Marvin Lurie

Wilson Creek

Orderly Sargent Brackett
with Colonel T. J. Churchill
1st. Arkansas Mounted Riflemen
August 10, 1861
Wilson's Creek, MO

There were bodies all over the fields and ravines
after the Yankees retreated.
We watched our division surgeon, Dr. Smith,
and the Union doctor walk the battlefield
to sort the wounded and dead.
Our General Pierce came and took the Union doctor
to where they'd brought General Lyon's body in a wagon.

I saw General Lyon shot from his horse.
We were in thick brush at the edge of a ravine.
Some Iowa and Kansas companies
charged right at us
with General Lyon in front waving his hat.

When General Pierce asked for volunteers
to escort his body to Springfield,
I thought it was right to go.
I guess we did the same as at home,
bring a man's body to his family.

Yankee soldiers stood at attention and saluted
when we drove by their camp with the wagon.
One army camp
can look like any other one.

We were quiet
riding back to our regiment.


(Union Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon was the first general killed in the Civil War. Although he was outnumbered and defeated, his quick action in challenging the Confederate advance neutralized the effectiveness of the pro-Southern forces in Missouri allowing the Union forces to secure the state for the Union.)




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