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A Turner Bugler, 2004

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News of 150 Years Ago–September 1862


September 1862

From August 28-30, 1862, the Union Army of Virginia, under Gen. John Pope, engaged Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Confederate Army of Northern Virginia on much of the same ground as the First Battle of Bull Run. Early reports from the field suggested victory was within Pope’s grasp. They were premature. The Second Battle of Bull Run was another near disaster for Union forces.

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, September 1, 1862.


The Enemy Driven from the Field.




To Major General Halleck, Commander-in-Chief:

We fought a terrific battle here yesterday, with the combined forces of the enemy, which lasted with continuous fury from daylight till after dark, by which time the enemy was driven from the field, which we now occupy. Our troops are too much exhausted to push matters, but I shall do so in the course of the morning, as soon as Fitz John Porter’s corps comes up from Manassas. The enemy is still in our front, but badly used up….

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St. Louis was under martial law since the Camp Jackson incident, and ferreting out Southern sympathizers, especially those providing active aid to Confederate forces, among the residents of the city and surrounding area was a continuing operation for the Provost Marshal.

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, September 1, 1862.


Discovery of Col. Boone’s Headquarters—Interesting Visit of a Spy—Nocturnal Excursion of Col. McConnell with a Hundred Men—Disappearance of Boone & Co-Conspirators in the City, Arrests, &c.

Major Livingston, who is Police Chief at the office of the District Provost Marshal General, last week received intelligence that a camp of armed rebels was secretly forming in the vicinity of the residence of a Mrs. Sappington, about ten miles distant from the city, between the Manchester rock road and the Olive street plank road. It was on good grounds suspected that the rebel Colonel John Boone was in that vicinity, and with other rebel officers was in the habit of visiting Mrs. Sappington’s house. This is the same Col. Boone who was in the rebel company surprised some weeks ago in Jefferson county, and forty of whom were captured by Lieut. Schnell. (It is not, however, the noted jail-breaker, Hampton L. Boone.) To get more satisfactory information, Major Livingston instructed one of his corps to disguise himself, assume the character of a rebel bearer of dispatches, and seek an interview with Col. Boone….

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From The Missouri Democrat,Thursday, September 4, 1862.

MRS. SAPPINGTON BANISHED.—Mrs. Drusella Sappington, at whose house the rebel Col. John C. Boone and staff were recently found quartered, has been ordered to leave the State without unnecessary delay, and to remain absent till permitted by United States military authority to return.  Mrs. Sappington’s residence is twelve miles from the city, between the Manchester and St. Charles roads.  She is the wife of W. D. Sappington, who has left his farm and family in that locality, and joined the rebels.  Mrs. Sappington is a daughter of Judge Olly Williams, of St. Louis county.


From The Missouri Democrat,Wednesday, September 17, 1862.

CAPTURE OF MRS. SAPPINGTON.—It will be remembered that Mrs. Sappington, residing some twelve miles from the city, near the Manchester road, was several weeks ago found entertaining the rebel Colonel John C. Boone and his attendants at her mansion, and that an order was therefore subsequently issued requiring her to remove from the State. Having learned that the order was in the hands of the U. S. Police, the lady concluded to give them a task in finding her, and accordingly took an early conveyance for Southwest Missouri. A day or two since she was discovered and arrested about one hundred miles distant from St. Louis, together with a female companion. Both were on Monday night brought to the Gratiot street prison, where they now are.

Mrs. Sappington’s husband has been reported as recently killed while fighting on the Confederate side in the battle near Bolivar, Tennessee, the same engagement in which Rock Champion, of St. Louis, is also said to have been slain.


