after their whole force. At first the secessionists made a
weak effort, which doubtless was intended to lead us on to their stronghold, where they held on
with considerable resolution, and gave us a check for a short time and made some havoc. On
moving forward, however, a straggling fire from the right and left made it necessary to move on
with caution and slowness, and we reached the city about 2 o'clock p.m., where we were met by
many people, under consternation from the erroneous impression that great violence would be
perpetrated upon persons and property. I have been engaged more or less in removing this
impression. I regret much that my proclamation was not published promptly, so that I could have
had it here for distribution. I get no news of what is going on around us, but much fear the
movement from Texas, and hope the subject will engage the attention of the General
Government. Keep McClellan advised upon the matter. I had hoped some of our Iowa troops
would have been in this region by this time, but hear nothing of them. My suspense just now is
Yours, truly,
Reports of Brig. Gen. Nathaniel Lyon, U. S. Army.
Near Booneville, Mo., June 22, 1861.
DEAR SIR: I have received the orders from the War Department including this State in the
military department under your command. Prior to the receipt of these orders I had, in
consequence of the proclamation of Governor Jackson, of this State, which seemed to me
tantamount to a declaration of war, ordered a movement of a portion of the: troops under my
command to Jefferson City and in the direction of Springfield, Mo., for the purpose of breaking
up the hostile organizations which I had reason to believe had been formed in those parts of the
State to resist the authority of the Government. On reaching Jefferson City with the force under
my immediate command, consisting of the regular troops and the regiment of Colonel Blair,
Missouri volunteers, I found that the governor and the State troops had retired to this place, and
had collected together three or four thousand men.
As soon therefore as I was joined at Jefferson City by the regiment of Colonel Boernstein,
Missouri Volunteers, I left that city under his command with three companies, and proceeded to
this place with the balance of the regiment of Colonel Boernstein, the regiment of Colonel Blair,
and the regular troops, consisting of Captain Totten's battery and three companies of infantry, the
whole command amounting to about 1,700 men. With this force I landed, on the morning of the
17th June, about 6 miles below Booneville, and about 2 miles below the camp of the enemy, and
had proceeded a short distance in the direction of Booneville when the enemy opened fire upon
us. The action, however, lasted a very short time, and the enemy were soon routed, their camp
taken, and the city of Booneville occupied by our troops. I will in a few days prepare and
forward to you a more detailed account of the affair.
I have ascertained to-day, from reliable and undoubted information, that another camp of the
State troops which had collected at Lexington, in this State, consisted of many of those who fled
from this place and the force that had collected at Blue Mills to oppose the movement of troops
from Leavenworth and Kansas City, and variously estimated from 5,000 to 6,000 men, broke up
their camp yesterday, and started toward the south with the intention of uniting with the troops
said to be collecting in Arkansas to invade this State. The rumor which has been so long
prevalent in regard to the contemplated movement from Arkansas under Ben. McCulloch
appears to me to have assumed shape and consistency, and it is no longer to be doubted that such
an enterprise is on foot. To meet it, I had already, before leaving Saint Louis, dispatched a large
force, consisting of the regiments of Colonel Sigel, Colonel Salomon, and Colonel Brown, under
the command of Brigadier General Sweeny, commanding the Home Guard in Saint Louis. I
cannot speak with precision as to the amount of force under Ben. McCulloch, but I am disposed
to think it Cannot be less than 5,000 men, and all that I hear makes it much greater.
It is my purpose to order the force under Captain Sturgis and the volunteers with him from
Kansas and Iowa to follow the retreating forces of the State from Lexington in the direction of
Springfield, and to follow with all the speed I can, and as soon as I can procure transportation,
another body of the State troops under General Parsons and Governor Jackson, who are
retreating in the same direction through the town of Warsaw. I have hopes that the retreat of the
party from Lexington may be cut off by the cavalry under Captain Sturgis, and that the party
under General Parsons maybe intercepted by the command which has already been to
Springfield. But if these parties should be able to unite with McCulloch and the troops from
Arkansas, it will swell his numbers to 10,000 or 12,000 men; and as it will be necessary for me
to leave detachments at various points to secure my communications with Saint Louis, it will be
necessary to have an additional force to repel the invading force from Arkansas, and I will
therefore ask, if you approve the disposition of the troops made and contemplated by me, that
you will order three regiments from Illinois to march out by the Southwestern Branch of the
Pacific Railroad to Springfield. This route has already been secured and guarded, and the passage
of :troops can be rapid and safe, and when the force is concentrated at Springfield will, I trust,
enable me to repel any force which may be brought from Arkansas.
Allow me to add that I think too much attention cannot be given to the necessity of reenforcing
the troops now in the southwestern part of this State, as I am persuaded that formidable
preparations have been made by the enemy in that quarter.
Colonel Blair, who is on his way to Washington to attend the session of Congress, will see
you and give you fan explanations in regard to affairs here and in Missouri.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brig. Gen., U.S. Volunteers, Commanding.
Commanding Western Division.
P. S.--I am not advised whether this State continues a portion of the Department of the West,
nor whether the Department of the West, with the troops of it, will co-operate with you in this
QUINCY, July 17, 1861.
Major-General FREMONT, New York:
I am ordered to hold the Hannibal and Saint Joseph Railroad. I have three regiments posted
along the road, in communication at the west with Iowa troops, for detached service and
breaking up camps of rebels. I need better arms than the smooth musket. I have one regiment
wholly unarmed in camp here, and can get no arms in Saint Louis or Springfield. Can you send
me minies and ammunition?
Springfield, Mo., July 19, 1861.
The following troops will move to this point at an early hour to-morrow morning and report
to Brigadier-General Sweeny, viz: Second Regiment Kansas Volunteers, under Colonel Mitchell;
a battalion, about 500 strong, of First Regiment Iowa Volunteers, under command of Lieutenant-
Colonel Merritt; two companies of cavalry, to be designated by Major Sturgis, and one section of
Captain Totten's battery. The troops will take one wagon to each company, with the necessary
camp equipage. Provisions and the necessary transportation will be furnished from this place.
By order of General Lyon:
Acting Adjutant-General.
Saint Charles, July 23, 1861.
His Excellency SAMUEL J. KIRKWOOD, Governor of Iowa:
SIR: Your letter to General Hurlbut, with a communication from Colonel Bussey, has been
transmitted to me. In reply to it I have to say that I most cordially accept the proffered aid in
maintaining peace and quiet in those portions of North Missouri bordering on the Iowa line. In
sending your State or other forces into Missouri be pleased to intrust their command to discreet
and prudent officers, who should be directed to keep me advised of all their operations, and who
should inform me frequently of all matters of interest or importance connected with the condition
of that region. It is not my purpose to make arrests for opinion's sake, but rather to force the
people throughout this section to keep the peace among themselves, and to keep open their own
lines of public communication. It is impossible that the Federal Government can employ for any
length of time so large a force merely to protect public works against destruction by those for
whose benefit they were built, and it is my purpose to offer such inducements to the citizens of
this State as will be sufficient to secure their own active agency in protecting their lines of
railroad and other works of public convenience or necessity. I have published a Notice to the
people along the line of the North Missouri Railroad, which I intend also to apply to the
Hannibal and Saint Joe Road, based on these views, a copy of which I herewith transmit. As I
shall enforce the penalty to the letter I hope to see good results follow before many days.
Your active interference in North Missouri will, I fear, be very shortly necessary, and in a
stronger force than you suggest. The unfortunate repulse of our forces at Manassas has aroused
the whole secession element in this State to renewed activity, and intelligence received this
morning from Saint Louis has compelled me to suspend, for the present, further movements of
the troops from this place in the direction of the Hannibal and Saint Joe Road.
It is by no means improbable that I may be obliged within a few days to move the whole
force in North Missouri into Saint Louis to protect that city from civil tumult and bloodshed, and
in that case I shall call upon yourself and Governor Yates to replace them by State forces. I will
communicate further with you in a day or two, when affairs have assumed somewhat more
definite shape.
I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brig. Gen., U. S. Army, Commanding in North Missouri.
Governor S. J. KIRKWOOD:
DEAR SIR: Since my dispatch to you, dated Leon, July 23, communicating a general
account of the recent troubles on the border of Ringgold County, I have the honor to report to
you further troubles, with my action in the premises, with the hope that it will meet your
On my return home from Leon, I was met by a messenger from Capt. W. C. Drake, of
Corydon, who was at that time stationed at Allenville, on the border of Ringgold County,
informing me that Colonel Cranor, of Gentry County, Missouri, had sent to him for assistance
and re-enforcements, as the rebels were fortified on Grand River, reported to be from 800 to
1,200 strong, with three pieces of artillery. Colonel Cranor had under his command about 300
Union Missouri men, badly armed, and over 100 Iowans, who had volunteered under him. I
dispatched a messenger from Garden Grove to the various armed companies within reach,
ordering them to march and concentrate at Allenville immediately, also at Chariton.
Communications were sent to Keokuk and Burlington for two pieces of artillery, to be forwarded
to me, if they could be obtained. I also sent a messenger to Captain Drake, to ascertain more
minutely the facts as to the condition of affairs in his vicinity. I started for Captain Drake's camp,
but was met 25 miles this side by the returning messengers, whom I had sent the day before.
These confirmed all the intelligence brought me the day previous.
On reaching Captain Drake's camp I ascertained that messengers had just arrived from
Colonel Cranor's command, conveying the information that the belligerents, then within 4 miles
of each other, had made a treaty of peace. I have seen a copy of it, and it is in substance as
follows: Each party was to lay down its arms, return home, and assist each other in enforcing the
laws of Missouri against all offenders. This was a decided victory gained by the rebels, as the
terms were general, and embraced the obnoxious "military bill" of that State, and such laws as
the rebel legislature, then in session in the southern part of the State of Missouri, might thereafter
pass, under the auspices of Governor Jackson.
Colonel Cranor resides in the neighborhood of a large body of secessionists, and was no
doubt influenced to enter into such a treaty in consequence of intimidation and threats against his
life and property. The secessionists in that region are more bold than before, and have
recommenced mustering under the military laws of the State, which are obnoxious to the Union
men, and to which they will not submit. The Union men of that region of the State are indignant
and mortified at the terms of the treaty. Many have become disheartened, have abandoned their
property and their crops, and are leaving the State. The same feelings have taken hold? really
families on the border, in Iowa. I have seen several families who, abandoning everything to the
fates, have returned to friends in other States. The loyal men of both States, separated merely by
an imaginary line, have the same sympathies in a common cause. Whatever excitement is raised
or demonstration made in Missouri tending to injure the property and destroy the lives of Union
men of that State appeals for aid to friends and neighbors in Iowa; nor do they appeal in vain.
The arming and military parades made by our companies along the border at most points have
produced most salutary effects; it strengthens and inspires the Union men of Missouri, and
carries over to them the neutrals and a great many terror-stricken secessionists. They voluntarily
come forward every day and take the oath of allegiance.
In connection with the subject of my last dispatch to you, I would say that at least 1,500
citizens of Iowa left their harvest fields and families and rushed into Missouri to the relief of the
Union men. These citizens were armed in every conceivable manner, without officers, system, or
drill. They generally traversed a country broken with timber and undergrowth. Had the rebels
displayed sufficient nerve and skill they might have killed and captured them all; or had a
general engagement taken place, our citizens, without officers, system, or drill, might have
slaughtered each other.
The loyal men of Missouri express their gratitude to the people of Iowa for their timely aid
and support on every trying occasion. Everything they possessed was cheerfully offered free of
charge to render our citizens as comfortable as possible. I know several gentlemen who not only
fed hundreds of Missouri citizens and their horses daily, for over a week at a time, but spent
hundreds of dollars, sometimes their last dollar, in this benevolent manner. On account of the
excitement and constant alarm along the border our citizens lost much valuable time by frequent
hurrying to arms; therefore a vast amount of grain was lost on the fields.
In view of apprehended outbreaks, sooner or later, on the border of Ringgold and Taylor
Counties, I have ordered into camp at this place those companies which have received marching
orders and are already on the way to the scene of difficulty. For the reasons before stated,
coupled with the news of our late reverses at Manassas Junction, the rebels here and elsewhere
will be inspired with new vigor. I came into camp last night with three companies; the rest will
follow to-day and to-morrow. I have commenced systematizing every department of the service,
placing the most competent men in the various positions; the strictest discipline will be adopted,
and drill performed as in the United States service. Every arrangement necessary for the comfort
and health of the soldiers will be carried out. The most rigid economy will be practiced, and an
exact account rendered of every cent of expense incurred. The times are such that the people
demand that something be done at once and effectively. We are so situated on the border that
when we are called upon to act we must act at once. Heretofore we had no system; if called into
action our men were liable to be cut off by the and by one enemy another. All the companies
called into camp are armed except the cavalry, decidedly the most effective on the border. For
want of better, I shall arm them with muskets as far as I can.
I have ordered into camp on the line between Taylor and Ringgold Counties two companies
for thirty days, unless sooner ordered to disband, as you may direct. I will keep out scouts for the
next ten days in the vicinity where danger will be most likely to occur. I will be ready to strike at
a moment's notice. If I am convinced that matters are settled, I will in less than two weeks strike
By that time I am of the opinion we shall be able to determine, with some degree of certainty,
the shape things will assume at the strong secession holds. There has been a settled
understanding among the secessionists throughout Missouri to strike a blow simultaneously with
Governor Jackson, who is operating in the southern portion of the State. I will report to you as
often as I can my proceedings.
The principal design of the secessionists in the northern portion of the State is to keep up the
excitement as much as possible, to divert attention from Jackson's operations, while they will do
all in their power to harass the Union men in both States. They will not come to a regular
engagement. In Gentry County alone they will number at least 1,000, who are continually on the
tramp, day and night, skulking in the bush.
We have derived a great deal of authentic information through our scouts, who have
penetrated their camps and councils, coming in upon them from the southeast and passing for
The 300 muskets have just arrived.
I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Aide-de-Camp.
Saint Louis, Mo., July 30, 1861.
Brig. Gen. JOHN POPE, U.S. A.,
Commanding North Missouri District, Mexico, Mo.:
SIR: The general has ordered the Fifth and Sixth Iowa Regiments from Burlington to
Keokuk, Iowa. Colonel Worthington is the senior officer, and has been ordered to report to you
immediately upon the arrival of the regiments under his command. The general has also
authorized a battalion of riflemen, which is now employed along the Southern Iowa line, under
the command of Governor Kirkwood's aide, to move into Missouri, for the protection of citizens,
when called upon, reporting any such movement to you.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Mexico, August 2, 1861.
To COMMANDING OFFICER Iowa Forces, Keokuk, Iowa:
SIR: Inclosed are instructions for your movement with your command upon Memphis,
Waterloo, Monticello, and Edina. I desire this movement to be made as rapidly as possible, as it
is my purpose to concentrate in one camp the entire force in North Missouri as soon as it can
possibly be done. If you have not the means to transport the rations necessary for your command,
buy at Memphis, Monticello, Waterloo, and Edina what provisions are needed, and give orders
on brigade commissary here.
In selecting members for the committee of public safety you are directed to appoint, be sure
to put upon it at least two, or, better still, three of the most worthy and prominent secessionists. It
is the service of the secessionists I specially require, and I desire that you will give them plainly
to understand that unless peace is preserved, their property will be immediately levied upon, and
their contribution collected at once in any kind of property at hand.
When once the secessionists are made to understand that upon peace in their midst depends
the safety of their families and property, we shall soon have quiet again in North Missouri. Take
care that your men are orderly and commit no excesses.
Respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Mexico, August 2, 1861.
Colonel WORTHINGTON, Commanding Iowa Troops, Keokuk:
SIR: Immediately upon receipt of this order you will direct Colonel Bussey, with his cavalry,
to march forthwith to Memphis, in Scotland County, and having discharged the duty hereafter
specified in this order, to effect a junction at Edina with the remainder of the forces under your
command. You will please put one of your infantry regiments on march for Edina by the way of
Waterloo, and with the other regiment under your immediate command you will take boat for
Canton, and proceed to Edina by way of Monticello. When you have effected a junction there
with your other forces report to me your operations and all matters of interest. Buy provisions for
your troops whenever you need them, and give orders for payment on the chief commissary at
these headquarters.
You will disperse all bands of armed secessionists, and if any are captured in arms, send
them direct to this place for trial. I send you a printed notice to be distributed along the routes
pursued by your respective columns, and direct the commanding officer to appoint committees
specified in the printed order, selecting for that purpose the most wealthy and prominent men in
the county, preferring mostly the secessionists. The printed orders and accompanying letter will
inform you fully of the system I intend to adopt in Northeast Missouri. I wish to give the
secessionists such inducements as loss of property and danger to families to aid Union men in
keeping the peace. Notify all the population that the forces stand prepared to enforce this printed
notice fully and vigorously, and commence it with your forces as soon as you think it desirable.
Act promptly and vigorously, and I think peace will result to all parts of North Missouri.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding North Missouri.
24 miles from Springfield, Fayetteville Road, August 4, 1861.
SIR: On the 1st instant I found the enemy advancing upon Springfield, and, so far as my
information went, it was his intention to center upon it three columns, and this road being the one
on which was the largest force and most advanced, I started out to meet it, in hopes to drive it
back in time to turn upon other points to the west and northwest, where the other columns are
expected. I reached Wilson's Creek, about 10 miles out, on the first day, and on the second
moved about 6 miles, and found an advanced party about 1 mile on from Hayden's farm. Having
little else than meat for my troops, and for nearly three weeks past having less than half rations
of everything but beef, which has caused considerable diarrhea, my command of volunteers,
badly disciplined and clothed, were unfit to march forward and drive in the enemy's advance, and
proceed to the only camp in advance where water could be obtained, some 4 or 5 miles farther
on, and where the rebel forces under Rains were some 3,000 strong, and who must be dislodged
before we could camp for the night. I therefore stopped at Hayden's.
The rebels' advance perceived my halt, and being mostly mounted, became bold, and
threatened me from various points, though in small force--though about 1,000 infantry advanced
pretty well forward at one time under an advance of cavalry force. My advance guards of
infantry opened fire upon them, and without orders from me, by a spontaneous emotion, the
advance guard of my cavalry charged and drove back the rebels, but lost 4 killed and 5 wounded.
Cavalry again advanced, but were driven back by my artillery, under Captain Totten.
Yesterday (3d) I advanced to this point, where General Rains, of Jackson's forces, had his
headquarters, and from which he retired without resistance. I cannot say with definiteness how
far in advance the main body is, but without supplies, and the danger of being turned by a force
to cut off our communication with Springfield, I deem it impracticable to advance; and now, as I
determine to fall back upon Springfield, I perceive evidence of an attempt on the part of the
enemy to reach Springfield, by a road to the north of us, in advance of our return. I hope the
forces in Springfield will be able to hold out till our return. But, painful as it is to announce, I
fear much my inability to retain position in Springfield, for the enemy, mostly mounted and very
numerous, will cut off our means of obtaining flour, and we shall be forced to retire. I should still
hope to retain Springfield and hold out against the enemy in this region but for the expiration of
the term of the three-months' volunteers, of whom Colonel Bates' First Iowa Regiment claiming
discharge on the 14th instant, Colonel Salomon's Fifth Missouri Regiment at different periods by
companies from the 9th to the 18th instant, and a considerable portion of Colonel Sigel's
regiment in a similar manner, by which my force will be reduced to about 3,500 men, badly
clothed and without a prospect of supplies. Prudence seems now to indicate the necessity of
withdrawing, if possible, from the country, and falling upon either Saint Louis or Kansas. Saint
Louis via Rolla will most likely be selected, with a view to re-enforcements and supplies. My
forces are now nearly as follows, which I make up from recollection, not having returns for some
time past, in consequence of the troops having been scattered around in the vicinity of
First Brigade, Major Sturgis'.
Four companies cavalry 250
Four companies First U.S. Infantry (Plummer's) 350
Two companies Second Missouri Volunteers 200
One company artillery (Captain Totten's battery) 84 ----884
Second Brigade, Sigel's.
Third Missouri Volunteers 700
Fifth Missouri Volunteers 600
Second Artillery (battery.) 190 ----- 1,420
Third Brigade, Lieutenant-Colonel Andrews'.
First Missouri Volunteers.. 900
Four companies infantry (regulars) 300
One battery artillery 64 ----1,264
Fourth Brigade, Deitzler's.
Two Kansas regiments 1,400
First Iowa Regiment (Colonel Bates) 900 ------2, 300
Grand total 5, 868
I have made every exertion to ascertain the enemy's forces; and though this is very difficult, I
am satisfied it will reach 15,000, and in an attempt to surround and cut me off there may be
gathered 20,000, most of whom will be ill-conditioned troops, collected from Missouri and
Arkansas, with such fire-arms as each man may have, and being mounted? have the means of
threatening and annoying my command. In addition to the above will be of the enemy's forces
the organized forces of McCulloch, of Texas, supposed to be 4,000, well-armed, and prepared
for effective service.
In fact, I am under the painful necessity of retreating, and can at most only hope to make my
retreat good. I am in too great haste to explain at length more fully. I have given timely notice of
my danger, and can only in the worst emergencies submit to them.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Hdqrs. Dept. of the West, Saint Louis, Mo.
Mexico, August 4, 1861.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report, for the information of the general commanding the
department, that by a simultaneous movement I shall to-night or to-morrow morning occupy in
force the county seats of the nineteen counties lying east of the North Missouri Railroad and its
proposed continuation north to the Iowa line. The three Iowa regiments have been instructed to
move as follows: The cavalry regiment to Memphis, the county seat of Scotland County, and
thence to Edina, the county seat of Knox, near which it is reported that a camp of 2,500
secessionists has been established; one infantry regiment to march upon Edina direct from
Keokuk; the other to come down to Canton, and thence to march upon Edina by way of
Monticello. These three regiments will effect a junction to-night or to-morrow morning at that
point. Brigadier General Hurlbut is instructed to occupy Palmyra, Shelbyville, and Bloomington,
the county seats of Marion, Shelby, and Macon. He has probably done so today. Colonel
Marshall, with 500 infantry, 100 cavalry, and two pieces of horse artillery moved from this place
day before yesterday with the design of occupying Paris, the county seat of Monroe, and thence
upon New London and Hannibal; Captain McNulta, with 100 cavalry, upon Bowling Green, the
county seat of Pike County, from Montgomery City, on the line of North Missouri road. Captain
Peck, Twenty-first Illinois Volunteers, with 300 infantry, from Warrenton, on this road, marched
yesterday, and occupies to-day Troy, the county seat of Lincoln. Five companies of infantry,
under Major Goddard, occupy Fulton? the county seat of Callaway County. Lieutenant-Colonel
Johnson, with 400 hundred men, occupies Huntsville, seat of Randolph County, to-day. Macon
City, the junction of Hannibal and Saint Joe road, is held by five companies of Sixteenth Illinois
Volunteers; and Sturgeon, on line of North Missouri road, by four companies of the Fourteenth.
If these movements have been made promptly and vigorously, by to-morrow morning the
forces will occupy all those points, and as no place of retreat for armed parties of secessionists
will be left in all that region without the certainty of encountering some portion of the United
States forces, it is expected that they will either be taken or dispersed. The object of these
movements was as much to put in operation the policy marked out in General Orders, No. 3,
from these headquarters, copies of which are inclosed, as with an expectation of finding any
considerable force in arms against the United States. I inclose also copy of instructions issued to
officers in command of these various columns, as also copy of a letter addressed to J. H.
Sturgeon, esq. These various papers will explain fully the policy I am pursuing and the reasons
therefor. In addition to the reasons thus assigned, I have to say that, by pursuing the system of
hunting out these guerrilla parties, the whole force under my command will be as much
demoralized and as little fitted for active service in campaign as the marauding parties
themselves. I am compelled to pursue some policy, however harsh, which will enable me to
assemble my forces in a camp of instruction, that I may establish that discipline and habit of
service essential to any efficiency in the field hereafter. Raw troops such as these grow worse
every day by this system of small detachments scattered over the country on police duty, and if it
be pursued for two months, I shall have a mob and not an army to command.
I have selected a point near Brookfield, on the Hannibal and Saint Joe Railroad, for a camp
for all the forces under my command. Water is abundant and good, and the ground fine rolling
prairie, with timber at hand on both sides. I shall move to that point as soon as the quartermaster
in Saint Louis can send forward transportation. It is my design in moving to that point to occupy
in succession Columbia, Fayette, Glasgow, and Keytesville.
I am, captain, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding in North Missouri.
CAMP ON WILSON'S CREEK, August 10, 1861.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that about breakfast the enemy opened one of their
batteries upon my camp. Being in an open field and exposed to a raking fire of grape and shell,
and not supported by any of our own batteries, I fell back to the woods, and there formed my
regiment. I then moved down the road in the direction of Springfield. Having reached the hollow,
I was met by an aide of General Price, asking for a re-enforcement to come to the support of
General Slack. I instantly moved up my regiment to his aid amid a shower of grape and
musketry, and took my position on his left, and ordered my men to commence firing. We
disputed the ground there with the enemy inch by inch, for about three or four hours, amidst a
most terrific fire from their battery, posted on the hill, supposed to be Totten's, and continued
volleys of musketry. I there encountered the forces commanded by General Lyon in person,
mostly all regulars, with a regiment of Iowa troops. The battle raged fiercely, and the firing
scarcely ceased for a moment. The contest seemed doubtful. At times we would drive them up
the hill, and in turn they would rally and cause us to fall back. At length we shouted and made a
gallant charge and drove them over the hill.
At this moment the Louisiana regiment, with Colonel Dockery, flanked them upon my left,
made a charge, and drove them completely from the field. This was the last position they
abandoned, and the last stand they made. In the engagement I had two horses shot under me. The
adjutant, James Harper, was shot down, mortally wounded, at his post, with his sword in hand,
leading and cheering on the men. The sergeant-major, N. T. Roberts, was wounded in the
shoulder while leading on the left. My volunteer aide, A. H. Sevier, was wounded in the breast
while encouraging our men to stand by their colors, and had to be taken from the field. The
lieutenant-colonel and major evinced great bravery and gallantry in leading their different wings
to the charge; and I must say that no men displayed greater coolness than they did upon the field.
Captain McAlexander was killed advancing on the enemy at the head of his company. At the
same time fell Lieutenants Dawson, Chambers, and Johnson; Captains Ramsaur and Porter, and
Lieutenants Thomas King, Adams, Hardesty, and McIvor severely wounded. Captains Pearson
and Gibbs and Lieutenants Saddler Wair, and Head slightly wounded. Major Harper at one time
was taken prisoner by the enemy, but made his escape. Captain Reynolds was thrown from his
horse early in the action, and was cut off from his company.
Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon the officers of my command, for they were ever
seen in the thickest of the fight, cheering on their men, who always gallantly responded to the
I lost in the engagement 42 killed and 155 wounded.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Commanding First Regiment Arkansas Mounted Riflemen.
Brig. Gen. B. McCULLOCH,
Saint Louis, August 10, 1861.
Col. CYRUS BUSSEY, Commanding Regiment Iowa Cavalry:
SIR: I inclose herewith copies of printed order to regulate the policy to be pursued by any
forces serving in the District of North Missouri. You will please concentrate your regiment as
rapidly as possible, with such arms for their use as you can in any way procure. So soon as they
are thus concentrated you will enter the State of Missouri with your whole force, and march
slowly through the several counties of Clarke, Lewis, Scotland, Adair, and Shelby, occupying in
turn the county seats of each long enough to restore peace and to appoint the committees of
public safety specified in the order. These committees will consist of not less than five persons,
three if possible to be secessionists and men of property and standing. You will notify each of his
appointment by official letter, and receive no excuse from any of them against serving. You will
read and carefully explain to them the special order and the responsibilities they as well as their
people incur under it, and impress upon them the certainty of the immediate execution of every
penalty specified for breach of the peace among them. Make public their names everywhere and
report them to me. Distribute the printed order along the line of march, calling the special
attention of the people to it.
If armed bodies of men are authentically reported to you, march upon and disperse them,
sending all prisoners taken in arms to this place for trial. Assume the command of all the Home
Guards or other armed bodies serving in your region on the behalf of the United States or for the
protection of Union citizens of that section. Furnish me at once with a return of all such forces,
showing their number, station, place of enrollment, equipment, and the authority under which
they are acting. Leave a confidential person at Keokuk to communicate every day with me by
telegraph, giving me all information pertaining to your operations, the state of your command,
and of the country you are operating in. Communicate with the commanding officer along the
line of Hannibal and Saint Joseph road, and comply with any instructions he may give you for
concerted action.
A brigadier-general in the United States service will be sent to that region of country, under
whose command you will place yourself and all your forces, as well as the Home Guards. Until
his arrival you will yourself exercise this command. I wish you always to bear in mind that it is
my purpose to enlist the entire agency of the secessionists in the preservation of peace among
themselves and their neighbors, under the severe penalties prescribed. I call your particular
attention to Special Orders, No. 9, herewith inclosed.
I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding in North Missouri.
SAINT LOUIS, August 13, 1861.
Colonel LAUMAN [Seventh Iowa]:
SIR: You are hereby ordered to proceed by railroad forthwith to Rolla, to re-enforce and
support Brigadier-General Sigel, with five other regiments ordered there. As it is apprehended
that the rebels under Hardee will threaten Rolla from Salem, and endeavor to cut off General
Sigel's communication with Saint Louis, that place (Rolla) is to be held at all hazards.
The command will be assumed by the senior colonel, who will report at once to this
Major-General, Commanding.
Ironton, Mo., August 15, 1861.
Capt. JOHN C. KELTON, Assistant Adjutant-General:
SIR: I have to-day to note the arrival of two regiments of infantry--Colonel Lauman, Seventh
Iowa Regiment, and Colonel Thayer, First Nebraska Regiment. I have also ordered the Twentyfirst
Regiment Illinois Volunteers, under Colonel Alexander, forward upon the Greenville road,
and Col. Frederick Hecker, Twenty-fourth Illinois Volunteers, upon the Fredericktown road,
taking five days' rations, with instructions to form a conjunction at Brunot. I expect to follow tomorrow
with artillery, should any arrive, a few companies of infantry, and more provisions, if
means of transportation can be procured; otherwise I shall send teams back from Brunot or
Greenville for additional rations.
I purchased to-day sixteen wagons and sixty-eight mules, subject to the approval of Major-
General Frémont. These teams are well adapted for our use--more suitable and more efficient
than those which we have heretofore employed or found in the service of this command. I shall
to-morrow purchase five more wagons and twenty mules on the same terms. The teams which I
have conditionally purchased have been for some time in the service of the Government without
charge if now purchased; otherwise to receive compensation.
Requisitions were made upon Quartermaster McKinstry some days since for camp equipage,
&c., but as yet I have received nothing. At this time I have not a single tent for my headquarters,
nor is there any stationery in the quartermaster's department.
Several prisoners now in my charge I shall at the earliest convenience send to the arsenal,
with charges accompanying.
Since writing the above a messenger has come in from a spy I have out, who reports the rebel
force much greater than has heretofore been represented--from 25,000 to 30,000. The spy
mentioned is an officer in disguise. From representations made by the messenger, the
information which has caused them to retreat was obtained from a preacher of this place, who
managed to get out of camp and is now back again, without a pass. I have ordered his arrest, and
will have him sent to Saint Louis if caught.
I shall move with the detachments of my command, viz, the Twenty-first and Twenty-fourth
Illinois Regiments, towards Brunot, subject to any order from your department, and will report as
often as practicable.
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Saint Louis, August 17, 1861.
