Page images
PDF
EPUB

to share the fate of Curtius, and devote themselves to the salvation of their country. It is proposed, that all who are willing to make this sacrifice, shall arm themselves with a sword, two far-shooters, and

a carbine each; and meet, on horseback, at some

place to be designated, convenient for the great work in hand. Fire and sword must be carried to the houses of those who are visiting these blessings upon their neighbours. Philadelphia, and even New York, is not beyond the reach of a long and brave arm. The moral people of those cities cannot be better taught the virtues of invasion than by the blazing light of their own dwellings.

"None need apply for admission to the 'Devoted Band,' but those who are prepared to take their life in their hand, and who would indulge not the least expectation of ever returning. They dedicate their lives to the destruction of the enemies of their country."

On the 25th of the month, Fort Fillmore, New Mexico, was surrendered to the confederate government, by Major Lynde, of the United States' army, and the officers and men under his command. The whole of the stores and munitions of war were given up: the men were released on parole.

By the 1st of August, General Rosencranz reported Western Virginia to be entirely cleared of armed bodies of confederates. On the 5th of the same month, the declaration of independence of the state of Missouri, was proclaimed by Governor C. F. Jackson, who, thereupon, called for 50,000 volunteers. At the time this proclamation was issued, there was no military organisation of any kind in the state, nor had there been a militia muster for more than fifteen years. The state was entirely without arms, and without ammunition; "and, in this condition, with a noble enthusiasm, and a gallantry that put to the blush the poor excuse of helplessness (offered, in the early part of the struggle, by Maryland, to excuse a cringing submission to tyranny, and a despicable fear of consequences), the state of Missouri resolved alone, and unaided, if need be, to confront and resist the despotic rule of the federal government, and to fight it to the issue of liberty or death."

The progress of the war in Missouri was in favour of the south. On the 6th of July, General Price arrived at Carthage, accompanied by Brigadier-general M-Culloch and Major-general Pierce, of the Arkansas state forces; bringing with them about 2,000 men, whose arrival was welcomed with joy by the Missourians in camp. On the following day, the force, under the respective commands, proceeded en route for

the Indian territory. The federal generals, instead of forcing a battle, had determined to form a junction at Springfield-thus inadvertently leaving the confederate troops opportunity for organisation. While at Cowskin Prairie, General Price received considerable reinforcements, making the numerical strength of his force about 10,000; but more than one-half of the number were without arms. Nevertheless, the confederate generals decided to march upon Springfield, and attack and rout the enemy in his position. To that end their forces were concentrated at Capville, in Barry County, from whence they proceeded in the direction of Springfield, ninety miles. distant, General M'Culloch leading the advance.

On arriving at Cane Creek, the general received information that the federals had left Springfield, and were advancing upon him in great force, their vanguard being already within seven miles of him. After two or three days' skirmishing by the pickets of the respective forces, the immense superiority of the enemy induced General M'Culloch to propose a retrograde movement, as he looked upon the unarmed men as incumbrances, and deemed the undisciplined condition of both wings of the army likely to produce disastrous consequences in the event of an engagement. This view of the case did not, however, accord with the opinion of General Price, who wished for an immediate advance; and being supported in his opinion by his officers, a fight was resolved on, General M'Culloch being requested to lend arms from his command for such of the Missouri troops as were unprovided with them; but this requisition he declined acceding to. In the course of the same evening M'Culloch received a general order from General Polk, commander of the south-western division of the confederate army, to advance upon the enemy in Missouri. He accordingly held another consultation with the officers of the two divisions, and offered at once to march upon the troops from Springfield, provided he had the chief command of the force. this exigency the conduct of General Price was beyond all praise. He replied that he was not fighting for distinction, but for the defence of the liberties of his countrymen, and it was indifferent to him what position he occupied so that the end was accomplished. He said he was ready to surrender, not

sacrifice to the cause for which he was in arms; and with a magnanimity of which history preserves but few examples, he turned over the command to General M'Culloch, and took a subordinate position in a contest which he felt sure would end in triumph to the confederate flag.

General M'Culloch, on assuming the command, issued a general order that all the unarmed men should remain in camp, and that all such as had arms, should get their guns in condition for service, provide themselves with fifty rounds of ammunition, and be in readiness to march at twelve o'clock that night. The army was divided into three columns: the first commanded by General M'Culloch; the second by General Pierce; and the third by General Price. At the hour specified, the whole of the troops were in motion in the direction of Springfield; but on arriving at the spot near which they expected to meet the enemy, it was discovered that the federal troops had retired the previous day. Encouraged by this retrograde movement, the confederate troops followed in pursuit a distance of twenty-two miles, twelve miles of the route being without water, as the men had no canteens with them.

