26th Missouri Infantry

 

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After Action Report

Lexington Missouri

On September 16th unit members arrived to a windswept cornfield to set up quarters in Lexington Missouri. Even though the ground was covered with corn stalks, it provided a silver lining as it later prevented the ground from becoming a swamp.

September 17th, Unit members awoke to a busy day. Reports into headquarters indicated a strong force of Missouri State Guardsmen marching on the Lexington area. Unit commanders quickly reacted to the situation and began to prepare the cities defenses. When I arrived at the earthworks, roughhewn trenches were already in place. Thanks to the engineering eyes of 1st Sgt Capperton and Sgt C. Padgett, suggestions were made to reinforce the position, and quickly enacted. I am proud to say that it was the 26th Missouri and the men in our company that first took to the trenches to improve our fighting positions.

Our men worked throughout the morning and afternoon on our fighting positions. This proved valuable later in the day when reports showed true as scouting parties of confederates reached our camp. That afternoon the army was called into the earthworks to repulse the Confederate invaders. After taking our positions the Rebel artillery unleashed a torrent of fire upon our positions with little effect. I am proud to say that our company stood its ground throughout the bombardment. Soon the Godless horde of rebel heathens descended upon our earthworks in an attempt to drive us from our native soil.

The rebels attempted three frontal assaults, and were repulsed three times. I would like to commend both Pvt. Bowlin, and Pvt. McDowell for their steadfast courage and devotion to duty during their first engagement. Each showed impeccable courage in the face of the enemy. Sgt. Padgett, Pvt. Cunningham, Pvt. Irwin, had confirmed kills, and Pvt. Padgett, God Bless him aimed very hard during every shot, but to our knowledge, never came close to hitting an enemy soldier.

The company took no casualties during this action.

That evening the unit bedded down without incident

September 18th welcomed us with a little rain. Knowing that the confederates were going to attempt another assault, several units deserted us and fled the battlefield as cowards, save for a few brave men of the Muddy River Battalion.

As the sun shown and the storm clouds broke, only the our glorious battalion remained to fight. Unfurling the emerald flag of Erin, our boys marched back to the trenches to meet our foes. The confederates, even though very dim witted, somehow managed to come up with an idea to negate our advantage of fortifications. Hemp bales, were used as mobile cover and pushed in front of the advancing infantry. Our boys were courageous and were well on our way to turn the rebs back when a panicky militia officer offered surrender. Out of water, and low on ammo, our brave Colonel realized that we had little choice but to surrender. It prides me to say that the men then shredded the silken emerald folds of honor that had flown over her boys as to not see it fall into enemy hands. The men then surrendered themselves with honor.

I think that in the future this will provide to be a wonderful event that will be worth all of our men’s effort to attend. All who missed it, missed a good one. Beside the rain, this ranks as one of the funner events I have done. Thank you all that attended.

1st Lt. Noah Snelson

26th Missouri Commanding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After Action Report

Wilson’s Creek

August 11th, unit members arrive at Wilson’s Creek and set up camp. . Members of the company are assigned to picket duty for the evening. Members of our company were engaged with Confederate raiders all evening and were able to push them back, protecting the divisional headquarters.

On August 12th 2011, seven members of the 26th Missouri took the field to represent the 2d Kansas serving with the Muddy River Battalion. We were assigned to the third company and made the regiments color company. On the first day of action Sgt Noah Snelson was promoted to the rank of 1st Sgt, Pvt. Clinton Capperton was promoted to the rank of 2nd Sgt. The first days engagements were light and without much incident. During the first battle, the Battalion met the confederates in a meeting engagement, near Wilson’s Creek, without support. Initial confederate forces were light but within minutes of being engaged the Battalion was confronted by nearly four enemy battalions. Our battalion then disengaged suffering light casualties, including the company commander.

Upon returning from action the battalion promoted 1st Sgt Snelson to 1st Lt. and 2nd Sgt Capperton to 1st Sgt. I would like to note that Pvt. Irwin fought well in his first action. Pvt. Matney, Pvt. Schwinger, Pvt. Cunningham, and Pvt. Padgett were mentioned by the Color Sgt. to be commended for bravery in steadfast devotion having guarded the national colors as the Battalion left the field.

The evening passed without further incident.

August 12th, Members of the 26th were assigned the role of the 3rd Missouri Infantry and formed with the army under Gen Siegel to attack the Confederate rear. The unit fought with distinguished valor until the point Confederate troops, dressed in federal uniforms attacked our force. In the confusion, the regiment was ordered to retreat from the field. I am ashamed to report that the following man deserted the regiment, and is to be stricken from the regimental rolls as a coward, Pvt. Padgett. Upon returning to camp, Pvt Padgett was added back to the regimental rolls after we all realized he cooks the food.

That evening, the Battalion engaged the Confederates along Wilson’s Creek in a heated and long battle. Though we took heavy casualties, the Battalion only left the field when they ran out of ammunition.

The evening saw light skirmishes and ended without incident.

