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Intense Excitement in the State.
pointed to the "Department
The retreat upon Carthage was continued. Several brief conflicts occurred at the creek crossings. A stand at Carthage would have been made but for fear of the exhaustion of artillery ammunition, which already was running low. The enemy disputed the passage at the village, when a severe encounter followed, in which the rebels suffered so se verely as to prevent them from any further pursuit in that masterly retreat before immensely superior numbers.* The Federalists fell back upon Sarcoxie. It was a most fortunate escape, indeed, for during the evening of the 5th, and the morning of the 6th, Jackgon, Parsons and Rains were joined by Price, Ben McCullough and General Pierce-perty and State laws, &c., &c., and asserted whose united commands of Texan and Arkansas troops amounted to about five thousand, with heavy reenforcements on the way. This extraordinary conjunction of notable Southern leaders gave promise of desperate work. If defeated, the Secessionists' power in Missouri would be broken effectually; if successful in overcoming Lyon and Sweeny, or in compelling their retreat, the way to Jefferson City and the Government would be opened. Lyon at once comprehended his great danger and moved with all celerity upon Springfield, whither Siegel's little band of heroes also retired by way of Mount Vernon, soon after the affair at Carthage.
The Federal loss on the 5th was thirteen killed and thirty-one wounded—all of which were brought off. The rebel loss was confessed by the prisoners to have been very heavy, but no authentic report has been made. A letter written by Colonel Hughes, commanding the First regiment of the Missouri State Guards, confessed the loss of his own regiment to have been fifteen killed and forty wounded.
the purposes of the General Government to be the suppression of all acts of rebellion, violence and treason.
The Affair at Munroe
These numerous small engagements embraced the affair at Munroe Station, on the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railway. Colonel Smith, learning of the gathering in that vicinity of a large body of Secessionists under command of General Harris, moved from Palmyra upon that place, July 10th, and thence to Palmyra, where the insurgents were encamped. A sharp fight occurred at that point, when the enemy fell back upon Munroe. A detachment under Colonel Owens (rebel), of mounted men, preceded their retreat and destroyed a large amount of railroad property at the Station. Smith followed to the Station, and, taking possession of the female seminary building, prepared to hold it until a force could reach him sufficient to clear out the enemy. He dispatched a call for help to Quincy, and was soon in a state of siege. His guns, however, kept the wouldbe assailants at bay, and help arriving in good season, General Harris soon found it too
Major-General John C. Fremont was apSee Appendix, page 508, for diagrams and inci-hot for him. Being pressed front and rear he disappeared, leaving seventy-five prisoners.
dents of this retreat.
Suppression of the
It was for rejoicing over this temporary success of Harris, that the State Journal at St. Louis was suppressed by Colonel McNeil. That paper sought to inspire an insurrectionary spirit in St. Louis; its office became the rendezvous of the most violent and dangerous Secessionists; Lyon proceeded, therefore, to suppress it. The excitement in St. Louis, at that period, was intense, and it required all the watchfulness of the military to preserve the peace. As in Baltimore, many leading families were uncompromisingly hostile to the General Government, and secretly labored to perfect organizations which should be ready, at the first propitious moment, to fly to arms in behalf of Governor Jackson's Affairs were managed with great discretion by Colonel McNeil, pending the arrival of Fremont, who lingered in the East to arrange for the stupendous campaign which he had resolved upon prosecuting down the Mississippi valley. Lyon's Position at Springfield during July.
one gun and a large number of horses in the | foes drawn chiefly from the vagabonds of hands of the Unionists. Arkansas, Texas and Missouri; yet, no succor came, and Lyon resolved to strike with his weak ranks rather than to end his brief campaign in dishonor, by retreat-thus opening an easy path to the North for the enemy. Hearing of the concenThe Expedition tration at Forsyth of a rebagainst Forsyth. el force, which formed the nucleus of a corps there being enlisted, Lyon dispatched General Sweeny thither to disperse the enemy, break up the rendezvous and to hold the place for further orders. Forsyth is at the head of navigation of White River, about twelve miles north of the Arkansas State line. Sweeny moved from Springfield, July 20th, with two companies of regular cavalry, Captain Stanley; one section of Captain Totten's battery, Lieutenant Solaski; one company of Kansas rangers, Captain Wood; five hundred of the First Iowa, Colonel Merritt; and five hundred of the Kansas Second, Colonel Mitchell. A squad of eighty Home Guards afterwards joined the expedition. The vicinity of Forsyth, (fifty miles away from Springfield,) was not reached until the 22d, when the place was occupied. The rebels, who had taken to the bluffs overlooking the town, made a sharp resistance, but the cavalry and rangers soon turned them out of their covert by dashing charges and flank movements. The artillery flung a shell or two into the Court House, but was not called into further requisition. The expedition resulted only in scattering the foe, to gather at some other point.
