Today in History:

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

Page 76 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter X.

it, and about 60 yards distant. In a few moments I received orders to deploy one company forward as skirmishers, and this was the last order that reached me during the entire day. Company H, Captain Yates, was at once thrown out as skirmishers, closely followed by the regiment in column of companies, and advancing up the hill, the action was commenced by a shot from my skirmishers at 10 minutes past 5 o'clock. Immediately advancing in person, I was informed by Captain Yates, and in another instant saw for myself, that the enemy were in force immediately in our front, and re-enforcing our line of skirmishers with Captain Maurice's company (B), I ordered the regiment forward into line. At this moment a heavy fire was opened upon our then left flank by a force heretofore concealed, the regiment wheeling into line and returning the fire, while the first division, deployed as skirmishers, assembled on the right of the regiment, and prevented our flank being turned. The action now became general, and for a short time the fire was very hot. The enemy giving way, the firing, almost ceased for a short time. Again they advanced upon us in front, and the right division having been brought into the line of battle, the regiment continued to advance under a galling fire until the enemy again gateway.

At this moment our advance unmasked one of their batteries, which up to this time had played no part in the action. Before I could complete my arrangements to charge this battery I noticed an apparent attempt on the part of the enemy to turn our right flank, and was forced to abandon the attempt; but sending word to Captain Totten of its position, I placed the first division of the regiment in its original position at right angles with the line of battler, and opening our fire, we after a time again drove them back. The battery we had unmasked had during this time been playing upon us, and caused no little uneasiness, as the shells which fell in our ranks were pronounced to be those supplied to our column which took the Cassville road. During all this time the firing had been equally heavy upon the left of our line, and finding the right wing apparently able to stand its ground, I went towards the left. As i passed each company I found it well up to its work, both officers and men cool and determined, using their arms with care and precision.

Upon arriving to the left of Du Bois' battery and approaching Company E, I met Captain Cole, of that company, being taken to the rear in consequence of a wound in the lower jaw, and, although unable to speak, still by every action encouraging his men.

Continuing on, I missed Captain Carry Gratz, commanding Company E, and soon learned, while advancing at the head of his men, he discovered a body of the enemy approaching, led on by a mounted officer, carrying a Union flag. Captain Gratz, drawing his revolver, fired and knocked him off his force, but upon reaching the ground he immediately arose and rushed through his lines, at which instant Captain Gratz fired a second shot, pitching him headlong out of slight. The enemy now opened fire, and Captain Gratz fell, pierced by five shots.

I soon came up with Captain Cavender, who, with his company (G), still maintained an advanced position, and had already by their courage and firmness several times prevented our left flank from being turned. Once more the enemy advanced upon us, and the fire again became very heavy. I now received a shot myself, and returning towards the right of the regiment and meeting Captain Yates, informed him I had been hit, and he must, in case he missed me, assume the command and keep the men together, as by this time the alignment was considerably broken. Feeling faint, I returned again to our left and obtained a

Page 76 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter X.