THF RATTLE OF
LEXI NG rON
FOUGHT IN AND ABOUT THE
CITY OF LEXINGTON, MIS-
SOURI, ON SEPTEMBER
18th, 19th AND 20th, 1861
454 I bO
RECOLLECTIONS OF PARTICIPANTS,
OFFICIAL RECORDS, MAPS AND CUTS
PRICE TWENTY-FIVE CENTS
Battle of Lexington. Mo., 18^. Photographed from an oil painting by F. Dominico. a Hun-
garian exile, who made the sketches during the progress of the battle. The U S. Flag
Hies from the roof of what was then the Masonic College, now Central Female College,
The site of Wentworth Military Academy is on the extreme left of the picture
THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
Fought in and around the City of
Lexington, Missouri, on September
1 8th, 19th and 20th, 1861, by forces
UNDER COMMAND OF
COLONEL JAMES A. MULLIGAN, U. S. A.
A N D
GENERAL STERLING PRICE, M. S, G.
The official records of both parties to
the conflict; to which is added mem-
oirs of participants with maps and cuts
PRINTED FOR THE LEXINGTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY
In the Month of May, Nineteen Hundred and Three
The Intelligencer Printing Company,
The Lexing-ton Historical Society, or<j-anized in September,
1807, for the "collection and preservation of the orisfinal sources
of the history of Lexing"ton and vicinity," as the phrase runs in
the charter of its incorporation, has been pursuing' the purposes
of its organization quietly but with encouraging success. It is
chieflA' for the purpose of stimulating interest in the work of
this society that this little pamphlet is printed. It will be
found to contain exact reprints of manj' official reports and
dispatches relating to the battle of Lexington, Missouri, which
have failed to get into the Rebellion Records. In fact, the
Rebellion Records contain no official reports except those of
Price and his two division commanders, Rains and Harris.
Colonel Mulligan, we are assured by Mrs. Mulligan in a letter
of March 12th, 1903, made an official report which seems never
to have reached headquarters. At least it has never been pub-
lished. A newspaper report of a lecture by Colonel Mulligan is
the best that can be offered in this pamphlet. To these reports
and certain dispatches immediately preceding the siege and
battle, we have added the personal recollections of two gentle-
men whose names will be a guarantee of the truth of their ac-
counts as nearl}^ as memory serves them — Colonel R. T. Van
Horn, then of the United States Army, and Captain Joseph A.
Wilson, then of the Missouri State Guard.
With the exception of these accounts, which were written
within the last few months, we have endeavored to present the
history of the siege and battle of Lexington from original
sources, making use of only a few interpretative headlines and
In the preparation of this pamphlet great difficulty was
4 THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
experienced in obtaining^ photographis of officers. In some
cases, after long^ correspondence, photographs were located,
but it was impossible to borrow them. Wood cuts of many of
the men whose pictures should have found place here might
have been taken from the files of Harpers Weekly and other
illustrated papers of the time, but no satisfactory way of re-
producing them appeared in harmony with the general design.
Besides, many of the old wood cuts are hideous caricatures.
Among those who have lent encouragement and aid in the
preparation of these images, especial thanks are due to Cadet
J. B. Raymond, of the Wentworth Military Academy, who fur-
nished for the engraver the India ink drawing of the battle-
field — a copy of a faded drawing by Captain J. A. Wilson, made
for the McNulta Court of Inquiry in 1872.
E. N. HOPKINS, President,
JOHN CHAMBERLAIN, SECRETARY,
Lexington Historical Society.
Lexington, Mo., April 2()th, 1903.
RECOLLECTIONS OF THE BATTLE
BY COI.. R. T. VAN HOKN.
Kansas City, Mo., April 3, 1903.
K. N. HOPKINS. ESQ.,— /V<vs-7 Historical Society:
Dear Sir: In response to your request for a brief article
for your book about the sieg-e of Lexington, for it was a siege
rather than a mere battle— lasting for twelve da\'s from first to
last — I will endeavor to comply. As the
official rei)ort of Gen. Sterling" Price and
the interview with Col. Mulligan will no
doubt appear in your book, I shall not at-
tempt a histor\' by dates or detail, but con-
line myself to incidents and events within
my personal knowledge and recollection,
and such criticism as subsequent experi-
^& w^^ ^^^ t^nce may sug-gest.
^HP'^'^^A^fc Col. Everett Peabody, with an incom-
^^H^L j^^H |)letc regiment he was forming" at St.
^HHBk. ilHii .Josei)h, landed at Kansas City about the
1st of September, 18()1, with an order for
me to join him with part of my command,
leaving one company with Maj. Berry's mounted men to garri-
.son the post. I reported to him with two companies, B
and C of vay battalion, leaving" at once for Lexington. About
the (ith Col. Peabody received an order from the com-
manding officer at Fort Leavenworth, his immediate superior, to
" proceed by forced marches to the aid of Gen. Lane, taking the
route either direct from Lexington or via the river and Kansas
City." Gen. Lane was between Lexington and Fort Scott, some-
where. This will explain the movement to Warrensburg, where
Gen. Price, not meeting Lane, arrived about the same time we
did. with his whole army. Col. Peabody hastily fell back to Lex-
ington without important incident.
Arriving at Lexington we met there Col. James A. Mulligan,
23rd Illinois Infantry. Col. Marshall, with aliout 700 cavalry, and
the command of Col. Grover and Lieut.-Col. White, some 300 or
400 strong. A conference of the colonels was held, and it being
Col. R. T. Van Horn
(•) THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
asccrlained that Col. Mullifian had the oldest commission, he
The first mistake (and a fatal one) was that Col. Marshall's
cavalr}-, which had not received its carbines, being" armed only
with sabres and some old holster pistols, was not sent over the
river by the boats yet under our control. It was those horses,
the finest I ever saw tog"ether — owned by the men who rode them
— that exhausted our water supply and weakened our lines of
defense, necessarily extended to protect them.
The figfhting" began in earnest on the 12th, the first severe
firing- being- in what was called "the fig-ht in the lane." As the
Union force was under my own command I can speak more know-
ing-ly. Col. Mullig-an is reported as saying- there were "six com-
panies of Missourians and calvary met them in Lexing-ton ceme-
tery, and the fight rag-ed furiously over the dead." There were
no cavalry present in the fig-hting-. Gen. Price refers to it as
"the enemy attempted to make a stand." The facts were that
his whole army was moving- from the fair g-rounds, where they
had camped, and the small force in the lane held them in check
by an effective fire until the men in the earthworks had rallied
and prevented an assault upon our position.
For nine days the investment lasted with but little respite
for those within the Union works. The vastly superior numbers
of the besieg-ers rendered the vig>ilance of the small force of the
besieged constant. Col. Mullig-an gives the troops under his
command at 2,700, and over 700 of these were the unarmed cav-
alry referred to. The effective fighting men were not over 2,000.
An acquaintance who called to see me the morning after the
surrender said that to Gen. Price's army there had that day
been issued 30,000 rations. Of course, these were not all efficient
soldiers, but as most of the able-bodied men of that portion of
Missouri were there, and they all had something to shoot with,
the statement was a very reasonable and, no doubt, truthful
Considering, as Gen. Price states, that the surrender was
preceded by "fifty-two hours of continuous firing," the fact, in
view of the numbers and condition of the Union soldiers, dis-
closes a courage, fortitude and endurance that will compare with
any incident of the war. As an evidence of the character of
the defense this fact will suffice: The colonels in command of
THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON 7
the infantry were Mullifjan, Pealuxly, White and Grover. At
the surrender Peabody, Grover and White were in the hospital,
wounded, alonj;" with the writer and Adjutant Graff. All five
were tof>"ether in the parlor of Dr. Franklin ( 'ooley,'who took all
he could find room for and ^ave them his skill as asurjjeon, while
his j^ood wife, and the wife of Dr. Alexander supplied them with
the attendance and care that woman alone knows how to pro-
vide. The action of Dr. Cooley and the noble women who aided
him was not only humane, but in view of surrounding's, was
heroic, requiring" a courag'e and self-sacrifice in no degree infer-
ior to the men who stood behind the breast-works.
There were two incidents of the siege that, so far as my ob-
servation has extended, have not been truly explained — the
burning of the Wallace and Fleming houses. As I was a w^itness
to both, it may as well be given here. The residence of Mr.
Wallace was but a short distance in front of the colleg"e and
earth-works, and was made a shelter for sharp-shooters. A con-
sultation of our commanding officers was held and the decision
made to burn it. A detail of men was ordered to do the work,
and I saw them g"o on the errand and return after the fire had
been started. In the case of the Fleming house, it was further
from the earth-works, with a ravine between, and was used as a
shelter for men manning a section of a batter^-, and was har-
rassing the Union g^arrison very much. The order was given to
use red-hot shot to set it on fire, and the attempt succeeded.
These are the facts as to the two cases.
As this is not a report, but confined to incidents, I must re-
fer to one singular omission in the report as given in Col. Mulli-
g'an's account of the Anderson house hospital affair. That ac-
count is evidently from an interview, as I have never seen an
official rei)ort from the Colonel. The omission must be attrib-
uted to the rei)orter — for surely so gallant a soldier as Col. Mul-
ligan could not have omitted it. In re-taking the hospital he is
made to say: "Capt. Gleason with his company" was ordered
to make the attack, which he did. Capt. Gleason is entitled to
all the credit and honor that can be g"iven, for the charge was
in fact a forlorn hope. But as I w^as an eye witness it must be
said that there were two companies: Capt. Gleason, of the 23d
Illinois, and Capt. Josejih Schmitz, of Co. B, Col. Peabody's com-
mand—or, as it was called, the German companj- — all from St.
THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
Joseph. I was present when the two companies were drawn up
to receive their orders, saw them start on a run for the hospitaL
saw them enter it and met them on their return. I never saw a
more jjallant charge or a more desperate venture — and it is due
to the now dead that the facts be given. As said, the omission
must have been by the reporter— for Col. Mulligan could not
have forgotten the memorable scene, and the picture of Capt.
Schmitz waving his sword and charging at the head of his men
is to-day as vivid in memory as it was the day I saw it enacted.
Again, Col. Mulligan is made to say it was 800 yards to the hos-
pital. This is evidently another mistake of the reporter, for it
could not have been over 200 or 250 yards at most from the point
of starting to the hospital. But this is not so important as the
other. The charge was made, and one of
the most desperate, and at an enemy shel-
tered inside a house and using the windows
as port holes It is due also to Col. Mulli-
gan that the notes and recollection of an
interviewer should not go into history as
if it was tiis own report.
> I will recite another occurrence ilius-
.„^fc'l- ^^fll^ trative of personal coolness and bravery —
Kjpi ^K^/H this time in a boy not over 12 or 14 years
^Hj^kj^^^^H old. I happer^ed to be in command of that
BH^BBI^^^BI part of our line s including the col ege
building, in which were stationed sharp-
shooters. Bledsoe's battery was stationed
some blocks away, and fronting the build-
ing. One of the sharp-shooters called to me, saying that red-
hot shot was being used to lire it. On going irito the building
on the second floor I saw the smoke rising from where a six-
pound ball had fallen. As the tools for throwing up the
breast-works were near I took a shovel and threw the ball
out of the window. Just then a boy came up and said: " I can
do that." I looked at the lad, a mere "kid," as we call the
small boy, and said to him: " Do you think you can?" Of course
he was confident B.3' this time another shot came crashing
through the front wall and fell in on the floor. He at once
grasped the shovel and threw it out. As I was needed other-
wise, I showed him how to shelter himself and watch the flash
Col. Robert Adams
U. S. A
THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON 9
at the battery and wait for the ball to strike, and yave him the
job. As long- as the shot were fired he threw them out. cheerinyly
calling attention to each as he did the work. Being in the hos-
pital at the surrender I was unable to find him, or to know where
he belonged, and did not even know his name — and I regretted
that I was not to know who he was or where my little hero be-
Some five or six years ago 1 got a letter from a place in
Southern California, telling me the writer had seen my name in
some proceeding, as from Kansas Citj^, and he wrote to ask if I
was the major of that name that was at Lexington. If so, he
wanted to know if I remembered the boy that threw the hot
cannon balls out of the college building in that battle. If I was,
he wanted me to write to him and state the facts. For, he said:
'' I have told the story until I have got the reputation of being
the greatest liar in California," and he wanted his character
vindicated. Of course, I was more than glad to be the vindica-
tor; and for the first time thus learned his name — Linthicum.
As the act was one of the coolest and most efficient in results of
the many deeds that characterized danger, I have thought it
deserved to be in the record of the doings at Lexington.
As to the hoisting of the white flag: It seems to have been
the act of a subordinate officer, and unauthorized, but before
discovered had so controlled the action of both armies as to make
it a necessit}'. I have read the accounts of both Gen. Price and
Col. Mulligan, and thej' agree in this respect. It w^as given out
on the Union side as the act of an officer by the name of Becker.
I know of no one now living who can give a clearer account as to
this than Capt. Henry Tieman, of Concordia, a most reliable
gentleman. Being in the hospital myself at the time, I was not
in a position to know the steps that led to a surrender that was
not intended, but had to come sooner or later.
As to the exchange of prisoners: Gen. Price not being at
that time in the Confederate service but in chief command of
the "State Guard." a cartel could be arranged without going to
Richmond, so the Lexington prisoners were exchanged for those
of Camp Jackson.
Of the five officers at Dr. Cooley's I am the only survivor.
Col. Grover's wound proved to be mortal. Col. Peabodj- was
killed at Shiloh, Adjutant Graff died in the advance on Corinth,
THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
and CoL White was a cripple and invalid for all his after life.
The fact, once sug-gested, is now in the light of the docu-
mentary history of the war, conclusive: That had Gen. Fremont
and Gen. Lane acted with any promptness or made any effort
with the information they had, Gen. Price would never have
reached Lexington. No military experience is needed to see
this fact — plain as it is from ihe record.
R. T. VAN HORN.
RECOLLECTIONS OF THE BATTLE
BY CAPT. JOSEPH A. WILSON.
Lexington, Mo., March 10, 1903.
MR. JOHN CHAMBERLAIN— .SVr;W«rv Historical Society:
Dear Sir: Complying with your request I submit the fol-
lowing as my recollections of the important features of the
siege and battle of Lexington:
On Sept. 10 Price moved from Rose Hill
to Warrensburg by a night march to inter-
cept a force of I^'ederals, who, Price says in
his report, were going to rob the bank
there, as they had the Farmers' Bank of
Lexington. Others say they were trying
to evade Price's army and get to St. Louis
with the money, something over $900,000,
taken at Lexington. Howeve~r this may be,
they were intercepted and driven back to
Lexington, burning the bridges behind
them Ont he 12th Price reached Lexing-
ton, moving from the Warrensburg road
Capt. Jos. A. Wilson through the lane in front of General
Shields' house, to the old Independence road at Edenview church.
