Today in History:

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

Page 60 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter X.

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 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 and 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 pickets was reached, and 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 battery.

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 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

Page 60 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter X.