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 Research ACW US War Dept. Official Records HTML Ser. I, Vol. 8, Ch. XVIII–Reports.

THE
WAR OF THE REBELLION:
A COMPILATION OF THE
OFFICIAL RECORDS
OF THE
UNION AND CONFEDERATE ARMIES.

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CHAPTER XVIII.
OPERATIONS IN MISSOURI, ARKANSAS. KANSAS, AND THE INDIAN TERRITORY.
November 19, 1861-April 10, 1862.
(New Madrid, Island No. 10, Pea Ridge)
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REPORTS, ETC.

SUMMARY OF THE PRINCIPAL EVENTS.*

Nov.19, 1861.–Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck, U. S. Army, assumes command of the Department of the Missouri.
19, 1861-Jan 4, 1862.–Operations in the Indian Territory.
20, 1861.–Maj. Gen. David Hunter, U. S. Army, assumes command of the Department of Kansas.
Skirmish at Butler, Mo.
Skirmish at Little Santa Fé, Mo.
21, 1861.–Destruction of United States stores at Warsaw, Mo.
22, 1861.–Department of the Indian Territory established, under the command of Brig. Gen. Albert Pike, C. S. Army.
24, 1861.–Skirmish at Lancaster, Mo.,
Skirmish at Johnstown, Mo.
26, 1861.–Skirmish at Independence, Mo.
28, 1861.–Missouri admitted as a member of the Confederate States of America.
Brig. Gen. Benjamin M. Prentiss, U. S. Army, assumes command of District of North Missouri.
29, 1861.–Brig. Gen. John M. Schofield, U. S. Army, assumes command of the Missouri Militia.
30, 1861.–Skirmish at Grand River, Mo.,
Dec. 1, 1861.–Skirmish at Shanghai, Mo.
2, 1861.–Brig. Gen. James W. Denver, U. S. Army, assigned to the command of all the troops in the State of Kansas.
3, 1861.–Brig. Gen. John Pope, U. S. Army, assumes command of all the forces between the Missouri and Osage Rivers.
Action at Salem, Mo.
3-12, 1861.–Scout through Saline County, Mo.
5-9, 1861.–Expedition through the Current Hills, Mo.
9, 1861.–Skirmish at Union Mills, Mo.
11, 1861.–Skirmish near Bertrand, Mo.
12, 1861.–Skirmish at Charleston, Mo.
18, 1861.–Skirmish at Blackwater Creek, or Milford, Mo.
Scout from Rolla towards Houston, Mo.
23, 1861.–Expedition to Lexington, Mo.
Skirmish at Dayton, Mo.
24, 1861.–Skirmish at Wadesburg, Mo. {p.2}
25, 1861.–Brig. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis, U. S. Army, assigned to command of Southwestern District of Missouri.
Expedition to Danville, Mo.
26, 1861.–Martial law proclaimed in Saint Louis, Mo., and in and about all railroads in the State of Missouri.
27, 1861.–Skirmish near Hallsville, Mo.
28, 1861.–Action at Mount Zion Church, Mo.
29, 1861.–Descent upon Commerce, Mo., and attack on steamer City of Alton.
Jan1-3, 1862.–Expedition from Morristown to Dayton and Rose Hill, Mo., skirmish en route, and destruction of Dayton.
3, 1862.–Skirmish at Hunnewell, Mo.
5-12, 1862.–Operations in Johnson and La Fayette Counties, Mo., and skirmish at Columbus, Mo.
6, 1862.–Brig. Gen. Schuyler Hamilton, U. S. Army, assumes command of the Saint Louis District.
8, 1862.–Skirmish at Charleston, Mo.
Action at Roan’s Tan-Yard, Silver Creek, Mo.
9, 1862.–Skirmish at Columbus, Mo.
10, 1862.–The Trans-Mississippi District of Department No. 2 organized, under command of Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn, C. S. Army.
15-17, 1862.–Expeditions to Benton, Bloomfield, and Dallas, Mo.
20-24, 1862.–Operations in and about Atchison, Kans.
22, 1862.–Skirmish at Knobnoster, Mo.
Occupation of Lebanon, Mo.
29, 1862.–Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn, C. S. Army, assumes command of the Trans-Mississippi District.
29-Feb 3, 1862.–Expedition to Blue Springs, Mo.
Feb.3, 1862.–Call for 71,000 men from the State of Missouri for Confederate service.
8, 1862.–Affair at Bolivar, Mo.
Martial law declared throughout the State of Kansas.
9, 1862.–Skirmish at Marshfield, Mo.
12, 1862.–Skirmish at Springfield, Mo.
14, 1862.–Skirmish at Crane Creek, Mo.
15, 1862.–Skirmish near Flat Creek, Mo.
Brig. Gen. John M. Schofield, U. S. Army, assumes command of the District of Saint Louis, Mo.
16, 1862.–Action at Potts’ Hill, Sugar Creek, Ark.
17, 1862.–Action at Sugar Creek, Ark.
18, 1862.–Action at Bentonville, Ark.
18-19, 1862.–Expedition to Mount Vernon, Mo.
19, 1862.–Skirmish at West Plains, Mo.
22, 1862.–Skirmish at Independence, Mo.
23, 1862.–Fayetteville, Ark., occupied by Union forces.
Brig. Gen. John Pope, U. S. Army, assumes command of Army of the Mississippi, assembling at Commerce, Mo.
23-24, 1862.–Reconnaissance to Pea Ridge Prairie, Mo., and skirmish.
23-25, 1862.–Reconnaissance from Greenville, Mo., and skirmish.
24, 1862.–Skirmish at Mingo Creek, near Saint Francisville, Mo.
Skirmish at New Madrid, Mo.
25, 1862.–Skirmish at Keetsville, Barry County, Mo.
26, 1862.–Maj. Gen. John P. McCown, C. S. Army, assumes command at Madrid Bend.
28, 1862.–Affair at Osage Springs, Ark.
28-April 8, 1862.–Operations at New Madrid, Mo., and Island No. 10, and descent upon Union City, Tenn.
Mar.3-7, 1862.–Reconnaissance to Berryville, Ark.{p.3}
4-11, 1862.–Scout through Laclede, Wright, and Douglas Counties, Mo.
6-8, 1862.–Battle of Pea Ridge, or Elkhorn Tavern, Ark.
7, 1862.–Skirmish at Fox Creek, Mo. Skirmish at Bob’s Creek, Mo.
7-10, 1862.–Operations in Saline County, Mo.
8-9, 1862.–Operations about Rolla, Mo.
9, 1862.–Skirmish on Big Creek, Mo.
Skirmish at Mountain Grove, Mo.
10, 1862.–Skirmish in La Fayette County, Mo.
11, 1862.–The Departments of Kansas, of the Missouri, and in part of the Ohio, merged into the Department of the Mississippi, under Major-General Halleck, U. S. Army.
12, 1862.–Skirmish near Aubrey, Kans.
13, 1862.–Action at Spring River, Ark.
14, 1862.–Capture of New Madrid, Mo.
15, 1862.–Skirmish near Marshall, Mo.
16, 1862.–Skirmish near Marshall, Mo.
18-30, 1862.–Operations in Johnson, Saint Clair, and Henry Counties, Mo., including skirmish near Leesville, (19th)
19-20, 1862.–Expedition to Carthage, Mo.
19-23, 1862.–Operations in Johnson County, Mo.
21, 1862.–Affair at McKay’s Farm, Mo.
22, 1862.–Skirmish on the Post Oak, Mo.
Skirmish at Little Santa Fé, Mo.
23, 1862.–Expedition to Little River, Mo.
24, 1862.–Scout in Saint Clair and Henry Counties, Mo.
25, 1862.–Skirmish at Monagan Springs, Mo.
25-28, 1862.–Expedition in Moniteau County, Mo., and skirmish en route.
26, 1862.–Action on the Post Oak, at mouth of the Brier, Mo.
Action at Humansville, Mo.
Skirmish near Gouge’s Mill, Mo.
29, 1862.–Skirmish on the Blackwater, near Warrensburg, Mo.
30, 1862.–Skirmish near Clinton, Mo.
31, 1862.–Skirmish at Pink Hill, Mo.
Brig. Gen. William W. Mackall, C. S. Army, supersedes Major-General McCown in command at Madrid Bend, Mo.
April 1, 1862.–Skirmish on the Little Sni, Mo.
Skirmish at Doniphan, Mo.
2, 1862.–Skirmish near Walkersville, Mo.
Brig. Gen. James W. Denver, U. S. Army, assumes command of District of Kansas.
2-4, 1862.–Reconnaissance from Cape Girardeau to Jackson, Whitewater, and Dallas, Mo.
8, 1862.–Skirmish near Warrensburg, Mo.
Skirmish near Warsaw, Mo.
Scout through Gadfly, Newtonia, Granby, Neosho, and the valley of Indian Creek, Mo., and skirmishes.
Skirmish at Medicine Creek, Mo.
9, 1862.–Skirmish at Jackson Mo.
Brig. Gen. Mosby M. Parsons, Mo. S. G., assumes command of Missouri State Guard (Confederate).
9-16, 1862.–Scout to Shiloh Camp, on Hoyle’s Run, near Quincy, Mo., and skirmishes; scout to Little Niangua, Hickory County, Mo.; and scout from Humansville to Montevallo, Vernon County, Mo.
10, 1862.–Brig. Gen. Samuel D. Sturgis, U. S. Army, assumes command of the District of Kansas.