Near this place a small party of cavalry were encountered
by our advance guard and driven to town A regiment of in-
fantry posted near the cemetery gave our advance guard a warm
reception, and stood their ground until Price sent forward a
THE BATTLEOF LEXINGTON 11
force of infantry and Bledsoe's battery. The Federals were
forced to return to the works around the college. Bledsoe's
battery was posted on the ground where Wentworth Military
Academy now stands, and fired several rounds into the works.
The attack was repelled with vigor, although we expected
that we should be led right on to the works. We retired to
camp at the Fair Grounds, where we remained until the morn-
ing of Wednesday, Sept. 18. We were constantly engaged in
desultory skirmishes with pickets and foraging parties, but
nothing of a serious nature.
Price was constantly receiving re-enforcements, until his
army amounted to about 12,000 men. An effort was made to re-
enforce the Federals from the north of the river, but a detach-
ment from our army drove them back, and Mulligan prepared
to resist to the utmost the siege he now saw would begin.
He seized large quantities of provisions, clothing and horses
from the Southern citizens, taking also all private arms and
amunition he could find.
On the 18th of September our army marched out with colors
flying and a full band of field music in front. Before getting in
sight of the enemy, however, the music was '• side-tracked," and
we marched to our positions as silently as possible. Rain's di-
vision passed through Mrs. John Aull's meadow, and near the
ground where now stands the Missouri Pacific depot, through
Mrs. Beck's (now Captain Ryland Todhunter's) front yard,
thence north back of the old Tutt place, and formed with its
right resting on the hill where Maj. Fred Neet now lives, its left
a little east of north from W. M. A.
Clark's division was on the left of Rain's, and Parsons', on
Clark's left, extended west along Main Street about to the
Court House. Green's and Steen's divisions extended along the
west side of Tenth, then Pine Street, to and across Third Street
on the bluff west of the gas house. Harris and McBride were on
Water Street, along the river, and extending up the hill, so as to
join Rain's right flank. Thus the Federal works were completely
invested. One column marched down Third Street, one along
the alley and through back yards on the bluff, and one down
Water Street from the Rock bridge.
Bledsoe's three-gun battery was posted about 100 yards
southeast of Maj. Neet's residence; two guns of Guibor's bat-
12 THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
tery on the ground where now stand the artillery shed and out-
buildings of W. M. A., and one of Guibor's guns, commanded by
Serg. A. A. Lesueur, stood where John Major now lives, just be-
hind the Traders' Bank.
Guibor lent his fourth gun to Capt. Churchill Clark, who
posted it on South Street, at the end of Sixteenth or College
Street, where he fired hot shot into the front of the colleg-e.
The first day Clark had two of Guibor's g'uns and opened on the
works from the old Tutt place, on the east.
Kneisley's battery of four six-pounders was under the hill
with Harris' division. Price's headquarters were in the Meng"
building, north side of Main, one door west of Tenth Street.
The first day Harris' men captured the steamer Sunshine, just
below the levee, with a large quantity of stores, especially
sugar, of which I remember we had double rations for some
time after. The first day was mainly devoted to artillery prac-
tice, with some skirmishes, but we were too far off to effect
much with our shot guns and squirrel rifles, a larg-e number of
which were flint-locks. A few companies were armed with old
fashioned U. S. muskets and bayonets, captured at Wilson's
Creek. That night we slept in line of battle without blankets
The second day a column from Parsons' division attempted
an assault on the works in front, just west of College Street, but
On that day, by Gen. Price's orders. Col. Thomas Hinkle, a
wagon boss, hauled a lot of hemp bales from Wellington and
they were dumped all along the streets but not taken to the
lines until the third day and last day. At the time everybody
seemed to give Gen. Price credit for the idea of a movable
breast-works, and I think it probable that the idea of rolling
them along was Gen. Price's, even if the whole bu,.lness wa.s
not. Gen. Thomas A. Harris, who afterwards became very un-
friendly to Price, claimed to have originated the matter. Col.
C. Franklin wrote to Gen. Price from Little Rock, in 1863, that
Harris claimed it. Col Thomas L. Snead, Price's Adjt-utan
General, heard it suggested by a private in the General's body-
guard. Several others claimed it. At first some bales were
dipped in the river to protect them from hot shot, but after
losing some in the water and trying to roll the wet bales, which
THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
drenched men and g"uns, they used them "dry so."
Two or three men would get behind a bale, roll it awhile,
then stop and shoot awhile. A line would be advanced in this
way as close as was thought proper, and
while the men lay behind and fired, a
second line would be rolled up and placed on
top of the first. They were not so exten-
sively used as is commonly thought — only in
front of the hospital, Anderson's house, and
for about two hundred yards on the north.
They were very effective in approaching
the house, which has heavy brick walls.
At Jackson, Mississippi, Gen. Joe Johnson
used cotton bales.
On the third day a party from Harris'
division assaulted a small out-work, a
lunette, which can still be seen on the ^°'- ^°^^ ^^'^
northwest of the college, which contained one gun and a sup-
porting force of infantry. The Federals did not wait the attack
but leaped over the parapet and met our men half way. After a
short conflict they W' ere driven in with considerable loss, and the
assaulting party withdrew a short distance but did not retire.
A number of Federals were left outside, killed and wounded.
Soon those inside raised a white handkerchief and asked the
Confederates to let them bring in their wounded. After a short
parley the request was granted The white flag was seen from
other parts of the Confederate lines, and the firing, which had,
until now, been incessant, suddenlj^ ceased.
Soon another white flag appeared in the Home Guard Camp,
just west of the college building. Gen. Price, seeing one or both
flags from the third story of his headquarters building, sent
Col. Thomas L. Snead, A. A. G., to the fort to inquire their
object. Mulligan, who had just been informed of the flag rais-
ing, replied: "I don't know, unless you fellows have surrend-
ered, for I have no idea of giving up," or words to that effect.
This account of the episode was current in the army and
generally believed, whether true or not. However, negotia-
tions were opened, officers from both sides met and arranged
terms of capitulation as honorable to the vanquished as to the
14 THE BATTLEOF LEXINGTON
Officers and men, as prisoners of war, gave parole not to take
arms ajjainst the Confederate g-overnment until regularly ex-
changed. Arms were stacked within the works and the men
marched out and returned to their homes under their own
officers, retaining private property, such as clothing, etc.
Officers retained private horses and side arms. All provisions,
stores, ammunition, tents, wagons, arms and other public prop-
erty were turned over to the victorious army.
There were provisions and other stores within the works to
last through a seige of six months, but water had become very
scarce. This was undoubtedly a potent factor in leading to the
Indeed, the Federals claim that they woulu have held out
until relieved, but for the want of water. This is. to say the
least, doubtful, as they were outnumbered nearly four to one
and the place could have been taken by storm at any time. The
Confederates fully expected to storm the works, but Gen. Price,
bold and audacious as he was, yet knew when wariness and
patience would win. Unwilling" to sacrifice the lives of his men
without need, he sat down before the place, confident in his
ability to carry it at any time. The Federals numbered about
Col. John Reid, Price's chief commissary, said that he is-
sued rations for that number of prisoners. There were not
more than 10,000 or 12,000 (Confederates. Federal writers claim
that there were 18,000 or 20,000. They largely overestimate
our force. There was a large number of unarmed recruits
about the camp, and a great crowd of citizens came in on the
day of the surrender. The citizens mixed with the soldiers who
wore no uniforms, and it looked like an immense army.
The taking of the Anderson house (hospital) by our men led
to a controversy which was kept up after the war. Federals
charged us with perfidy in attacking a hospital. We replied
that they had fired from the building or under its cover. This
they strenuously denied. At a friendly court of inquiry, some-
time in the 70's, it was proven and admitted that they did fire
from a point so near the building, if not actually under its
cover, as to justify our men in the attack. It was also ad-
mitted that it was, at least, improper to locate the hospital at
an important strategic point, just outside the works. We first
THE BATTLEOF LEXINGTON 15
took the hospital when but few armed men were in it. The
Federals, in strong force, stormed and retook it. We then ap-
proached it with our rolling" breast-works of hemp, captured
and held it with a number of prisoners.
Perhaps the g"reatest loss, at any point, was in these three
attacks. Gen. Price reports his casualties at 25 killed, 72
wounded. The Federals had 250 to 3O0 killed and wounded.
There were more killed than wounded, which is very unusual,
and is accounted for by the f;ood marksmanship of our riflemen,
who could see nothing- but the enemies' heads above the works.
The Union authorities were at first disposed to disregard
the parole given by their men at Lexington, Missouri not being
out of the Union and not recognized by the Confederate gov-
ernment nor Price's army yet in the regular Confederate ser-
vice. Some of them were forced into the service at once and
were exposed to the death penalty if recaptured. They gave a
great deal of trouble and some were granted discharges. Mul-
ligan remained with our army on its march southward for some
time, traveling in his own ambulance and camping near Price's
headquarters. He was treated as a guest rather than a pris-
oner, and it was the impression among our men that he volun-
tarily remained with us until the status of the paroled men was
settled by his government.
As to the bank matter: Gen. Price restored the money to
the directors of the bank, but it was short $15,000. That
amount had been stolen while it was in the Federals' hands, by
cutting open one of the tin boxes which contained it. Detect-
ives were employed, who traced the money to Chicago, where
most of Mulligan's men had gone, thence to Milwaukee or De-
troit. It was nearly all recovered, converted into gold and
finally restored to the bank, with the exception of about $2,000,
which was paid out in expenses, rewards, etc.
There was a large number of Union men in Lexington,
among them several skilled surgeons. These asked Gen. Price's
permission to go into the works and assist in taking care of the
wounded Federals This was granted, and on the second day,
about dusk, the doctors were escorted through the lines, under
a flag, after giving parole not to convey information of a mili-
In passing the lines, however, one of them managed to
16 THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
whisper to a Federal officer, " Look out, the rebels will make an
assault on this part of your works to-night." This was at the
west sally port, looking towards the Anderson house. The
hint was taken, the works on that side strengthened, and a
large quantity of telegraph wire stretched and tangled in
front. (Barbed wire was then unknown). The other out-works
were already protected bv " trous de loup.'' pits three or four
feet deep with sharp stakes in the bottom and mounds between,
disposed in quincunx order. Our men must have discovered the
extra preparations, for no assault was made.
Mulligan's famous " Irish Brigade,"' after the capitulation
was agreed upon and while its terms were being carried out,
made some trouble about laying down arms and surrendering
their flag. It was the typical harp of Erin, gold on a held of
green, and was presented to them by some organization of
ladies before leaving Chicago. They marched round the inner
side of the Fort with colors and music, to the great disgust of
Capt. Bledsoe and others, who threatened to resume firing;
then forming in hollow square they stacked arms, furled the
flag and were paroled with the others. Gen. Price and staff
were all this time sitting on their horses, in or near the outer
sally port, on the south side, the soldiers were swarming over
the out-works, and had resistance been resumed then, the gar-
rison would have been destroyed jn a few minutes.
I never learned what became of that beautiful flag. It
would be an interesting relic now.
JOSEPH A. WILSON.
THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
COLONEL JAMES A. MULLIGAN.
Colonel James A. Mulli-
gan was born in the city
of Utica, New York, in
the year 1829, and is con-
sequently in his thirty-
second year. His parents
were natives of Ireland.
His mother, after the
death of his father, which
took place when he was a
child, removed to Chicago,
where she has resided with
her son for the past twen-
ty-three years. She mar-
ried an Irish- American in
Chicago named Michael
Lantry, who has steadily
watched with a father's
solicitude the expanding
mind of the brave young
soldier. He was edu-
cated at the Catholic College of North Chicago. He is a
strict member of the Catholic Church. In 1852, 185.3 and 1854 he
read law in the office of the Hon. Isaac N. Arnold, Congressman
from the Chicago District. In 1856 he was admitted an attor-
ney-at-law in Chicago. At the time he held the position of
Second Lieutenant in the Chicago Shields Guards, one of the
companies attached to the Irish Brigade now in Missouri, and
which has done so well at Lexington. — Harper's Weekly.
Col. Mulligan is over six feet in height, and as straight as a
lance. A strong, wiry, muscular frame, an open, frank Celtic
face, a dark hazel eye as lustrous as that of an eagle, long,
glossy hair plentifully mixed with threads of gray, a heavy dark
moustache, and a nervous, energetic look, indicative of the
dash, the abandon, which characterizes the nervous, sanguine
temperament, complete the /<'r.so««/ of James A. Mulligan, the
defender of Lexington, Missouri. — Detroit Free Press.
GENERAL STERLING PRICE.
Sterling Price is a native of Virginia and resided for some time in
Prince William County in that State. From thence he removed to Mis-
souri where he has resided for the last twenty years. He is by profession
a lawyer, has occupied several important positions in the State service,
and has also represented it in Congress He was Governor before Robert
Stewart. During the Mexican war he served in the Volunteers and rose
to the rank of Colonel of Cavalry, and subsequently to that of Brigadier-
General of Volunteers When the Rebellion broke out he avowed him-
self a traitor, and was appointed by ex-Governor Claiborne Jackson Major-
General of the State Militia of Missouri —Harper's Weekly.
THE BATTLEOF LEXINGTON 19
EFFORTS TO RELIEVE THE SIEGE
[extracts from the rebellion records.]
Jefferson City, Sept. 12, 1861
I have just received the following-, latest from Col. MuUi-
g-an, at Lexington: "Ten or fifteen thousand men, under Price,
Jackson & Co., are reported near Warrensburg-, moving- on to
this post. We -will hold out. Streng-then us: we will require
JEFF. C. DAVIS, Co/of/e/, Comma ndiug.
Jefferson City, Sept. 12, 1861.
Lieut. Pease, a very intelligent officer, arrived last night
with dispatches from Col. Mulligan, at Lexington, and reports
all quiet there. They had not heard of Price's advance, but
the colonel informed me that he had secured the money in the
bank at that place and was taking steps to secure that of other
banks, in obedience to my orders. I also ordered him, immedi-
ately after his arrival, to commence fortifying Lexington,
which he informs me he is doing. No troops from Kansas, ex-
cept about 300 had arrived. Nothing was known there of Gen,
Pope's movements. Affairs south of this, and in Calloway
County, are being vigorously straightened out by some detach-
ments I sent out some days ago.
I am, verj' respectfully, your obedient servant,
JEFF. C. DAVIS, Colonel, Coyyjmatiding.
Maj. Gen. John C. Fremont, Saint Louis, Mo.
Headquarters Western Department,
Saint Louis, Sept. 14, 1861.
Re-enforcements will be sent you to-day. The Eighth Indi-
ana left at 6 a. m. this morning for Jefferson City. Other regi-
ments will follow to-day. Sturgis will move forward. We will
telegraph you further respecting his movements. Gen. Pope,
with some force, is at or near Saint Joseph.
J. C FREMONT, Major-General. Commanding.
Col. Jefferson C. Davis, Jefferson City.
