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Lexington

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LEXINGTON, Siege of. After the battle of Wilson's Creek (q.v.), Mo., 10 Aug. 1861, Gen. Sterling Price, abandoned by McCulloch and his troops, appealed to the secessionists of Missouri to fill his depleted ranks; and about the middle of August he moved northward toward the Missouri River, skirmished with a force under Gen. J. H. Lane, 7 September, at Dry Wood Creek, drove Lane out of the State, and followed as far as Fort Scott, which had been abandoned. On the 10th he was at Rose Hill, from where he marched for War rensburg, which was reached on the 11th, Pea body's 13th Missouri at that place retreating to Lexington. When Fremont, at Saint Louis, heard of Price's northward movement, he or dered to Lexington a force which, when Price arrived at Warrensburg, numbered 2.800 men, with seven 6-pounder guns, under command of Col. James Mulligan, 23d Illinois. Mulligan took position and threw up entrenchments on College Hill, a bluff 200 feet above low-water mark, northeast of the city, overlooking it and the Missouri, and on which was a substantial brick building erected for a college. Imme diately in front of the college was the first line of works, outside of which was a broad ditch, and beyond were pits. On the morning of the 11th Price marched from Warrensburg toward Lexington, and that night, after a march of 30 miles, halted three miles from the city, where he rested until dawn, when he drove in Mulligan's pickets, and from four different points opened a can nonade upon the hastily constructed works around the college. After several sharp en counters the Confederates captured some out works and drove Mulligan's men behind the main line. At the end of the day Price with drew to the fair ground, two miles away, to await reinforcements and ammunition. Mul ligan, looking for reinforcements, strengthened his position and prepared for a siege. Price was anxious because he knew of the approach of Union troops to relieve Lexington; but being reinforced to 25,000 men, and his ammunition coming up, he again moved on the city on the 18th, took possession, closed in upon Mulligan and began a siege. Rains' and Parsons' divi

sions occupied strong positions on the east, northeast and southwest of the works; Rives' division, supported by McBride's command and a part of Harris, moved along the river bank to a point immediately beneath Mulligan's works; fire was opened upon the Confederates from a dwelling on the bluff, 125 yards from the works ,• upon which the Confederates charged and took the house, and also the bluff immediately north of it. A gallant counter charge by Captain Gleason, with 80 men of the 23d Illinois, retook the house, but it was soon regained, and the adjoining heights fortified. Firing continued -all day of the 19th; water gave out, but Mulligan encouraged his men to hold on until help arrived. On the morning of the 20th Price caused to be taken to the river heights a number of hemp-bales, with which movable breastworks were constructed. These were rolled forward; under cover of them the Confederates moved to within 10 rods of the works; and at 2 P.M., after over two days' continuous fighting, Mulligan's men being without water or rations and short of ammuni tion, a white flag was displayed, and Price ordered a cessation of firing. Mulligan had lost 42 killed and 108 wounded, and surren dered 1,624 men, 7 guns, many horses and a large amount of stores. Price reported a loss of 25 killed and 72 wounded. Price remained at Lexington until 30 September, when, pressed by the Union advance from Jefferson City, he abandoned the place and retreated toward Arkansas, leaving a guard of 500 men with the prisoners taken. On 16 October a squadron of cavalry under Maj. F. J. White surprised the party, captured 70 and released the prison ers. Consult Records) (Vol. III); The Century Company's