"The weary army," says the annalist, encamped on the night of the 8th at Big Spring, about two miles from Wilson's Creek, and ten-and-a-half south of Springfield, in a deplorable condition, their baggage trains having been left behind, and their beef cattle also: the troops had not eaten anything for twenty-four hours, having been supplied with half rations only during the previous ten days. In this emergency they satisfied the cravings of hunger by eating green maize, without a particle of salt, or a mouthful of meat; but they bore the privation with the patience that became brave men and good soldiers, without a murmur. On the following day the troops moved to Wilson's Creek, and there encamped, that they might be convenient to some large fields, from which they could supply themselves with green maize, which constituted their only repast for two days."

The troops were ordered to be ready at 9 PM., to take up the line of march to Springfield, for the purpose of attacking the enemy at daybreak. The effective force of General M'Culloch, was 5,300 infantry, fifteen pieces of artillery, and 6,000 irregular horsemen, armed with flint-lock mus

kets, rifles, and shot-guns. In consequence of the threatening aspect of the weather, the order to march was countermanded; but on the following morning, before sunrise, the federals, who had reached a position they desired, made a general attack upon the camp; General Lyon leading on their left, and General Sigel on their right and rear; and from each of these points batteries suddenly opened upon the weary and surprised troops. M'Culloch's column was soon ready for the contest, which began fiercely, and now became general. After several desperate charges upon the enemy's force, Sigel's corps was driven back in confusion, and completely routed. Having thus cleared their front and rear, the attention of M'Culloch was directed to the centre, where General Lyon was pressing upon the Missourians with all his strength. A terrible fire of musketry was now kept up along the whole line of the hill on which the enemy was posted, and the summit was covered with dead and wounded. The battle was fiercely contested; and General M'Culloch, in his official report, says "No two opposing forces ever fought with greater desperation; inch by inch the enemy gave way, and were driven from their position. Nothing could withstand the impetuosity of our final charge: the enemy fled, and could not again be rallied."

The battle of Wilson's Creek lasted about six hours, and ended in signal defeat for the federals, whose force was stated at from nine to ten thousand, and consisted for the most part of well-disciplined, well-armed troops, the greater portion of them belonging to the old army of the United States. Their loss was reported to be about 2,000, in killed, wounded, and prisoners, besides six pieces of artillery, several hundred stand of small arms, and some standards. In this encounter, Major-general Lyon, the chief in command, was killed. In General M'Culloch's official report, the loss of the confederate troops was stated to be-265 killed, 800 wounded, and thirty missing. Shortly after this battle, the confederate army returned to the frontier of Arkansas.

On the 20th of August, a skirmish took place at Hawk's Nest, Kanawha Valley, Virginia, between a confederate force, under General Wise, and a body of Ohio volunteers. The confederates were, however, repulsed, with the loss of fifty killed and wounded.

The confederate congress having passed an act empowering the president to appoint two commissioners, to be sent to Europe in the interest of the southern confederacy; and also an act to aid Missouri in her effort to expel the invaders of her soil-President Davis, on the 21st of August, signified his approval of the measures, and directed them to be immediately carried out. The state of parties in the north continued most excitable; and on the 22nd of the month, the leading democrats of Montgomery, county Ohio, issued a circular protest against "the traitorous course of the Vallandigham clique," and urged the democratic party to give strength and vigour to the federal government, by a stern and uncompromising resistance to every measure tending to embarrass it.

A skirmish occurred between the 7th Ohio volunteers and a confederate force, while the former were at breakfast in their quarters at Summerville, Nicholas County, Western Virginia. The volunteers soon recovered from their surprise, and, after an obstinate struggle, managed to cut their way through their asailants, upon whom they inflicted serious loss, in which themselves also participated, having reported above 200 men killed, wounded, and missing.

on being occupied by the enemy, its guns, which, by some neglect, had not been rendered unserviceable, were turned against the opposite defence of the channel, and its surrender became inevitable. Commodore Barron proposed to evacuate the fort with the honours of war; but this proposition was rejected by General Butler, who insisted upon an unconditional surrender. Eight hundred federal troops were left to garrison the two forts, which became an important acquisition to the captors.