Capt. JOHN C. KELTON, Assistant Adjutant-General:
CAPTAIN: In compliance with directions from the general commanding the department, I
have the honor to submit the following brief remarks concerning the condition of the district
under my command:
In consequence of the firing on the trains of the Hannibal and Saint Joseph road, General
Hurlbut, with 600 men and two pieces of artillery, has been occupying Marion County for the
past ten days, and enforcing the provisions of General Orders, No. 3, from these headquarters,
which requires the inhabitants to furnish quarters, subsistence, and transportation in case of
difficulties of the kind. The effect has been complete, and in compliance with solemn pledges on
the part of the citizens, presented by a delegation sent to me, they were yesterday relieved from
the penalty. The force under Martin Green has been driven into the northern part of Adair
County. Colonels Moore and Bussey from the east, and 550 men and two pieces of artillery from
the south, are moving upon him, and will probably unite to-day in the immediate vicinity of his
camp. No doubt his forces will disperse, as has been usual. No surprises are possible in a country
where all the inhabitants are willing to warn, if not to assist, such parties. With these exceptions
all is quiet in North Missouri, as reported to me by the committees of public safety appointed in
conformity to General Orders, No. 3. That order seems to have united all responsible persons
who have anything to lose in efforts to preserve the peace, and they have organized for that
purpose. If any skirmishing is done, it will be done by the people themselves, who are
abundantly able to protect themselves, and who have a motive to do so which they had not
before. Of course they wish troops sent to do this service, as it will save them the necessity of
personal exertion, but I think it best that they should do the work themselves where it can be
Both railroads are undisturbed since the penalty inflicted in Marion County. Of course there
is much excitement and uneasiness among the people since the affair at Springfield, but I think
from the best information I can get that it will result in no disturbance of moment. I have
ordered all the forces in and near Jefferson City to concentrate at some strong point in the town
or immediate vicinity, and shall order Colonel Worthington's Iowa regiment, after visiting
Booneville, Glasgow, Lexington, and Brunswick, to return and take position also at Jefferson
City. I transmit a letter from General T. L. Price, bearing on this subject.
Authentic intelligence from Booneville represents everything quiet and no fear of a
disturbance. I have encouraged the formation of Home Guards to act under the orders of the
commanders of the U.S. troops at every point occupied by them, but have given them no
encouragement as to being armed, equipped, or rationed by Government, except such as have
been authorized by the general commanding the department. I have the honor to request to be
furnished with the names, place of residence, and forces authorized to be thus raised within my
district. Rumors and exaggerated stories are current, but after as full information as can be
procured by letters and reports, I think North Missouri can be left as it stands without
apprehension of serious disturbance.
If consistent with the views of the general commanding, I would be glad if two companies of
Marshall's cavalry and a section of Davidson's artillery, now at Jefferson Barracks, could be
placed at my disposal for temporary service of six or eight days.
I am, captain, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Camp of Good Hope, near Rolla, August 18, 1861.
GENERAL: I respectfully submit to you the report of the battle at Wilson's Creek, as far as
the troops under my command are concerned:
On Friday, the 9th of August, General Lyon informed me that it was his intention to attack
the enemy in his camp at Wilson's Creek on the morning of the 10th; that the attack should be
made from two sides, and that I should take the command of the left. The troops assigned to me
consisted of the Second Brigade Missouri Volunteers (900 men, infantry, of the Third and Fifth
Regiments, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Albert and Colonel Salomon, and six
pieces of artillery, under Lieutenants Schaefer and Schuetzenbach), besides two companies of
regular cavalry, belonging to the command of Major Sturgis.
I left Camp Frémont, on the south side of Springfield, at 6.30 o'clock in the evening of the
9th, and arrived at daybreak within a mile of the enemy's camp. I advanced slowly towards the
camp, and after taking forward the two cavalry companies from the right and left, I cut off about
forty men of the enemy's troops, who were coming from the camp in little squads to get water
and provisions. This was done in such a manner that no news of our advance could be brought
into the camp. In sight of the enemy's tents, which spread out in our front and right, I planted
four pieces of artillery on a little hill, whilst the infantry advanced towards the point where the
Fayetteville road crosses Wilson's Creek, and the two cavalry companies extended to the right
and left to guard our flanks. It was 5.30 o'clock a.m. when some musket firing was heard from
the northwest. I therefore ordered the artillery to begin their- fire against the camp of the enemy
(Missourians), which was of so much effect, that the enemy's troops were seen leaving their tents
and retiring in haste towards the northeast of the valley. Meanwhile the, Third and Fifth
Regiments had quickly advanced, passed the creek, and, traversing the camp, formed almost in
the center of it.
As the enemy made his rally in large numbers before us, about 3,000 strong, consisting of
infantry and cavalry, I ordered the artillery to be brought forward from the hill, and formed them
in battery across the valley, with the Third and Fifth Regiments to the left and the cavalry to the
right. After an effective fire of half an hour the enemy retired in some confusion into the woods
and up the adjoining hills. The firing towards the northwest was now more distinct, and
increased till it was evident that the main corps of General Lyon had engaged the enemy along
the whole line. To give the greatest possible assistance to him, I left the position in the camp and
advanced towards the northwest, to at attack the enemy's line of battle in the rear. Marching
forward, we struck the Fayetteville road, making our way through a large number of cattle and
horses until we arrived at an eminence used as a slaughtering place, and known as Sharp's farm.
On our route we had taken about 100 prisoners, who were scattered over the camp.
At Sharp's place we met numbers of the enemy's soldiers, who were evidently retiring in this
direction, and, as I suspected that the enemy on his retreat would follow in the same direction, I
formed the troops across this road, by planting the artillery on the plateau and the two infantry
regiments on the right and left across the road, whilst the cavalry companies extended on our
flanks. At this time, and after some skirmishing in front of our line, the firing in the direction of
northwest, which was during an hour's time roaring in succession, had almost ceased entirely. I
therefore thought that the attack of General Lyon had been successful, and that his troops were in
pursuit of the enemy, who moved in large masses towards the south, along the ridge of a hill,
about 700 yards opposite our right.
This was the state of affairs at 8.30 o'clock in the morning, when it was reported to me by Dr.
Melchior and some of our skirmishers that Lyon's men were coming up the road. Lieutenant-
Colonel Albert, of the Third, and Colonel Salomon, of the Fifth, notified their regiments not to
fire on troops coming in this direction, whilst I cautioned the artillery in the same manner. Our
troops in this moment expected with anxiety the approach of our friends, and were waving the
flag, raised as a signal to their comrades, when at once two batteries opened their fire against us,
one in front, placed on the Fayetteville road, and the other upon the hill on which we had
supposed Lyon's forces were in pursuit of the enemy, whilst a strong column of infantry,
supposed to be the Iowa regiment, advanced from the Fayetteville road and at tacked our right.
It is impossible for me to describe the consternation and frightful confusion which was
occasioned by this unfortunate event. The cry "They (Lyon's troops) are firing against us," spread
like wildfire through our ranks; the artillerymen, ordered to here and directed by myself, could
hardly be brought forward to serve their pieces; the infantry would not level their arms till it was
too late. The enemy arrived within ten paces from the mouth of our cannon, killed the horses,
turned the flanks of the infantry, and forced them to retire. The troops were throwing themselves
into the bushes and by-roads, retreating as well as they could, followed and attacked incessantly
by large bodies of Arkansas and Texas cavalry. In this retreat we lost five cannon, of which
three were spiked, and the color of the Third Regiment, the color-bearer having been wounded
and his substitute killed. The total loss of the two regiments, the artillery and the pioneers, in
killed, wounded, and missing, amounts to 292 men, as will be seen from the respective lists.
In order to understand clearly our actions and our fate, you will allow me to state the
following facts:
1st. According to orders, it was the duty of this brigade to attack the enemy in the rear and to
cut off his retreat, which order I tried execute, whatever the consequences might be.
2d. The time of service of the Fifth Regiment Missouri Volunteers had expired before the
battle, I had induced them, company by company, not to leave us in the most critical and
dangerous moment, and had engaged them for the time of eight days, this term ending on Friday,
the 9th, the day before the battle.
3d. The Third Regiment, of which 400 three-months' men had been dismissed, was
composed for the greatest part of recruits, who had not seen the enemy before and were only
insufficiently drilled.
4th. The men serving the pieces and the drivers consisted of infantry taken from the Third
Regiment, and were mostly recruits, who had had only a few days' instruction.
5th. About two-thirds of our officers had left us. Some companies had no officers at all; a
great pity, but the consequence of the system of the three-months service.
After the arrival of the army at Springfield, the command was intrusted to me by Major
Sturgis and the majority of the commanders of regiments. Considering all the circumstances, and
in accordance with the commanding officers, I ordered the retreat of the army from Springfield.
The preparations were begun in the night of the 10th, and at daybreak the troops were on their
march to the Gasconade. Before crossing this river I received information that the ford could not
be passed well, and that a strong force of the enemy was moving from the south (West plains)
towards Waynesville, to cut off our retreat. I also was aware that it would take a considerable
time to cross the Roubidoux and the Little and Big Piney on the old road.
To avoid all these difficulties, and to give the army an opportunity to rest, I directed the
troops from Lebanon to the northern road, passing Right Point and Humboldt, and terminating
opposite the mouth of Little Piney, where, in case of the ford not being passable, the train could
be sent by Vienna and Linn to the mouth of the Gasconade, whilst the troops could ford the river
at the mouth of Little Piney to re-enforce Rolla. To bring over the artillery, I ordered the ferryboat
from Big Piney Crossing to be hauled down on the Gasconade to the mouth of Little Piney,
where it arrived immediately after we had passed the ford. Before we had reached the ford Major
Sturgis assumed the command of the army. I therefore respectfully refer to his report in regard to
the main body of the troops engaged in the battle.
With the greatest respect, your most obedient servant,
Commanding Second Brigade Missouri Volunteers.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo., August 19, 1861.
SIR: In obedience to instructions, I have the honor to make the following report relative to
the part taken by my company in the battle on Wilson's Creek, August 10, 1861:
Light Company F, Second Regiment of Artillery, marched, in company with the other troops
composing General Lyon's command, from Springfield on the evening of Friday, August 9, for
the position occupied by the enemy. Early on the following morning (August 10, 1861), the
camp of the Southern army was discovered about one mile and half south of the head of General
Lyon's command, and soon after the infantry of our advance was fired upon by the pickets of the
enemy. From this time our march, as directed by General Lyon in person, lay through a small
wheat field, across a hill, and down into a small valley which debouches into that through which
Wilson's Creek runs at the point immediately occupied by the front of the enemy, and just where
the main road to Springfield enters the valley. Keeping somewhat to the west, oar advance
crossed this road along the foot of the hills, and Soon afterwards our skirmishers found those of
the enemy, and the battle opened. Here the left section of my battery, under Lieutenant, Sokalski,
was at first brought to bear upon the enemy in the woods in front, and shortly afterwards the
other four pieces were thrown forward into battery to the right on higher ground. A few rounds
from the artillery assisted the infantry of our advance in driving the enemy back from their first
position, and they fell back towards the crests of the hills nearer and immediately over their own
camp. I now conducted my battery up the hills to the left and front, and soon found a position,
where I brought it into battery directly over the northern position of the enemy's camp.
The camp of General Rains (as I afterwards learned) lay directly beneath my front and to the
left, very close to my position, and a battery of the enemy to my front and right, within easy
range of my guns. The camp of General Rains was entirely deserted, and therefore my first
efforts were directed against the battery of the enemy to the right and front. The left half battery
was then brought into position, but the right half battery, in reality occupying the most favorable
ground, was principally directed against the enemy's battery, although the whole six pieces, as
opportunity occurred, played upon the enemy's guns. As the position of the enemy's guns was
masked, the gunners of my pieces were obliged to give direction to their pieces by the flash and
smoke of the opposing artillery.
In the mean time the battle was raging in the thick woods and underbrush to the front and
right of the position occupied by my battery, and the First Regiment Missouri Volunteers was
being hardly pressed. I now received an order from General Lyon to move a section of my
battery forward to the support of the First Missouri, which I did in person, coming into battery
just in front of the right company of this regiment. Within 200 yards of the position occupied by
this section of my battery a regiment of the enemy were in line, with a secession flag and a
Federal flag displayed together. This trick of the enemy caused me for a moment some
uncertainty, fearing that by some accident a portion of our own troops might have got thus far in
advance, but their fire soon satisfied me upon this head. I immediately opened upon them with
canister from both pieces, in which service, I am happy to be able to say, I was ably and gallantly
assisted by Capt. Gordon Granger, acting adjutant-general, and First Lieutenant D. Murphy, First
Missouri Volunteers.
The next step in the progress of the battle was where the enemy tried to force his way up the
road passing along by their battery towards Springfield. This was an effort to turn the left of our
position on the hill where my battery first came into position, and for a time the enemy seemed
determined to execute his object. Four pieces of my battery were still in position there, and
Captain Du Bois' battery of four pieces on the left nearer the road. As the enemy showed himself
our infantry and artillery opened upon his ranks and drove him back, and they appeared no more
during the day.
About this time, and just after the enemy had been effectually driven back, as last mentioned,
I met General Lyon for the last time. He was wounded, he told me, in the leg, and I observed
blood trickling from his head. I offered him some brandy, of which I had a small supply in my
canteen, but he declined, and rode slowly to the right and front. Immediately after he passed
forward General Lyon sent me an order to support the Kansas regiments on the extreme right,
who were then being closely pressed by the enemy. I ordered Lieutenant Sokalski to move
forward with his section immediately, which he did, and most gallantly, too, relieving and saving
the Kansas regiments from being overthrown and driven back. After this the enemy tried to
overwhelm us by an attack of some 800 cavalry, which, unobserved, had formed below the crests
of the hills to our right and rear. Fortunately, some of our infantry companies and a few pieces of
artillery from my battery were in position to meet this demonstration, and drove off their cavalry
with ease. This was the only demonstration made by their cavalry, and it was so effete and
ineffectual in its force and character as to deserve only the appellation of child's play. Their
cavalry is utterly worthless on the battle-field.
The next and last point where the artillery of my battery was engaged was on the right of the
left wing of the Iowa regiment and somewhat in their front. The battle was then, and had been for
some time, very doubtful as to its results. General Lyon was killed, and all our forces had been
all day engaged, and several regiments were broken and had retired. The enemy, also sadly
dispirited, were merely making a demonstration to cover their retreat from the immediate field of
battle. At this time the left wing of the Iowa regiment was brought up to support our brave men
still in action, while two pieces of my battery were in advance on their right. The last effort was
short and decisive, the enemy leaving the field and retiring down through the valley, covered by
thick underbrush, to the right of the center of the field of battle towards their camp on Wilson's
Creek. After this we were left unmolested, and our forces were drawn off the field in good order
under Major Sturgis, who had assumed command directly after General Lyon's death.
It should be borne in mind that in the foregoing report I have only glanced at the main points
of the battle where the pieces of my own battery of artillery were engaged. I have not entered
into details at all, and could not without entering into a more elaborate history of the affair than
appears to be called for on this occasion from me.
I wish simply now, in conclusion, to make a few deserving remarks upon the conduct of my
officers, non-commissioned officers, and soldiers during the battle. In reference to Lieutenant
Sokalski, it gives me the liveliest satisfaction to bear witness to his coolness and bravery
throughout the entire day. No officer ever behaved better under as trying circumstances as he
found himself surrounded by at times during the day.
The non-commissioned officers and men to a man behaved admirably, and it is hard to
distinguish between them in this particular; but I am constrained to mention Sergeants Robert
Armstrong and Gustavus Deyand, Corporals Albert Watchman and Lorenzo D. Trummel, who
were on several occasions during the day greatly exposed and severely tried, and bore
themselves with great credit. The other non commissioned officers and men were equally
deserving and meritorious according to the time they were in action, but those mentioned were
constantly engaged nearly, and deserve particular notice, because they were always equal to the
duties imposed upon them.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Capt., Second Artillery, Comdg. Light Co. F.
Acting Adjutant-General, Army of the West.
Camp Rolla, August 19, 1861.
SIR: The regimental commander has the honor to report, that after a fatiguing night march of
12 miles, the First Kansas came upon the battle-field near Springfield, Mo., on the morning of
August 10, in rear of the First Missouri and Iowa Regiments, the former, with a battalion of
regular infantry, having been deployed as skirmishers. Very soon the enemy's outposts were
driven in, and Totten's battery took position and opened fire, while the First Missouri was closed
up in line on the right and in front, where they engaged the enemy and maintained position for
some moments under a heavy fire.
At this time, under order from General Lyon, the First Kansas moved to the front in doublequick,
while the right wing and one company from the left, under command, respectively, of
Captains Chenoweth, Walker, Swift, Zesch, McFarland, and Lieutenant McGonigle, all under
Colonel Deitzler, advanced to a position beyond that occupied by the First Missouri, and here,
forming in the very face of the enemy, engaged a rebel force four times their number, and held
their ground steadfastly under an uninterrupted and murderous fire of artillery and infantry.
The four remaining companies of Captains Clayton, Roberts, Stockton, and Lieutenant
Agniel, all under command of Major Halderman, having been posted on the right of Totten's
battery as support, where they suffered severely from a constant fire from the enemy's lines, were
here ordered to the front, where they aligned upon the remnant of the six right companies, which
had thus far borne the brunt of the battle. With but slight and immaterial changes of position the
First Kansas occupied this ground for over two hours, repulsing or cutting to pieces one regiment
after another as it was brought to the front. While thus employed, Captain Chenoweth, Captain
Clayton, and a portion of Captain McFarland's company, under Lieutenant Malone, were ordered
to charge the enemy with their commands, which order they executed with great promptness,
driving the enemy inside their encampment lines at the base of the hill, and returning to the main
force, when threatened by a flank movement, at their own imminent peril and with considerable
loss of life. While leading this charge Colonel Deitzler had his horse shot under him and was
himself severely wounded.
About this time the Second Kansas Regiment was ordered to the front, but when at a point in
rear of that occupied by the First Kansas they were fired upon by the enemy from an ambuscade,
by which General Lyon was killed and Colonel Mitchell severely wounded, both of whom were
at the head of the column. Here, too, many officers and men of the Second were killed and
After this the regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Blair, fell back in order to the brow of the
hill, where it formed, and at which place the remaining companies of the First Kansas formed
upon their left, three companies having been posted on the brow of the hill and on the right of the
After a short cessation of the volley firing it was recommenced by the enemy with great fury,
and so continued for at least ten minutes, when our whole line opened upon them a most
destructive fire, at which they broke and fled down the hill towards their encampment. At this
time, by command of Major Sturgis, who throughout the engagement had acted with the utmost
courage and self-possession, we retired from the field in good order, preceded by the ambulances
containing our wounded. With scarcely any material change of position, the First Kansas stood
under fire; maintained every ground assigned it, without once turning its back upon the foe, for
the five long hours during which the battle raged.
With about 800 men we marched upon the field; we left it with but 500.
The regimental commander deems it hardly necessary to say that all the officers and men of
this command fought with a courage and heroism rarely, if ever, equaled. The list of killed,
wounded, and missing, hereto attached, is the strongest witness for the valor of the living as well
as for the memory of the gallant dead.
I am, sir, very respectfully, yours,
Major, First Regiment Kansas Volunteers, Commanding.
Acting Adjutant-General.
August 20, 1861.
From the time of the arrival of General Lyon's command at Springfield till that of the battle
we were well informed through our scouts and spies of the movements and strength of the
enemy. It was General Lyon's opinion, and doubtless a correct one, that could we have moved
forward at once and succeeded in bringing the enemy to an engagement, we would have gained
an easy victory; but this movement was impossible. We found our commissary stores, which had
been ordered from Saint Louis at the time of our marching from Booneville, were still lying at
Rolla for transportation. We were consequently thrown upon such resources as the country
afforded for subsistence. The heavy rains prevented the farmers from thrashing their wheat, and
our daily expected supplies from Rolla failed to come, so that at no time could our troops have
full rations of bread, and launch of the time they had no coffee or sugar. In the event of a forward
movement even these limited supplies must have failed. Under these circumstances, the general
made frequent and urgent appeals to the Government for aid in troops and provisions. It was well
known that the strength of the enemy was rapidly increasing; that he was continually receiving
small-arms and artillery from the South, with well-disciplined troops, while our numbers were
continually diminishing by the discharge of three-months' volunteers, and the strength of our
troops wasting from privation, and large numbers of them were entirely without shoes. To all
these appeals for aid no favorable response was received. We were not even encouraged to hope
for re-enforcements. Amidst these embarrassments General Lyon early and frequently expressed
the most gloomy forebodings for the future. He saw clearly the inevitable necessity of either
retiring to Rolla, and abandoning to the enemy all the southwest portion of Missouri and
Southern Kansas, or of risking the utter destruction of his little army and the loss of all his
material of war in a desperate engagement with a vastly superior force of the enemy.
It soon appeared that the enemy's design was to move upon Spring field in three different
columns, by the routes leading to that place from Cassville, Harrisonville, and Greenfield.
General Lyon at once determined to await their approach only till they were within about two
days' march of our position, and then to move out and attack the strongest column, and in the
event of success to turn upon the others. In pursuance of this plan, it having been ascertained that
the advance guard of the enemy had reached a point on the Cassville road about 18 miles from
Springfield, General Lyon marched on the [1st] of August to the crossing of Wilson's Creek, 10
miles from Springfield, and was there joined by the force under Major Sturgis, then encamped
near Little York, about 4 miles west from the crossing; two detachments, under Colonel Deitzler
and Captain Carr, which were absent, obtaining provisions, having been ordered to join the
command as soon as possible.
A small advanced picket of the enemy was met at about 9 o'clock the next morning, and fled
upon our approach. Toward evening of the same day the enemy's advanced guard, of
considerable strength, was met near Dug Springs, about 23 miles from Springfield, and after a
brisk skirmish of several hours with a few companies of infantry, under Capt. Frederick Steele,
Second Infantry, and Lieut. W. L. Lothrop, Fourth Artillery, a company of cavalry under Captain
Stanley, and, finally, Captain Totten's battery, together with two pieces of the battery attached to
Colonel Sigel's brigade, was driven in confusion from the field, suffering considerable loss.
The next morning a small force was again discovered at Curran Post Office, 3 miles from
Dug Springs, but fled upon the first fire of artillery, our whole column moving forward and
occupying their camp, the Second Regiment Kansas Volunteers (Colonel Mitchell) even pushing
on by the left flank of our position to McCulla's, 2 miles beyond, without seeing any sign of the
enemy in force. It was too late in the day to make an attack upon what appeared to be the
enemy's position, and hence our troops bivouacked for the night.
It had now become apparent that the enemy was only seeking to amuse us by demonstrations
upon our front and flanks while he could retire to a strong position and be re-enforced by the
columns that had been moving towards Springfield by the other routes, and which were making
forced marches to join him. The general therefore called a council of the principal officers of his
command, and laid before them the question whether we should advance or retreat, explained at
some length the possible and probable consequences of either course, and asked the opinion of
each officer present. The question was discussed at considerable length and opinions freely
given. While all appeared to be willing, and most, if not all, anxious, to risk a pitched battle, if
one could be brought on before our supplies were exhausted and our men so far weakened as to
leave no chance of success, it was the unanimous opinion of all present that under the existing
circumstances there was nothing left us but to retire. The order to retire was therefore given, and
on the afternoon of the 6th the main body encamped about Springfield, while about 2,000
regulars and volunteers, under Major Sturgis and Lieutenant-Colonel Andrews, remained 4 miles
from the town.
The enemy did not make his appearance during our retreat, but the next day after our arrival
at Springfield, His advance guard encamped at Wilson's Creek. An attack upon this advanced
force was planned for the night after its arrival at Wilson's Creek, and orders were issued for the
advance of a portion of the force under Major Sturgis and Lieutenant-Colonel Andrews; but
owing to the lateness of the hour when our spies returned with the necessary information, and
other adverse circumstances, the plan was abandoned, and the commands of Major Sturgis and
Lieutenant-Colonel Andrews took position in the line of defense about Springfield the next day.
Strong advanced parties of the enemy moved forward during the day, and were engaged by
our cavalry scouts. An attack was hourly expected, and our troops were kept upon their arms
during the day. Frequent alarms from country people and Home Guards, who came rushing into
town and reporting the advance of the enemy, served to worry and fatigue the troops, and deprive
them of the rest which was absolutely necessary to fit them for battle after their fatiguing march.
At length, about the middle of the day, a report from one of our scouting parties showed the
enemy advancing, with a considerable force of infantry and two pieces of artillery, on the Little
York road, and a force of regulars and Kansas volunteers, with two pieces of artillery from
Colonel Sigel's brigade, was sent out to meet them. The report proved in the main false, the small
force of the enemy fled, and our troops returned without meeting it, having made a rapid march
of 9 miles.
General Lyon then determined to make a night march with his entire force down the
Cassville road, upon the front of the enemy's position, and attack him at dawn in the morning.
The chief officers of his command were called together to receive instructions relative to the
order of march and plan of attack. Many of the officers were so strongly of the opinion that the
execution of the plan was impossible, on account of the exhausted condition of a large portion of
the troops, that the plan was abandoned, and the evening and next day spent in recruiting the
strength of the men, supplying them with shoes, which had recently arrived from Rolla, and in
making all possible preparations for battle. Meanwhile our scouts were kept well out towards the
enemy's position, and attacked his scouts with vigor whenever opportunity offered the enemy
showed no indication of an intention to advance in force, and hence our troops enjoyed
comparative quiet during the day, and at evening were in good condition for battle.
During the forenoon of that day, the 9th of August, General Lyon and Colonel Sigel held a
consultation, the result of which was the plan of attack upon the enemy's position at Wilson's
Creek, which led to the battle of the 10th. I was not present at the conference, having spent the
morning in going the rounds of the camp to see if any improvement could be made in our
dispositions for defense, thinking all intention of making an attack had been abandoned. Upon
my return General Lyon informed me of his determination to make the attack the next morning,
and gave me the general features of the plan, but owing to press of business did not go much into
detail. Colonel Sigel was to move with his brigade, consisting of the Third and Fifth Regiments
of Missouri troops, six pieces of artillery, and two companies of cavalry (regulars), to the left of
the main Cassville road, and leading to the right of the enemy's position, while General Lyon,
with the remainder of his force, consisting of the First Missouri, First Iowa, First and Second
Kansas, two companies of the Second Missouri, a company of riflemen, eight companies of
regular infantry and rifle recruits, ten pieces of artillery, and two companies of cavalry,
amounting to about 4,000 men, besides about 250 mounted Home Guards, was to move down the
road towards Little York to a point nearly opposite the enemy's advanced pickets on Wilson's
Creek, and thence across the prairie, and attack his left flank. Colonel Sigel was to make the
attack as soon as he heard that of General Lyon.
The column under General Lyon reached the point where the enemy's most advanced picket
was expected to be found at about 1 o'clock at night. The picket not having been found, the
column halted and the men lay on their arms till early dawn, when the march was resumed,
Captain Plummer's battalion of regular infantry in advance, Major Osterhaus' battalion of
Missouri volunteers following, with Captain Totten's battery. At about 4 o'clock the enemy's
picket was reached, stud fled upon our approach. Major Osterhaus' battalion was then sent on the
right as -skirmishers, Captain Plummer being on the left, and the First Regiment Missouri
Volunteers, under Lieutenant-Colonel Andrews, brought forward to the support of Totten's
With this disposition the column moved forward about one and a half miles, when at about 5
o'clock a brisk skirmish was opened along our entire front. The enemy was now discovered in
considerable force, occupying the crest of a ridge running nearly perpendicularly to our line of
march and also to the valley of Wilson's Creek, and lying between us and his main camp. The
First Missouri Volunteers was now sent forward and deployed in line of battle, at once advancing
upon the ridge under a brisk fire, and driving the enemy from his position on our right, while the
First Kansas came forward and engaged the enemy on our left, causing him to retire. Captain
Totten's battery meanwhile moved forward in the center and reached the crest of the ridge.
The enemy now rallied in large force near the foot of the slope, and under considerable cover
opposite our left wing and along the slope in front and on our right towards the crest of the main
ridge running parallel to the creek. During this time Captain Plummer, with his four Companies
of infantry, had moved flown a ridge about 500 yards to our left, and separated from us by a deep
ravine, and reached its abrupt terminus, where he found his farther progress arrested by a large
force of infantry occupying a corn field in the valley in his front. At this moment an artillery fire
was opened from a high point about 2 miles nearly in our front, from which Colonel Sigel was to
have commenced his attack. This fire was answered from the opposite side of the valley, and at a
little greater distance from us, the line of fire of the two batteries being nearly perpendicular to
our own. After about ten or twelve shots on either side the firing ceased, and we neither heard
nor saw anything more of Colonel Sigel's brigade till about 8.30 o'clock, when a brisk
cannonading was heard for a few minutes about a mile to our right of that heard before, and from
2 to 3 miles distant. This was the last during the battle.
Our whole line now advanced with much energy upon the enemy's position, the firing, which
had been spirited for the last half hour, now increasing to a continuous roar. During this time
Captain Totten's battery came into action by section and by piece, as the nature of the ground
would permit (it being wooded with much undergrowth), and played upon the enemy's lines with
great effect. After a fierce engagement, lasting perhaps half an hour, and in which our troops
retired two or three times in more or less of disorder, but never more than a few yards, again to
rally and press forward with increased vigor, the enemy gave way in the utmost confusion, and
left us in possession of the position.
Meanwhile Captain Plummet was ordered to move forward on our left, but meeting with
overpowering resistance from the large mass of infantry in the corn field in his front and in the
woods beyond, was compelled to fall back; but at this moment Lieutenant Du Bois' battery,
which had taken position on our left flank, supported by Major Osterhaus' battalion, opened upon
the enemy in the corn field a fire of shells with such marked effect as to drive him in the utmost
disorder from the field.
There was now a momentary cessation of fire along nearly the whole line, except the extreme
right, where the First Missouri was still hotly engaged with a superior force of the enemy
attempting to turn our right. The general having been informed of this movement sent the Second
Kansas Regiment to the support of the First Missouri. It came up in time to prevent the
Missourians from being destroyed by the overwhelming force against which they were
unflinchingly holding their position.
The battalion of regular infantry, under Captain Steele, which had been detailed to the
support of Lieutenant Du Bois' battery, was during this time brought forward to the support of
Captain Totten's battery. Scarcely had these dispositions been made when the enemy again
appeared in very large force along our entire front and moving towards each flank. The
engagement at once became general, and almost inconceivably fierce, along the entire line, the
enemy appearing in front often in three or four ranks, lying down, kneeling, and standing, the
lines often approaching to within 30 or 40 yards, as the enemy would charge upon Captain
Totten's battery and be driven back. Early in this engagement the First Iowa Regiment came into
line, and relieved the First Kansas, which had been thrown into some disorder and compelled to
Every available battalion was now brought into action, and the battle raged with unabated
fury for more than an hour, the scale seeming all the time nearly equally balanced, our troops
sometimes gaining a little ground and again giving way a few yards to rally again.
Early in this engagement, while General Lyon was leading his horse along the line on the
left of Captain Totten's battery, and endeavoring to rally our troops, which were at this time in
considerable disorder, his horse was killed, and he received a wound in the leg and one in the
head. He walked slowly a few paces to the rear and said, "I fear the day is lost." But upon being
encouraged that our troops could again be rallied, that the disorder was only temporary, he
passed over to the right of the center, where our line seemed to be giving way, obtained another
horse, and, swinging his hat in the air, led forward the troops, who promptly rallied around him.
A few moments later he was carried from the field dead. His death was known at the time to but
very few, and those few seemed to fight with redoubled valor.
Meanwhile our disordered line on the left was again rallied, and pressed the enemy with great
vigor and coolness, particularly the First Iowa Regiment, which-fought like veterans. This hot
encounter lasted perhaps half an hour after General Lyon's death, when the enemy fled, and left
the field clear-as far as we could see, and almost total silence reigned for twenty-five or thirty
As soon as the enemy began to give way, and it became apparent that the field was at least
for the present ours, the principal officers of the command were informed of General Lyon's
death, and Major Sturgis assumed command. He at once called together the chief officers in his
vicinity, and consulted with them as to the course that should be pursued. The question was a
very perplexing one. Nothing had been heard from Colonel Sigel for a long time. No one could
tell where he was or what he was doing.. Should we move forward in pursuit of the enemy
without knowing whether we should receive any support from Sigel, should we make a detour to
the left and attempt to join him, or should we withdraw from the field?