Lyon reached Springfield July 10th. He was soon followed by Major Sturgis. With these united commands he prepared at once to meet McCullough and his confederates, then menacing Springfield in great force. But, his resources were so utterly inadequate to the task in hand, and affairs at St. Louis so disordered, that he could only await, in the consummation of his work, for the advent of Fremont. Clothed with most absolute authority, it was believed After the battle at Carthage the rebel that he could give Lyon the men and guns chiefs possessed themselves of all the points needed to stay the march of the Southern surrounding Springfield. Ben McCullough armies upon Jefferson City and St. Louis. assumed the chief direction of their How that loyal, spirited soul must have movements-Governor Jackson having rechafed at its prison-bars as day by day roll- tired towards New Madrid for an easy escape ed away and no help came! Around him into the Confederate States in event of disaswere gathered a few trusty souls-a brigade ter to his cause, while Price traveled neror two of brave fellows who would follow vously and ceaselessly through the central their leader to the death-alas! that they and northern portions of the State (generally did so!-but, of all the one hundred and in secrecy), to arouse and organize the seceseighty thousand men rushing to the field, a sion elements. The bubbling and seething mere handful only were turned towards of the cauldron was owing primarily to the Springfield. There that band of heroes stood almost ubiquitous presence of that emissary , during all July, far in the interior, facing of the rebellion. The labors of the State Cona huge army of infuriated and reckless vention-which convened July 20th, to take
Federals Advance to
Battle of Dug
action in the matter of a restoration of the | to about fifty-five hundred foot, four hunGovernment by the election of State (provis- dred and fifty cavalry and eighteen guns. ional) officers-gave Price and Jackson great With this solidly comcause for uneasiness, being largely composed pacted and reliable force of Unionists. The Governor and his emis- the march was resumed sary struggled desperately to arouse the revo- early Friday morning, August 2d, taking the lutionary element so far as to render any ac- direct road to Dug Springs valley, which the tion of the Convention nugatory. They enemy were expected to pass. Arriving at struggled in vain, however; for the Conven- that locality, the presence of a heavy column tion soon restored the Government, and its of the rebels was indicated by dense clouds authority was respected by the great majority of dust arising from the hills opposite. The of the people. (The proceedings of the Con- Federal army was then drawn up for battle, vention are referred to hereafter.) and a battalion of skirmishers thrown forward with the hope of drawing the enemy out. Much maneuvering failed to produce this desired result, when Lyon ordered the entire column to fall back as if in retreat. This succeeded. The rebels pressed forward to cut off Captain Steele's company of infantry, (regulars,) and Captain Stanley's company of cavalry, left as a decoy. This detachment comprised about five hundred infantry. These were allowed to come within close rifle distance, when fire was opened on them with effect, creating disorder in their ranks, An enthusiastic sub-officer of the Federal in fantry cried "charge!" when forward rushed about thirty of the regulars. The cavalry, astonished at this reckless dash, could but support it, and flung themselves upon the enemy. Thunderstruck and broken by this crushing onslaught, they soon scattered in utter disorder. Supports then came up from both sides. Totten's guns were quickly in place. The enemy's advance now consist ed of a large body of cavalry. Into their ranks shells from the battery were dropped with perfect precision, and soon the entire force was in rapid flight. This was all of the battle of Dug Springs.
Learning that McCullough was closing his lines around Springfield and advancing in two columns by way of Cassville on the south and Sarcoxie on the west, Lyon determined not to await but to assail. The column moving up from Cassville was reported as being fifteen thousand. composed of the combined commands of McCullough, Price, McBride and Pearce-all of which moved out of Cassville on the morning of the 1st, taking the direct road to Springfield. To meet and crush this body the Federal commander called into requisition almost his entire force-leaving at Springfield but a guard. This force, as it rendezVoused at Crane Creek, ten miles south of Springfield, on the night of August 1st, consisted of five companies of the First and Second regulars, Major Sturgis; five companies of the First Missouri volunteers, LieutenantColonel Andrews; two companies Second Missouri volunteers, Major Osterhaus; three companies Third Missouri volunteers, Colonel Siegel; the Fifth regiment Missouri volunteers, Colonel Salomon; the First regiment Iowa volunteers, Colonel Bates; the First Kansas volunteers, Colonel Deitzler; the Second Kansas volunteers, Colonel Mitchell; two companies of regular cavalry, Captains Stanley and Carr; three companies cavalry (recruits), Lieutenant Lathrop; Captain Totten's (regular) battery of six guns-six and twelve-pounders; Lieutenant DuBois' battery (regular) of four guns-six and twelve-off toward Sarcoxie to make a junction with pounders; Captain Shaeffers' battery (Missouri volunteer artillery) of six guns-six and twelve-pounders :-amounting, all told,
McCullough's advance brigade engaged fell back toward Curran, whither
Advance to Curran and return to Springfield.
