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U. S. artillery company. The second brigade (under Col. Franz Sigel) consisted largely
of the Third and Fifth Missouri regiments. The third brigade (under Lt. Col. George L.
Andrews) contained the First Missouri regiment, four companies of U. S. infantry and an
artillery battery. The fourth brigade (under Col. George W. Deitzler) was made up of
the First and Second Kansas, and the First Iowa regiments.

The Confederate forces which opposed General Lyon were rebel Missourians under
Maj. Gen. Sterling Price and Brig. Gen. James S. Rains. They were estimated to number
at least 15,000 men. An additional rebel force of some 5,000 troops under Brig. Gen.
Ben. McCulloch, of Texas, was also in Missouri. War of the Rebellion . . , (Wash-
ington, 1881), Series I, v. 3, p. 48.



OSBORNE'S CIVIL WAR EXPERIENCES 111

and Rains who were about overrunning the western part of the
state We marched on through Stockton and Melville to Camp
Seigel which was about twelve miles north of Springfield ariving
there on Sunday [July 14] about 2 [?] o'clock P. M. I was on
guard detail there the first night for the first time in my life but as
we did not have very strict instructions I got along very well

At this place I saw a man shot for murder he was shot on dress
parade he was brought up in front the coffin was brought also
and he knelt down on it his legs were tied and his eyes blind-
folded There was twelve men of the guard to shoot him Thier
muskets were loaded by other persons one half with blank cart-
riges no man knowing whether thier gun had a ball in it or not
when the order was given to fire the muskets roared simultaneously
and the prisoner was no more We stayed at camp Seigel from
Sunday till the next Saturday morning Each day while we were
there we had a company and battallion drill here was where I
learnt most of drilling the first summer While there we lived on
half rations of bread but we had plenty of meat.

On Saturday [July 20] we loaded our baggage and started for
Springfield We arrived in town about noon went in to town
stopped and stacked arms for a half hour We were not allowed
to leave our arms but to get water which we procured at a well
near by At the expiration of a half an hour we marched on We
soon after ascertained that we were going to a small town fifty
miles a little east of south of Springfield named Forsyth where there
was a body of [manuscript faded] We were under the command
of Gen. [Thomas W.] Sweeny an officer that had his arm shot off
in the Mexican war The command consisted of Five companies of
the Iowa 1st the 2nd Kansas and a company of regular cavalry and
1 Section of Tottens battery We camped on James river the first
night, a stream of considerable size and had a good bridge across
it. I was on guard here it rained nearly all night and till about
six the next day We commenced drawing full rations here again.

We left camp early the next morning the rain falling in torrent
about noon we arived at Osark a small town near the moun-
tains we stacked arms and stayed there an hour We captured
some boots which were distributed among the soldiers As we left
this place the officers gave each of us a dram of whiskey which
made us feel better after our morning drenching Then we
marched out five miles from town and camped in an old field near
there was a good spring the ground was very wet and muddy



112 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

After supper about forty of us went about a quarter of a mile back
into the woods and slept in a meeting house The next morning
went back to camp got breakfast and marched on In an hour we
were in the Osark mountains These mountains were not masses
of rock like those in Mass, but were composed of gravel and cov-
ered with timber, but the timber is not very valueable There is
some yellow pine but not of large growth and the hills are so steep
that but little of it can be got away The land is not fit for culti-
vation the streams are very clear water and springs are abundant
The inhabitants apear to be nearly all Unionists a considerable
number joining us in our expedition to Forsyth This part of the
country is thinly inhabited and has some game We halted about
nine miles from Forsyth at three oclock P. M. eat some crackers
and [meat?] then marched on

We had gone about 4& miles when orders came to Col. Michel 4
to bring up his regt on double quick time and double quick we did
in earnest We were now sure that we were going to have a fight
with the enemy and there was a very good prospect of it The
battery come up with us and was with us the rest of the way Be-
fore reaching Forsyth we crossed White river then going about 20
rods threw down a high rail fence and went into a field The
battery took a position near or in a Timothy field but we rushed
on and formed on coming to the river again then crossed the river
again and pushed forward into the town On ariving in town no
enemy was to be seen even the inhabitants had left. The battery
first threw shells into the court house and some on a hill just east
of it. Co. E was sent to the court house to guard it and we were
pleased to get to rest ourselves of the days march of thirty miles.

