Today in History:

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

Page 100 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter X.

ordered. Our men were consequently kept under arms till towards daybreak, expecting momentarily an order to march.

The morning of Saturday, August 10, found them still encamped at Wilson's Creek, fatigued by a night's watching and loss of rest.

About 6 o'clock I received a messenger [message] from General Rains that the enemy were advancing in great force from the direction of Springfield, and were already within 200 or 300 yards of the position, where he was encamped with the Second Brigade of his division, consisting of about 1,200 mounted men, under Colonel Cawthorn. A second messenger came immediately afterwards from General rains to announce that the main body of the enemy was upon him, but that he would endeavor to hold him in check until he could receive re-enforcements. General McCulloch was with me these messengers came, and left at once for his own headquarters to make the necessary disposition of our forces. I rode forward instantly towards General Rains' position, at the same time ordering Generals Slack, McBride, Clark, and Parsons to move their infantry and artillery rapidly forward. I had ridden but a few hundred yards when I came suddenly upon the main body of the enemy, commanded by General Lyon in person. The enemy and artillery, which I had ordered to follow me, came up immediately, to the number of 2,036 men, and engaged the enemy.

A severe and bloody conflict ensued, my officers and men behaving with the greatest bravery, and with the assistance of a portion of the Confederate forces successfully holding the enemy in check. Meanwhile, and almost simultaneously with the opening of the enemy's batteries in this quarter, a heavy cannonading was opened upon the rear of our position, where a large body of the enemy, under Colonel Sigel, had taken position in close proximity to Colonel Churchill's regiment, Colonel Greer's Texan Rangers, and 679 mounted Missourians, under command of Colonel Brown and Lieutenant-Colonel Major. The action now became general, and was conducted with the greatest gallantry and vigor on both sides for more than five hours, when the enemy retreated in great confusion, leaving their commander-in-chief, General Lyon, dead upon the battle-field, over 500 killed, and a great number wounded.

the forces under my command have possession of three 12-pounder howitzers, two brass 6-pounders, and a great quantity of small-arms and ammunition taken from the enemy; also the standard of Sigel's regiment, captured by Captain Staples. They have also a large number of prisoners.

The brilliant victory thus achieved upon this hard-fought field was won only by the most determined bravery and distinguished gallantry of the combined armies, which fought nobly side by side in defense of their common rights and liberties with as much courage and constancy as were ever exhibited upon any battle-field.

Where all behaved so well it is invidious to make any distinction, but I cannot refrain from expressing my since of the splendid services rendered under my own eves by the Arkansas infantry, under General Pearce; the Louisiana regiment of Colonel Hebert, and Colonel Churchill's regiment of mounted riflemen. These gallant officers and their brave soldiers won upon that day the lasting gratitude of every true Missourian.

This great victory was dearly brought by the blood of many a skillful officer and brave man.

Others will report the losses sustained by the Confederate forces. I shall willingly confine myself to the losses within my own army.

Page 100 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter X.