Today in History:

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

Page 187 Chapter X. SIEGE OF LEXINGTON, MO.

regiment and Colonel Hughes' along the river bank to a point immediately beneath and west of the fortifications, General McBride's command and a portion of Colonel [General] Harris' having been ordered to re-enforce him. Colonel Rives, in order to cut off the enemy's means of escape, proceeded down the bank of the river to capture a steamboat which was eying just under their guns. Just at this moment a heavy fire was opened upon him from Colonel Anderson's large dwelling-house on the summit of the bluffs, which the enemy wee occupying as a hospital, and upon which a white flag was flying. Several companies of General Harris' commandant the gallant soldier of the Fourth Division, who have won upon so many battle-fields the proud distinction of always being among the bravest of the brave, immediately rushed upon and took the place. The important position thus secured was within 125 yards of the enemy's entrenchments. A company from Colonel Hughes' regiment then took possession of the boats, one of which was richly freighted with valuable stores.

General McBride's and General Harris' division meanwhile gallantly stormed and occupied the bluffs immediately north of Anderson's house. The possession of these heights enabled our men to harass the enemy so greatly that, resolving to regain them, they made upon the house successful assault, and one which would have been honorable to them had it not been accompanied by an act of savage barbarity-the cold blooded and cowardly murder of three defenseless men, who had laid down their arms and surrendered themselves as prisoners.

The position thus retaken by the enemy was soon regained by the brave men who had been driven from it, and was thence forward held by them to the very end of the contest. The height to the left of Anderson's house, which had been taken, as before stated by Generals McBride and Harris, and by part of Steele's command, under Colonel Boyd and Major Winston, wee rudely fortified by our soldiers, who threw up breastworks as well as they could with their slender means.

On the morning of the 20th instant I caused a number of hemp bales to be transported to the river height, where movable breastworks were speedily constructed out of them by Generals Harris and McBride, Colonel Rives and Major Winston, and their respective commands. Captain Kelly's battery (attached to General Steele's division) was force, and quickly opened a very effective fire, under the direction of its gallant captain, upon the enemy. These demonstrations, and particularly the continued advance of the hempen breastworks, which wee as efficient as the cotton bales at New Orleans, quickly attracted the attention and excited the alarm of the enemy, who made many daring attempts to drive us back. They were, however, repulsed in every instance by the unflinching courage and fixed determination of our men.

In these desperate encounters the veterans of Mcbride's can Slack's divisions fully sustained their proud reputation, while Colonel Martin Green and his command, and Colonel Boyd and Major Winston and their commands, proved themselves worthy to fight by the side of the men who had be their courage and valor won imperishable honor in the bloody battle of Springfield.

After 2 o'clock in the afternoon of the 20th, and after fifty-two hours of continuous firing, a white flag was displayed by the enemy on that part of the works nearest to Colonel Green's position, and shortly afterwards another was displayed opposite to Colonel Rives'. I immediately ordered a cessation of all firing on our part, and sent forward one of my staff officers to ascertain the object of the flag and to open negotiations

Page 187 Chapter X. SIEGE OF LEXINGTON, MO.