Today in History:

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

Page 90 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter X.

killing a man. At the time many were in doubt if it were not our own troops firing upon us.

At about 10 o'clock one of my corporals told me that one of Colonel Sigel's staff officers had brought an order to retreat, and as all the troops in sight were retreating I did so too, bringing up the rear. After retiring about one and a half miles, during which we were fired on from a bushy hill-side by a body of men whom I repulsed, but who caused the loss of one of our remaining guns by killing a wheel-horse, I sw Colonel Sigel at the spring where we camped the first night when returning from Dug Springs. It was then decided to move south on the Fayetteville road till we could go out and circle round the enemy towards Springfield. We then had my company, 56 men, about 150 infantry, badly demoralized, one piece, and two caissons.

After retiring about one and a half miles, a large body of cavalry was discovered in front of us, and I was sent to the font, where I observed a column of horse of at least a quarter of a mile in length moving towards the south on our right and filing into the road in front. I watched them for a few moments, when Colonel Sigel sent me word to take the first left-hand, which luckily happened to be just at that point. While retreating along this road, Colonel sigel asked me to march slowly, so that the infantry could keep up. I urged upon him that the enemy would try to cut us off in crossing Wilson's Creek, and that the infantry and artillery should at least march as fast as the ordinary walk of my horses. He assented, and told me to go on, which I did at a walk, and upon arriving at a creek I was much surprised and pained to find that he was not up. As, however, I observed a great dust coming from the enemy's camp, which was not far off, I concluded that it was no time for delay, and moved on, after watering my horses, till I arrived at a spot where I through I could venture to halt and wait for Colonel Sigel, which I did for some time, and then pursued my march to Springfield. It turned out that the colonel was ambulances, as I anticipated, his whole party broken up, and that he himself narrowly escaped.

It is a subject of regret with me to have left him behind, but I supposed all the time that he was close behind me till I got to the creek, and it would have done no good for my company to have been cut to pieces also. As it was, four of my men lost who had been placed in rear of his infantry.*

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


Captain, First Cavalry.


Numbers 15. Report of Second Lieutenant Charles E. Farrand, First U. S. Infantry.

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

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that on the evening of the 9th of August I received verbal orders from General Lyon to report with my company for duty to Colonel Sigel. I reported to the latter at 6 o'clock that evening, and by his order formed with my company the rear guard of his column, which immediately proceeded towards the


* See return of casualties on p. 72.


Page 90 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter X.