Today in History:

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


Numbers 35. Report of Colonel Tom. P. Dockery, Fifth Arkansas Infantry.

Camp Wilson's Creek, Mo., August 11, 1861.

SIR: In conformity with military usage, I respectfully submit the following as a chronic of the memorable occurrences of yesterday:

About sunrise an attack was commenced on Churchill's regiment, which was posted below my command and on the opposite side of the creek, about 1 mile distant. Simultaneously an attack was made on the opposite side of the encampment of the main army. Instantly on the alarm being given my regiment was ordered into line, which order was promptly obeyed. Reid's battery of artillery had been posted on the height southeast of our encampment, and the Fifth Regiment of Arkansas Volunteers was ordered to occupy the height as a guard for the battery. We remained in that position about two hours, and there being no indications of an attack from the direction of the position in which Churchill's regiment had been posted, Captains Titsworth's, Dismukes', Neal's, Dowd's, Whaling's, and Lawrence's companies, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Neal, were ordered to support the Third Regiment of Louisiana Volunteers and the Third Regiment of Arkansas Volunteers, which had been exposed to a wasting fire from the main body of the enemy (who were posted on an eminence of the west of our encampment) from the commencement of the attack. Lieutenant-Colonel Neal moved promptly forward, and while gallantly leading the charge he fell severely wounded. I immediately took command of the battalion and led them on to the attack.

I must, in justice to my own feelings, say that Captains Titsworth, Dismukes, Neal, Dowd, Whaling, and Lawrence, and the commissioned officers and privates under their command, demeaned themselves with such gallantry, and made such splendid exhibitions of courage, that while their conduct executed my admiration, I cannot repress an expression of my commendation of their coolness and firmness. Each man did his whole duty, and although fully exposed for fifteen or twenty minutes to a most deadly fire from the enemy, no man, so far as my observation went, wavered, blanched, or quailed, but poured volley after volley into the ranks of the enemy, which soon fell back and commenced a retreat from the field, leaving it covered with their dead and wounded. Captains Hartzig's, Arnold's, McKean's, and Hutchinson's companies were detailed, after Reid's battery had been moved to a different position, to act as skirmishers, and continued in that service until the engagement was over. It would be injustice not to make some mention of the highly creditable manner in which these gentlemen deported themselves. Each one obeyed with alacrity and promptness the orders he received, and the men in their respective commands are entitled to all praise for their bravery and coolness in the face of danger.

From the reports submitted by the different captains in my command I find our loss to be 3 killed and 11 wounded.

Congratulatory you on the result of yesterday's battle, I am, yours, very respectfully,


Colonel, Commanding Fifth Regiment Arkansas Volunteers.

Brigadier General N. B. PEARCE.