War of the Rebellion: Serial 003 Page 0057 Chapter X. BATTLE OF WILSON'S CREEK, MO.

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Springs,* which preceded the battle at Springfield, and was most creditable to our arms.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.

Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND,

Asst. Adjt. General, Hdqrs. of the Army, Washington, D. C.

Numbers 2. Report of Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon, U. S. Army, commanding Army of the West, of operations August 5-9.

SPRINGFIELD, MO., August 9, 1861.

GENERAL: I have just received your note of the 6th instant by special messenger.

I retired to this place, as I have before informed you, reaching here on the 5th. The enemy followed to within 10 miles if here. He has taken a strong position, and is recruiting his supplies of horses, mules, and provisions by foraging into the surrounding country, his large force of mounted men enabling him to do this without much annoyance from me. I find my position extremely embarrassing, and am at present unable to determine whether I shall be able to maintain my ground or be forced to retire. I can resist any attack from the front, but if the enemy move to surround me, I must retire. I shall hold my ground as long as possible, though I may, without knowing how far, endanger the safety of my entire force, with its valuable material, being induced by the important considerations involved to take this step. The enemy yesterday made a show of force about five miles distant, and has doubtless a full purpose of making an attack upon me.


Brigadier-General, Commanding S. W. Expedition.

Major General J. C. FREMONT,

Commanding Department of the West.

Numbers 3. Report of Major John M. Schofield, First Missouri Infantry, and Acting Adjutant-General Army of the West, of operations August 1-14.


August 20, 1861.

From the time of the arrival of General Lyon's command at Springfield till that of the battle we were well informed through our scouts and spies of the movements and strength of the enemy. It was General Lyon's opinion, and doubtless a correct one, that could we have moved forward at one and succeeded in bringing the enemy to an engagement, we would have gained an easy victory; but this movement was impossible. We found our commissary stores, which had been ordered from Saint Louis at the time of our marching from Booneville,


* See p. 48.