Today in History:

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

Page 186 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter X.

coupled with the fact that my men had been fasting for more than twenty-four hours, constrained me to abandon the idea of pursuing the enemy that day. My infantry and artillery having come up, we encamped at Warrensburg, whose citizens vied with each other in feeding my almost famished soldiers.

An unusually violent storm delayed our march the next morning [September 12] until about 10 o'clock. We then pushed forward rapidly, still hoping to overtake the enemy. Finding it impossible to do this with my infantry, I again ordered a detachment to move forward, and placing myself at their head, continued the pursuit to within two and a half miles of Lexington, when, having learned that the enemy were already within town, and it being late and my men fatigued by a forced march and utterly without provisions, I halted for the night.

About daybreak the next morning [September 13] a sharp skirmish took place between our pickets and the enemy's outposts. This threatened to become general. Being unwilling, however, to risk a doubtful engagement,when a short delay would make success certain, I fell back 2 or 3 miles and awaited the arrival of my infantry and artillery. These having come up, we advanced upon the town, driving the enemy's pickets until we came within a short distance of the city itself. Here the enemy attempted to make a stand, but they were speedily driven from every position and forced to take shelter within their entrenchments. We then took position within easy range of the college, which building they had strongly fortified, and opened upon them a brisk fire from Bledsoe's battery, which, in the absence of Captain Bledsoe, who had been wounded at Big Dry Wood, was gallantly commanded by Captain Emmett MacDonald, and by Parsons' battery, under the skillful command of Captain Guibor.

finding, after sunset, that our ammunition, the most of which had been left behind on the march from Sprinfield, was nearly exhausted, and that my men, thousands of who had not eastern a particle in thirty-six hours, required rest and food, I withdraw to the fair ground and encamped there. My ammunition wagons having been at last brought up, and large re-enforcements having been received, I again moved into town on Wednesday, the 18th instant, and began the final attack on the enemy's works.

Brigadier-General Rains' division occupied a strong position on the east and northeast of the fortifications, from which an effective cannonading was kept up on the enemy by Bledsoe's battery, under command, except on the last day, of Captain Emmett MacDonald, and another battery, commanded by Captain Churchill Clark, of Saint Louis. Both these gentlemen, and the men and officers under their command, are deservedly commended in accompanying report of Brigadier-General Rains. General Parsons took a position southwest of the works, whence his battery under command of Captain Guibor, poured a steady fire into the enemy. Skirmishers and sharpshooters were also sent forward from both of these divisions to harass and fatigue the enemy, and to cut them of from the water on the north, east, and south of the college, and did inestimable service in the accomplishment of these purposes.

Colonel Congreve Jackson's division and a part of General Steele's wee posted near Generals Rains' and Parsons' are a reserve, but no occasion occurred to call them into action. They were, however, at all times vigilant and ready to rush upon the enemy.

Shortly after entering the city on the 18th Colonel Rives, who commanded the Fourth Division in the absence of General Slack, led his

Page 186 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter X.