At this time a considerable force of infantry was seen to move around the right of the
position from which Sigel's cannonading had been seen some time before and advance in column
toward the front of our left wing. These troops wore a dress resembling extremely that of
Colonel Sigel's men, and carried the American flag. The opinion was general that this was.
Sigel's brigade, and preparations were commenced to move to the left and front and join him.
Meanwhile the column in front moved down the hill within easy reach of our artillery, but was
permitted to move on unmolested till it had reached the covered position at the foot of the ridge
on which we were posted, and from which we :had been so fiercely assailed before. But suddenly
a battery was planted on the hill in our front, and began to pour upon us shrapnel and canister,
species of shot which had not been fired by the enemy before. At this moment the enemy showed
his true colors, and at once commenced along our entire line the fiercest and most bloody
engagement of the day. Lieutenant Du Bois' battery on our left, gallantly supported by Major
Osterhaus' battalion and the rallied fragments of the First Missouri, soon silenced the enemy's
battery on the hill and repulsed the right wing of his infantry. Captain Totten's battery in the
center, supported by the First Iowa and regulars, was the main point of attack. The enemy could
frequently be seen within 20 or 30 feet of his guns, and the smoke of the opposing lines was
often so confounded as to seem but one.
Now for the first time during the day our entire line maintained its position with perfect
firmness. Not the slightest disposition to give way was manifested at any point, till finally the
enemy gave way and fled from the field.
A few moments before the close of the engagement the Second Kansas Regiment, which had
firmly maintained its position on the extreme right from the time it was first sent there, found its
ammunition exhausted, and was ordered to retire, which it did slowly and in good order, bringing
off its wounded. This left our right exposed, and the enemy renewed the attack at that point after
it had ceased along the line, but was met by Captain Steele's battalion, which had just driven the
enemy from the right of the center, and after a sharp engagement drove him precipitately from
the field.
Thus closed, at about 11.30 o'clock, an almost uninterrupted conflict of nearly six hours. The
order to retire was given immediately after the enemy gave way from our front and center, and
Lieutenant Du Bois' battery at once took position with its supports on a hill in our rear. Captain
Totten's battery, as soon as his disabled horses could be replaced, retired slowly with the main
body of the infantry, while Captain Steele was meeting the demonstration upon our right flank.
This having been repulsed, and no enemy being in sight, the whole column moved slowly to the
high open prairie about 2 miles from the battle ground. Our ambulances meanwhile passed to and
fro, carrying off our wounded, and after making a short halt upon the prairie we continued our
march to Springfield. It should be here remarked that just after the order to retire had been given,
and while it was still undecided whether the retreat should be continued or whether we should
occupy the more favorable position in our rear and await tidings of Colonel Sigel, one of his men
reached us, and reported that his brigade had been totally routed and all his artillery captured,
Colonel Sigel himself having been either killed or taken prisoner. Most of our men had fired
away all their ammunition and all that could be obtained from the boxes of the killed and
wounded. There was then nothing left us but to return to Springfield. Upon reaching the Little
York road we met Lieutenant Farrand with his company of cavalry and a considerable portion of
Colonel Sigel's command, with one piece of artillery. We reached Springfield at 5 o'clock p.m.,
and had the satisfaction of learning that Colonels Sigel and Salomon had each arrived there some
hours before in safety. I at once started for Colonel Sigel's quarters, and met him riding towards
mine. He told me of his disaster, and said we must decide upon our course for the future. A
council was called at my quarters, and was attended by nearly all the chief officers who were
Major Sturgis explained the circumstances under which he had assumed command upon the
field; stated his convictions of the necessity for our retreating towards Rolla at once and before
the enemy could organize for pursuit, and resigned his command to Colonel Sigel. No difference
of opinion seemed to exist as to the propriety and even necessity of the course proposed by
Major Sturgis, and the necessary orders were at once issued, 2 o'clock a.m. being the hour
designated for the march to commence, in order that the entire column, with its long train (370
wagons), might leave the town and obtain favorable ground for defense before dawn, when an
attack would probably be made if one were contemplated.
Colonel Sigel arranged the order of march, his brigade and the Iowa regiment forming the
advance guard, followed by the baggage train, then the main body of the army, and lastly Major
Sturgis' brigade of regulars. I gave the necessary instructions for the movement of the various
portions of the train and of the different commands; made provision for the transportation of
such of the wounded as could be carried with us and for the care of such as must be left behind,
detailing four surgeons for this duty; went to the various camps, except Colonel Sigel’s, and saw
that all possible preparation was made. At 1.30 o clock I went to Colonel Sigel's camp, and
found his wagons not loaded, his men apparently making preparations to cook their breakfast,
and no preparations to march. I could find no officer to execute my commands nor any one to
pay the slightest heed to what I said. I rode at once to Colonel Sigel's quarters, arriving there at 2
o'clock, and found him asleep in bed. I aroused him, told him the hour for marching had arrived,
and that all were ready except his brigade. I urged upon him the importance of marching at once
if at all. He said, "Yes; I will move at once." I started the train immediately, and sent the Iowa
regiment ahead, directing it to halt about a mile from town. In this condition the column was
delayed more than two hours for Colonel Sigel's brigade, so that the rear guard could not leave
town till about 6 o'clock.
During the first three days of our retreat the same order of march was preserved, the same
troops doing the fatiguing duties of rear guard, in spite of my remonstrances. Although we made
daily marches of only ordinary length, long halts were made in the middle of the day, so that
while the advance guard would reach camp at night early enough to obtain and cook provisions,
the rear guard would be in the road till long after dark, and in the inextricable confusion resulting
from the attempt to encamp a large force with an immense train in an extremely rough and
wooded country in a dark night, many would abandon as hopeless the attempt to find their
wagons and get them in position, and lie down without food. Many of our men were compelled
to go twenty-four hours without a morsel and some much longer.
On the morning of the third day the whole column was detained three hours for Colonel
Sigel's brigade to have beef killed and cooked for breakfast, the remainder of the command
having made their breakfast upon such as they had, and, with the exception of the Iowa regiment
marched 6 miles before the killing of beef for Colonel Sigel's breakfast commenced.
By this time the clamor for relief became such that almost total anarchy reigned in the
command. At length, after numerous entreaties from officers of the command, Major Sturgis
resumed command of the army, giving as his reason for so doing, that, although Colonel Sigel
had been for a long time acting as an officer of the army, he had no appointment from any
competent authority.
Upon this change of command I was relieved from the duties of adjutant-general, and took
command of my regiment, then without a field officer, and much in need of my care. My
functions as acting adjutant-general of this command therefore ceased on the 14th instant.
Respectfully submitted.
Maj., First Reg. Mo. Vols., late A. A. G., Army of the West
Near Rolla, Mo., August 20, 1861.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the battle of Springfield, fought on
the 10th instant, at Wilson's Creek, some 10 miles south of the city, between the United States
troops under General Lyon and the rebel forces under McCulloch.
On the 9th instant General Lyon came to the determination of attacking the enemy's camp,
and accordingly dispositions were made on the afternoon of that day for an attack at daylight
next morning 10th). The command was to move in two columns, composed as follows:
The first, under General Lyon, consisted of one battalion regular infantry, under Captain
Plummer--Companies B, C, and D, First Infantry, Captains Gilbert, Plummer, and Huston--with
one company of rifle recruits, under Lieutenant Wood; Major Osterhaus' battalion, Second
Missouri Volunteers, two companies; Captain Totten's light battery, six pieces, and Captain
Wood's mounted company of the Second Kansas Volunteers, with Lieutenant Canfield's
company, First Cavalry, regulars. This constituted the First Brigade, under Major Sturgis.
The Second Brigade, under Lieutenant-Colonel Andrews, First Missouri Volunteers, was
composed of Captain Steele's battalion of regulars, Companies B and E, Second Infantry; one
company of recruits, under Lieutenant Lothrop, Fourth Artillery; one company of recruits, under
Sergeant Morine; Lieutenant Du Bois' light battery, consisting of four pieces, one of which was a
12-pounder gun, and the First Missouri Volunteers.
The Third Brigade was made up of the First and Second Kansas Volunteers, under Deitzler,
Colonel Mitchell commanding the latter regiment. The First Regiment Iowa Volunteers, with
some 200 Home Guards (mounted), completed the column under General Lyon.
The second column, under Colonel Sigel, consisted of the Third and Fifth Regiments
Missouri Volunteers; one company of cavalry, under Captain Cart; one company Second
Dragoons, under Lieutenant Farrand (First Infantry), and one light battery of six pieces. This
column was to march by road on the left of the main Cassville road, and leading to the supposed
right of the enemy's position.
Here my official information of the movements of Colonel Sigel's column ceases, as we have
not been able to procure any written report of its operations. General Lyon marched from
Springfield at 5 o'clock p.m. on the 9th, making a detour to the right, at 1 o'clock in the morning
arriving in view of the enemy's guard fires. Here the column halted and lay on their arms until
the dawn of day, when it again moved forward. Captain Gilbert's company, which had formed
the advance during the night, still remained in advance, and the column moved in the same order
in which it had halted.
A southeasterly direction was now taken, with a view to strike the extreme northern point of
the enemy's camp. At daylight a line of battle was formed, closely followed by Totten's battery,
supported by a strong reserve. In this order we advanced, with skirmishers in front, until the first
outpost of the rebels was encountered and driven in, when the column was halted, and the
following dispositions made, viz: Captain Plummer's battalion, with the Home Guards on his
left, were to cross Wilson's Creek and move towards the front, keeping pace with the advance on
the opposite bank, for the purpose of protecting our left flank against any attempt of the enemy to
turn it. After crossing ravine and ascending a high ridge, we came in full view of a considerable
force of the enemy's skirmishers. Major Osterhaus' battalion was at once deployed to the right,
and two companies of the First Missouri Volunteers, under Captains Yates and Cavender, were
deployed to the left; all as skirmishers. The firing now became very severe, and it was evident
we were approaching the enemy's stronghold, where they intended giving battle. A few shells
from Totten's battery assisted our skirmishers in clearing the ground in front.
The First Missouri and First Kansas moved at once to the front, supported by Totten's
battery; and the First Iowa Regiment, Du Bois' battery, Steele's battalion, and the Second Kansas
were held in reserve. The Missouri First now took its position in front, upon the crest of a small
elevated plateau. The First Kansas was posted on the left of the First Missouri, and separated
from it some 60 yards on account of a ravine. The First Iowa took its position on the left of the
First Kansas, while Totten's battery was placed opposite the interval between the First Kansas
and the First Missouri. Major Osterhaus' battalion occupied the extreme right, with his right
resting on a ravine which turned abruptly to our right and rear. Du Bois' battery, supported by
Steele's battalion, was placed some 80 yards to left and rear of Totten's guns, so as to bear upon a
powerful battery of the enemy, posted to our left and front, on the opposite side of Wilson's
Creek, to sweep the entire plateau upon which our troops were formed.
The enemy now rallied in large force near the foot of the slope, and under considerable cover
opposite our left wing, and along the slope in front, and on our right towards the crest of the
main range running parallel to the creek. During this time Captain Plummer, with his four
companies of infantry, had moved down a ridge about 500 yards to our left, and separated from
us by a deep ravine, and reached its abrupt terminus, where he found his farther progress arrested
by a large force of infantry occupying a corn field in the valley in his front. At this moment an
artillery fire was opened from a high point about 2 miles distant, and nearly in our front, from
which Colonel Sigel was to have commenced his attack. This fire was answered from the
opposite side of the valley, and at a little greater distance from us, the line of fire of the batteries
being nearly perpendicular to our own. After about ten or twelve shots on either side the firing
ceased, and we neither heard nor saw anything more of Colonel Sigel's brigade until about 8.30
o'clock, when a brisk cannonading was heard for a few minutes about a mile to the right of that
heard before, and from 2 to 3 miles distant.
Our whole line now advanced with much energy upon the enemy's position. The firing,
which had been spirited for the last half hour, was now increasing to a continuous roar. During
this time, Captain Totten's battery came into action by section and by piece, as the nature of the
ground would permit (it being wooded, with much undergrowth), and played upon the enemy's
lines with great effect. After a fierce engagement, lasting perhaps half an hour, and in which our
troops retired two or three times, in more or less disorder, but never more than a few yards, again
to rally and press forward with increased vigor, the enemy gave way in the utmost confusion, and
left us in possession of the position. Meanwhile Captain Plummer was ordered to move forward
on our left, but meeting with overpowering resistance from the large mass of infantry in the corn
field in his front and in the woods beyond, was compelled to fall back; but at this moment
Lieutenant Du Bois' battery, which had taken position on our left flank, supported by Captain
Steele's battalion, opened upon the enemy in the corn field a fire of shells with such marked
effect as to drive him in the utmost confusion and with great slaughter from the field.
There was now a momentary cessation of fire along nearly the whole line except the extreme
right, where the First Missouri was still engaged with a superior force of the enemy, attempting
to turn our right. The general having been informed of this movement, sent the Second Kansas to
the support of the First Missouri. It came up in time to prevent the Missourians from being
destroyed by the overwhelming force against which they were unflinchingly holding their
The battalion of regular infantry, under Captain Steele, which had been detailed to the
support of Lieutenant Du Bois' battery, was during this time brought forward to the support of
Captain Totten's battery. Scarcely had these dispositions been made, when the enemy again
appeared in very large force along our entire front and moving towards each flank. The
engagement at once became general, and almost inconceivably fierce, along the entire line; the
enemy appearing in front often in three or four ranks, lying down, kneeling, and standing, the
lines often approaching to within 30 or 40 yards of each other, as the enemy would charge upon
Captain Totten's battery and be driven back. Early in the engagement the First Iowa came to the
support of the First Kansas and First Missouri, both of which had stood like veteran troops,
exposed to a galling fire of the enemy.
Every available battalion was now brought into action, and the battle raged with unabated
fury for more than an hour; the scales seeming all the time nearly equally balanced, our troops
sometimes gaining a little ground, and again giving way a few yards to rally again. Early in this
engagement, while General Lyon was leading his horse along the line on the left of Captain
Totten's battery and endeavoring to rally our troops, which were at this time in considerable
disorder, his horse was killed, and he received a wound in the leg and one in the head. He walked
slowly a few paces to the rear and said, "I fear the day is lost." I then dismounted one of my
orderlies, and tendered the horse to the general, who at first declined, saying it was not
necessary. The horse, however, was left with him, and I moved off to rally a portion of the Iowa
regiment, which was beginning to break in considerable numbers.
In the mean time the general mounted, and swinging his hat in the air, called to the troops
nearest him to follow. The Second Kansas, or at least a portion of it, gallantly rallied around him,
headed by the brave Colonel Mitchell. In a few moments the colonel fell, severely wounded;
about the same time a fatal ball was lodged in the general's breast, and he was carried from the
field a corpse. Thus gloriously fell as brave a soldier as ever drew a sword, a man whose honesty
of purpose was proverbial, a noble patriot, and one who held his life as nothing when his country
demanded it of him.
Of this dire calamity I was not informed until perhaps half an hour after its occurrence. In the
mean time our disordered line on the left was again rallied and pressed the enemy with great
vigor and coolness, particularly the First Iowa Regiment, which fought like veterans. This hot
encounter lasted perhaps half an hour.
Major Schofield now informed me of the death of General Lyon, and reported for orders.
The responsibility which rested upon me was duly felt and appreciated. Our brave little army was
scattered and broken; over 20,000 men were still in our front, and our men had had no water
since 5 o'clock the evening before, and could hope for none short of Springfield, 12 miles distant.
If we should go forward, our own success would prove our certain defeat in the end; if we
retreated, disaster stared us in the face. Our ammunition was well-nigh exhausted, and should the
enemy make this discovery through a slackening of our fire, total annihilation was all we could
expect. The great question in my mind was, "Where is Sigel?" If I could still hope for a vigorous
attack by him on the enemy's right flank or rear, then we could go forward with some hope of
success. If he had retreated, there was nothing else left for us.
In this perplexing condition of affairs I summoned the principal officers for consultation. The
question with most of them was, "Is retreat possible?" The consultation was brought to a close by
the advance of a heavy column of infantry advancing from the hill where Sigel's guns had been
heard before. Supposing they were Sigel's men, the line was formed for an advance, with the
hope of forming a junction with him. These troops wore a dress much resembling that of Sigel's
brigade, and carried the American flag. They were therefore permitted to move down the hill
within easy range of Du Bois' battery, until they had reached the covered position at the foot of
the ridge on which we were posted, and from which we had been fiercely assailed before, when
suddenly a battery was planted on the hill in our front, and began to pour upon us shrapnel and
canister--a species of shot not before fired by the enemy.
At this moment the enemy showed his true colors, and at once commenced along our entire
lines the fiercest and most bloody engagement of the day. Lieutenant Du Bois' battery on our
left, gallantly supported by Major Osterhaus' battalion and the rallied fragments of the Missouri
First, soon silenced the enemy's battery on the hill and repulsed the right wing of the infantry.
Captain Totten's battery in the center, supported by the Iowas and regulars, was the main point of
attack. The enemy could frequently be seen within 20 feet of Totten’s guns, and the smoke of the
opposing lines was often so confounded as to seem but one.
Now for the first time during the day our entire line maintained its position with perfect
firmness. Not the slightest disposition to give way was manifested at any point, and while
Captain Steele's battalion, which was some yards in front of the line, together with the troops on
the right and left, were in imminent danger of being overwhelmed by superior numbers, the
contending lines being almost muzzle to muzzle, Captain Granger rushed to the rear and brought
up the supports of Du Bois'; battery, consisting of two or three companies of the First Missouri,
three companies of the First Kansas, and two companies of the First Iowa, in quick time, and fell
upon the enemy's right flank, and poured into it a murderous volley, killing or wounding nearly
every man within 60 or 70 yards. From this moment a perfect rout took place throughout the
rebel front, while ours, on the right flank, continued to pour a galling fire into their disorganized
masses. It was then evident that Totten's battery and Steele's little battalion were safe. Among the
officers conspicuous in leading this assault were Adjutant Hescock, Captains Burke, Miller,
Manter, Maurice, and Richardson, and Lieutenant Howard, all of the First Missouri. There were
others of the First Kansas and First Iowa who participated, but whose names I do not remember.
The enemy then fled from the field. A few moments before the close of the engagement the
Second Kansas, which had firmly maintained its position on the extreme right from the time it
was first sent there, found its ammunition exhausted, and I directed it to withdraw slowly and in
good order from the field, which it did, bringing off its wounded. This left our right flank
exposed, and the enemy renewed the attack at that point, after it had ceased along the whole line;
but it was gallantly met by Captain Steele's battalion of regulars, which had just driven the
enemy from the right of the center, and after a sharp engagement drove him precipitately from
the field.
Thus closed, at about 11.30 o'clock, an almost uninterrupted conflict of six hours. The order
to retreat was given soon after the enemy gave way from our front and center, Lieutenant Du
Bois' battery having been previously sent to occupy, with its supports, the hill in our rear.
Captain Totten's battery, as soon as his disabled horses could be replaced, retired slowly with the
main body of the infantry, while Captain Steele was meeting the demonstrations upon our right
flank. This having been repulsed, and no enemy being in sight, the whole column moved slowly
to the high open prairie about 2 miles from the battle ground. Meanwhile our ambulances passed
to and fro, carrying off our wounded. After making a short halt on the prairie, we continued our
march to Springfield.
It should be remembered that just after the order to retire was given, and while it was
undecided whether the retreat should be continued, or whether we should occupy the more
favorable position in our rear, and await tidings of Colonel Sigel, one of his non-commissioned
officers arrived, and reported that the colonel's brigade had been totally routed and all his
artillery captured, Colonel Sigel himself being either killed or made prisoner. Most of our men
had fired away all their ammunition and all that could be obtained from the boxes of the killed
and wounded. Nothing, therefore, was left to do but to return to Springfield, where 250 Home
Guards, with two pieces of artillery, had been left to take care of the train. On reaching the Little
York road we met Lieutenant Farrand, with his company of dragoons and a considerable portion
of Colonel Sigel's command, with one piece of artillery. At 5 o'clock p.m. we reached
Thus closed a day long to be remembered in the annals of history; a day which has brought
gloom and sorrow to many hearts throughout the land; but fathers and mothers, widows and
orphans, may receive some consolation from the fact that their relatives and friends presented on
that day a wall of adamant to the enemies of their country, and when they fell it was in defense
of a great cause, and with their breasts to the enemy. That 3,700 men, after a fatiguing night
march, attacked the enemy, numbering 23,000, on their own ground, and after a bloody conflict
of six hours withdrew at their leisure to return to their provisions and to water, is the best
eulogium I can pass on their conduct that day; and, indeed, it would be impossible to refer to
individual acts of courage without doing injustice to many gallant men; yet I am constrained to
call the attention of the general commanding to the particularly important services rendered by
several officers which came under my own observation.
Wherever the battle most fiercely raged there was General Lyon to be found, and there, too,
was Major Schofield, his principal staff officer. The coolness and equanimity with which he
moved from point to point carrying orders was a theme of universal admiration. I cannot speak
too highly of the invaluable services of Major Schofield and the confidence his example inspired.
Captain Granger, acting assistant adjutant-general on my staff, rendered such excellent aid in
various ways, that a full mention of those services would render this report too voluminous for
an official statement. Suffice it to say that he appeared to be almost ubiquitous--now sighting a
gun of Du Bois' battery, and before the smoke had cleared away sighting one of Totten's; at one
moment reconnoitering the enemy, and the next either bringing up re-enforcements or rallying
some broken line. To whatever part of the field I might direct my attention, there would I find
Captain Granger, hard at work at some important service; his energy and industry seemed
inexhaustible. To the important services rendered by him I beg to call the attention of the
commanding general.
The services of Captain Totten, re so emphatically interwoven with the various operations of
the day as to appear in many, if not all the subreports, and his name deserves to become a
"household word."
Lieutenant Sokalski also deserves great credit for the energy with which he managed the
pieces of his section. I cannot speak in too high praise of the coolness and accuracy with which
Lieutenant Du Bois handled his guns, and of the valuable services he rendered throughout the
entire conflict.
The following-named officers came under my personal observation during the day, and
deserve especial mention for the zeal and courage they displayed, although it would prolong this
report to too great a length if I should particularize in each individual case: Lieutenant Conrad,
Second Infantry, A. C. S. to General Lyon (wounded); Major Wherry, volunteer aide-de-camp to
General Lyon; Major Shepard, volunteer aide-de-camp to General Lyon; Mr. E. Cozzens,
volunteer aide-de-camp to myself.
General Sweeny, inspector-general. This gallant officer was especially distinguished by his
zeal in rallying broken fragments of various regiments (even after receiving a severe wound in
the leg), and leading them into the hottest of the fight.
Assistant Surgeon Sprague, medical department, attended the wounded with as much selfpossession
as though no battle was raging around him.
Surgeon Cornyn, First Missouri Volunteers, not only took charge of the wounded as they
were brought to him, but fouled time to use a musket with good effect from time to time against
the enemy.
Colonel Deitzler, First Kansas.' He led his regiment into a galling fire as coolly and as
handsomely as if on drill. He was wounded twice.
Major Halderman, First Kansas. Early in the action he led four companies of his regiment
(which had been held in reserve) gallantly, cheering them on with the cry of "Forward, men, for
Kansas and the old flag!"
Colonel Mitchell, of the Second Kansas. He fell severely wounded in the thickest of the fight,
and, as he was carried from the field, he met a member of my staff, and called out, "For God's
sake, support my regiment."
Lieutenant-Colonel Blair, Second Kansas. This excellent soldier took command of the
regiment when Colonel Mitchell was wounded, and under a most deadly fire from the enemy
rode along the front of his line, encouraging his men, to the great admiration of all who saw him.
Major Cloud, Second Kansas; Lieutenant-Colonel Andrews, First Missouri; Lieutenant-
Colonel Merritt, First Iowa; Major Porter, First Iowa; Captain Herron, First Iowa.
The gallantry of the following officers was conspicuous from the beginning to the close of
the battle:
Captain Plummer, First Infantry; Captain Gilbert, First Infantry; Captain Huston, First
Infantry; Lieutenant Wood, First Infantry; Captain Steele, Second Infantry; Lieutenant Lothrop,
Fourth Artillery; Lieutenant Canfield, First Cavalry.
Here would I gladly close and draw the vail of silence, and had a report of the operations of
the column under Colonel Sigel been received, I would have permitted it to explain itself without
comment. But none has been received, and justice to the cause of truth compels me to give such
account of the operations of that column as 1 have received from some of the officers and men
who formed a part of it.
When Colonel Sigel opened his fire the enemy were completely surprised and fled from their
camp, whereupon many of Colonel Sigel's men and officers, instead of standing to their guns or
pursuing the enemy, turned their attention to plunder, and thus permitted the enemy to return,
seize all his guns, drive the entire column from the field in every possible direction, and finally
turn our own guns upon the gallant men under Lyon, who were contending against such fearful
odds already.
Lieutenant Farrand, First Infantry, temporarily in command of a company of dragoons,
happened to encounter one of the guns after they had been deserted, and brought it safely from
the field, and on our march back to Springfield we met this gallant young officer coming from
the direction of Little York at the head of a large portion of such of the command as had escaped
being taken prisoners. However it may be in regard to the loss of these guns, one thing is certain
(according to Lieutenant Powell), namely: That the gun brought in by Lieutenant Farrand had
been abandoned when there was no enemy in sight.
Accompanying this report you will please find reports of the commanders of brigades,
regiments, and battalions; also, a list of the killed, wounded, and missing. I beg to state that I am
under many obligations to Major Schofield, from whose memoranda of the movement of troops,
&c., on the field I have drawn largely, and in many cases I have copied them literally.
Our total loss in killed, wounded, and missing amounts to 1,235. That of the enemy will
probably reach 3,000.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
Report of Brig. Gen. S. A. Hurlbut, U. S. Army.
GENERAL: Having sent forward 500 men of Third Iowa Regiment to this point, I was
deprived for several days of any direct communication from them. It at length became certain
that a body of rebels, not less than 2,000, were assembled at a point on Bee Branch, near
Jackson's farm, some 8 miles northeast of this place, and were seriously threatening attack on
detachment at Kirksville. Having waited a long time, for reliable intelligence from John D.
Foster as to his arms, I considered it my imperative duty to move from Macon City on Kirksville
with seven companies of the Sixteenth.
I sent forward hospital stores and sick to Brookfield. I left Macon City on Tuesday night with
wagons for transportation, and marched the command to Atlanta before morning, arriving there
at 2 a.m. The latter part of the march was in a heavy rain-storm, which continued until 10 a.m.
The march was then continued through to La Plata, at which place we arrived by 5 p.m., having
passed through two heavy rain-storms. Left La Plata at 8 a.m., the weather fine, and reached
Kirksville at 3 p.m., where the force is now encamped. Health of the command remarkably good.
The position is a fine one. Water abundant and of excellent quality; and within easy reach of the
disaffected regions.
Green and Franklin abandoned their camp on Bee Branch on the day we arrived in
Kirksville, and took up position at Felb's Bridge, in the southwest corner of Knox County, on
Salt River. Their numbers are daily decreasing, but the desperate men among them are moving in
a body south, towards Monroe and Ralls Counties, and will probably cross the railroad near
I have sent out daily strong parties of observation, who generally succeed in meeting small
bodies going to or returning from camp. In these encounters some casualties have occurred.
Before my arrival Corporal Dix, of Company C, Third Iowa, with a few Home Guards, was
surrounded by a large body of rebels, and after a most desperate resistance, in which five of the
enemy were killed, the corporal was killed and his detachment dispersed. The enemy laid out his
body decently, and sent notice to this camp. The body was recovered, and buried with military
honors. Having learned on my arrival that his weapons were in the same neighborhood, and
probably in custody of a man named Jackson, on whose ground the rebel camp on Bee Branch
was situated, and well known to have furnished large supplies to them, I sent a strong body into
that neighborhood, who recovered the weapons, and found at Jackson's house some fourteen
rebels, guards on one of their officers, severely wounded in the skirmish with Corporal Dix. The
rebels fled, and were fired upon- One, a man named Brown, from Schuyler County, was killed;
Jackson wounded in the knee, and brought in, with three others, prisoners. The others escaped.
The officer was too severely wounded to be moved, and was left on parole.
Communication with Macon City had been cut off by a band under Captain Gross, from the
neighborhood of La Plata, who will be dispersed to-day. The mail-carrier is a secessionist, and
avails himself of the disturbances to refuse to perform his duty.
I am waiting anxiously for two things--to establish communications with Moore and his
command and to hear from Foster. The wealthy citizens of this county are very sick of guerrilla
warfare. I have spread your proclamation as fully as possible, and informed this neighborhood
that this force must be maintained by them, which is done with proper discrimination. I found
about 500 Home Guards here, whom I have dismissed, except about 100 active mounted men,
whom I retained for outside pickets.
A great difficulty besets us here in obtaining timely information. Union men are slow to
come in and inform us, and we rarely know the movements of the enemy until too late.
The Third Iowa are entitled to great credit for their efficiency in this detached service and the
steadiness with which they have held their post.
As soon as junction can be effected with Moore, I shall follow these marauders. I would not
hesitate to attack, disperse, or destroy them, with three discreet companies of cavalry, though
they are 1,200 strong. Without cavalry it will be difficult, but will be done.
My line of progress from this place will be down the divide of Salt River to the railroad;
thence to Marion County. I have received no communication from any source since I came here.
I send this by messenger, who visits Saint Louis to see Mr. William P. Linder, cashier of the
Branch Bank of this city, who has foolishly fled.
As soon as communications are re-established I will report again.
Very respectfully, your obedient Servant,
Brigadier-General, U. S. Army.
Brig. Gen. JOHN POPE,
Saint Louis, Mo., August 27, 1861.
General POPE, U. S. A.,
Comdg. North Missouri District, Saint Louis, Mo.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to say that your letter of yesterday, transmitting information
received from General Grant, has been submitted to Major-General Frémont. He directs me to
say, in reply, that arms and ammunition have been sent to Colonel Morgan's 750 men at
Brookfield. It is believed that it will warrant the withdrawal of a portion of the Illinois volunteers
from the line of the railroad in that vicinity, with a view to a movement south and southwest. He
suggests that the service near Palmyra and Paris is so well guarded by the opportunity of succor
from Illinois on one side and from Iowa on the other, that considerable detachments may safely
be made from General Hurlbut's force to aid in operating in this, from Brookfield and vicinity
towards Jefferson City and Lexington, and in keeping the navigation of the Missouri River from
hostile interruption. With these suggestions the general commanding leaves the disposition of
matters to yourself.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major, U. S. Army, and Military Secretary.
SAINT LOUIS, August 28, 1861.
CAPTAIN: My absence from the regiment in consequence of wounds, and injuries received
in the battle at Wilson's Creek, near Springfield, Mo., on the 10th instant, has necessarily delayed
my report of the part enacted on that day by the First Regiment Missouri Volunteers. I have now
the honor to report that the regiment under my command joined the column under the immediate
command of General Lyon at 6.30 o'clock p.m. on the 9th instant, and marched out on the road
to Little York about 6 miles, when, taking a road running southeast, we advanced in that
direction until the head of the column discovered the camp-fires of the rebels. Here the column
halted, and remained until 4.15 o'clock on the morning of the 10th instant,. when our advance
was continued. Soon after the column was again in motion I received an order to bring the
regiment forward, and when it arrived up with the head of the column, upon inquiry, was desired
to march parallel with it, and about 60 yards distant. In a few moments I received orders to
deploy one company forward as skirmishers, and this was the last order that reached me during
the entire day. Company H, Captain Yates, was at once thrown out as skirmishers, closely
followed by the regiment in column of companies, and advancing up the hill, the action was
commenced by a shot from my skirmishers at 10 minutes past 5 o'clock. Immediately advancing
in person, I was informed by Captain Yates, and in another instant saw for myself, that the
enemy were in force immediately in our front, and re-enforcing our line of skirmishers with
Captain Maurice's company (B), I ordered the regiment forward into line. At this moment a
heavy fire was opened upon our then left flank by a force heretofore concealed, the regiment
wheeling into line and returning the fire, while the first division, deployed as skirmishers,
assembled on the right of the regiment, and prevented our flank being turned. The action now
became general, and for a short time the fire was very hot. The enemy giving way, the firing
almost ceased for a short time. Again they advanced upon us in front, and the right division
having been brought into the line of battle, the regiment continued to advance under a galling fire
until the enemy again gave way.
