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troops, about half a mile in the rear of his first position, and brought one gun into battery on the road, supported by infantry on either side. The cavalry charged and took the gun, being exposed at the same time to a deadly fire from the enemy's infantry; but as the column that had been ordered forward to their support did not reach the point in time, the enemy were enabled to carry the piece from the field. It was here that Major Gavitt and Captain Highman fell,

The rout now became general, and the enemy were pursued by the Union troops several miles, until the approach of night induced Colonel Plummer to recall them to town. Captain Stewart, however, with his squadron of cavalry followed them until late in the night, and brought in several prisoners.

Jeff. Thompson had left Fredericktqn on the previous evening, marohing ten miles on the Greenville road, and then turning to meet Colonel Plummer at a point where he had intended to make the attack in the morning. On learning that the national troops had taken a different road, he led his force back to the point near Frederickton where the encounter took place. The rebel force was about , two thousand five hundred. Colonel Lowe, his- colleague, was killed, and one hundred and twenty-five dead were left on the field; the number of their wounded is not definitely known. Four of their guns and eighty prisoners were taken. The loss of the Federal army was seven killed, and sixty wounded.


October 25, 1861.

Subsequent to the death of General Lyon, Springfield had been made* a rebel stronghold, and General Price, when the advancing army of General Fremont compelled him to retreat from the central part of the State, had established his headquarters there. During the month of October, however, being warned by approaching columns of the Federal troops, he had commenced the withdrawal of his forces and the immense train and supplies he had accumulated in case he should be compelled to retreat to Arkansas.

On the 20th of October, General Sigel, who commanded the Federal advance, was near Bolivar, and General Sturgis' command was one day behind. General Lane was at Osceola; Hunter's and McKinstry's divisions, as well as General Ashboth, were at or near Warsaw; General Pope was near Louisville; while General Fremont and his staff were at * Pornme de Terre river, era route for Quincy.

Having obtained information from his scouts that only about three

handred of the enemy were at Springfield, General Fremont dispatched Major Zagonyi, with 150 of his Body-guard, and also an equal force of Prairie Scouts under Major F. J. White', who was then attached to Sigel's command, to combine their forces before reaching Springfield, and attack the rebel camp by surprise.

The distance from the camp on the Pomme de Terre river to Spring-' field was fifty-one miles. The Body-guard started on Thursday, the 24th, at p. it, and reached the neighborhood of Springfield, at 3 p. M. on the 25th, having overtaken the command of Major White, dispatched from the camp of General Sigel to take part in this enterprise. Major White, who was suftering from severe illness, was obliged to stop for an hour or two to rest, and when he again started t& join his command, expecting to find them in the direct road from Bolivar to Springfield, he was captured by the rebel scouts, who had been informed of the approach of the Federal cavalry. Zagonyi had deemed it necessary to change his plan of attack, and to approach the rear of the rebel camp, of which fact Major White had not been informed. The change was occasioned by unexpectedly meeting a small body of the enemy, who thus became aware of the designed attack.

Major Zagonyi, on approaching within about eight miles of Springfield, came upon a small foraging party, five of whom he captured, and the remainder returned to the city and gave the alarm. Proceeding further on, the Major gained additional information from Union citizens and learned that the place was held by a force at least five or six times as large as was supposed. Notwithstanding this he'resolved to press on and examine for himself, but the farther he proceeded the more positive was the information that the town was held by a large force. The first that was seen of the enemy was a short distance from the

•town, where the advance discovered a full regiment drawn up on selected ground, near the road, and prepared to receive them. The ground being unfavorable for offensive operations, Major Zagonyi resolved not to attack them, but to cross the prairie to'the westward and approach the city by the Mount Vernon road.

This was successfully accomplished, and upon arriving within about a mile, the citizens notified him that the enemy, two thousand strong, were awaiting his coming a quarter of a mile distant. Major Zagonyi was entreated not to risk his little band in the encounter; but he had not made a forced march of fifty miles to gain possession of a town without at least making an attempt to fulfil his instructions; and placing the Body-guard in front, and himself leading, he gave the order to


As the Major was to approach from the west, the rebels had scattered skirmishers throughout the dense woods or chaparral on either side, who greeted his approach with a scathing fire which emptied several saddles. The woods and rough bushy ground to the south of the road, was also full of their skirmishers, hidden in the branches and behind bushes and trees. The main body of the force, however, was drawn up in the form of a hollow square, in a large open field to the north of the road, the infantry bordering along a high Virginia rail fence, nearly to the brook, and also at the head of the field bordering on the woods, and the cavalry on the other side of the field also supported by the forest.

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Upon reaching the vicinity of this place, Major Zagonyi ordered an advance at a trot, and when fairly in the woods, the pace was increased to a gallop. When the fire opened, the two companies of the First Missouri Cavalry, and the Irish Dragoons, composing Major White's battalion, countermarched to the left. Major Zagonyi's command alone proceeded down the road through the fire of the enemy. Upon reaching the open field, an attempt was made to tear down the fence and charge upon the enemy. It was soon discovered, however, that this would be impossible without a heavy loss, and they immediately made a rush down the road, over a brook, where, in a measure shielded from the enemy's fire, they levelled the rails and effected an entrance. Here, in the midst of the briars and stubble bordering the brook, he succeeded in forming his men, and with the Major at their head, they gallantly charged up the hill of the open field, right into the midst of their foes. As they charged, the command spread out fan-like, some to the right, some to the left, and others straight up to the woods in front.

The cavalry to the right were scattered almost instantaneously; the infantry made a somewhat firmer stand, but it was only for a moment. The charge was so furious, so well directed, and so compact, that the rebel ranks were quickly scattered. Under the well-directed fire of the enemy's sharpshooters, the little band of one hundred and sixty-two rank and file, contending against one thousand eight hundred, necessarily suffered severely.

Pursuing a portion of the rebels into town, the Major here assembled his command, or such portions of it as were at hand, raised-the stars and stripes upon the court-house, detailed a guard to attend to his wounded, and then fearful that the enemy might become cognizant of his small force, and rally, determined to retrace his steps toward Bolivar, where he could meet reinforcements, the more especially as they had ridden over eighty miles and been over twenty-four hours without food.

In the mean tim% Major White's command had made a detour through the cornfield, and after making a successful charge and defeating the rebel forces stationed there, he reached the town a little while after Zagoayi had left, and took possession of it.

The loss of the enemy, as nearly as could be ascertained, was one hundred and six killed, wounded not known; that of the Federals but fifteen killed, twenty-seven wounded and ten missing.


The death of General Lyon and the defeat of the Federal army at Wilson's Creek, on the 10th of August, and the disastrous consequences— followed on the 20th of September by the loss of Lexington and its noble band of defenders, filled the whole land with discontent. The commanding officer of the Department at this time was Major-General Fremont. The public, asking for success, and confident that it could be achieved, were impatient of the delays and heavy expenditure of money that seemed at least to fetter the Missouri Department. From General Fremont the public had expected the most vigorous and brilliant campaign. The difficulties and obstacles with which a commander must contend in organizing a military force sufficient to encounter a large army of dashing and lawless insurgents, are not always- properly under

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