John Knapp came to St. Louis from New York, working for his brother George, owner of the Missouri Republican newspaper.  In 1840, John Knapp joined the St. Louis Greys militia company, rising to Lieutenant Colonel of the 1st Regiment Missouri Militia before its winter 1861 Southwest Expedition to the Kansas border.  Knapp was with the Militia at Camp Jackson in May 1861 when it was surrendered to Nathaniel Lyon and his U.S. forces.  Outraged at Lyon’s action, Knapp broke his sword rather than surrender it intact.  In July 1862, when the Enrolled Missouri Militia was created, Knapp was appointed Colonel of the 8th Regiment EMM,  His organizational skills helped establish the EMM statewide as a counterforce to Confederate guerrilla activity in the state.  Although he fully supported the Union cause after Camp Jackson, his presence there with the pro-secession State Militia made his appointment controversial, especially at the Republican’s arch-rival newspaper, the DEMOCRAT.

Cowan’s Auctions website auctioned Col. Knapp’s second sword in 2009.

From The Missouri Democrat, Friday, September 5, 1862.


Our militarily disposed friend, Colonel John Knapp, seems likely to find the war path something like Jordan—a hard road to travel. Having first enlisted under the banners of King Claib., he marched at the head of his warriors to the classic grounds of Camp Jackson. The altered circumstances of the march out and the march back, are yet fresh in the recollection of many of our citizens. Having proudly aired his blushing honors for a few days beneath the spreading branches of Lindell Grove, his felicity was brought to a sudden and irreparable conclusion. His hope of martial glory, just in the bud, was incontinently nipped. A great multitude of “Hessians,” and others of “Lincoln’s minions,” with a Lyon at their head, and armed with certain very persuasive arguments in the shape of cannon, swords and blunderbusses, having one day surrounded the aforesaid camp of warriors, made the “very ungenerous and unchivalrous” demand upon them for immediate surrender, threatening, in case of non-compliance, like Gen. Grant, “to move immediately upon their works.” They surrendered. The doughty Colonel, however, apparently much dissatisfied with this inglorious termination of his first campaign, charged with great audacity upon a neighboring fence. In the conflict which ensued, we never understood what were the casualties to the fence, but the sword of the Knight was broken….

Click here to read the complete article.


From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, September 8, 1862.


A day or two ago, in alluding to this subject, we were disposed to treat it lightly—make it the occasion of a passing joke and dismiss it altogether. We feld thus inclined, notwithstanding we regarded the appointment as highly injudicious, because we harbored no personal ill will towards the appointee. We were willing to yield something of our opinion of propriety to a feeling of ordinary charitableness. We supposed a little generosity could do no harm, as we did not presume there was anything positively wrong in the appointment. We thus had no doubt of Col. Knapp’s secession sympathies in the days of Camp Jackson, and of his being consorted with the other leaders of that rebellious assemblage in a conspiracy to help take Missouri out of the Union, but we supposed that he was a good Union man now—had seen the error of his previous ways, and felt disposed to make up, by increased activity on the right side, for the wrong of his one false step….

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Following the Confederate victory in the 2nd Battle of Bull Run on August 30, 1862, General Robert E. Lee took his Army of Northern Virginia on the offensive into Maryland on September 3. After actions at Harper’s Ferry and South Mountain, Lee met Union General George B. McClellan’’s Army of the Potomac at Antietam Creek near Sharpsburg, Maryland, on September 17.

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, September 8, 1862.


Rebels Occupy Frederick—Moving toward Baltimore and Washington.

BALTIMORE, Sept. 7.—Frederick, Maryland, was undoubtedly occupied yesterday between 10 and 11 o’clock by the rebels—part of the forces turned at Buckeye Town as if either going towards Washington road or Baltimore pike. The crossing of the Potomac was effected at three points…

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From The Missouri Democrat, Friday, September 12, 1862.


General Lee’s Proclamation to all the People of Maryland.

BALTIMORE, Sept. 11.—Gen. Lee has issued the following proclamation:


To all the People of Maryland:

It is right that you should know the purpose that has brought the army under my command within the limits of your State, so far as that purpose concerns yourselves.

The people of the Confederate States have long watched with the deepest sympathy the wrongs and outrages which have been inflicted upon the citizens of a commonwealth allied to the States of the South by the strongest social, political and commercial ties, and reduced to the condition of a conquered province under the pretence of supporting the Constitution, but in violation of its most valued provisions….

