Today in History:

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


near the ford in the road, we were again fired on, wounding several and shooting my horse, and I then accompanied the regiment on foot. Nothing more occurred (the battery of the enemy having been taken by the right wing before we reached it) worthy of notice except the wounding of three of our men by the accidental discharge of a musket by one of the Morehouse Fencibles.



Major, Third Regiment Louisiana Volunteers.

Colonel L. HEBERT, Third Regiment Louisiana Volunteers.

Numbers 29. Report of Captain John P. Vigilini, Third Louisiana Infantry.

Camp Jackson, Ark., September 7, 1861.

DEAR SIR: To you, as former captain of the brave company I now have the honor to command, I deem it my duty to acquaint you of the part taken by the Pelican Rifles in the capture of Sigel's battery at the battle of Oak Hills:

General McCulloch, finding that Colonel Sigel had placed his batteries in a position where they were doing terrible execution in the ranks of the Arkansas and Missouri troops, who were attacking Lyon's forces and Totten's battery, determined that it must be taken. Accordingly he ordered the Louisiana regiment to do so, he leading us in person. We started with about 300 men, the regiment having been much scattered in the first fight in the woods and two companies being with you, fighting the cavalry under Major Sturgis,, on the left of Totten. The Pelican Rifles and Iberville Greys, under my command, were on the right, and thus marched until we were within thirty or forty yards of the battery, which was on a steep hill. When within the above-named distance a man appeared on the edge of the hill. The general then ordered us to halt, and asked the man whose forces those were. He replied, "Sigel's regiment," at the same time raising his rifle to shoot, but ere he had time to execute his design the sharp crack of a Mississippi rifle carried a messenger of death to him, and thus to Corporal Henry Gentles, of my company, belongs the honor of having saved the general's life. The general then turned to me and said, "Captain, take your company up and give them h-l." I then ordered my company forward, and was followed by the remainder of the regiment.

When near the top of the hill I ordered a halt, and went up to see the position of the enemy, and was followed by your son, Serg. William H. Tunnard. I was much surprised to find myself in front of and about fifteen feet of the battery. I asked them who they were, when your son answered and said, "Look at their Dutch faces." We immediately fell back, and they fired two guns over us; the shot from one, as I afterwards learned, struck your horse as you were leading the left to our support. I then ordered, "Fire, when all fired and charged the battery, the enemy falling back and retreating into a corn field, where they were followed by our men and shot down as they attempted to escape. We then returned to the battery we had taken and found the guns all in good order. A fire from Reid's battery (which was ours)