From The Constitution, Wednesday, August 21, 1861 (volume 24, number 1234)
Gen. Lyon Killed !
News was received here on Wednesday of last week of a great battle fought in Missouri between the national troops under Gen. Lyon and the rebels under McCulloch. The national forces numbered 5,500 while the rebels were 23,500. The loss of our troops is variously estimated from 150 to 300 killed, while that of the enemy is not known. Gen. Lyon was killed at the head of his army. A particular account of the battle may be found in another column.
The Battle in Missouri
The following account of the battle at Springfield is furnished by an eye witness who left Springfield Sunday morning and came to Rolla on horseback :
Our army marched out of Springfield Friday morning, only 5,500 strong, the Home Guards remaining in Springfield.
Our forces slept on the prairies a portion of the night, and about sunrise on Saturday drove in the outposts of the enemy, and soon after the attack became general.
The attack was made on two columns by Gen. Lyon and Major Sturgiss, Gen. Siegel leading a flanking force of about 1,000 and four guns on the south of the enemy’s camp. The fight raged from sunrise til one or two o’clock in the afternoon.
The rebels in overwhelming forces charged Capt. Totten’s battery three distinct times, but were repulsed with great slaughter.
Gen. Lyon fell early in the day. He had been previously wounded in the leg and had his horse shot from under him. The Colonel of one of the Kansas regiments having become disabled, the boys cried out, “General, you come and lead us on.”
He did so, at once putting himself in front ; and while cheering the men on to the charge, received a bullet in the left breast and fell from his horse. He was asked if he was hurt and replied “No, not much,” but in a few minutes he expired without a struggle.
Gen. Seigel had a very severe struggle and lost three of his four guns. His artillery horses were shot in their harness. He endeavored to haul them off with a number of prisoners he had taken, but was finally compelled to abandon them, first however, spiking the guns and disabling the carriages.
About 1 o’clock the enemy seemed to be in great disorder and retreating, and setting fire to their train of baggage wagons, our forces were too much fatigued and cut up to pursue, so the battle may be considered a drawn one.
On Saturday night Dr. Mencher and others of our army went back with ambulances to the battle field, from Springfield, to see about the killed and wounded.
They found the enemy on the field, and were considerately treated. Gen. Lyon’s body had been treated with great respect, and was brought back, with some of the wounded, to Springfield.
Maj. Sturgis took command on the field after the death of Gen. Lyon. Gen. Seigel took command after the battle. Our loss is variously estimated at 150 to 300 killed and several hundred wounded. The enemy’s loss placed at 2000 killed and wounded.
Our boys captured about a hundred horses of the enemy. The enemy carried two flags, the confederate and Stars and Stripes. Gen. Seigel marched back to Springfield in good order.
After perfecting his arrangement, and gathering his baggage, blowing up what powder he could not carry, and destroying other property which he did not wish should fall into the hands of the enemy, he left Springfield, and Sunday night encamped thirty miles this side of that place, the enemy not pursuing.
Gen. Lyon began the attack upon the receipt of intelligence that the enemy were expecting reinforcements from Hardee’s column, which was approaching from the southeast portion of the State. The artillery of the enemy was admirably served.
Their infantry fire was also very severe. The Springfield Home Guards were not in the fight. They, with a large number of citizens are in Seigel’s camp. It is thought that he will fall back no farther than Lebanon, where reinforcements can reach him.
Gen. Nathaniel Lyon, who fell fighting bravely at the head of his troops at the late battle in Missouri, was a native of this State, and a son of Amasa Lyon of Ashford. He belonged to a distinguished revolutionary family, the Knowlton’s, which furnished two officers of historical fame—Colonel Thomas Knowlton who commanded the Connecticut troops at the battle of Bunker Hill, and Daniel Knowlton who served in the old French wars and afterwards in the revolution. Gen. Lyon had a strong predisposition to a military life. He graduated at West Point in 1841 with high distinction. He at once entered the army and has almost ever since been in the public service. His first experience was in the Florida war, among the everglades. After that he spent several years at various posts on the western frontier. He served through nearly the whole of the Mexican war, joining Gen. Taylor soon after he entered Mexican territory, and was with him until he reached Monterey. He then joined Gen. Scott at Vera Cruz, was present at the bombardment and capture of that city, and was engaged in the severely contested battles which marked the triumphant progress of the United States army to the city of Mexico. In every engagement he showed great activity, skill, and bravery. While fighting in the streets of the city of Mexico, near the Belen gate, Sept. 13, 1847, he received a wound from a musket ball.
When the war with Mexico was finished he was ordered to California. After serving there a long time he was stationed on the western frontier in Kansas and Nebraska. It is stated that his sympathies were here so strongly enlisted in favor of the settlers that he threw up his commission and retired for a short time to private life.
His career after the breaking out of the present war is well known. He was a captain stationed in Missouri when he captured the rebel forces at Camp Jackson. For this signal service he was appointed brigadier-general of the Missouri volunteers. Just as he seemed to be entering upon a distinguished career, and in the prime of life, for he was but forty-two, he was slain at the head of his troops in the very act of leading a gallant charge against the enemy. As a soldier he could not have wished for a more noble fate ; but his death is a sad loss to his country at a time like this. Men like Gen. Lyon are rare—brave, prompt, discreet, born to command and to succeed—and we can ill afford to lose such a man now.