20 THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
Saint Louis, Skpt. 14, 186L
Sir: You are hereby directed to move by way of Utica.
with all practicable speed, to Lexington, on the Missouri River,
with your force of infantry and artillery. You will send back
the three companies of the Fremont Hussars, under Capt.
Bloom, to Saint Louis. The most practicable route from Utica
to Lexington for you will be by Austinville, Grove, and Morton.
J. C. FREMONT, Major-General, Commanding.
Jefferson City, Sept. 15, 18(51.
Reliable information from the vicinity of Price's column
shows his force to be 11,000 at Warrensburg and 4.000 at George-
town, with pickets extending in the direction of Syracuse.
Green is making for Boonville.
JEFF. C. DAVIS.
Saint Louis. Sept. 2o, 18(51.
Col. Jefferson C. Davis, Jefferson City:
Concentrate a force strong enough, in your judgment, at
Georgetown, and push forward to relieve Mulligan. 1 trust
that you can take provisions for two days with the means of
transportation which you have. Order back your boats to Jef-
ferson City, and send provisions afid troops by them to Lexing-
ington. Two hundred wagons will be sent from here to-night to
Syracuse, which will follow you. Troops are going from here.
J. C. FREMONT, Major-General, Coyntnanding.
Saint Louis. Sept 23, 18(51.
I have telegram from Brookfield that Lexington has fallen
into Price's hands,* he having cut off Mulligan's supply of water.
Re-enforcements 4,000 strong, under Sturgis, by capture of fer-
ry-boats, had no means of crossing the river in time. Lane's
force from the southwest and Davis' from the southeast, up-
*Two days before the date of this dispatch, the very next day after tlie
surrender O^efore the news of it had reached headquarters, however). Col.
Mulligan was promoted to be a brigadier-general. See Rebellion Records,
p. 502, vol. 3, series 1.
THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
^^^^^JjjaS ST. louis
wards of 11,000, could not ^et there in time. I am taking the
tield myself, and hope to destroy the enemy either before or
after the junction of forces under McCulloch. Please notify
the President immediately.
J. C. FREMONT, Major- General, Commandir.ff.
Col. E. D. Townsend,
Asst. Adjt. Geti., Hdqrs. of the Arm.\\ IVashington, D. C.
Hdqrs. U. S. a., Washington, Sept. 23, 1861.
John C. Fremont, MaJ. Gen., Commanding, Saint Louis, Mo. :
Your dispatch of this day is received. The President is
glad you are hastening to the scene ol action. His words are,
''He expects you to repair the disaster at Lexington without
loss of time." WINFIELD SCOTT.
22 THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
OFFICIAL REPORT OF THE BATTLE
Report of Maj. Geti. Sterling Price, commariding Misssouri State
Guard (Cotifederate), of operations, September 10-20.
Headquarters Missouri State Guard,
Camp Wallace, Lexington, Mo., Sept. 21, 18HL
I have the honor to submit to your excellency the following-
report of the action which terminated on the 20th instant with
the surrender of the United States forces and property at this
place to the army under my command:
After chastising^ the marauding- armies of \ ane and Mont-
gomery and driving them out of the State, and after compelling
them to abandon Fort Scott, as detailed in my last report, I
continued my march towards this point with an army increasing
hourly in numbers and enthusiasm
On the 10th instant, just as we were about to encamp for
the day a mile or two west of Rose Hill, I learned that a detJi ch-
ment of Federal troops and Home Guards were marching from
Lexington to Warrensburg- to rob the bank in that place
and plunder and arrest the citizens of Johnson County, in ac-
cordance with General Fremontfe proclamation and instruc-
tions. Although my men were greatly fatigued by several
days' continuous and rapid marching, I determined to press for-
ward so as to surprise the enemy, if possible, at Warrensburg.
Therefore, after resting a few hours, we resumed the march at
sunset, and marched without intermission until 2 o'clock in the
morning, when it became evident that the infantry, very few of
whom had eaten a mouthful in twenty-two hours, could march
no farther. I then halted them, and went forward with the
largest part of my mounted men until we came, about day-
break, within view of Warrensburg, where I ascertained that
the enemy had hastily fled about midnight, burning the bridges
The rain began to fall about the same time. This circum-
stance, coupled with the fact that my men had been fasting for
more than twenty-four hours, constrained me to abandon the
idea of pursuing the enemy that day. My infantry and artil-
THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON 23
lery having come up, we encamped at VVarrensburg, whose citi-
zens vied with each other in feeding my almost famished
An unusually violent storm delayed our march the next
morning (September 12) until about 10 o'clock. We then pushed
forward rapidly, still hoping to overtake the enemy. Finding
it impossible to do this with my infantry, I again ordered a de-
tachment to move forward, and placing myself at their head,
continued the pursuit to within two and a half miles of Lexing-
ton, when, having learned that the enemy were already within
town, and it being late and my men fatigued by a forced march
and utterly without provisions, I halted for the night.
About daybreak the next morning (September 13) a sharp
skirmish took place between our pickets and the enemy's out-
posts. This threatened to become general. Being unwilling,
however, to risk a doubtful engagement, when a short delay
would make success certain, I fell back two or three miles and
awaited the arrival of my infantry and artillery. These having
come up, we advanced upon the town, driving the enemy's
pickets until we came within a short distance of the city itself.
Here the enemy attempted to make a stand, but they were
speedily driven from every position and forced to take shelter
within their intrenchments. We then took position within
easy range of the college, which building they had strongly
fortified, and opened upon them a brisk fire from Bledsoe's bat-
tery, which, in the absence of Capt. Bledsoe, who had been
wounded at Big Dry Wood, was gallantly commanded by Capt.
Emmett MacDonald, and by Parsons' battery, under the skill-
ful command of Capt. Guibor.
Finding, after sunset, that our ammunition, the most of
which had been left behind on the march from Springfield, was
nearly exhausted, and that my men, thousands of whom had
not eaten a particle in thirty-six hours, required rest and food,
I withdrew to the fair ground and encamped there. My ammu-
nition wagons having been at last brought up, and large re-
enforcements having been received, I again moved into town on
Wednesday, the 18th instant, and began the final attack on the
Brigadier-General Rains' division occupied a strong position
on the east and northeast of the fortifications, from which an
24 THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
effective cannonading was kept up on the enemy by Bledsot's
battery, under command, except on the last day, of Capt.
Emmett MacDonald, and another battery, commanded by Capt.
Churchill Clark, of Saint Louis. Both these gentlemen, and
the men and officers under their command, are deservedly com-
mended in accompanying- report of Brigadier-General Rains.
Gen. Parsons took a position southwest of the works, whence
his battery, under command of Capt. Guibor, poured a steady
fire into the enemy. Skirmishers and sharp-shooters were also
sent forward from both of these divisions to harass and fatigue
the enemy, and to cut them off from the water on the'north.
east, and south of the college, and did inestimable service in
the accomplishment of these purposes.
Col. Congreve Jackson's division and a part of Gen. Steele's
were posted near Gens. Rains' and Parsons' as a reserve, but no
occasion occurred to call them into action. They were, how-
ever, at all times vigilant and ready to rush upon the enemy.
Shortly after entering the city on the 18th Col. Rives, who
commanded the Fourth Division in the absence of Gen. Slack,
led his regiment and Col. Hughes" along the river bank to a
point immediately beneath and west of the fortifications. Gen.
McBride's command and a portion of Col. (Gen.) Harris' having
been ordered to re-enforce him. Col. Rives, in order to cut off
the enemy's means of escape, propeeded down the bank of the
river to capture a steamboat which was lying just under their
guns. Just at this moment a heavy fire was opened upon him
from Col. Anderson's large dwelling-house on the summit of the
bluffs, which the enemy were occupying as a hospital, and upon
which a white flag was flying. Several companies of Gen. Har-
ris' command and the gallant soldiers of the Fourth Division,
who have won upon so many battle-fields the proud distinction
of always being among the bravest of the brave, immediately
rushed upon and took the place. The important position thus
secured was within 125 yards of the enemy's intrenchments. A
company from Col. Hughes' regiment then took possession of
the boats, one of which was richly freighted with valuable
Gen. McBride's and Gen. Harris' divisions meanwhile gal-
lantly stormed and occupied the bluffs immediately north of
Anderson's house. The possession of these heights enabled our
THE BATTLEOF LEXINGTON 25
men to harass the enemy so greatly that, resolving- to regain
them, they made upon the house a successful assault, and one
which would have been honorable to them had it not been ac-
companied by an act of savage barbarity — the cold-blooded and
cowardly murder of three defenseless men, who had laid down
their arms and surrendered themselves as prisoners.
The position thus retaken by the enemy was soon regained
by the brave men who had been driven from it, and was thence-
forward held by them to the very end of the contest. The
heights to the left of Anderson's house, which had been taken,
as before staled, by Gens Mc Bride and Harris and by part of
Steele's command, under Col. Boyd and Maj. Winston, were
rudely fortified by our soldiers, who threw up breast-works as
well as they could with their slender means.
On the morning of the 20th instant T caused a number of
hemp bales to be transported to the river heights, where move-
able breast-works were speedily constructed out of them by
Gens. Harris and McBride, (^ol. Rives, Maj. Winston, and their
respective commands. Capt. Kelley's battery (attached to Gen.
Steele's division) was ordered at the same time to the position
occupied by Gen. Harris' force and quickly opened a very
effective fire, under the direction of its gallant captain, upon
the enemy. These demonstrations, and particularly the con-
tinued advance of the hemjien breast-works, which were as
efficient as the cotton bales at New Orleans, quickly attracted
the attention and excited the alarm of the enemy, who made
many daring attempts to drive us back. They were, however,
repulsed in every instance by the unflinching courage and fixed
determination of our men.
In these desperate encounters the veterans of McBride's
and Slack's divisions fully sustained their proud reputation,
while Col. Martin Green and his command, and Col. Boyd and
Maj. Winston and their commands, proved themselves worthy
to fight by the side of the men who had by their couratre and
valor won imperishable honor in the bloody battle of Springfield.
After 2 o'clock in the afternoon of the 20th, and after fifty-
two hours of continuous firing, a white flag was displayed by the
enem}^ on that part of the works nearest to Col. Green's posi-
tion, and shortly afterwards another was displayed opposite to
Col. Rives'. I immediately ordered a cessation of all firing on
26 THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
our part, and sent forward one of my staff officers to ascertain
the object of tlie flag and to open negotiations with the enemy
if such should be their desire. It was finally, after some delay,
agreed by CoL Marshall and the officers associated with him for
that purpose by Col. Mulligan, that the United States forces
should lay down their arms and surrender themselves as prison-
ers of war to this army. These terms having been made known,
were ratified by me and immediately carried into effect.
Our entire loss in this series of engagements amounts to 25
killed and 72 wounded. The enemy's loss was much greater.
The visible fruits of this almost bloodless victory are very
great — about 3,500 prisoners, among whom are Cols. Mulligan,
Marshall, Peabody, White and Grover, Maj. Van Horn, and 118
other commissioned officers, 5 pieces of artillery and two mor-
tars, over 3,000 stands of infantry arms, a large number of
sabers, about 750 horses, many sets of cavalry equipments,
wagons, teams, and ammunition, more than $100,0(0 worth of
commissary stores, and a large amount of other property. In
addition to all this, I obtained the restoration of the great seal
of the State and the public records, which had been stolen from
their proper custodian, and about $!)00,000 in money, of which
the bank at this place had been robbed, and which I have caused
to be returned to it.
This victory has demonstrated ,the fitness of our citizen sol-
diers for the tedious operations of a siege as well as for a dash-
ing charge. They lay for fifty-two hours in the open air without
tents or covering, regardless of the sun and rain and in the very
presence of a watchful and desperate foe, manfully repelling
every assault and patiently awaiting any orders to storm the
fortifications. No general ever commanded a braver or a better
army. It is composed of the best blood and the bravest men of
Where nearly every one, officers and men, behaved so well,
as is known to your excellency, who was present with the army
during the whole period embraced in this report, it is impossible
to make special mention of individuals without seemingly mak-
ing invidious distinctions; but I may be permitted to express my
personal obligations to my volunteer aides, as well as my staft',
THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON 27
for their efficient services and prompt attention to all my
1 have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, your ex-
cellency's obedient servant,
STERLING PRICE, Major-Gcneral, Comirianding.
Hon. C. F. Jackson, Governor of the State of Missouri.
COL. MULLIGAN'S STORY OF THE SIEGE
[The following^ newspaper report (not stenographic) of a
lecture by Col. Mulligan was kindly furnished by Mrs. Marian
Mulligan, who assures us that the Colonel's official report never
reached Washington.— The Editors].
On the 30th of August, 1861, the Irish brigade of Chicago
lay encamped just outside of Jefferson City. That night an
order came from the General, at Jefferson City, for them to re-
port at headquarters. Upon reaching headquarters the com-
manding officer said that the regiment of Col. Marshall, which
had left for the southeast some days before, had reached Tipton,
where they were hemmed in, and could neither advance or re-
turn, and that he wished me to go to Tipton, join Col. Marshall,
take command of the combined forces, cut my way through the
enemy, return to Lexington and hold it at all hazards. The
next morning the Irish brigade started, with one six pounder,
forty rounds of ammunition, and three days' rations for each
man. Thus we marched on for nine days without meeting an
enemy, foraging upon the country roundabout in the meantime
We reached Tipton, but found neither Col. Marshall nor the
enemy. The brigade passed on to a pleasant spot within two
miles of Lexington, where we sat down, and made preparations
to enter the town. We washed our faces, burnished up our
arms, brushed the travel stain from our uniforms, and went gaily
in with our little six pounder. Indeed, the trouble was not so
28 THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
much in getting into Lexington as in getting out. At Lexington
we found Col. Marshall's cavalry regiment and about 350 men of
a regiment of Home Guards. On the 10th we received a letter
from Col. Peabody, of the Thirteenth Missouri regiment, saying
that he was retreating from Warrensburg, twenty-five miles
distant, and that the rebel general, Price, was in full pursuit,
with an army of ten thousand men.
A few hours later and Col. Peabody joined us. There were
then at this point the Irish brigade. Col. Marshall's Illinois cav-
alry regiment, full, Col. Peabody "s regiment, and a part of the
Fourteenth Missouri— in all about 2,780 men, with one six pound-
er, forty rounds of ammunition, and but few rations. We then
dispatched a courier to Jefferson City, informing the command-
ing officer at that post of our condition, and praying for re-en-
forcements or even rations, when we would hold out to the last.
