Battle of Pea
Report of Lieut. James J. Lyon, Twenty-fourth Missouri Infantry.
CAMP IN THE FIELD,
SIR: I would most respectfully report that my company, H, was engaged in the action of the 7th instant from 7 o'clock a.m. until dark. There being no commissioned officer with Company I, I assumed command. In the early part of the day we were engaged in skirmishing with the enemy on the Huntsville road. About, 9 a.m. I took my command to the mound in the rear of the Elkhorn Tavern, where I found Captain Reed with Companies A and F. He assumed then the command of the battalion. About 3 p.m. we retired from the hill and formed in line of battle in the undergrowth between the field on the right and the mound on the left. My command occupied the extreme left.. We advanced in line under your command, came to a halt, saw the enemy through the brush advancing in column from the left to the right. I was about ordering the men to fire when, hearing considerable of a noise to the rear, I perceived the rest of the line in full retreat. I had heard no order of that kind, but gave it. The men started in some confusion, but were reformed in line, and were coming off in good order, though the enemy in our rear were sending a shower of balls around us. They opened a fire upon us from the hill to our right which was terrific. Under it the men broke and fled in disorder. After crossing the field south of the mound we reformed and under your orders marched to camp after seeing our forces advance. Eighteen of my company went into action, 14 privates and 4 non-commissioned officers. Of this number 1 private was killed; 1 sergeant, 2 corporals, and 2 privates were severely wounded. Company I entered the action with 12 privates and 3 non-commissioned officers. Result, 1 private killed and I wounded mortally. It is hard to discriminate among so many meritorious ones, but I desire to make special mention of Sergeant Ferrell, Corporal Ray, Privates Connor and Bishop, of Company H, and Privates Edwards and Hurse, of Company I. Their courage and coolness are commendable.
I am, sir, yours, truly,
JAMES J. LYON,
First Lieutenant Company II, Twenty-fourth Mo. Vols.
Maj. ELI W. WESTON,
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