Flag Meaning
Union Forces

In the South, Sigel was on the move



Sigel advances into cornfield Unable to organize effectively, fall back


When 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.


...We 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.


This 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.


This first artillery engagement at Sharp's farm lasted about 25 minutes,...


...Their officers raved and stormed and tore their hair in trying to make their men advance.


.... 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 in reserve.

Brothers       Karl Salamon


5th MO Infantry

Frederick Salamon


5th MO Infantry

1848/49 Revolution Refugees in the United States of America and General Officers of the Civil War

Most of 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.

Blue & Grey

Sigel, after passing through the deserted camp, posted his command on elevated ground, on each side of the Fayetteville road.


Mr. Sharp's house had been converted into a Confederate hospital, filled with surgeons and wounded soldiers.


We had considerable trouble in bringing our pieces in position on account of unarmed men from your line streaming towards us and were made prisoners.


Sigel....unlimbered and prepared for action, lighting linstocks and port-fires,.


Behind 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.


When 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.


The battery, 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.


Colonel 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.


The battery,our horses were soon all disabled. The guns were then run by hand.


...The 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.


The enemy 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.

Capt Hiram Bledsoe

MSG Artillery

photo courtesy of "Borderland Rebellion" by Elmo Ingenthron


...Bledsoe 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.


In order 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."


...The 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 south.


Armed men, mostly mounted, were seen moving on our right in the edge of the timber.


We could see how the enemy took his cannons to the hills. We could have prevented it easily, but had no orders.


He formed 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.

On Bloody Hill, the first Confederate attack winds down


7:30 am

Bloody Hill grows quiet Missouri State Guard pulls back from hill to re-group


We advanced 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 very sharply,...


Our men 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.

Blue & Grey

...I 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..."


My position was such that my men were partially and my horses entirely protected from direct musketry fire.


How long 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.


The company 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.


While 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.


Finally, 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.

Blue & Grey

....when the firing ceased as suddenly as if a flag of truce had appeared. The Missourians had evidently retired.


The enemy 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.

Major Peter Osterhaus

2nd Missouri

photo courtesy of "General Officers of the Civil War"

Under Letter to Editor Weekly Democrat

...The 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.


If I 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?"

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