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From The Missouri Democrat, Wednesday, September 17, 1862.




[Special Dispatch to Missouri Democrat.]

WASHINGTON, Sept. 16.—It is believed at the War Department, that Harper’s Ferry was surrendered to the rebels at 9 a. m., yesterday, after Colonel Miles had been mortally wounded. Accounts to that effect, none of them official, have been received, both via Chambersburg and Point of Rocks. If it be true, nothing can prevent the mass of the rebel army from making good its retreat to Virginia.

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From The Missouri Democrat, Friday, September 18, 1862.





The Rebels Badly Whipped at all Points.



Gen. Longstreet Killed and Hill Taken Prisoner.


FREDERICK, Sept. 16.—The following is to the Baltimore American:

Intelligence from the front this morning is of the most cheering character, notwithstanding the bad news from Harper’s Ferry.

Gen. McClellan was pursuing with a vigor most destructive to the enemy.

General McClellan pursued the enemy on Monday morning with his reserves, and a large body of fresh troops. The enemy took the road towards the river at Harper’s Ferry, and at Shepardstown he was pursuing them, shelling their retreat with great loss….

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From The Missouri Democrat, Friday, September 19, 1862.






The Most Extensive Battle of the War.


More Fighting to be Done.

[Special Dispatch to the Missouri Democrat.]

WASHINGTON, Sept. 17.—Profound anxiety is felt for the details of the fighting believed to have been going on in Maryland between McClellan’s and Lee’s forces yesterday and to-day. Very little is yet known here beyond the mere fact that severe fighting [has] been in progress. As the movements are understood here, after Sunday’s fight the rebels continued the retreat toward the Potomac, Stonewall Jackson’s corps having previously left the main rebel army to attack and overpower Miles at Harper’s Ferry. Lee with the main body of his army seems to have left the direct road between Frederick and Williamsport, which he had hitherto been pursuing, and turned more in a westerly direction, with the evident view of striking the Potomac at Sheppard’s Ferry, near Sharpsburg, and only eight or ten miles above Harper’s Ferry….

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From The Missouri Democrat, Tuesday, September 23, 1862.

Detailed Accounts of the Great Battle of Sharpsburg.

Hooker and Burnside the Heroes of the Day.

Desperate Fighting of the Rebels.


The correspondent of the New York Tribune gives a detailed account of the battle of Wednesday, which he terms “the greatest fight since Waterloo, and contested all over the field with an obstinacy even equal to Waterloo.”

It appears from his statement that Tuesday was spent chiefly in deploying forces and gaining positions. After the day was over, General Hooker remarked: “We are through for to-night, but to-morrow we fight the battle that will decide the fate of the republic.”…

Click here to read the complete article.


On September 22, President Abraham Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation, to take effect in the states in rebellion on January 1, 1863. He had discussed his plan with the cabinet in July but had held off the announcement until after a Union victory on the battlefield. Reaction was electric.

From The Missouri Democrat, Tuesday, September 23, 1862.


“Revolutions Never Go Backward.”



Fremont’s Policy Triumphant.



WASHINGTON, Sept. 22.—By the President of the United States of America: I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America, and Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy thereof, do hereby proclaim and declare, that hereafter, as before, the war will be prosecuted for the object of practically restoring the constitutional relation between the United States and the people thereof in which States that relation is or may be suspended or disturbed; that it is my purpose upon the next meeting of Congress to again recommend the adoption of a practical measure tendering pecuniary aid for the free acceptance or rejection of all the slave States so-called, the people whereof may not then be in rebellion against the United States, and which States may then have voluntarily adopted or thereafter may voluntarily adopt the immediate or gradual abolishment of slavery within their respective limits, and that the efforts to colonize persons of African descent, with their consent, upon the continent or elsewhere with the previously obtained consent of the Government existing there, will be continued….

Click here to read the complete article.


From The Missouri Democrat, Wednesday, September 24, 1862.


