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Operations in Southwest Missouri in
the Early Part of the War.
A GRAND ARRAY.
Zagonyi's Charge on the Rebel
Camp at Springfield.
Glory of those Days of Make
BY H. CLAY NEVILLE, OZARK, MO.
IContinued from last iceeh.'
S THE FED
eral troopers rode
over the prairie
they presented a
specimens of physi
cal manhood could
hardly have been
found in any coun
try. Each man
was mounted on a
charger and armed
with a cavalry carbine, a brace of pis
tols and a bright new saber. The uni
forms of the Guard were elegant and
richly decorated. Every trapping of
rider and horse seemed perfect Never
had warriors of such knightly mien
spurred steeds to battle on the Ozark
Plateau. The command numbered 320
Following his unerring guide, Zagonyi
hurried on toward the rebel camp. On
the Robberson Prairie, four miles north
west of town, the Federals surprised and
captured a small party of Confederates
out on a foraging expedition. Unfor
tunately for the purpose of the raiders,
one of the rebels made his escape to the
camp and gave the alarm of the impend
When Zagonyi came within a short
distance of Springfield he turned to the
right and rode around southwest of the
rebel camp, striking the Sit. Vernon
wagon road near the old fair ground,
about a mile from the public square.
Here the troopers spurred their horses
to a gallop, and the charge began. The
rebels had left their camp and formed
BEniND A FENCE
west of the road. There was a skirt of
woods below the fence and a reserve
force of the enemy found protection be
hind the trees. As Zagonyi's men gal
loped along the Mt Vernon road down
toward " the Jurdon," the rebels opened
(From a reocnt photograph.)
fire on the command from behind the
fence. Several of the troopers were
wounded, but none killed by this volley,
says the guide, Parker Cox.
At the first fire of the rebels the
charging squadron was cut in two, about
one-third of the men, led by Zagonyi,
going ahead while the others.fell back.
In a moment the Major saw his perilous
Eituation, and checking his horse he
sprang to the ground, waving his sword
and shouting to the men behind : " Come
on, my brave boys ; I die by your side ! "
The rear section of the guard again at
PASS THE REBEL FIRE
and join Zagonyi, but did not succeed.
The Federal leader was now greatly
alarmed for the safety of his men. His
command was divided, and a high rail
fence separated him from the enemy.
Turning anxiously to his guide the
officer asked what he should do. Cox
replied promptly: "Throw down the
fence and charge with sabers."
In an instant the guide was on the
ground, and several openings in the fence
soon invited Zagonyi within the field.
Inside the inclosure which contained the
rebel camp the Union chieftain reformed
the part of his command which had not
been checked by the enemy's fire, and,
calling for a saber charge, dashed upon
the main body of the foe.
, With flashing blades and leveled car
bines theTederals raised
A WILD SHOUT,
and spurred their horses right into the
very midst of the rebel force. The
charge was magnificent, and the shock
resistless. Right and left the riders
wielded their deadly sabers and emptied
their guns and pistols.
The enemy gave way in a moment.
Soon the whole Confederate force had
scattered, and each man was running for
With bloody sabers and smoking car
bines Zagonyi's men followed the fugi
tives in every direction, and in a few
minutes the town was a scene of the
wildest confusion and fright.
Rebels and citizens ran through all
the streets and alleys, pursued by the
furious horsemen, who now seemed in
toxicated with the spirit of destruction.
Up College street from the rebel camp
came Col. John H. Price, brother or
Judge William C. Price, following his
then only a company. The officer
shouted lustily to his fleeing men :
"Rally, boys, rally!" But the boys
had forgotten all about their late heroic
pledges to whip the first half a dozen
Yankees that should come within range
of their squirrel rifles, and continued to
run lor safety.
In less than half an hour from the
time the Federal bugler sounded the
charge Zagonyi was the undisputed vic
tor of the field. The town had been
Zagonyi Tak 8 a Survey.
gallantly captured and the rebels scat
tered like a brood of chickens when
frightened by a hawk, but 13 of the
brave troopers were dead and 27 more
of the Federal squadron wounded.
The loss of the enemy was consider
ably greater, no doubt, for many of the
rebels were shot down after they began
their promiscuous flight One of the
most tragic and lamented casualties of
the fight was the killing of Mr. John H.
