Today in History:

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

Page 78 OPERATION IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter X.

when he alone was left to rally his men; Private Elworthy, of Company F, who was particularly observed for his coolness and bravery.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant-Colonel First Regiment Missouri Vols., Commanding

Captain G. GRANGER,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Saint Louis, Mo.

Numbers 8. Report of Captain Frederick Steele, Second U. S. Infantry.

CAMP NEAR ROLLA, MO., August 17, 1861.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my battalion at the battle near Springfield, Mo., on the 10th instant:

The battalion was composed of Companies B and E, Second Infantry, commanded by First Sergeants Griffin and G. H. McLaughlin; a company of General Service recruits, commanded by First Lieutenant W. L. Lothrop, Fourth Artillery, and a company of Mounted Rifles, recruits, commanded by lance Sergeant Morine. During the early part of the action the battalion was in position to support Du Bois' battery, but had no opportunity of engaging the enemy, except to assist in dispersing a large body of cavalry that frequently threatened our rear. Soon after the fall of General Lyon, Captain C. C. Gilbert, First Infantry, joined my battalion with a part of his company, and we made arrangements to repel a threatened assault on the battery in front, which was repelled without our becoming engaged with the enemy. Major Sturgis then ordered me to form line of battle and advanced upon the enemy's front, whence the heaviest firing had proceeded during the day. We very soon came within range of the enemy's rifles when a fierce contest ensued, the enemy gradually retiring upon his reserve, where he made a stand, from which our small force was unable to drive him.

After a heavy firing on both sides in this position, without any apparent advantage on either side, the contest ceased for a short time, as if by mutual contest.

We were opposed to vastly superior numbers, and many of our men were killed and wounded, so that I did not deem it discreet to charge upon the enemy without support, although Captain Gilbert suggested it.

During this suspension of hostillies, I received orders from Major Sturgis to send a company of skirmishers on the brow of the hill to our left and front. Lieutenant Lothrop went in command of this company, but was met with such a galling fire from the enemy that he was obliged to retire - all of which service he performed with coolness and intrepidity. Lieutenant Lothrop's retreat was followed up by a vigorous attack from the enemy upon us, as well as upon Totten's battery on our left and rear. The enemy had a field piece established under the crest of the hill to our left and front, which threw grape with spitefulness, and occasionally a shell, with more moral effect than damage to us. This piece was now re-enforce by one or two pieces of the same character, all of which threw an incessant shower of missiles at us; but my men were ordered to stoop, and very few took effect upon us. It was now evident that the enemy intended to take Totten's battery, as a

Page 78 OPERATION IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter X.