* Of some of the minor conflicts noted in this “Summary” no circumstantial reports are on file.

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NOVEMBER 19, 1861-JANUARY 4, 1862.– Operations in the Indian Territory.

SUMMARY OF THE PRINCIPAL EVENTS.

Nov.19, 1861.–Engagement at Round Mountain.
Dec.9, 1861.–Engagement at Chusto-Talasah (Bird Creek or High Shoal).
26, 1861.–Engagement at Chustenahlah.
27, 1861.–Skirmish with Creeks and Seminoles.
29, 1861-Jan 4, 1862.–Scout after Hopoeithleyohola.

REPORTS, ETC.

No. 1.–Col. Douglas H. Cooper, First Choctaw and Chickasaw Regiment, commanding Indian Department, of operations November 19, 1861-January 4, 1862.
No. 2.–Capt. M. J. Brinson, Ninth Texas Cavalry, of engagement at Round Mountain.
No. 3.–Capt. R. A. Young, First Choctaw and Cbickasaw Regiment, of engagement at Round Mountain.
No. 4.–Col. D. N. McIntosh, First Creek Regiment, of engagement at Chusto-Talasah.
No. 5.–Col. John Drew, First Cherokee Mounted Rifles, of engagement at Chusto-Talasah.
No. 6.–Col. William B. Sims, Ninth Texas Cavalry, of engagement at Chusto-Talasah.
No. 7.–Capt. Joseph R. Hall, First Choctaw and Chickasaw Regiment, of engagement at Chusto-Talasah.
No. 8.–Capt. Jackson McCurtain, First Choctaw and Chickasaw Regiment, of engagement at Chusto-Talasah.
No. 9.–Capt. William B. Pitchlynn, First Choctaw and Chickasaw Regiment, of engagement at Chusto-Talasah.
No. 10.–Col. James McIntosh, Second Arkansas Mounted Rifles, commanding division, of engagement at Chustenahlah, Cherokee Nation, with letters found in Hopoeithleyohola’s camp.
No. 11.–Col. W. C. Young, Eleventh Texas Cavalry, of engagement at Chustenahlah, Cherokee Nation.
No. 12.–Lieut. Col. John S. Griffith, Sixth Regiment Texas Cavalry, of engagement at Chustenahlah, Cherokee Nation.
No. 13.–Lieut. Col. Walter P. Lane, Third Texas (South Kansas-Texas) Cavalry, of engagement at Chustenahlah, Cherokee Nation.
No. 14.–Capt. William Gipson, Second Arkansas Mounted Rifles, of engagement at Chustenahlah, Cherokee Nation.
No. 15.–Capt. H. S. Bennett, Lamar Cavalry Company, of engagement at Chustenahlah, Cherokee Nation.
No. 16.–Col. James McIntosh, Second Arkansas Mounted Rifles, commanding division, of skirmish with Creeks and Seminoles.
No. 17.–Col. Stand Watie, Second Cherokee Mounted Rifles, of skirmish with Creeks and Seminoles.
No. 18.–Maj. E. C. Boudinot, Second Cherokee Mounted Rifles, of skirmish with Creeks and Seminoles.
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No. 1.

Report of Col. Douglas H. Cooper, First Choctaw and Chickasaw Regiment, commanding Indian Deportment, of operations November 19, 1861-January 4, 1862.

HEADQUARTERS INDIAN DEPARTMENT, Fort Gibson, Cherokee Nation, January 20, 1862.