At noon of the 11th we commenced throwing up entrench-
ments. We had selected college hill, an eminence overlooking
Lexington and the broad Missouri. All day long the men worked
untiringly with the shovel. That evening, but six or eight hours
after we had commenced throwing up earth-works, our pickets
were driven in and intimation given that the enemy were upon
us. Col. Peabody was ordered out to meet them, two six pound-
ers were planted in a position to command a covered bridge by
which the enemy were obliged to epter the town, and so we were
prepared. That night the enemy, seeing our preparations, re-
mained on the other side of the bridge, but it was a night of
fearful anxiety. None knew at what moment the enemy would
be upon our devoted little band, and the hours passed in silence
and anxious waiting Thus we waited until morning vigilantly
and without sleep, when some one rushed in. saying: "Colonel,
the enemy are pushing across the bridge in overwhelming
With a glass we could see them as they came. Gen. Price
upon his horse, riding up and down through his lines, urging his
men on. Two companies of the Missouri Thirteenth were or-
dered out, and with Co. K of the Irish brigade quickly checked
the enemy, drove them back, burned the bridge, and gallantly
ended their day's work before breakfast. The enemy made a
detour, and approached the town once more by the Independence
road. Six companies of the Missouri regiment were ordered
THE BATTLEOF LEXINGTON 29
out to meet them in the Lexington cemetery, just outside the
town, and the fight raged furiously over the dead. We succeed-
ed in keeping the enemy in check, and in the meantime the work
with the shovel went bravely on, the diggers sometimes pausing
in their work to cast anxious looks toward the graveyard where
their comrades were engaged in the deadly strife, and yet the
shovel was swiftly plied.
This work tvas continued during the night, our outposts keep-
ing the enemy in check, so that in the morning we had thrown
up breast-works three or four feet in height. At 3:00 o'clock in
the afternoon of the 12th the engagement opened with artillery.
A volley of grajDC from the enemy was directed at a group of our
officers who were outside the breast-works, which had an amus-
ing effect. Every officer immediately sought the protection of
the breast-works, and gained the inside of the lines of men.
But this movement was attributed by them to the terror of
their horses, not from any desire to contemplate the enemy
from a less exposed position. Our men had returned the volley
and a scene of the wildest confusion commenced. Each man
evidently believed that he who made the most noise was doing
the most shooting. Those who were not shooting at the moon
were shooting above it, into the earth, or elsewhere at random,
in the wildest, most reckless manner. This could not continue
long with f -rty rounds of ammunition, and the men were ordered
to cease firing, and were then arranged in ranks and instructed
to fire with more precision, and carefully; and soon everything
was in order and moved on as cleverly as a Yankee clock. This
contest raged about an hour and a half, when we had the satis-
faction, by a lucky shot, of knocking over the enemy's big gun,
exploding a powder caisson, and otherwise creating a vast
amount of damage, which was received with great shouts by our
brave men. The fight was continued until dusk, and as the moon
rose that great army of 10,000 men were in full and precipitate
retreat, and Lexington was our own again. We resumed the
shoveling and worked unceasingly through the night. Next
morning Gen. Parsons, with 10,000 men at his back, sent in a flag
of truce to a little garrison of 2.700, asking permission to enter
the town to take care of his wounded and bury his dead, claim-
ing that when the noblest soldier of them all, the lion-hearted
Lyon, had fallen, he had granted every privilege to the Federal
30 THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
officers who had sought his corpse.
It was not necessary to quote any precedent to the Irish
brigade for an act of humanity, and friend and foe met above
the slain and together performed the last rites over the fallen.
On Friday, though a drenching rain set in. the work of
throwing up the entrenchments went on, and the men stood al-
most knee deep in mud and water at their work. We had taken
the basement of the Masonic college, an edifice from which tiie
eminence took its name. A quantity of powder was obtained and
the men commenced making cartridges. A foundry was fitted
up, and 150 rounds of shot-grape and canister were cast for each
of our six pounders. We had found no provisions at Lexington.
and our 2,700 men were getting short of rations. Sunday had
now arrived. Father Butler, our chaplain, celebrated mass upon
the hillside, and all were considerably strengthened and encour-
aged by his words, and after services were over we went back
to the works, actively casting shot and stealing provisions from
the inhabitants round-about. Our pickets were all the time
skirmishing with the enemy, and we were casting shot and mak-
ing preparations for defense against the enemy's attack, which
was expected on the morrow.
At 9:00 o'clock on the morning of the 18th the enemy was
seen approaching. His force had been strengthened to 28,000
men, with thirteen pieces of canruon. They came as one dark,
moving mass, theii^ polished guns gleaming in the sunlight, their
banners waving, and their drums beating — everywhere, as far as
we could see were men, men. men — approaching grandly. Our
earth-works covered an area of about eighteen acres, surrounded
by a ditch, and protected in front by what were called " confus-
ion pits," and by mines, to embarrass their approach. Our men
stood firm behind the breast-works, none trembling or pale, and
the whole place was solemn and silent. As Father Butler went
around among them they asked his blessing and received it un-
covered; then turned and sternly cocked their muskets. The
enemy came, 28,000 men, upon my poor, devoted little band, and
opened a terrible fire with thirteen pieces of cannon, on the
right and on the left, and in the rear, which we answered with
determination and spirit. Our spies had brought intelligence,
and had all agreed that it was the intention of the enemy to
make a grand rush, overwhelm us. and bury us in the trenches
of Lexington. The tight commenced at 9:00 o'clock, and for
three days they never ceased to pour upon us a deadl}^ fire. At
noon word was brought that the enemy had taken the hospital.
We had not fortified that. It was situated outside the entrench-
ments, and I had supposed that the little white flag was a suf-
ficient protection for the wounded and dying soldier who had
finished his service and who was powerless for harm— our chap-
lain, our surgeon, and 150 wounded men. The enemy took it
without opposition, filled it with their sharp-shooters, and from
every window, from the scuttles on the roof, poured right into
our entrenchments a deadly drift of lead.
Several companies were ordered to re-take the hospital, but
failed to do so. The Montgomery guard of the Irish brigade was
ordered to a comjjany which we knen' would go through. Their
captain admonished them that they were called upon to go
where the others dared not, and they were implored to uphold
the gallant name which they bore, and the word was given to
"charge!" The distance across the plain from the hospital to
the entrenchments was about 800 yards ; they started at first
quick, then double quick, then on a run, then faster — still the
deadly drift of lead poured upon them, but on they went — a wild
line of steel, and what is better than steel, irresistible human
will. They marched up to the hospital, first opened the door
without shot or shout — until they encountered the enemy within,
whom they hurled out and far down the hill beyond. The cap-
tain, twice wounded, came back with his brave band, through a
path strewn with forty-five of the eighty lions who had gone out
upon the field of death. We were now in the most terrible situ-
ation. The fire had hesitated for a little while, and the rebel
commander had at once sent word to us that we must at once
surrender, or they would hoist the black fiag and show no quar-
ter. Word w^as sent back that it would be time to settle that
question when we asked for quarter, and then the terrible fire
was resumed. Our surgeon was held by the enemy against all
rules of war, and that, too, when we had released a surgeon of
the enemy on his mere pledge that he was such. It was a terri-
ble thing to see those brave fellows mangled and wounded, with-
out skillful hands to bind their ghastly wounds. Capt. Moriarity,
of the Irish brigade, who had been in civil life a physician, was
ordered to lav aside his sword and go into the hospital. He
32 THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
went, and through all the siege worked among the wounded with
no other instrument than a razor. The suffering in the hospital
was horrible— the wounded and mangled men dying for thirst,
frenziedly wrestling for water in which the bleeding stumps of
mangled limbs had been washed, and drinking it with a horrid
On the morning of the 19th the firing was resumed and con-
tinued all day. The officers had told our men that if we could
hold out to the 19th we would be re-inforced, and all through the
day the men watched anxiously for the appearance of a friendly
flag under which aid was to reach them, and listened eagerly for
the sound of friendly cannon. But they looked and listened in
vain, and all day long they fought without water, their parched
lips cracking, their tongues swollen, and the blood running down
their chins when they bit their cartridges, and the saltpeter
entered their cracked and blistered lips, but not a word of mur-
muring. The morning of the 20th broke, but no re-inforcements
had come ; still the men fought on. The rebels appeared that
day with an artifice that was destined to overreach us and se-
cure to them the possession of our entrenchments. They had
constructed a movable breast-work of hemp bales, rolling them
before their lines up the hill, and advanced their artillery under
this cover. All our efforts could not retard the advance of these
bales. Round shot and bullets were poured against them but
they would only rock a little, and then settle back. Heated
shots were fired with the hope of setting them on fire, but the
enemy had taken the precaution to soak the bales in the Mis-
souri and they would not burn. Thus for hours the fight con-
tinued, we striving to knock down or burn their hemp bales, and
they striving to knock down our breast-works. Finally the rush
came. The enemy left the protection of their bales and with a
wild yell swept over our earth-works and against our lines, and
a deadly struggle commenced. Many heroic deeds were done in
that encounter. Our men were encouraged by being told that
if we succeeded in keeping them in check this time we had them
whipped ; the lines stood firm. At this juncture we ordered up
Capt. Fitzgerald, of the Irish brigade, with his company, to sus-
tain the wavering line. Our cartridges were now nearly used
up, many of our brave fellows had fallen, and it was evident that
the fight must soon cease, when at 3:00 o'clock an orderly came.
THE BATTLEOF LEXINGTON 33
saying that the enemy had sent a flag of truce. With the flag
came a note from Gen. Price asking why the firing had ceased.
I returned it, with the reply written on the back, saying: "Gen-
eral, I hardly know, unless you have surrendered." He at once
took pains to assure me that such was not the case. I after-
wards discovered what the trouble was. A lily-livered man, a
major by courtesy, ensconsed under the earth-works, out of
sight, had raised a white flag. Twice he had been threatened
with death if he did not take that cursed thing down; but the
third time his fears overcame his discretion and made for a mo-
ment a brave man of him, and he hoisted the flag over the breast-
works on a ramrod.
The ammunition was about gone, there was no water, we
were out of rations, and many of the men felt like giving up the
post, which it seemed impossible to hold any longer. They were
ordered back to the earth-works and told to use up all their
powder, and then defend themselves as best they could, but to
hold their place. They obeyed, silently and grim. Without a
murmur they went back and stood at their post, only praying
that the enemy would approach so near that they might use
the soldier's weapon, when his powder fails — the bayonet. Then
a council of war was held in the college, and the question of sur-
render put to the officers, and a ballot was taken — only two of
the six votes were cast in favor of fighting on, and when the
flag" of truce was sent out. With our surrender many of the brave
fellows shed tears. And so the place was lost.
The enemy undertook to haul down our flag, and at first
found the halyard cut; they climbed to the top and found it
nailed. Their only resource was to cut down the pole, which
was done while we turned our faces away. Gathering up the
prisoners, the colonel in front, we were taken down to their
camp and brought before a man in authority, who said we must
promise not to " run away." We told him that we had not been
in the habit of doing much of that business of late. Refusing
to give our parole not to "aid or abet the United States," we
were marched off prisoners, with Gen. Price, and thus ended the
siege of Lexington.
THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
OFFICIAL REPORT OF GEN. HARRIS.
Report of Brig. Gen
Thomas A. Harris^ Missoiiri State Gttard.
IN THE Field, Second Division Mo. S. G.,
Near Lexington, Sept. 23, 186L
Sir : In compliance with instructions, I beg leave to sub-
mit the followinof report of the part taken by the forces under
my command in the capture of the B'ederal forces occupying the
city of Lexington on the 18th, 19th, and 20th instants :
Leaving 200 men to act as camp guard, at
9:00 o'clock a. m. of the 18th instant my
command, in pursuance to j'our order, took
up the line of march for Lexington. The
whole command, acting as infantry, moved
by flank, the battery of artillery bringing
up the rear. I had proceeded about one
mile en route when my advance touched
upon the rear of General Parsons' division,
and I soon after received your order to take
the road to the left and support the move-
ments of that division. An order to bring
my artillery to the advance caused delay of
some fifteen or twenty minutes, as the in-
fantry had to give way for its passage along
the road. My command arrived at precisely 10:00 o'clock a. m.,
and I ordered Capt. Kneisley, who was in comrnand of the bat-
tery, to take position at an elevated point of intersection of
two streets, and to open his fire and imitate the movements of
the battery of Gen. Parsons' division, which was already in
action I detached Capt. Davis' company, armed with minie
rifles, to act as an intermediate covering party for the battery,
whilst my whole command, protected by the houses, was held in
readiness to support the battery if required. Capt. Kneisley
served his battery very satisfactorily, only suspending his fire
from the exhaustion of his men, induced by the excessive heat
and from want of sufficient ammunition. The effect of the fire
upon the enemy was very efficient and destructive At one or
Col. Emmett MacDonald
THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON 35
two positions occupied by my command the enemy annoyed us
slightly with both round shot and grape, but a slight change in
position sufficed to afford adequate protection against his mis-
At 11:15 o'clock I received the order from yourself in person
to move my command along the bank of the river to the support
of Gen. McBride's command and Gen. Slack's division, under
command of Col. Rives. At the same time you gave me instruc-
tions to capture the brick house outside of the enemy's line of
defense, known as the Anderson house or hospital, provided,
that if upon my arrival there I was of opinion 1 could carry it
without too severe a loss. My battery of artillery you suggested
to remain in its then effective position, saying that you would
look to its security.
Immediately upon the receipt of the foregoing instruction, I
moved my command along to the line of the river, causing the
different battalions to debouch to the right and ascend the ele-
vations which protected our movement from the fire of the
enemy. I directed the men to crawl to the crests of the hills
and annoy the enemy as he should expose himself above his
breast-works. Lieut -Col. Brace's battalion I held to occupy the
main road for several hours as a reserve. The active skirmish-
ing of mj' men from the crests of the hills visibly had an annoy-
ing effect upon the enemy, and he responded throughout the day
and night with great spirit and industry.
Upon my reaching the point known as the hospital I dis-
mounted and ascended the hill on foot. Upon my arrival I
found Col. Rives' command, supported by a portion of Lieut.-
Col. Hull's and Maj. Milton's (Callaway's) command of my divis-
ion From a personal inspection of the position occupied by the
hospital I became satisfied that it was invaluable to me as a
point of annoyance and mask for my approach to the enemy. I
at the same time received your communication as to the result
of your reconnaissance through your glass. I therefore imme-
diately ordered an assault upon the position, in which I was
promptly and gallantly seconded by Col. Rives and his command,
together with Col Hull and Maj. Milton and their commands,
of my own division. T^e hospital was promptly carried and oc-
cupied by our troops, but during the evening the enemy re-took
it, and were again driven out by our men with some loss.
36 THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
Leaving a sufficient force at the hospital to hold it, I de-
scended the hill and moved along the left wing of my command,
which, under Col. Green, had united with Gen. McBride's com-
mand, and had gallantly driven the enemy back from an ad-
vanced position, and was occupying an advantageous point in
common with Gen. McBride's command, in a trench taken from
the enemy near a mine which had [been] sprung. Upon recon-
noitering the position of the enemy I directed Col. Green to de-
ploy his line to the left, which he promptly did, and directed
that his riflemen should continue to skirmish with the enemy,
whilst his shot-gun men, being out of range, should protect
themselves beneath the crest of the hill and be in readiness if
an assault from the enemy's lines should be attempted. I then
directed Lieut.-Cols. Brace and Hull to move with their com-
mands to the support of Green's position, and to extend the
flank to the left on Col. Green's front extended.
