McCulloch....ordered us to Price's relief. We marched along the Springfield
Road, down a hill....crossed a small stream, and, coming out into the open
near a log house (afterwards used as a hospital), we were fronted into line,
ordered to fix bayonets, and reserve our fire. We were then ordered at
were ordered to proceed to the right of Woodruff's Battery. As we passed
the battery we saw it had got into position, and the artillerymen bringing
water from the creek to fill their sponge-buckets and prepare for
a Federal regiment, uniformed in gray, advancing in fine order....having
an excellent opportunity to enfilade it....We opened on it with the effect
of breaking...and scattering it its full length...
the creek, which was not very far, perhaps about a third of a mile, a battery
of artillery made a specialty of our ranks, opening out thunderously. We
all lay down on the ground, and for some time the shells, round shot and
canister were playing closely over our heads. Some few of the canister fell
into our ranks. They were coarse cast-iron balls, about an inch and a half
in diameter. Where they struck in the ground the boys hunted for them with
their hands. The shells were shrapnels, being filled with leaden balls run
together with sulphur. Our company did not have much to do for a while in
the way of shooting....
position of the enemy's guns was masked, the gunners of my pieces were obliged
to give direction to their pieces by the flash and the smoke of the opposing
to be known as
the first time I was ever under artillery fire, and I was so frightened that
I couldn't move for a minute or so, and when I did go back the boys asked
me if I had seen a ghost."
well-directed galling fire of Woodruff's Battery checked the Federal
greatly assisted from the beginning by Woodruff, who had with true soldierly
instinct thrown his pieces into battery on the bluff east of the ford, at
the first sound of Totten's guns, and opened upon Lyon a fire, which checked
his advance and gave the Missourians time to reach Cawthorn's position and
form their line of battle there.
halted...and there lost his opportunity for success...For it gave our men
time to recover from their surprise, to rally and form and fall upon
battery was the same that was commanded by Captain Bragg at the battle of
Buena Vista; and it was fighting Captain Totten of the same battery, who
deserted the Southern cause in May, 1861. Here were two captains, who had
stood side by side and worked the same guns, on many a hard-fought field,
occupying opposite heights, and fighting each other with all the energy they
and ammunition was the property of the Federal government...
Little Rock Battery...The guns of this battery...were some of the identical
pieces commanded by Capt. Braxton Bragg at Buena Vista, at the time Gen.
Taylor rode up to him and delivered that memorable speech, beautiful for
its brevity and impressiveness, "A little more grape, Capt. Bragg."
concentration of fire began in our neighborhood near the cannon. The duel
was very interesting...
explosions of the artillery became one continuous roar that only now and
then was broken enough to distinguish the sound of single guns.
Weaver...received the death wound by a cannonball while sighting his
courtesy The Civil War in Arkansas
had been serving a gun of his section in person, rather than entrust the
duty to others. The performance of such a duty is exhausting labor. He had
just arisen from the act of directing a piece, and steeped aside from the
gun...when a shell struck him on the right breast and shoulder, inflicting
a ghastly wound....Cook at once went to Weaver's side, but seeing that he
could not do anything for him, stepped back to his post and resumed his duties
as cooly, as though nothing had happened. Weaver remarked to those around
him "it is all up with me." He was then carried to a place of shelter....On
being placed upon a pallet, the heroic youth, dying in the morning of
life....uttered no complaint, gave vent to no murmur...Turning his eyes to
the faces of his friends, he merely said with grave distinctness "Return
to your posts", then pressing the hand of lt Brown, he added to him a last
whisper "Louis, remember your promise."
and Lt Brown had promised each other, that if the other fell in battle, the
living would see the other was buried at home. True to his word, Lt Brown
and Pvt George Merrick took the body of 24 year old Omar Weaver home to his
family in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he was interred)
little while two pieces of artillery were run up on the ridge between our
company and the company on the right.
battery or section of the enemy observed my movement, and opened fire on
us. We were able to answer the enemy's third or fourth shot.
we saw the puff of the artillery we dodged and went down flat, and in the
course of fifteen minutes gained so much confidence that we felt no hesitation
in walking around and seeing what we could see, knowing that we could dodge
the artillery ammunition....We could see the shells in the air when they
were coming toward us, and calculate their routes.
Co F 2nd
courtesy of "Borderland Rebellion" by Elmo Ingenthron
cannonade with the hostile battery was continued half an hour or more, with
the double purpose of checking it and for the effect on his infantry lines
note - before the war, William Woodruff Jr had learned artillery in Little
Rock, Arkansas from Battery Commander....James E Totten. Totten cast
his lot with the Union, abandoning his guns in Little Rock. It was thee guns,
and his former friends that he now faced in battle)
the large roan artillery horses was standing back of the gun and over the
crest of the hill. A shell from the battery in front of us struck this horse
somehow and tore off his shoulder. Then began the most horrible screams and
neighing I ever heard. I have since that time seen wounded horses, and heard
their frantic shrieks, and so have all the other soldiers, but the voice
of this roan horse was the limit; it was so absolutely blood-curdling that
it had to be put to an end immediately. One of the soldiers shot the horse
through the heart.
Blue and Gray
and the horses were long associated together, and the latter were regarded
as pets, somewhat after the fashion of those attached to the fire-engines
in our large cities. While the cannon were at work the horses were sheltered
in rear of the high ground,....
"M" under letters by
moved over a hill which brought a part of the enemy's camp in full view,
the fierce rattle of musketry to our left, in a cornfield, told us that the
engagement was becoming more general.