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LYON SEEKS THE ENEMY.
however, increased on the march by the stone hills, over which the road lay, junction of various detachments, so that there were trees, but these were only July on reaching Springfield it counted stunted oak saplings, which afforded but 20. about 10,000; but many of his little shade for man or beast. troops being volunteers for three months, The troops, though greatly fatigued, and their time having expired, Lyon's kept up a manful spirit, which was enarmy was reduced by the 1st of August couraged by the prospect of soon meetto 6,000.
ing the enemy, whom the loyal countryThe enemy were reported by the men on the road reported to be but a Federal scouts to be 30,000 strong, who few miles distant. were about marching to meet General At about eleven o'clock in the mornLyon, in two columns from Cassville and ing the skirmishers discovered several Sarcoxie, under the command of Gen. mounted men of the enemy. A sixMcCulloch, the noted Texan ranger. pounder being brought to the front and
Lyon determined to advance and en- a shell fired, they immediately dispersed. counter the enemy in spite of their re- The march was now continued with Auz, puted strength. Leaving a small greater caution, and the woods and
lo guard at Springfield, he ordered thickets on either side of the road carethe various detachments of the rest of fully beaten to provide against the his little army to rendezvous at Crane chances of surprise and ambuscades. Creek, ten miles south of that place. On reaching Dug Springs, about Early next morning (the 2d of August) nineteen miles south of Springfield, great the combined force began its march from clouds of dust were seen rising along the Crane Creek. The route was along the base and sides of the hills which borridge which divides the waters which dered the valley in the distance. As fall into the Missouri and White rivers. our troops advanced, large bodies of men, The midsummer day was excessively hot, both mounted and on foot, could be disand as the men marched under a glaring tinctly discerned, and soon were heard sun, amid clouds of dust raised by the the sharp reports of the rifle, showing moving column, they were fevered with that the Federal advanced guard had heat and thirst, for which there was already arrived within shot of the but little relief in a country parched at enemy. that season to extreme dryness. Of the A spirited fire was begun by our skirusual streams there were no traces but mishers, when the enemy strove to cut in their dry beds of rock. The few them off. Captain Stanley, however, wells and springs were either dried up with his company of cavalry, made a by the drought of the summer, or ex- dashing charge and drove them back. hausted by those thirsty soldiers who | As the enemy strove to regain their lost happened to be the first to reach them. ground, Captain Totten dispersed them Upon the ridges and sides of the lime- with a fire of shells from guns he had
planted on a commanding hill. In this ored suitors who hedged in the great expreliminary skirmish the Federals had 4 plorer, like the parasites and Janizaries killed and 5 wounded, but the enemy's of some Eastern monarch. The chief loss was supposed to be much greater. officer of the State, Governor Gamble,
It was thought that this would have presuming upon his official dignity, led to a general engagement, but the strove to make an impression upon the enemy retired, and Lyon followed in | exclusive Fremont. He, too, though pursuit. He thus proceeded day after | urgently appealing to the Commanderday, having an occasional skirmish with in-chief to send aid to General Lyon, detached rebel troops, and pursuing a met with no favorable response. difficult march, which was testing the The spirited Lyon, notwithstanding, strength and perseverance of his men to was resolutely determined to meet the the utmost, until finding that the enemy enemy. His daring spirit and devoted were in overpowering numbers, and patriotism, or an excessive confidence in threatening to cut off his communica- his superior—which led him to hope tions, he determined to return toward that the succor he demanded would still Springfield.
be conceded—may have carried him On reaching this place, General Lyon beyond the bounds of prudence. It telegraphed to General Fremont at must not be forgotten, in fairness to Washington, urgently asking for rein- | General Fremon', that he himself was forcements. Receiving no answer, and surrounded with difficulty. Embarrassed Fremont having in the mean time arrived with the overwhelming labors of organizat St. Louis, he sent three or four special ing and equipping an army, and dismessengers to him there, to state his tracted by the diversified claims upon a needs and urgently solicit the required military leadership, for the duties of aid. Lyon not only wanted more men, which he was ill-prepared by previous but supplies for those he had, who had study and experience, it was not surprisbeen for some time on half rations of ing that Fremont should have erred, if bread. His messengers were commend- error there was, in not responding to ed by the impressive sanction of high the urgent demand of Lyon. Time only position, one being a former Secretary will enable us to form a dispassionate of State and the other a member of Con- judgment of the conduct of Fremont. gress, and by thorough acquaintance A multitude of friends, even before the with the perilous position of the South-verdict is pronounced, have anticipated west, of which both were residents. his innocence by shouts of applause, They failed, however, to obtain a hearing and those who reserve their judgment after having forced their way through hope for an acquittal which shall free a the imposing throng of guards and fav-popular favorite from public suspicion.
