Today in History:

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



August 30, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith the official reports of the several commanders of the United States forces lately engaged under the late Brigadier-General lyon at Wilson's Creek, near Springfield, Mo., August 10, 1861. The duties at my headquarters have been so various and pressing that I have not until now been able to submit these reports. I have thought proper to make them a substitute for the more formal return of killed, wounded, and missing, as required by regulations; tables or lists of which will be found embraced with the reports.*

The attention of the Department will be attracted to the very commendable gallantry of our troops, contending as they did against fearful odds - that of more than five to one - and I cordially recommend that his appreciation of the services of the officers and soldiers be accompanied with more substantial marks of the favor of the Government.

After completely driving the enemy form his positions with none of his force in sight, the successor of the brave General Lyon, Major S. D. Sturgis, U. S. Army, drew off his collum, in god order, to a position 2 miles from the battle ground, awaiting the movements of General Sigel's column.

The further withdrawal of the army from Springfield to Rolla was undoubtedly based upon good reasons, such as will appear evident from Major Sturgis' report. The exhaustion consequent upon a six hours' conflict, the great drain upon their supply of ammunition, and the expected re-enforcement of the enemy, all seem to justify the act of the commander in deciding to make no further efforts for maintaining his position in or near Springfield.

The following-named officers, distinguished for highly important services and marked gallantry, are hereby recommended to the special consideration of the Government:

Major S. D. Sturgis, First cavalry, U. S. Army, distinguished for marked intrepidity and gallantry and for highly meritious services, both before and after the fall of General Lyon.

Major J. M. Schofield, first lieutenant First Artillery, major First Missouri Volunteers, and acting adjutant-general to General Lyon, distinguished for cool and conspicuous courage and for his constant effort to inspire confidence among the troops.

Captain Gordon Granger, Regiment Mounted Rifles, acting assistant adjutant-general to Major Sturgis, distinguished for active and conspicuous gallantry, and for highly valuable services in reconnoitering the enemy, assisting in the service of the batteries, and in rallying and inspiring confidence amongst the troops.

Captain James Totten, Second Artillery, commanding light battery, distinguished for conspicuously gallant and meritorious conduct and for highly important and valuable services in the command of his battery throughout all the operations of the day. His name deserves to become "a household word."

Second Lieutenant J. V. Du Bois, Regiment Mounted Rifles, U. S. Army, commanding light battery, for gallant and meritorious conduct and for highly important services in the command of his light battery throughout the entire conflict.

Lieutenant Sokalski, attacked to Totten's light battery, distinguished


* See inclosure to report Numbers 4, p. 72.