Reports of Brig. Gen. Ben. McCulloch, C. S. Army, with orders and proclamation.
AUGUST 10, 1861.--Battle of Oak Hills, Springfield, or Wilson's Creek, Mo.
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME 3 [S# 3]

Battlefield of the Oak Hills,
near Springfield, August 10, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.

       SIR: I have the honor to report that the enemy, 12,000 strong, attacked us at daylight this morning. Although they were superior in discipline and arms and had gained a strong position, we have repulsed them and gained a decided victory. The enemy fled before us at 1 o'clock, after eight hours' hard fighting, leaving many dead and wounded and prisoners.
       Six pieces of cannon were taken and many small-arms. Among the dead we found General Lyon, and sent his body to his successor this evening. The loss was also severe on our side. Our men were at great disadvantage, on account of the inferior weapons, but they fought generally with great bravery. I will as soon as possible send a more detailed account.
       The Missouri and Arkansas State forces were in the battle under my command. Want of arms and discipline made my number comparatively small.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Camp Weightman, near Springfield, Mo., August 12, 1861.

Brig. Gen. S. COOPER,
Adjutant-General C. S. Army.

       SIR: I have the honor to make the following official report of the battle of the Oak Hills on the 10th instant:
       Having taken position about 10 miles from Springfield, I endeavored to gain the necessary information of the strength and position of the enemy stationed in and about the town. The information was very conflicting and unsatisfactory. I, however, made up my mind to attack the enemy in their position, and issued orders on the 9th instant to my force to start at 9 o'clock at night to attack at four different points at daylight. A few days before General Price, in command of the Missouri force, turned over his command to me, and I assumed command of the entire force, comprising my own brigade, the brigade of Arkansas State forces under General Pearce, and General Price's command of Missourians.
       My effective force was 5,300 infantry, 15 pieces of artillery, and 6,000 horsemen, armed with flint-lock muskets, rifles, and shot-guns. There were other horsemen with the army who were entirely unarmed, and instead of being a help, were continually in the way. When the time arrived for the night march, it commenced to rain slightly, and fearing, from the want of cartridge boxes, that my ammunition would be ruined, I ordered the movement to be stopped, hoping to move the next morning. Many of my men had but twenty rounds of ammunition, and there was no more to be had.
       While still hesitating in the morning the enemy were reported advancing, and I made arrangements to meet him. The attack was made simultaneously at 5.30 a.m. on our right and left flanks, and the enemy had gained the positions they desired. General Lyon attacked us on our left, and General Sigel on our right and rear. From these points batteries opened upon us. My command was soon ready. The Missourians, under Generals Slack, Clark, McBride, Parsons, and Rains, were nearest the position taken by General Lyon with his main force. They were instantly turned to the left, and opened the battle with an incessant fire of small-arms. Woodruff opposed his battery to that of the enemy under Captain Totten, and a constant cannonading was kept up between these batteries during the battle. Hébert's regiment of Louisiana volunteers and McIntosh's regiment of Arkansas Mounted Riflemen were ordered to the front, and after passing the battery turned to the left, and soon engaged the enemy with regiments deployed. Colonel McIntosh dismounted his regiment, and the two marched up abreast to a fence around a large corn field, when they met the left of the enemy already posted.
       A terrible conflict of small-arms took place here. The opposing force was a body of regular United States infantry, commanded by Captains Plummer and Gilbert. Notwithstanding the galling fire poured upon these two regiments, they leaped over the fence, and, gallantly led by their colonels, drove the enemy before them back upon the main body. During this time the Missourians, under General Price, were nobly attempting to sustain themselves in the center, and were hotly engaged on the sides of the height upon which the enemy were posted. Far on the right Sigel had opened his battery upon Churchill's and Greer's regiments, and had gradually made his way to the Springfield road, upon each side of which the army was encamped, and in a prominent position had established his battery. I at once took two companies of the Louisiana regiment which were nearest me, and marched them rapidly from the front and right to the rear, with orders to Colonel Mcintosh to bring up the rest.
        When we arrived near the enemy's battery we found that Reid's battery had opened upon it, and it was already in confusion. Advantage was taken of it, and soon the Louisianians were gallantly charging among the guns, and swept the cannoneers away. Five guns were here taken, and Sigel's command, completely routed, were in rapid retreat with a single gun, followed by some companies of the Texas regiment and a portion of Colonel Major's Missouri regiment of cavalry. In the pursuit many of the enemy were killed and taken prisoners, and their last gun captured.