Stephens, a well-known citizen of Spring
field, and a stanch Union man. Mr.
Stephens was down on the square when
the attack on the rebel camp startled
the town. He lived on South street, and
started to run home as the Federal cav
alry came dashing up from "the Jur
don " in
PURSUIT OF THE CONFEDERATES.
Seeing the man in flight and going in
the direction some of the enemy were
running, one of Zagonyi's followers
mistook Sir. Stephens for a rebel soldier
and shot him down. This accident was
universal ly regretted, and greatly marred
for the loyal people of Springfield and
vicinity the glory of Zagonyi's achieve
ment After the Federals found that they
were masters of the field the wounded
received hasty care. The disabled sol
diers were taken to the Courthouse and
left in charge of Parker Cox and a few
of the command. Maj. Zagonyi, then
fearing an attack from a larger force of
rebels, for Price was thoughtto be near
Springfield, gathered his troopers together
and started back to Bolivar, lie rode
the whole distance that night before
drawing rein for rest or food, thus com
pleting one of the most dashing raids
ever executed by a soldier in southwest
The guide and the handful of soldiers
left to care for the wounded held the
that memorable night,
and the Stars and Stripes floated at the
top of the Courthouse the next morning.
It was a night of great anxiety to both
the Confederate and the Union "partisans
of the town. The former feared that
Zagonyi's men would burn the place
and retreat after their chief, if attacked
by the returning rebels, and the Union
The Charge i f Zagjnyl
people expected the arrival of Price's
army every moment. No event of im
portance occurred, however, till Gen.
Fremont reached Springfield on the
27th of October, the second day after
Then the citizens of Springfield saw
a glittering spectacle of war. The bril
"&a rave fov
liant Federal regiments marched up
Boonville street, each led by a gaily
ledecked band of musicians playing a
THRILLING MARTIAL AIR.
In front of the Courthouse, where the
dead of Zagonyi's command still lay,
now rigid and ghastly, in their gilded
uniforms, the infantry was halted and
the regiments presented arms in honor
of the fallen heroes, while the bands
played an impressive dirge.
Three of the wounded had died since
Zagonyi left the town, and 16 bodies
awaited burial. Sixteen horses were
saddled and equipped with the trap
dings of the dead soldiers, the boots of
the late riders, with spurs buckled on,
being fastened in the stirrups. These
riderless chargers were led behind the
bodies of the dead as
TnE FUNERAL PROCESSION
marched to the old cemetery south of
the town. Never in southwest Missouri
had such pomp and pageantry been
witnessed at the grave of a soldier.
A veteran of the 12th Mo., Col.
Osterhaus's famous regiment of rifles,
composed solely of Germans from St.
Louis and southern Illinois, thus de
scribes the splendor of the Federal
army as Gen. Fremont marched through
" The army left Sedalia, then a little
village on the prairie, in the golden days
of Indian Summer. The woather was
perfect, and field and woodland wore
the richest coloring of Autumn. The
uniforms of the infantry, artillery, and
cavalry were gorgeous, and modeled
after the styles of European armies.
The infantry and artillery had been or
ganized and disciplined largely in ac
cordance with the military system of
Prussia, while into the cavalry it had
been sought to infuse the
SPIRIT AND SKILL
of the matchless riders of the Hungarian
steppes. Maj. Zagonyi had himself been
one of the famous leaders of the ill-fated
band of Magyar patriots who for year3
tried to resist on their native plains the
united hordes from Austria and Russia.
The army commanded by Gen. Fre
mont had a considerable number of
German students fresh from the historic
universities of the Fatherland, and these
young soldiers were full of enthusiasm
for the honor of their adopted country.