This was the position of my command on the night of the
18th instant, the men maintaining a brisk skirmishing,
with decided effect upon the enemy. Climbing the rugged
and precipitous heights during the excessive heat of the day
caused the men to suffer greatly for water, but nothing ap-
peared to daunt their resolution, endurance and valor. They
had neither blankets nor food, but they remained steadfastly at
their posts during the entire night. In repelling these assaults
I had the pleasure to recognize the gallant co-operation of Gen.
McBride and his command and the timely assistance of the bat-
teries of Gens. Rains and Parsons
At 7:30 o'clock on the evening of the 18th instant, when a
sally was anticipated from the enemy through the hospital posi-
tion, designed to make a diversion favorable fo the landing of
anticipated Federal re-enforcements and to burn steamers cap-
tured by us during the day, you were kind enough tu afford me
the valuable re-enforcements from Gen. Steen's division, com-
manded by Majs. Thornton and Winston, and the battery of
Capt. Kelley. The infantry I posted to strengthen the hospital
position, and the artillery was so disposed as to command the
wharf and the river. Col. Congreve Jackson politely loaned
me the use of a battalion commanded by. Col. Bevier, which I
posted to cover the artillery. During the night I visited fre-
quently the various positions of my command, and found both
THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON 37
men and officers fully resolved and capable of maintaining-
themselves until morning-
On the 19th instant I moved Col. MacDonald's command to
the extreme left, thus perfecting my connection with Gen.
Rains' right flank. I directed a desultory Are to be kept up
during the day by my sharp-shooters along my entire front, and
directed the line of some rude field fortifications. The com-
mands of Col. Green and Lieut. -Cols. Hull and Brace, poorly
provided with intrenching implements, perfected their defense
with astonishing perseverance. None contributed more to the
zealous and efficient prosecution of the work than Lieut.-CoL
Porter, of Col. Green's regiment, who, although severely
wounded in the head by a ball, continued to afford the most un-
tiring example to the men by his zeal and self-sacrificing ser-
vices. Where timber could be had as a shelter these field works
could be constructed only at the expense of great physical ex-
ertion; but where the enemy had removed the means necessary
for construction, to extend the lines of defense involved great
hazard of life By a reconnaissance of the hospital position I
became satisfied that the construction of flank defenses would
afford greatly increased facilities for the annoyance of the
enemy, while it would materially lessen the exposure of our
men ; but such had been the great exhaustion of our men that I
feared their power of endurance would be over-taxed should I
impose this new task upon them. Capt. Robinson, commanding
the Callaway infantry, however, offered to attempt the task. I
then directed Capt. George A. Turner, of my staff, to request of
you one hundred and thirty-two bales of hemp, which you
promptly accorded. Capt. Turner was intrusted with the gen-
eral superintendence of transporting it to the points designated.
To the extraordinary zeal, activity, and persevering industry of
Capt. Turner I feel under the greatest obligations. His ser-
vices were invaluable to me during the entire engagement. I
directed the bales to be wet in the river to protect them against
the casualties of fire of our troops and of the enemy, but it was
soon found that the wetting- so materially increased the weight
as to prevent our men in their exhausted condition from rolling
them to the crest of the hill. I then adopted the idea of wet-
ting the hemp after it had been transported to its position. In
the arduous and extremely trying- duty of transporting the
38 THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
hemp I cannot neglect to recog-nize the active and cordial co-
operation of the commands o± Cols. Rives and Hughes, Majs.
Winston and Thornton, Capts. Mitchell, Grooms, and Spratt,
and Adjt. Flowerree, of General Steen's division, Maj. Peacher.
of Gen. Clark's division, and Maj. Welton, and the officers and
men of Gen. McBride's division.
At 5:00 o'clock p. m. on the 19th instant a truce was granted
by you to the enemy to enable them to remove their sick and
wounded from the hospital which had been captured by us the
day previous. This afforded me the opportunity to make final
and complete arrangements for defense of the hospital position
during the day, notwithstanding the active skirmishing along
the entire line. Lieut. -Cols. Hull and Brace had been enabled
materially to improve and extend their defenses, composed of
earth-work and timber. During the day and entire night of the
19th I was almost continually in the saddle, visiting the
various positions and giving detailed instructions to all grades.
The extreme exhaustion and fatigues which I suffered taught
me to appreciate fully the heroic patriotism and endurance of
those brave men who had been exposed with me for forty-eight
hours continuously, without comparatively either food, water,
or blankets, and encountering the severest physical trials.
At 8:00 o'clock a. m. on the 20th inst., I ordered up additional
hemp to extend the defenses at the position occupied by Col.
Green and Lieut.-Cols. Hull and Brace. The activity and zeal
of these commands in putting the bales in position reflect the
greatest honor upon them. I directed them to he used as port-
able breast-works, to be pushed forward towards the enemy's
lines in parallel approaches. The disclosure of the hemp de-
fenses, or approaches, as they might be called, ^elicited the ob-
stinate resentment of the enemy, who was proiuse in the be-
stowal of round and grape shot, and was not at all economical
of his minie balls; but our men, gallantly led by their officers,
continued to approach the enemy, pouring in upon him a most
destructive fire until about 2:00 o'clock p. m., when he sur-
The loss sustained by my division in the entire engagement
was : Killed 1] : severely wounded, 18 ; slightly wounded, 2(5 ;
making a total of casualties, 5.5.* I regret to state that among
*Nominal list omitted.
THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON 39
the killed were Lieut. John W. Mason, of Saint Charles County,
an officer of Lieut.-Col. Hull's battalion, and Sergt. Maj. W. A.
Chappell, of Col. MacDonald's regiment, both of which officers
fell while orallantly leading and encouraging their men. Among
so many officers and men who are entitled to honorable mention
for gallant and distinguished services, to make mention of a few
appears like discrimination, yet I cannot refrain from mention-
ing the names of Col. Green and Lieut.-Col Brace, and Lieut. -
Cols. Hull and Porter. Both of the latter-named gentlemen
were wounded severely in the head by shot from the enemy.
Lieut.-Col. Grimshaw severely sprained his ankle while gallantly
rallying his men. Maj. Milton, of the Callaway Rangers, aided
gallantly in the re-capture of the hospital. Capt. Robinson, of
the Callaway infantry, deserves honorable mention for his zeal
and cool, deliberate courage. Col. MacDonald faithfully and in
a soldierly manner gallantly repelled several severe assaults
from the enemy. Col. Franklin, of Schuyler County, Capt. Mc-
Culloch, Capt. Davis, Capt. Richardson (severely wounded),
Capt. Grant, and Adjt. William F. Davis, all of Col. Green's
regiment, are entitled to honorable mention for their gallantry,
zeal, and great endurance. Capt. Kneisley, who commanded
my artillery, won my approbation by his energy, coolness, and
courage. The men all behaved admirably. To the officers of
my staff 1 feel under special obligations for their zeal, intelli-
gence and courage in carrying my plans and instructions into
execution. Lieut. -Cols. Vowles and Pittman, my aides-de-camp;
Capts. George A. Turner and C. M. Randolph, my additional
aides-de-camp; and Provost Marshal Pindall, who was knocked
down by a ball during the heat of action, were all alike inex-
haustible in their energy, courage, and perseverance, while the
excellent condition of my wounded fully commends the skill, at-
tention, and industry of Surgeon Bailey and his corps of assist-
ants to my most favorable consideration.
THOMAS A. HARRIS,
Brig.-Gen., Secotid Dh'i'sion Missouri State Guard.
Maj. -Gen. Sterling Price, Commanding Mo. State Guard.
THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
GEN. RAINS' OFFICIAL REPORT.
Hdqrs. Second Division Missouri State Guard,
September 22, 1861.
Sir : I have the honor briefly to report that, in accordance
with orders received, on the mornino^ of the 18th of September
I marched my division, consisting of 3,052 rank and file, and two
batteries of three guns each, to take position on north and east
of the Masonic College, in which the enemy
was intrenched. After traveling a circuit-
ous route to avoid the observation of the
enemy, I took position near the residence
of Mr. Tutt, and opened with four guns
upon them. These guns were ably served
under the command of Capts. Emmett Mac-
Donald and Churchill Clark, whose gallantry
and efficiency were justly spoken of by all.
Here I offered a gold medal to any artiller-
ist who would strike down the large flag on
the southeast corner of the battlements
It was quickly won by Capt. Churchill Clark,
though closely contended for.
About 11:00 a. m. I closed in and around
the college, placing a large force in an entirely protected posi-
tion, about 350 yards north and about 500 yards east. I remained
there, throwingout sharp-shooters and skirmishers to annoy the
enemy, while at the same time the approaches to the water
were completely guarded. But one sally was made by the enemy
on the evening of the 18th, which was quickly repulsed.
All the men under my command acted with a patience,
courage, and endurance worthy only of the cause engaged in,
and for more than fifty hours they lay there panting like the
hounds in summer when they scent the stately deer, eager not
for revenge, but to teach again the minions of the tyrant that
Missouri shall be free.
The loss in this almost bloodless victory amounts in the Sec-
Col. L. A. Maclean
THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
ond Division to 2 killed and 20 wounded. Among the latter is
Capt. Vaughan, of the Fourth Infantry.
J. S. RAINS, Brig. -Gen., Second Division, Mo. S. G.
Col. Thomas L. Snead, Act. Asst. Adjt. Gen.
GEN. PARSON'S OFFICIAL REPORT.
Headquarters Sixth Division M. S. G.,
Camp Near Lexington, Sept. 23, 1861.
MaJ.-GeN. Price, Commanding the Forces of Missonri :
I have the honor to report to you the participation of my
division in the siege at Lexington. On Thursday, the 12th, I re-
ceived your orders for an advance upon Lexington. Putting my
division in order of march I at once proceeded to the City of
Lexington by one of its southeastern ap-
proaches. About 4:00 o'clock p. m. I re-
ceived intelligence, through Col. Dyer, that
the enemy was immediately in your front,
and I ordered Col. McCulloch's regiment of
cavalry forward to act as skirmishers. In
a few minutes he reported to me that he
had engaged the enemy in force. Following
up the orders you had delivered me in the
morning, I immediately marched with my
infantry and artillery to the colonel's re-
lief, being supported in the meantime by
Gen. Clark's infantry, under the command
of Col. Jackson and ('ol. Price. When I ar-
rived on the suburbs of the town I found
that my advance, together with other troops of your army, had
engaged the enemy, who had selected the cornfields and hedges
to the right of the road as hiding places. Forming Col. Dill's
infantry on my left; Col. Kelly's infantry (Capt. Champion,
Dr. A. V. Small
42 THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
commanding), upon my immediate rig'ht ; Col. Jackson, of Gen.
Clark's division, with his infantry supporting my extreme right;
and my artillery, under Capt. Guibor, commanded the center.
Capt. Champion, on my right, led the Kelly infantry, supported
by Gen. Clark's infantry, immediately forward after the forma-
tion of the line of battle and engaged the enemy in the corn-
field, and after a short conflict the enemy were dislodged and
retired in the direction of the city. I again advanced my whole
line, when I received an order from you to take position with
my battery on the left of the road in an orchard. Occupying
this position with my forces, with those of Gen. Clark in the
same position as above mentioned, I looked about for the posi-
tion of the enemy, and finding that he had retired in the direc-
tion of his fortifications I ordered my columns forward, and
with my battery took position on the southeast of the fort, six
hundred yards distant, my right being supported by Gen. Clark's
infantry and my left by my own. Col. McCulloch in the mean-
time had made a detour to the right and advanced below the
fortifications of the enemy.
From this position Capt. Guibor opened his batteries upon
the College building and the entrenchments in front, doing them
serious injury and causing the enemy to abandon them and hide
within their trenches My cannonade was responded to vigor-
ously by that of the enemy, together with irregular firing from
their skirmishers. This was kept up until twilight, when I re-
ceived your order to withdraw my division and return to our
encampment at the fair grounds, which was done in the follow-
ing order : Capt. Guibor's battery, leading; Capt. Champion's,
Col. Dill's, and Col. Alexander's regiments following, and Col.
McCulloch's bringing up my entire rear.
On Wednesda}^ morning, September 18, my division was or-
dered forward, diverging to the left and to the east of the city,
along the coal bank road. Nothing of importance occurred
until I had reached the summit of the hill near the city. By
your order I sent my battery to the front, Capt. Champion's
company acting as skirmishers. Feeling satisfied that we were
in the neighborhood of the enemy I ordered up the remainder of
my infantry to support my battery, at the same t me requesting
Col. Jackson, who was commanding Gen. Clark's division, to
support me, which he did very i)romptly. Scarcely had the
THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON 43
order been given when the enemy's pickets opened lire upon my
guns. Not knowing their exact locality, ('apt. Guibor fired
three shots down the streets as a feeler for the enemy. As the
enemy's pickets were driven in I advanced, and after occupying
several unimportant positions I finally established my battery
on Cedar Street, to the north of North Street, within 500 yards
of the enemy's works ; Col. Kelly's infantry occupying my right;
Col. Alexander my left; Col. McCulloch across the street in my
rear, and Gen. Clark's infantry at the Court House, ready to
support me if their services were needed. From this point
Capt. Guibor opened a galling fire from his guns upon the ene-
my's works, which he kept up during the day and at intervals
during the night.
Gens. Harris and Mc Bride, having occupied the important
position between the enemy's works and the river, and seeing
from time to time the heavy charges made by the enemy's in-
fantry to dislodge them, I endeavored to co-operate with those
brave commands to force the enemy back to their trenches by
throwing grape and spherical case shot upon them whenever
they showed themselves.
On the next morning I received your order to march with
my whole division to the river. On arriving at the bank I as-
certained that it was your desire that I should cross the river
with a force of 3,000 men to repel the re-inforcements of the
enemy advancing from that quarter. After crossing over I as-
certained that the enemy had heard of my approach and retired
in confusion, leaving 200 of their tents upon the road. Having
communicated to you this state of facts, I received from you
orders to re-cross the river and occupy my former position,
which I reached about 12:00 m. of that day. I immediateh'
opened my fires upon the enemy's works. My skirmishers, Col.
Kelly's regiment, under Capts. Champion and Hill and Lieut.
Cunift", advanced within 150 yards of the enemy's works and suc-
ceeded in firmly establishing tht-mselves on College Street, from
which point they kept up a murderous fire upon the enemy as
they would show themselves upon the entrenchments.
About 8:00 o'clock at night Gen. Harris and myself received
a deputation of the enemy's surgeons asking the privilege of re-
moving their sick and wounded from their fortifications into the
city. We were compelled for the time to decline granting this
44 THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
request for the reason that the commander of the fortress had
not himself made it of j'ou in your official character. We al-
lowed the surg'eons one hour to return to the fort for the purpose
of rectifying this delinquency. In the meantime I ordered my
batteries to cease firing". Within the time allowed the surgeons
returned with the required note directed to you in your official
capacity from Col. Mulligan, commander of the fortress. Gen.
