Today in History:

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

Page 80 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter X.

were partially and my horses protected from direct musketry fire.

After assisting Captain Totten to silence the enemy's batteries, in which we perfectly succeeded, I received orders from General Lyon to move my battery to the right. Captain Granger was to place me in position. While limbering, our left flank, which consisted of three companies of the First Infantry and one of Mounted Rifle recruits, was driven back by an overwhelming force of the enemy (five regiments, I think), who, in the of an advance, had collected in masses. Captain Granger now countermanded my order to move, and by a change of front to the left I enfiladed their line and drove them back with great slaughter, Captain Granger directing one of my guns. Their broken troops rallied behind a house on the right of their line. I struck this house twice with a 12-pounder shot, when they showed a hospital flag. I ceased firing, and their troops retired.

Large bodies now collected in a ravine in front of our center. By using small charges I succeeded in shelling the thicket, but could not judge of the effect of my fire. It seemed to check the enemy, as he changed his position to one more to my right and beyond my fire. A new battery now opened upon us from the crest of the hill opposite, and having a plunging fire, it did great execution, all the shot which passed over me falling among the wounded, who had been carried in rear of my battery in large numbers. We succeeded in partially silencing this fire, and at the same time drove a large column of cavalry, which had turned our position, and were preparing to charge our men.

During the entire engagement I was so embarrassed by my ignorance of General Sigel's position, that on several occasions I did not fire upon their troops until they had formed within a few hundred yards of our line, fearing they might be our own men advancing to form a junction with us. During the last effort of the enemy to break through our right wing and capture our batteries, I limbered up two guns to send to captain Totten's assistance. Before I could have a road opened trough the wounded, I was ordered to fall back to a hill in rear and protect a retreat. I remained until all our troops had passed in good order, and was marching to the rear, when my 12-pounder gun broke down. I asked Major Osterhaus to protect me with his battalion. He remained with me until I repaired damages, and then marched in my rear until I joined the command on the prairie. I now received orders to take command of a rear guard, but as I had already joined Captain Steele's battalion of regulars, and we had found a rear guard under his command, I reported this fact, and marched to Springfield under Captain Steele. We were not followed by the enemy, who had, I think, been driven from the field before we left it.

Many of the company, myself included, were struck and slightly injured by spent musket and canister shot; but only two were wounded and one missing. My men behaved well, and cannot be convinced that we were not victorious.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Second Lieutenant, Mounted Rifles, Commanding Light Art. Bat.


Acting Assistant-General, Army of the West.

Page 80 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter X.