At this moment our advance unmasked one of their batteries, which up to this time had
played no part in the action. Before I could compete my arrangements to charge this battery I
noticed an apparent attempt on the part of the enemy to turn our right flank, and was forced to
abandon the attempt; but, sending word to Captain Totten of its position, I placed the first
division of the regiment in its original position at right angles with the line of battle, and opening
our fire, we after a time again drove them back. The battery we had unmasked had during this
time been playing upon us, and caused no little uneasiness, as the shells which fell in our ranks
were pronounced to be those supplied to our column which took the Cassville road. During all
this time the firing had been equally heavy upon the left of our line, and finding the right wing
apparently able to stand its ground, I went towards the left. As I passed each company I found it
well up to its work, both officers and men cool and determined, using their arms with care and
Upon arriving to the left of Du Bois' battery and approaching Company E, I met Captain
Cole, of that company, being taken to the rear in consequence of a wound in the lower jaw, and,
although unable to speak, still by every action encouraging his men.
Continuing on, I missed Capt. Cary Gratz, commanding Company E, and soon learned, while
advancing at the head of his men, he discovered a body of the enemy approaching, led on by a
mounted officer, carrying a Union flag. Captain Gratz, drawing his revolver, fired and knocked
him off his horse, but upon reaching the ground he immediately arose and rushed through his
lines, at which instant Captain Gratz fired a second shot, pitching him headlong out of sight. The
enemy now opened fire, and Captain Gratz fell, pierced by five shots.
I soon came up with Captain Cavender, who, with his company (G), still maintained an
advanced position, and had already by their courage and firmness several times prevented our
left flank from being turned. Once more the enemy advanced upon us, and the fire again became
very heavy. I now received a shot myself, and returning towards the right of the regiment and
meeting Captain Yates, informed him I had been hit, and he must, in case he missed me, assume
the command and keep the men together, as by this time the alignment was considerably broken.
Feeling faint, I returned again to our left and obtained a stimulant, and soon after my horse being
killed and falling upon me prevented my again being able to reach the right of the regiment.
The enemy now made another rally, and would undoubtedly have forced us back had not the
First Iowa Regiment, led on by General Lyon and Major Schofield, arrived at the critical
moment, together with the battalion of the Second Regiment, led by Major Osterhaus, assisted by
Lieut. David Murphy, of our regiment, who came up at the same time, and most gallantly
seconded the efforts of our now nearly exhausted men. As the fire again slackened I met General
Lyon, and asked him, "Have you seen or heard from our other column?" To this inquiry he shook
his head. I now noticed he appeared to be suffering, and found he had just received a shot in his
The firing had now ceased for so long a time I concluded the engagement over, and going to
Du Bois' battery, was met by our surgeon and by him sent to the rear, but had hardly got out of
his hands when the enemy made another and last rally, and for a few moments the fire was
terrible, but they were again repulsed. After a time our infantry were seen approaching, and at a
few minutes past 11 o'clock a.m., being six hours after I heard the first shot, I saw them in three
columns emerge from the timber into the small cleared space between myself and our recent line
of battle.
Never have I found it so difficult to do justice to all, and in a position where every man so
well performed his part it is almost impossible to single out individuals. That every officer did
his duty no better evidence can be adduced than the fact that 13 out of 27 officers who went into
the action bore away with them the marks of the enemy's shot. That the men did their duty I have
but to refer you to our mortality report, forwarded some days since.
With every desire to be strictly impartial, I cannot close this report without expressing our
obligations to Captain Totten and Lieutenant Du Bois, who by their masterly co-operation so
effectually assisted the regiment to maintain its position.
Capt. Madison Miller, commanding Company I, who, by his coolness and deliberate
observation, discovered at the critical moment a large body of cavalry preparing to charge us in
rear, and who, by his well-directed fire, assisted by a few shells from Captain Totten's battery,
rapidly dispersed them. Capt. John S. Cavender, who, though severely wounded, still refusing to
leave his post, mounted his horse, and remained there until exhausted nature could do no more.
Lieut. David Murphy, although shot through the leg, I saw advancing at the head of the battalion,
brought to our aid, with a spirit and courage that defied his wounds. Surg. F. M. Cornyn, who,
while carrying aid and comfort wherever they were required, utterly regardless of personal
danger, forgot not, when human aid was of no avail, to seize the musket of the dying man, and
with unerring aim avenging his death. Lieut. and Adjt. Henry Hescock, who, from the
organization of the regiment, has been of invaluable service in rendering, it efficient, and in
action was always found where his services were most valuable.
Among the men I must be allowed to call attention to Corporal Kane, of Company K, who,
when the color sergeant was killed and nearly all the color guard either killed or wounded,
brought the colors safely off the field; also Sergt. Chas. M. Callahan, of same company, who so
ably filled the place of his lieutenant, and materially assisted Captain Burke when his only
subaltern was disabled; Sergt. Christ. Conrad, of Company G, whose assistance was
indispensable to Lieutenant Sheldon when he alone was left to rally his men; Private Elworthy,
of Company F, who was particularly observed for his coolness and bravery.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel First Regiment Missouri Vols., Comdg.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Saint Louis, Mo.
Jefferson City, Mo., September 3, 1861.
GENERAL: Last night I started an expedition, consisting of the Fifth Iowa Regiment, under
command of Colonel Worthington, with some cavalry, across the river in the direction of
Columbia, Boone County, with orders to capture or disperse all armed parties he could find, and
also to take into possession all property belonging to such parties. This expedition was sent under
my immediate supervision, during the terrible rain, which continued most of the night, and is by
this (11 o'clock) time on its march from the river to Columbia. I hope to surprise some of the
rebel camps. Colonel Worthington's command will return on Saturday. I have taken steps to
secure the money in the banks at Kansas City, Independence, and Lexington, and will
immediately take steps to secure that at the other points mentioned, if possible.
An expedition which I sent out a few days ago in the direction of Iberia returned yesterday
with some four or five prisoners, two of whom were captured with United States muskets in their
possession. I have them confined. Colonel McClelland, who commanded this expedition, reports
troops collecting there for the Confederate Army.
Reports vary much in estimating the number of troops collecting in the vicinity of Warsaw,
but all agree that this part of the country is very active in furnishing recruits and supplies.
It is now time for the mail to leave.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding.
Saint Louis, Mo.
No. 3.
Letters from General Lane relative to future operations.
Fort Lincoln, September 4, 1861.
Capt. W. E. PRINCE, Commanding Post Fort Leavenworth:
SIR: I dispatched Lieutenant Hollister to you to intelligently post you as to the situation of
affairs on this border. I also inclose you a note from Colonel Montgomery, the last dispatch from
him. I am holding Fort Scott with a cavalry force, regular and irregular, of about 800 men within
4 miles of the border and 12 miles of the enemy's position. I am holding Barnesville, 12 miles
northeast of Fort Scott, within 1 miles of the border, with an irregular force of about 250 men,
stationed in log buildings, and am now strengthening their position with earth intrenchments.
I have here a regular force of about 1,200 men, and an irregular force I am now organizing,
amounting in all to about 400 or 600 men, and am strengthening the position to stay. I have
before given you all the information as to the strength of the enemy. All sources of information
concur that their force is in the neighborhood of 6,000; that they have fortified themselves on the
Dry Wood, 10 miles northeast of Fort Scott, and are rapidly re-enforcing; that they have seven
pieces of artillery, either one or two 12-pounder howitzers, and the balance 6-pounders; that
they have already 1,000 mounted men, that are increasing much more rapidly than their infantry.
The cavalry that we engaged are armed with minie rifles, and from the prisoners we have taken
we learn the entire force is armed with the same. In their artillery are some of the guns taken
from our army at the battle near Springfield. To retake those guns it seems to me would benefit
the cause of the country as much as any other event that could transpire. Cannot this Government
supply me without delay with sufficient artillery and men to destroy that army and capture those
guns? It is within 15 miles of me, with a smooth prairie between us. In twelve hours after being
re-enforced I can be upon them, give peace to Kansas, confuse the enemy, and advance the cause
of the Union. I have detailed Lieutenant Hollister to the command, in the absence of Colonel
Johnson, of the two companies of Iowa troops, and should like to retain him here in that
command and as mustering officer. He has proved himself a gallant officer.
Rumors that the enemy is moving are coming in, but I do not fully rely upon them.
I send you the last note from Montgomery.
Commanding Kansas Brigade.
No. 2.
Report of Col. Nelson G. Williams, Third Iowa Infantry.
MACON, September 5, 1861.
SIR: In obedience to your order, I respectfully submit the following statement of facts
connected with the Paris expedition and the reasons why I retired from Shelbina:
Late Friday evening (August 30) I received a telegraphic dispatch from General Pope to take
my effective command, together with Loring's cavalry, proceed to Palmyra, open the road, and
then go to Paris and take the specie and funds in the bank, and send it to Saint Louis. Early
Saturday morning I started from Brookfield to execute the order. I arrived at Palmyra about
noon, was there informed by the railroad employés that we would have to go to Hannibal in
order to turn the engine west, they telling me it would be impossible to back the train. As a
further reason for going to Hannibal, there was $150,000 in specie on board, and from
instructions I received it would be in some danger of being seized by the rebels. I arrived at
Hannibal, and while feeding my men the Second Kansas Regiment arrived per boat, en route for
Kansas, to recruit. I immediately invited them to join me in the Paris expedition, as I had learned
on my down trip that it would be unsafe with my force (320 men) to go into Monroe County.
They consented, and we started Sunday morning. Arrived at Shelbina about noon. I pressed into
service some wagons to carry provisions and sick men, and started for Paris about 8 o'clock in
the evening. My entire force consisted of about 620 men, viz, 520 infantry and 100 cavalry. I
arrived in Paris at daylight Monday morning, September 2. I immediately proceeded to the bank,
in company with M. Cassel, esq. (agent to receive money). We called the directors together.
They informed us that the cashier had taken the money to a safe place, and that they did not
know where he or the money was. We waited during the day, thinking that they would get the
money. In the afternoon I learned that the whole country was rising in arms against us. About 5
o'clock I gave the order to prepare for our return march, but a tremendous storm coming up I
countermanded the order, and resolved to stay in Paris overnight. I quartered my men in the
court-house and vacant buildings. About midnight we received an alarm and turned out under
arms, and remained so during the night. Started on our return at daybreak. In the mean time I had
learned that Green and his forces had got past General Hurlbut, and that he had prepared an
ambush for me on the straight road to Shelbina. I determined to take the road to Clinton, making
a detour of 10 miles. Every step of the way I found evidence that the whole people were in arms.
I arrived, however, in Shelbina at night, having escaped the ambush, but had one man wounded
(supposed mortally) by the enemy's pickets. When I arrived in Shelbina I found no
communication east or west; also learned that General Hurlbut had left that day for Brook field.
During the night had two alarms. In the morning, and after the enemy had shown himself in
force, a train arrived from the west, and brought word that another train was coming to take my
command away. In the mean time the enemy was gathering in still greater force, so that I could
make out about 3,000. About noon I received a note from the rebel commander, giving me thirty
minutes to move the women and children and to surrender. I ordered the women to leave, but
made no reply to Green. I barricaded the streets and prepared to resist the enemy. After a short
time the enemy opened on us with two pieces of artillery, one 9 and one 6 pounder (reported to
me to be brass by an escaped prisoner). Their battery was planted a full mile off. I am satisfied
that at this time the enemy numbered full 4,000. With my glass I could discover a strong force
under cover of timber to support their artillery. I offered to lead the men out on the plain and
offer the enemy battle. Major Cloud, of the Second Kansas, objected. I did not insist, as I thought
the opposing force too great. During the firing I discovered the enemy some 2 miles in the west
tearing up the track. I immediately ordered one company on the train to run up to them, which
was done, and the enemy driven from that point. I observed also a force in the east tearing up
track, and started a train that way, but the train came back, as the enemy opened upon it with
their artillery. The officer in command reported to me that he supposed the engine and train of
more value than a little piece of track. I told him he did right.
The enemy fired well. Almost every shot was well pointed, either striking the building or
falling in the square. Captain McClure, of the Second Kansas, had his foot shot off. After
receiving some thirty shots, the officers of the Second Kansas held a meeting, and sent Major
Cloud to me, demanding that I should withdraw the men, saying they had been in one Springfield
fight and did not wish to be in another (meaning fighting against such odds), and also that if I
would withdraw and get artillery they would come back with me. He further stated that his men
were discontented, and supposed they were going home, and did not like being brought on the
expedition; that he, to encourage them, had held out the inducement to them that the money in
the bank was to pay them off with; that they only considered themselves in the light of
volunteers, &c. I still resisted, and declared I would not mention the subject of retreating to my
men, as I had been to them and told them we could hold the place; but finally they insisted so
strongly, and fearing there might be a stampede, I consented to call the officers together. When
they met, I said to them I had nothing further to say. After they had decided it to be expedient to
retire, I told them to wait orders. I delayed giving orders any further than to tell them to go to
their companies and prepare to move. After a few minutes I saw the Kansas men starting for the
cars. They filled the first train and started. I jumped on the engine, and ordered the engineer to
move slow, so that the cavalry could keep up with him on the right flank (the enemy was on the
south). I then jumped off, and started back for my own men (280), but they, seeing the Kansas
men off, had got on the second train and started before I got back. In the confusion the Iowa men
left some of their coats and knapsacks in quarters. They did not know at the time we were
retiring from the enemy. There were also one transportation wagon and four mules left, all of
which might have been brought off had they waited for orders. It is proper for me to state that I
had but one captain with me at the time, and he had been quite sick some days, and was unfit for
duty at the time, but he turned out and rendered me valuable assistance.
I was extremely short for officers. I had sent three home sick. I then moved the trains to
Hudson and reported to you in person. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Third Iowa.
No. 2.
Report of Brig. Gen. John Pope, U. S. Army.
HUNNEWELL, September 10, 1861.
I marched on Green at dark Sunday. Reached his camp at daylight in morning. As usual, he
had received notice of our approach, but, in consequence of night marches, few hours before I
reached there. His force, about 3,000, scattered in every direction, leaving much baggage,
provisions, and forage, as also the public property captured at Shelbina. The infantry of my
command was, of course, unable to pursue after a forced night march of 23 miles. The few
horsemen followed the train for 10 or 15 miles until it scattered in various directions. The bulk of
his force has crossed the North Missouri road at Renick, and are making for woods of Chariton. I
go west with Sixteenth Illinois and Third Iowa immediately in pursuit.
Moore's force proceeded by land to Canton, and will there organize. Four hundred of
Bussey's cavalry are in Northeast Missouri, but I think not doing much. As soon as I can run
down Green's force I will go to Keokuk. Please send Colonel Tindall back to Brook field
immediately; he went down for his arms to Saint Louis, and can now be of much service.
Glover and Moore will organize their regiments I hope in a few days. Green's force is
mounted, and infantry cannot do much in overtaking them.
The railroad east of Brookfield is open, and I think no more secession camps will be made
within 20 miles.
Major-General FREMONT.
Cairo, Ill., September 11, 1861.
Maj. Gen. JOHN C. FREMONT, Saint Louis, Mo.:
Since my report of last night nothing has transpired of note, except the information that reenforcements
to the number of about 5,000 men arrived at Columbus last night. About that
number crossed to the Missouri shore. The rebels have not shown themselves as far up the river
to-day as yesterday. To-day a soldier, representing himself as a member of Colonel Bowen's
regiment, deserted, and succeeded in reaching our gunboats. He states that he is from Wisconsin,
emigrated to Southern Missouri last year, and when our difficulties broke out was pressed into
service. He says that Jeff. Thompson's forces, about 2,600 men (700 of them cavalry), occupy
ground opposite Columbus. They are badly armed and clothed. Last night 5,000 men from
Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee arrived, and about an equal number crossed to the
Missouri shore. These troops are represented as well clothed and armed. Provisions, blankets,
clothing, ammunition, and arms are plenty in their camp; thinks most of their pork is obtained
from Ohio. Heard the officers talk of attacking Bird's Point and Cairo at times; then again of
awaiting an attack where they are. Are throwing up breastworks along the whole front of
Columbus. They are represented to have thirty-five to forty pieces of artillery (a portion rifled)
and six or seven siege pieces in position, and more on the ground ready to put up. In Colonel
Bowen's regiment there are quite a number of Northern men, who are not there from choice, but
only await an action to turn on their officers and leave the Southern Confederacy forever.
I would respectfully urge the necessity of having clothing of almost every description,
particularly shoes, blankets, and shirts, forwarded here as soon as possible. Tents also are
required. Cavalry is much needed; also cavalry equipments for the troops here and more batteries
of light artillery. All the re-enforcements that can be spared for this post, of every arm of service,
would be welcome. There are two companies of the Seventh Iowa Regiment now stationed at
Potosi, Mo.; the balance of the regiment here. I would recommend that they be relieved and sent
to their regiment.
Jefferson CITY, September 12, 1861.
Two Indiana regiments, 1,986; Twenty-fifth Illinois, 860; Fifth Iowa, 850; Davidson's
battery, 4 pieces, 4 horses each, and 99 men; Home Guards, 1,362, not efficient----want of
organization and equipments. Some ammunition wanted for all. Will present requisition.
Jefferson CITY, September 13, 1861.
Major-General FREMONT:
Green has crossed at Arrow Rock and is marching on to Booneville. The Iowa Fifth leaves
early to-morrow morning on War Eagle to that place. The Indiana regiments I shall send to
Syracuse, and make a forced march to-morrow night, so as to get in Green's rear with a view to
capture him. Send me the troops, and I will take care of this place and Booneville. Let General
Sturgis operate higher up the river and support Lexington. Let Sturgis send a courier to me when
he leaves the Hannibal and Saint Joseph road, informing me where he will strike the river.
Colonel, Commanding.
WAR DEPARTMENT, September 14, 1861.
Maj. Gen. JOHN C. FREMONT, Saint Louis:
On consultation with the President and heads of Departments, it was determined to call upon
you for 5,000 well-armed infantry, to be sent here without a moment's delay. Give them three
days' cooked rations. This draft from your forces to be replaced by you from the States of
Illinois, Iowa, and Kansas. How many men have you under arms in your department? Please
answer fully and immediately.
Secretary of War
Cairo, September 15, 1861.
Commanding Department of the West, Saint Louis, Mo.:
SIR: Reconnaissances which I had made yesterday disclose the fact that the enemy have
broken up their camp above Belmont, also that they have no force from there to some distance
beyond Charleston. As telegraphed by me to-day, I believe they are leaving Columbus; whether
marching upon Paducah or leaving Kentucky altogether I will try and determine to-morrow. I
have ordered the Tenth Illinois Volunteers, Colonel Morgan commanding, to Fort Holt, to take
the place of the Twenty-fourth, leaving to-night, and the Seventh [?] Iowa to Elliott's Mills, near
Fort Jefferson, to take the place of the Nineteenth Illinois. I would call your attention to the fact
that there are many troops here without arms, and some armed with the Austrian musket, which,
with the caps now furnished, is unreliable; also that clothing, camp and garrison equipage, and
accouterments are deficient. Requisitions, I am told, are before the proper Departments for all
these articles. Money is much required here to pay for secret services. It is highly necessary to
get information which cannot be obtained from our own reconnoitering parties, and without
money to pay, the services of citizens cannot much longer be obtained.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
U.S. GRANT, Brigadier-General,
Cairo, Ill, September 15, 1861.
Commanding, &c., Cairo and Bird's Point:
You will please direct Colonel Morgan to move his regiment to Fort Holt this evening to
relieve Colonel Hecker, who is under marching orders; also direct the Second [?] Iowa to move
with all dispatch to Colonel Ross' command, at Elliott's Mills.
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
SAINT JOE, September 15, 1861.
Major-General FREMONT:
Road to Hannibal open, except Platte River Bridge (finished to-morrow), and all quiet.
Secessionists, numbering some 2,500, in detached bands, retreating southward, to cross river
below Independence. I have sent column of 1,000 men and three pieces of artillery, under
Colonel Smith, to march rapidly from this place in pursuit, and the Iowa regiment, with one
piece of artillery and 50 irregular horse, to move rapidly from Cameron upon Liberty, and there
effect junction with Smith. There is no doubt in my judgment that the large train of plunder will
be captured, though, as usual, I presume the forces will disperse, and, being cavalry, will mostly
escape, unless Smith can surprise them. I have put all irregular threes--Home Guards and others--
in motion scouting the country on all sides. Colonels Cranor and Edwards--the first commanding
irregular forces of Missouri volunteers, the second about 600 Iowa State troops--will be here today,
having swept whole region north of this place clean. I put them immediately in motion
along both sides of railroad, to clean out the small squads remaining in the woods from Saint
Joseph to Chillicothe. In five days North Missouri will be again quiet, and the regiments of
Tindall, Moore, Foster, Morgan, and Glover will return. So will you please send Tindall's
regiment as soon as possible to Chillicothe?
I go East to-day to urge into the field the regiments named. There are some disturbances of
minor importance in the extreme northeast, and I must get to Canton and Keokuk, without
awaiting the return of Smith's command. Can Glover and Bussey get their cavalry armed at
HUDSON, Mo., September 16, 1861.
General FREMONT:
Just arrived here on my way to Keokuk. Find Ohio regiments on their way to Utica. If you
can send Tindall's regiment to Chillicothe immediately, the Sixteenth Illinois and Third Iowa can
also be forwarded to Lexington. There will be no more considerable trouble in North Missouri.
HUDSON, September 16, 1861.
Presuming from General Sturgis' dispatches that there is imminent want of troops at
Lexington, I have dispatched Colonel Smith to move forward to that place with Sixteenth
Illinois, Third Iowa, and three pieces of artillery from Liberty as soon as he completed the object
of his expedition. He reaches Liberty to-morrow morning, and will accomplish his purpose very
soon after. His pursuit will lead him in direction of Lexington. I have used the 3,000 troops under
Colonels Trainor and Edwards, mentioned in yesterday's dispatch, to replace Smith and Iowa
regiment on line. Tindall is back at Chillicothe. There will be no danger in North Missouri. My
presence at Canton and Keokuk is imperative, and must be there as soon as possible.
Major-General FREMONT.
PALMYRA, September 16, 1861.
From papers just handed me, I learn for first time that important matters are occurring at
Lexington. The troops I sent to Lexington will be there day after to-morrow, and consist of two
full regiments of infantry, four pieces of artillery, and 150 irregular horse. These, with the two
Ohio regiments, which will reach there Thursday, will make a re-enforcement of 4,000 men and
four pieces of artillery. Do you wish me to come down to Saint Louis, or go to Canton and
Keokuk, to finish matters in this section? The following force along this road: At Hannibal, ---;
at Kansas, 480; at Palmyra, 320 of Twentieth Illinois; at Hudson, 450 of Foster's men; at
Brookfield, 650 of Morgan's regiment; at Saint Joseph (coming east), 3,000 Iowa and Missouri
irregular troops. Please answer to Quincy.
Major-General FREMONT.
Saint Louis, Mo., September 17, 1861.
Brig. Gen. B. M. Prentiss, volunteer service, is assigned to the command of that section of
the State of Missouri bordering on and lying north of the Hannibal and Saint Joseph Railroad.
Brigadier-General Prentiss will open, and use stringent measures to keep open, said railroad,
and preserve the telegraph line from interruption by the secessionists. In order to prevent the
secessionists from meeting in bands for camp and drill for a few days or a week, as has been
their custom in Northeast Missouri, Brigadier-General Prentiss will use the Third Regiment of
Iowa Cavalry, Colonel Bussey, and the cavalry of Major Bishop, as soon as they are ready for
By order of Major-General Frémont:
Assistant-Adjutant General
No. 1.
Report of Lieut. Col. John Scott, Third Iowa Infantry.
Liberty, September 18, 1861.
SIR: In relation to an affair of yesterday which occurred near Blue Mills Landing, about 5
miles from this place, I have the honor to report:
Agreeably to your orders I left Cameron at 3 p.m. of the 15th inst., and through a heavy rain
and bad roads made but 7 miles during that afternoon. By a very active march on the 16th I
reached Centreville, 10 miles north of Liberty, by sunset, where the firing of cannon was
distinctly heard in the direction of Platte City, which was surmised to be from Colonel Smith's
Sixteenth Illinois command. Had sent a messenger to Colonel Smith from Hainesville, and sent
another from Centreville, apprising him of my movements, but got no response. On the 17th, at 2
a.m., started from Centreville for Liberty, and at daylight the advanced guards fell in with the
enemy's pickets, which they drove in and closely followed. At 7 a.m. my command arrived at
Liberty, and bivouacked on the hill north of and overlooking the town. I dispatched several
scouts to examine the position of the enemy, but could gain no definite information. They had
passed through Liberty during the afternoon of the 16th to the number of about 4,000, and taken
the road to Blue Mills Landing, and were reported as having four pieces of artillery. At 11
o'clock a.m. heard firing in the direction of the landing, which was reported as a conflict between
the rebels and forces disputing their passage over the river. At 12 m. moved the command,
consisting of 500 of the Third Iowa, a squad of German artillerists, and about 70 Home Guards,
in the direction of Blue Mills Landing. On the route learned that a body of our scouts had fallen
in with the enemy's pickets, and lost 4 killed and 1 wounded. Before starting dispatched courier
to Colonel Smith to hasten his command. About 2 miles from Liberty the advance guard drove in
the enemy's pickets. Skirmishers closely examined the dense growth through which our route
lay, and at 3 p.m. discovered the enemy in force, concealed on both sides of the road, and
occupying the dry bed of a slough, his left resting on the river and the right extending beyond our
observation. He opened a heavy fire, which drove back our skirmishers, and made simultaneous
attacks upon our front and right. These were well sustained, and he retired with loss to his
position. In the attack on our front the artillery suffered so severely that the only piece, a brass 6-
pounder, was left without sufficient force to man it, and I was only able to hare it discharged
twice during the action. Some of the gunners abandoned the piece, carrying off the matches and
primer, and could not be rallied.
The enemy kept up a heavy fire from his position. Our artillery useless, and many of the
officers and men already disabled, it was deemed advisable to fall back, which was done slowly,
returning the enemy's fire, and completely checking pursuit. The 6-pounder was brought off by
hand, through the gallantry of Captain Trumbull, Lieutenants Crosley and Knight, and various
officers and men of the Third Iowa, after it had been entirely abandoned by the artillerists. The
ammunition wagon, becoming fastened between a tree and log at the road-side in such a manner
that it could not be released without serious loss, was abandoned.
The engagement lasted one hour, and was sustained by my command with an intrepidity that
merits my warmest approbation.
I have to regret the loss of a number of brave officers and men, who fell gallantly fighting at
their posts. I refer to the inclosed list of killed and wounded as a part of this report. The heaviest
fire was sustained by Company I, Third Iowa Volunteers, which lost 4 killed and 20 wounded,
being one-fourth of our total loss.
Major Stone, Captains Warren, Willett, and O'Neill were severely wounded, and also
Lieutenants Hobbs, Anderson, Tullis, and Knight. The latter refused to retire from the field after
being three times wounded, and remained with his men till the close of the engagement.
Among the great number who deserve my thanks for their gallantry, I might mention Sergt.
James F. Lakin, of Company F, Third Iowa, who bore the colors, and carried them into the
thickest of the fight with all the coolness of a veteran.
The loss of the enemy cannot be certainly ascertained, but from accounts deemed reliable is
not less than 160, many of whom were killed. His total force was about 4,400.
Your most obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel Third Iowa Volunteers.
Brigadier-General, U. S Army.
Jefferson CITY, September 20, 1861.
I shall leave about 3,000 Home Guards and Iowa Sixth to take care of this place. I would
recommend some one of energy be appointed to command them. General Thomas [L.] Price,
who is now in Saint Louis, would be an excellent man. They must be kept at work on these field
works, &c.
Acting Brigadier-General, Commanding.
No. 2.
Report of Col. Jacob G. Lauman, Seventh Iowa Infantry, of skirmish on Mayfield Creek, Ky.
FORT JEFFERSON, September 22, 1861.
GENERAL: My outposts, consisting of a detachment of 8 or 10 men, infantry, stationed on
the road beyond Elliott's Mills, were attacked this afternoon by the enemy's cavalry, about 100 in
number, and were repulsed with the loss of 4, known to be either killed or wounded, as they
tumbled out of their saddles, and were carried off in their precipitate retreat. One horse was
killed, and the horse furniture remains in the hands of my picket as a trophy.
If possible send us some addition to our cavalry force, and I pledge you they won't approach
our pickets again with impunity.
Respectfully, yours,
Colonel Seventh Iowa, Commanding Post.
General U.S. GRANT,
Commanding, &c.
Cairo, Ill., September 23, 1861.
Col. J. G. LAUMAN,
Seventh Iowa, Commanding, &c., Fort Jefferson, Ky.:
Move two regiments and all your cavalry but one company to Norfolk as soon as possible.
The balance must be held in readiness for a move. Put your baggage on board of a steamboat, to
be taken to Bird's Point, where it will have to be discharged.
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
SEPTEMBER 23, 1861.
We left Saint Louis October 12 for General Frémont's headquarters at Tipton, 160 miles
distant, passing the night at Jefferson City, the capital of Missouri, 125 miles from Saint Louis.
General Price was in command of the place, with a force of 1,200 men. The Eighth Iowa was
there, en route for Tipton. At this place there were accumulated a large quantity of forage landed
from steamboats, and some wagons and mules, for transportation; also the half barrels for
carrying water, and a number of mules, which Captain Turnley said he could not get forward,
having no control over the transportation by railroad.
Leaving Jefferson City on the 13th, we arrived at Tipton at 9 o'clock a.m. The Secretary of
War was called upon by General Frémont, and, upon the general's invitation, accompanied him
to Syracuse, 5 miles distant, to review the division under General McKinstry, nearly 8,000
strong. This body of troops is said to be the best equipped and best supplied of the whole army.
They certainly are, so far as means of transportation are concerned. At Tipton, besides General
Frémont and staff, his body guard, &c., I found a part of General Hunter's First Division and
General Asboth's Fourth Division. The force designed to act against Price consists of five
divisions, as follows:
First Division, Hunter's, at Tipton 9,750
Second Division, Pope’s at Georgetown 9,220
Third Division, Sigel's, at Sedalia 7,980
Fifth Division, Asboth's, at Tipton 6,451
Sixth Division, McKinstry's, at Syracuse 5,388
Total 38,789
As soon as I obtained a view of the several encampments at Tipton, I expressed the opinion
that the forces there assembled could not be moved, as scarcely any means of transportation were
visible. I saw General Hunter, second in command, and conversed freely with him. He stated that
there was great confusion, and that Frémont was utterly incompetent; that his own division was
greatly scattered, and the force then present defective in many respects; that he required 100
wagons, yet he was ordered to march that day, and some of his troops were already drawn out on
the road. His cavalry regiment (Ellis') had horses, arms (indifferent), but no equipments; had to
carry their cartridges in their pockets; consequently, on their first day's march from Jefferson
City, in a heavy rain, the cartridges carried about their persons were destroyed. This march to
Tipton (35 miles) was made on a miry, heavy earth road parallel to the railroad, and but a little
distance from it. The troops were directed by General Frémont to march without provisions,
knapsacks, and without transportation. A violent rain storm came up, and the troops were
exposed to it all night, were without food for twenty-four hours, and when food was received the
beef was found to be spoiled.
General Hunter stated that he had just received a written report from one of his colonels,
informing him that but 20 out of 100 of his guns would go off. These were the guns procured by
General Frémont in Europe. I may here state that General Sherman, at Louisville, made a similar
complaint of the great inferiority of these European arms. He had given the men orders to file
down the nipples. In conversation with Colonel Swords, assistant quartermaster-general, at
Louisville, just from California, he stated that Mr. Selover, who was in Europe with General
Frémont, wrote to some friend in San Francisco that his share of the profit of the purchase of
these arms was $30,000.