SIR: Having exhausted every means in my power to procure an interview with Hopoeithleyohola, for the purpose of effecting a peaceful settlement of the difficulties existing between his party and the constituted authorities of the Creek Nation, finding that my written overtures, made through several of the leading captains, were treated with silence, if not contempt, by him, and having received positive evidence that he had been for a considerable length of time in correspondence, if not alliance, with the Federal authorities in Kansas, I resolved to advance upon him with the forces under my command, and either compel submission to the authorities of the nation or drive him and his party from the country.

Accordingly, on the 15th day of November last, the troops, consisting of six companies of the First Regiment Choctaw and Chickasaw Mounted Rifles; a detachment from the Fourth [Ninth] Regiment Texas Cavalry under Lieutenant-Colonel Quayle; the Creek regiment, under Col. D. N. McIntosh, and the Creek and Seminole battalion, under Lieut. Col. Chilly McIntosh (the Creek war chief), and Maj. John Jumper (Chief of Seminoles), in all about 1,400 men, were moved up the Deep Fork of the Canadian towards the supposed camp of Hopoeithleyohola’s forces. The camp, which had been abandoned, was found, and the trail from it followed, with varied prospects of success until the 19th of the month named, on which day some of the disaffected party were seen and a few prisoners taken. From those prisoners information was obtained that a portion of Hopoeithleyohola’s party were near the Red Fork of the Arkansas River, on their route towards Walnut Creek, where a fort was being erected, and which had for some time been their intended destination in the event of not receiving promised aid from Kansas before being menaced or attacked.

After crossing the Red Fork it became evident that the party was near and the command was pushed rapidly forward. About 4 o’clock p.m. some camp smokes were discovered in front a short distance and the enemy’s scouts seen at various points. A charge was ordered to be made by the detachment of Texas cavalry, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Quayle, upon the camp, which, however, was found to have been recently deserted. Other scouts, being discovered beyond the camp, were pursued by the Texas troops about 4 miles, when they disappeared in the timber skirting a creek, upon which it was afterwards ascertained the forces of Hopoeithleyohola were then encamped. While searching for the fugitives the troops were fired upon by the concealed enemy, and 1 man was killed. The enemy immediately appeared in large force, and our troops, rallying and forming, succeeded in making a stand for a short time, when the efforts of the vastly superior force of the enemy to outflank and inclose them caused them to retire.

During the retreat towards the main body of our forces a constant fire was kept up on both sides. Many of the enemy were killed, and on our part 1 officer and 4 men and 1 man wounded. So soon as the {p.6} firing was heard at the position of the main body the Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment was formed and advanced towards the enemy.

The exceeding darkness of the night rendered the relative position of our friends and foes uncertain and restrained the firing on our part until the enemy was within 60 yards of our line. Even then the order to fire was withheld until Col. James Bourland, of Texas (my volunteer aide on the occasion), and myself rode to the front, and the former called to those approaching, asking if any Texans were there, which was answered by the crack of the enemy’s rifles. A brisk fire was then opened by companies I and K, under Captains Welch and Young, and by companies B, E, and G, under Captains Hall, Reynolds, and McCurtain, as they successively took position. After a short but sharp conflict the firing of the enemy ceased, and under cover of the darkness he made good his retreat. About 50 Choctaws and Texans were then sent out, under Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen. R. W. Lee, to examine the ravine in front and on the flanks, when it was found that the enemy had left the field and retreated in the direction of their camps.

During the action the line was re-enforced by portions of Captains Brinson’s, T. G. Berry’s, J. E. McCool’s, and Stewart’s companies, of the Texas regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Quayle, and by a few Creeks, under Lieut. Col. Chilly McIntosh, Captain Severs, and Lieutenant Berryhill. In the last encounter we had 2 men severely wounded and 1 slightly. Many horses were shot. Our men escaped mainly in consequence of being dismounted and by firing either kneeling or lying down. Our entire loss in the engagement was 1 captain and 5 men killed, 3 severely and 1 slightly wounded, and 1 missing. Prisoners taken since the battle concur in stating the loss of the enemy to have been about 110 killed and wounded.

Soon after daylight on the 20th the main camp of the enemy was entered, and it was found that they had precipitately abandoned it, leaving behind the chief’s buggy, 12 wagons, flour, sugar, coffee, salt, &c., besides many cattle and ponies. Hopoeithleyohola’s force in this engagement has been variously estimated at from 800 to 1,200 Creeks and Seminoles and 200 to 304) negroes.

The conduct of both officers and men within the scope of my observation was marked by great coolness and courage. I would particularize as worthy of high commendation the conduct of Col. James Bourland (who kindly volunteered his valuable services on this occasion and at other times); Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen. R. W. Lee; Maj. Mitchell Laflore; Lieut. Joseph A. Carroll, acting adjutant Choctaw and Chickasaw Mounted Rifles; Capts. O. G. Welch, R. A. Young, and Lem. M. Reynolds, commanding Chickasaw companies, and Capts. Joseph R. Hall and Jackson McCurtain, commanding Choctaw companies, of the Choctaw and Chickasaw Mounted Rifles; Lieutenant-Colonel Quayle and Captains Brinson and McCool, of the Texas regiment; Captain Severs, of the Creek regiment; Lieut. Col. Chilly McIntosh, Creek battalion; Lieut. Samuel Berryhill, of the Creek regiment, and Maj. J. Jumper, Seminole battalion.

The promptness with which the Choctaws and Chickasaws came into line and the steadiness with which they maintained their position during the entire action merit unqualified praise, especially when it is considered that the night was extremely dark, the number and position of the enemy uncertain, and that they stood for the first time under an enemy’s fire.

The following is a list of the killed and wounded: W. J. Lyttle, Captain Welch’s squadron Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment, severely {p.7} wounded; Daniel Cox Captain Welch’s squadron Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment, slightly wounded; Capt. C. S. Stewart, Texas regiment, killed; John H. Crow, Texas regiment, killed; - Reed, Texas regiment, killed; - Jackson, Texas regiment, killed; John Friend, Texas regiment, severely wounded; - Smith, Creek regiment, killed; - Smith, Creek regiment, severely wounded; one killed, name not reported.

In consequence of notice received from General McCulloch that Frémont was at Springfield with a very large force; that his advance guard had marched, and that probably his main body would move South the next day; that he (General McCulloch) would obstruct the roads and fight from the line down, but might be obliged to fall back to Boston Mountains, and he having directed me to take position near the Arkansas line, so as to co-operate with him, in connection with the fact that the forage of the country had been destroyed by the enemy and the horses of my command worn down by rapid marches, it was considered improper to pursue the enemy farther, and I returned with the troops-to my train at Concharta, which was reached on the 24th of November, 1861.

