Tour Stop

Directions: The Federal Line of Battle [ Waypoint = N37 17.139 W94 19.487 ] is located at the intersection of Civil War Avenue and Pine Road. The second stop on the tour places you approximately where the Sigel formed his initial line of battle just to the north of Double Trouble Creek on July 5, 1861.

Battle of Carthage Tour Stop 2 Facing North from Sigel Position Battle of Carthage Tour Stop 2 Facing Northwest from Sigel Position

Description: Stand facing north. You are facing the Missouri State Guard line of battle approximately three quarters of a mile north of where you are standing. Colonel Franz Sigel and his men (about 1,100 strong) were confident as they deployed into their line of battle. They were better trained and better equipped than their opponents in the Missouri State Guard. [34]

The Federals also woke early in the morning on July 5th and were marching through Carthage to meet the Missouri State Guard by 5:00 a.m. Sigel formed his battle line about three quarters of a mile south of the State Guard position just to the north of Double Trouble Creek. The following is excerpted from Colonel Franz Sigel's official report: [35]

After crossing Dry Fork Creek, 6 miles beyond Carthage, and advancing 3 miles farther, we found the enemy in line of battle on an elevated ground, gradually rising from the creek, and about one and a haft miles distant. Their first line was formed in three regiments, deployed in line, and with proper intervals between them. Two regiments, forming the wings, consisted of cavalry, the center of infantry, cavalry, and two pieces of artillery. The other pieces were posted on the right, and one on the left wing. The whole force within our sight may have numbered 3,500 men, besides a strong reserve in the rear.

Left Flank: To your left, Sigel deployed the Second Battalion, Third Missouri Infantry commanded by Major Henry Bischoff with Wilkin's Battery (4 guns) to their right.

Middle: Right near where you are standing, Sigel deployed two battalions from the Fifth Missouri Regiment (about 400 strong) commanded by Lt. Colonel Charles E. Solomon and Lt. Colonel Christian D. Wolff.

Right Flank: To your immediate right, Sigel deployed the First Battalion, Third Missouri Regiment commanded by Lt. Colonel Francis Hassendeubel with Essig's Battery (3 guns) to their left.

Rear Guard: One gun from Essig's Battery was deployed on the south side of Dry Fork Creek. Sigel's wagon train of three dozen baggage and ammunition wagons was deployed south of Dry Fork Creek.

Franz Sigel as Brigadier-General of Federal volunteers

Sigel and his men (about 1,100 strong) were confident as they deployed into their line of battle. They were better trained and better equipped than their opponents in the Missouri State Guard. But soon Sigel realized that even after extending his lines, his flanks were overlapped by the Missouri State Guard Cavalry. Sigel's men moved several hundred yards north until they were within a half mile of the Missouri State Guard. [36]

When these dispositions were made, and after we had advanced a few hundred yards, I ordered Major Backof to commence his fire with all the seven pieces against the enemy's lines. The fire was answered promptly. I observed now that the two mounted regiments of the rebel army prepared themselves to turn our right and left. They moved by the flank, and, describing a wide circle, left great intervals between them and the center. I immediately directed the whole fire of our artillery against the right of the enemy's center, so that in a short time the fire of his artillery began to slacken on this point

Sergeant Otto C. Lademann, Company E, Third Missouri Volunteer Infantry Regiment, recalled that the artillery duel was not very effective: [37]

At about 1 o'clock p.m., after some moving about, using the intervals to gain room for deployments, the battle commenced, consisting mainly of a mutual cannonade which caused few casualties on either side. The Missourians . . . had seven pieces of artillery, but their ammunition consisted of solid shot only, no shells nor shrapnel, while our eight guns fired both of these, and every time one of our shells exploded, we could see a large gap in the enemy's black line against the horizon, and at first we young soldiers, ignorant of war, cheered and rejoiced at seeing so many enemies fall at each explosion of a shell, but they never stayed down, they always got up again, and we soon found that we were doing but little execution.

During the artillery barrage, both Parsons and Rains decided to send their cavalry around the Federal flanks. Sigel noticed these flanking maneuvers and turned his artillery against them. Sigel began making plans to advance and attack the Missouri State Guard infantry immediately at his front. But then his artillery batteries began to report they were low on ammunition. Sigel realized that an attack forward was too risky. Sigel quickly made the decision to withdraw south to a better defensive position south of Dry Fork Creek. [38]

Now Sigel would give up any hope of defeating the Missouri State Guard. He would need to use all of his skill to escape the State Guard's trap. The State Guard cavalry was threatening to get in the Federal rear where it could capture Sigel's supply train.

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