has been received, and justice to the cause of truth compels me to give such account of the operations of that column as I have received from some of the officers and men who formed a part of it.
When Colonel Sigel opened his fire the enemy were completely surprised and fled from their camp, whereupon many of Colonel Sigel's men and officers, instead of standing to their guns or pursuing the enemy, turned their attention to plunder, and thus permitted the enemy to return, seize all his guns, drive the entire column from the field in every possible direction, and finally turn our own guns upon the gallant men under Lyon, who were contending against such fearful odds already.
Lieutenant farrand, First Infantry, temporarily in command of a company of dragoons, happened to encounter one of the guns after they had been deserted, and brought it safely from the field, and on our march back to Springfield we met this gallant young officer coming from the direction of Little York at the head of a large portion of such of the command as had escaped being taken prisoners. However it may be in regard to the loss of these guns, one thing in certain (according to Lieutenant Powell), namely: That the gun brought in by Lieutenant farrand had been abandoned when there was no enemy in sight.
Accompanying this report you will please find reports of the commanders of brigades, regiments, and battalions; also, a list of the killed, wounded, and missing. I beg to state that I am under many obligations to Major Schofield, from whose memoranda of the movement of troops, &c., on the field I have drawn largely, and in many cases I have copied them literally.
Our total loss in killed, wounded, and missing amounts to 1,235. That of the enemy will probably reach 3,000.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
S. D. STURGIS,
Major, First Cavalry, Commanding.
To the ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL,
Headquarters Western Department.
FEBRUARY 18, 1862.
The inclosed report is submitted to the honorable Secretary for his attentive consideration. I am informed that the copy forwarded officially was most garbled, and I would call the attention of the Secretary to the part really played by General Sigel in this battle. I recommend that all the regular officers honorably mentioned by General Sturgis be brevetted for their gallantry, and that the gallant general himself be not forgotten.
I also recommend that the Secretary that the Secretary request the governors of the States to which the officers of volunteers here mentioned with praise belong, to give them, at the earliest opportunity, one grade as a reward, and that the General Commanding the Army be authorized to mention all their names in orders.
GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
I would urge that no promotion be given General Sigel until this matter is fully examined.