Today in History:

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


ground, which he presumed we were able to keep in check, and therefore withdrew his forces from the field.

In a short time the enemy attempted to outflank us on the right. I sent Colonel Cravens, with 150 men, to check them, and they soon were engaged, driving the enemy back in the utmost confusion. I immediately sent a messenger to report to Colonel McIntosh that we were engaged with a large force. The enemy, re-enforced by the regular. U. S. Cavalry, renewed the attack on Colonel Cravbens' command, when the conflict became severe and hand to hand. I then took the remaining portion of the guard with the view to cut off the attacking party on the right, when, on reaching them, the enemy opened upon us with two batteries, dispersing the mounted men, a portion of whom became panic-stricken and retired in the utmost confusion. I had been led to expect re-enforcements of infantry and artillery at McCulla's Spring, and not finding any, fell back, in accordance with instructions, to the main army.*

I found from two of the wounded enemy, one a captain, that we were attacked by the army under General Lyon, over 5,000 strong, with eight pieces of artillery, which we held in check for seven hours.

I have to report a loss of 1 officer (Lieutenant Northcut) and 5 men wounded, while the loss of the enemy, as far as can be ascertained, amounts to 14 killed on the field.

I cannot speak too highly of the gallantry of the officers and men, particularly that portion who acted as infantry; but to notice individual instances of bravery would occupy too much space.

I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding Advance Guard.

Colonel THOMAS L. SNEAD, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

Numbers 4. Report of Captain James McIntosh, C. S. Army.

Camp on Crane Creek, August 3, 1861.

GENERAL: I was sent forward yesterday by your order with 150 men to ascertain the position of the enemy, who it was reported were attacking an advance guard of 500 men under General Rains. I marched rapidly 7 miles and met General Rains' adjutant-general, who told me General Rains was engaging the enemy in front. I screened my men and rode forward with the adjutant-general, and found General Rains with his command. He reported that the enemy were immediately in front. I could see nothing, and told him that I did not believe that they were in force. I then rode forward to reconnoiter the enemy. From a hill I had a good view of the road in advance, and saw either a train or an encampment near it. I reported the fact to the general, and told him repeatedly that he was not sent forward to engage the enemy if in force; that all required of him was to find out their position and strength, and late in the evening to fall back to his position of the night before, take a strong position, and, if attacked, that he would be re-enforced. Having obeyed your instructions, I returned. When about


* See, also, General Price's report of battle of Wilson's Creek, August 10, post.