Harris and myself then consented that the enemy should remove
sick and wounded from the hospital into the city, out of the
range of the guns of either army, and that they should send any
number of surgeons that they deemed necessary to attend their
wounded, and that such surgeons should not be considered pris-
oners of war. I am gratified to state, for the sake of humanity,
that this arrangement released from the cellars of the fort 122
sick and wounded soldiers who were, in the time allowed, con-
veyed to the rear of my position, and were comfortably cared
As soon as the sick and wounded of the enem}' were thus
cared for my batteries again opened upon the enemy's fortifica-
tions. The fire was immediately directed upon them whenever
they attempted to charge the lines of Gens. Harris and McBride.
On the next day the enemy, having suffered long from want
of water, made several desperate efforts to drive the divisions
of Gens Harris and McBride from their position, during which
time Capt. Guibor brought his guns to bear upon them with his
usual effect He having called my attention to the fact that
there was a better position down Cedar Street, nearer the ene-
my's works, and being only about 200 yards distant from them,
I went down with him to examine, and after doing so, ordered
him to occupy it, which he did instantly. From this he again
opened volleys of grape on the enemy's works with decided
effect. In moving the battery to its last position, Capt. Cham-
pion, of the Kelly infantry, had occupied Turner's Fall, imme-
diately in rear of my guns. I ordered McCulloch down North
Street, to the church, with directions to advance from that
point to the left and take possession of a brick building within
80 yards of the enemy's lines, which order the colonel executed
most gallantly, receiving a heavy volley of the enemy's fire, and
also a fire upon his rear from one of our own batteries, which
had mistaken him for the enemy. Fortunately, however, he
THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON 45
sustained no loss from this. In the meantime, I had ordered up
CoL Dill's regiment, Maj. Lindsay, commanding-, and also Col.
Alexander's regiment to the support of Col. McCulloch. These
two regiments promptly moved forward to the positions assigned
them, with instructions from me to hold themselves in readiness
for a general charge of the enemy's works.
Not long after, a white flag appeared within the enemy's
fortifications, whereupon I ordered the firing to cease. In a few
minutes after, I received your orders to march my division
within the enemy's works, which I did, and found that they had
It gives me great pleasure to indorse the intrepidity^ and
gallantry of the commanding officers of my regiments, and also
of their officers and soldiers during the whole siege; and also
Capt. Champion and the officers and soldiers of the Kelly in-
fantry who rendered most efficient and precious services as skir-
Capt. Guibor, of the battery, and his officers and men ac-
quitted themselves with their usual gallantry.
Lieut. Barlow, of the battery, was confined to the country
by sickness at the commencement of the siege, but hearing the
cannonading he left his bed, and resuming his post, rendered
the most efficient service.
My staff officers are entitled to my thanks for their coolness
and gallantry and studied attention to their duties while on the
Not having sufficient men to work all my guns I loaned two
of them to Capt. Clark, who worked them during the siege with
admirable precision and efficiency.
To Col. Jackson, Col. Price and Maj. Clark, and to their
division, I tender my acknowledgements for efficient support of
my division and battery during the greater part of the siege.
My casualties are as follows : Col. Dill, in the first engage-
ment, was severely wounded by an accidental discharge, while
gallantly leading his regiment. I am pleased to state, however,
that this valuable officer is in a fair way of recovery. In Col.
Dill's regiment of infantry Capt. Boyd English and Archie
Wendleton, of Capt. Rogers' company, were wounded.
In Col. McCulloch's regiment of cavalry, (Capt. Sutherlin's
company), Charles Miner, killed: Private Salston Stall, wound-
THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
ed. Capt. McCulloch's company— J. H. R. Mahan, killed; R. E.
Williams, A. J. Ritters, wounded. Captain Butler's company^
W. H. Houg-h, killed. Captain Taylor's company — William
Col. Alexander's reg-iment of cavalry, (Capt. Zollinger's
company), Samuel Shepard. Capt. John W. Young, killed; John
Shepard, wounded. Capt. McGoffin's company— Henry Johnson,
In Col. Kelly's regiment of infantry, (Capt. Champion's com-
pany), John Fleming, killed. Capt. Livingston's company —
William Kindrick, killed.
I have the honor to be.
Very respectfully, j'our obedient servant,
M. M. PARSONS, Brigadier-General.
GEN. M'BRIDE'S OFFICIAL REPORT.
General : On
Capt. Churchill S. Clark
faced to the enemv
Lexington, Mo., Sept. 20, ISGl.
the 12th instant as we approached this place,
and when about three miles distant, I
received an otder from you to proceed
without delay and regardless of the artil-
k-ry, in the rear of which we had been
marching during the day. We imme-
diately passed Gen. Parsons' command
and several others, and passing the fair
grounds reached the suburbs of the city.
We tiled off to the right through an open
field in the rear of another column. Before
the rear of my command had entered the
field the enemy, who were on or near the
road ahead of us, in ambush, discharged a
heavy volley of musketry, severely wound-
ing one of my men in the head. We halted,
and returned their fire, when thev broke
THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON 47
and fled. As they were concealed from us by intervenin<»- trees
and a patch of corn, I was uncertain as to the exact direction
they had taken. Finding the enemy had fled I immediately
countermarched my column, crossed the road, jjassed through
an orchard and corn patch into the cemetery, passed through
this in the direction of the town, and entered into a
street which led us into an open piece of ground. Here
our line was necessarily broken by the many obstacles en-
countered. I halted the men and was in the act of
forming the line when the enemy, from a hollow ahead of us
where they had halted and concealed themselves, opened on us
again, doing little or no damage, except wounding Col. Wingo.
The colonel was badly, but I am pleased to say not dangerously
wounded in the shoulder. Upon returning their fire the enemy
again fled like rats and did not halt until safely landed within
their entrenchments. We proceeded to the town and occupied,
during the rest of the evening, a position to the left and in sup-
port of the battery commanded by Capt. MacDonald. In this
skirmish the enemy lost three killed and seventeen wounded, as
appears by a private paper of a citizen of Pettis County which
fell into my hands to-day. So much for the skirmish of the 12th.
I now come up to the events of the last three days. On the
morning" of the 18th we left camp near the fair grounds, in the
entire rear of the army, and at a distance of half or three-
quarters of a mile took a left hand road which led us to the
upper end of town. I here received an order from you by Col.
Snead to move forward to the support of Cols. Rives and Hughes,
who were going down the river to attack the enemy's steam-
boat, which was lying at the foot of a point on this side of the
river, three-fourths of a mile below the ferry. One column
moved forward and came up with the rear of Col. Rives' com-
mand at the foundry. Col. Hughes had the boat taken and run
up to the ferry with but little difficulty, and his regiment and
Col. Rives' force filed off to the right and took position near the
brow of the bluff, about a quarter above where the boat was
captured. My command followed the enemy up the bluff, each
party keeping up a running tire. At the summit of the bluff
they had three mines prepared, two of which they sprang upon
us, wounding several of our men severely, but fortunately kill-
ing none. The enemy had now reached his entrenchments and
48 THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
kept up from noon until night a halting- fire of musketry, en-
livened by an occasional discharge of grape. Upon gaining the
summit of the blufE I was immediately impressed with its im-
portance and much surprised that it was yielded so readily by
the enemy. I dispatched my volunteer aide, Maj. Welton, to
you for assistance. He returned, informing me that assistance
would be promptly rendered. In a short time Col. Green ap-
peared with several companies of Gen. Harris' command. Gen.
Harris shortly after appeared and these officers and their men
co-operated with me, rendering signal service. About dark a
party of the enemy raised the shout and charged within a short
distance of the brow of the bluff, but were quickly repulsed,
doubtless with some loss. I lost no men. Occasional firing was
kept up during the night on both sides.
The next day, 19th, passed off without any particular inci-
dent in our quarters. Being still more strongly impressed with
the importance of our position, I sent to you for cannon and
hemp, which was furnished us this morning, 20th. The cannon
was taken up by hand, and a good breast-work formed with the
hemp within 100 yards of the enemy's cannon. During the time
we were constructing the breast-work a galling fire was kept up
on both sides, in which. I am sure, the enemy suffered severely.
Some of Gen. Harris' men and some of ours were killed and
wounded. The enemy seemed only on this morning to be fully
conscious of the importance of the occupation of this point by
us, and fought with much energy alid determination until driven
from two of their pieces nearest the breast-work, when they ran
up the white flag, which terminated the contest.
During the action of the last three days Maj. Welton, one
of my aides, rendered me prompt and efficient service. Gen.
Harris' men, as far as my observation extended, behaved very
gallanth'. Col. Green was personally present and bore himself
with coolness and intrepidity. Of the officers and men under my
command it is only necessary to say that on this, as on all former
occasions, they have proved themselves equal to every emer-
gency. Lieut. -Col. Twigg, of the First regiment, was with me
from beginning to end and rendered every desired assistance.
The men who stole away from their homes in the presence of the
enemy and marched 600 miles without tents, half clad, and many
THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON 49
of them unshod, can be safely relied on in the hour of dan^rer.
In the action detailed above, of my command two were
killed upon the ground, one was mortally wounded, four severely
wounded, and seven slightly.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. H. McBRIDE, Brig.-Geu., yth Division M. S. G.
GEN. STEEN'S OFFICIAL REPORT.
Headquarters Fifth Division M. S. G.,
Camp at Lexington, Sept. 23, 1861.
To Col. H. Little, Adjt.-Gen., Missoitri Forces :
Sir : In obedience to instructions I herewith submit the
reports of the several commands of my division that took a
part in the siege of Lexington on the 18th, 19th, and 20th inst.
I was prevented by ill health from leading my division, only
being able to be present at the closing hour. It is a proud
pleasure to know that the troops of the Fifth division did their
duty as became patriots and soldiers. Most of my command
came in under forced marches, from the extreme northern por-
tion of the district. On their way they encountered a force of
Federalists under Lieut. -Col. Scott, which they completely
routed: and leaving that field in victory they rushed on to this
point to participate in this memorable conflict, and many of
them were among those that received the brunt of the battle.
To my whole command, officers and soldiers, I must return my
thanks for the manner in which they behaved.
I have the honor to be.
Your very obedient servant,
A. E. STEEN, Brig.-Gcn., Fifth Division M. S. G.
THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
COL. HUGHES' OFFICIAL REPORT.
Hdqrs. of First Infantry, P^'ourth Div. M. S. G.,
Lexington, Mo., Sept. 21, 1861.
Col. B. a. Rives, Co?timandi>i^ir Dhiision :
Sir : I have the honor of reporting to you the operations
of that portion of your troops under my command in the action
of the 12th, before reaching Lexington, and also in the battles
of the 18th, 19th and 20th in and about the fortification and
entrenchments of the enemy.
In the action of the 12th, whilst advanc-
ing with my regiment on the extreme right
wing, and in front of the advancing and at-
tacking column, we were fired upon by a
heavy body of the enemy concealed in the
grass, standing corn and hedge, severely
wounding several of my troops. We re-
turned the fire very vigorously for half an
hour, when the enemy gave way, falling
back towards their entrenchments. During
this engagement your cavalry regiment,
having been dismounted, and being under
your command and that of Lieut -Col. Bo-
hannon, joined me and very gallantly re-
pulsed the enemy. Gen. Parsons' battery
contributed very greatly towards dislodging the enemy at this
jjoint. The whole brigade then under your immediate command
followed up the success already gained and moved briskly upon
the retreating foe through gardens, orchard, and corn field on
the right of the enemy's left, taking position on the east side
of the enemy's breast-works. Here a heavy fire w^as poured in
upon us, until night put a stop to the firing on both sides and
we received orders to withdraw to the fair grounds.
In the action of the 12th I had two men severely wounded,
William Hall, of Co. K, from Clinton County, (Capt. Webb's
company), and John F. Simms, Co. G, (Capt. Smace), from Liv-
ingston County, and three slightly wounded, to-wit: Sergt. A.
Col. Hiram Bledsoe
THE BATTLEOF LEXINGTON 51
J. Tartar, Co. K, (Capt. Webb), from DeKalb County; Monroe
Williams, Co. G, (Capt. Smace), Livingston County; and Lining-
ton Hill, Co. H, (Capt. Thompson), Caldwell County. At night-
fall we were ordered back to the fair grounds and encamped for
the night. Here we awaited re-inforcements and a full supply
of ammunition, which soon arrived from Springfield.
In the action of the 18th I have to state that my right,
under vour direction, proceeded upon Lexington, on the left
wing, next the river. Part of Gen. Steen's division were placed
in the front until we arrived up into the-central part of town.
After some considerable cannonading on both sides my com-
mand and that of Lieut.-Col. Bohannon were directed by you to
file down to the ferry and thence down the river, with the view
of attacking the enemy on the north side of his entrenchments,
and thereby cut off his connection with the river. In executing
this order my column led the way down the river, the right bank
of the Missouri river. The enemy opened a sharp tire upon us
from the iron foundry, the steam mill, and other buildings in
that vicinity, but we continued to dislodge them and drive
them towards the trenches. The Clara Bell steamboat and
steam ferryboat were lying near by, and the enemy kept up a
sharp fire from these and from the bluffs, upon my column. At
this stage of the action Gen. Parsons and his battery came up
and oi:)ened fire upon them, soon driving them from their hiding
places in the bluffs and from behind houses and piles of lumber
near by. My column then quickly advanced and under your
order took possession of both the steamboats and moved them
to the upper landing for our own use. I placed them under
command of Capt. William Mirrick and his company, who im-
mediately and promptly moved on board the same. We carried
off a good number of the enemy's horses and other valuable
property, all of which were promptly turned over to the State.
My column then advanced up to the bluff's upon the northwest
angle of the enemy's fortifications, and by the aid of a portion
of Gen. Harris' men and part of your own regiment took possess-
ion of Col. Anderson's large brick building then occupied by the
enemy, from which thej' galled us severely. The lower part of
this building was used by the enemy as a hospital and had in it
1.30 sick and wounded, which were all removed on the evening of
the 19th. A very sharp conflict ensued and my loss here was
52 THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
three killed : John Wilkerson, of Capt. Goodwin's Co. A, extra
battalion, and William Cox and M. J. Brooks, of Co. B, Capt.
Coleman, extra battalion, all of Grundy County, Missouri. This
battalion was commanded bj' Maj. Hansard. Severely wounded:
William H. Webster, of Co. B, extra battalion, Capt. Goodwin,
Grundy County: and William C. Crouch, Co. G, Capt. Small,
Livingston County. Slightly wounded: Thomas Woodhouse, Co.
A, Capt. Dyes, of Livingston: James Marquan, William Steel
and Albert Edwards, all of Co. H, Capt. Thompson, Caldwell
County; and John Flinis, Co. F, Capt. Powell, Ray County. I
was slightly wounded by a minie ball or grape shot, but soon re-
covered from the shock and did not leave the field.
