Battle of Carthage
THE SECOND BRIGADE, Which Lyon sent southwest to cut off Jackson's retreat, consisted of five regiments on paper. Two of them were St. Louis German gymnastic societies, uniformed in gray. Colonel Charles E. Salomon commanded one and "Professor" Franz Sigel the other. American volunteers made fun of Sigel, called him "the little red fellow in spectacles," scoffed that he "kept looking around like a weasel" to see if others were listening when he talked. The expedition was commanded by Captain Thomas W. Sweeney, newly commissioned brigadier general of volunteers. Sweeney had emigrated from Ireland to fight in the Mexican War, lost an arm at Churubusco, but remained in the service. Although Sweeney was a regular army man, West Pointers looked on him with condescension, because he had risen from the ranks. He had quarreled bitterly with Major Samuel P. Heintzelman, when the two were stationed out at Fort Yuma in Arizona. Now Heintzelman was a brigadier general of volunteers in Virginia. Sweeney lacked the West Pointers' hauteur toward enlisted men. He even joked familiarly with them in his Irish brogue. Volunteers loved him for this and because he pinned his empty sleeve on his brass-buttoned breast in the Napoleonic fashion approved for military photographs, then, with his stub, twitched the sleeve comically.
In addition to Sweeney's assignment to cut off Jackson's retreat, he was to hold the southwest Missouri lead mines, occupy the country, and discourage an incursion from Arkansas of the Confederates reported to be under colorfully dressed General Benjamin McCulloch, ex-Texas ranger famous for storming the Obispado in the Mexican War. McCulloch's second in command was James McIntosh, United States officer who had resigned to fight for the Confederacy.
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Publication information: Book title: Civil War on the Western Border:1854-1865. Contributors: Jay Monaghan - Author. Publisher: University of Nebraska Press. Place of publication: Lincoln, NE. Publication year: 1984. Page number: 149.
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