As the great mathematician, after passing days and nights for weeks and years in the wasting toil of the brain, in his great endeavor to solve the problem of a life’s study, makes the discovery, and shouts “Eureka” in the gladness of his heart; as the brave De Soto, after struggling for weary league on league through dark forest and treacherous morass of an unwholesome clime in quest of that beautiful stream which rolled, in his imagination, like the river of life through the far-off gardens of the West, rested upon its bank to gaze in rapture upon its surpassing grandeur, and listen to the music of its waves; as the great Wellington, after having “from early morn to dewy eve” stood upon the blood-drenched field of Waterloo, amid the wreck, and shout, and carnage of dreadful battle, watching the progress of the fight as the sun wheeled his slow course above that field of death at last, as the shades of night begin to fall, beholds the enemy waver, break and fly, and feels that the dreaded and almost invincible Napoleon is overcome; so do we in this, the hour of our triumph, after long years of struggle, bitter denunciation, cruel disappointment, and most wasting labor, in battle with a giant wrong, feel, as the shout of victory ascends for the principle of our adoption and our love, that we have not struggled, and toiled, and fought in vain….

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From The Missouri Democrat, Thursday, September 25, 1862.


The conservatives and reactionists were affected by the President’s proclamation like men staggered by a sudden blow. So utterly unprepared were they for it that, for a time, it in a measure, divested them of their faculties. They have now had time to draw a breath and take thought, and we begin to see the policy they are disposed to pursue towards it. They dare not oppose it; they exceedingly dislike it, and so are cross and captious, while they aim to put on an air of indifference, and treat it as something after all of very little practical consequence….

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From The Missouri Democrat, Thursday, September 25, 1862.


Emancipation is slavery’s own act. Its own hand has evoked the vengeance which has been visited upon its head. Had slavery been content to have enjoyed in peace its fully guaranteed rights under the Constitution, it was safe from all serious molestation. The power did not exist, if the disposition did, to work either its overthrow or its material curtailment. The Constitution was its bond of protection, defining for it as it did privileges and immunities about which no serious controversy could exist. The Union was the indorser upon the bond, bound and pledged on the peril of its existence, to its scrupulous and permanent fulfillment. Slavery in the Union and under the Constitution, was like a man clothed in armor and dwelling within a fortress. When it discarded the Constitution, it threw away its shield, and when it seceded from the Union it abandoned its stronghold….

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The DEMOCRAT often printed reports about and from local military units.

From The Missouri Democrat, Tuesday, September 16, 1862.


By an order in our paper yesterday it will be seen that the 1st regiment of Missouri Light Artillery has been reorganized, and is at once to be placed on a more effective footing. John V. Dubois, now in command of a Brigade in Gen. Rosecrans’s army, is made Colonel of this regiment. Warren L. Lothrop, Chief of Artillery in the army of the Mississippi, has been appointed Lieut. Colonel. The Majors are Harry Stone, Nelson Cole and A. M. Powell….

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From The Missouri Democrat, Wednesday, September 17, 1862.

The Engineer Regiment.

Editors Missouri Democrat:

Will you please to publish the following statement of facts connected with the history of the “Engineer Regiment of the West,” as an act of justice to the men, and to prevent further frauds from being perpetrated.

All of your readers are probably not aware of the manner in which this regiment was enlisted; I will therefore state, in as short and plain terms as possible, its history:

J. W. Bissell, with the design, as appears, of forming for himself a command, had a circular struck on the 14th of July, 1861, stating that he had been authorized by Major-General Fremont to raise a regiment of sappers and miners, to be called the “Engineer Regiment of the West,” and stating that he expected them to be employed most of the time on extra duty, as mechanics, artificers and laborers; and when so employed each laborer would receive twenty-five cents per day, and each mechanic or artificer forty cents per day, extra pay—thus making the pay about double that of ordinary soldiers….

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From The Missouri Democrat, Friday, September 19, 1862.

