I reached the battery I discovered an immense body of the enemy's cavalry
forming in a field about 700 yards in front of our position.
filed to the right, formed into line and there opened fire with 2 pieces,
the other 4 joining us while we were engaged (we waited some time for them)....A
lively cannonade was now opened against the dense masses of the hostile cavalry,
which lasted about twenty minutes.
battery opened on the Texans with canister in open field. I never saw such
scattering of shot as they bounded along, raising the dust. It beat any shot-gun
I ever saw.
first artillery engagement at Sharp's farm lasted about 25 minutes,...
officers raved and stormed and tore their hair in trying to make their men
and forced the enemy to retire in disorder toward the north and into the
woods.....We again resumed our march on the road mentioned until we suddenly
struck a number of cattle and making our way, filed into the Fayetteville
road. There, (at Sharp's farm) we formed again, with 2 pieces of artillery
in the centre, on the road, the 3d MO on the right and the 5th on the left,
the two cavalry companies on the extreme right and left and the other 4 pieces
Revolution Refugees in the United States of America and General Officers
of the Civil War
Sigel's German speaking troop's, referred to as "Dutch" by the enemy, were
recent emigrant's to the country, escaping the European Revolution of 1848.
after passing through the deserted camp, posted his command on elevated ground,
on each side of the Fayetteville road.
house had been converted into a Confederate hospital, filled with surgeons
and wounded soldiers.
considerable trouble in bringing our pieces in position on account of unarmed
men from your line streaming towards us and were made prisoners.
and prepared for action, lighting linstocks and port-fires,.
the artillery, and on the big road, were three or four hundred Rebel prisoners
who had been caught straggling about the camp,...In the rear of the prisoners
were the 5th Missouri Infantry....The ground we occupied was very wooded
and you could scarcely see ahead.
we had taken our position on the plateau near Sharp's, a cannonade was opened
by me against a part of the enemy's troops, evidently forming the left of
their line, confronting Lyon, as we could observe from the struggle going
on in that direction....which after a little while was returned by one of
your batteries, probably Bledsoe's.
Bledsoe's,...was unlimdered immediately and turned on the advancing
foe. After the Yanks got our range the first shot killed three horse and
tore one leg off a 15 year old boy rider.
Rosser, commanding the 1st Regiment and Fourth Battalion, with Captain Bledsoe's
artillery, being stationed on the extreme left, was attacked by Colonel Sigel's
battery, and his men exposed to a deadly fire for thirty minutes.
battery,our horses were soon all disabled. The guns were then run by
command encountered a concealed battery on or near the Fayetteville Road...The
action here was hot, and there was continual cannonading, with some firing
of musketry, for I should think half an hour.
soon found out our position with Bledsoe's Missouri Battery firing north
of Skeggs' branch, and our left flank, and Reed's battery, east of Wilson's
Creek, almost direct on our right flank, both firing, and against this latter
battery Col. Sigel ordered Lieut. Schaefer with two guns about one hundred
yards to our right. I was within two feet when Sigel gave the order and soon
these two guns opened and when schaefer returned to report that the order
had been executed, Sigel pounced upon him in a rage, "Who is firing there
on my right?" Lieut Schaefer got angry and said, "Why, Colonel Sigel, ten
minutes ago you ordered me to take two guns over there and open fire on Reed's
battery. Colonel Sigel with a rattled look in his face said, "Did I? Did
I? Well, bring them back here, I want them here." I as a young acting lieutenant
thought it was very strange of a commanding officer to dispose of one-third
of his artillery and in ten minutes forget all about it.
courtesy of "Borderland Rebellion" by Elmo Ingenthron
responded; but after a few shots he received orders to cease firing; as it
was then supposed it was friends firing upon him. He continued to respond,
when general mcculloch rode up in haste and ordered the firing stopped, telling
bledsoe they were confederates he was firing on. Bledsoe replied: "General,
I don't give a d--n who they are; they are shooting at me and I am going
to shoot at them.
to ascertain what troops were forming south of my position I sent two of
my staff members-Capt Tom Jefferson and Col. Emmet McDonald to find out.