About the same time, a more serious, and, as regards the secessionists, a far more important, struggle was in progress at Lexington, Missouri, between a Missourian force, under General Price, and a detachment of federal troops and home guards, commanded by Colonel Mulligan, who were en route from Lexington to Warrensburg, to seize the bank in that place, and capture the principal inhabitants of Johnson County, in obedience to the instructions of General Fremont. The incidents of this affair will be best related in the words of General Price, who, in his official report to Governor Johnson-dated from Camp Wallace, Lexington, September 23rd, 1861says-"After chastising the marauding armies of Lane and Montgomery, and driving them out of the state; and after On the 29th of August, a naval expedi- compelling them to abandon Fort Scott, as tion from Fortress Monroe, under the detailed in my last report, I continued my command of Commodore Stringham and march towards this point, with an army Major-general Butler, reduced two forts at increasing hourly in numbers and enthuHatteras Inlet, North Carolina, making siasm. On the 10th inst., just as we were prisoners 715 men, among whom was about to encamp for the day, a mile or two Commodore Barron, the confederate com- west of Rose Hill, I learned that a detachmander. The victors also captured fifteen ment of federal troops and home guards guns in this affair, without the loss of a were marching from Lexington to Warsingle man. Three vessels, laden with rensburg, to rob the bank in that place, coffee and provisions, and two life-boats, and plunder and arrest the citizens of with a large store of ammunition, also fell Johnson County, in accordance with Geninto the hands of the captors. In the re- eral Fremont's proclamation and instrucduction of forts Hatteras and Clarke, tions. Although my men were greatly the assailants were much favoured by the fatigued by several days' continuous and relative position of the two places, which rapid marching, I determined to press forstood on each side of an inlet across the ward, so as to surprise the enemy, if possisand-bar at Hatteras. These defences were ble, at Warrensburg. Therefore, after supposed to protect the channel, and each resting a few hours, we resumed the route was mounted with heavy guns; but as the at sunset, and marched, without interrifled ordnance carried with the expedition, mission, until two o'clock in the morning, enabled the federals to shell the forts at a when it became evident that the infantry, range of nearly three miles, and had ac- very few of whom had eaten a mouthful in tually thrown twenty-eight into them twenty-two hours, could march no further. within eight minutes-oue of the forts, I then halted them, and went forward with unable to withstand the shower of mis- the larger part of my mounted men, till

Warrensburg, where I ascertained that the enemy had hastily fled about midnight, burning bridges behind them. The rain began to fall about the same time,

having been at last brought up, and large reinforcements being received, I again moved into town on Wednesday, the 18th inst., and began a final attack upon the enemy's works."

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 was occupying as a hospital, and upon which a white flag was flying. Several companies of General Harris's command, and the gallant soldiers of the 4th 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.

"This circumstance, coupled with the fact that my men had been fasting for General Price then describes the relative more than twenty-four hours, constrained positions of the different corps of his army, me to abandon the idea of pursuing the with the instructions to each, and continues enemy that day. My infantry and artillery his report thus:-"Shortly after entering having come up, we encamped at Warrens- the city, on the 18th, Colonel Rivers, who burg, whose citizens vied with each other commanded the 4th division in the absence in feeding my almost famished soldiers. of General Slack, led his regiment and An unusually violent storm delayed our Colonel Hughes' along the river bank, to march the next morning till about ten a point immediately beneath, and west of o'clock; but we then pushed forward the fortifications; and, having there been rapidly, still hoping to overtake the enemy. reinforced, Colonel Rivers, in order to cut Finding it impossible to do this with my off the enemy's means of escape, proceeded infantry, I again ordered a detachment to down the bank of the river to capture a move forward; and, placing myself at their steam-boat, which was lying just under head, continued the pursuit to within twoand-a-half miles of Lexington, when I learnt that the enemy was already within the town. It being late, and my men fatigued by a forced march, and utterly without provisions, I halted for the night, "About daybreak the next morning, a sharp skirmish took place between our pickets and the enemy's outposts. This threatened to become general. Being unwilling, however, to risk a doubtful engagement, when a short delay would make success certain, I fell back two or three miles, and awaited the arrival of my infantry and artillery. These having come up, we advanced upon the town, driving in the enemy's pickets, until we came within a short distance of the city itself. Here the enemy attempted to make a stand; but they were speedily driven from every position, and forced to take shelter within their intrenchments. We then took our position within easy range of the college, which building they had strongly fortified, and opened upon them a brisk fire from BledBoe's battery (which, in the absence of Captain Bledsoe, who had been wounded at Big Dry Wood, was gallantly commanded by Captain Emmett M'Donald), and from Parson's battery, under the skilful command of Captain Guibor.

