About noon Plummer arrived with his column and a detachment of Col. William P. Carlin's troops. Capt. Stewart's Illinois cavalry company made the original contact. Col. Ross's 17th Illinois infantry engaged Lowe's troops first with skirmishers, then the main line of the regiment. A section of Union artillery was brought into service against the Missourians' 12-pounder, which responded. The 20th Illinois and 11th Missouri (Union) applied pressure to both flanks of Lowes's force as more Union artillery joined the battle. Lowe, having waited too long to disengage, was killed by a shot to the head, and his regiment retreated taking heavy casualties.
The 1st Indiana Cavalry attempted to pursue and to capture the exposed 12-pounder, but were stopped with heavy casualties by the fire of Thompson's forces on both ridges. They called for infantry support and the 17th Illinois surged forward to claim the now abandoned piece. As more Union infantry poured onto the field, Thompson began an orderly withdrawal of the guardsmen. In this he mostly succeeded, except for some routing cavalry.
Some of the Union soldiers believed that locals had assisted Thompson in the engagement. They were also angered by perceived mistreatment of Unionist citizens along the line of march. This resentment led to retaliation against the town by the rank and file. At least seven homes in Fredericktown were burned and other buildings damaged before the officers regained control of their men.
The Civil War Shelf.(Write Quick: War and a Woman's Life in Letters, 1835-1867/ The 11th Missouri Volunteer Infantry In The Civil War/ The Untold Civil War: Exploring the Human Side of War)(Book review)
Nov 01, 2011; Write Quick Ann Fox Chandonnet and Roberta Gibson Pevear Bethel Historical Society PO Box 12 Bethel, ME 04217 9780978973698...