I will add that during the evening several very sharp con-
flicts took place on that part of the field, and with varied suc-
cess. The enemy bv a bold assault regained the hospital build-
ings, brutally killing several of our men after they had sur-
rendered as prisoners of war: but in a short time we made a
very vigorous attack upon them and recovered the hospital
buildings from the enemy and re-established ourselves so that
we could not again be dislodged. The firing was quite spirited
on all sides of the entrenchments during the evening and
throughout the entire night. Several attacks were made during
On the morning of the Itlth we arose from our bivouac upon
the hills to renew the attack. This day we continued the fight-
ing vigorously all day, holding possession of the hospital build-
ings and throwing large wings from both sides of the house,
built up of bales of hemp saturated with water to keep them
from taking fire. These portable hemp bales were extended
like the wings of a partridge net, so as to cover and protect
several hundred men at a time, and a most terrible, galling and
deadly fire was kept up from them upon the works of the enemy
by my men. I divided my forces into reliefs and ke^jt some .300
of them pouring in a heavy fire incessantly upon the enemy,
supi^lying the places of the weary with fre&h troops. On the
night of the 19th we enlarged and advanced our defensive works
very near to the enemy's entrenchments, and at daybreak
opened upon their line with most fatal effect. During the night
we captured several of the enemy who were seeking for water
outside the fortifications. Some thirty of the enemy were killed
THE BATTLEOF LEXINGTON 53
by the men under my command in their efforts to procure water
at the hospital well and spring- near by.
On the 20th the attack became general and our men rivaled
the g-allant soldiers under Gens. McBride and Harris on our left.
The rivalry and enthusiasm became irrepressible and the conflict
exceedingly sharp, whilst very rapid advance was made on the
works of the enemy. Our gallant and brave boys picked oft"
every Federal that attempted to show his head above the breast
works. Never was there more dauntless courage exhibited by
any soldiers than was shown by the troops under my command.
Officers and private soldiers alike deserve the highest praise.
In this short report I cannot name all those who took part in
the action, but I promise a more extended report in future. I
must say that Lieut.-Col. Twigg and his men, of Gen. McBride's
division, and Col. Green and his forces, of Gen. Harris' division,
in the last assault which put the enemy to rout and compelled
them to think of a surrender, won my admiration. These forces
were co-operating with me on my left wing. I never saw better
fighting done on any field. My ow^n men were so fired up with
enthusiastic courage that it was almost impossible to prevent
them from leaping over the bales of hemp and scaling the ene-
my's entrenchments, and plunging right into the ditches. I
think I may say with truth that the troops under my command,
co-operating with those under Gens. McBride and Harris and
Capt. Bledsoe's gallant battery, brought about a speedy sur-
The enemy finding it impossible to hold out longer raised a
white flag and advanced towards my headquarters, and another
towards Gen. Harris' lines at the same time, offering to sur-
render as prisoners of war. The principal officers on both sides,
yourself included, were soon assembled in front of my lines and
tht terms of the surrender agreed upon. Col. Marshall, of the
Federal forces, came forward and greeted you in a friendly
manner. Meanwhile the booming of the cannon died away and
the firing of small arms had ceased all along the extended lines,
and all was peace. Friendly greetings took place between Fed-
erals and Confederates who but a few moments before had been
engaged in deadly conflict.
In this short report I desire to express my thanks to all my
men, and especially my commissioned officers, the captains and
54 THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
lieutenants, for their gallantry and good conduct during the pro-
tracted and toilsome sieg^ of Lexington. I cannot forget to
acknowledge the valuable assistance rendered me by Lieut. -Col.
J. A. Pritchard, of my regiment, and Maj. Hansard, of the extra
battalion. Nor can I overlook the valuable services of Capt.
Robinson and the three companies of soldiers with him from
Gen. Harris' division, then acting under my orders and com-
manded by Col. Wilfull. In concluding this imperfect report of
the operations of the men under my command in the attack of
thel2th, and also in the siege of Lexington on the 18th, 19th
and 2oth, all the officers and soldiers behaved with great gal-
lantry and deserve all praise. I will further add that during the
siege several citizens and amateur lighters fell into the ranks
under my command and rendered efficient service with their
rifles and double-barreled shot guns, obeying my orders and ad-
vancing gallantly upon the enemy. To all these and to my own
brave soldiers, I publicly tender my thanks for their noble be-
havior. I have the honor to be,
Your obedient servant,
J. T. HUGHES, Col. First K,\^i>nr}!t hifautry.
COL. RIVES' SPECIAL REPORT.
Headquarters Fourth Division M. S. G.,
Lexington, Mo., Sept. 13th, 1861.
To Maj. -Gen. S. Price, Commandin,^ Missouri ^late Guards:
Sir : In obedience to your orders I herewith transmit a re-
port of the participation of the Fourth division of the army in
the battle before Lexington on the 12th instant, at about 3:00
o'clock p. m. :
I was ordered to direct Col. Hughes' regiment of infantry
to deploy on the right of the road leading from the fair grounds
to Lexington, and scour the corn field with skirmishers to as-
certain if the enemy was there posted. I was also ordered to
dismount my regiment of cavalry, under command of Lieut.-
THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON 55
CoL Bohannon, and direct him to perform the same service on
the left of the road. The two columns thus advanced until they
reached the house of Dr. Higgins, when I ordered Lieut. Col.
Bohannon to cross his column over to the right of the road and
join the regiment of Col. Hughes. We had advanced but a
short distance in the direction of the city when the enemy, "con-
cealed behind a hedge and some fences, opened a galling fire
upon a regiment of cavalry which had by this tima been thrown
in front. They returned the fire gallantly but their horses be-
coming unmanagable the}'^ were compelled to retire and dis-
mount. I immediately advanced my column, opened a fire upon
the enemy and compelled them to retreat in the direction of the
city. We pursued as fast as the obstacles presented by a num-
ber of fences would permit, and with the co-operation of other
portions of the army, drove the enemy before us into their en-
trenchments around the college buildings. I then took a posi-
tion on the east of the fortifications and remained until dark,
when I was ordered into camp.
My loss in killed and wounded is as follows: In Col. Hughes'
regiment, four wounded and none killed. In Lieut. -Col. Bohan-
non's regiment, James G. Brown, of Co. D, Livingston County,
killed on the field ; Capt. Rives, of Co. E, Ray County, shot
through both thighs while leading his company into the thickest
of the fight : Rufus Chadwick, of Co. G, Davis County, mortally
wounded — a brave man, who, when dying, remarked: "Tell my
wife that I died like a brave man for Missouri, and only regret
that I had not another life to give her." George McNeil, of
Co. B, Davis County, was killed while on picket.
For a more detailed account of the operations of the First
regiment of infantry I refer you to Col. Hughes' report, which
I herewith enclose. To all the officers under my command I am
indebted for their gallantry and assistance in this action, as well
as to the brave men who have conducted themselves as only men
can who are conscious that they are fighting in a righteous
cause. I take pleasure also in acknowledging my obligations to
Captain Hubbell and Colonel Conrow of my staff, as well as to
Captain Harris, who acted as a volunteer aid during the battle.
AH of which respectfully submitted.
Very respectfully your ob't servant,
B. A. RIVES, CoL Commandiyig 4th Division M. S. G.
56 THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
COL. RIVES' OFFICIAL REPORT
Headquarters Fourth Division M. S. G ,
September 23rd, 186L
To Major General Price,
Sir : In obedience to your orders I have the honor to report
the action of the Fourth division of the army in the sieg"e of
On the morniny of the 18th, my command, consisting of a
regiment of infantry under Colonel Hug^hes and a regiment of
cavalry dismounted, imder Lieutenant Colonel Bohannon, was
ordered to take up the line of march in the direction of Lexingf-
ton. When we reached the city you ordered me to take a
position on the west of the enemy's fortifications on the bluff
above Anderson's warehouse. When I arrived there the enemy
opened a fire upon my lines from their entrenchments, and also
from a buildingf occupied by them as a hospital, and from which
was floating^ a white flag". I immediately ordered First Lieut.
F. G. Bransford, commanding" Company A of Lieutenant Colo-
nel Bohannon's reg"iment, to storm the building-, which was most
successfully and gallantly accomplished. As soon as the build-
ing was secured, I found concealpd in the cellar a number of
negro slaves, owned in various sections of the surrounding coun-
try, some as far north as Utica, which I caused to be placed
under guard and delivered to their owners. That being accom-
plished, and feeling secure in my position, I ordered Capt. Wm.
Merrick, commanding Company A of Colonel Hughes' regiment,
to march his command down to the river and take possession of
a steamboat and a steam ferryboat that were in the employ of
the enemy, and on which was found a large amounc of stores
useful to the army. The boats were captured and taken to the
main wharf of the city and turned over to the quartermaster.
In the meantime, a number of horses, mules, and harness were
taken from the enemy and sent to camp. The firing was almost
constantly kept up from the enemy's entrenchments, and as
promptly returned by my men from our position on the bluff and
at the hospital. Our sharpshooters from the hospital so annoyed
THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON 57
the enemy that they determined to retake the building, which I
am forced to say was bravely accomplished, and would have elic-
ited our admiration had not the act been tarnished by the murder
of three of my men, who, being overpowered in a room of the
building, laid down their arms and surrendered as prisoners.
Another only escaped through the kind-heartedness of a sick
man, a member of the Illinois regiment of cavalry, who kindly
furnished him a place on his bed and a portion of his blanket,
by which he escaped the observation of the bloodthirsty soldiers
whose bayonets were reeking with the blood of defenceless men.
The enemy's occupation of the building, however, was brief.
Captain Peniston, of Company F of Lieutenant Colonel Bohan-
non's regiment, appreciating its importance, immediately led
his command to the charge, and being assisted by individual
members of other commands, retook the building, leaving nine
of the enemy dead in the j-ard and orchard adjoining the house.
This position we held until the surrender, notwithstanding
various attempts were made to retake it by a large force of the
enemy, assisted by well directed shots from their batteries,
which almost demolished the building. I take pleasure in ac-
knowledging my obligations to Brigadier General McBride and
Brigadier General Harris, who were posted on my left and who
rendered me invaluable aid in holding this important position
by ordering a well directed cross fire into the ranks of the
enemy whenever they attempted to charge my front.
On the evening of the 19th inst., at the suggestion of Brig-
adier General Harris and by his assistance, we brought up a
large number of bales of hemp and constructed temporary
breastworks on each side of the hospital building to shelter our
men, and from which they could fire with greater precision at
the enemy whenever they made their appearance above their
fortifications. This portable protection was advanced from time
to time until we were within about one hundred yards of the
entrenchments of the enemy, when on the evening of the 20th
inst. a white flag was raised and sent to my post by the enemy.
I immediately dispatched a messenger to your headquarters to
inform you of the fact, and to request that hostilities be sus-
pended in other portions of our line. I advanced to the position
of the enemy, accompanied by my staft", and awaited the arrival
of Colonel Snead, your acting adjutant general, who negotiated
58 THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
with the B'ederal officers for a surrender of their forces, by
which an immense effusion of blood was spared.
In this laborious seige, by which the men under my com-
mand were kept constantly under arms for three days and two
nights, many individual acts of bravery were exhibited, which
my prescribed limits will not permit me to mention.
My especial thanks are due to Colonel Hughes, Lieutenant
Colonel Pritchard, of the First regiment infantry, and to Lieu-
tenant Colonel Bohannon and Major Comer, of the First regi-
ment cavalry, also to Captain Scott of St. Joseph, who acted as
aid to me and who could always be seen where the danger was
most imminent. Captain Hubbell and Colonel Conrow, of my
staff, and Captain Harris of St. Joseph, who volunteered his
services as aid. I take pleasure in acknowledging my obliga-
tions to Major Winston, of Brigadier General Stein's division,
and Major Milton, of Brigadier General Harris' division, each of
whom, with a force under their command, rendered me valuable
assistance throughout a greater portion of the seige.
My entire loss in killed and wounded is as follows : In the
extra battalion attached to Colonel Hughes' regiment and under
command of Major Hansard, three killed on the field and one
wounded; in Colonel Hughes' regiment, eight killed and none
wounded; in Lieutenant Colonel Bohannon's regiment, Lafay-
ette Quarles, James O. K Walker and Robert Caldwell, all of
Company A, Ray county, killed in, hospital, and Jerry Frasier
wounded ; in Company C, same regiment, Charles Desher and
Peter Ray, of Carroll county, wounded ; in Company B, Capt.
J. H. McNeill, of Davis county, wounded; in Company P, Geo S.
Thompson and Lafayette Warmouth, Grundy county, wounded.
In extra battalion attached to Colonel Hughes' regiment
and under command of Major Hanson, 3 killed and 1 wounded ;
in Colonel Hughes' regiment, 8 wounded ; in Lieutenant Colonel
Bohannon's regiment, 8 wounded, ',i killed. Total killed and
For a more detailed account of the action of the First regi-
ment infantry, [ refer to the report of Colonel Hughes, which
is herewith transmitted. All of which is respectfully submitted.
B. A. RIVES, Co/. Cotnmandinff 4th Di7'ism?i M. S. G.
THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON 59
COL. JACKSON'S OFFICIAL REPORT
Headquarters Third Division M. S. G.
Lexington. September 23, 1861.
To Col. Thomas L Snead, Acting Adj. Gen. Army Corps.
Colonel : I have the honor to submit the following- report
of the part taken by the forces of the Third division in the
several daj's' engagement at Lexington, the same having been
temporarily placed under my command during the absence of
their gallant and legitimate commander, Brig. Gen. John B.
Clark, who some short time before was specially detailed on
business for the army and necessarily preventing his presence
with his command.
On the morning of the 18th inst., in pursuance of the orders
of the major general commanding, my forces were got in read-
iness and marched to the fair grounds near Lexington for the
purpose of taking their position in the line of battle. My
forces consisted of the First regiment of infantry, commanded
by Lieut. Col. Edwin Price and Maj. John B. Clarke, jr.; the
First batallion of cavalry, commanded by Lieut. Col J. P. Major
and Maj. A. H. Chalmer : the Second regiment of infantry,
commanded by Lieut. Col. John H. White and Maj. Joseph
Vaughan; the Second battalion of infantry, commanded by
Lieut. Col. M. G. Singleton and Maj. Q. Peacher : the First
battalion of infantry, commanded by Maj. R. S. Brevier, and
several independent companies under command of Capt. J. A.