" Each regiment had a band, and all
day long, as the army advanced south
ward, the strains of martial music re
sounded through the Missouri forests,
accompanied by the thrilling choruses
of the Fatherland. From time to time
THE SIGNAL BUGLE
blast would announce the approach of
the Commanding General. The infantry
column and artillery parks were then
temporarily halted and all drawn up
on the side of the road, while Gen. Fre
mont, all gold and spangles, followed by
a glittering staff of mounted officers
and a squadron of lancers, bearing gay-ly-fluttering
pennants of red and white,
Gen. Ben McCulloch, C. S. A.
came in sight The General saluted the
army right and left, while rousing cheers
from the troops greeted the proud com
mander. Later on in the war, after our
ranks had been again and again deci
mated by the fire of the enemy and the
hardships of innumerable marches and
sieges when, of each company of 100
men enlisted in 18G1, only a few battle
scarred survivors answered roll-call, we
looked back from our rifle-pits or com
fortless camps and smiled at the memory
of those early days of
W. P. Cox, the guide who led Zagonyi
into Springfield and hoisted the flag
over the Courthouse after the charge,
lives to-day, three miles north of Ozark,
in Christian County, Mo. He is past
threescore-and-ten years, but retains still
much of that vigor of body and daunt
less spirit which made him a generation
ago so valuable a champion of the
Union cause in southwest Missouri. He
remembers very vividly all the impor
tant events of the war in the Ozark
region, and can tell a story of those
perilous times with thrilling interest.
Ho Must Ho.
f Smith, dray & Co: & Illustrated Monthly.
Codling I've an ideah inawtailnw is losing
his gwip on the fashionable twade, donchor
Goslin What malces you think so, deah
Codling I ordered a suit, and it was done
at the time ho pwomised it, aw !
"The Gift Kocall the Giver."
Teddie Thoughtless Aw, I say, Miss or
Vanderwhack, I hope you aw pleased with
the little thoroughbred puppy I aw sent
you last week, don't y' know.
Miss Vanderwhack I'm delighted with
him; and you know, Teddie, every time I
see him I think of you.
tgS-ggg3agSgr'UiW'"1"111 ' ----c-J- C-iL.
Mm xutta to trottte iltcctxRtttc, and for lite
WASHINGTON. IK 0.1 THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, 1894.
A PLAr OF
Gen. Steele's Expedition Through Ar
kansas. SETTING OUT.
The 33d Iowa's Part in the
Battle of Prairie De Hane.
MAKING: A WAT.
Price is Badly Beaten at Jen
kins' Ferry, and the
BY T. J. VINYAIU),' CO. G, 33D IOWA.
waited for some
comrade to write
the expedition of
Steele to co-operate
I was in that en
should like to
tell what I know
The 33d Iowa
left Little Rock,
Ark., March 23,
18G4. in heavy marching order, as a
part of Gen. Steele's column, intending
to join Gen. Banks's army at Shreve
port by way of Camden. We learned
the second day th'at only half rations
would be issued, which finally dwindled
to no rations at all, except coffee.
Nothing occurred until April 2, when
near Spoonville, Afk., the 29th Iowa,
with two pieces of 'artillery (I believe
2d Mo. battery), guarding rear of1
our long wagon-train, extending some
five or six miles, were suddenly at
tacked by rebel cavalry and artillery.
The 29th Iowa ami the battery were
pretty actively employed to keep the
rebels from gaining our rear and capt
uring a part of our am.
Gen. Samuel A. luce, who was some
six miles in advance, hurried back the
50th Ind., of our brigade, which arrived
just in time to help repulse a rebel flank
Nearly all the way that day we
marched through timber, mostly pine,
and the dry leaves of the woods were on
fire, and we had to march through the
dense smoke and heated air, for we were
train guard that day. It was doubly
dangerous work guarding ammunition
Arriving near the Little Missouri
that night, we went into camp, having
ascertained that the rebels were in force
on the opposite side of the river. In the
action that day the 29th Iowa lost some
27 men in all, mostly wounded.
On the 3d we moved only three
miles, to the bank of the river. On
the 4th we lay in camp, with orders
to inarch at a moment's notice. There
was quite a skirmish in the forenoon,
about 10 o'clock. A number were
killed and wounded, including Gen.
Rice, who was slightly wounded. Many
PRISONERS WERE TAKEN,
and the rebels driven back from the
crossing. On the 0th we crossed the
river on a temporary bridge made by
the Pioneers, arid' soon became aware of
skirmishing in front. We marched two
or three miles in line-of-battle, but the
rebels fell back before our heavy line
of skirmishers. They seemed to be
mostly cavalry, with some artillery;
they would not let our main force come
up very near them.' After the cavalry
had driven them some ways we went
into camp, where we lay till the 10th.
