Flag Meaning
Union Forces

Third Attack Begins


11:05 am

Combined Confederate Forces Attack Union Army on Bloody Hill for 3rd time

courtesy Kansas State

Historical Society

Maj William F Cloud

2nd Kansas Infantry


Capt. Chenoweth, who happened to be near us, of the 1st Kansas , saw the position of affairs, and called for a battery, to rake them as they came up. Capt. Totten at length consented to send two pieces, under command of a Lieutenant. The pieces were planted, and the lieutenant left immediately, leaving only a sergeant and a few privates to work them. Major Cloud took charge of them, and they fired some ten or twelve shots into the advancing foe, with fearful effect. Still they advanced, and soon opened upon us one of the most terrible fires I had heard during the day.

(After this battle - the motto for the reorganized Kansas 2nd became "when Cloud approaches, look out for a storm")


.....and at a few minutes past 11 o'clock a.M., being six hours after I heard the first shot, I saw them in three columns emerge from the timber

Snead (Price to Gratiot regiment)

..." You will soon be in a pretty hot place, men! But I will be near you, and will take care of you; keep as cool as the inside of a cucumber and give them thunder." Turning to Gratiot he said: "That's your position, Colonel; take it and hold it whatever you do. I will see that you are not too hard pressed. Don't yield an inch. Gratiot moved, on the instant, towards the position which the General had indicated.

"Don't Yield an Inch" painted by Ozarks artist Andy  Thomas.
A limited edition can be purchased at General Sweeney's Civil War Museum


...(Pearce) gave orders for my regiment to move on to the scene of action and attack a battery and a large force then forming on the north side of Wilson's Creek, on the ridge, and in the woods. I proceeded to execute the order under a heavy fire of shot and shell from the enemy's batteries, crossed the creek, and marched up the ridge by a flank movement and in column of fours. I advanced until we came near the enemy. We then faced toward them, and marched in line of battle about fifty paces, when we were attacked by a a large force of the enemy in front and on the left flank...


My men were eager to go forward, and when I led the 3rd Arkansas Infantry (Colonel Gratiot) and the right wing of the 5th Arkansas Infantry (Lieutenant-Colonel Neal) across the creek, and pushed rapidly up the hill in the face of the enemy, loud cheers went up from our expectant friends...

(Lt Col Joseph L Neal would die in this final charge)


...There was an American flag discovered in the brush quite a distance down the hill.


The rebels....planted a flag about two hundred yards in front of and brought a battery up on a point to the left front of us...opened on us with grape and canister.


Gen McCulloch.....would cooly ride up in full view of the enemy lines and carefully examine their positions, then galloping away we would soon see a battery planted there...

Spfld Patriot

Suddenly a battery on the hill in our front began to pour upon us shrapnel and canister, species of projectiles the Confederates had not used before, and at the same time the enemy showed his true colors, and commenced along our entire line the fiercest and most bloody engagement of the day.

Capt John Griffith

Co E 3rd Ark

Under Col Gratiot

Pvt Benjamin Griffith

Co E 3rd Ark

Younger brother to John

Photo's courtesy of Kenneth E Byrd


Steadily the Rebel line advanced, and as soon as it reached the open ground in front, Totten's Battery spoke with no uncertain sound, and DuBois' immediately followed. About the same time a Rebel battery away in the rear opened on the second kansas with shell which tore through the tops of the scrub oak-trees over our heads.

One Who Was There

There is a peculiarity in this firing to the experienced ear of Capt. Totten, and he ordered a pause in the firing of the guns. He thinks that Sigel may have mistaken us for the confederates; but a long look through his glass seems to satisfy him, and the cannonade is renewed.


The enemy now attacked us...The woods were full of them and such a shower of bullets as they sent at us was only like a hail storm. But they got as good as they sent us;...

Blue and Gray

They came on with the true "Rebel yell," a battle-cry so distinct from our own that, in the long line of conflicts from Bull Run to Selma, it suffered no variations and always enabled our reserves and the cavalry on our flanks to name the uniform of the charging battalions.


Our battery...calling upon the 2nd not to allow their guns to be taken, receiving in return the promise of the boys that they would stay with them.

Capt David Berry


Photo courtesy of Wilson's Creek National Battlefield

Blue and Gray

....The enemy seemed organized for victory, and came so near our line that DuBois abandoned his guns and ordered his men to draw their revolvers.