When General Hunter, at Jefferson City, received orders to march to Tipton, he was directed
to take 41 wagons with him, when he had only 40 mules, which fact had been duly reported to
headquarters. At this time Colonel Stevenson's Seventh Missouri Regiment was, without General
Hunter's knowledge, taken from him, leaving him, when under marching orders, with only one
regiment at Jefferson City fit to take the field (see paper No. 9). General Hunter showed me the
order for marching, dated October 10, which he only received the 12th (see paper No. 10). (See
Hunter's reply, showing the great wants of his command, marked No. 11). The same day the
order was changed to one day's march (see paper No. 12). (§)
When General Pope, at Georgetown, 25 miles distant, received this order of march, he wrote
a private letter to Hunter, which I read. It set forth the utter impossibility of his moving for the
want of supplies and transportation, and asked whether General Frémont could mean what he
said. All of the foregoing goes to show the want of military foresight and soldierly judgment on
the part of General Frémont in directing the necessary means for putting and maintaining in the
field the forces under his command.
General Hunter stated that, though second in command, he never was consulted by General
Frémont, and knew nothing whatever of his intentions. Such a parallel, I venture to assert, cannot
be found in the annals of military warfare. I have also been informed that there is not a
Missourian on his staff, not a man acquainted personally with the topography and physical
characteristics of the country or its people.
The failure of General Frémont to re-enforce General Lyon demands a brief notice. General
Frémont arrived at Saint Louis July 26, called thither from New York by telegraph stating that
General Lyon was threatened by 30,000 rebels. At this time General Pope had nine regiments in
North Missouri, where the rebels had no embodied force, the Confederate forces in the State
being those under Price and McCulloch, near Springfield, Southwest Missouri, and those under
Pillow, Jeff. Thompson, and Hardee, in Southeast Missouri. Two regiments held Rolla, the
terminus of the Southwestern Branch of the Pacific Railroad, whilst Jefferson City, Booneville,
Lexington, and Kansas City had each a garrison of 300 or 400 men, behind entrenchments. Cairo
and Bird's Point were fortified and defended with heavy artillery. (Pilot Knob and Cape
Girardeau were fortified after General Frémont's arrival.) All these places could be re-enforced
by railroad and river from Saint Louis and the Northwestern States, and could hold out until reenforced,
even if attacked by superior forces.
On his arrival in Saint Louis, General Frémont was met by Captain Cavender, First Missouri,
and Major Farrar, aide-de-camp to General Lyon, with statements from the latter, and asking for
re-enforcements. Major Phelps, M. C. from Springfield, Dr. Miller, of Omaha, and many other
citizens, having ample means of information, made the same representations, and urged the
sending of re-enforcements. To Governor Gamble he said, "General Lyon is as strong as any
other officer on this line." He failed to strengthen Lyon, and the result, as is well known, was the
defeat of that most gallant officer. The two regiments at Rolla should have been pushed forward,
and the whole of Pope's nine regiments brought by rail to Saint Louis and Rolla, and thence sent
to Lyon's force. Any other general, in such an emergency, would have pursued this obvious
The battle of Springfield (or, more strictly, Wilson's Creek)--one of the most desperate ever
fought on this continent--took place August 10, when the brave Lyon fell, and the troops, borne
down by greatly superior numbers, were obliged to fall back, but unpursued by a badly beaten
General Frémont called four regiments from North Missouri, and went with them to Cairo. It
is evident he had no intention of re-enforcing General Lyon, for the two regiments at Rolla, 125
miles only from Springfield, received no orders to march, and were not supplied with
transportation, and 30 or 40 hired wagons, just returned from Springfield, were discharged at
Rolla August 4, seven days before the battle, and returned to Saint Louis.
After the news of the battle reached Saint Louis four other regiments were drawn from Pope
in North Missouri and sent to Rolla. Better to have called in these troops before the battle, as
after the battle the whole revolutionary elements were called forth. The six regiments
accomplished nothing, and were not ordered to advance and cover the retreat of Lyon's army,
although it was supposed in Saint Louis that Price and McCulloch were following it, and that
Hardee had moved up to cut off its retreat on the Gasconade.
An advance of these regiments would have enabled the army to retrace its steps and to beat
the forces of Price and McCulloch so badly, that they would have been unable to follow our
forces in their retreat. It is said that every officer in Lyon's army expected to meet reenforcements,
and to return with them, and drive Price and McCulloch from the southwest.
General Hunter arrived at Saint Louis from Chicago, called thither on a suggestion from
Washington, as an adviser. General Frémont submitted to him, for consideration and advice, a
paper called "Disposition for retaking Springfield (See Exhibit No. 13, C). It sets out with a
statement that Springfield is the strong strategical point of that wide elevation which separates
the waters of the Osage from those of the Arkansas, the key to the whole of Southwestern
Missouri, commanding an area of nearly 60,000 miles. Why did not this enter the brain of the
major-general before the fall of Lyon, and he strain every nerve to hold that important key when
in his possession!
General Hunter, in answer to the paper, replied, "Why march on Springfield, where there is
no enemy and nothing to take. Let me take the troops and proceed to Lexington," in which
direction Price was marching, and where he expected to be joined by 40,000 rebels. Instead of
this, he was sent to Rolla, without instructions, and remained there until ordered to Jefferson
City, still without instructions, and thence to Tipton, where we found him.
No steps having been taken by General Frémont to meet Price in the field, he moved forward
his line of march, plainly indicating his intention of proceeding to Lexington. When within some
35 miles of the place he remained ten or more days, evidently expecting that some movement
would be made against him. None being made, he advanced, and with his much superior force
laid siege to Lexington, defended by Mulligan, with 2,700 men, September 12, and captured it
the 21st, nine days thereafter.
Now for the facts to show that this catastrophe could have been prevented, and Price's army
destroyed before or after that disastrous affair.
Before Price got to Lexington the forces to resist him were as follows: Jefferson City, 5,500;
at Rolla, 4,000; along the Hannibal and Saint Joseph Railroad, about 5,000; western line of
Missouri, under Lane, down near Fort Scott, 2,300; Mulligan's force at Lexington, 2,700; a large
force in Illinois, along the Mississippi River, and on the Iowa line; outside of Saint Louis, some
17,000; in Saint Louis, 18,000, but say 10,000.
Hunter's plan, up to Sunday, September 22, was to concentrate from Saint Louis, Jefferson
City, and Rolla, also from the Hannibal and Saint Joseph Railroad, 20,000 men, and relieve
Mulligan. He said that if Price was a soldier Lexington had then fallen, but he could with energy
be captured, with all his baggage and plunder. The objection that there was no transportation is
idle. The railroads and river were at command, and the march from Sedalia was only 45 miles.
The force could, General Hunter supposed, be thrown into Lexington by Thursday, as it appears,
before it was taken.
General Frémont ordered Sturgis, in North Missouri, to Lexington, and by crossing the river
to re-enforce Mulligan. Sturgis had only 1,100 men, and on reaching the river opposite the town
found it commanded by Price, and of course was compelled to fall back. Hunter's plan of
moving these troops was to strike the river at a point below Lexington in our control, cross, and
march up to the place. In the interview with General Frémont the question was asked whether
any orders had been given to re-enforce Mulligan, and the reply being in the negative, General
Hunter suggested orders to Sturgis; and had the order then been given by telegraph he would
have reached the river before Price had taken possession of the north bank and could have
crossed. The order was not given until three days after the interview. This loss of time was fatal.
Mulligan was ordered from Jefferson City, then garrisoned with 5,000 troops, with only one
regiment to hold Lexington until he could be relieved. When Lexington fell, Price had 20,000
men, his force receiving daily augmentations from the disaffected in the State. He was permitted
to gather much plunder and fall back towards Arkansas unmolested until we were at Tipton, the
13th October, when the accounts were that he was crossing the Osage. Frémont's order of march
was issued to an army of nearly 40,000, many of the regiments badly equipped, with inadequate
supplies of ammunition, clothing, and transportation. With what prospect, it must be inquired,
can General Frémont, under such circumstances, expect to overtake a retreating army, some 100
miles ahead, with a deep river between General Hunter expressed to the Secretary of War his
decided opinion that General Frémont was incompetent and unfit for his extensive and important
command. This opinion he gave reluctantly, owing to his position as second in command.
The opinion entertained by gentlemen who have approached and observed him is that he is
more fond of the pomp than of the stern realities of war; that his mind is incapable of fixed
attention or strong concentration; that by his mismanagement of affairs since his arrival in
Missouri the State has almost been lost, and that if he is continued in command, the worst results
may be anticipated. This is the concurrent testimony of a very large number of the most
intelligent men in Missouri.
Leaving Tipton on the 13th, we arrived at Saint Louis late in the evening, and on the 14th the
Secretary of War directed me to issue the following instructions to General Frémont.
Instructions were previously given (October 12) to the Hon. James Craig to raise a regiment
at Saint Joseph, Mo.
We left Saint Louis October 14, and arrived at Indianapolis in the evening. Remained at
Indianapolis October 15, and conversed freely with Governor Morton. We found that the State of
Indiana had come nobly up to the work of suppressing the rebellion. Fifty-five regiments, with
several batteries of artillery, had been raised and equipped; a larger number of troops in
proportion to population than any other State had sent into the field. The best spirit prevailed,
and it was manifest that additional troops could readily be raised. The governor had established
an arsenal, and furnished all the Indiana troops with full supplies of ammunition, including fixed
ammunition for their batteries of artillery. This arsenal was visited, and found to be in full
operation. It was under the charge of a competent pyrotechnist. Quite a number of females were
employed in making cartridges, and I venture to assert that the ammunition is equal to that which
is manufactured anywhere else. Governor Morton stated that his funds for this purpose were
exhausted, but the Secretary desired him to continue his operations, informing him that the
Government would pay for what had been furnished to the troops in the field. It is suggested that
an officer of ordnance be sent to Indianapolis to inspect the arsenal and ascertain the amount
expended in the manufacture of ammunition, with a view to reimbursing the State.
Left Indianapolis October 16 for Louisville, Ky., where we arrived at 12.30 o'clock p.m., and
had an interview with General Sherman, commanding the Department of the Cumberland. He
gave a gloomy picture of affairs in Kentucky, stating that the young men were generally
secessionists and had joined the Confederates, while the Union men, the aged and conservatives,
would not enroll themselves to engage in conflict with their relations on the other side. But few
regiments could be raised. He said that Buckner was in advance of Green River, with a heavy
force, on the road to Louisville, and an attack might be daily expected, which, with his then
force, he would not be able to resist, but that he would fight them. He as well as citizens of the
State said that the border States of Kentucky must furnish the troops to drive the rebels from the
State. His force then consisted of 10,000 troops, in advance of Louisville, in camp at Nolin
River, and on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad at various points; at Camp Dick Robinson,
or acting in conjunction with General Thomas, 9,000; and two regiments at Henderson, on the
Ohio, at the mouth of Green River. (See paper No. 14) D. On being asked the question what
force he deemed necessary, he promptly replied 200,000 men. This conversation occurred in the
presence of Mr. Guthrie and General Wood. The Secretary replied that he supposed that the
Kentuckians would not in any number take up arms to operate against the rebels, but he thought
General Sherman overestimated the number and power of the rebel forces; that the Government
would furnish troops to Kentucky to accomplish the work; that he (the Secretary) was tired of
this defensive war, and that the troops must assume the offensive and carry the war to the firesides
of the enemy; that the season for operations in Western Virginia was about over, and that
he would take the troops from there and send them to Kentucky; but he begged of General
Sherman to assume the offensive and to keep the rebels hereafter on the defensive. The Secretary
desired that the Cumberland Ford and Gap should be seized, and the East Tennessee and Virginia
Railroad taken possession of, and the artery that supplied the rebellion cut.
Complaint was made of the want of arms, and on the question being asked, "What became of
the arms we sent to Kentucky?" we were informed by General Sherman that they had passed into
the hands of the Home Guards, and could not be recovered; that many were already in the hands
of the rebels, and others refused to surrender those in their possession, alleging the desire to use
them in defense of their individual homes if invaded. In the hands of individuals and scattered
over the State these arms are lost to the army in Kentucky. Having ascertained that 6,200 arms
had arrived from Europe at Philadelphia, 3,000 were ordered to Governor Morton, who promised
to place them immediately in the hands of troops for Kentucky; the remaining 3,200 were sent to
General Sherman at Louisville. Negley's brigade, at Pittsburgh, 2,800 strong, two companies of
the Nineteenth Infantry from Indianapolis, the Eighth Wisconsin, at Saint Louis, the Second
Regiment of Minnesota Volunteers, at Pittsburgh, and two regiments from Wisconsin were then
ordered to Kentucky, making in all a re-enforcement of about 10,000 men.
We left Louisville at 3 o'clock p.m. for Lexington, accompanied by General Sherman and
Mr. Guthrie, remained there a few hours, and proceeded to Cincinnati; arriving at 8 o'clock p.m.
At Lexington also we found that the opinion existed that the young men of Kentucky had joined
the rebels; that no large bodies of troops could be raised in Kentucky, and that the defense of the
State must necessarily devolve upon the free States of the West and Northwest.
Having accomplished the object of our visit to the West, we left Cincinnati on the 18th and
reached Washington on the 21st, having spent the 19th and 20th at Harrisburg.
Respectfully submitted.
No. 1.
Report of Brig. Gen. U. S. Grant, U. S. Army.
Cairo, September 26, 1861.
SIR: For the information of the general commanding the Western Department I have to
report that reconnaissances which I have directed for the last two days show the enemy to have
abandoned their position near Hunter's farm. They are now confined in their encampments at
Columbus and Belmont. A party of cavalry sent out by my order this morning succeeded in
surprising a detachment of about 40 of Jeff. Thompson's command to-day. I inclose herewith
Colonel Oglesby's report of the result .
I have to report the loss of two good soldiers by the culpable conduct of Lieut. J. W.
Campion, Twentieth Illinois Volunteers, on yesterday. Colonel Marsh's report of the
circumstances is inclosed herewith.
There are two companies of the Seventh Iowa Regiment stationed at Potosi, Mo., which I
would respectfully request to be relieved and sent here to join their regiment.
Yesterday a party of cavalry from Columbus came up to the neighborhood of Elliott's Mills
and arrested a farmer there for the crime of loyalty to his country. To-day I directed in retaliation
the arrest of two noted secessionists, who were informed that they would be released on the safe
return of the Union man sent to Columbus. The party making the arrest went into Blandville and
brought from there also a Mr. Blake, who is charged with recruiting a company for the Southern
Army. He will be sent to Saint Louis for trial.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Capt. C. McKEEVER,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., U. S. A., Western Dept., Saint Louis, Mo.
Jefferson City, September 28, 1861.
By virtue of General Orders, No. 16, from department headquarters, the undersigned assumes
command of the Second Division of the Army of the West.
For the present, the division consists of the following brigades and regiments, with such
artillery and cavalry as shall hereafter be designated, viz:
First Brigade, Acting Brig. Gen. Jeff. C. Davis, commanding: Eighth, Eighteenth, Twenty-
Second, and Twenty-fifth Indiana Regiments.
Second Brigade, Acting Brig. Gen. J. C. Kelton, commanding: Iowa Fifth, Illinois Thirtyseventh,
Missouri Ninth, and Kansas First.
Acting Major-General, Commanding
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., October 2, 1861.
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Hdqrs. Western Dept., Saint Louis, Mo.:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 27th ultimo, and have
complied with its requisitions. It is reported here by different persons who have come into town
that the enemy are concentrating in large numbers upon the river opposite the town of Columbus,
Ky., under the command of General A. 8. Johnston, and intending to move for this place. It is
said they expect to have, or have already, there 60,000 men. I hope to be able in a day or two to
communicate to headquarters the facts in the case. I am disposed to believe the report.
There arrived here yesterday the Tenth Regiment Iowa Volunteers, numbering about 800.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Eleventh Missouri Volunteers, Commanding.
HEADQUARTERS, Bird's Point, October 2, 1861.
GENERAL: In obedience to your order last night to move with a force upon Charleston to
intercept the rebel forces under JEFF. Thompson, I sent Eleventh Illinois Volunteers, 450,
Twentieth Illinois, 350, and the Second Iowa Volunteers, 350; total infantry, 1,150; one division
of Captain Taylor’s artillery and 100 cavalry, under Captain Stewart; the whole force under
command of Colonel Tuttle, of the Second Iowa Regiment. The force left here at 3.30 o'clock
this morning; arrived at Charleston at 8 o'clock. Colonel Tuttle reports that no enemy has been
near Charleston in force. He immediately sent out detachments in every direction to reconnoiter.
Learning that about 500 of the enemy's cavalry would be at Charleston at noon to-day or during
the day, he sent forward on the Belmont road a company of cavalry 5 miles to report their
approach. The enemy did not reveal itself. At 5 o'clock p.m. the forces were put in motion, and
have returned to this camp to-night. From all the information learned through Colonel Tuttle I
am satisfied the enemy have not been at Charleston, and will not move by there. Belmont has
been evacuated. My impression is they have fallen back on New Madrid.
Most respectfully, yours,
Colonel, Commanding Bird's Point.
Brig. Gen. U. S. GRANT, Cairo, Ill.
Saint Louis, Mo., October 9, 1861.
Brig. Gen. S. R. CURTIS,
Commanding, &c., Benton Barracks, Mo.:
SIR: I have ordered Captain Callender to arm Colonels Wright's and Boyd's regiments. You
will please detach the battery of the Ninth Iowa from the regiment and mention them separately
in the consolidated reports. It will not accompany the regiment. You will order the Ninth Iowa to
proceed to Pacific City to-morrow morning and report for orders to Brigadier-General Harding.
They will take tents with them and rations for ten days. The order for them to proceed to Rolla is
suspended for the present.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Cairo, Ill., October 14, 1861.
For the better convenience of administering the duties of this military district this command
will be brigaded as follows, subject to such changes as may be deemed necessary in the future.
First Brigade, as now organized, and commanded by Brig. Gen. John A. McClernand, with
the addition of the Tenth and Eighteenth Illinois Regiments, Schwartz's battery of light artillery,
and Stewart's cavalry.
Second Brigade will be composed of Eighth Regiment Illinois Volunteers, Seventh Iowa, and
Twenty-second Illinois, Captain Houghtaling's light artillery, and five companies of Second
Illinois Cavalry, yet to be assigned, and will be under command of Col. R. J. Oglesby.
Third Brigade will be composed of the Eleventh and Twelfth Illinois Regiments, Second
Iowa Regiment, Captain Taylor's battery of light artillery, and Langen's, Pfaff's, Burrell's and
Noleman's cavalry, and will be under command of Col. W. H. L. Wallace.
Fourth Brigade? Col. John Cook commanding, will be composed of the Seventh and Twentyeighth
Illinois Regiments, McAllister's company of light artillery, Delano's cavalry, and one
company of Second Illinois Regiment of Cavalry.
Fifth Brigade, Colonel Plummer commanding, will be composed of the Eleventh Missouri,
Seventeenth Illinois, and Tenth Iowa Regiments, headquarters Cape Girardeau.
The command of the post of Cairo, including Mound City, will be retained by General
Brigade commanders will make their reports immediately to these headquarters.
By order of Brig. Gen. U.S. Grant:
Assistant Adjutant-General,
No. 1.
Report of Col. Granville M. Dodge, Fourth Iowa Infantry.
October 15, 1861.
CAPTAIN: The ambulances arrived to-day from Springfield with 33 wounded. The advance
of Colonel Wyman's command, under command of Major Wright---consisting of Captains
Switzler and Montgomery's companies of cavalry---met 500 of the advance of Johnson's or
Churchill's command 20 miles this side of Lebanon, at a place called Dutch Hollow. Major
Wright attacked the enemy and dispersed them, killing 16 and wounding about 30. Our loss was
I killed and I wounded. Major Wright captured 37 horses and 32 prisoners and arms. The scout
first arrived from Lebanon reports about 1,500 at that place, under command of Johnson.
Drenning, in charge of the wounded, reports a large commissary train on the way to Springfield
from Memphis. The stores were landed at New Madrid, and then overland to Springfield.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Post.
Capt. C. McKEEVER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Saint Louis, Mo.
WASHINGTON, D. C., October 21, 1861.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the report requested in your letter of the 19th instant.
We arrived at Saint Louis, as you are aware, at 2.30 a.m. October 11. After breakfast rode to
Benton Barracks, above the city. On the street leading to the camp passed a small field work in
coarse of construction. Found the camp of great extent, with extensive quarters, constructed of
rough boards. Much has been said of the large sums expended in their erection, but some one
mentioned that General McKinstry, principal quartermaster, who made the disbursements, gave
the cost at $15,000. If so, it was judicious. The actual cost should be ascertained. General Curtis
was in command. Force present, 140 officers, 3,338 men--principally detachments, except the
First Iowa Cavalry, 34 officers, 904 men, having horses, but without equipments.
General Curtis said of General Frémont that he found no difficulty in having access to him,
and when he presented business connected with his command, it was attended to. General F.
never consulted him on military matters, nor informed him of his plans. General Curtis
remarked that while he would go with freedom to General Scott and express his opinions, he
would not dare do so to General Frémont. He deemed General Frémont unequal to the command
of an army, and said that he was no more bound by law than by the winds.
After dinner rode to the arsenal, below the city, Captain Callender in charge. The garrison for
its protection is under Major Granger, Third Cavalry. But very few arms on hand; a number of
heavy guns, designed for gunboats and mortar boats. The captain is engaged in making
ammunition. He said he heard that some person had a contract for making the carriages for these
guns; that, if so, he knew nothing of it, and that it was entirely irregular, he being the proper
officer to attend to the case. This, in my opinion, requires investigation. He expected soon to
receive funds, and desired them for current purposes; was fearful, however, that they might be
diverted for other payments. Visited a large hospital not distant from the arsenal, in charge of
Assistant Surgeon Bailey, U.S. Army. It was filled with patients, mostly doing well; in fine
order, and a credit to the service. The doctor had an efficient corps of assistants from the
volunteer service, and in addition a number of Sisters of Charity as nurses. God bless these pure
and disinterested women!
Colonel Andrews, chief paymaster, called and represented irregularities in the Pay
Department, and desired instructions from the Secretary for his government, stating that he was
required to make payments and transfers of money contrary to law and regulations. Once, upon
objecting to what he conceived an improper payment, he was threatened with confinement by a
file of soldiers. He exhibited an order for the transfer of $100,000 to the Quartermaster's
Department, which was irregular. Exhibited abstract of payment by one paymaster (Major
Febiger) to 42 persons, appointed by General Frémont, viz: 1 colonel, 3 majors, 8 captains, 15
first lieutenants, 11 second lieutenants, 1 surgeon, 3 assistant surgeons; total 42. Nineteen of
these have appointments as engineers, and entitled to cavalry pay.
A second abstract of payments was furnished, but not vouched for as reliable, as the
paymaster was sick, and is only given to show the excess of officers of rank appointed to the
major-general's body guard of only 300 men; the commander being a colonel, &c. The whole
number of irregular appointments made by General Frémont was said by Colonel Andrews to be
nearly 200.
The following is a copy of one of these appointments:
Saint Louis, August 28, 1861.
SIR: You are hereby appointed captain of cavalry, to be employed in the land transportation
department, and will report for duty at these headquarters.
Major-General, Commanding.
Cairo, Ill., October 25, 1861.
Capt. CHAUNCEY McKEEVER, Saint Louis, Mo.:
I have the honor to report my return to this command last evening. You have no doubt
received the report of General McClernand as to the result of the flag of truce sent to Columbus
during my absence. I have nothing new to add. My mission to Springfield was only partially
successful. The governor has neither artillery nor small-arms at his disposal at present, but if my
command (or this command) is not supplied when he does receive them, one company will be
equipped with a battery of James' rifled cannon. This cannot be done before the last of
November. I think I will send the Second Iowa Regiment to Saint Louis immediately after
muster, and hope you will replace them with all the troops disposable.
CAIRO, ILL., October 27, 1861.
Capt. CHAUNCEY McKEEVER, Saint Louis, Mo.:
The health of the Second Iowa Regiment is such that I have thought it both prudent and
humane to send them to Saint Louis to recruit their health. Colonel Tuttle, the commander, is
desirous of returning to this place as soon as it will be prudent to do so, and I have directed him
to report to department headquarters when he thinks the health of his regiment sufficiently
recovered. As the district is but weakly garrisoned, I would respectfully request that a regiment
be sent here to replace the Second Iowa, and all the troops you can send will be gladly received.
Such drafts have been made upon the force at Columbus lately for the Green River country
and possibly other parts of Kentucky, that if General Smith's and my command were prepared it
might now be taken. I am not prepared, however, for a forward movement. My cavalry are not
armed nor my artillery equipped; the infantry is not well armed, and transportation is entirely
inadequate to any forward movement.
I shall make this evening a requisition on the quartermaster in Saint Louis for 8,000 bedsacks.
They are highly essential for the comfort and health Of the men, and I hope the
commander of the department will order their immediate delivery.
Washington, November 9, 1861.
The following departments are formed from the present Departments of the West,
Cumberland, and Ohio:
1. The Department of New Mexico, to consist of the Territory of New Mexico, to be
commanded by Col. E. R. S. Canby, U.S. Army.
2. The Department of Kansas, to include the State of Kansas, the Indian Territory west of
Arkansas, and the Territories of Nebraska, Colorado, and Dakota, to be commanded by Major-
General Hunter, headquarters at Fort Leavenworth.
3. The Department of the Missouri, to include the States of Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota,
Wisconsin, Illinois, Arkansas, and that portion of Kentucky west of the Cumberland River, to be
commanded by Maj. Gen. H. W. Halleck, U.S. Army.
By order:
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Syracuse, November 19, 1861.
Maj. W. E. LEFFINGWELL, First Iowa Cavalry:
MAJOR: Authentic intelligence has reached me that a camp of 500 rebels, mounted, and with
one piece of artillery, has been formed near the town of Jonesborough, about 35 miles from this
place. You are accordingly instructed to proceed by forced march to-night, so as to surprise their
camp by to-morrow morning at daybreak, with five companies of your regiment and a section of
horse artillery. You will march from this place at 6 o'clock this afternoon, taking all precautions
to avoid having your movements made known, and will be careful to throw forward an advance
guard and flankers to prevent a surprise.
Should you arrive near Jonesborough before daylight, you will not make an attack until it is
light enough to see clearly, that no mistake or confusion arise among your own command. When
you have ascertained exactly the position of the enemy's camp, you will endeavor to make such
disposition of your force as to cut off his retreat. Attack vigorously and promptly, and pursue
until the rebel force is completely dispersed. Two days' rations (cooked) will be taken with your
command, but no tents nor baggage of any description.
Having executed this duty thoroughly, you will return with all speed to this place.
I am, major, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
DEAR SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Iowa
troops in the late hotly contested battle of Wilson's Creek.
At 6 o'clock p.m. of the 9th instant the First Regiment of Iowa Volunteers, under command
of Lieut. Col. William H. Merritt, Col. J. F. Bates being sick, united with the forces at
Springfield under command of General Lyon, and commenced the march to Wilson's Creek, 12
miles distant. Arriving within 3 miles of the enemy's camp, and in close proximity of their
pickets, the order was given to halt. The troops lay on their arms until 3 o'clock a.m. of the 10th
instant, when they advanced on the enemy's lines. About 5 o'clock a.m. our advanced skirmishers
engaged the enemy's pickets and drove them in. The First Missouri and First Kansas Volunteers,
and a battalion of regular infantry, under command of Captain Plummer, with Totten's battery,
very soon engaged a considerable number of the rebel forces.
Du Bois' battery took position a short distance east of where the enemy were being engaged,
and the Iowa troops were drawn up in line of battle on its left. A brisk fire was commenced and
kept up for thirty minutes. The enemy responded promptly with a battery in the ravine, but their
shot passed from 10 to 100 feet over our heads. Detailed Company D, First Lieutenant Keller
commanding, and Company E, First Lieutenant Abercrombie commanding, to act as skirmishers
in advance of my line. Ordered to advance over the hill, engage the enemy, and relieve the First
Regiment Kansas Volunteers. In advancing to engage the enemy, met the First Kansas retreating
in confusion. They broke through our line on the right, separating Companies A and F from the
balance of the command. While in this confused state received a murderous fire from the
enemy's infantry. Gave the command to fall back and reform the line, the din of fire-arms and the
loud talking of the retreating troops drowned my voice, so that the command could not be heard
on the left. Led the two companies, A and F, over the hill, halted them, and ordered them to
about face and fire on a squadron of the enemy's cavalry advancing to charge on a section of
Totten's battery. The fire was executed with promptness and effect, and after receiving the
discharge from the battery the enemy retired in double-quick time, leaving a number of dead and
wounded on the field. Ordered Companies A and F to hold their position until further orders, and
then returned to Companies I, C, H, K, G, and B, who had been left facing the enemy's line.
Found our troops advancing under a galling fire from the enemy's infantry. After repulsing the
enemy they fell back in good order. Ordered Maj. A. B. Porter to proceed to the rear and take
command of the four companies, A, F, D, and E, there stationed. Held our position in front for
five hours, alternately advancing and retiring, as the approach and repulse of the enemy made it
necessary to do so. In every charge the enemy made we repulsed them, and drove them into the
ravine below. About 12 o'clock m. the order was given to retire from the field, which was done
in good order. As we retired over the hill we passed a section of Totten's battery, occupying a
commanding point to the right, supported on the right by Companies A, F, D, and E, of the Iowa
troops, under command of Major Porter, and on the left by one company of regular infantry,
under command of Captain Lothrop. This command sustained our retreat with great coolness
and determination under a most terrific discharge from the enemy's infantry. After the wounded
were gathered up our column formed in order of march, and, the enemy repulsed, the battery and
infantry retired in good order.
Thus closed one of the most hotly-contested engagements known to the country,
commencing 5.20 o'clock a.m. and concluding 12.20 o'clock p.m., in which the enemy brought to
the field 14,000 well-armed and Well disciplined troops and 10,000 irregular troops, and our
own force amounted to about 5,000 troops in the early part of the engagement, and considerably
less than 4,000 troops for the concluding four hours of it.
It is with great pleasure that I acknowledge valuable aid and assistance from Maj. A. B.
Porter, Adjt. George W. Waldron, who was wounded in the leg, and Sergt. Maj. Charles
Compton, and to express my unbounded admiration of the heroic conduct displayed by both
officers and men. No troops, regular or volunteer, ever sustained their country's flag with more
determined valor and fortitude. They have crowned themselves with imperishable honor, and
must occupy a conspicuous place in the history of their country.
A list of the killed, wounded, and missing will be found attached to this report, together with
such notices of individual prowess as were observed on the field.
Before concluding this report I must bear testimony to the gallant and meritorious conduct of
Capt. A. L. Mason, of Company C, who fell in a charge at the head of his company.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.
Acting Adjutant-General.
No. 1.
Report of Brig. Gen. S. A. Hurlbut, U. S. Army.
GENERAL: I inclose herewith the report of Col. N. G. Williams, Third Iowa, in relation to
the affair at Shelbina. Certain other facts relative to my movements are necessary for the full
understanding of the matter.
I left Kirksville, in Adair County, on August 30, with detachment of 500 men, Third Iowa, in
command of Lieutenant-Colonel Scott; seven companies Sixteenth Illinois, Colonel Smith;
Mattison's artillery, two pieces, and one other piece attached to the Sixteenth. There were also
about 150 Home Guards, nearly all mounted, temporarily led by Lieutenant Call, of Third Iowa.
We marched that day to Wilson's, 16 miles. On the 31st of August we moved from Wilson to
Lakeland, 15 miles. On the 1st of September from Lakeland to Bethel, 15 miles.