In the meantime Gen. Thayer's com
mand joined us ; they had come from
rort Smith, Ark. Tins command in
cluded every kind of soldiers, even In
dians and colored troops.
On the morning of the 10th we com
menced to move again. As we were
near the rear that day we did not get
in line till near 2 o'clock. The advance
marched mostly in line-of-battle, and
after going some four or five miles we
came to the edge of Prairie de Hane.
Here the skirmishing became very
heavy, and finally merged in quite an
artillery duel. The rebel force num
bered several thousand, under the
command of Pap Price himself We
were posted on the prairie about a mile
from the woods. Our own force now
was supposed to number 10,000 or
At about 5 o'clock the 33d Iowa
arrived on the edge of the prairie, and
was ordered in-column by division by
left flank, to support the 9th Wis. bat
tery, which wasnow
We were in direct range of a rebel-battery,
and had one man killed while
executing this movement'. 'Fortunately,"
the Johnnies' aim was generally too
high, and was'very destructive to the
trees in the rear.
The rebel" fire gradually slackened,
Mm voxH Drttag;'
and a general advance
After advancing about a
mile the rebel
fire entirely ceased.
It was now dark, but we camped in
line-of-battle, with a strong skirmish
line in advance during the night The
rebels opened on us with artillery at
long range, but did no particular dam
age. Somewhere near 11 o'clock the
rebels made a bold charge on our skirmish-line,
having come up very near in
the darkness, but were speqdily repulsed.
The next morning several crippled
horses in the front showed them to have
been cavalry; but they had come not
more than eight or 10 miles before dis
covered. That day we lay still till about 3
o'clock in the, afternoon. Gen. Steele
ordered a general advance of the .whole
command on the open, high prairie. It
A GRAND SIGHT.
This was a challenge to Pap Price for
battle, but the gage was not taken up.
We advanced to within about a mile
of the rebel works, and they steadily
retreated before us, when we were halted,
as we supposed every moment to be
ordered to charge the works. But just
at dark our commander ordered us back
to our old camp, having done nothing
but skirmish at long range.
Next morning at dawn we were all
marched in battle array, as on the eve
ning before. The skirmishing was soon
lively. Our batteries were actively em
ployed taking positions, but would open
and scatter the rebel artillery, in which
they appeared to be deficient.
The infantry steadily advanced, with
the cavalry on the flanks, and about 10
o'clock we entered the abandoned rebel
camp. Had they made a determined
resistance, they could have inflicted
Gen. Fjjederi ck ' Steele.
heavy loss, as they had quite a strong
position, with -redoubts and long lines of
trenches. Our Moss was' only a few
We now made a sudden flank move
ment in the direction of Camden, some
27 miles southeast. 'The rebels soon
discovered our movement and again
attacked our rear-guard, but were easily
driven off. As the way was over a great
deal of swampy road, we made slow
progress with our long train of wagons.
Gen. John M. Thayer's Division now
covered the rear, and had considerable
skirmishing with the rebel cavalry.
On the afternoon of the 14th Gen.
Rice was ordered to proceed with his
brigade, consisting of the 28th and 9th
Wis., 50th Ind., 29th and 33d Iowa,
with the 2d Mo. battery, which were put
IN LIGHT MARCHING OKDEB.
We were to go with all speed to the
crossroads somewhere between us and
Camden, which it was feared the rebels
might make before us. The march
went steadily on till about 10 o'clock
at night, when we came up to the cav
alry, who reported rebels in heavy force
in front. We went into camp till day
light, when the march was commenced.
Leaving the cavalry now in camj),
the infantry took the advance about
eight o'clock. We had a skirmish, but
advanced steadily with skirmishers on
the flanks, driving the Johnnies steadily
until about 10 o'clock, when we came
suddenly upon a masked battery of eight
Our battery of six guns was soon
bro ,ht forward, and a very lively artil
lery duel took place for over an hour.
In the meantime details of sharpshooters
went out in front and flanks, and soon
the rebel battery limbered up and left
the field. During the, duel the 2d Mo.
battery fired 80 rounds to the gun, but
lost only one man killed and two
wounded. This affair was known as
that of Poison Springs.
We advanced and soon occupied the
ground where the rebel battery stood,
and found several dead horses and signs
of wounded men, but they had carried
their wounded and dead oft' the field.