It was now sundown About dark we marched to quarters in a
house which had been deserted by it[s] occupants a library was
in the house mostly filled with law books excepting a few bed
steads there was no furniture in the house We stacked arms in the
house and some of us commenced getting supper and some lay
down on the floor to sleep prefering rest to supper After I rested
a little while I went up town to see what was going on The reg-
ulars were passing around Port Wine in buckets I found out
where they got it went around there found some men there
some rolling off barrels of liquer others drinking very freely out of
a barrel of Port Wine which had the head knocked in and it was
about two thirds full But an officer coming round put a stop to

4. Col. Robert B. Mitchell, commanding officer of the Second Kansas infantry.



OSBORNE'S CIVIL WAR EXPERIENCES 113

all this I soon went back to quarters lay down on the floor and
slept till morning The next morning eat breakfast and went up
town The secession flag pole had been cut down and a consid-
erable quantity of Groceries Provitions, Clothing, Bullets, lead and
Tobacco and old guns were confisticated

About ten o'clock A. M. On Tuesday morning [July 23] we
started back towards Springfield We went about 12 miles and
camped on a stream of very clear water Here I done my first
cooking staying up till twelve oclock at night then lay down and
slept till morning Twenty of the company were on picket this
night The next morning we left camp early and went to our for-
mer camping place five miles from Osark. The next day we went
to Springfield We camped one mile from town at night and
marched the next day to camp Seigel near a small town called
Little York which is about ten miles from Springfield We arived
here on Friday the [26th] day of July a little after seven and rested
Saturday. Sunday we had a regimental inspection of arms At
four oclock P. M. we had a dress parade and after that preach-
ing the only time that I heard preaching while I was fit for duty

We drilled here considerably We were camped on the top of a
high ridge The other regiments and batteries moved on to the top
of the ridge three days after we arived there excepting the 1st Iowa
which was still camped on the oposite side of the creek from
us We slept on our arms every night after the brigade was camped
in line and had them inspected twice a day One night we had an
alarm caused by some rebel firing on one of our videttes We
turned out in about two minutes and formed in line but soon after
went to our tents and lay down

On Wednesday afternoon [July 31] we recieved orders to be
ready to march at fifteen minutes warning Tents were struck
wagons loaded and every thing put in readiness About sundown
we took up our line of march starting in a southeast direction We
marched till about twelve oclock had our muskets loaded and
capped at twelve oclock we stopped got some water and then
lay down and slept till morning In the morning we got breakfast
and then marched forward soon intersecting the road leading to
the south west Here was Col. Seigel and his brigade waiting for
us We passed on and CoJ. Seigel fell in with his brigade to the
rear of [us] The day was intensely hot and the road very dusty.
Many men were obliged to stop by the side of the road on account
of the intense heat About ten oclock our advance fired into the



114 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

enemies picket causing the latter to fall back About noon we got
water out of a well near the road and by marching slower after that
suffered less

We arrived at Dug Springs about two oclock halted here, hear-
ing that the enemy were ahead in strong force and a good posi-
tion At four oclock we took up a position for the night Second
Kan. took a position on the left of the road the batteries on the
road and the Iowa 1st on the right We stacked arms but were not
allowed to leave them. Soon after we were brought into line again
the enemy advancing on the front Maj. [W. F.] Cloud was sent
out on the flank with four companies but no enemy were seen in
that direction The enemy still advanced in front till within range
of Tottens battery. When Totten opened his [fire] the rebels fled,
in the utmost confusion, and advanced on us no more that
day Several of the enemy were killed and wounded. Our cavalry
had skirmished with them nearly all the afternoon It was here
that Capt. [David S.] Stanley made his brilliant charge routing the
enemy and killing some of them for which he was promoted to
Brig. Gen.