THE COURT HOUSE GUARDS.—The company bearing this appropriate name, now numbers seventy members, principally county officials. Sheriff John H. Andrews is Captain, and the Lieutenants are Edmund P. Walsh, Deputy Clerk of the Land Court, and Michael K. McGrath, Deputy Clerk of the Criminal Court. The Guards have been sworn into the regular militia service of the State, and are, therefore, not an exempt company, but are as subject to call as other companies….

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After the Battle of Kirksville, Confederate Col. Joseph C. Porter continued to raid across northeast Missouri, pursued by Union Col. John McNeil’s forces. On September 12, 1862, Porter’s men raided Palmyra, Missouri, northwest of Hannibal, apparently with the intention of freeing some of his captured men being held in the jail there.

From The Missouri Democrat, Wednesday, September 17, 1862.


Four Hundred Rebels in Town—A Sharp Skirmish—One Rebel and one Citizen Killed—Several Dangerously Wounded—45 Prisoners Released—Intense Excitement.

[From the Palmyra Courier, 12th.]

After working off about 200 of our edition last night for the early mails, we retired to rest, the town being unusually quiet.

This (Friday) morning, about 6 o’clock, as we awoke, we arose and stepped to the window to close an open blind. Five armed men at that moment filed up before the front of our residence. They were dressed in citizen’s clothes, and the first thought was that they were Enrolled Militia. The truth at the next instant flashed upon us. They were veritable bushwhackers, and the house was undoubtedly surrounded….

Click here to read the complete article.

Andrew Allsman was never seen again. Col. McNeil issued an order that, unless Allsman was returned safely, ten rebel prisoners would be shot in reprisal. As Allsman was not returned, the sentence was carried out on October 17 in what would become known as the “Palmyra Massacre”.


Southern sympathizers in St. Louis and the rest of Missouri attempted to maintain commmunications with loved ones in Confederate service in the South. Secret couriers were enlisted to carry mail through the lines. Sometimes these were intercepted, and the contents divulged in the press.

From The Missouri Democrat, Wednesday, September 10, 1862.


Inside View of the Fashionable Secesh of St. Louis.

The richest expose of the season will be found in the following letters, which were captured a few days ago in the rebel mail bag:

ST. LOUIS, Aug. 28, 1862.

DEAR SAM: Your letter of the 12th was received on the 20th. We have not been able as yet to learn anything about Mr. Wells. Many thanks for what you sent me; I still hope it will come to hand. I have your picture that was at N. G. Armory’s. Gamble ordered the National Guard to re-organize. Some of the old members still continue; John Blood, Phil. Taylor, Frank Parsons, L. Quinlan, and B. MacQueen are all that I know of.

At one of the meetings, John Gray offered a resolution to expel all the members in disgrace who had gone South. Hazeltine and F. Parsons voted for it. Henry Senter is Captain of the company. John Gray has been promoted a Brigadier General, having command of all the enrolled militia of this county. All the stores are closed at 4 P. M., in order for the militia to drill. S. Laflin, Joe Cabot and Hatch are on Gray’s staff. A week or two ago officers were appointed to go to every house and enroll all the names of men over eighteen and under forty-five. They say they are going to commence drafting next week. The last two days they have been impressing men by going to different drinking shops and theaters, and even the jail, and taking men from them and obliging them to enlist. Gamble, in a speech made a few nights ago, advocated shooting the “guerrillas,” “the non-combatant secesh” to be assessed and then sent South. Picot’s property has all been confiscated; his family ordered to leave their house and everything in it. They lived in Carondelet….

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Anecdotes from Europe were always good choices to fill empty column space. This one about tipping the waiter is timeless.

From The Missouri Democrat, Friday, September 12, 1862.
ONE of the latest bits of Paris gossip turns upon the custom of giving a sou to the waiter. The Parisians having “inaugurated” a revolution against further compliance with this system, a customer at one of the fashionable cafes lately paid his reckoning without adding thereto the ordinary copper compliment. The waiter said nothing, but regarded the customer, who was an old habitué of the establishment, with a look of blank remonstrance tacitly enforcing explanation. “Alphonse,” said the customer, kindly but firmly, “I am very sorry, but I belong to the society for giving nothing to waiters.” “Oh, Monsieur, ne dites pas ca,” cried Alphonse, “you are an old pratique, and in that case I may hint to you that I, and Eugene, and Louis yonder, all belong to the society for accidentally spilling hot coffee over the trowsers of stingy customers.[”] The member of the society for giving nothing to waiters immediately pressed ten centime into Alphonse’s hand, and went on his way a sadder and wiser man.


After Union forces occupied Corinth, Mississippi, in the months following the Battle of Shiloh, Confederate Generals Earl Van Dorn and Sterling Price moved into the region north of Corinth to disrupt Union General Ulysses S. Grant’s supply lines. On September 19, 1862, Union General William S. Rosecrans’s Army of the Mississippi met Price’s Army of the West at Iuka, Mississippi.

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, September 22, 1862.






[Special Dispatch to the Missouri Democrat.]

CAIRO, Sept. 20.—Another glorious success has been achieved by Federal arms two miles east of Iuka.

Grant’s forces met those of Price yesterday and to-day, and have whipped them and are now in hot pursuit.

The entire loss is estimated at 800, and is probably about the same on each side.

Grant and Price were at the head of their respective forces.

Yesterday, A. M., General Rosecrans commenced moving from Rienzi towards Iuka, to attack Price, who it was believed was marching to cross the Tennessee at Muscle Shoal, with the intention of reinforcing Bragg….

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From The Missouri Democrat, Saturday, September 27, 1862.



The Preliminary Movements—The Demand for a Surrender—Attack on Rosecrans’s Division—Failure to Co-operate—Losses on Both Sides—Price’s Adjutant Killed—Incidents of the Battle—Scenes on the Field—Attack on a Railroad Train—Escape of Capt. Taylor—Rosecrans in Pursuit—Destitution of the Rebels—Good Spirits of our Army.

[Correspondence Missouri Democrat.]

CORINTH, MISS., September 22, 1862.

For some time past it has been evident that an attack upon some apparently vulnerable point or our widely dispersed forces has been contemplated by the rebels, and the greatest vigilance and care have been exercised by General Grant and his subordinates to prevent the possibility of a surprise, and consequent disaster to our force. Information was received about the 13th [?-illegible] instant of the presence of the enemy in considerable force in the vicinity of Iuka, twenty-three miles south of here on the Memphis and Charleston railroad; and the troops that could be spared with safety from this place and surrounding parts were immediately ordered forward to check the advance of the enemy….

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From The Missouri Democrat, Tuesday, September 30, 1862.


A Complete and Graphic Description of the Fight.

September 21st, 1862.

Editors Missouri Democrat:

Another battle, surpassing in fierceness any that has been fought in the Southwest, has just come off, and the heroes of New Madrid, Island Ten and Shiloh have proved themselves as ever, victorious. Price has been met and utterly routed by a force far inferior to his own and compelled to beat a precipitate retreat, leaving his dead and wounded on the field. Rumors to the effect that the enemy intended making an attack upon us had been in circulation for some time, as Price, with a heavy force, was advancing northward threatening our line of defenses on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, and compelling Gen. Rosecrans to evacuate Iuka. On the 17th inst., the third division, under command of Brig. Gen. C. S. Hamilton, left Jacinto and moved in an eastwardly direction on the main Iuka road. The second brigade, composed of the 4th Minnesota, 5th Iowa, 26th Missouri, and Sands’s 11th Ohio battery, had the advance and arrived at what is known as White’s farm on the 18th inst. Continued skirmishing had been going on between the enemy’s advanced pickets and our cavalry, which comprised the 2d Iowa and the 3d Michigan, with another battalion, the name of which I forget. The whole of our effective force at this time could not have been more than five thousand, and they successfully engaged and repulsed the enemy with overwhelming loss as the sequel will show.

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