We moved steadily on, and had to fre
quently relieve our skirmish-line in front
who were exchanging shots almost con
stantly with the rebels.
The Johnnies now tried to delay our
advance all they could and burned all
the forage and corn in the country.
During the day we had a number killed
and wounded. Finally, about 4 o'clock,
we came to the Washington and Cam
den Crossroads, where the rebels disap
peared, and at about 6 o'clock we
entered Camden, which had been quite
strongly fortified, but had been evacuated
owing to our flank movement by way of
yfe now heard of Banks's defeat from
citizens of Camden, as they had a tele
graph to Shreveport, La., and seemed
well posted, and said our turn would
Our rations had dwindled down to
corn in the ear, but we had plenty of
coffee and captured sugar. There was
very little forage in the country, and
the horses and mules suffered as well as
On the 18th a train of about 100
wagons was sent out west of the town
with the 18th Iowa and 2d Kan. (col
ored) and a small detachment of cav
alry as escort. They had secured some
forage, but on the return they were sud-
Gen. Steeling Price, C. S. A.
denly attacked in front at Poison
Springs, on the same ground where the
artillery duel occurred on the loth.
The train was all captured, with two
pieces of artillery, but the escort fought
them for hours, and most of them made
their way back to camp, and the team
stera generally on their saddle mules.
This certainly at the time looked like a
giveaway to send a train out in face of
the enemy. Be that as it may, the com
mander was never called to account for
The enemy was getting very bold, and
attacked our west picket-posts nearly
every day. On April 20 a large train
came to Camden by way of Pine Bluff,
and the rations they brought were very
On April 23 the rebels attacked with
cavalry and artillery at a bridge a mile
or so out on the Shreveport road, but
retired almost as soon as they came.
On the 25th rumors reached us of the
Mark's Mills disaster, and the cavalry
was sent that way, but too late. The
43d 'Ind. and 36th Iowa, with two
pieces of artillery and some detachments
ol cavalry, were mostly all captured
with the train. Lieut.-Col. Drake, of
the 36th Iowa, commanded the escorts.
We heard afterwards that our men were
attacked when the train was strung out
some six miles, and were taken by de
tail. On the 26th orders were to remain
near our arms, and be
BEADY TO FALL IN
at a moment's notice. During the day
word was brought up from town that
our forces were preparing for a hasty re
treat by burning wagons, mess-chests,
and other property, including many
rations that the late train had brought
us, and of which we were soon sorely in
We now got orders to evacuate that
night. At taps we fell in line quietly
and marched away. Our commander
evidently thought the rebels were very
near in force.
There was a halt near the pontoons,
as we were near the rear, but at about 1
o'clock in the morning we crossed on the
pontoons. Some 30 minutes later the
same was cut and destroyed. Camden
was now evacuated, and we on full re
treat to Little Rock. As we still had a
long train we made slow progress.
Daylight found us only some three
miles from Camden, but now the march
was resumed with all haste. Next day
the march was taken up at sunrise, and
there seemed to be greater haste than we
had ever seen a division move in before.
About noon we reached Princeton, at
a crossroads, and went in camp. Rumor
said that a large force of rebel cavalry
and artillery were in front, and Kirby
Smith with his infantry was
CLOSING UP IN OUR REAR.
Early the 25th the march was resumed
on a by-road, and not on the main road,
to Little Rock.
We were still some 15 or 18 miles
from Saline River. Where could we get
across without being attacked? We
would be only 60 miles from Little Rock,
and might avoid a battle with the now
too eager and exultant foe. About noon
it commenced to rain very heavily, and
our train made rather slow progress.
About 2 o'clock the rebel infantry, by
a forced march, as we afterward learned,
came up to our rear and considerable
skirmishing took place between the 27th
Wis., the 40th Iowa, and other troops.
One of our batteries, the 5th 111., fre
quently unlimbered and checked the
At 5 o'clock we came up to the rear of
our train, about a mile from the river. The
cavalry had the pontoon laid at 1 o'clock,
and were crossing, also the train, but
the Saline bottom was so much cut up
by so many cavalry horses and wagons
that the rear wagons were constantly
sticking in the swamp. Much valuable
time was lost.
