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Letter signed T.J. Churchill [Thomas J. Churchill], Camp on Wilson's Creek, to General, August 10, 1861

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Identifier: D04539

Title: Letter signed T.J. Churchill [Thomas J. Churchill], Camp on Wilson's Creek, to General, August 10, 1861


Describes fighting at Wilson's Creek, including account of casualties.

Camp on Wilsons Creek[Wilson’s Creek]

Aug 10th 1861


I have the honor to report that about breakfast the enemy opened one of their batteries upon my Camp. Being in an open field and exposed to a raking fire of grape and shell and not supported by any of our own batteries, I feel back to the woods and then formed my regiment — I then moved down the road in the direction of Springfield. Having reached the hollow, I was met by an Aide of Gen Price asking for a reinforcement to come to the support of General Stack — I immediately moved up my regiment to his aid amid a shower of grape and musketry, and took my position on his left, and ordered my men to commence firing — We desserted the ground there with the enemy inch by inch for about three or four hours amidst a most terrific fire from their battery posted on the hill, supposed to be Totten’s and continued volleys of musketry — I there encountered the forces commanded by General Lyons in person, mostly all regulars with a Regiment of Iowa troops — The battle raged fiercely, and the fireing scarcely ceased for a moment — The contest seemed doubtful — At times we would drive them up the hill and in turn they would rally and cause us to fall back — At length we shouted, made a gallant charge and drove them over the hill.

At this moment the Louisiana regiment with Col Dockery’s flanked them upon my left made a charge and drove them completely from the field — This was the last position they abandoned and the last stand they made — In the engagement I had two horses shot under me — The Adjutant James Harper was shot down mortally wounded at his post, with his sword in hand, leading and cheering on the men — The Seargeant Maj N.T. Roberts was wound in the shoulder while leading on the left — My volunteer Aide A H. Sevier was wounded in the breast while encouraging our men to stand by their colors and had to be taken from the field — Capt. McAlexander was killed advancing on the enemy at the head of his company — At the same time fell Lieutenants Dawsons Chambers and Johnson; Captains Ramsaur and Porter and Lieutenants Thomas King, Adams, Hardesty and McIvor severely wounded — Captains Pearsons and Gibbs and Lieutenants Sadler, Wair and Head slightly wounded — Major Harper at one time was taken prisoner by the enemy, but made his escape — Captain Reynolds was thrown from his horse early in the action and was cut off from his company — The Lieutenant Col and Major evinced great bravery in leading their different wings to the charge: And I must say that no men displayed greater coolness than they did on the field Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon the officers of my command for they were ever seen in the thickest of the fight, cheering on their men, who always gallantly responded to the call — I lost in the engagement 42 killed and 155 wounded — I have the honor to be, General, very Respectfully — Your Obedient Servant

T.J. Churchill

Command First Arkansas

Mounted Rifleman

The Regiment fought on foot

Rights: NoC-US

Place: United States

Dates: 1861-08-10

Type(s): Letter

Maker/Creator: Churchill, Thomas James

Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Wilson's Creek, Battle of, Mo., 1861
War casualties
Armed Forces


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