August 13th, the Battalion, as the 2nd Kansas, took the field with General Lyon to push the Rebs out of Missouri. Having learned lessons from previous engagements, the company took extra ammunition into battle. Our Battalion held the line throughout the battle even as all of our sister regiments retreated. Loaded for bear, our men continued to hold the line while the army disengaged and reformed. I would will be recommending a citation of valor for 1st Sgt. Capperton for retrieving the company commander who was wounded in battle, the citation is as follows,

For actions fought, Wilson’s Creek, Aug 13th 2011,

1st Sgt Clinton Capperton

3rd Company, 2nd Kansas, Army of Missouri

Citation: Carrying out his duties faithfully during this period, 1st Sgt Capperton was recommended for gallantry and skill and for his cool courage while under the fire of the enemy and saving his company commander from capture by retrieving him from the field of battle and returning him to Federal lines.

The 26th did very well for this event. I want to thank all who attended and hope we can improve our numbers during future events.

 

 

 

 

After Action Report

Shiloh TN

The 26th Missouri arrived in Shiloh TN Thursday morning and our advance party set up a magnificent camp. When the bulk of troops arrived we were greeted by a strong defensive position surrounding our camp. Friday morning we received reports of an advance rebel infantry element advancing toward our positions. The battalion was formed and marched out to greet the Southern horde. We arrived on the battlefield and were met with rain. As the downpour soaked our cloths our powder stayed dry. This proved most valuable as we began to see confederate troops emerge from the tree line. The Battalion advanced into the rebs and poured volley after volley of buck and ball into their ranks. Broken but not shattered, the rebs continued to hold the field. Col. Crofutt then ordered a bayonet charge. The Battalion suffered massive casualties, but forced the rebels to retire from the field. After the fight, our boys were marched back to camp to rest and dry out.

That evening we received reports that the entire confederate army was moving against us from Corinth. These reports were dismissed as many of them were from inexperienced militia and 90 day troops. We decided not to post a guard mount as our intelligence reports stated that the enemy was statically camped over twenty miles away. Saturday morning we awoke to the sounds of gunfire. The Colonel figured it was nothing more that nervous pickets from the Frontier Brigade as they have a habit of panicking in the field. However the gunfire intensified and we were called into action. The Battalion was placed in reserve. Soon we began to see the cowardly Frontiersmen men flee the field in panic. The General, in his wisdom, ordered us forward to engage the enemy. We advanced through fog and smoke to a position overlooking our camps and an open field in which the enemy was sure to advance. Soon The tempo of battle ceased and we knew our foes were marching to our front. Out of the haze we saw a brilliant flash as hundreds of rifles snapped off a ragged volley at our ranks. The Battalion returned fire. Soon we were engaged by half the confederate army. As our sister units melted away into the rear our brave boys held the line and showed the heathen rebs how Union men from Missouri fight. Wave after wave of butternut and gray broke against our ranks. It was only when we nearly surrounded and out of ammunition that we were ordered to fallback and reform. The Battalion retired in good fashion and the General himself stated that had it not been for the men of the Muddy River, the battle would have been lost.

Our company suffered grievous losses, but survived to continue the fight. Pvt. Randy McDowell Sr. was singled out for steadfast courage in his first major action. Pvt. John Padgett was mentioned in the Brigade reports to be recommended for a medal. Reports stated he single handedly kept an entire confederate regiment out of our camp and defended his Rut Sack with a wooden spoon shaking it vigorously at the enemy and shouting gibberish at them. Confused and baffled by his senile behavior, they retired from our camp and all United States Government was left in place.

As the day wore on, our men retired to a sunken road and prepared a defensive position in which to re-engage the rebs. After a few hours a brief reprieve, the enemy troops reemerged and began to engage us. From our strong position we were able to repeatedly beat back the reckless charges of Southerners. Sensing our grim determination to hold the sunken road the enemy resorted to a bombardment of our position. We held our lines in the face of withering artillery fire as shell and round shot raked our position. Finally, the rebs advanced into our positions in masse. The cacophony of musket fire was so loud not an order could be heard. Soon our lines began to melt into a wall of casualties. We held solace knowing that the butternut boys were taking worse that they were dishing out. Finally realizing that the position was lost, I ordered Sgt. Matney to break to the rear with as many men as he could to continue the fight as the wounded stood their ground. It seemed at once the battle stopped and orders were passed down the line to lay down our arms and surrender. I am proud to say that only our dead and wounded answered that call as our fit men were continuing the fight elsewhere.

That evening what few men remained of my command were exchanged back to our lines. We spent the evening celebrating our victory, drinking spirits with the Irish and singing songs of victory. As we celebrated, Gen. Buell was reinforcing our lines with 20,000 additional fresh troops. Sunday morning the army was called to action and we advanced across the previous day’s carnage pushing our beaten foes before us. Finally realizing that they could not beat us, the Confederate army retired to Corinth and we gallantly held the field.

The 150th Anniversary Shiloh was a very memorable event. Besides the rain, lack of water, sanitation, the size and scope of what we participated in will never be forgotten. We will always remember our charge into the rebel line, the smoke of Saturday morning’s battle, and sound of the hornet’s nest. We will never see an event at this site at that size ever again. Simply put, that was an awesome event!

1st Lt. Noah Snelson
26th Missouri Commanding
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