About 6 o'clock skirmishing got
heavy in the rear, and the 33d Iowa
was ordered back on the bights over
looking the bottom, where our main
XIV - NO. 2-WHOLE NO. 688.
force lay. We were an extra picket,
but just as we reached the rear
THE FIKING CEASED
Tor the night, and we relieved the 27th
Wis. and 40th Iowa and some other
troops, and they passed on and went
It was now dark. We were placed
by companies on picket as well as on
rear-guard. There was no relief, but
every man was considered on duty, with
two or three videts thrown a little in
advance of each company. During the
night it rained in torrents, accompanied
by terrific thunder. There was a con
stant flashing of lightning, and we could
see the rebels but a short distance from
us, but not a shot wa3 fired. We lay
quietly watching each other. The rain
ceased about 3 o'clock. At the first
daylight we withdrew to half a mile in
the rear and formed line-of-battle, still
covering the line of retreat.
We were not long idle. The rebel
skirmishers advanced, and we were soon
hotly engaged. Just as we were well
interested in them we were relieved by
some other troops, and told to march to
the rear and make coffee. We now,
generally, had nothing to eat but coffee
and sugar, and a slim breakfast it was.
We did not stop to make fires, but used
the fires the other troops had just
vacated. However, the Confederates
advanced so fast that our water did not
come to a boil till the bullets began to
sing around us,' and the order was to
immediately fall in line and take our
position in the brigade. The rebels evi
dently counted on
AN EASY YICTORY,
for the first charge they made on oui
line that morning at the commencement
of the battle of Jenkins's Eerry seemed
to be a brigade of infantry that had
drawn in their skirmishers and boldly
advanced in solid column from the edge
of the woods across a small field. At
the other edge our division lay, and
when they were within 150 yards our
whole division opened on them. They
went back into the woods a great deal
faster than they came out
The rebels brought up &esh troops,
only to be beaten back as before. They
made a desperate effort to turn our right
flank by concentrating a large force and
charging there, but were completely re
pulsed. In a short time they charged
our whole line, and came very near
breaking through at some points, but
they were again driven back.
The fie.ld of battle was now completely
covered with smoke, with a heavy rain
falling most of the time. With the ex
ception of two or three little fields, the
whole bottom was covered with heavy
timber, and very swampy at that You
could frequently not see more than 40
or 50 yards into the woods. Could the
rebels have flanked us, which they could
not, on account of a bend of the river
on the right flank and an
on the other, they would most cer
tainly have gained our rear.
The battle was one indistinguishable
roar of musketry. Charge after charge
was made by the yelling enemy upon our
line, only to be met and repulsed by our
own men. Only once did our line waver
and fall back a short distance, but it
speedily rallied, and with fixed bayonet3
made a counter-charge, and drove the
foe from the front.
Seven hours or more did the battle
rage, wnen tne rebels drew on and left
the field. The
battle was foueht with
Our artillery was posted
near the river, but did not fire a shot.
The Confederates brought at one time
three pieces to bear on our center, but a
well-directed fire concentrated at their
battery killed and wounded about all
their men and horses.
A rush for the Johnnies was made by
the 29th Iowa and 2d Kan. C. T., and
the Johnnies were dragged by hand into
From appearances the crowded rebel
ranks suffered dreadfully from our fire,
but on our own side many officers and
men had fallen, including Gen. S. A.
Rice, our brigade commander, who got
his mortal wound here. While the bat
tle raged the non-combatants had moved
almost everything across the pontoon
COULD BE SAVED,
and destroyed a great deal that could
not be moved. Only "the most obstinate
courage had conquered numbers, and at
about 1 o'clock the rebels abandoned
the field in much confusion, as we after
ward learned; so much so, we were
told, that by mistake one of their bat
teries was turned on their own men ; we
remembered hearing their artillery firing
in the rear.
Our own men engaged in this battle
probably did not exceed 4,000 men,
and rebel prisoners did not put their
force at less than 12,000 men, and some
of them much higher.
The cavalry had started for Little
Rock the evening before the battle, and
consequently were not in the fight
Little Rock had but a small garrison.
The rebel cavalry was reported to be on
the march for the same place by another
road, and our cavalry was sent in all
After the rebels abandoned the field
we hastily gathered most of our wounded,
aud a temporary hospital was improvised
for those that could not be removed, and
as we had no rations, though victorious,
we also had to retreat, leaving our