       Having cleared our right and rear, it was necessary to turn all our attention to the center, under General Lyon, who was pressing upon the Missourians, having driven them back. To this point McIntosh's regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Embry, and Churchill's regiment on foot, Gratiot's regiment, and McRae's battalion were sent to their aid. A terrible fire of musketry was now kept up along the whole side and top of the hill upon which the enemy were posted. Masses of infantry fell back and again rushed forward. The summit of the hill was covered with the dead and wounded. Both sides were fighting with desperation for the day. Carroll's and Greer's regiments, led gallantly by Captain Bradfute, charged the battery (Totten's), but the whole strength of the enemy were immediately in rear, and a deadly fire was opened upon them.
        At this critical moment, when the fortunes of the day seemed to be at the turning point, two regiments of General Pearce's brigade were ordered to march from their position (as reserves) to support the center.
       The order was obeyed with alacrity, and General Pearce gallantly marched with his brigade to the rescue. Reid's battery was also ordered to move forward and the Louisiana regiment was again called into action on the left of it. The battle then became general, and probably no two opposing forces ever fought with greater desperation. Inch by inch the enemy gave way, and were driven from their position. Totten's battery fell back. Missourians, Arkansans, Louisianians, and Texans pushed forward. The incessant roll of musketry was deafening, and the balls fell thick as hailstones, but still our gallant Southerners pushed onward, and with one wild yell broke upon the enemy, pushing them back and strewing the ground with their dead. Nothing could withstand the impetuosity of our final charge. The enemy fled, and could not again be rallied, and they were seen at 12 m. fast retreating among the hills in the distance. Thus ended the battle. It lasted six hours and a half. 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.
       Major-General Lyon, chief in command, was killed, and many of their officers high in rank wounded.
       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.
       Colonel Weightman fell at the head of his brigade of Missourians while gallantly charging upon the enemy. His place will not easily be filled. Generals Slack and Clark, of Missouri, were severely wounded; General Price slightly. Captain Hinson, of the Louisiana regiment; Captain McAlexander, of Churchill's regiment; Captains Bell and Brown, of Pearce's brigade; Lieutenants Walton and Weaver, all fell while nobly and gallantly doing their duty. Colonel Mcintosh was slightly wounded by a grape shot while charging with the Louisiana regiment. Lieutenant-Colonel Neal, Maj. H. Ward, Captains King, Pearson, Gibbs, Ramsaur, Porter, Lieutenants Dawson, Chambers, Johnson, King, Adams, Hardesty, McIvor, and Saddler were wounded while at the head of their companies.
       Where all were doing their duty so gallantly, it is almost unfair to discriminate. I must, however, bring to your notice the gallant conduct of the Missouri generals--McBride, Parsons, Clark, and Slack, and their officers. To General Price I am under many obligations for assistance on the battle-field. He was at the head of his force, leading them on, and sustaining them by his gallant bearing. General Pearce, with his Arkansas brigade (Gratiot's, Walker's, and Dockery's regiments of infantry), came gallantly to the rescue when sent for, leading his men into the thickest of the fight. He contributed much to the success of the day. The commanders of regiments of my own brigade--Colonels Churchill, Greer, Embry, Mcintosh, Hébert, and McRae--led their different regiments into action with the greatest coolness and bravery, always in front of their men, cheering them on. Woodruff, Bledsoe, and Reid managed their batteries with great ability, and did much execution. For those other officers and men who were particularly conspicuous I will refer the Department to the reports of the different commanders. To my personal staff I am much indebted for the coolness and rapidity with which they carried orders about the field, and would call your attention to my volunteer aides, Captain Bradfute, Messrs. Armstrong, Ben. Johnson (who had his horse killed under him), Hamilton Pike, and Major King. To Major Montgomery, quartermaster, I am also indebted for much service. He cheerfully volunteered his services as an aide during the battle, and was of much use to me. To Colonel Mcintosh, at one time at the head of his regiment and at other times in his capacity of adjutant-general, I cannot bestow too much praise. Wherever the balls flew thickest he was gallantly leading different regiments into action, and his presence gave confidence everywhere.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., August 13, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER.

       The battle of the Oak Hills has been fought, and we have gained a great victory over the enemy, commanded by General N. Lyon and the battle was fought 10 miles from Springfield. The enemy were nine or ten thousand strong; our forces about the same. The battle lasted six and a half hours. Enemy were repulsed and driven from the field, with loss of six pieces of artillery, 700 stands of small-arms, 800 killed, 1,000 wounded, and 300 prisoners. General Lyon was killed and many of their prominent officers. Our loss was 265 killed, 800 wounded, and 30 missing. We have possession of Springfield. The enemy are in full retreat towards Rolla.

Brigadier-General, Commanding.


Camp on Crane Creek, Mo., August 4, 1861.