"Finding, after sunset, that our ammunition-the most of which had been left behind on the march from Springfieldwas nearly exhausted, and that my men, thousands of whom had not eaten a particle in thirty-six hours, required rest and food, I withdrew to the Fairground, and encamped there. My ammunition waggons

"The important position thus secured was within 125 yards of the enemy's intrenchments. A company from Colonel Hughes' regiment then took possession of the boats, one of which was richly freighted with valuable stores. General M'Bride's and General Harris's divisions, 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 a successful assault, and one which would have been honourable to them, had it not been accompanied by an act of savage barbarity-the cold-blooded and cowardly murder of three defenceless 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 thenceforward held by them to the very end of the contest."

After describing the breastworks thrown up for the protection of the troops, by earthworks and bales of hemp, which were pushed forward by the men as the action

presence of a watchful and desperate foe, manfully repelling every assault, and patiently awaiting my orders to storm the fortifications. No general ever commanded a braver or a better army. It is composed of the best blood, and the bravest men of Missouri."

Some of the incidents connected with the fight at, and the surrrender of Lexington, are worth notice. The latter event is attributed, by the federal reports, mainly to the cowardice of the home guard, by whom the white flag was twice displayed, contrary to the orders, and without the

proceeded; the general says "These demonstrations, and particularly the continued advance of the hempen breast works, which were as efficient as the cotton bales at New Orleans, quickly attracted the attention, and excited the alarm of the federals, who made more daring attempts to drive us back. They were, however, repulsed in every instance by the unflinching courage and determination of our men. *** About 2 P.M. on the 20th, and after fifty-two hours of continuous firing, a white flag was displayed by the enemy on that part of their works nearest to Colonel Green's position; and, shortly after, another knowledge, of Colonel Mulligan, whose was displayed opposite to Colonel Rivers'. I immediately ordered a cessation of all firing on our part, and sent forward one of my staff to ascertain the object of the flag, and to open negotiations with the enemy, if such should be their desire. It was finally, after some delay, agreed by Colonel Marshall and the officers associated with him for that purpose by Colonel Mulligan, that the United States' forces should lay down their arms, and surrender themselves prisoners of war to this army. Those terms were ratified by me, and immediately carried into effect.

"Our entire loss, in this series of engagements, amounts to twenty-five killed, and seventy-five wounded. The enemy's loss was much greater. The visible fruits of this almost bloodless victory are greatabout 3,500 prisoners; among whom are Colonels Mulligan, Marshall, Peabody, White, Grover, Major Van Horn, and 118 other commissioned officers; five pieces of artillery, and two mortars; over 3,000 stand of infantry arms, a large number of sabres, about 750 horses, many sets of cavalry equipments, waggons, teams, ammunition; more than 100,000 dollars worth of commissariat stores, and a large amount of other property. In addition to all this, I obtained the restoration of the great seal of the state, and the public records, which had been stolen from their proper custodians, and about 900,000 dollars in money, of which the bank at this place had been robbed, and which I have caused to be returned to it.

"This victory has demonstrated the fitness of our citizen soldiers for the tedious operations of a siege, as well as for a dashing charge. They lay for fifty-two hours in the open air, without tents or covering, regard

indignation at the humiliating act was excessive, but unavailing. "At 4 P.M. on Saturday," writes the correspondent of the Chicago Tribune," the federal forces, having laid down their arms, were marched out of the intrenchments to the tune of 'Dixie,' played by the rebel bands. They left behind them their arms and accoutrements, reserving only their clothing. The boys of the brigade, many of them, wept to leave their colours behind. The scenes at the capitulation were extraordinary. When the men stacked their arms, Colonel Mulligan shed tears. General Price had ordered that the men should not be insulted by word or act, assigning as a reason, that they had fought like brave men, and were entitled to be treated as such." When Colonel Mulligan surrendered his sword, General Price asked him for the scabbard. Mulligan replied that he had thrown it away. The general, upon receiving his sword, returned it to him, saying, he disliked to see a man of his valour without a sword. Mulligan refused to be paroled, upon the ground that his government did not acknowledge the Missourians as belligerents. awaiting his exchange, Colonel Mulligan and his wife became the guests of General Price, the latter surrendering to them his carriage, and treating them with the most obliging hospitality.

While

The privates were first made to take the oath not to serve against the confederate states, and then were put across the river, and, in charge of General Rains, marched the same day to Richmond, and from thence, on the following, to Hamilton, a station on the Hannibal and St. Joseph railroad, when they were told they were free to go where they pleased. "While on this march they

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »