Wilson Creek Missouri
3rd Texas Cavalry traveled, after some delay to Missouri and
located after some time near Wilson Creek. Missouri was one
of the most turbulent states dominated by the Mississippi
River. The Confederacy wanted this state and was will to commit
its resources toward those ends. The state had divided loyalties
so this was not going to be an easy campaign. Governor Jackson
of Missouri was determined to deliver his state to the Confederacy.
Governor Jackson asked General McCulloch to intervene and
save Missouri for the Confederacy. General McCulloch marched
into Missouri on July 4th, 1862. The 3rd Texas and the cavalry
command had moved under great haste to join the fray and found
themselves joining McCulloch`s command in July. General McCulloch`s
command was now nearing 10,000 strong and ready to fight.
General Sterling Price was in command of the state guards
and was goading McCulloch to engage the end. The General was
not at all impressed with Price and knew him to be unproven
in battle. In fact, he was hesitant to committee to do battle,
as most of the troops were not yet ready. He nevertheless,
decided to go forth with the battle. Before the appointed
time of the battle was to commence, a rain began to fall.
The attack was postponed.
Union Commander, General Lyons knew he was outnumbered and
felt he had but two choices. He could attack or withdrawal
before the Confederates attacked. He audaciously took the
first and attacked on the Morning of the 10th of August.
5 30 am the Union army opened fired. This caught the Confederates
by surprise and they hastily reformed. He achieved complete
surprise and led four thousand men against General Price?s position.
It took some time for the men to organize themselves and recapture
their horses. As the battle loomed on, Colonel Greer was ordered
to take his Cavalry and to the west and around Oak Hill to support
General Price. The formation of the entire command was incomplete
but most of the 3rd Texas did managed to engage the enemy. Many
"saw the elephant" for the first time.
Union General Lyons was killed in the battle. There was much
confusion in the battle as the uniforms for both sides were
the same color in many cases. Two of the 3rd Texas companies
participated in hastily put together ambushes and caught several
of the enemy in deadly crossfire and "did terrible execution
with their short arms," The 3rd Texas was soon ready
for its first charge. A man from the 3rd Texas wrote home
and described it this way, " With a yell we went toward
that line of blue like the wind ! On we went, pouring lead
into the blue line that was standing there 50 yards in front
of us, with fixed bayonets, prepared to receive cavalry. The
next moment that blue line was a mass of running, stampeding
soldiers trying to get out of the way of that mass of horses
and men that was bearing down on them."
3rd Texas was credited with killing 64 men and capturing 147
men. There loses were 6 men killed and twenty-three wounded.
The battle of Wilson`s Creek was particular bloody for this
stage of the war. Overall casualties for both sides were about
2,500 killed wounded or missing.
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