August 6, 1861: Rebels back off from Cape Girardeau

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The rebels who had been threatening Cape Girardeau appear to have been daunted by the defenses. They fell back to a position near “Lakeville” — the town is now called Advance (see map above). Perhaps I should change my annual bike ride, the Advance Winter Loop, to the Lakeville Winter Loop.

OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 3, Part 1 (Wilson’s Creek Campaign)

Camp Fremont, Cape Girardeau, August 6, 1861.
Major General JOHN C. FREMONT:

SIR: After my dispatches to you yesterday, via Jonesborough, I proceeded rapidly as possible, expecting momentarily to be attacked. Work was prosecuted industriously the entire night, and this morning I could have given them a warm reception. They seem, however, to have changed their minds, as my scouts of to-day report their advance as having fallen back to about 3 miles northwest of Lakeville, near Hickory Ridge. To-day the springs at Benton are being cleaned out, evidently with the intention of forming a camp there. By to-morrow evening, if they will let me alone, with the ordnance you are sending, I can hold out against any probable force they may send, and will then proceed with fortifications, as originally designed. Men in good spirits. They labored hard and willingly. Major Kappner, of your staff, assisted by Captain Fladd, were indefatigable in their exertions. The present appearance of the works of itself speaks their capability. Will keep you constantly advised.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel 20th Ill. Vols., Commanding U. S. Forces at Cape Girardeau.

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