Information being received at this time that the anticipated attack upon General McCulloch had been averted by Frémont’s retreat, and that Hopoeithleyohola, with his forces, had taken refuge in the Cherokee country by invitation of a leading disaffected Cherokee, it was considered unnecessary to take post near the Arkansas line (as directed by General McCulloch), but proper to prosecute the operations against Hopoeithleyohola without delay and with the utmost energy, which I accordingly proceeded to do.

After a few days’ rest and preparation the forces under my command at Spring Hill, near Concharta, consisting of 430 rank and file of the Choctaw and Chickasaw Regiment Mounted Rifles, under Maj. Mitchell Laflore; 50 men, under Capt. Alfred Wade, Choctaw battalion; 285 men of the First Creek Regiment, commanded by Col. D. N. McIntosh, and 15 Creeks, under Capt. James M. C. Smith-in all 780 men-were put in motion on the 29th of November in the direction of Tulsey Town, and Colonel Sims, who had gone with the sick of his regiment to Tallahassa, Mo., with all the available force of the Fourth Texas Cavalry, was ordered to move up Verdigris River in the direction of Coody’s settlement, where Col. John Drew, with a detachment of his regiment about 500 strong, was then posted.

At Tulsey Town information was received from a prisoner escaped from Hopoeithleyohola’s camp that an immediate attack was intended by the enemy, 2,000 strong. Colonel Drew was ordered to march from Coody’s and form a junction with my command somewhere on the road to James McDaniels’. Colonel Sims, then at Mrs. McNair’s, on Verdigris, was ordered to join me at David Van’s. From some misunderstanding Colonel Drew marched direct to Melton’s, 6 miles northeast from Hopoeithleyohola. While following the direction contained in his reply I marched north from Van’s to Musgrove’s, on Caney. Thus he arrived in the immediate vicinity of the enemy twenty-four hours or more in advance of the main body. On the 8th of December, about 12 o’clock, I found him encamped on Bird’s Creek. After a brief interview, in which he informed me that Hopoeithleyohola had sent a message expressing a desire to make peace; I authorized him to send in return to Hopoeithleyohola the assurance that we did not desire the shedding of blood among the Indians, and proposed a conference next day. Major Pegg, of the Cherokee regiment, was sent, and I {p.8} proceeded to encamp about 2 miles below Colonel Drew, on the same creek. Much to my surprise, about 7 o’clock at night several members of Colonel Drew’s regiment came to my camp with the information that Major Pegg had returned without being able to reach Hopoeithleyohola, who was surrounded by his warriors, several thousand in number, all painted for the fight, and that an attack would be made upon me that night; that the Cherokee regiment, panic-stricken, had dispersed, leaving their tents standing, and in many instances even their horses and guns. Soon afterwards the wagon-master of the Cherokee regiment and his teamsters, true to their duty, brought down a portion of their trains and provisions. Lieutenant-Colonel Quayle, with a squadron of the Fourth [Ninth] Texas Cavalry, was then sent to Colonel Drew’s relief and to report the condition of his camp. Colonel Drew and 28 members of his regiment soon afterwards came into my camp and fully confirmed the statements made by the first party and declared their intention to assist in its defense.

My whole command had been, on the first alarm, formed and so disposed as to protect and defend our camp on all sides and remained under arms all night, quietly awaiting the enemy.

No attack was made, however, and soon after daylight Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen. R. W. Lee, with a small party, went up to Colonel Drew’s deserted camp and found all standing and apparently untouched. Colonel Drew, with the Cherokees, a portion of the Texas cavalry, and some Choctaws, went up and brought away the camp equipage and other property found there. About 11 o’clock I recrossed the creek and proceeded down on the east side, with a view of taking a position which would enable me to keep open communication with the depot at Coweta Mission and with re-enforcements of Creeks, Seminoles, and Choctaws who were expected at Tulsey Town.

Captain Foster, of the Creek regiment, was sent with two companies of that regiment again across towards Parks’ Store, on Shoal Creek, to ascertain whether the enemy had come down from the mountains, and also to look after Captain Parks and his men, who had gone on a scout the night before to the rear of Hopoeithleyohola’s camp.

After proceeding down Bird Creek about 5 miles two runners from Captain Foster reached me at the head of the column, stating he had found the enemy in large force below. Parks had exchanged a few shots with them, taken 6 prisoners, and was retreating, hotly pursued. Scarcely had this intelligence reached me before shots were heard in the rear. Hastily directing the Cherokee train to be parked on the prairie and a sufficient guard placed over it, the forces were formed in three columns, the Choctaws and Chickasaws on the right, the Texans and Cherokees in the center, and the Creeks on the left, and the whole advanced at quick gallop upon the enemy, who had by this time shown himself in large force above us, along the timber skirting the main creek for over 2 miles, as well as a ravine extending far out into the prairie. A party of about 200 having attacked our rear guard, Captain Young, in command of a squadron of the Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment, being in rear of the main column, perceiving the encounter, wheeled his squadron and advanced rapidly towards the enemy. Upon his approach the party retreated towards the timber on Bird Creek.

The leading companies of the Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment, commanded by Captains Jones and McCurtain, were directed to the right, so as to form a junction with the squadron under Captain Young. Col. D. N. McIntosh, with his Creek regiment, was ordered to turn the right of the enemy on the creek. That portion of the enemy on the {p.9} ravine in the prairie were driven by the Choctaws and Texans across the open ground intervening between it and timber on the creek. The position then taken up by the enemy at Chusto-Talasah, or the Caving Banks (the Creeks call the place Fonta-hulwache, Little High Shoals), presented almost insurmountable obstacles to our troops.

The creek made up to the prairie on the side of our approach in an abrupt, precipitous bank, some 30 feet in height, at places cut into steps, reaching near the top and forming a complete parapet, while the creek, being deep, was fordable but at certain points known only to the enemy. The opposite side, which was occupied by the hostile forces, was densely covered with heavy timber, matted undergrowth, and thickets, and fortified additionally by prostrate logs. Near the center of the enemy’s line was a dwelling-house, a small corn-crib, and rail fence, situated in a recess of the prairie, at the gorge of a bend of the creek, of horseshoe form, about 400 or 500 yards in length. This bend was thickly wooded, and covered in front, near the house, with large interwoven weeds and grass, extending to a bench, behind which the enemy could lie and pour upon the advancing line his deadly fire in comparative safety, while the creek banks on either side covered the house by flank and reverse.

