Today in History:

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

Page 86 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter X.

re-enforcement of not less than 5,000 men, infantry, one or two regiments of cavalry, and at least two batteries. To meet the momentous danger we want re-enforcements, and to be prepared against the last reverses which may befall us in this State, I would respectfully propose to you to make, in the shortest time possible, the necessary preparations for two entrenched camps, one at Saint Louis, the key to the Southwest, and another at Jefferson City, or, perhaps better, between the Osage River and Moreau Creek, on the heights of Taos Post Office. At the same time it would be necessary to be master of the river between Jefferson City and Saint Louis, and to arm the two entrenched positions by heavy ordnance.

The Missouri will now become our natural line of defense, with the Osage River in advance, and the two places, Tuscumbia and Linn Creek, as the most important points where tetes-de-pont could be constructed. I make these remarks because I am aware of our strength and weakness. Our 4,000 men will be crippled by the discharge of the three months' men, who cannot be keep longer in our midst because they are anxious to go home, and would be of more damage than use if forced to serve longer.

I therefore respectfully request you to give your attention to our little army, and enable us to take up anew the struggle with our enemy.

With the greatest respect, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Commanding.

Major-General FREMONT,

Commanding Department of the West.

Camp of Good Hope, near Rolla, August 18, 1861.

GENERAL: I respectfully submit to you the report of the battle at Wilson's Creek, as far as the troops under my command are concerned:

On Friday, the 9th of August, General Lyon informed me that it was his intention to attack the enemy in his camp at Wilson's Creek on the morning of the 10th; that the attack should be made form two sides, and that I should take the command of the left. The troops assigned to me consisted of the Second Brigade Missouri Volunteers (900 men, infantry, of the Third and Fifth Regiments, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Albert and Colonel Salamon, and six pieces of artillery, under Lieutenant Schaefer and Schuetzenbach), besides two companies of regular cavalry, belonging to the command of Major Sturgis.

I left Camp Fremont, on the south side of Springfield, at 6.30 o'clock in the evening of the 9th, and arrived at daybreak within a mile of the enemy's camp. I advanced slowly towards the camp, and after taking forward the two cavalry companies from the right and left, I cut off about forty men of the enemy's troops, who were coming from the camp in little squads to get water and provisions. This was done in such a manner that no news of our advance could be brought into the camp.

In sight of the enemy's tents, which speared out in our front and right, I planted four pieces of artillery on a little hill, whilst the infantry advanced towards the point where the Fayetteville road crosses Wilson's Creek, and the two cavalry companies extended to the right and left, to guard our flanks, It was 5.30 o'clock a. m. when some musket firing was heard from the northwest. I therefore ordered the artillery

Page 86 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter X.