The body of Gen. Lyon is said to have been respectfully treated by the enemy. Governor Buckingham has sent on a request that it be brought here and receive burial in the deceased’s native State.
The case of the mutineers of the New York 13th and 2d Maine is definitely settled. Gen. McDowell decided that they should be sent to the Tortugas. Gens. McClellan and Scott indorsed the decision, and the President ordered it carried into effect.
War Department, Washington, D. C., Aug. 19, 1861.
All commanders of regiments of volunteers accepted by this Department in the States of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine and Michigan, will take notice of and confirm to the general order this day directed to the Governors of the States above named, which is as follows :
To the Governor of the State of _______________ :
By direction of the President of the United States, you are urgently requested to forward, or cause to be forwarded, immediately to the city of Washington, all volunteer regiments or parts of regiments at the expense of the United States Government that may be now enrolled within your States, whether under immediate control or by acceptances issued direct from the War Department, whether such volunteers are armed, equipped or uniformed, or not. The officers of each regimental organization that may not be full shall leave recruiting officers at their rendezvous and adopt such measures as may be necessary to fill their ranks at the earliest day possible. All officers of volunteer regiments, on their arrival will report to the commanding General, who will provide equipments and other supplies necessary for their comfort. To insure the movements of troops more rapidly than might otherwise be done, you will please confer with and aid all officers of independent regiments in such a manner as may be necessary to effect the object in view.
All clothing or supplies belonging to or contracted for the several regiments shall be forwarded to Washington for their use ; detailed reports of which shall be made to the Commanding General.
(Signed) Simeon Cameron
Secretary of War.
Gen. Williams of Hartford, Monday morning received a dispatch from the Secretary of War, enquiring if there were not some organized home companies that could be sent to Washington, for temporary exigences, without interfering with the regular formation of the new regiments.
For the purpose of sustaining the supremacy of the federal government, and suppressing the rebellion now raging against its authority, I, WILLIAM A. BUCKINGHAM, Governor of the State of Connecticut, hereby call upon the loyal and patriotic citizens of this State to organize in companies for FOUR REGIMENTS of Infantry, and offer their services for three years or during the war. The several companies will report to the Adjutant General, and when accepted will be required to rendezvous with the regiments to which they shall be attached by the Commander-in-Chief.
Two regiments will rendezvous at New Haven and two at Hartford.
Given under my hand and seal of the State, at Hartford, this the 15th day of August, 1861.
William A. Buckingham
By His Excellency’s command,
J. H. Trumbull, Secretary of State.
On Friday a negro arrived in our lines and was brought to Gen. Mansfield’s office. He is one of the celebrated negro regiment. He fought at Bull Run, and made his escape with a servant of Beauregard, after the battle, and succeeded in reaching Point of Rocks after great privation. He states that a regiment of one thousand slaves were brought from the Cotton States, and the perfection of their drill led to the organization of two regiments of negroes from Southeastern Virginia. Before the battle they were compelled to drill three hours a day, and for several hours besides were put to work in the entrenchments. At night they were penned up in the rear, and a strict guard placed over them. The Virginia negroes were nearly all anxious to escape, and would do so when the opportunity occurred. Those from the Cotton States, however, were fearful of doing so, having been made to believe that their lives would be in danger among our troops.
The Stars and Stripes in Saybrook
An attempt was made last Friday in Saybrook to raise a so-called “peace flag.” The Union men came to the raising in such numbers that they entirely outvoted and outgeneraled the secessionists and no flag was raised that day in Saybrook but the stars and stripes. The people of that town intend to give no aid and comfort to Jeff. Davis, and the only flag they will acknowledge is the star spangled banner of the American Union.
An attempt we are told will be made in Middlefield to raise a “peace” (secession) flag.
This year pic nics do not seem to be so much in vogue as usual, perhaps because the war is not favorable to such things. But on Thursday the Irish people had a pleasant time in Baldwin’s grove. Several hundred were present. Griffin’s band was there. A small sum was charged for admission, which went for the benefit of the band.
An Elopement. To the great scandal of all good and virtuous people in Washington, a beautiful woman, the wife of a highly respectable citizen and the mother of three children, has seceded from her husband, a strong Union man. She eloped with a Washington merchant, a Secessionist, and the couple are now in Dixie, whither the husband will probably not care to pursue his erring wife. The children are with the father. The absconding lover leaves assets to the amount of two thousand dollars to pay debts amounting to thirty thousand.
Horse Stung to Death. A few days since, as a horse of Mr. Daniel Blake, of New Springville, was standing in a pasture field near his house, he was stung by a bee, which so enraged him, that he kicked towards the quarter from which his enemy came, and in the act overturned a hive. Thousands of bees issued and fastened upon him with intense fury. His owner endeavored to get him away from the place, but he remained as if rooted to the spot until he fell down dead from the effects of the stings.
Rev. Dr. Spring, of New York, was married on Thursday last to Miss Abigail Williams, daughter of Elisha Williams of Hudson, N. Y. The doctor is over eighty, and this is his third marriage. → It is high time to quit that.
The Washington Star says the ladies are much pleased with the Scotch regiment, and like the Highland dress, which shows the fine Gaelic limbs to such advantage that they are eager to see all they can of them. Well, well, Star, stop there.—[Boston Post.