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Franz Sigel as Brigadier-General of Federal volunteers Missouri Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson

This engagement was decidedly a Missouri State Guard victory and a defeat for the Federals under Colonel Franz Sigel. Although it kept Missouri from being secured for the Union, this was no great strategic victory. The Missouri State Guard showed itself to be ill-equipped and untrained and not ready to wage war. Sigel ended up failing in his mission to prevent the MSG from linking up with Confederate forces. Missouri Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson and the Missouri State Guard would reunite with Major-General Sterling Price and link up with Ben McCulloch's Confederates on July 6th. The Missouri State Guard now had control of the Granby Lead Mines. More importantly, the win at Carthage would give the Missouri State Guard time to organize, resupply, and train to become an army with which to be reckoned. [70]

The following are statements made by several of the participants in the Battle of Carthage:

Company E's Sergeant Otto C. Lademann later described their last encounter with the Southerners at the start of the road to Sarcoxie:

Colonel Franz Sigel (US): I must say that they fought with the greatest skill and bravery. Although more than once menaced in flank and rear by large forces of cavalry, and attacked in front by an overwhelming force, they stood like veterans, and defended one position after the other without one man leaving the ranks. [71]

Brigadier-General John B. Clark, Sr. (MSG): Thus ended a conflict in which the citizen soldiery of Missouri have given to the world an earnest of their determination to defend their rights and redress their wrongs, and which inspires hope of success in the stormy future upon which we are now entering. [72]

Brigadier-General James Rains (MSG): The great object of our march is about complete, and, though commenced under difficulties that discourage many, yet, with a column of veteran troops threatening our rear and powerful force of the enemy in front, we can congratulate Ourselves on a victory which is but the prestige of our ultimate success. [73]

Colonel Richard H. Weightman (MSG): The battles of this day of victory for Missouri extended over a space of 10 miles, and were continued for twelve hours. They opened the communication between Missouri and her friends, and gave her access to arms and munitions of war. In view of the magnitude of these results, so important to the cause of liberty, political and private, in Missouri, and also of the steady courage of the raw levies of Missouri in face of a disciplined enemy, the 5th of July last past is a day to be remembered. [74]

Sergeant Otto Lademann (US): We arrived at Mt. Vernon about 9 p.m., utterly fagged out. We had marched twenty miles from Neosho to Carthage on July 4th, eighteen miles from Carthage to Dry Fork Creek, and return, besides the maneuvering on the battlefield, and fifteen miles to Sarcoxie on July 5th, with twenty-five miles to Mt. Vernon on July 6th, making 85 miles of marching, with a battle thrown in. This three days' hard work, with barely two meals, was a very creditable military performance for such young and raw troops. In Mt. Vernon we dropped to the ground and went to sleep, where we had stacked our arms, too tired even to cook and eat. [75]

Sigel was able to escape capture because he was very skillful in his retreat from Carthage in the face of an overwhelming number of the enemy. However, Sigel should have never put himself in the position to be captured in the first place. Having no cavalry of his own, he was traveling blind, deep in southeast Missouri. After his defeat at the Battle of Carthage, Sigel's detractors began to attack him. They changed the slogan “I fights mit Sigel” to “I retreats mit Sigel.” [76]

Colonel Franz Sigel reported the following Federal casualties: 13 killed and 31 wounded. The commanders for the Missouri State Guard reported over 125 killed and wounded. [77]

According to Sergeant Otto Lademann, Company E, Third Missouri Regiment (US): [78]

From a military point of view, the battle of Carthage was a very insignificant one, but it will always retain a great deal of historical interest, as being one of the very first passages of arms between Federal and Confederate troops in our great Civil War.

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