At Bethel I was joined by Colonel Moore's command, 850 men, with one piece of artillery. I
then ordered Colonel Smith and Colonel Moore, with their commands, to proceed by
Philadelphia to Palmyra; Colonel Smith to hold Palmyra, and Colonel Moore, to follow Green's
force wherever he might be advised it was, giving them all the artillery and cavalry. My
information there was that Green was at Philadelphia.
With the sick men of the command, numbering over 120, and the Third Iowa, I moved from
Bethel, through Shelbyville, to Shelbina. I reached Shelbina in a terrific rain and wind storm on
the 2d September about 7 p.m. It was impossible to telegraph for railroad transportation on
account of the storm, and the men went into quarters for the night. Transportation was ordered in
the morning of the 3d; arrived about noon, and the command was transported to Brookfield. At
Shelbina I first learned that Colonel Williams had gone to Paris, but I was also informed that he
had not less than 1,200 men with him, in-eluding his own force and the Second Kansas
Regiment. There were no supplies of any kind at Shelbina, and I saw no reason to suppose that
there was any cause for holding my immediate command there.
On the 4th I sent trains down from Brookfield to bring up Colonel Williams' force. About 11
a.m. I received a dispatch from Colonel Williams asking re-enforcements; that he was
surrounded by some 3,000 men. I answered by telegraph that I would come down with 350 men
to assist him and to hold the place. Shortly after I received another dispatch that the enemy had
opened fire with two pieces of artillery. I ordered that the troops charge at once and take the
These dispatches were received at Shelbina. I hurried forward the embarkation of the men at
Brookfield, and started as rapidly as possible. On arriving at Macon City, I learned by telegraph
that Colonel Williams' force had abandoned Shelbina, and were then near Clarence, 12 miles east
of Macon. As it was now near night, I concluded to wait for their arrival. They came up about 8
p.m. I sent for Colonel Williams and the officers of the Second Kansas Regiment, and demanded
the reasons for withdrawal. Colonel Blair and Major Cloud stated that they had insisted on the
abandonment of the place against Colonel Williams' consent; that they considered the order to
charge the battery impracticable. They further informed me that their time of service was out;
that by orders from General Frémont they were on their way home to reorganize the regiment;
showed me Major-General Frémont's orders for their transportation west, and demanded
transportation accordingly. I requested them as a matter of justice to Colonel Williams to put
their statement into writing, which was done, and a copy of which is hereto attached.
In the morning of the 6th I ordered down the balance of my force from Brookfield, and sent
the Second Kansas west. Great delay occurred in obtaining the necessary timber and material for
the repair of the road, which we had ascertained to be very much torn up in the neighborhood of
Shelbina, especially as the engineers refused to run after dark.
On the morning of the 7th of September, having collected the necessary material, and taking
under my command the Third Iowa and two hundred men of the Illinois Sixteenth, I started east
on the road and worked through without opposition, but with considerable delay, to Shelbina,
where I had the honor of opening communications with you. I was in hopes that the Second
Kansas would have remained with the command, but did not consider that I had any authority to
order them to do so. As Brookfield was, in my judgment, much exposed to attack, and had a
large amount of Government property, I requested them to remain and guard that point. This they
also declined, but afterwards, on arriving at the post, concluded to do so.
It appears from Colonel Williams' statement that he had only 280 of his own men; that he
was willing to hold Shelbina, and wholly refused to abandon it, but was compelled to do so by
the action of the Second Kansas.
The only casualty that occurred at Shelbina was that Captain McClure, of the Second Kansas,
lost his foot by a cannon ball. I learned from good sources at that point that at least seven of the
enemy were killed. The force was commanded by Martin E. Green, the same that was at
Philadelphia, and fell away from that point before the advance of Moore and Smith, re-enforced
largely by sudden levies from Monroe, Marion, and Ralls Counties. Their numbers I only gather
from the reports made to me. I do not think that Green had of his own command more than
It is my opinion that Shelbina could have been held, but the fault of surrendering that
position does not rest, in my judgment, on any of the officers or men of my command.
I have the honor, general, to be your most obedient servant?
Brigadier-General, U. S. Army.
Brig. Gen. JOHN POPE,
Commanding Northern Missouri.
November 7, 1861--2 o'clock a.m.
The troops composing the present expedition from this place will move promptly at 6 o'clock
this morning. The gunboats will take the advance, and be followed by the First Brigade, under
command of Brig. Gen. John A. McClernand, composed of all the troops from Cairo and Fort
Holt. The Second Brigade, comprising the remainder of the troops of the expedition, commanded
by Col. Henry Dougherty, will follow. The entire force will debark at the lowest point on the
Missouri shore where a landing can be effected in security from the rebel batteries. The point of
debarkation will be designated by Captain Walke, commanding naval forces.
By order of Brig. Gen. U.S. Grant:
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Promptly at the hour designated we proceeded down the river to point just out of range of the
rebel batteries at Columbus, and debarked on the Missouri shore. From here the troops were
marched, with skirmishers well in advance, by flank for about a mile towards Belmont, and there
formed in line of battle. One battalion had been left as a reserve near the transports. Two
companies from each regiment were thrown forward as skirmishers, to ascertain the position of
the enemy, and about 9 o'clock met and engaged him. The balance of my force, with the
exception of the reserve, was promptly thrown forward, and drove the enemy foot by foot, and
from tree to tree, back to his encampment on the river bank, a distance of over 2 miles. Here he
had strengthened his position by felling the timber for several hundred yards around his camp,
making a sort of abatis. Our men charged through this, driving the enemy under cover of the
bank, and many of them into their transports, in quick time, leaving us in possession of
everything not exceedingly portable.
Belmont is situated on low ground, and every foot is commanded by the guns on the opposite
shore, and of course could not be held for a single hour after the enemy became aware of the
withdrawal of his troops. Having no wagons with me, I could move but little of the captured
property, consequently gave orders for the destruction of everything that could not be moved and
an immediate return to our transports. Tents, blankets, &c., were set on fire and destroyed, and
our return march commenced, taking his artillery and a large number of captured horses and
prisoners with us. Three pieces of artillery being drawn by hand, and one by an inefficient team,
were spiked and left on the road; two were brought to this place.
We had but fairly got under way when the enemy, having received re-enforcements, rallied
under cover of the river bank and the woods on the point of land in the bend of the river above
us, and made his appearance between us and our transports, evidently with a design of cutting off
our return to them.
Our troops were not in the least discouraged, but charged the enemy and again defeated him.
We then, with the exception of the Twenty-seventh Illinois, Col. N. B. Buford commanding,
reached our transports and embarked without further molestation. While waiting for the arrival of
this regiment, and to get some of our wounded from a field hospital near by, the enemy, having
crossed fresh troops from Columbus, again made his appearance on the river bank, and
commenced firing upon our transports. The fire was returned by our men from the decks of the
steamers, and also by the gunboats with terrible effect, compelling him to retire in the direction
of Belmont. In the mean time Colonel Buford, although he had received orders to return with the
main force, took the Charleston road from Belmont, and came in on the road leading to Bird's
Point, where we had formed the line of battle in the morning. At this point, to avoid the effect of
the shells from the gunboats that were beginning to fall among his men, he took a blind path
direct to the river, and followed a wood road up its bank, and thereby avoided meeting the
enemy, who were retiring by the main road. On his appearance on the river bank a steamer was
dropped down, and took his command on board, without his having participated or lost a man in
the enemy's attempt to cut us off from our transports.
Notwithstanding the crowded state of our transports, the only loss we sustained from the
enemy's fire upon them was three men wounded, one of whom belonged to one of the boats.
Our loss in killed on the field was 85, 301 wounded (many of them, however, slightly), and
99 missing. Of the wounded, 125 fell into the hands of the enemy. Nearly all the missing were
from the Seventh Iowa Regiment, which suffered more severely than any other. All the troops
behaved with great gallantry, which was in a great degree attributable to the coolness and
presence of mind of their officers, particularly the colonels commanding.
General McClernand was in the midst of danger throughout the engagement, and displayed
both coolness and judgment. His horse was three times shot under him.
Colonel Dougherty, Twenty-second Illinois Volunteers, commanding the Second Brigade, by
his coolness and bravery entitles himself to be named among the most competent of officers for
command of troops in battle. In our second engagement he was three times wounded, and fell a
prisoner in the hands of the enemy.
Among the killed was Lieut. Col. A. Wentz, Seventh Iowa Volunteers, and among the
wounded were Col. J. G. Lauman and Maj. E. W. Rice, of the Seventh Iowa.
The reports of subcommanders will detail more fully particulars of the engagement, and the
conduct of both officers and men.
To my staff, Capt. John A. Rawlins, assistant adjutant-general; Lieuts. C. B. Lagow and
William S. Hillyer, aides-de-camp, and Capt. R. B. Hatch, assistant quartermaster, I am much
indebted for the promptitude with which they discharged their several duties.
Surg. J. H. Brinton, U.S. volunteers, chief medical officer, was on the field during the entire
engagement, and displayed great ability and efficiency in providing for the wounded, and in
organizing the medical corps.
Maj. J. D. Webster, acting chief engineer, also accompanied me on the field, and displayed
soldierly qualities of a high order.
My own horse was shot under me during the engagement.
The gunboats Tyler, Captain Walke, and Lexington, Captain Stembel, convoyed the
expedition, and rendered most efficient service. Immediately upon our landing they engaged the
enemy's batteries on the heights above Columbus, and protected our transports throughout. For a
detailed account of the part taken by them I refer with pleasure to the accompanying report of
Capt. H. Walke, senior officer.
In pursuance of my request, General Smith, commanding at Paducah, sent on the 7th instant a
force to Mayfield, Ky., and another in the direction of Columbus, with orders not to approach
nearer, however, than 12 or 15 miles of that place. I also sent a small force on the Kentucky
side towards Columbus, under Col. John Cook, Seventh Illinois Volunteers, with orders not to go
beyond Elliott's Mills, distant some 12 miles from Columbus. These forces having marched to
the points designated in their orders, returned without having met serious resistance.
On the evening of the 7th information of the result of the engagement at Belmont was sent to
Colonel Oglesby, commanding expedition against Jeff. Thompson, and orders to return to Bird's
Point by way of Charleston, Mo. Before these reached him, however, he had learned that Jeff.
Thompson had left the place where he was reported to be when the expedition started (he having
gone towards New Madrid or Arkansas), and had determined to return. The same information
was sent to the commanding officer at Cape Girardeau, with directions for the troops to be
brought back that had gone out from that place.
From all the information I have been able to obtain since the engagement, the enemy's loss in
killed and wounded was much greater than ours. We captured 175 prisoners, all his artillery and
transportation, and destroyed his entire camp and garrison equipage. Independent of the injuries
inflicted upon him, and the prevention of his re-enforcing Price or sending a force to cut off the
expeditions against Jeff. Thompson, the confidence inspired in our troops in the engagement will
be of incalculable benefit to us in the future.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D.C.
CAIRO, November 8, 1861.
The expedition of which I advised you on the 6th landed yesterday morning 5 miles this side
of Columbus, my command consisting of Twenty-seventh, Colonel Buford; Thirtieth, Colonel
Fouke; Thirty-first, Colonel Logan; Captain Dollins' company of cavalry, and Captain Taylor's
battery of six pieces, all Illinois volunteers; the Twenty-second Illinois and Seventh Iowa, and
Captain Delano's company of cavalry, under Colonel Dougherty. Within 2 miles from Belmont,
opposite Columbus, the enemy met us in superior force. We beat them, fighting all the way into
their camp immediately under the guns at Columbus; burned their encampment, took 200
prisoners, a large amount of property, spiked two or three guns, and brought away two. During
the action several thousand men were thrown across from Columbus. They formed a heavy
column in our rear. We fought the same ground over, and after defeating them returned to our
boats. Colonel Buford's regiment and Dollins' cavalry, becoming separated from the main body,
made a circuit and came to the river above the landing after the boats had left. I returned with
transport boats and gunboats, and brought them late at night. General Grant was in chief
command. The battle was a terrible one, lasting several hours, and the loss on both sides heavy--
probably 300 killed, wounded, and prisoners on our part. The enemy much greater. Many
officers are lost. Captain Bielaski, of my staff, killed; Colonel Dougherty missing; Colonel
Lauman wounded. Our force was about 3,500 strong--the enemy double that number. Prisoners
say it was more. A flag of truce goes down to-day to provide for the dead and wounded. I will
report at large by mail.
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Major-General McCLELLAN.
ROLLA, Mo., November 9, 1861.
CAPTAIN: Having obtained reliable information of Freeman and his forces, on Friday,
November 1, I sent a detachment, consisting of 250 of Fourth Iowa, 180 of Thirty-sixth Illinois,
and Wood's Kansas Rangers, 60 strong, under command of Colonel Greusel, Thirty-sixth
Illinois, with instructions to fight Freeman or drive him and forces out of the country; and, after
doing this, to divide the forces, sending the cavalry home by way of Salem, leaving the infantry,
under command of Maj. W. R. English, Fourth Iowa, to capture all the property belonging to
rebels in Freeman's army, and report to these headquarters.
The infantry arrived to-night, bringing in a large amount of property, stock, and several
prominent rebel prisoners. They drove Freeman from Texas County, and Captain Wood, in
command of cavalry, is still in pursuit of him. The amount of stock and property will amount to
several thousand dollars, all of it good.
The expedition has proved a success, and I think has rid this section of a thieving, murdering
rebel force.
I did not telegraph in relation to expedition, not considering it of that character that required
speedy information to headquarters of department.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Post.
Capt. C. McKEEVER,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Camp McClernand, November 9, 1861.
DEAR SIR: I received your order to have my Thirtieth Regiment ready to march at a
moment's warning at 11 o'clock p.m., 6th instant. I remained in camp in readiness until your
second order was received to embark at 4 o'clock, which was done promptly at the hour named.
After landing in Missouri I placed my regiment in the position you directed, and marched
forward, with Colonel Logan on my left, and did not march far when the enemy opened upon my
command, with infantry in front, and a battery of artillery obliquely raking my lines. We
maintained our position steadily for thirty minutes, then moved forward slowly, driving the
enemy before us. When I arrived at the corn field, or open space in front, I found Colonel
Dougherty, Twenty-second Illinois Regiment, on my right. The batteries of the enemy there were
abandoned. The enemy's artillery and infantry retreated before us across the field, and took
position in a ravine surrounded by fallen timber in front of their camp. Here I met with Colonel
Dougherty. He charged to the right and I moved forward to the ravine, forming in forty paces of
the enemy, concealed in fallen timber, and drove him from his position. At that time our artillery
came up on my right. I poured a heavy fire into the retreating enemy under your immediate
direction, about the same time following up to the cover he had partially abandoned. Colonel
Logan's Thirty-first Regiment came up from the left, and the two regiments charged into the
enemy's camp together.
After the defeat of the enemy at the camp I caused my colors (then riddled with balls) to be
planted, my drums to beat, and rallied my regiment in position at the point where we were first
attacked by the re-enforcement of the enemy. I believe I received the first fire. I lost there 1
lieutenant and 2 privates killed, and several wounded. I was then ordered by you to press forward
and cut our way through and protect our batteries. I placed any men, a part in front and a part in
rear of the batteries, and protected them to the boat, sometimes lifting them by main force over
logs and ravines. As I entered the woods I received a galling fire from the enemy on the left. I
returned three volleys, and as soon as I could disengage one of the guns of our battery which the
horses were too much exhausted to pull over some logs in a ravine, I marched forward. It was
then that Captain Marckley was killed. He fell dead at my feet, gallantly urging his men to stand
by and protect the batteries. I there lost 3 or 4 privates killed and wounded.
When we arrived at the corn field after the first attack in the woods we were again assailed. It
was there that 12 or 15 of the Seventh Iowa Regiment fell. They had been separated from their
command early in the action, and had been fighting by my side in my regiment during the day,
and I must add that they obeyed all my commands cheerfully, and fought gallantly during the
whole of the engagement. Major McClurken here fell like a true soldier, in front of the ranks.
After passing through the corn field we received one volley on the left of my regiment from the
retiring enemy, which wounded 2 of my men. That was the last of the engagement until we got to
the boats. My regiment came to the boats in order, bringing off quite a number of the wounded.
I cannot speak too highly of the bravery and gallantry of my command. Three balls entered
my saddle. The crupper of my saddle was cut in two by a ball. I had two horses wounded whilst
on them. I have a black-silk flag with a scarlet fringe, taken by my regiment during the fight. It
belonged to a Tennessee regiment. I took a whole company of Tennesseeans, but they all got
away in the last engagement except 28. Those I delivered up at headquarters on my return to
Cairo. My total loss of officers and men, including killed, wounded, and missing, amounts to 81.
One-fourth of the guns used by my regiment in the battle either exploded or were rendered
useless before the battle was half over.
Your obedient servant,
Colonel Thirtieth Regiment.
Bird's Point, Mo., November 10, 1861.
GENERAL: I herewith hand you the report of the movements of my regiment, with the
official list of killed and wounded, at the battle of Belmont, as follows:
On the 5th instant I received your order to hold my regiment in readiness to march at 4 p.m.
on the following day, with 24 hours' rations in haversacks. It was dark, however, before we
embarked on the steamer Montgomery, and we soon after got under way. We proceeded but a
short distance down the river when we tied up for the night.
Early on the morning of the 7th proceeded on our way, and soon after landed on the west
bank of the Mississippi, about 3 miles above Belmont, which is opposite Columbus, Ky. We
immediately formed in line in the corn field on the bank of the river about 8.30 o'clock, and were
soon after ordered by you to form on the left of McClernand's brigade, which had already
crossed the field. At this time I was joined by Colonel Dougherty, with the Twenty-second
Illinois. We remained in this position until Taylor's battery had disembarked and taken their
position, when we received orders to march, which we did in the following order: The First
Brigade, consisting of three regiments of infantry and Taylor's battery: then followed the Second
Brigade, consisting of eight companies of my regiment and seven companies of the Twentysecond
Illinois, Colonel Dougherty in command of the brigade; two companies of my regiment
and three companies of Colonel Dougherty's having previously been detached to guard the boats,
and the cavalry were sent in advance scouting. In this order we marched a mile or so, when we
formed in line of battle in front of a corn field, the battery taking position in the field.
We remained in this position but a short time, when we advanced in line of battle across a
dry slough and immediately in front of heavy timber. Here I received orders to throw forward
two companies as skirmishers, which I complied with by sending Company A, commanded by
Lieutenant De Hens, and Company F, Captain Kittredge, from my right wing. I soon after sent
forward Company B, Captain Gardner, from my left wing. These companies were not long in
engaging the rebels, whom they found in force in front and to the left of our position, and the
heavy and continued firing convinced me that we now had work to do. I therefore dispatched
Lieutenant-Colonel Wentz to ascertain the force of the enemy and their exact position, but before
he had time to return I received, through your aide, Rawlins, an order to advance to their support,
which I did, bringing my men under fire at double-quick time. From this until about 11 o'clock
we fought the rebels slowly but steadily, driving them before us at every volley.
Our advance at this point was slow, in consequence of the obstructions in our way, caused by
felling timber and underbrush, but we crept under and over it, at times lying down to let the fire
of the artillery and musketry pass over us, and then up and onward again until we arrived at the
field to the left of the rebels' camp. There we were joined by our skirmishers, and succeeded,
after a severe struggle, in driving back the enemy and forming our lines immediately. We poured
volley after volley on the retiring foe across the field in our front and the battery which was
stationed at the head of the encampment on our right. Our fire was so hot that the guns were
soon abandoned; the enemy, about 800, were fleeing across the field in the greatest
consternation. By a flank movement to the right I brought my men into the open space in front of
the battery, which was immediately taken possession of, I believe, by Lieutenant De Heus,
Company A, whose flag was soon seen flying from one of the captured pieces. We were now
immediately in the rear of the encampment, and were here joined by a part of Colonel
Dougherty's regiment--Twenty-second Illinois. The rebels kept up a sharp and galling fire upon
us, but a few well-directed volleys induced them to abscond from their camp suddenly. It was
here, where the firing was the heaviest, that Lieutenant Wallen, of Company I, seized the
regimental colors and bore them aloft in front of the regiment's line, directing the boys' attention
to a fine large flag floating over the encampment, decorated with twelve stars, and on the other
with the "Harp of Erin" on a green-silk ground. They, with loud huzzas, went forward and
secured it. It was in making this charge that my horse was shot. I followed the regiment on foot
until we reached the lower end of the encampment, where I was supplied with another horse,
which had just been captured by one of the men, when, immediately ordering another charge, we
drove all the remaining rebels over the bank of the river at this point (some 12 feet high), and
dashed up the river road until we came to the log house which constituted the city of Belmont. At
this place there was considerable random firing, the rebels firing from cover of trees and the
bank of the river; and it was here, while giving Captain Parrott, of Company E, orders to bring
off two field pieces which had been abandoned by the enemy, or to throw them into the river, so
as to render them useless against us, that I received a ball through my left thigh, which for a time
disabled me, when I was assisted by Captain Parrott to the rear of the tents, where I remained but
a short time, as, one of the guns of Captain Taylor's battery coming along, they placed me on it
and took me to the rear of the encampment.
In the mean time our men had received orders to burn and destroy the camp and property
which had fallen into our hands, and in a short time the destruction was complete. The rebels,
however, not being idle, having several large steamers in the river at Columbus, they were
loaded down with fresh troops, which were thrown between us and our place of debarkation, so
as in a measure to cut off our retreat. Those of them, also, who had been driven from their guns
in the early part of the fight, seeing us falling back towards our boats, took fresh courage and
commenced closing in on us; and now, as all the Illinois troops had left us or were leaving,
except the Twenty-second Illinois, Colonel Dougherty, we were in danger of being surrounded
and cut off. I was apprised of this state of affairs by Colonel Dougherty, to whose bravery I bear
testimony, and who lost a limb in his endeavors to bring off safely the rear of his brigade, as well
as to that of his noble regiment, which fought side by side on that memorable day. I immediately
gave orders to my regiment to retire, myself leading the way, but by this time we were subjected
to an enfilading fire which caused us heavy loss. The men behaved in the most gallant manner,
deliberately loading and firing as they retired, and although every other man was killed or
wounded, they scarcely accelerated their step, but coolly and deliberately made their way to the
It was after the retreat had commenced that Lieutenant-Colonel Wentz was killed. He died on
the field of battle like a true soldier. He was truly a brave man, and did his duty well and nobly.
Lieutenant Dodge, of Company B, was killed, and Lieutenant Gardner, who commanded
Company I, and Lieutenant Ream, Company C, mortally wounded. Among my officers more or
less severely wounded you will find the names of Major Rice, Captains Harper, Parrott,
Kittredge, and Gardner, and First Lieutenant De Heus, who commanded Company A, of whose
bravery I desire to speak in the most emphatic manner. I desire also to direct your attention to
Captain Crabb, who was taken prisoner, and who behaved in the bravest manner. But I might go
on in this way and name nearly all my entire command, for they all behaved like heroes; but
there is one or two more I feel it my duty to name as deserving special mention--Lieutenant
Boler, adjutant of the regiment, and Lieutenant Estle, whose conduct was worthy of all praise,
and Private Lawrence Trigg, whose thigh was broken and he left on the field. He was taken
prisoner and his leg amputated, but he died the same day, telling his captors with his dying
breath that if he ever recovered to be able to move he would shoulder his musket again in his
country's cause. Under cover of the fire of the gunboats we finally reached our boat between 5
and 6 o'clock, and about 8 o'clock arrived in Cairo.
My entire loss in killed, wounded, prisoners, and missing is as follows, out of an aggregate
somewhat over 400: Killed, 51; died of wounds, 3; missing, 10; prisoners, 39; wounded, 124.
Total, 227.
With high esteem, permit me to subscribe myself, general, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Seventh Regiment Iowa Volunteers.
Brig. Gen. U.S. GRANT,
Commanding U.S. Forces, Cairo, Ill.
CAMP McCLERNAND, November 11, 1861.
SIR: In pursuance of Special Orders, No. 97, I prepared as many of my command as were in
condition to march that were supplied with arms, the whole number being 6l0 infantry, and 70
cavalry, commanded by Captain Dollins. I proceeded at 4 o'clock on the 6th instant to the
steamer Aleck Scott, and then embarked, in connection with Colonel Fouke's regiment. We
proceeded that night 11 miles below Cairo, and remained at the Kentucky shore till morning,
when we proceeded with other boats, under command of Brigadier-Generals McClernand and
Grant, landing at a farm some 3 miles above Belmont, in Missouri, opposite Columbus, Ky. We
then, in connection with other commands, proceeded to a large farm some 2 miles in rear of
Belmont, and formed line of battle under orders. My command was placed on the left, Colonel
Fouke to my right, the Seventh Iowa on his right, and Colonel Buford on the extreme right,
headed by Captain Dollins' cavalry, of my command. I was ordered to throw out two companies
of skirmishers, which I did--Captain Rees' company, A, and Captain Somerville, Company K,
under command of Lieut. Col. J. H. White, of my command. They advanced on double-quick
some half mile. Having discovered the enemy, formed line of battle, Company A on the right and
K on the left, on the east side of a small field, and there received a fire from the enemy, which
was returned, where Company A lost one man killed and several wounded, and Colonel White
had several holes shot through his coat, being in advance of his command. The two companies
were ordered to advance, which they did, and the fight became general, when Captain Somerville
(Company K) was wounded and compelled to retire, First Lieut. H. T. Snyder immediately
taking command of Company K. I then ordered up Company I, of my command, under Captain
McCook, to support the skirmishers, who formed on the center of Companies A and K, where
the ground was hotly contested. I was then ordered to support the three companies with the
remainder of my command. I immediately advanced through thick woods to a second field from
where the first engagement took place. I ordered Companies I and K to form on the left and
Company A on the right of my command. I then gave Colonel White command of the left wing,
and he performed his part of the work nobly. The enemy opened a heavy fire on my whole line
from behind a depression that had been made at some time by the river. Several of my men were
then wounded and two killed. We returned the fire, and advanced some distance, perhaps fifty
paces, where we took cover from trees, logs, and underbrush. Then we opened fire on the enemy,
which was returned. Captain Looney and Captain Rigby were then wounded while fighting
gallantly by their men. I ordered the men to lie down. Many of them did so, letting their returned
fire pass over the line. The enemy soon gave way, and retreated some hundred yards. I was then
ordered to cease firing by General Grant until the enemy's position could be ascertained. We now
formed in as good a line as we could in the timber and brush, when the enemy again opened on
my line a deadly fire, killing several of my men and wounding some twenty.
The engagement then lasted for some length of time, and was really terrific. At one time then
I thought they were outflanking us. I extended my line a little more to the left, in the direction of
the river. The engagement was continued at the distance of 300 yards, we advancing and they
gradually receding. About this time an order was given by General McClernand to advance along
the line. I then ordered my whole command to charge the enemy. This charge was made with a
will and a yell that sent the enemy in confusion to their boats, many of them falling on the way.
In this charge, sir, I must be permitted to say that the officers and men maintained as good a line
and executed the commands as well as could have been done by veteran troops. We drove the
enemy from us until they disappeared under cover of fallen timber, protecting their retreat to
their boats. I then moved by the right flank until we came to the open field in front of the camp at
Belmont, then connecting with Colonel Fouke's command, who were formed in a depression on
the right of the fallen timber in front of the encampment. A captain of the Iowa Seventh fought
bravely with me during most of the engagement, he being detached from his command.
I then formed a line of battle on a high piece of ground overlooking the camp. I saw Colonel
Buford's men down by the fallen timber down the river from the camp. I rode down to Colonel
Fouke, and told him that we must charge the camp. He said that he would make the charge in
connection with me. At this time I saw Captain Bielaski take the American flag and start with it,
supported by Company A, Captain Rees' company, and two companies of the Seventh Iowa, who
had gone through in advance of my regiment all the way in skirmish fight. Captain Bielaski was
then killed while planting the flag of our Union in their encampment. A braver man never fell on
a field of battle. I then gave command to my regiment to follow me, and they did so with a yell
and a will, Colonel Fouke's regiment forming the left in the charge. In this charge I saw General
McClernand, with hat in hand, leading as gallant a charge as ever was made by any troops
unskilled in the arts of war. In this charge on the enemy I observed Captain Brooks', Captain
Parke's, and a portion of another company of Colonel Buford's regiment doing gallant service.
Then the battle was hot, but for a moment. The enemy fled, and the day was ours. The flag of the
enemy was cut down by E. D. Winters, of Company A, Thirty-first Regiment. In cutting it down
he was wounded, as I am informed by the whole company. When Winters was wounded the flag
was torn off by a man in Colonel Buford's regiment and retained, while the party who claimed to
have done so, and have retained the flag, were at all times protected in every movement by the
advance of my cavalry company, who were detached from my command, and had led Colonel
Buford through the woods to the battle-field. I must here mention that Captain Rees' company
(A), of the Thirty-first Regiment, while detached as skirmishers, went through to the camp of the
enemy in front of one of the guns of the enemy, and took and spiked the gun, suffering very
much in doing so, having some 12 men badly wounded and 1 killed.
After we had taken the camp and burned it with the valuables, the enemy carried above us a
very large force, and was attempting to surround us. I asked some of the battery men with us to
bring up a gun and fire on them, as they were firing in the field in the rear of us. They did not do
so at once. General McClernand ordered me to detail a company to run the battery on the
elevation. I did so detail Captain McCook's company. They ran up a gun, and it was fired twice.
A portion of my regiment then opened a fire on them, and they retreated. I being the extreme left
all day, I supposed that the command of the regiment on the right would naturally take the
position on the right again, though I observed at the time a deployment in the woods on the left
down the river and out straight from the camp. I got my men in line poorly, but as best I could, to
make a stand. At that time General McClernand, who was by my side, seeing the enemy
reforming in the woods between us and our boats, ordered me to take my regiment and cut their
way through them. I must confess that I thought it a pretty hard task, though I felt complimented
in getting the job, inasmuch as I was outranked by every colonel on the field. I took my flag, and
told Captain McCook to carry it to the head of the column, and die with it in his hands. I gave the
order then for the Thirty-first Regiment, and as many more of others as desired, to follow the
flag and myself. They did it with a steady and firm step. As we advanced I ordered Lieutenant
Pulley, who was acting adjutant on the field, to go to the head of the column and lead, which he
did. The enemy gave way before us without firing a gun until we approached the field, some
mile up the river. Then they fired on us. We halted, and returned the fire. The enemy retreated,
and I saw them no more until they showed themselves in the field after we had gone aboard of
the steamboat Aleck Scott. They then fired a few rounds, but the gunboats soon cleared the coast.
My command brought away -- prisoners, who have been placed at the disposal of the general in
command. Many of the guns of my command choked and burst while in battle, though the boys
soon had better ones in their hands. Many of my command lost their blankets and overcoats on
the field by pulling them off and throwing them down to give them fair play in the use of their
fire-arms. Some few horses were captured, and many things of small value--papers, books, &c.
Commanding Thirty-first Regiment Illinois Volunteers
Camp Cairo, November 12, 1861.
SIR: I have the honor to report the part taken by the forces under my command in the action
before Columbus, Ky., on the 7th instant. These forces consisted of a portion of my own brigade,
viz: the Twenty-seventh Regiment, Col. N. B. Buford; the Thirtieth, Col. Philip B. Fouke; the
Thirty-first, Col. John A. Logan, including one company of cavalry, under Capt. J. J. Dollins; the
strength of the Twenty-seventh being 720 rank and file; that of the Thirtieth, 500; that of the
Thirty-first, 610, exclusive of 70 mounted men, making in all 1,900 rank and file. To this force
you added, by your order of the 6th instant, Captain Delano's company of Adams County
cavalry, 58 men, under Lieut. J. K. Catlin, and Capt. Ezra Taylor's battery of Chicago Light
Artillery, consisting of four 6-pounder guns, two 12-pounder howitzers, and 114 men; the total
disposable force under my command being 2,072 rank and file, all Illinois volunteers.