The Creeks, commanded by Col. D. N. McIntosh, on the left came soon into action, and, charging the enemy with great impetuosity, met them in hand-to-hand encounter, drove them from the timber, and dispersed them in every direction. On the right the Choctaws and Chickasaws boldly charged on horse to the bank of a ravine near the creek under a heavy fire, and, dismounting, drove back the enemy, who disputed every step of their advance with the greatest obstinacy and bravery. Major Laflore, Captains Jones, McCurtain, and Reynolds were particularly conspicuous in this part of the engagement; also Colonel Drew and his men, who acted with the Choctaws and Texans. Almost simultaneously with these movements on the right and left a detachment of the Texas cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Quayle, made a charge to the left of the Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment and routed the enemy in that quarter; then, changing position to the right of the line, warmly engaged the Indians concealed about the creek and ravines. Another detachment of the Texas cavalry, under Colonel Sims, after making a demonstration to the right of the Creek regiment, moved up the creek about 1 mile, joined Lieutenant-Colonel Quayle, and assisted him in completing the rout of the enemy in that direction. In the mean time the enemy appeared in large force about the house at the bend, and Captain Young, of the Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment, was ordered with his squadron, about 100 strong,to attack them. The charge of the squadron was made in gallant style to the timber below the house, and, there dismounting, moved up under cover of the fence.

The enemy were driven from their stronghold and pursued far into the bend, where, receiving on the flank an unexpected fire, the squadron took position at the house. Being then re-enforced by some men from Captains Reynolds’, McCurtain’s, and Hall’s companies, of the Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment, the conflict with the persistent foe was renewed with increased vigor, and after a fierce struggle the enemy was forced, with heavy loss, through the bend and across the creek.

Our troops, changing position at this juncture to meet a flank fire again on the right, the enemy in front rallied, and by their direct firing from the creek and on the right and rear compelled a retreat again to the house At this time the force of the enemy at this point was not {p.10} less than 500, and at no time during the conflict here did our force equal one-half that number. The combat now was at close quarters, and raged with great fury on both sides for some half hour, the enemy alternately yielding and advancing and pouring upon our troops a galling fire. While thus engaged the horses of our men were menaced in rear and, the alarm being given, caused a movement in that direction. The horses being secured, the troops formed again in line at some distance in front of the house.

I would particularly notice here the conspicuous conduct of Asst. Adjt. Gen. R. W. Lee, who fought on foot with the men, cheering and encouraging them during the conflict at this point, and who here received a contusion his life probably being saved by his pistol-belt turning the ball.

A few minutes afterwards a detachment of Creeks, under Col. D. N. McIntosh, opportunely came up to the relief of the exhausted men of the Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment, and, throwing themselves upon the enemy, closed the battle.

The firing now entirely silenced, the enemy disappeared from our entire front, and the sun having set, the troops were withdrawn and marched to camp. The battle lasted over four hours.

On the next morning the Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment, the Creek regiment, Colonel Drew and his Cherokees, and a portion of the Texas regiment returned to the battle ground. The enemy had retreated to the mountains.

After burying our dead we followed the train, which had been sent with the wounded, under Colonel Sims, to Van’s, and encamped again for the night within a few miles of the battle-field.

The force of the enemy in the engagement at Chusto-Talasah was certainly over 2,500. Several Cherokee prisoners stated it at 4,000. This was also Major Pegg’s estimate after his visits to Hopoeithleyohola’s camp. Their loss, as admitted by prisoners taken in our last scout, was 412. It probably was 500 in killed and wounded.

The force on our side actually engaged did not exceed 1,100, a strong guard being necessary at the Cherokee train. Our loss was 15 killed and 37 wounded.

The officers and men under my command behaved throughout the engagement at Chusto-Talasah on the 9th of December in such manner as to meet unqualified approbation, and coming under my personal observation I would mention as worthy of especial notice and commendation the conduct of the following:

Col. D. N. McIntosh, Creek regiment; Lieut. Col. William Quayle, Texas regiment; Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen. R. W. Lee; Maj. Mitchell Laflore, Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment Mounted Rifles; Actg. Adjt. Joseph A. Carroll, Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment Mounted Rifles; Capts. R. A. Young, Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment Mounted Rifles; Lem. M. Reynolds, Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment Mounted Rifles; Joseph R. Hall, Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment Mounted Rifles; Willis Jones, Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment Mounted Rifles; Jackson McCurtain, Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment Mounted Rifles; W. B. Pitchlynn, Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment Mounted Rifles; Lieuts. J. W. Wells, Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment Mounted Rifles; James F. Baker, Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment Mounted Rifles.

First Serg. Samuel P. C. Patten particularly distinguished; Capt. Alfred Wade, Choctaw battalion and my young bugler, Nathaniel J. O. Quine.

The actual loss of the enemy in this engagement far exceeded our first {p.11} estimate, and, although calculated to dishearten them, was of less importance than the moral effect produced. They had learned that their superior numbers could not compensate for the determined valor of our troops and that they could not successfully meet them in combat; that whenever we could find them we could defeat them and that without material aid from abroad Hopoeithleyohola’s party must be entirely destroyed. Impressed with this conviction, the main body of Hopoeithleyohola’s army retired hastily towards Kansas, where an asylum had been offered them. This statement is made by intelligent prisoners, confirmed by the appearance of the trails leading towards Kansas seen on our scout two weeks afterwards.

My supply of ammunition being nearly exhausted, and having on my arrival at Van’s, the night of December 10, learned that a body of Cherokees from Fort Gibson, about 100 who passed up the previous evening, had put on the shuck badge (Hopoeithleyohola’s) and gone direct to his camp at Shoal Creek, I was impressed with the necessity of placing the force under my command as soon as possible in position to counteract any movement among the people in aid of Hopoeithleyohola and his Northern allies. Colonel Drew, with his train, and Colonel Sims, with the Fourth Texas Cavalry, were ordered on the 11th direct to Fort Gibson, and with the Creek and Choctaw regiment I moved by way of Tulsey Town down the Arkansas. An express was at the same time sent to Col. James McIntosh, at Van Buren, with an account of the battle at Chusto-Talasah, with a request that he would send some white troops into the Cherokee country, in order that the moral effect of their presence might repress any outbreak. We arrived at Choska, in the Creek Nation, 20 miles above Fort Gibson, on the 13th. Leaving the main body of the command there, I hastened with Welch’s squadron (Companies I and K, of the Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment) and encamped on Grand River, opposite Fort Gibson. Colonel Sims had already arrived, and was encamped at Fort Gibson.