The Enemy in pursuit of Lyon.--Ben McCulloch in command of the Secessionists.- Life and Carcer of McCulloch.-
Birth.-Parentage. --A young Huntsman.-Success with the Bears.--A Trapper of the West.---In Texas. -At the Battle of San Jacinto.-Commands the Rangers in the Mexican War - Good services of McCulloch.- Marshal in Texas.—The Texan Ranger a Peace Commissioner.- His Qualifications.-In Washington.-A Plot to seize the Capital. -Sent to the West.-His Character.-Raises a Regiment.- Sterling Price, his Life, Career, and Character. --Services in Mexico.- His capacity.- Movement of the Secessionists.- Determined to strike.— Anticipated by Lyon. -Plans of Lyon -Divisions of his Force.-The Battle of Wilson's Creek –Official Report of Major Sturgis.-Official Report of Colonel Sigel-- The comparative strength of the two Antagonists. - Contradictory Reports —Embarrassment of the Historian.---The Death of Lyon. -- His Characteristics. His devotion to his Country.—The greatness of his Loss. --Something more than a Man of Art.-A presentiment of Evil.--His sadness.-Ominous Talk.Exposure to Danger.—“I am satisfied."-Wounds.—Disregard of Lyon.—The Day lost.- A last and fatal Charge.-Lyon in the van.--A fatal shot.-A 1all.—Last Words.-Death.- A Memorial of disinterested Patriotism.
On the return of General Lyon to McCulloch set out for St. Louis, to join
Springfield, the enemy turned back a company of trappers in an expedition
and followed in pursuit of him. I to the Rocky Mountains. Arriving too The secessionists concentrated their late, he offered his services to a party of forces at Crane Creek, where General Santa Fé traders, but for some reason or Aug. Price yielded the command of the other was again disappointed. He now 4. army to the noted Ben McCulloch. sought in the wilds of Texas, then be
This famous partisan chief was born longing to Mexico, and inhabited only by in Rutherford County, Tennessee, in adventurers, Indians, and half-breedsthe year 1814. His father had ac- among whom he made his home-scope quired considerable military fame in for the free exercise of his untamed spirit border warfare, having served as aide- of adventure. When General Houston de-camp to General Coffee, and under rallied about him the settlers from the General Jackson in the Indian cam- United States and struck a blow for the paigns of the West, and at the battle of independence of Texas, McCulloch was New Orleans. His son Ben, while yet among the first to offer his services. At a youth, showed great fondness for the battle of San Jacinto he commanded adventure, and at the age of four- a gun, and gallantly bore his part in teen was foremost among a band of winning that decisive victory, which juvenile bear-hunters. Such was his wrested Texas from Mexican rule. On success in this career, that he was the breaking out of the Mexican war, in known to have killed eighty bears in a consequence of the recognition and ansingle season.