We stood in line till about sundown then got our supper. No
tents or baggage was allowed to be unloaded as the train was
brought up into line just to the rear of the color line We stacked
arms but were obliged to keep a guard over them Co. E was de-
tailed for picket guard Just after dark we marched out about a
quarter of a mile on the left flank halted and divided into three
reliefs and stationed one relief immediately, the others lay down
and slept I was on first relief The sentinels were posted in a
circle each one having a short beat I was very tired but had no
difficulty in keeping a wake The reserve of the picket was sta-
tioned under some trees just at the edge of the circle After coming
off post I lay down and slept as soundly as if I was on a feather bed

[Engagement at Dug Springs, Mo., August 2, 1861]

Just as it became light we were marched back to camp and get-
ting a hasty breakfast were marched out to the road there we
halted a few moments for the command to get formed prop-
erly The 2nd Kansas was near the centre. We marched down a
hollow about two miles then over a ridge for two miles far-
ther While yet on the ridge orders were sent back to us to pass
to the front Just before going down into the hollow we could
discover the dust rising up the opposite hill in the road where the



OSBORNE'S CIVIL WAR EXPERIENCES 115

rebels were retreating Supposing that they would advance again,
Gen Lyon dispatched the 1st Iowa on the right of the road and the
2nd Kansas on the left and crossing the hollow we marched up the
hill. We formed an ambuscade but the rebels did not tackle
us The men at the battery got sight of them and sending a few
shells over caused the rebels to retreat

We marched up the hill in the timber paralell to the road and
about one hundred and fifty yards from it By this time the day
had become intensely hot and we not having had any water since
early in the morning many of the men fell down exhausted and
choking from thirst On our arival at the summit of the hill we
by bearing to the right intersected the road but the enemy had
made good his escape We nftw hoisted our flag on the telegraph
pole to prevent our being fired into by our battery from the op-
posite hill About one third of our men had been left on the hill
side exhausted At a house near the top of the hill we found a
barrel of water but were not allowed to swallow any for fear it
might have been poisoned We wet our heads and put some into
our mouths and washed them out then spit it out. Some of the
men went into a field and got some Sugar Cane and by chewing
that quenched thier thirst Dr. Patee 5 came up and gave medacine
to such as needed it I ate an ear of green corn raw that tasted de-
licious

After resting about an hour during which time most of our men
came up, we marched forward having heard that there was a spring
about a mile in advance Orders having been sent to Col. Mitchel
to advance if he thought best if not to fall back The advance
seemed to please Col. Mitchel the best and away we went Capt
Woods 6 cavalry in advance We advanced about one mile to one
of the cool clear springs of delicious water which are so plenty in
that section of country Col. Mitchel would not allow us to drink
till we had washed and then cautioned us not to drink to much 1
never tasted water that tasted so delitiously. After drinking what
we wanted we were permited to go into an orchard and get what
apples we wanted This place was called McCollocks Ranche [Mc-
Culla's Farm] after the man that lived on it We now had the
advance the command had stopped at a spring two miles back,
the country was covered with thick short oak trees which would
conceal an enemy perfectly occasionly some of the enemy would

5. Asst. Surgeon Eliphalet L. Patee of Manhattan.

6. Capt. Samuel N. Wood, commanding Company I, Second Kansas infantry.



116 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

show them selves but we were prepared to recieve them at any
time Three of the rebels were taken prisoners The rebels might
have come into the rear of us and cut us entirely from the com-
mand An alarm was given after we had got sufficiently rested to
feel well and we were brought into line and the cavalry sent out
to recoinoitre The cavalry captured a carridge and a small mule
and an old wagon.

Gen. Lyon came up to us in the course of the afternoon with
a company of dragoons but did not stay long About five oclock
we fell in to march back The prisoners were placed in ranks on
foot and marched back to McCullocks [McCulla's] Spring We
arived at camp a little before sundown and camped on the op-
posite side of the road from the spring on a steep ridge which was
covered with gravel We got us some supper and lay down and
slept till the next morning

Early the next morning we were roused up got breakfast and
prepared to march All surplus baggage was taken out of the
wagons and burned so as to take every man along that might be
sun struck or fatigued that they could not travel This day we
took it very leisurely getting to camp at Double Springs a little
after dark making fourteen miles. At this place we just pitched
into rebel property for the first time a field on the oposite side
of the road from where we were camped suffered terribly the
fence was burned the corn taken and much of it boiled or roasted
by us and the stalks fed to the animals Our camp was on a ridge
the east side of the road very rocky There our arms were stacked
and only half of the company allowed to leave at a time

