War of the Rebellion: Serial 003 Page 0159 Chapter X. OPERATIONS IN NORTHEASTERN MO., ETC.

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no communication east or west; also learned that General Hurlbut had left that day for Brookfield. During night had two alarms. In the morning, and after the enemy had shown himself in force, a train arrived from the west, and brought word that another train was coming to take my command away. In the mean time the enemy was gathering in still greater force, so that I could make out about 3,000. About noon I received a note from the rebel commander, giving me thirty minutes to move the women and children and to surrender. I ordered the women to leave, but made no reply to Green. I barricaded the streets and prepared to resist the enemy. After a short time the enemy opened on us with two pieces of artillery, one 9 and 6 pounder (reported to me to be brass by an escaped prisoner). Their battery was planted a full mile off. I am satisfied that at this time the enemy numbered full 4,000. With my glass I could discover a strong force under cover of timber to support their artillery. I offered to lead the men out on the plain and offer the enemy battle. Major Cloud, of the Second Kansas, objected. I did not insist, as I thought the opposing force too great. During the firing I discovered also a force in the enemy 2 miles in the west tearing up the track. I immediately ordered one company on the train to run up to them, which was done, and the enemy driven from that point. I observed also a force in the east tearing up track, and started a train that way, but the train came back, as the enemy opened that he supposed the engine and train of more value than a little piece of track. I told him he did right.

The enemy fired well. Almost every shot was well pointed, either striking the building or failing int he square. Captain McClure, of the Second Kansas, had his foot shot off. After receiving some thirty shots, the officers of the Second Kansas held a meeting, and sent Major Cloud to me, demanding that I should withdraw the men saying they had been in one Springfield fight and did not wish to be in another (meaning fighting against such odds), and also that if I would withdraw and get artillery they would come back with me. He further stated that his men were discontented, and supposed they were going home, and did not like being brought on the expedition; that he, to encourage them, had held out the inducement to them that the money in the bank was to pay them off with; that they only considered themselves in the light of volunteers, &c. I still resisted, and declared I would not mention the subject of retreating to my men, as I had been to them and told them we could hold the place; but finally they insisted so strongly, and fearing there might b a stampede, I consented to call the officers together. When they met, I said to them I had nothing further to say. After they had decided it to be expedient to retire, I told them to wait orders. I delayed giving orders any further than to tell them to go to their companies and prepare to move. After a few minutes I saw the Kansas men starting for the cars. They filled the first train and started. I jumped on the engine, and order the engineer to move slow, so that the cavalry could keep up with him on the right flank (the enemy was ont he south). I then jumped off, and started back for my own men (280), but they,seeing the Kansas men off, had got on the second train and started before I got back. In the confusion the Iowa men left some time we were retiring from the enemy. They were also one transportation wagon and four mules left, all of which might have been brought off had they waited for orders.