Battles & Leaders of the Civil War
ARKANSAS TROOPS IN THE BATTLE OF WILSON'S CREEK.
I style this short account of my personal recollections of the battle of "Oak Hills" (as the Confederates named the engagement) as above, because I was identified with the State of Arkansas and her soldiers. I also believe that subsequent events, developed by the prominence of some of the commanders engaged in this fight, have had a tendency to obscure that just recognition which the Arkansas troops so nobly earned in this, one of the first great battles of our civil war.
The ninth day of August, 1861, found the Confederate army under General Ben. McCulloch, camped on Wilson's Creek, ten miles south of Springfield, in south-west Missouri. It consisted of a Louisiana regiment under Colonel Louis Hebert (a well-drilled and well-equipped organization, chiefly from the north part of the State); Greer's Texas regiment (mounted); Churchill's Arkansas cavalry, and McIntosh's battalion of Arkansas mounted rifles (Lieutenant-Colonel Embry), under the immediately charge of the commanding general; General Price's command of Missouri State Guards, with Bledsoe's and Guibor's batteries, and my three regiments of Arkansas infantry, with Woodruff's and Reid's batteries. More than half the Missourians were mounted, and but few of the troops in the whole command were well armed. The army numbered in all about 11,500 men,-perhaps, 6000 to 7000 of whom were in semi-fighting trim, and participated in the battle.
The Federal forces under General Nathaniel Lyon, between 5000 and 6000 strong, occupied the town of Springfield, and General McCulloch was expecting them to advance and give him battle. General McCulloch's headquarters were on the right of the Springfield road, east of Wilson's Creek, rather in advance of the center of the camp. General Price occupied a position immediately west, and in the valley of the creek, with his command mostly north of the Springfield road. I had established my headquarters on the heights east and south of Wilson's Creek and the Springfield road, with my forces occupying the elevated ground immediately adjacent.
Detailed reports as to the strength and movements of Lyon's command were momentarily expected, through spies sent out by General Price, as