Having embarked on the steamer Scott with the Thirtieth and Thirty-first Regiments, on the
evening of the 6th instant I left Cairo at 5 o'clock, and proceeded down the Mississippi to the
foot of Island No. 1, and lay to for the night on the Kentucky shore, 11 miles above Columbus,
as previously instructed by you. Posting a strong guard for the protection of the boat and those
that followed to the same point, I remained until 7 o'clock the following morning. At that hour,
preceded by the gunboats Tyler and Lexington, and followed by the remainder of the transports,
I proceeded down the river to the designated landing, on the Missouri shore, about 2 miles, in a
direct line from Columbus and Belmont.
By 8.30 o'clock the rest of the transports had arrived, and the whole force was disembarked,
and marching beyond a collection of corn fields in front of the landing, was formed for an
advance movement, and awaited your order. I ordered Dollins' and Delano's cavalry to scour the
woods along the road to Belmont, and report to me from time to time. The remainder of my
command followed the cavalry, the Twenty-seventh in front, the Thirtieth next, supported by a
section of Taylor's battery; the Thirty-first and the remainder of Taylor's battery next; succeeded
by the Seventh Iowa, Colonel Lauman, and the Twenty-second Illinois, Colonel Dougherty, who
had been assigned by you to that portion of the command. When the rear of the column had
reached a road intersecting our line of march, about 1 miles from the abatis surrounding the
enemy's camp, the line of battle was formed on ground which I had previously selected; the
Twenty-seventh on the right and the Thirtieth on its left, forming the right wing; a section of
Taylor's battery was disposed on the left of the Thirtieth and 200 feet in rear of the line; Thirtyfirst
formed the center, the Seventh and Twenty-second forming the left wing, masking two
sections of artillery.
By this time Dollins' cavalry was skirmishing sharply with the enemy’s pickets to the right
and in advance of our line, the enemy in the mean time having shifted the heavy fire of his
batteries at Columbus from our gunboats to our advancing line, but without serious effect. With
your permission I now ordered two companies from each regiment of my command to advance,
instructing them to seek out and develop the position of the enemy, the Twenty-second and
Seventh pushing forward similar parties at the same time. A sharp firing having immediately
commenced between the skirmishing parties of the Thirtieth and Thirty-first and the enemy, I
ordered forward another party to their support, rode forward, selected a new position, and
ordered up the balance of my command, the Twenty-seventh, to pass around the head of a pond,
the Thirtieth and Thirty-first with the artillery crossing the dry bed of the same pond in their
front. On their arrival I reformed the line of battle in the same order as before, expecting that the
Seventh and Twenty-second would resume their former position on the left wing. This
disposition would have perfected a line sufficient to inclose the enemy's camp on all sides
accessible to us, thus enabling us to command the river above and below him, and to prevent the
crossing of re-enforcements from Columbus, insuring his capture as well as defeat.
The Thirtieth and Thirty-first and the artillery moving forward promptly relieved the
skirmishing parties, and soon became engaged with a heavy body of the enemy's infantry and
cavalry. This struggle, which was continued for half an hour with great obstinacy, threw our
ranks into temporary disorder, but the men promptly rallied under the gallant example of
Colonels Fouke and Logan, assisted by Major Bray-man, acting assistant adjutant-general of my
brigade; also by Captain Schwartz, acting chief of artillery, Captain Dresser, of the artillery,
Lieutenant Babcock, of the Second Cavalry, and Lieutenant Eddy, of the Twenty-ninth Illinois
Regiment, who had, upon my invitation, kindly joined my staff. Our men pressed vigorously
upon the enemy and drove him back, his cavalry leaving that part of the field and not appearing
again until attacked by Captain Dollins on the river bank below his encampment some time after
and chased out of sight. Advancing about a quarter of a mile farther, this force again came up
with the enemy, who by this time had been re-enforced in this part of the field, as I since learn,
by three regiments and a company of cavalry. Thus strengthened, he attempted to turn our left
flank, but ordering Colonel Logan to extend the line of battle by a flank movement, and bringing
up a section of Taylor's battery, commanded by First Lieut. P. H. White, under the direction of
Captain Schwartz, to cover the space thus left between the Thirtieth and Thirty-first, the attempt
was frustrated.
Having completed this disposition, we again opened a deadly fire from both infantry and
artillery, and after a desperate resistance drove the enemy back the third time, forcing him to
seek cover among thick woods and brush, protected by the heavy guns at Columbus. In this
struggle, while leading the charge, I received a ball in one of my holsters, which failed of harm
by striking a pistol. Here Colonels Fouke and Logan urged on their men by the most energetic
appeals. Here Captain Dresser's horse was shot under him, while Captain Schwartz's horse was
twice wounded. Here the projectiles from the enemy's heavy guns at Columbus, and their
artillery at Belmont, crashed through the woods over and among us. Here, again, all my staff
who were with me displayed the greatest intrepidity and activity, and here, too, many of our
officers and privates were killed or wounded. Nor should I omit to add that this gallant conduct
was stimulated by your presence and inspired by your example. Here your horse was shot under
While this struggle was going on, a tremendous fire from the Twenty-seventh, which had,
under the skillful guidance of Colonel Buford, approached the abatis on the right and rear of the
tents, was heard. About the same time the Seventh and Twenty-second, which had passed the
rear of the Thirtieth and Thirty-first, hastened up, and closing the space between them and the
Twenty-seventh, poured a deadly fire upon the enemy. A combined movement was now made
upon three sides of the enemy's defenses, and driving him across them, we followed upon his
heels into the clear space around his camp. The Twenty-seventh was the first seen by me
entering upon this ground. I called the attention of the other regiments to the fact, and the whole
line was quickened with eager and impatient emulation. In a few minutes our entire force was
within the inclosure. Under the skillful direction of Captain Schwartz, Captain Taylor now
brought up his battery within 300 yards of the enemy's tents, and opened fire upon them. The
enemy fled with precipitation from the tents, and took shelter behind some buildings near the
river and into the woods above the camp, under cover of his batteries at Columbus. Near this
battery I met Colonel Dougherty, who was leading the Seventh and Twenty-second through the
open space towards the tents. At the same time our lines upon the right and left were pressing up
to the line of fire from our battery, which now ceased firing, and our men rushed forward among
the tents and towards some buildings near the river.
Passing over to the right of the camp, I met with Colonel Buford for the first time since his
arduous and perilous detour around the pond, and congratulated him upon the eagerness of his
men to be the first to pass the enemy's works. During the execution of this movement Capt.
Alexander Bielaski, one of my aides-de-camp, who had accompanied Colonel Buford during the
march of the Twenty-seventh separate from the main command, having dismounted from his
horse, which had been several times wounded, was shot down while advancing with the flag of
his adopted country in his hand, and calling on the men in his rear to follow him. His bravery
was only equaled by his fidelity as a soldier and patriot. He died, making the Stars and Stripes
his winding-sheet. Honored be his memory! Near him, and a few minutes afterwards, Colonel
Lauman fell, severely wounded in the thigh, while leading his men in a daring charge. About the
same time Capt. William A. Schmitt, of the Twenty-seventh, was also wounded while striving
for the advance. Galloping my horse down to the river, I found Captain Bozarth, of Company K,
Twenty-seventh Regiment, supported by squads of men who had joined him, sharply engaged
with a detachment of the enemy, whom he drove into the woods above the camp. Here the firing
was very hot. My own head was grazed by a ball; my horse was wounded in the shoulders, and
his caparison torn in several places. Here, too, one of the enemy's caissons fell into my hands,
and a capture of artillery was made by Captain Schwartz, a portion of the Seventh Iowa gallantly
assisting in achieving this result.
Having complete possession of the enemy's camp, in full view of his formidable batteries at
Columbus, I gave the word for "Three cheers for the Union," to which the brave men around me
responded with the most enthusiastic applause. Several of the enemy's steamers being within
range above and below, I ordered a section of Taylor's battery, under the direction of Captain
Schwartz, down near the river, and opened a fire upon them, and upon Columbus itself, but with
what effect I could not learn. The enemy's tents were set on fire, destroying his camp equipage,
about 4,000 blankets, and all his means of transportation. Such horses and other property as
could be removed were seized, and four pieces of his artillery and one caisson were brought to
the rear.
The enemy at Columbus, seeing us in possession of his camp, directed upon us the fire of his
heavy guns, but, ranging too high, inflicted no injury. Information came at the same time of the
crossing of heavy bodies of troops above us, amounting, as I since learn, to five regiments,
which, joining those which had fled in that direction, formed rapidly in our rear, with the design
of cutting off our communication with our transports. To prevent this, and having fully
accomplished the object of the expedition, I ordered Captain Taylor to reverse his guns and open
fire upon the enemy in his new position, which was done with great spirit and effect, breaking
his line and opening our way to the main road.
Promptly responding to an order to that effect, Colonel Logan ordered his flag in front of his
regiment, prepared to force his way in the same direction, if necessary. Sieving on, he was
followed by the whole force except the Twenty-seventh and the cavalry companies of Captains
Dollins and Delano. Determined to preserve my command unbroken, and to defeat the evident
design of the enemy to divide it, I twice rode back across the field to bring up the Twentyseventh
and Dollins' cavalry, and also dispatched Major Brayman for the same purpose, but
without accomplishing the object, they having sought in returning the same route by which they
advanced in the morning.
On passing into the woods, the Thirtieth, the Seventh, and Twenty-second encountered a
heavy fire on their right and left successively, which was returned with such vigor and effect as
to drive back the superior force of the enemy and silence his firing, but not until the Seventh and
Twenty-second had been thrown into temporary disorder. Here Lieutenant-Colonel Wentz, of the
Seventh, a gallant and faithful officer, and Captain Marckley, of the Thirtieth, with several
privates, were killed, and Colonel Dougherty, of the Twenty-second, and Major McClurken, of
the Thirtieth, who was near me, seriously wounded. Here my body servant killed one of the
enemy by a pistol-shot.
Driving the enemy back on either side, we moved on, occasionally exchanging shots with
straggling parties, in the course of which my horse received another ball, being one of two fired
at me from the corner of the field. Captain Schwartz was at my right when these shots were fired.
At this stage of the contest, according to the admission of rebel officers, the enemy's forces had
been swelled by frequent re-enforcements from the other side to be over thirteen regiments of
infantry and something less than two squadrons of cavalry, excluding his artillery--four pieces of
which were in our possession--two of which, after being spiked, together with part of one our
own caissons, were left on the way for want of animals to bring them off. The other two, with
their horses and harness, were brought off.
On reaching the landing, and not finding the detachments of the Seventh and Twenty-second,
which you had left behind in the morning to guard the boats, I ordered Delano's cavalry, which
was embarking, to the rear of the fields, to watch the enemy. Within an hour all our forces which
had arrived were embarked, Captain Schwartz, Captain Hatch, assistant quartermaster, and
myself being the last to get on board. Suddenly the enemy in strong force, whose approach had
been discovered by Lieut. Col. John H. White, of the Thirty-first, who had been conspicuous
through the day for his dauntless courage and conduct, came within range of our musketry, when
a terrible fire was opened upon him by the gunboats, as well as by Taylor's battery and the
infantry from the decks of the transports.
The engagement thus renewed was kept up with great spirit and with deadly effect upon the
enemy until the transports had passed beyond his reach. Exposed to the terrible fire of the
gunboats and Taylor's battery, a great number of the enemy were killed and wounded in this the
closing scene of a battle of six hours' duration.
The Twenty-seventh and Dollins cavalry being yet behind, I ordered my transport to continue
in the rear of the fleet, excepting the gunboats, and after proceeding a short distance landed, and
directed the gunboats to return and await their appearance. At this moment Lieut. H. A. Rust,
adjutant of the Twenty-seventh, a brave and enterprising officer, hastened up and announced the
approach of the Twenty-seventh and Dollins' cavalry. Accompanied by Captains Schwartz and
Hatch I rode down the river bank, and met Colonel Buford with a part of his command.
Informing him that my transport was waiting to receive him, I went farther down the river and
met Captain Dollins, whom I also instructed to embark, and still farther down met the remainder
of the Twenty-seventh, which had halted on the bank where the gunboat Tyler was lying to, the
Lexington lying still farther down. The rest of the boats having gone forward, Captain Walke, of
the Tyler, at my request, promptly took the remainder of the Twenty-seventh on board, Captain
Stembel, of the Lexington, covering the embarkation.
Having thus embarked all my command, I returned with Captains Schwartz and Hatch to my
transport and re-embarked, reaching Cairo about midnight, after a day of almost unceasing
marching and conflict.
I cannot bestow too high commendation upon all whom I had the honor to command on that
day. Supplied with inferior and defective arms, many of which could not be discharged, and
others bursting in use, they fought an enemy in woods with which he was familiar, behind
defensive works which he had been preparing for months, in the face of a battery at Belmont and
under his heavy guns at Columbus, and, although numbering three or four to our one, beat him,
capturing several stand of his colors, destroying his camp, and carrying off a large amount of
property already mentioned. From his own semi-official accounts, his loss was 600 killed,
wounded, and missing, including among the killed and wounded a number of officers, and
probably among the missing 155 prisoners, who were brought to this post.
To mention all who did well would include every man in my command who came under my
personal notice. Both officers and privates did their whole duty, nobly sustaining the enviable
character of Americans and Illinoisans. They shed new luster upon the flag of their country by
upholding it in triumph amid the shock of battle and the din of arms. The blood they so freely
poured out proved their devotion to their country, and serves to hallow a just cause with glorious
recollections. Their success was that of citizen soldiers.
Major Brayman, Captains Schwartz and Dresser, and Lieutenants Eddy and Babcock, all
members of my staff, are entitled to my gratitude for the zeal and alacrity with which they bore
my orders in the face of danger and discharged all their duties in the field. Colonels Buford,
Fouke, and Logan repeatedly led their regiments to the charge, and as often drove the enemy
back in confusion, thus inspiring their men with kindred ardor and largely contributing to the
success of the day. Colonel Logan's admirable tactics not only foiled the frequent attempts of the
enemy to flank him, but secured a steady advance towards the enemy's camp. Colonel Fouke and
his command, exposed throughout to a galling fire from the enemy, never ceased to press
forward. His march was marked by the killed and wounded of the foe, mingled with many of his
own men. Accomplishing a difficult circuit, Colonel Buford, active, eager, and emulous, was the
first to throw his men within the enemy's defenses. Captain Taylor and Lieutenant White
managed the battery attached to my command with admirable skill and most successful effect.
Capt. J. J. Dollins, with his company of cavalry, displayed unsurpassed activity and daring.
Having been early detached from his regiment (the Thirty-first), he found his way, in company
with the Twenty-seventh, to the enemy's camp on the lower side, charging his line with an
impetuosity characteristic of himself and his brave followers.
Our victory, though signal and extraordinary, cost many valuable lives.
Of the Twenty-seventh, 11 were killed, 42 wounded, and 28 are missing. Among the
wounded was Captain Schmitt, already honorably mentioned, and Lieut. William Shipley, of
Company A, a gallant and promising young officer, who has since died.
Of the Thirtieth, 9 were killed, 27 wounded, and 8 are missing. Among the killed is Capt.
Thomas G. Marckley, of Company D, a brave and valuable officer, who died true to his trust.
Maj. Thomas McClurken, an accomplished and efficient officer, whose services were
conspicuous on the field, was severely, and I fear mortally, wounded.
Of the Thirty-first, 10 were killed, 61 wounded, and 4 are missing. Capt. John W. Rigby, of
Company F, a veteran and faithful officer, being among the wounded ; also Capts. William A.
Looney, of Company C, and Alexander S. Somerville, of Company K, both bold and exemplary
Of Dollins' cavalry, 1 was killed and 2 wounded.
Of Taylor's battery of light artillery, 5 were wounded; among whom was First Sergt. Charles
W. Everett.
In closing this report, unavoidably somewhat imperfect, I cannot refrain from bearing
testimony to the gallantry and good conduct of every arm of your whole force. Each did well;
and, rejoicing in it, I cannot but sympathize in the just pride with which their valor has inspired
you as their victorious commander.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Brig. Gen. U.S. GRANT,
Commanding District Southeast Missouri.
BIRD'S POINT, Mo., November 13, 1861.
GENERAL: I have to report that upon receiving your order at 12 o'clock at night November
2, I immediately organized the expedition to move inland from this point and in the direction of
the Saint Francois River. On Monday morning the forces, consisting of the Eighteenth Regiment
Illinois Volunteers, commanded by Col. Michael K. Lawler; the Twenty-ninth Regiment Illinois
Volunteers, commanded by Col. James Rearden, and one section of Captain Schwartz's light
artillery, commanded by Lieutenant Gumbart, from Brigadier-General McClernand's brigade,
Cairo, Ill., and the Eighth Regiment Illinois Volunteers, Lieut. Col. Frank L. Rhoads
commanding; one battalion Eleventh Regiment Illinois Volunteers, Lieut. Col. T. E.G. Ransom
commanding; Captain Pfaff's cavalry; and Captain Langen's cavalry, Lieutenant Hansen
commanding, and Captain Noleman's Centralia Cavalry, Lieutenant Tufts commanding, were
landed at Commerce, Mo. The day was occupied in unloading supplies and arranging
transportation for the march. Bearing in mind your order to pursue the rebel forces under Jeff.
Thompson wherever they might be found, and to destroy the same if found, I marched directly
for Bloomfield, Mo., at which point I was reliably informed the rebel forces were encamped. To
avoid delay I moved the column directly towards the Nigger Wool Swamp, and crossed it and
the swamp between it and Little River, at Stringer's Ferry, 7 miles in one day. To do this it
became necessary to construct several bridges, and to cut out a new road in several places. The
rebel pickets were met by my advance guard on the bridge over the lake in the swamp. A slight
skirmish ensued. An effort was made by the rebels to burn the bridge. It was soon repaired, under
the direction of Dr. John M. Phipps, assistant surgeon of the Eighth Regiment. In the afternoon,
Thursday, 7 miles from Bloomfield, I received a note from Colonel Perczel, of the Tenth
Regiment Iowa Volunteers, informing me that he had taken possession of the town without
resistance. The forces under General Thompson retreated in the direction of New Madrid on the
night of the 6th instant. At Bloomfield I received your order to turn the column in the direction
of New Madrid. I had already sent forward on the road towards New Madrid Colonel Perczel
with his regiment about 6 miles, when Col. William H. L. Wallace came up with the remaining
companies of his regiment, and took command of the Eleventh Regiment in person. Through
Colonel Wallace I received your verbal order to return to Bird's Point. To avoid the terrible
swamp in front of Bloomfield I returned by Cape Girardeau. Colonels Lawler and Rearden
marched to Cape Girardeau in two days, the Eighth and Eleventh Illinois and Tenth Iowa
following the next day. The whole force arrived at Bird's Point on Tuesday, the 12th, having
marched over 100 miles, and embarked and debarked twice, and traveled by water 85 miles
besides, in less than nine days. I detained the forces one day at Bloomfield out of the nine.
The chief object of the expedition having failed, I have to inform you that the information
derived about the country, and of the feelings of the inhabitants and the purposes of the rebellion,
have fully compensated all the labor it has required. A more unhappy and deluded people I have
never seen. Wherever the column moved consternation filled the whole community, and the fact
that without regard to sex or age the whole people were not outraged and destroyed seemed to
stupefy them.
I have to report the wanton destruction of property in one or two instances, otherwise the
march through the country was most exemplary and satisfactory. My orders were obeyed with
cheerfulness and alacrity. After four days I obtained forage from the people of the country for all
the mules and horses. Four-fifths of the inhabitants are ready to return to the Union whenever the
Government can assure them from punishment by the rebel army. The yoke of Jeff. Thompson is
a heavy one, and the people are becoming disgusted at his arbitrary sway. The scrip he has
substituted for a good currency is totally worthless. His brutality in murdering in cold blood so
many good citizens of Missouri, and suffering them to rot unburied in full view of the public, has
met its just return in the horror with which he and his whole command are beginning to be
appreciated by the people of Southeastern Missouri.
Respectfully, yours,
Colonel Eighth Regt. Ill. Vols., Comdg. Expedition.
Brig. Gen. U.S. GRANT,
Comdg. Dist. Southeast Missouri, Cairo, Ill.
Col. W. H. L. WALLACE,
Bird's Point. Mo.
On the evening of the 6th I left this place in steamers, with McClernand's Brigade, consisting
of Twenty-seventh Regiment Illinois Volunteers, Col. N. B. Buford; Thirtieth Regiment Illinois
Volunteers, Col. Philip B. Fouke; Thirty-first Regiment Illinois Volunteers, Col. John A. Logan;
Dollins' Company Independent Illinois Cavalry, Capt. J. J. Dollins; Delano's Company Adams
County Illinois Cavalry, Lieut. J. K. Catlin; and Dougherty's Brigade, consisting of Twentysecond
Regiment Illinois Volunteers, Lieut. Col. H. E. Hart; Seventh Regiment Iowa Volunteers,
Col. J. G. Lauman, amounting to 3,114 men of all arms, to make the demonstration against
Columbus. I proceeded down the river to a point 9 miles below here, where we lay until next
morning, on the Kentucky shore, which served to distract the enemy and led him to suppose that
he was to be attacked in his strongly fortified position at Columbus.
About 2 o'clock on the morning of the 7th I received information from Col. W. H. L. Wallace
at Charleston (sent by a messenger on steamer W. H. B.) that he had learned from a reliable
Union man that the enemy had been crossing troops from Columbus to Belmont the day before,
for the purpose of following after and cutting off the forces under Colonel Oglesby. Such a move
on his part seemed to me more than probable, and gave at once a twofold importance to my
demonstration against the enemy--namely, the prevention of reinforcements to General Price,
and the cutting off of the two small columns that I had sent, in pursuance of directions, from
this place and Cape Girardeau, in pursuit of Jeff. Thompson. This information determined me to
attack vigorously his forces at Belmont, knowing that should we be repulsed, we would reembark
without difficulty under the protection of the gunboats. The following order was given:
Cairo, Ill., November 18, 1861.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following list of soldiers wounded in the recent
fight at Belmont, Mo. The total number of injured as yet reported to this office amounts to 247.
Of these, as will be seen by reference to the subjoined statement, 10 have already died. It should,
however, be stated that from one regiment (viz, the Seventh Iowa Volunteers) no report has as
yet been rendered. The number of casualties to this corps have been more in number than to any
other regiment, and when the report of the surgeon, Dr. Witter, shall have been received, the list
as already submitted will doubtless be somewhat augmented.
The reason of the delay with regard to the report of the wounded of the Seventh Iowa
Regiment arises from the fact that immediately after the battle of the 7th instant that regiment
was ordered to Benton Barracks, Mo., a portion of the wounded being left behind at this place
and in Mound City, whilst another portion were conveyed northward with their regiment. Many
of the wounded at present in our depot and general hospitals are cases of unfavorable nature.
This is owing to the circumstance that they fell into the hands of the enemy, and were left
exposed on the field of battle for at least 18 or 24 hours. They were subsequently returned to us
by their captors. Had the medical department of your command been provided with the proper
ambulance train this disastrous and mortifying result might have been avoided. The only means
of transportation which I possessed consisted of some two or three ordinary army wagons,
obtained from the quartermaster's department. These being destitute of springs, and the country
over which they passed being wooded and rough, our wounded suffered much unnecessary
I would also state that Surgeon Gordon, of the Thirtieth Regiment Illinois Volunteers, and
Assistant Surgeon Whitnall, of the Thirty-first Illinois Volunteers, were captured by the enemy,
and still remain in their hands.
It affords me pleasure to notice the ability and efficiency of Brigade Surgeon Stearns and the
corps of surgeons generally. I would especially instance the conduct of Assistant Surgeon
Kendall, of Delano's cavalry, who freely exposed himself to the fire of the enemy in his efforts to
rescue and aid our wounded.
I have honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigade Surgeon and Medical Director.
Saint Louis, November 19, 1861.
I. In compliance with General Orders, No. 97, Headquarters of the Army, Washington,
November 9, 1861, the undersigned hereby takes the command of the Department of the
Missouri, including the States of Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Arkansas, and
that portion of Kentucky west of the Cumberland River.
II. All reports and returns required by Army Regulations will be made to the headquarters in
the city of Saint Louis.
Cairo, November 20, 1861
GENERAL: Inclosed I send you the report of Brig. Gen. J. A. McClernand, commanding
First Brigade in the late engagement at Belmont, Mo. Also the report of Surgeon Brinton,
medical director, who accompanied me on that occasion.
The Seventh Iowa and Twenty-second Illinois Volunteers were the only troops in the
engagement not included in General McClernand's command. Each of these lost their
commanders, wounded, and consequently I have no official report of them. Being on the field
myself during the entire engagement, I can answer for the gallantry of officers and men of both
these regiments.
The Seventh Iowa lost their colonel (Lauman), wounded severely, and lieutenant-colonel
(Wentz), killed, and major (Rice), severely wounded. Lieutenants Dodge and Gardner and 23
rank and file were killed; wounded, Captains Gardner, Harper, and Parrott, and Lieutenant
Reams and 74 others.
Of the Twenty-second Illinois, Colonel Dougherty was badly wounded and taken prisoner.
Twenty-one rank and file were killed. Captains Hubbard and McAdams and 74 men were
wounded. Information received since the engagement through the Southern press, and from
persons coming from the South since, show the enemy's force in the field to have been over
9,000 men, and their loss in killed and wounded alone not less than 600. My own impression is,
their loss was much greater.
The city of Memphis was thrown into mourning for the dead and wounded taken there. Great
apprehension is said to have prevailed lest the blow should be followed up with an attack upon
The officers and men, with rare exceptions, showed great personal courage, and I have every
reason to be satisfied with their conduct. The lesson, though severe, will be of great advantage to
the entire command. The object aimed at, to wit, to prevent the enemy from re-enforcing Price in
Missouri, and from cutting off two small columns I had been directed to send towards the Saint
Francois River, was accomplished to the fullest extent. The enemy have entirely abandoned
Belmont, and have been receiving re-enforcements in Columbus continually since the
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Asst. Adjt. Gen., U. S. Army, Washington, D.C.
Camp Lyon, December --, 1861.
In pursuance to your order issued on the 6th of November, I embarked the Twenty-second
Illinois Volunteers, numbering 562 men rank and file, with two days' rations, on board the
transport Belle Memphis. Everything being on board the steamer, we moved out into the stream,
and after a short trip laid to on the Kentucky shore, near the head of Island No. 1. where we
remained through the night in company with other transports from Cairo and Bird's Point, aboard
of which were troops comprising the Seventh Iowa, commanded by Colonel Lauman; Twentyseventh
Illinois, Colonel Buford; Thirtieth Illinois, Colonel Fouke; Thirty-first Illinois, Colonel
Logan; also Captain Taylor's battery of light artillery, together with a small force of cavalry.
The gunboats Lexington and Tyler accompanying us, which took position in the stream, were
anchored below the transports. Our officers and men, being comfortably provided for, soon
retired for the night, impressed with the probability of realizing their most ardent wishes; for by
this time all on board were fully impressed with the opinion that we were bound for Belmont,
which the sequel proved to be true.
Having received orders from you during the night through the hands of Assistant Adjutant-
General Rawlins, I ascertained that you had placed me in command of the Second Brigade. I
immediately transferred the command of the Twenty-second Illinois to Lieut. Col. H. E. Hart,
who in accepting it remarked that he felt satisfied that the officers and men would do their duty,
which I am proud to say they did to my and I hope to your entire satisfaction.
Early on the morning of the 7th the transports, preceded by the gunboats, moved down the
river until within sight of the rebel forces on the summit of the Iron Banks immediately above
Columbus, on the Kentucky shore, and, as afterwards proved to be the case, within range of
some of the enemy's batteries of heavy artillery. After the disembarkation of the forces and
formation of the Twenty-second Illinois and Seventh Iowa Regiments into line, three companies
of the former and two companies of the latter were ordered to remain with the transports, being
placed under the command of Captain Detrich, of the Twenty-second Illinois, who was ordered
by you to protect the transports and engage any forces of the enemy which might approach them.
His report is herewith submitted.
Having passed through a field near where we disembarked and reached the timber, we
formed in line of battle, the First Brigade, consisting of the Twenty-seventh, Thirtieth, and
Thirty-first Illinois Volunteers, under the command of Brig. Gen. John A. McClernand, taking
the right a little in advance of the Second Brigade, composed of the Twenty-second Illinois and
the Seventh Iowa Regiments, under my command, and the whole force under your command in
person. As soon as the line of battle was formed the order to advance was received and promptly
obeyed. The Twenty-second Illinois and Seventh Iowa advanced for about 500 yards to the
margin of a slough, where an order was given to halt and wait for further orders. Here
Companies C and B of the Twenty-second Illinois, under the command of Captain Seaton, and
one company of the Seventh Iowa, were deployed as skirmishers, to ascertain and if possible to
discover the position of the enemy. Soon the order of advance was again given, and from this
point the Second Brigade encountered heavy timber, much of which had been felled by the
enemy in order to impede the progress of any attacking force. Regardless of the obstacles thus
encountered, the Second Brigade advanced as rapidly as possible for about half a mile, passing
over much of the distance at double-quick march.
Hearing firing on the right while the skirmishers of the Second Brigade remained silent on
the left, we advanced by a flank movement to the right through almost impenetrable woods,
climbing over felled trees and filing around tree-tops in the direction of the firing. Halting a few
moments to form a line, we again advanced, and encountered the enemy behind logs and among
tree-tops, and at this point the firing commenced on the left, which now seemed to be general
along the whole line, the whole force being apparently engaged in action. The enemy for some
time obstinately resisted any advance at this point, and a storm of musketry raged along the
whole line of the Second Brigade. Shell and shot from the artillery of the enemy along the Iron
Banks and the field pieces at Belmont fell thick and fast, and a perfect storm of bullets from his
small-arms was here encountered. Many of our brave men were wounded at this point, and some
fell to rise no more, sealing their patriotism with their heart's blood; but their valor forced the
enemy to yield at last, and again the Second Brigade advanced, pressing on over the enemy's
dead and wounded, many of whom implored our men not to murder them, being evidently under
the belief of the false and wicked impression so industriously sought to be made by many of the
leaders of this cursed rebellion that we were barbarians and savages, but instead of murdering
them some of our men ministered to their wants and conveyed them to places of safety.
Step by step we drove them until they reached a secondary bank, such as abound through the
river bottoms of the West, under which they were protected from our fire, and where they made
another desperate stand for about thirty minutes, when our fire became so hot that they retreated
precipitately to some open ground near their encampment, covered by a rude abatis of felled
timber, strewing the ground as they went with guns, coats, and canteens. Our brave troops
followed them with shouts, pouring volley after volley into them. Here the enemy's movements
at this point gave unmistakable evidence of being panic-stricken and defeated, retreating to the
river and up the river bank behind the shelter of some brush and timber.
On gaining the open ground near their encampment, opposite to and in sight of the lower part
of Columbus, the relative positions of the different commands for the first time since the
commencement of the battle became visible. The Second Brigade, being on the left, had a shorter
distance to march in order to reach the enemy than the First, and consequently reached the open
ground in front of the enemy's camp in advance of the right wing. In a few minutes one section
of Captain Taylor's battery of artillery emerged from the timber on the right and took position,
when the Seventh Iowa and Twenty-second Illinois fell back and supported the battery, which
opened a fire on the retreating rebels and their camp. The battery was well served, and evidently
disconcerted the rebels, accelerating their retreat, and spreading consternation amongst them.
From that point the Second Brigade advanced with the battery, entered the encampment of the
enemy, and captured three pieces of his artillery, one piece being taken possession of by
Company B, Captain Seaton, and one by Company E, Captain McAdams, both of the Twentysecond
Illinois, and the third by a part of our forces unknown to me. Two of the pieces were
placed in charge of Captain Taylor, who gallantly brought them away from the field, to be used
in a better cause in future.
After assisting in the destruction of the rebel camp and property not movable as long as was
prudent under the fire of the rebel batteries in and about Columbus, which commanded the whole
ground, the order to retire to the transports was received, but not before the rebel flag had been
hauled down and the Stars and Stripes, the flag of our fathers, still bright with the glorious
memories of the past, was exhibited to their view. After it had been displayed and the field music
had played our national air within hearing of the rebels the order to retire was received from you,
and our weary forces were called from the camp which they had destroyed.