nexation of Texas by the United States, At the age of twenty-one, young McCulloch raised a band of mounted
Texans, called Rangers, and was chosen mode of warfare could be practiced to their chief. Practiced in guerrilla war | greater advantage. His fame for boldfare against the Mexicans and Indians, ness of spirit, fertility of expedient, and whom he had often met in border indifference to the formality of law forays, he was peculiarly fit for the ser- attracted to his standard all the daring vice of scouring the country, of which and unscrupulous adventurers of the he knew every mile, and following the West, and he was enabled to raise a traces of an artful enemy. His band large and effective force of men. His was accordingly employed by General regiment, which he termed the Texan Taylor, at the commencement of the Rangers, was soon swollen to an army. campaign against Mexico, as scouts, and | On forming a junction with the secession did effective service. After serving with forces of Missouri, the general command General Taylor at Resaca de la Palma, was, for the moment, as has been already Palo Alto, and Buena Vista, McCulloch stated, transferred to the Texan chief, joined General Scott's army, and en- by General Price, who now claims notice. tered with it the capital of Mexico. Sterling Price was born in Virginia, After peace was declared he returned to but emigrated to Missouri, where he Texas, where he was appointed by became a leading man. He was a repPresident Pierce to the lucrative office resentative in Congress from 1815 to of United States marshal. When Presi- 1847. When war was declared against dent Buchanan put forth his authority Mexico, he raised a regiment of Missouri to suppress the rebellion in Utah, he volunteers, and was chosen their colonel. selected, with his characteristic sense of He did gallant service in the campaign, official fitness, Ben McCulloch, the wild and was rewarded by promotion to the bear-hunter and dashing Texan ranger, rank of brigadier-general. In the battle as one of the peace commissioners ! of Canada, New Mexico, where he was " A post,” says a contemporary writer, the chief in command, he was wounded. "he was about as well qualified to fill | At the battle of Santa Cruz de Rosales as Mr. Elihu Burritt, the learned black- he also commanded, and proved himself smith, would be to command an army.” | a gallant leader. At the close of the war
At the beginning of our civil troubles he resigned his commission and retired McCulloch made his appearance in Vir- to private life in Missouri. His birth as ginia, and even ventured to show himself a Virginian naturally associated him with in Washington, where he was suspected the advocates of slavery, and on the to be laying a plan for taking, in con- commencement of the civil troubles he junction with his fellow-conspirators, the openly declared for secession. A close capital by a coup de main. The Con- friend of Governor Jackson, he joined federate Government, however, distrust- him in every movement to wrest the ing his discretion, sent him to Mis- State of Missouri from its loyalty to the souri, where his peculiar and irregular Union. Energetic, politic, and devoted
to the interests of slave-owners, he is army moved in two columns, the Aug. one of the shrewdest, most active, and first under his own immediate com- 10. determined of the adherents to the South- mand, and the second under Colonel ern cause. He has, moreover, shown, Sigel. General Lyon's plan was to atnotwithstanding his want of a military tack simultaneously the two extremities education, that he is not unskilled in of the camp of the enemy, which exthe conduct of a war like that in Mis-tended for three miles along Wilson's souri, where the formalities of art are Creek. Against one end he was to lead often compelled to yield to the force of the division commanded by himself; circumstances.
| against the other, Sigel was directed to The combined army of the secession- advance with his force. This separated ists started from Crane Creek in eager the lines of march. pursuit of General Lyon, whom they ex- Major Sturgis, upon whom devolved pected to overtake before he should the duty of making the report of Lyon's reach Springfield ; but after a forced movement, thus describes the march and march of seventeen miles, the men were the subsequent engagement of the first so prostrated by the heat and dust that column. they were obliged to encamp at Moody's “General Lyon,” he says, “ marched Spring. Early next morning the enemy from Springfield at five o'clock p.M., on Ang, resumed their march and moved to the 9th, making a detour to the right
5. Wilson's Creek, ten miles south- at one o'clock in the morning arriving in west of Springfield. Here they posted view of the enemy's guard-fires. Here themselves and awaited an attack from the column halted, and lay on their arms General Lyon. After a delay of several until the dawn of day, when it again days, McCulloch determined again to moved forward. Captain Gilbert's comadvance, and his men were kept under pany, which had formed the advance arms all night, ready to march at break during the night, still remained in ad. Aug, of day. In the mean time, it was vance, and the column moved in the same
10. discovered that General Lyon him- order in which it had halted. self was approaching, to give battle. “A south-easterly direction was now The enemy made rapid preparations to taken, with a view to strike the extreme meet the attack.
northern point of the enemy's camp. Lyon having determined not to await At daylight a line of battle was formed, the coming of the secessionists, who he closely followed by Totten's battery, did not doubt could with their large num- supported by a strong reserve. In this bers readily surround him at Springfield, order we advanced, with skirmishers in boldly decided to strike a blow against front, until the first out-post of the them in their own camp. He made his rebels was encountered and driven in, plans accordingly, and marched with his when the column was halted, and the whole force at the break of day. His following dispositions made, viz., Captain