       The army will move at 12 m. to-night. Colonel Hébert's regiment of Louisiana volunteers, by platoons, with Woodruff's battery, will form the advance guard. The battery will march immediately behind the regiment, and the column will keep 200 yards in advance of the main army, and attack the enemy as soon as seen. The main army will march in the following order:
       First, Colonel Gratiot's regiment; second, Colonel McRae's battalion; third, Colonel Weightman's command of infantry and artillery; fourth, General Pearce's infantry and Reid's battery; sixth, General Price's command of infantry.
       In this column no cavalry or mounted men besides the officers will be allowed. These respective commands will form and march in column of platoons. Immediately after the infantry General Price will place his artillery. The cavalry will follow General Price's artillery in the following order, by fours, and whenever possible by platoons:
       First, Colonel Churchill's regiment of Arkansas Mounted Riflemen; second, Colonel Carroll's regiment of cavalry; third, Colonel McIntosh's regiment of Mounted Riflemen; fourth, Colonel Greer's regiment of Texas volunteers; fifth, General Price's command of cavalry.
       General Price will order the officer in command of his cavalry, as soon as he learns that the enemy is in force, to make a flank movement to our left, and the general will, as soon as the line of battle is formed, take command of the left in person. The four other regiments of cavalry above enumerated will at the same time make a flank movement to our right, and endeavor to take the enemy in flank.
       All general officers will lead their respective commands wherever the larger portion of them are. The regiments and batteries of these respective commands which are detached will be led by the immediate commanders. This movement will take place in quietness. Neither shouting nor beating of drums will be allowed, and, especially on the march, strictest silence must be observed.
       The canteens will all be filled before starting, and one day's rations (cooked) will be carried by each soldier. Each commander of regiment and company will see that a sufficient amount of ammunition is carried by each man.
       No unarmed man will be permitted to march with or follow the army. No wagons will move with the command. Each regimental commander will leave a detachment of men to guard their respective wagon trains. The ambulances will move in rear of the army. The general and his aides will be distinguished by a white badge on each arm.
       The general takes this occasion to say to his soldiers to look steadily to the front. Remember that the eyes of our gallant brothers in arms, who have so nobly acquitted themselves in the East, are upon you. They are looking for a second victory here. Let us move forward, then, with a common resolve, to a glorious victory.

By order of General McCulloch:
Captain, C. S. Army, and Adjutant-General of Brigade.

P. S.--Each captain of company will continually caution his men to take aim. As soon as the enemy are driven from their first position; colonels of regiments and captains of companies will at once rally their companies, and hold them in hand for further orders.

By order of General McCulloch:
Captain, C. S. Army, and Adjutant-General of Brigade.


Camp near Springfield, Mo., August 12, 1861.

       The general commanding takes great pleasure in announcing to the army under his command the signal victory it has just gained. Soldiers of Louisiana, of Arkansas, of Missouri, and of Texas, nobly have you sustained yourselves! Shoulder to shoulder you have met the enemy and driven him before you. Your first battle has been glorious, and your general is proud of you. The opposing force, composed mostly of the old Regular Army of the North, have thrown themselves upon you, confident of victory, but by great gallantry and determined courage you have entirely routed it with great slaughter. Several pieces of artillery and many prisoners are now in your hands. The commander-in-chief of the enemy is slain and many of the general officers wounded.
       The flag of the Confederacy now floats over Springfield, the stronghold of the enemy. The friends of our cause who have been imprisoned there are released.
       Whilst announcing to the army this great victory, the general hopes that the laurels you have gained will not be tarnished by a single outrage. The private property of citizens of either party must be respected. Soldiers who fought as you did day before yesterday cannot rob or plunder.

By order of General McCulloch:
Captain, C. S. Army, and Adjutant-General of Brigade.


SPRINGFIELD, Mo., August 15, 1861.

To the People of Missouri:

       Having been called by the governor of your State to assist in driving the Federal forces out of the State and in restoring the people to their just rights, I have come among you simply with the view of making war upon our Northern foes, to drive them back, and give the oppressed of your State an opportunity of again standing up as free-men and uttering their true sentiments. You have been overrun and trampled upon by the mercenary hordes of the North. Your beautiful State has been nearly subjugated, but those true sons of Missouri who have continued in arms, together with my force, came back upon the enemy, and we have gained over them a great and signal victors. Their general-in-chief is slain and many of their other general officers wounded; their army is in full flight, and now, if the true men of Missouri will rise up and rally around their standard, the State will be redeemed.
       I do not come among you to make war upon any of your people, whether Union or otherwise. The Union people will be protected in their fights and property. It is earnestly recommended to them to return to their homes. Prisoners of the Union party who have been arrested by the army will be released and allowed to return to their friends, Missouri must be allowed to choose her own destiny; no oaths binding your consciences will be administered. I have driven the enemy from among you. The time has now arrived for the people of the State to act; you cannot longer procrastinate. Missouri must now take her position, be it North or South.

Brigadier-General, Commanding.