Capt. Jefferson darted up to the troops near Sharp's house, and demanded
to know what command that was. A soldier covered him with his gun and demanded
his surrender. Jefferson replied: "I want no foolishness; Gen. Pearce sent
me here to find out what troops those are." The soldier replied: "Dismount
we are Federals, and you are my prisoner."
firing in the direction of northwest, which was during an hour's time roaring
in succession, had almost ceased entirely. I therefore thought that the attack
of General Lyon had been successful, and that his troops were in pursuit
of the enemy,...I therefore ordered the artillery (2 pieces) to cease
firing...saw troops moving on the hill to the east of us, from north and
men, mostly mounted, were seen moving on our right in the edge of the
see how the enemy took his cannons to the hills. We could have prevented
it easily, but had no orders.
his two infantry battalions in column closed in mass across the telegraph
road in front of sharp's house, sandwiching his six guns between the two
infantry columns, fronting towards Springfield his bare left flank resting
on the edge of the bluff descending to Skeggs' Branch. Here a mortal hour
was spent by Col. Sigel in absolute idleness.
Hill, the first Confederate attack winds down
Hill grows quiet
State Guard pulls back from hill to re-group
up the hill according to orders, but had not gone far when we were surprised
by receiving a discharge from Totten's artillery and two regiments of Regular
infantry. The former were covered with brush, and the latter lying down.
All of us instantly fell to the ground as commanded, and returned the fire
retreated at a slow walk, firing. They now advanced all their reserves on
its side. The day seemed lost. My battery was turned on their exposed flank.
The little band rallied for one more effort for the old flag, and again we
drove them back with great slaughter....The enemy could never be coaxed into
this valley again during the fight.
met one of DuBois' men whom I knew, returning to his battery loaded with
canteens of water,..."We are firing away as fast as we can load, though nothing
can be seen but trees..."
was such that my men were partially and my horses entirely protected from
direct musketry fire.
it lasted I do not know. It might have been an hour; it seemed like a week;
it was probably twenty minutes. Every man was shooting as fast, on our side,
as he could load, and yelling as loud as his breath would permit. Most were
on the ground, some on one knee.
in which I was in was placed directly behind the battery(Totten's). I have
read descriptions of battles of intense firing of infantry and batteries,
and I have tried to imagine the rapidity and effect but never was all this
equaled by the perfect shower of bullets that fell around and flew over us.
I cannot compare the immense number of bullets only by thinking that a handful
of beans throwed against a window would somewhat resemble.
retiring down the slope in the direction of your (Price) position, a regiment
of the enemy's infantry, which had been supposed to be our friends, rushed
out of the underbrush to the left of my rear and about forty yards distant,
sending down a heavy volley of musketry upon us.
the field was so covered with smoke that not much could be known as to what
was going on. The day was clear and hot. As the smoke grew denser, we stood
up and kept up inching forward, as we fired, and probably went forward in
this way about twenty-five yards. We noticed less noise in front of us, and
only heard the occasional boom of a gun. The wind, a very light breeze, was
in our favor, blowing very gently over us upon the enemy.
the firing ceased as suddenly as if a flag of truce had appeared. The Missourians
had evidently retired.
stopped advancing. We had paper cartridges, and in loading we had to bite
off the end, and every man had a big quid of paper in his mouth, from which
down his chin ran the dissolved gunpowder.
courtesy of "General Officers of the Civil War"
Letter to Editor
gallant Missouri First, supported by Totten's Battery, with Maj. Osterhaus'
battalion on the right, attack the enemy in front and the battle is fairly
open....An order was sent to the rear for more infantry, and the First Kansas,
with a shout of exultation at the thought, rush to the fight, but before
they reach the ground the First Missouri has received and driven back three
successive charges from thrice their numbers, and now their thinned ranks
bend and sway before the terrible storm of bullets and missiles that for
so long had assailed them in vain. They begin to give way and the first kansas
take their places. Manfully they come up to the work, but the shower of bullets
is terrific and for a moment they fall back upon the First Iowa, and this
brave corps came forward in order and with a firm and determination to do
their best. They arrived just in time for the enemy was growing sick of this
thing - a steady fire of a few minutes ensues and the stricken rebels flee
in hot haste.
could still hope for a vigorous attack...On the enemy's flank or rear, then
we could go forward with some hope of success....The great question was,
"Where is Sigel?"