Poindexter, the whole amounting to twelve hundred and thirty
The position assigned me was upon the left of the battery
of Brigadier General Parsons, with directions to support the
same. It was now 9 o'clock A. M., and in this position the line
of march was commenced and continued down the main road
until getting into the city, when a detour was made to the left
and we arrived in front of the court house. Near this point
the battery was placed upon a commanding eminence and com-
menced a brisk fire upon the fortification, at the distance of
four or five hundred yards, which was continued during the day
60 THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
and at intervals during" the night. On the morning of the 19th,
by direction of the commanding" general, my forces were moved
from this position across the river, and marched about a mile
and a half in a northern direction for the purpose of meeting
and resisting the advance of reinforcements for the enemy,
which were reported to be coming from that direction under
the command of General Sturgis. Learning from satisfactory
sources that the reported forces had turned back, and that no
danger was to be apprehended from any force on that s'de of
river, I returned with my forces, again crossing the river by
one o'clock on the same day, and took a position on the east side
of the college building, and within four hundred and fifty yards
of the same. This position I held until the capitulation was
made by the enemy. During this time parties of skirmishers
were continually thrown out from my line, who with unerring
aim poured their fire upon the enemy behind his entrencements,
which at times told with such wonderful effect as to silence his
fire several times on that portion of the fortification.
T am gratified at being able to report not one of my forces
as killed, and but two persons very slightly wounded. Though
mostly acting as a reserve corps, my forces were frequently
exposed to the fire of the enemy, but I am gratified to be able
to state that both officers and men behaved in the most gallant
manner. I was attended upon the field by Lieut. Col. Wm. O.
Burton, Lieut. Col. R. B. Walton, Lieut. Col. Wm. Woodson,
Lieut. Col. S. Farrington, Lieut. Col. R H. Musser, Capt. Joseph
Pink, Capt. James Collins, who acted as aides for me and to
whom I make acknowledgements for efficient and gallant ser-
vices. I desire also to make my acknowledgements to Col.
C. W. Bell, assistant adjutant general, who was detailed b}' me
on duty from the field, who. though painfully afilicttd. performed
efficient service in the duty assigned him. I also desire to make
my acknowledgements to the surgeons of my command for their
prompt attention to duties, and efficient service they rendered
at their posts.
I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
Colonel Commandiuff Third /)i7'ision, M. S. G.
The spring which was Col. Mulligan's main dependence for water after the
cisterns gave out.
THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON 61
LIEUT.-COL. BOYD'S OFFICIAL REPORT.
Camp at Lexington Mo , September 22, 1861.
Lt. Col. D. W. FlOWERREL, Acting Ass't Adj. General,
Permit me to make the following- report of the part sus-
tained by the forces under m}- command in the battle of Lex-
ington on the 20th inst.
My command, consisting of six companies of cavalry, dis-
mounted, under Captains Wells, Gibson, Robinson, Bostic,
Bennett, and Lieutenant Moore, three companies of infantry,
Captains Minter. Smith, Stout, and three pieces of artillery
under Capt. E. V. Kelley, numbering- in all 400 men, were
stationed on the morning of the 19th inst. in and around the
court house yard. At eight o'clock A. M. on the 20th inst..
Captain Kelley was ordered with the battery to take position
opposite northwest face of the enemy's entrenchments, and
opened fire at a quarter past nine, within about 100 yards of
same, which was kept up during the remainder of the day with
the most telling effect, silencing one of their guns at the fifth
round, which resumed fire in a short time and was silenced
again at several intervals during the day At ten o'clock A. M.
I was ordered to take position in the rear of the battery as
reserve. This I did with the whole of mj^ command, with the
exception of Captain Well's company, which was not in the
engagement, and Captains Bostic and Robinson, who since
report that they became detached and were engaged to the
right of General Parson's battery At eleven A. M. my com-
mand took position according to order at right and left of our
bitter}^ and commenced approaching the enemy under cover of
bales of hemp, rolling them before us, which formed most effec-
tive protection and saved many valuable lives Under this
protection we moved forward until within fifty paces of the
enemy's fortification with but little loss. After gaining our
position, and an incessant firing for several hours, the white
flag was displayed upon the enemy's embankments opposite my
command. Our men sustained a constant fire from both artillery
62 THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
and small arms, but they stood their ground like veterans and
answered not only shot for shot but two for one with most
destructive aim. Too much praise cannot be bestowed uiion our
noble recruits. The officers above named, who were under my
personal observation, together with Maj. J. J. Hash and Lieut.
E. W. Toole, acting adjutant of my command, fought like free
MIssourians who knew their rights and dared defend them.
The following is the list of killed and wounded in my com-
mand : Killed: F. M. Breman. private, Kelly's artillery; Jeff
Warren and Wm. Wren, privates, Minter's company. Wounded:
Lieut. H. H Moss, in arm. Privates Fays, W. A. Chesnah,
slightly, Minter'B company, Buchanan county : G. H. H. Brand,
in neck, G. R. Smith, in arm, A. J. Rucker, in arm, W. Thomas,
in hand, Gibson's company ; A. L. Wilson, in arm, John Kelly,
in thigh, J. Absom, in hand, Kelly's artillery; J. Lynch, in
hand, W. Smith, in knee, J. R. Hooper, slightly. Smith's com-
pany. Total killed, 3 ; wounded, 1.3 : killed and wounded, 10.
JOHN R. BOYD, Lieut. Col. Cojnmaudiuff.
MAJ. WINSTON'S OFFICIAL REPORT
Camp Wallace, near Lexington.
September 22, 1861.
Lt. Col. D. W. FlowERREL, Actin,ir Ass't Adj. General.
Sir : I have the honor of reporting that in obedience to an
order from headquarters, issued on the previous evening, the
line of march was formed about sunrise on the morning of the
18th, and on coming up with General Price, by his request, six
volunteers were detailed and sent to Captain Clarke's battery.
The column moved forward until ordered by General Price to
file to the left, whereupon Captain Gates' company was deploy-
ed on the right and Captain Saunders' company on the left as
skirmishers until the head of the column reached the base of
THE BATTLEOF LEXINGTON 63
the hill of the town, when the skirmishers were called in and
the column ordered up the hill in double quick time. The horse-
men having- gained the street ou the crest of the hill, and just
as the head of the column reached it, there was a volley from
the enemy's pickets. The head of the column was ordered to
halt, and as soon as it was closed up advanced a square or so
and deployed to the right and left until the artillery came up,
and General Price ordered an advance through the lots on each
side sustaining them, which was gallantly performed until the
court house was passed by the wing on the right and the wing
on the left of the battery rested near. At this point Private
T. Turner, of Captain Kuykendall's company, lost his leg by
the enemy's grape. About one o'clock they were ordered into
the court house yard, a point equally near the battery, but of
much less exposure. Between two and three o'clock our forces
were moved, by order, near the crest of the hill above, and
between the ferry and the enemy's fortifications, where they
rested until sundown, when we were ordered to report to and
act in conjunction with Colonel Rives, who assigned our position
on the right of the hospital building, whereupon Captains
Thompson's, Gates', Saunders" and Childs' companies were
placed in line behind the fence, the left resting on the hospital
and the right on a small building at the corner of the lot. We
then placed four pickets in advance of the orchard fronting this
line Here they sustained a heavv charge, while the enemy's
battery bombarded the hospital and threw into us grape, with-
out the loss of a man, but sUghth' wounding T. C. Minor and
Wm. Miller, of Captain Chiles' company: Lieutenant Moore and
Lieutenant Fink, badly : Private Frederick, of Captain Rodgers'
company, and acting as sergeant major, and John Ross were
struck by a spent grape, but have since recovered. This posi-
tion was held by our command, with frequent severe firing* but
without loss on our part, until relieved by Captain Sanders about
eight o'clock on the evening of the 19th, when we moved near
the river and rested for the night. On the morning of the 20th,
Captains Mitchell, Rogers, McKinney, Dougherty, Grooms,
Thompson, Spratt, Gales, Sanders, Kuykendall and Minter's
companies were engaged in transporting and placing hemp in
the breastworks supporting the battery between the enemy and
the river, and as these companies finished their detail duties
64 THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
they were thrown into position to support the battery behind
the hemp bales on each wing", where our entire command was
posted when we were ordered to march into the enemy's fortifi-
cations. Your servant, respectfully,
JAS. H. WINSTON,
Maj. Commariditig First Battalioji, Platte County, M. S. G.
MAJ. THORNTON'S OFFICIAL REPORT.
Headquarters. Camp Wallace,
Fifth Division M. S. G.
September 23, 186L
Brig. Gen. A, E. Steen,
Sir: I have the honor to report the part taken by the
battalion from Clay, under my command, during the battle of
On the morning of the 18th, we marched from Camp Wal-
lace to the scene of action in the rear of the battalion from
Platte under Maj. J. Winston ; your whole command then pres-
ent, being in the rear of General Parson's command, not being
able to command us in person yourself on account of a severe
and relentless malady with which you had been sadly afflicted
for many weeks. When in sight of Lexington, by order of
Major General Price, Gen. J. W Reid led us to the city court
house by a road leading to the left of the main Lexington road
and entering the city from the west, where we remained till
four o'clock P. M., while our artillery was fiercely engaging
that of the enemy. About four o'clock P. M., the battalion from
Clay, together with the batallion from Platte, was marched by
your aid. Colonel Fiowerrel, between the enemy and that por-
tion of the river running north of the enemy's entrenchments,
where we were ordered to remain until dark, when we were
marched on until we reached the main road running down the
river from the ferry. Here two companies under Captains Pix-
THE BATTLEOF LEXINGTON 65
ley aud Minta were separated from the rest of the battalion
by a terrific stampede of wagons and stragj^ling horsemen from
the direction of General Harris' command, stationed further
down the river, which was produced by a disastrous fire from the
enemy on Colonel Green's regiment. They were unable to join
them in the dark and were detailed on guard duty in the city
during the night. On the morning of the 19th, they joined, or
relieved, the companies Captains Grooms, Dougherty and Scott
that had been posted during the night on the right of the hos-
pital, on a line with it, within one hundred yards of the enemy's
entrenchments, as the advanced guard to hold and defend the
hospital which General Harris with his command had charged
and captured during the day. Thej' did their duties well and
firmly. During the night the enemy fiercely charged upon
them to recapture the hospital, but were repulsed in the most
determined and triumphant manner, with the loss of J. Snelling
of Captain Scott's company, severely wounded in three places,
and several others slightlj^ wounded. After two days of con-
tinuous service, under an unceasing fire from the enemy, with-
out anything to eat or any sleep, at dark on the 19th inst. my
battalion was ordered under the hill to rest
Early on the glorious morning of the 20th, by request of
Colonel Brace, I detailed Captain Grooms' company to load and
unload and haul hemp up the hill to within a few yards of those
breastworks which enabled us to whip the enemy. Captain
Grooms readily responded with his company, and thej^ worked
with the greatest energy during the whole day until we con-
quered the enemy. In the meantime, at about nine o'clock
A. M., Colonel Brace informed me that the hemp breastworks
that Colonel Green's regiment had formed within fiftj' j-ards of
the enemy's entrenchments, together with his battery of two
two guns, was in great danger of being taken, and that Colonel
Green must have immediate assistance in defending the limited
breastworks already made and in extending their area, or he
would have to retire. I instantly order three companies, com-
manded by Captains Pixley, Dougherty and Minta, to accompany
me at a double quick step to Colonel Green's relief, which they
promptly and patriotically obeyed. I reported my command to
Colonel Green near the breastworks, ready to obey his orders.
He requested me to detail one company to roll bales to the
66 THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
breastworks, which I did by sending Captain Pixley with his
company. Captain Pixley promptly proceeded to roll bales to
the breastworks under a raking- fire from the enemy's cannon
and side arms. In a few minutes Colonel Green called upon me
for the rest of my command present for similar service, which I
forthwith obeyed by proceeding with the remaining" companies,
under Captains Dougherty and Minta, to roll hemp bales to the
breastworks, under a terrific fire from the enemy but, thanks to
the hemp bales, with but little damage to the men. Behind
these breastworks, after formed, we remained and fought until
electrified with the waving of the white flag over the enemy's
entrenchments. I am happy to inform you that, although their
first engagement, none under my command faltered or wavered
in the discharge of every duty. All, both officers and privates,
deserve great credit for their cool and steady obedience to all
orders throughout the engagement.
J. C. C. THORNTON, Major Commanding.
SURGEON'S OFFICIAL REPORT
Headquarters Medical Department,
Second Division M. S. G.
September 22, 186L
To Brig. Gen. Thos. A. Harris,
Commander Second Division M. S. G.
Sir : I hereby report a list of the killed and wounded of
your division in the engagement which occurred on the 18th,
19th and 20th insts., viz :
B.Dudley Monroe Lieut. J. W. Mason. St. Charles
Walton Barker Knox Shaw . St. Charles
William Yancey Knox R. Price St. Charles
J. M. Singleton Shelby W. A. Chappell Kentucky
THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
Edward Pritched Warren J. C. Gosney Monroe
John Walker Lincoln
Total killed 11
Capt. W. S. Richardson. .Lewis
C. R. Blain Marion
J. W. McCord Montg-omery
W. H. Smith Warren
P. Priest Ralls
G. Christian Shelby
John Lighter Pike
S. M. Davis Lincoln
Total severely wounded .
Albert Trout St. Charles
M. V. B. Mosely Lincoln
R. H. Wells Lincoln
H. Gaty St. Charles
A. S. Alvis Pike
J. W. Kelley Buchanan
John S. Blunt Callaway
Lieut. Dan'l Black Knox
W. C. Willis Marion
T. J. Jordon Monroe
W. C. Young- Clark
Benj. Chiles Callaway
J. P. Smith Lincoln
Lieut. Col. J. C. Porter. .Lewis
Wm. Moore Lewis
J. W. Leighton Marion
Thos. Wright Marion
Wash Terry Lincoln
James Cunningham Lincoln
John W. Ward Lincoln
W. H. Verser Lincoln
Total slightly wounded . .
Thos. P. Dawson Monroe
Lieut. S. Haydon Lewis
Lieut. Col. B. Hull . . . .Lincoln
Wm. Thomas Buchanan
J, A. A. Collins Pike
J. C. Johnson St. Charles
J. P. Flute Scotland
A. J. Bower Monroe
J. W. Maupin Monroe
Thos. Dawson Monroe
Joseph Whipple Monroe
J. Potts Callaway
Severely wounded 18
Slightly wounded ... 26
E. H. C. BAILEY, Surgeon Second Dn'/swn M. S. G.
68 THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON
THE BANK AFFAIR.
[Extract from St. Louis Repiiblican of September 26, iSbi )
One of the largest stockholders in this bank, R. Aull, Esq.,
yesterday received a dispatch from R. D. Hoffman, cashier, say-
ing : "Our money has been restored by General Price, and z<:'^
have since burned our circulation.'''' The whole amount of circula-
tion, we are advised, at the last exhibit was about $1,110,000.
The amount of paper burnt was about $800,000, so that it is
likely the entire outstanding circulation likely to be presented
for redemption will not exceed $250,000, — making allowance for
notes lost since the bank has been in existence. The bank has
a much larger amount of coin than is necessary to redeem the
On page 0, line 18, Linthicum should read Lantheaume—
Charles A. Lantheaume. Col. Van Horn wrote the account
from memory, and notified the editors of the error after the
type had been distributed.
On page 41 it should have been stated that Dr. A. V. Small
was Gen. Price's chief surgeon with the rank of colonel.
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