Today in History:

43 Series I Volume III- Serial 3 - Wilson's Creek


derbrush. They were received by a well-delivered fire from the squad and repulsed, leaving one of their number dead and the captain of the company (Coots) mortally wounded. He died the next day. It was here that we lost up until near sundown, when the enemy retired.

In summing up the casualties, we found but one man killed. Captain Millar, of Company B, received a slight wounded in the head from a buck-shot. I cannot too highly praise the gallantry of the citizen mounted men, who stood the whole time of the action under fire in the most exposed portions of the field, and carrying orders and making observations and reconnaissances with the greatest alacrity and fearlessness. It is to them that I owe much of the success attending the day.

At sundown I fell back into the field on the right, occupying the dwelling-house of Mr. James Smith, cutting away the corn around the house in order to command the approaches with our rifles. At this time my scouts reported a re-enforcement to the enemy, from our rear, of 100 men. I called a council of officers, and it was thought we could, by felling trees around the house, hold our position until re-enforced. We had, as we supposed, about 1,200 rounds of ammunition besides what was in the cartridge-boxes, but on opening the full box found them to be musket cartridges, each containing a ball and three buckshot. This determined me to attempt reaching the open country before morning, and endeavor to form a junction with Major Dean. I dispatched two messengers, one to ask re-enforcements from Fort Leavenworth and one to Major Dean, who, I had learned, had changed his camp from Austin to West Point, Mo., a day's march.

In the midst of a heavy rain, at 2 o'clock in the morning, we broke up camp and started west. One of our wagons broke down in the deep mud, and was left, before we reached the road. We had made about a mile, when it became so densely dark that a halt was compelled, and the men stood in the road, under as hard a rain as I ever witnessed, until daylight, when the march was resumed. On reaching a branch of Grand River, I found it swollen to a torrent, and in places over its banks. I selected a tree about 100 yards below the ford, at a narrow part of the stream, with high banks, and felled it across for the men to pass over, then swam the horses, and attempted to float our stores and baggage across in the beds of the wagons, which unfortunately sank, thus compelling us to abandon them and two of our wagons. The march was continued all that day, fording streams and marching thorough overflowed bottom lands, until we reached the State line, some 18 miles southwest of Harrisonville, at Camp Prince, where I halted three days awaiting re-enforcements and supplies.

On Monday, July 22, Colonel Weer arrived at camp, and, assuming command, has kept you advised of operations since that date. I cannot close this too lengthy report without alluding once more ot the conduct of the men of my command, many of whom lost their shoes and coats. We had no blankets, save private property-in fact, all our clothing was such-the men having only what they enlisted with; without tents, thorough drenching rains, yet bearing everything with fortitude and cheerfulness, with but few exceptions.



Major, Commanding U. S. Reserve Corps.

Captain W. E. PRINCE,

Commanding Officer Fort Leavenworth.