War of the Rebellion: Serial 003 Page 0018 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter X.

Search Civil War Official Records

unable to advance for want of ammunition. No time could be lost. One part of the troops on the extreme right and left were already engaged with the mounted troops, and to advance with the rest without the assistance of artillery seemed to me a movement which could easily turn out into a de route. The moral effect of the enemy's mounted regiments behind our lines, although the real danger was not great, could not be denied. To lose our whole baggage was another consideration of importance. It was therefore with great mortification that I ordered one part of the troops behind Dry Fork Creek, whilst Lieutenant-Colonel Hassendeubel, with the First Battalion of the Third and a battalion of the Fifth Regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Wolf, followed by four pieces of Captain Wilkins' battery, repaired to the baggage train to defend it against the projected attack.

The enemy followed slowly toward Dry Fork Creek. Captain Essig's battery had taken position behind the ford, assisted by one company of the Fifth Regiment (Captain Stephani) on the left, and two companies of the Third Regiment (Captains Dangler and Golmer) on the right, whilst two companies of the Fifth Regiment (Stark and Meissner) remained as a reserve behind both wings. It was at this point that these troops resisted the enemy's entire force for two hours and inflicted on him the severest losses.

Up to this time the rebellious flag had sunk twice amidst the triumphant shouts of the United States volunteers. Meanwhile the two large bodies of cavalry had completely surrounded us, and had formed into line against our rear. They were posted behind a small creek, called Buck's Branch, which we had to pass. To meet them, I left the position on Dry Fork, and ordered two pieces to the right and two pieces to the left of our reserve and baggage, assisted by parts of the Fifth and Third Regiments in column, under Colonel Solomon and Lieutenant-Colonel Wolf, whilst Lieutenant-Colonel Hassendeubel, with his well-known ability, formed three companies of the First Battalion, Third Regiment, in line, and in front of the baggage, against the cavalry. Behind these troops and baggage Lieutenant Schrickel, of the First Battery of Artillery, with two companies, was acting as a rear guard against the main body of the enemy, and routed him completely. His flight was accompanied by tremendous hurrahs of our little army.

The troops and baggage train crossed the creek, and retreated unmolested to the highs crowning the north side of Carthage before Spring River. Here they took position again. The enemy advanced slowly with his center, while he pushed forward his cavalry to turn our right and left, and to gain to keep open my communications with Mount Vernon and Springfield, I ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Wolf, with two pieces of artillery (Lieutenant Schaefer, Second Battery), to pass Carthage, and to occupy the eastern heights on the Sacrocoxie road. Captain Cramer, with two companies (Indest and Zeis), had to follow him, and to guard the west side of the town to give the remainder of the troops time to rest, as they had, after a march of 22 miles on the 4th and 18 miles on the 5th, been in action the whole day since 9 o'clock in the morning, exposed to an intense heat, and almost without eating or drinking. The enemy, taking advantage of his cavalry, forded Spring River on different points, spread through the woods, and, partly dismounted, harassed our troops from all sides. I therefore ordered the