The arrival of Colonel Drew with the account of our victory over Hopoeithleyohola, the presence of Colonel Sims’ regiment, and the knowledge of the proximity of the forces at Choska had already suppressed outward show of sympathy with the enemy. The next day I received a letter from Col. James McIntosh, dated Van Buren, December 14, 1861, in which he advised that he had just ordered Colonel Young’s regiment, Whitfield’s battalion, and five companies of Greer’s regiment to report to me at Fort Gibson or wherever I might be found; that he had ordered Capt. Con. Rea, ordnance officer at Fort Smith, to honor my requisition for ammunition, and Major Clark to furnish supplies immediately, and that he hoped with this additional force I would be able to march against Hopoeithleyohola with certainty of success, &c. An express was immediately started back to Fort Smith with a requisition for ammunition. I remained still at Fort Gibson to see the Principal Chief of the Cherokees, Hon. John Ross, and confer with him on the state of affairs among the Cherokees.

On the 19th a letter was received from Lieutenant-Colonel Diamond, commanding Colonel Young’s regiment, reporting that he would reach Fort Gibson on the 20th. On the evening of that day I crossed over to Fort Gibson, for the purpose of addressing the Cherokees, in conjunction with the chief, on the existing state of affairs among them, and greatly to my surprise found Col. James McIntosh, who announced his intention of taking the field with some 2,000 troops against Hopoeithleyohola. Major Whitfield, with his battalion, crossed Grand River early next morning and reported to me. Neither Colonel Young’s regiment {p.12} nor any companies from Colonel Greer’s regiment ever did so (I presume the order previously given was received), but formed part of the separate column Colonel McIntosh had determined to put in motion. No objection was made by me to the change in Colonel McIntosh’s intentions. On the contrary, I afforded all the information in my possession as to the situation of Hopoeithleyohola’s camp and the surrounding country, and it was understood we were to co-operate, moving the one up the Arkansas and the other up the Verdigris. Colonel McIntosh also promised me a supply of ammunition from what he had brought along. On the 20th, with Major Whitfield’s battalion and Captain Welch’s squadron, I returned to Choska, after entering into a satisfactory arrangement with Colonel Drew and the chief in regard to the reorganization of Colonel Drew’s regiment.

Colonel Drew’s regiment, when reorganized, was ordered to join me at Choska, and also the available force of Colonel Sims’ regiment. December 21 I wrote to Col. James McIntosh, to know when he would be ready and for ammunition; in answer to which, on the same day, he fixed upon the next at 12 o’clock for the commencement of his march with the largest part of his forces, and the next morning the 23d for the departure of the rest; their destination Mrs. McNair’s’, on the Verdigris, distance from Hopoeithleyohola’s camp about 25 miles, stating that he would reach Mrs. McNair’s on the morning of the 24th, expressing the opinion that it would not be well to remain at Mrs. McNair’s more than one day, and that he would like to see and concert measures with me on the evening of the 24th, and proposing to meet me at any point I might designate; that it was his design to co-operate with me in any measure for the welfare of the country, &c. This I was then satisfied his precipitancy would render impracticable; nevertheless, having on the night of the 23d received at Choska the promised ammunition, I marched the next day for Tulsey Town, and informed Colonel McIntosh by letter that it would be impossible to reach that place before the 26th; that Col. Stand Watie was ordered to be at Mrs. McNair’s, on the Verdigris, December 25; that his (Colonel McIntosh’s) well-appointed command was too fast for mine, but if Col. Stand Watie joined him I supposed he would have force enough.

On my arrival at Tulsey Town on the evening of the 26th a letter reached me by express from Col. Stand Watie, dated December 25, at Mingo Creek (which is some 12 miles west of Mrs. McNair’s, in the direction of Hopoeithleyohola’s camp), informing me that Colonel McIntosh had gone on, but as he was only 6 miles in advance he hoped to overtake him. Colonel McIntosh pushed on without waiting even for Col. Stand Watie, and attacked Hopoeithleyohola. Col. Stand Watie, however, followed the enemy the next day, overtook him, some 300 strong, had a running fight, and killed 15 of the enemy, without the loss of a man. Hopoeithleyohola, it is said, had gone on with about 200 warriors and made his escape. I also heard on the morning of the 27th that Colonel McIntosh had attacked and dispersed the Indians. It was therefore useless for me to attempt to reach the rear of the enemy by way of the Cherokee settlement in the Big Bend of the Arkansas. The only chance to effect any good was to pursue the enemy by the nearest route. Accordingly I marched for Parks’, on Shoal Creek, and there, on the 28th, met Colonel McIntosh returning to winter quarters. On the 29th I moved up Bird Creek and camped on the Osage trail to the Big Bend, having discovered during the day foot-prints and other evidences that the enemy had gone up Bird Creek.

The next morning early we struck a plain trail, and followed it a little {p.13} west of north for two days. On the second day (the 31st) a party of Cherokees, consisting of 3 men and 2 women, were intercepted on the road from Key’s settlement, on Caney, to the Big Bend, 1 of whom was killed in single combat by Capt. W. R. McIntosh, of the Creek regiment; 2 made their escape; the women were taken prisoners.

Again following the trail, we overtook several Seminole women and children, from whom we learned that Hopoeithleyohola had gone on two days in advance. Having followed the trail nearly if not quite to the Kansas line, we turned across towards the Arkansas, and intercepted several parties of Creeks, Osages, and Cherokees on their way to Walnut Creek, Kansas. After an exciting chase by the advance guard, under Maj. N. W. Townes, of the Fourth [Ninth] Texas Cavalry, and Major Whitfield’s battalion, several of the enemy were killed and a large number of prisoners taken, mostly women and children. A few cattle were also captured by the Creeks.

The weather was exceedingly cold; sleet fell in considerable quantities during the day, and there being every appearance of a snow-storm, we pushed for the timber. Several new trails were discovered during the evening, all leading in the direction of Walnut Creek. The next morning, finding the earth covered with sleet, I resolved to return to my train, and marched the main body of my command down the Arkansas. Sending-Colonel Drew with his regiment to examine a wagon-trail we had discovered the evening previous, he found a small camp of Cherokees, which he broke up, wounding 1 man and taking several prisoners. Late in the evening of the same day the advance guard discovered an encampment of Creeks directly under a rocky, precipitous bluff which overhung the Arkansas River, and by rapidly pushing down the bluff and into the river we were enabled to charge the camp and break it up, killing 1 man and taking 21 prisoners, women and children. Several men made their escape across the river. Turning to the top of the bluff we encamped for the night, without food for ourselves or horses. The next day we reached Skia Tooka’s settlement, in the Big Bend, where an abundance of meat and some corn was obtained. Next day reached Tulsey Town, by a forced march, where we found our train.