The next morning [August 3] we left camp early for Springfield
marched leisurely and arived there about one oclock P. M. Waited
there some time for orders where to camp and then marched out
about half a mile west of the court house and camped in a meadow
near where Fort No. 2 stands now. After stacking our arms we
went back into a pasture and rested ourselves under some trees
Here under some trees we done our cooking and stayed most of the
time in day light. At night we had orders to sleep in line on our
arms with our accoutrements on The next day we rested washed
our clothes &c. but we had to hold ourselves in readiness to march
at short notice we now drew plenty of rations and ate plenty of
apples from an orchard near which we baked or boiled to eat We
had a roll call now every two hours to prevent any men leaving
camp



OSBORNE'S CIVIL WAR EXPERIENCES 117

The rebels had followed us on our return from Dug Springs they
had already come as far as Wilsons Creek ten miles from here We
slept the second night in line the same as the first the ranks lying
with thier feet together and thier heads opposite to each other One
night about dark we were marched out to supprise the enemy at
daylight but after marching till midnight saw a rocket sent up
away to the left supposed to be a signal of our movement On see-
ing this Gen. Lyon ordered a halt and soon we were ordered back
to camp ariving there about sunrise The next day in the afternoon
we marched out of town on the Little York road for four miles and
waited about two hours for the rebels to attact us but they did not
come Then we marched back into town and volunteers were
called for to march out and supprise the enemy but soldiers were
not very prompt volunteering, but soon orders came to march back
to camp this object having been abandoned. The weather was now
most intensely hot, so that we could not sleep in the heat of the day

[The Battle of Wilsons Creek, August 10, 186P]

On Friday the 9th of Aug about four oclock in the afternoon the
whole command fired off thier guns and cleaned them and were
ordered to get ready to march by six oclock P. M. with one days
rations in our haversack At the hour appointed we fell in line
and were ready to march We had forty rounds of cartriges in our
cartrige boxes and our guns loaded Our train was loaded and
driven up into the town as usual when we left camp The sick
were all sent into town Four hundred Home Guards were left to
guard the town The rest of the command all went out Col.
Seigel with his brigade went out on the Telegraph road a few
miles then turned to the left and went round and attacted the
enemy at Sharpe's house on the south side of Wilsons Creek, the
enemy were north west of him camped along the creek. Gen. Lyon

7. In his report of the battle of Wilson's creek (also known as the battle of Oak Hills),
Union Major General Fremont stated: "General Lyon, in three columns, under himself,
Sigel, and Sturgis, attacked the enemy at 6:30 o'clock on the morning of the 10th, 9
miles southeast of Springfield. Engagement severe. Our loss about 800 killed and wounded.
General Lyon killed in charge at head of his column. Our force 8,000, including 2,000
Home Guards. Muster roll reported taken from the enemy 23,000, including regiments
from Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, with Texan Rangers and Cherokee half-breeds.
This statement corroborated by prisoners." War of the Rebellion, Series I, v. 3, p. 54.

Brigadier General McCulloch, who commanded the Confederate forces, stated in his
official report that his ". . . effective force was 5,300 infantry, 15 pieces of artillery,
and 6,000 horsemen, armed with flint-lock muskets, rifles, and shot-guns. . . ." He
also stated: "The force of the enemy, between nine and ten thousand, was composed of
well-disciplined troops, well armed, and a large part of them belonging to the old Army
of the United States. With every advantage on their side they have met with a signal
repulse. The loss of the enemy is 800 killed, 1,000 wounded, and 300 prisoners. We
captured six pieces of artillery, several hundred stand of small arms, and several of their
standards. . . . Our loss was also severe, and we mourn the death of many a gallant
officer and soldier. Our killed amounts to 265, 800 wounded, and 30 missing. . , ."
Ibid., pp. 104, 106.



