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AfriGeneas Military Research Forum

Re: Article re manservant at Wilson's Creek battle

Kenneth,

You wrote:

"Capt. John Griffith and his younger brother Benjamin H. Griffith described in the article both belonged to Co. E (Griffith's) of Gratiot's 3rd Arkansas State Infantry which indeed fought at Wilson's Creek on Aug. 10, 1861. The service record of Pvt. Benjamin H. Griffith does indeed indicate that he was "slightly wounded" during the battle. The MAR article indicates that Benjamin Griffith was wounded in the calf - this is hitherto unknown detail re his wound. The MAR article also documents how Benjamin Griffith was carried off the field by Capt. Griffith's manservant; this is in accordance with a brief passage written by Jay Monaghan in his book Civil War On The Western Border, 1854-1865 (1950, Bonanza Books, New York, page 180): "Finally the Southerners retired down the ridge for the fourth time, a slave belonging to Ben Griffith staggering after them, carrying his wounded master." Although I am not certain, it appears that Monaghan obtained this information from the 1938 book by L.E. Meador, History of the Battle of Wilson Creek (Springfield, MO, page 24). If true, could Meador have obtained his material from the 1861 Fort Smith Times article?"

The following report states General Lyon was killed by someone in the 5th Infantry:

[AUGUST 10, 1861.--Battle of Oak Hills, Springfield, or Wilson's Creek, Mo.

Report of Brig. Gen. James S. Rains, commanding Second Division Missouri State Guard.

A portion of the First Brigade (Colonel Graves' regiment) was detached to sustain Captain Woodruff's battery, while the remainder, under the brave and accomplished Colonel Weightman, was engaged in the thickest of the fight on the hill, protecting the west side of our encampment. Here, while examining the position of the enemy, he fell mortally wounded, pierced by four balls. Here also, nearly at the same time, fell the leader of the Republican invaders, Major-General Lyon, under a fire from the Fifth Infantry.

JAMES S. RAINS,
Brigadier-General, Comdg. Second Division, Mo. S. G.

Col. THOMAS L. SNEAD,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.]

SOURCE: United States War Department. THE WAR OF THE REBELLION: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1880-1901.

Numerous other reports (Confederate and Union) mention General Lyon's death, however, none I have researched mentioned a specific unit or who fired the weapon.

Your thoughts??


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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