War of the Rebellion: Serial 003 Page 0096 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter X.

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thoroughly, we sincerely pray that such steps and precautions may be taken by the proper authorities as will insure care at least in the future in the selection of those who are to command our armies.

JOHN V. DU BOIS,

Major Volunteers.

JAS. TOTTEN,

Lieutenant Colonel First Mo. Lt. Arty., Chief of Arty.

G. GRANGER,

Late A. A. A. G., Army of the West, A. D. C. to General Lyon.

FLORENCE M. CORNY,

Surg. First Mo. Lt. Arty., and Acting Surg. General Army West.

W. L. LOTHROP,

Major First missouri Light Artillery.

P. E. BURKE,

Captain, Fourteenth Infantry, U. S. Army.

GEO. O. SOKALSKI,

First Lieutenant, Second Cavalry.

JOHN L. WOODS, JR.,

Lieutenant and Quartermaster First Regiment Mo. Lt. Artillery.

LUCIEN J. BARNESS,

First Lieutenant, First Missouri Light Artillery.

The undersigned officers in the service of the United States, who participated in the battle of Wislon's Creek (Springfield), believing that the erroneous accounts of the part taken by General Sigel in that engagement, which have been published in the newspapers throughout the United States, have produced wrong impressions upon the minds of the people, and deceived the administration in regard to the merits of the case, respectfully submit the following statement of facts, in a spirit of fairness and justice, pledging themselves to substantiate such items as they are not willing to testify to themselves by what they believe to be reliable evidence.

On the evening of the 8th of August, 1861, General Lyon called a council of war, composed of the principal officers of his command, for the purpose of determining what plan should be adopted to extricate his little army from the dangers which threatened it. General Lyon said in presence of the council:

Gentleman, there is no prospect of our being re-enforced at this point; our supply of provisions is running short; there is a superior force in front; and it is reported that Hardee is marching with 9,000 men to cut our line of communication. It is evident that we must retreat. The question arises, what is the best method of doing it. Shall we endeavor to retreat without giving the enemy battle beforehand, and run the risk of having to fight every inch along our line of retreat, or shall we attack him in his position, and endeavor to hurt him so that he cannot follow us. I am decidedly in favor of the latter plan. I propose to march this evening with all our available force, leaving only a small guard to protect the property which will be left behind, and, marching by the Fayetteville road, throw our whole force upon him at once, and endeavor to rout him before he can recover from his surprise.

There were no objection offered to this plan of General Lyon, except that a large part of the command had just returned from a fatiguing scout, and had taken no food since morning; it was therefore decided to defer the execution of this plan until the next night. In the mean time Sigel procured an interview with General Lyon, and persuaded the general to allow him a separate command. Sigel therefore made a detour to the left of the Fayetteville road with his brigade, about 1,300 men, including one battery of six pieces and two troops of regular cavalry, for the purpose of attacking the enemy to their left and rear. He