For three days they had been surrounded on the hill. The river was tantalizingly close below them, but the enemy had all paths cut off. For fifty-two hours their position had been the target of artillery shells. It was hot. Men were dying or wounded, moaning. The commander of the surrounded unit later wrote that the men, crazed with thirst, took to fighting for the water that had just been used to cleanse wounds, and despite the blood mixed with it, they drank it. Finally there was a friendly celebration with champagne flowing to celebrate the end of the Battle of the Hemp Bales at Lexington, Missouri.

AOWM – September 20