This fatiguing scout of seven days, embracing the entire country lately occupied by Hopoeithleyohola’s forces, accomplished over an exceedingly rough and bleak country, half the time without provisions, the weather very cold (during which 1 man was frozen to death), was endured with great fortitude by the officers and men under my command. Its results were 6 of the enemy killed and 150 prisoners taken, mostly women and children, the total dispersing in the direction of Walnut Creek, Kansas, of Hopoeithleyohola’s forces and people, thus securing the repose of the frontier for the winter. It also demonstrated that the capture of the whole of those who remained on Shoal Creek up to the 26th of December, including Hopoeithleyohola himself, could have been easily effected had Col. James McIntosh waited until the forces under my command reached a position in the rear of the enemy, or even if Col. Stand Watie had been sent up Delaware Creek or up Bird Creek and thence to the rear of Hopoeithleyohola’s position, the same result would have been attained and the machinations of the arch old traitor forever ended.

The trails on Bird Creek and on the Arkansas also showed that large numbers of Indians had descended to Hopoeithleyohola’s camp before the battle on Bird Creek of December 9, and that still larger numbers had returned up those two streams before the battle on Shoal Creek of December 26. It was also apparent that not more than 1,000 had gone {p.14} off immediately after that fight. Prisoners of intelligence put the number at 500 warriors.

This report has been long delayed, but the apparent neglect will, it is hoped be justified when it is considered by the Department that we have been constantly in the field on active service since the events reported until within the past two weeks, during which the placing of the troops in winter quarters has engaged my time and attention.

I have the honor, sir, to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

DOUGLAS H. COOPER, Colonel, C. S. Army, Commanding Indian Department.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.

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No. 2.

Report of Capt. M. J. Brinson, Ninth Texas Cavalry, of engagement at Round Mountain.

CAMP WILSON, Creek Nation, November 25, 1861.

SIR: I hereby transmit to you an account of the battle fought on the 19th instant:

The attack was brought on by the second squadron about sunset, composed of about 70 men. I was promptly aided on my right by Captain Berry and on my left by Captain McCool, who formed in my own, or second squadron. After firing from three to five rounds I perceived the enemy in strong position and force, numbering some 1,500 Indians, and flanking my small force upon the right and left, I had necessarily to fall back to the main command, some 2# miles, under a heavy retreating fire. The whole command-in which I fought my own squadron, Captain Berry’s company, a part of McCool’s, and a part of Captain Williams’ company-I am confident did not amount to exceeding 150 men.

In my own company I regret to have to report the loss of John H. Crow, a private, killed. None wounded. One horse, 1 gun, and 5 powder-flasks losts.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. J. BRINSON, Commanding.

Lieut. Col. WILLIAM QUAYLE.

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No. 3.

Reports of Capt. R. A. Young, First Choctaw and Chickasaw Regiment, of engagement at Round Mountain.

SPRINGFIELD CAMP, Cherokee Nation, November 30, 1861.

COLONEL: On the 19th instant, a little after night-fall, we were ordered to saddle up and mount our horses, and the order was given to march. After marching about 200 or 300 yards we were ordered to {p.15} halt and form, which we did, and then advanced [to with]in about 150 yards of the enemy and dismounted. While dismounting we were fired on and 2 of our horses shot. My men dismounted in good order, and I ordered them to advance and fire. We advanced 8 or 10 paces from our horses and fired, the enemy keeping up a constant fire on us. We loaded and fired the third time and silenced the enemy’s guns.

The prairie was on fire on my right, and as we advanced to the attack I could see very distinctly the enemy passing the fire, and I supposed a large body of men (200 or 300), but they were about 300 yards from me and the prairie was burning very rapidly, and I may have taken the motion of the grass for men.

I lost 6 horses in the fight; those that were not mortally wounded stampeded, and we could not find them next morning. I suppose the engagement lasted fifteen minutes.

I am, colonel, respectfully, yours,

R. A. YOUNG, Capt., Comdg. Co. K, 1st Regt. C. and C. Mounted Rifles.

Col. D. H. COOPER, Commanding Indian Department.

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- -, 1861.

COLONEL: On the morning of December [November] 191 was ordered to bring up the rear with my squadron, and about 6 miles from camp the rear guard sent me a message that they were attacked by the enemy. I immediately wheeled the squadron and went back to their assistance and got about half a mile, [when] I discovered the enemy retreating towards the creek. I formed, and Colonel Cooper rode up and ordered me to charge. After pursuing about 2 miles we came to the creek and I dismounted my men and advanced into the swamp, but not finding the enemy, I ordered the men to return to their horses and mount. My squadron was on the right of our command, and after I had mounted the squadron I received orders from Colonel Cooper to form on the left of the Texas regiment, and in order to get to the left of the Texas regiment I had to pass down the creek, and discovered the regiment coming up to my right, and about the same time discovered the enemy to my right in a bend of the creek, formed around a house. I formed and charged. We routed them from This position and followed them into the swamp 200 yards. They flanked us, and I fell back to the house in order to prevent them from surrounding us. We advanced on them a second time, and were compelled to fall back to the house in consequence of their flanking around. We had only 80 men in the squadron while the enemy had 400 or 500, fighting us with all the advantages of the creek on us and a complete natural ambuscade to protect them.

I have to report the death of Private F. T. Rhodes and 9 others wounded in the squadron.

We fought them between three and five hours.

I am, colonel, respectfully, yours,

R. A. YOUNG, Captain, Choctaw and Chickasaw Mounted Rifles, C. S. Army.

Col. D. H. COOPER, Commanding Indian Department.

{p.16}

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No. 4.

Report of Col. D. N. McIntosh, First Creek Regiment, of engagement at Chusto-Talasah.

CAMP PLEASANT, Cherokee Nation, December 16, 1861.

SIR: According to your request I will hereby give you a brief account of the battle at High Shoal, Cherokee Nation, on the 9th instant:

The engagement took place about 2 p.m., and continued for [the] space of three and a half or four hours. Without any doubt our enemies had the following advantages over us:

1st. From all appearances it was a premeditated affair by them. They had placed their forces in a large creek, knowing by marching across the prairie that we would be likely to pass in reach of the place.