In the mean time the rebels had transported a large force of fresh troops across the river--
seven regiments, according to their own statement, contained in a Memphis paper. These were
formed in the timber and in some corn fields between their destroyed camp and our transports.
On the return the Second Brigade encountered these fresh forces, and at once engaged them and
opened a passage through them. At this time the Seventh Iowa was in the rear of the Twentysecond
Illinois, and was somewhat confused. All the field officers and many of the company
officers of that brave regiment being either killed, wounded, or taken by the enemy, I told the
men that as we had fought our way in we could fight our way out again, and ordered them to
keep up a steady fire on the left, which they did with a will, notwithstanding their exhaustion,
opening the ranks of the enemy and forcing their way through, in order to reach the transports at
the same place we had de-barked. On reaching the transports, which were safe and in waiting for
us, meeting Lieut. Col. H. E. Hart, who had conducted himself through the entire battle with the
coolness and bravery of a soldier, I ordered him to embark the Twenty-second Illinois Regiment
on board the Belle Memphis, while I returned to fetch up the rear of the brigade. On my return I
found many of the Iowa Seventh considerably scattered. While cheering them up and hurrying
them forward I received a small shot in the shoulder and one on the elbow, and shortly
afterwards a bail through the ankle. My horse was also shot in several places, who fell with me
and soon expired. I found myself unable to travel, and was consequently captured by the rebels,
who treated me with respect and kindness.
The loss of the Twenty-second Regiment Illinois Volunteers during the day was 23 killed, 74
wounded, and 37 missing; total loss, 134. Captains Challenor and Abbott were severely wounded
and left upon the field, where they were afterwards taken by the enemy. Captain Hubbard was
slightly wounded. Lieutenant Adams was severely wounded in the left arm and taken prisoner.
Captains Challenor and Abbott and Lieutenant Adams have since been returned, together with all
the noncommissioned officers and privates who were wounded. The loss of the Seventh Iowa
Regiment during the action was 26 killed, 80 wounded, and 137 missing; total, 243, making the
whole loss of the Second Brigade 377. Among them were Colonel Lauman, severely wounded;
Lieutenant-Colonel Wentz, killed, together with most of their company officers, who fought
gallantly until stricken down by the enemy. This regiment throughout the battle fought like
veterans, dealing death to the rebels wherever they encountered them. Iowa may well feel proud
of her sons who fought at Belmont.
Many of the missing--nearly all, in fact--were taken prisoners, but some, of whom there is no
certain information, it is feared were killed. I am informed that as soon as the steamer Memphis
got out of the fire of the enemy every attention and care were paid to the wounded, of whom
there was quite a number on board. Many of the officers were very active in ministering to their
wants, and Surgeons Stearns and Woodward attended them, faithfully performing their duties,
dressing their wounds, and extracting many balls while under way to Cairo. Lieutenant
Hamilton, quartermaster of the Twenty-second Illinois Volunteers, also assisted, and rendered
most efficient aid.
I am further informed that only one two-horse wagon belonging to the quartermaster's
department of the Twenty-second Illinois Regiment was left. It contained nothing, but could not
be got aboard, because the bank of the river where the Memphis lay was so perpendicular that a
road had to be made with shovels, which consumed too much time. All the horses, including
those captured from the enemy, were got on board. Many instances of individual heroism and
bravery occurred during the day, but where all acted so gallantly it would be unjust to
discriminate. The whole force under your command acted like veterans, and you may justly feel
proud of the manner in which they conducted themselves on the well-contested battle-field of
Colonel Twenty-second Regiment Illinois Volunteers.
Brig. Gen. U.S. GRANT,
Commanding Forces in Southeast Missouri.
Syracuse, December 10, 1861.
Brig. Gen. G. W. CULLUM, Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: Since my dispatch of this date to the general commanding a trusty man, sent
some ten days ago into the counties of Henry and Cass, came in direct from Price's camp, which
he left yesterday morning. He is a resident of this neighborhood, trusty, and well acquainted with
many of the men in Price's force, who were enlisted in this neighborhood. He gives a full account
of the condition of things in the counties of Henry and Cuss and in Price's army, corroborating
what I have gotten from other sources.
Price's forces are greatly in need of clothing and are suffering very much. In a speech he
made them on Sunday Price stated to them that Missouri had been annexed to the Southern
Confederacy; that his army would be reorganized and incorporated with the Southern Army, and
that money and clothing would be immediately furnished to all who remained in service. Price
was daily expecting his commission as major-general from Richmond, though it was already
whispered in camp that Jackson had succeeded in having him superseded. The greatest
dissatisfaction prevailed in the army in consequence of this report, one-half of the men declaring
openly that they would serve under no one else; that they were fighting for Missouri, and not for
the Southern Confederacy.
It is very sure that no graver mistake could possibly be made in Richmond than to displace
Price from the command of this Missouri army. He is greatly beloved by his whole force, and it
is his popularity and his influence which keep so large a body of men in arms in this State
without pay, without clothing, and with very scanty rations. Many of Price's men, even as it is,
are very anxious to return home and will take almost any oath if they can thus be exempted from
arrest. Those whose time has expired are also afraid to return home lest they be arrested and
taken to Saint Louis. If there were any method of holding such men to their engagements I have
little doubt that an assurance of exemption from arrest on taking the proper oath would bring
many hundreds to their homes.
Price is not recruiting nearly so fast as he is losing men. My scout estimates his whole force
at 12,000 or 13,000, which I am sure is too large an allowance. They have, for the present, plenty
of corn meal, flour, and beef, but the region in which they are encamped, will soon be exhausted.
They have almost destroyed the country in their rear. Price notified them in the speech to which I
refer that they must try and get shoes and clothing from their homes as soon as possible, as he
did not mean to remain in winter quarters, but intended to be constantly on the move. The belief
in the camp was that as soon as he got all the men he could hope for he would make a dash into
Kansas. He does not believe that there are 7,000 or 8,000 Federal troops west of Jefferson City. I
will send you a paper published in his camp. His advanced pickets are near Calhoun, as are ours,
though they have not yet met.
I propose as soon as I can assemble cavalry sufficient at Sedalia to advance upon Calhoun
and to points this side of Clinton, and destroy several mills which have been used for a few days
by the rebels. One is a large stream really 4 miles south of Calhoun.
have not yet heard of the expedition sent north in any official manner, though I have
occasionally heard of it from citizens, who themselves heard from other people what they told
me. I have telegraphed and written Colonel Steele on the subject.
I keep the cavalry fully occupied, and could employ a much larger force of it very
advantageously. Already I am making the Missouri and Osage too hot for security for Price.
Companies of cavalry are moving about every night through the country, and have already
arrested a large number of returning soldiers and recruiting parties. I trust the general
commanding will send up the four companies of the First Iowa Cavalry now at Benton Barracks.
The eight companies of that regiment are now with this command, though the colonel,
lieutenant-colonel, and one major remain in Saint Louis with the other four companies.
I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
SAINT LOUIS, Mo., December 11, 1861.
Brig. Gen. T. J. McKEAN, Jefferson City, Mo.:
GENERAL: You will receive this to-morrow evening. In the mean time you will receive
instructions to have the Eleventh Iowa Regiment on board a steamer for transportation up the
river. The destination of that regiment is Providence, at which place it will land, and immediately
proceed to capture or disperse a band of rebels said to be assembled at Columbia. Having
accomplished this object, it will proceed direct, or by Rochefort or Booneville, to Fayette, for the
same purpose, and thence to Glasgow and Brunswick.
General Pope will probably send a force across from Booneville to Fayette, to co-operate
with the Eleventh Iowa. A regiment has been dispatched to Centralia and Renick, to operate
south against Columbia and Fayette, to intercept any of the enemy moving from these places
towards the North Missouri Railroad.
The steamer sent with the Eleventh Iowa will remain at Providence till the result of the
expedition to Columbia is known, to carry the troops to Rochefort or Booneville, or will be
permitted to proceed up the river to those places and Glasgow, as you may deem advisable. It is
supposed that from your position you will be better able to judge of the rebel forces at the places
named than can be done here. As the expedition will move but a short distance on land they will
require but little transportation—say five or six wagons—and provisions of only six or eight
days. Additional supplies should be put on the boat, which, if not wanted, may be landed and
turned over to the proper officers at Booneville. The four companies of cavalry which you will
receive to-morrow afternoon will be sent in another steamer to Providence, Rochefort, or
Booneville, to co-operate with the Eleventh Iowa. All these forces should be well supplied with
ammunition. You will keep me informed by telegraph of the movement of these forces.
If steamers should not be able to ascend the river to Providence the expedition should cross
the river at Jefferson City and march by land to Columbia. In this case a larger amount of
transportation should be given. It is supposed that a portion at least of supplies and forage may
be procured in the country passed over. In regard to taking prisoners and private property, strict
compliance with General Orders, Nos. 8 and 13, of this department, will be required.
These instructions will be read to the commanding officer of the expedition, but not
communicated to any other person.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Saint Louis, Mo., December 12, 1861.
Brig. Gen. T. J. MCKEAN, Jefferson City, Mo.:
You will receive written orders (instructions) to-night by mail with the Thirteenth Iowa
Regiment. In the mean time embark the Eleventh Iowa on the steamer, with eight baggage
wagons, a small supply of tents, ten days' provisions, and full supply of ammunition, and be
ready to move as soon as the Thirteenth and my dispatches arrive; also have another steamer
ready to-morrow for four companies of cavalry also sent you to-day. Use Sioux City and other
steamers bound up the river. Is the river still navigable to Lexington?
Jefferson CITY, MO., December 16, 1861.
Major-General HALLECK:
The expedition up the river will probably be in Booneville to-morrow. The river is falling,
and I doubt the expediency of trying to get above there with boats, unless you have strong
reasons. General Pope has a small force at Booneville to co-operate against Fayette, and if
anything further is to be done there should be an experienced commander. The boats were not
in as good order as I should have wished. Some men left in the hospital by the Eleventh Iowa are
taken with small-pox.
Otterville, December 23, 1861.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that, having replaced by troops from La Mine the
garrison of Sedalia, I marched from that place on Sunday, the 15th inst., with a column of
infantry, cavalry, and artillery, numbering about 4,000 men. The First Brigade was commanded
by Col. J. C. Davis, Indiana Volunteers; the second by Col. F. Steele, Eighth Iowa Regiment.
The object of the movement was to interpose between Price's army, on the Osage, and the
recruits, escorts, and supplies on their way south from the Missouri River. This body of the
enemy was represented to be between 4,000 and 6,000 strong, with a large train of supplies.
I encamped on the 15th 11 miles southwest of Sedalia. That the enemy might be thoroughly
misled as to the destination of the expedition, it was given out that the movement was upon
Warsaw, and the troops pursued the road to that place, several miles beyond Sedalia. I threw
forward on Clinton four companies of the First Missouri Cavalry, under Major Hubbard, with
orders to watch any movements from Osceola, to prevent any reconnaissance of our main
column, and to intercept any messengers to the enemy at Osceola.
On the 16th I pushed forward by forced marches 27 miles, and with my whole force occupied
at sunset a position between the direct road from Warrensburg to Clinton and the road by
Chilhowee, which latter is the route heretofore pursued by returning soldiers and by recruits.
Shortly after sunset the advance, consisting of four companies of Iowa cavalry, under Major
Torrence, captured the enemy's pickets at Chilho-wee, and learned that he was encamped in
force (about 2,200) 6 miles north of that town. After resting the horses and men for a couple of
hours I threw forward ten companies of cavalry and a section of artillery, under Lieutenant-
Colonel Brown, Seventh Missouri Regiment, in pursuit, and followed with my whole force,
posting the main body between Warrensburg and Rose Hill to support the pursuing column. I at
the same time re-enforced Major Hubbard with two companies of Merrill's Horse, and directed
him, in order to secure our flank in the pursuit, to push forward as far as possible towards
Osceola. This officer executed his duty with distinguished ability and vigor, driving back and
capturing the pickets and one entire company of the enemy's cavalry, with tents, baggage, and
wagons. One of the pickets and two wagons were captured within the lines of Rains' division,
encamped north of Osage River.
The column under Lieutenant-Colonel Brown continued the pursuit vigorously all night of
the 16th, all day of the 17th, and part of the night of the same day, his advance guard, consisting
of Foster's company of Ohio cavalry and a detachment of 30 men of the Fourth Regular Cavalry
occupying Johnstown in the course of the night. The enemy began to scatter as soon as the
pursuit grew close, disappearing in every direction in the bushes and by every by-path, driving
their wagons into farm-yards remote from the road and throwing out the loads. As these wagons
were all two-horse wagons of the country, and had been in fact taken by force from the farmhouses,
it was impossible to identify them.
When our pursuit reached Johnstown, about midnight on the 17th, the enemy, reduced to
about 500, scattered completely, one portion fleeing precipitately towards Butler and the other
towards Papinsville. The main body of my command moved slowly towards Warrensburg,
awaiting the return of the force under Lieutenant-Colonel Brown, which proceeded from
Johnstown to scour the country south of Grand River to the neighborhood of Clinton. In these
operations 16 wagons, loaded with tents and supplies, and 150 prisoners were captured. The
enemy's force was thoroughly dispersed.
On the morning of the 18th Lieutenant-Colonel Brown's forces rejoined the command.
Knowing that there must still be a large force of the enemy north of us, I moved slowly on the
18th towards Warrens-burg, and when near that town the spies and scouts I had sent before,
marching from Sedalia in the direction of Lexington, Waverly, and Arrow Rock, reported to me
that a large force was marching from the two latter places, and would encamp that night at the
mouth of Clear Creek, just south of Milford. I posted the main body of my command near
Warrensburg and Knobnoster, to close all outlet to the south between those two points, and
dispatched seven companies of cavalry, five of the First Iowa and two of the Fourth Regular
Cavalry, afterwards re-enforced by another company of regular cavalry and a section of artillery,
all under command of Col. J. C. Davis, Indiana Volunteers, to march on the town of Milford, so
as to turn the enemy's left and rear and intercept his retreat to the southeast, at the same time
directing Major Marshall, with Merrill's regiment of horse, to march from Warrensburg on the
same point, turning the enemy's right and rear and forming a junction with Colonel Davis. The
main body of my command occupied a point 4 miles south, and ready to advance at a moment's
notice or to intercept the enemy's retreat south.
Colonel Davis marched promptly and vigorously with the forces under his command, and at
a late hour in the afternoon came upon the enemy encamped in the wooded bottom-land on the
west side of Blackwater, opposite the mouth of Clear Creek. His pickets were immediately
driven in across the stream, which was deep, miry, and impassable, except by a long narrow
bridge, which the enemy occupied in force--as is believed, under Colonel Magoffin. Colonel
Davis brought forward his force, and directed that the bridge be carried by assault. The two
companies of the Fourth Regular Cavalry being in advance, under the command respectively of
Lieutenant Gordon and Lieutenant Amory, were designated for that service, and were supported
by the five companies of the First Iowa. Lieutenant Gordon, of the Fourth Cavalry, led the
charge in person with the utmost gallantry and vigor, carried the bridge in fine style, and
immediately formed his company on the opposite side. He was promptly followed by the other
companies. The force of the enemy posted at the bridge retreated precipitately over a narrow
open space into the woods, where his whole force was posted. The two companies of the Fourth
Cavalry formed in line at once, advanced upon the enemy, and were received with a heavy volley
of small arms, muskets, rifles, and shot-guns. One man was killed and 8 wounded by this
discharge, with one exception all belonging to Company D, Fourth Cavalry, Lieutenant Gordon.
Lieutenant Gordon himself received several balls through his cap.. Our forces still continuing to
press forward, and the enemy finding his retreat south and west cut off, and that he was in
presence of a large force, and at best could only prolong the contest a short time, surrendered at
discretion. His force, reported by the colonel commanding, consisted of parts of two regiments of
infantry and three companies of cavalry, numbering in all 1,300 men, among whom there were
three colonels (Robinson, Alexander, and Ma-goffin),one lieutenant-colonel (Robinson), and one
major (Harris), and 51 commissioned company officers.
About 500 horses and mules, 73 wagons heavily loaded with powder, lead, tents, subsistence
stores, and supplies of various kinds, fell into our hands, as also 1,000 stand of arms.
The whole force captured, with their train, were marched into the camp of the main body,
reaching there about midnight. Many arms were thrown away by the enemy in the bushes or
creek when he surrendered and have not yet been found. It was impossible to furnish any
accurate account of the number of prisoners, arms, or horses when I telegraphed, as they
surrendered just at dark and were brought into camp at a late hour of night. The weather was
bitterly cold, and the troops marched as early as possible the next morning for Sedalia and
Otterville. As the prisoners and arms were at once sent down to Saint Louis, I have not yet had
the opportunity of making any accurate count of them. The numbers as stated were reported to
me by Colonel Robinson, their commander; by Col. J. C. Davis; and by Major Tor-renee, First
Iowa Cavalry.
The forces under Colonel Davis behaved with great gallantry, and the conduct of Colonel
Davis himself was distinguished. I desire to present to your special notice Col. J. C. Davis,
Indiana Volunteers; Major Hubbard. First Missouri Cavalry; and Lieutenant Gordon, Fourth
Regular Cavalry. Both officers and men behaved well throughout.
Within five days the infantry forces comprising this expedition have marched 100 miles, the
cavalry more than double that distance; have swept the whole country of the enemy west of
Sedalia as far as Rose Hill to a line within 15 miles of the Osage; have captured nearly 1,500
prisoners, 1,200 stand of arms, nearly 100 wagons, and a large quantity of supplies. The march
alone would do credit to old soldiers, and it gives me pleasure to state that it has been performed
with cheerfulness and alacrity. The troops reoccupied their camps at Sedalia and Otterville just
one week after they marched out of them. & list of our killed and wounded will be transmitted as
soon as possible. The enemy's loss is not known and cannot yet be ascertained. Some of his dead
were found on the field.
I am, captain, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Capt. J. C. KELTON,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the Missouri.
December 23, 1861.
Major-General HALLECK:
Major Caldwell came from Fulton this morning with some-powder, the rebel band having
been dispersed. I hear of others over the river, and design sending his cavalry battalion and five
companies of the Eleventh Iowa Volunteers to Fulton to-morrow morning. The ice has interfered
to-day. I do this under your former instructions. This will' leave but eight companies of infantry
here, three of cavalry (partially armed), and two of artillery, without guns. In view of anticipated
troubles on this, have you any new instructions in regard to sending troops over the river I The
crossing will soon be uncertain.
Saint Louis, Mo., December 25, 1861.
Brig. Gen. W. T. SHERMAN,
Benton Barracks, Mo.:
Have the battery at the North Missouri Railroad depot at 3 o'clock this afternoon and the
Iowa regiment at the same place at 8 o'clock to-morrow morning.
December 26, 1861.
Capt. J. C. KELTON,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Saint Louis, Mo.:
SIR: I have the honor to report that the Seventh Iowa, Lieutenant-Colonel Parrott
commanding, can put into the field about 350 well armed and equipped men, and that the
Thirteenth Missouri, Col. C. J. Wright, reports for duty in the field 465 men, armed with
Austrian muskets. There are already two detachments absent from their regiments and other
disorganizing causes, of which I inclose their colonel's report, but I have notified him that the
general's orders are he must hold his men ready for immediate service. The two companies of the
Third Missouri, Capt. Joseph Indest commanding, have 43 rifled muskets and 69 smooth-bore
muskets, and might be used for guard to a bridge or like purpose. The two companies of the
Forty-third Illinois, Capt. Joseph Stiffin, 95 men, are armed with foreign muskets, and might also
be used for a guard. The above are the only bodies of armed infantry at Benton Barracks. Of the
cavalry, the First Iowa, Colonel Warren— aggregates present for duty, 386--is well equipped
except in pistols and carbines. They could put in the field the above number of men, of which
200 would have Colt's pistols. The Third Iowa Cavalry, Col. C. Bussey commanding--aggregate
present for duty, 655--is also armed with sabers, and has 340 Colt's revolvers. All other cavalry
without fire-arms.
Fletcher's battery of artillery is composed of four smooth 6-pounder guns and two 12-
pounder howitzers, with horses, harness, and ammunition, but none have been hitched up. I will
cause it to be pushed in drill. The men have no swords or pistols, but these are not essential.
Two guns of Spoor's battery remain here, and will soon be ready. The Minnesota battery has 149
men, but no guns, horses, or anything in the way of equipment. There are two batteries attached
to the Second and Third Michigan Cavalry which have not yet been harnessed up, but shall have
immediate attention. Of the unarmed regiments, the two regiments of Michigan cavalry have fine
material— men and horses; also Curtis' Horse and the Second Iowa. Ask the general to give as
long notice as possible when he orders away any regiment or detachment, for these men are very
inexperienced, and say they can start at a given time, when they cannot.
I am, &c.,
Brigadier-General, Commanding
FLORENCE, MO., December 27, 1861— 1 p.m.
Major-General HALLECK, Saint Louis, Mo.:
Todd's force will reach Centreville to-night. The Third Iowa will be at Flint Point and
General Henderson at Wellsville. I have no intelligence yet from the force at Fulton. The enemy
has gone from Williamsburg towards Concord. I expect to move on Concord and Mexico tomorrow.
I hear nothing from Prentiss.
SAINT LOUIS, Mo., December 28, 1861.
Brigadier-General POPE, Otterville, Mo.:
GENERAL: Major-General Hunter has been requested to send the companies of the Seventh
Missouri and Eighth Iowa and Missouri Light Artillery to Kansas City and Independence, to
report to you by letter. You will direct the First Kansas Infantry what route to pursue to those
places. The five companies Thirty-ninth Ohio cannot be withdrawn from General Prentiss at
present. The regiment, however, will soon be united. The cavalry from Rolla are in pursuit of
Price. If the report of his flight from the State proves true, a considerable portion of your
command will probably be assigned to other duty. You will therefore make arrangements at La
Mine Cantonment for a smaller force. General McClellan is now sick. As soon as he is able to
attend to business you will probably receive instructions in reference to new operations. This is
confidential, and must not be repeated. Let it be generally understood that your troops are all
going into winter quarters. La Mine should be made as strong as possible for, say, two or three
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Camp near Sedalia, Mo., December 29, 1861.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by Companies B, C, D,
of the Fourth Regular Cavalry, under my command, at the action on the Blackwater River, at
Milford, on the 19th December. I had reported with my three companies to General Jeff. C.
Davis, and had left the town of Knobnoster some 3 miles behind us, when I heard the advance
guard driving in the enemy's pickets about 1 mile from Blackwater River towards Knobnoster.
My command had the head of the column, and, ordering it to take the gallop, we soon came up
with General Davis, who gave the following order: "There they are; give it to them, boys."
Immediately forming fours and then platoons, we charged across the prairie towards the timber,
supposing the enemy to be there encamped, but observing no signs of them I broke by fours, and
riding at a sharp gallop soon passed through the mile of woods intervening between the prairie
and the bridge. On arriving at the open space before the river we observed a body of men on the
opposite side. Having satisfied myself that they were the enemy defending the bridge, I sheltered
my men as much as possible and ordered them to dismount. At this time and until after the
crossing of the bridge the three companies were in the following order: 1st, my own, B; 2d,
Lieutenant Gordon's D; 3d, Company C, under Sergeant Neff. After giving them two volleys the
enemy showed signs of confusion, and I gave the order to charge. My company (B), closely
followed by the other two companies (D and c), gallantly dashed across the bridge. The enemy,
terrified by the suddenness and boldness of the charge, broke and fled in two directions, one
party taking the road to the right, closely pursued by my company (B), and the other party by the
road to the left, followed by Lieutenant Gordon with D and C companies.
The party followed by Lieutenant Gordon led him directly to their camp, which neither of us
had before seen. Immediately upon observing the enemy Lieutenant Gordon dismounted his men
and delivered two volleys, which the enemy returned, wounding 8 men of Company D and one
of Company C. And here I would state that the coolness and intrepidity of Lieutenant Gordon,
whose courage was the theme of all present, were closely imitated by the two companies with
him. Before this, having concluded it useless to keep up the pursuit, and having discovered the
whereabouts of the main body of the enemy, I had wheeled my company to go to the assistance
of Lieutenant Gordon. On arriving on the ground I found that one of the companies of the First
Iowa Cavalry had broken and were in confusion. I ordered them to halt, but could not stop them.
Having extricated the companies I turned to find General Davis, but could not see him anywhere.
Meeting with Major Torrence, of the Iowa cavalry, I asked where General Davis was to be
found, but he could give me no information. I then said, You are next in rank; why don t you
take command and do something?" His reply was, "I am," but I received no order from him.
I then withdrew the three companies and formed them in line of battle opposite the enemy's
camp, the five companies of Iowa cavalry forming on our left and about 200 yards in rear. At this
point a flag of truce appeared, and setting out again in search of General Davis I found him on
the left of our line. Pointing out to him the flag, I asked permission to go and meet it. He ordered
me to do so. On coming up with the bearer of the flag I inquired of him what he desired. He
informed me that he belonged to the Confederate Army, and wished to know what flag we
fought under. Having given him the desired information he returned to his camp, while I reported
to General Davis. The general then asked my opinion as to the feasibility of charging on the
enemy's camp, and I gave it as my opinion that it would be madness to charge them through
prairie-grass breast-high to a horse and then through thick timber, the enemy being posted behind
trees, and evidently outnumbering us four to one, but that if he would order us to dismount and
fight on foot something might be done. At any rate we were willing and ready to make the trial.
After a few moments I received an order to take position half a mile on our right, for the purpose
of intercepting the retreat of the enemy. We did so, and remained there until the surrender, which
soon followed.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Second Lieut., Fourth Car., Comdg. Squadron Fourth U.S. Cav.
Col. J. C. KELTON,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Dept. of the Missouri, Saint Louis, Mo.
Rolla, December 29, 1861.
Capt. J. C. KELTON,
Assistant Adjutant.General, Saint Louis, Mo.:
CAPTAIN: I arrived here 8 p.m. Thursday night and immediately rode to the camp of
Brigadier-General Sigel, about 3 miles from town. I communicated to him the wishes of the
major-general in regard to moving the cavalry forthwith, and requested him to order immediate
preparation for the movements.
The general not having received the order placing me in command of the district and I not
having assumed command (wishing to treat the general with all possible courtesy by conferring
with him beforehand), it was with some expressions of doubt as to my rank and authority that he
finally issued the order to the cavalry to report when they could move.
Yesterday morning your telegraphic copy of Order 92 was received by General Sigel, and at
his request I gave him the date of my commission and Showed him our relative position in the
Army Registers.
I then assumed command (see Orders, No. 1), and immediately issued Special Orders, no. 1,
to move the cavalry at 8 this morning, which was, according to my judgment, the earliest
moment they could be got ready to start.
Those best acquainted with the road say the route to Springfield has been stripped of
everything near the road, and the country being very rough, and side roads, it became necessary
to carry some supplies, which were accordingly provided and ready at the proper hour this
morning. As a further precaution against scarcity of supplies, the command will go on a road
south of the road so often traversed, passing by Cassage's, crossing Big Piney at McCourtney's,
and the Gasconade at Wisdom's Ford, aiming to strike the old military road 7 miles this side of
Springfield. I send copy of instructions given to Colonel Carr.
The movement of the troops displayed the usual lack of discipline. I had urged exact time
and was early in the saddle myself, but it was after 9 before the bright warm sun was reflected
from the long line of sabers which were displayed in passing off in form of review.
I left the command 4 miles out, about 1,500 strong, in good spirits, and well equipped for the
I will take another occasion to report further details in regard to this command. General
Asboth has been very cordial, and so I can say of the officers generally, especially the Iowa and
Illinois troops. General Sigel complains of ill health, but seems able for duty. Moving the troops
would do them good. They have made very little defense against the cold, and some of them on
bleak hills will be ordered into timber valleys for the purpose of better providing against cold.
They are generally in tents, most of them very good.
I expressed my desire to occupy Lebanon with forces of infantry and artillery. Some point
farther south, where our regular trains could easily transport supplies from the end of the
railroad, would not increase the expense of the command, but give us a better stand-point to
operate against the enemy. Scattering bands in the counties of Howard and Douglas deserve
attention; but the general impression here is Price will make a stand at or near Neosho or retreat
beyond the Ozark Mountains. In either event our cavalry movement cannot do much more than
embarrass the enemy in his foraging excursions and increase desertions from his ranks, which
are now very great.
I am organizing the defense of the railroad between this point and Pacific City. I design to
locate a U.S. rifle cavalry regiment on the line, and have log block-houses, such as I had made on
the Iron Mountain Road, erected on this by the troops themselves. Small cannon, like mountain
howitzers, such as they make in Quincy, Ill., and costing about $130 each, would, in my
judgment, be an economical addition to these block-houses, and diminish the numbers now
required to prevent the mounted bands from burning bridges.
Hoping the general will approve my exertions to organize this district and aid him in
expelling the enemy from Missouri, I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
NEW ORLEANS, December 30, 1861.
Major-General PRICE:
MY DEAR GENERAL: The bearer of this letter will hand you several dispatches from
Richmond, which will acquaint you with what is going on there.
I have read the letter which the President has addressed to you. I send you the one he
addressed to me, and likewise a copy of my answer to him. I think the time has come when we
should speak out in plain terms. I have endeavored to call the attention of Mr. Davis to the true
condition of things in Missouri, and have urged the necessity of prompt action in the premises.
Whether we shall succeed in getting it I am unable to say. Why it is that he can't give you the
appointment at once I am utterly at a loss to determine. He certainly had it in contemplation to
appoint Colonel Heth to the chief command, or Mr. Hunter's dispatch to me was sent without
authority, and this Mr. Hunter certainly would not do. If, then, the President had the power to
appoint Colonel Heth, I cannot see why he has not the authority to appoint you. I am free to
acknowledge there is a mystery about this whole affair which I do not comprehend.
I hope all is right, and, indeed, I have the strongest faith that you will yet receive the
appointment. I know how easy it is for the acts and intentions of public men to be
misunderstood, and how common it is for ill-disposed persons to cry a man down without any
just cause, and therefore I will not censure the President until I know he has wronged us.
I have been extremely unhappy for the last two weeks or more about your condition. I have
not been able to see how you and your men were to extricate yourselves from the perils which
seemed to hang over you. I fear your sufferings have been very great, but I trust and hope you
are all, with the blessing of God, yet out of the hands of the jayhawkers and Hessians. I have
been doing everything in my power to advance our cause.
General Shields has been active and vigilant in pushing forward his work. In ten days, more
or less, I think he will have an amount sufficient to pay off Thompson's men. As soon as it is
ready I will see that they are paid, and shall then repair to your camp with the least delay
The work on our guns, all things considered, is progressing as fast as I could expect it. Every
shop in the whole South is pressed with work, and but for the universal sympathy of the people
here for Missouri and the desire of every one to aid us we should not have been able to get our
work done in any reasonable time.
The single-barrel shot-guns I have had converted into carbines for mounted men, and will be
found to be a valuable weapon.
The old rifles will be made into Mississippi rifles with a saber bayonet—the best war gun
now in use, I think. They will all be boxed and forwarded as soon as they are ready; but they will
not all be finished under five or six weeks.
The people of this city and State excel any I ever knew in working for our cause. I do not
know the exact amount, but I feel confident with what they have already forwarded, together
with the articles they are now getting ready for your army, it can hardly fall short of $100,000 in
value. They never tire or flag in the good work. They do everything they can to render the soldier
comfortable or that will encourage him to perform his duty.
Six young ladies are now raising a subscription to purchase a sword for you, and in order that
as many as possible may have a hand in it they allow no one to give over $1. You may therefore
look out for a beautiful present from the young ladies of New Orleans.
The news from Washington is that Lincoln has "backed down" and given up Mason and
Slidell; just what everybody here thought the cowardly scamp would do. There is no reason to
believe a decisive battle is near at hand anywhere.
My kind regards to all the friends.
Faithfully, your friend,