118 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

commanded the other brigade in person which consisted of the 1st
Mo, 1st Iowa, 1st & 2nd Kansas Totten's and Dubois batteries
Four companies of regular Inft. and two companies of rifle re-
cruits from St. Louis, also some cavalry in all numbering about
three thousand men Col Seigel command numbered about twelve
hundred men with six peices of artilery We left camp about sun-
down and went out west on the Little York road four and one half
miles then turned to the left and went across the prairie in nearly
a southerly direction but not on any road

About 12 oclock we halted and lay down and slept as soundly
as though we were at home in our beds till just as light was coming
in the eastern horizon We then got up fell in and marched on
When first getting sight of thier camp thier tents were still stand-
ing We had succeeded in completely supprising them We
marched also in the rear of them south west of thier camp We
succeeded in getting an exelent position Cheers would occasion-
ally resound from our lines commencing in the front and being
caught up along the lines would go to the rear The artilery suc-
ceded in getting an exelent position and opened on the enemy.
This was a signal for Col. Seigel to attact with his brigade and
soon we had the satisfaction of hearing his artilery The 1st Mo,
1st Iowa, and some rifle recruit were formed on the right and left
of the batteries Four companies of regulars and the 1st Kansas
followed the creek down. The Kansas 2nd was the reserve

The battle was now fairly commenced. The artilery fire was as
fast as any one could count and the roar of musketry was inces-
sant We were stationed in a ravine in sight of one of the enemies
guns which kept firing at us but the balls passed far over our
heads A rebel lay dead near where we were the first man I had
ever seen that was killed in battle This firing continued for some
time say half an hour when it gradually abated and silence reigned
once more the wounded were now being brought off the field,
and preperations made for another fight. The rebels sent flankers
out which once came in sight of our hospital Soon firing com-
menced on the hill once more One of our men was wounded in
the shin while here

At about eight oclock Lieut. Col. Blair 8 came back from the hill
bringing orders from Gen. Lyon to have the 2nd Kansas brought
forward and we marched up the hill just in the rear of the line of
the Iowa 1st As we marched on amid the dead and wounded of

8. Lt. Col. Charles W. Blair, second in command of the Second Kansas infantry.



OSBORNE'S CIVIL WAR EXPERIENCES 119

that brave regiment I heard one exclaim as he stood leaning against
the body of a tree apparently wounded in the leg. We have had
an awful hard fight a great many of our boys killed We passed
on by Tottens battery when a six pound ball struct the ground
just to the rear of me striking just by a mans feet making him lame
but not seriously injuring him Soon firing was heard in our ad-
vance the regiment had just time to fire when the enemy rose up
in front of [us] and poured a volley into our ranks which was very
well sent as that single volley killing and wounding more men than
all the rest of the battle The second man from me fell mortally
wounded This volley threw us into some confusion but Gen. Lyon
riding along just then on a bay horse his gray having been killed
under him before with his hat in his hand flourishing it over his
head and ordering us to stand up to them and drive them back we
again formed our line and soon repulsed the enemy Gen. Lyon
was killed just after he passed us Col. Mitchel was also wounded
severly in the groin For a few moments we fought without a field
officer just as the action was over Lieut. [Colonel] Blair came up
and took command of the regiment.

The enemy now amused themselves by creeping up near some
tree in front of us about a hundred yards and rising up and firing
into our ranks and then falling down but whenever one showed
himself he was fired at by our men so much that they soon stoped
it Maj. Cloud came up about this time he had been out re-
coinoitering in the south and west of us We were now left in
possession of the field. The wounded were taken to the rear and
we had time to rest ourselves In this action a ball passed between
my legs without hurting them only making my right leg smart con-
siderably The rebels soon exhibited signs of another attack they
planted a flag about two hundred yards in front of and brought a
battery up on a point to the left front of us with the United States
flag on it but soon as they got a position opened on us with grape
and canister by this time we had our line formed almost directly
north and south and we sat down in ranks Two shots from the
rebel battery passed through the branches of a tree I was standing
under & One grape shot struct just in front of me and bounded
through the ranks but did not hit any one During this rest a rebel
rode up to the rear of [us] supposing us to be rebels and inquired
where to take his train he was ordered to halt by Capt. Russell 9



Online LibraryKansas State Historical SocietyThe Kansas historical quarterly (Volume 20) → online text (page 14 of 76)