Lyon followed on the morning of August 3d, occupying Curran on that day. tarrying there a day, and finding that the entire rebel column had deflected and moved
the second column and strike Springfield from the west, Lyon retraced his march, reaching his old camps at Springfield on the 6th -the troops having suffered greatly from
heat and want of water. The loss of the Federals in the entire expedition was three killed, two deaths from heat, and eight wounded. The rebel loss could not be ascertained, though it is known to have been quite serious. That cavalry dash sent many a poor wretch to his last account. Their wounded, it was ascertained, numbered forty. The enemy, under the chief command of Price, advanced slowly but in full strength toward Springfield, arriving at Wilson's Creek, ten miles south of Springfield, on the 7th. Knowing that his only hope lay in obtaining some advantage over the opposing host numbering, as it did, fully twenty thousand men-Lyon studied a surprise and arranged for a night attack on the 7th, but, midnight was so far past when all was in readiness for moving, that an attack was deferred. The enterprise was, however, again attempted. On the night of the 9th the entire Federal force marched out from Springfield and the adjoining camps, in two columns -one commanded by Lyon, the other by Siegel, Lyon was to advance and assault by the front, while Siegel should pass the enemy's camps to the east, and, falling upon them, cut through their right while Lyon drove through their centre.
The Advance for the
already within three hundred yards of the position where he was encamped with the Second Division, consisting of about twelve hundred men, under Colonel Crawford. A second messenger came immediately afterward from General Rains to announce that the enemy's main body was upon him, but that he would endeavor to hold him in check until he
could receive reenforcements. General McCullough
was with me when these messengers came, and left
at once for his own head-quarters, to make the necessary disposition of our forces.
"I rode forward instantly towards General Rains' position, ordering Generals Slack, McBride, Clark and Parsons to move their infantry and artillery forward. I had ridden but a few hundred yards, when I came suddenly upon the main body of the enemy, The incommanded by General Lyon in person. fantry and artillery which I had ordered to follow came up immediately, to the number of 2,036 men, and engaged the enemy. A severe and bloody conflict ensued; my officers and men behaving with the greatest bravery, and, with the assistance of a portion of the Confederate forces, successfully holding the enemy in check.
"Meanwhile, and almost simultaneously with the opening of the enemy's batteries in this quarter, a heavy cannonading was opened on the rear of our position, where a large body of the enemy, under Colonel Siegel, had taken position, in close proximi
ty to Colonel Churchill's regiment, Colonel Greer's
Texan Rangers, and six hundred and seventy-nine mounted Missourians, under command of LieutenantColonels Major and Brown.
"The action now became general, and was conducted with the greatest gallantry and vigor on both sides, for more than five hours, when the enemy retreated in great confusion, leaving their Commander
large number of prisoners."
The enemy, also, had resolved upon a night advance from Wilson's Creek camp, upon Springfield, hoping to surround it, and, by day-break, to close in upon Lyon so as to prevent his escape to Rolla. Every disposi-in-Chief, General Lyon, dead upon the battle-field, tion was made for the movement-the men over five hundred killed and a great number woundwere under arms, with orders to march, by ed. The forces under my command have also a four columns, at nine o'clock P. M. Price, for some unexplained reason, having passed over the chief command to McCullough, the latter ordered the expedition to be given up, late at night, as the darkness was intense and a storm threatened. Lyon was not intimidated by the darkness-it rather was favorable, as it covered his passage and general disposition from the observation of pickets
This brief report is the rebel view of that bloody and most notable conflict. While it was the most stubborn affair, up to that moment of the war, the field was so written over with gallant deeds and inflexible purpose as to render its story one of unusual interest.
An eye-witness wrote: "About eight o'clock on the evening of the 9th, General
Siegel, with his own and Colonel Salomon ́s command and six pieces of artillery, moved southward, marching until nearly two o'clock, and passing around the extreme camp of the enemy, where he halted, thirteen miles from town, and on the south side of the rebels,