The 2nd Kansas was armed with an old flint lock musket, changed to a percussion-cap gun, using an ounce ball with three buck shot. This gun was not a very bad gun for close range, but worthless, except at close quarters.


Our column, as it passed the brow of the hill, struck the Federal left in the shape of a V. Firing commenced. Our forces faced to the right and moved to the brow of the hill and firing followed all along the line.


About this time a man thirty feet to my right dropped his gun, ran forward, and turning to the left in a circle, passed through our company. He threw himself on the ground a few feet in the rear, tore loose his clothing in front, and began patting his stomach with both hands, saying to the three or four who went to his assistance: "Boys, tell my father I died fighting for my country. Hurrah for Jeff Davis-." "Get up, you aren't hurt," said the nearest man, who, bending over him had picked out the bullet, which had flattened to the size of a silver dollar, and penetrated just far enough to keep its place until loosened by a slight movement of the finger. After that if you didn't want a fight on your hands, you had to be careful where you said, "Boys, tell my father."


...Along came a man in a Union Lieutenant's uniform inquiring for his regiment,- he was lost; we of course did not know where his regiment was; I was near the end of our company line; he pulled out a long plug of chewing-tobacco, thin and black; I grabbed it and bit off a chew; the man next to me wanted a chew; I handed it to him; then it went to the next, and so one down the line; the Lieutenant followed it for a while and then gave up and passed on, leaving the remnant of the plug with the company. Every man that took a chew first blew out a big wad of cartridge-paper blackened with gunpowder, which he had bitten off in loading.

Pvt Ras Stirman

Col Gratiot's Arkansas Regiment

Photo courtesy of "In Fine Spirits - The Civil War Letters of Ras Stirman with historical comments by Pat Carr" published by Washington County  Historical Society Fayetteville, AR


They march our regiment up a slant right in the face of a battery and a large body of infantry. They were lying down in the brush and grass until we were within one hundred yards of them, then they opened up on us bringing us down like sheep, but we never waved. We did not wait for orders to fire but all of us cut loose at them like wild men, then we dropped to our knees and loaded and shot as fast as we could. We had to shoot by guess as they were upon the hill lying in the grass.


(Lt Haskins) seeing some of his men bunched behind a tree, he rushed to them to scatter them, but too late. His last words were: "Scatter, boys; you are making a target for their cannon." These words had barely passed his lips when a cannon ball was thrown into the bunch, clipping off the heads of John K. Wells and Ike Terrell, two of our best soldiers, and tearing away one of Haskin's shoulders, exposing the last heartbeat of this brave, mysterious, and unknown soldier.


First Lieutenant John B. Haskins, of the Callaway Guards,... while giving an order,...His right side to the enemy, his sword held aloft, a cannon ball struck him below the armpit and nearly cut him in two. The same missile decapitated Isaac Terrill who, in the act of firing had one knee on the ground, and wounded three men, one very severely.

Capt Daniel Reynolds

1st AR Mtd Rifles

Photo courtesy of SCV camp #197 Little Rock, AR and the Arkansas Historical Commission


Lieut. Walton, of the Fort Smith Rifles, fell in making a charge, being in front of his men, encouraging them on the enemy. Six of his brave soldiers fell close to him. One, a little Frenchman by the name of Henry Goodeheaux, had his under jaw shot off, by a grape shot, still fought on, loading and firing three or four times, till he fell dead.

"M" under letter by Kansas Troops

Around us lay scattered the dead, and from different directions, wounded men were hobbling in, or being carried on the shoulders of comrades, some horribly mangled, and covered with blood, and others gasping their last breath.


...The enemy had greatly the advantage, having a battery of five guns planted on our left, raking our regiment by the flank every shot,...


Our drill had given us more than one advantage: in the first place, not much of us could be seen by an advancing regiment while we lay on the ground; we were sort of an unknown quantity, and could only be guessed at. Second, we could take a rest and deadly aim and pour in a terrific volley while lying on the ground...Third, when they began to fire we rose on one knee; the air was soon full of smoke, and while they always shot over our heads we could see them under the cloud of smoke.


...They came so near (the Confederates) that the old shot guns and other indifferent weapons of the latter could be used with the same deadly effect as (our) minnie muskets.


They took a vare crack at us as we were marching on them and the balls fell as thick as hail all around us. Several men fell around me...

 MO    KS    IA    

 MO     AR    LA    TX  

Return to Index To Next Page

Copyright © 2000-2010 David Long

All Rights Reserved