Today in History:

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


Numbers 14. Report of Captain Eugene A. Carr, First U. S. Cavalry.

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

SIR: Having been requested, through Major Shephard, to write a report of my share in the battle, I have the honor to state that on the afternoon of the 9th instant I was ordered to report to Colonel Sigel at 6 o'clock, with my company (I, First Cavalry), which I did. Company C, Second Dragoons, commanded by Lieutenant Farrand, First Infantry, also reported to Colonel Sigel, but was not under my command, being placed at the opposite extremity of the brigade. Colonel Sigel placed me in advance, with orders to seize persons who might give information to the enemy; and the command moved about sunset. The night was very dark, and it was with great difficulty that we avoided losing our way or getting separated. At about 11 o'clock the command was halted, and rested till 2, when it moved on, approaching the rear of the enemy's camp. Upon nearing the camp, after daylight, different stragglers were met going from the camp to the surrounding country, and all captured, so that no intimation was given to the enemy of our presence till the first gun was fired.

Colonel Sigel directed me to take the right flank, and the proceeded into the valley below the camp and opened fire of cannon upon it, I in the mean time moving t the edge of the bluff and opening fire with my carabines, for the purpose of distracting the attention of the enemy, being at too great a distance to do much execution. A few minutes before Colonel Sigel opened fire I heard the firing at the opposite end of the camp, and sent word to him that General Lyon was engaged. This was a little after 6 a. m. The enemy ran out of their camp, which was of cavalry, and contained the headquarters and tents of McCulloch and McIntosh. Colonel Sigel then took position on their camp ground, and I moved up along the bluff.

Up to this time I had observed wagons and horsemen moving off towards the west and going south along the Fayetteville road, the point where we struck the camp being in the valley below that road and probably 2 miles from where it crosses the creek. At this time I was about a mile from the main command, it being on the west side of the valley, while I on the bluff and higher up, when I observed a large body of cavalry forming and approaching the command. I immediately sent word to colonel Sigel, and retired myself, as it was getting between me and him. I was obliged to go back to the ford to get across the creek, and in the mean time the cavalry had formed to charge, and had been broken up by Colonel Sigel and put to flight, though their officers raved and stormed and tore their hair in trying to make their men advance.

When I reached Colonel Sigel again he told me he was going to advance, and to take my place on the left flank, which I did, keeping in line with the advance along the road. After advancing a short distance, I think to within about half a mile to the Fayeteville crossing, and over a mile from where we first engaged, the command encountered a concealed battery on or near the Fayetteville road, into which ours had forked. The action here was hot, and there was continual cannonading, with some firing of musketry, for I should think half an hour. I could see but little, being mostly in the timber to the left with my company, among which bullets, shot, and shell frequently struck, without, however,