2d. The grounds they had selected were extremely difficult to pass, and in fact most of the banks on the creek were bluff and deep waters, so that no forces could pass across only at some particular points, which were only known to them.

3d. This place was fortified also with large timber on the side they occupied, and on our side [the] prairie extended to the creek, where the enemies were bedded, lying in wait for our approach.

Having completed the above plan, they sent out to us a small portion of their forces to make the attack, in order to draw us down to their desired and selected place, which was done on our rear guard, and immediately we marched on to our enemies, taking the left division, while your command on the right and Texas regiment occupied the middle division. Thus the engagement was generally commenced. Our men, without any exception, fought bravely, and finally the Creek regiment, under my command, charged upon the enemy and chased them out from their strong fortified place and took the creek from them, after which I ordered my regiment to march out upon the prairie, and about that time a rumor came to me that you were still engaged in fighting on [the] right, and I ordered my regiment to your relief.

Our loss in the battle was 2, and from best information I have heard [the] Choctaw regiment lost 3 on the battle-field and 2 died since from wounds; and [the] Texas regiment 2 and 1 from [the] Cherokee regiment, making our total loss [in killed] 10 and about 21 wounded.

The enemy’s loss, from the nest information I can gather, was 27 killed and seen on the battle-field, and from the signs a great many dead were concealed or carried off during the night, and [the] wounded could not have been less than 200 or 300.

[D. N. MCINTOSH, Colonel, &c.]

Col. D. H. COOPER, Commanding Indian Brigade.

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No. 5.

Report of Col. John Drew, First Cherokee Mounted Rifles, of engagement at Chusto-Talasah.

FORT GIBSON, Cherokee Nation, December 18, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report to you that the First Regiment Cherokee Mounted Riflemen, under my command, reached Bird Creek in the {p.17} forenoon of Saturday, the 7th instant. It consisted the evening of that day of about 480 men, rank and file. The hostile Creeks were encamped from 6 to 8 miles distant.

The day following, under your instructions and with the concurrence of Colonel McIntosh, commanding the Creek regiment, I authorized Major Pegg to assure Hopoeithleyohola and party of your desire for a peaceable settlement of the difficulty with the Creeks, and that you had no wish to prosecute a war against them. Major Pegg was accompanied to the Creek camps by Capts. George W. Scraper and J. P. Davis and Rev. Lewis Downing. Before they returned and late that evening I found that there were only about 60 men in camp, and that a report was circulating that we were to be attacked by an overwhelming force then at hand. I ordered my horse to be saddled, and while in the act of [throwing] a blanket on my saddle Captain Benge came up and said we had better be off, as the enemy were upon us. After proceeding a part of the way to your camp the party returned to secure the ammunition. Major Pegg was then in camp, and reported that he had seen a large number of warriors painted for battle, who would be down upon us that night, and that he had been allowed to return only on the plea of removing some women and children from danger. This renewed the excitement, and as it [was] now quite dark, the party dispersed in squads. Information had been conveyed to you of the dispersion of the regiment, and while myself, Captain Fields, and a few others were making our way to your camp the squadron of Texas cavalry, which had been instructed to secure the public property in our campy was fallen in with. This prompt movement saved my train, tents, &c.

Major Pegg, Adjt. James S. Vann, Capts. Davis and J. D. Hicks, Lieuts. S. H. Smith, Jesse Henry, Anderson Benge, Trotting Wolf, and several privates pursued their way to Fort Gibson.

Captains Vann, Pike, and Scraper, and Lieutenants White-Catcher, Eli Smith, Foster, Bearmeat, and N. Fish, with parts of their companies, were missing, and doubtless were in the camp of Hopoeithleyohola or made their way there.

Capt. James McDaniel and Lieuts. Wat Stop, N. D. Bear, and Skieyaltooka were absent, but were almost certainly at the same place.

The unarmed portion of the regiment-which consisted in the aggregate of about 1,200 in number-were left at this place in camp, with the following officers: Lieut. Col. William P. Ross, commanding; Capt. N. B. Sanders and Lieutenants Sanders, Hawkins, Ahmer-cher-ner, Crab-grass Smith, Fogg, Little Bird, Young, Webber, Downing, Drew, Ulteesky, and Deer-in-Water, and a surgeon-Corden.

The following-named officers and privates were with me in your camp and present at the battle of Bird Creek on the 9th instant: Company F: Capt. Richard Fields, whose horse was shot-Lieut. Broom Baldridge, killed; Sergt. Dempsey Handle, and Privates Creek McCoy Situwakee, and Tracker. Company D: Capt. J. N. Hildebrand and Lieuts. George Springston and Ezekiel Russell, Private Nelson Hogshooter. Company H: Capt. E. R. Hicks, Lieut. George W. Ross, Sergts. William Hewbanks, Allan Ross, and Peter; Privates Henry Meigs, Richard Robinson, Carter Oo-yor-lor-cha-he, and Coming Deer. Company K: Capt. Pickens M. Benge, Lieut. George Benge, Privates Oliver Ross, Thomas Ross, Broad Christy, Thomas Yah-hoo-lar, and Adam (a Creek); Surg. James P. Evans, and Expressman. William S. Coodey.

The deportment of these few officers and men, under the peculiar {p.18} circumstances of their situation, was highly honorable to them. The teamsters present also deported themselves in a creditable manner throughout.

The causes which led to the dispersion of the regiment arose from a misconception of the character of the conflict between the Creeks, from an indisposition on their part to engage in strife with their immediate neighbors, and from the panic gotten up by the threatened attack upon us. The regiment will be promptly filled and ready for service.

For the very kind manner in which you were pleased to speak of myself and those who adhered to their obligations in your note calling for this report I beg you to accept my grateful acknowledgments.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN DREW, Col., Comdg. First Regiment Cherokee Mounted Riflemen.

Col. D. H. COOPER, Commanding Indian Department.

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No. 6.

Report of Col. William B. Sims, Ninth Texas Cavalry, of engagement at Chusto-Talasah.

REGIMENTAL HEADQUARTERS, Fort Gibson, Ind. T., December 15, 1861.

SIR: At the commencement of the engagement on the 9th instant with Hopoeithleyohola’s forces on Bird Creek Cherokee Nation, in obedience to your commands I proceeded to divide the detachment of my regiment, amounting to about 260 men, into two divisions, sending Lieutenant-Colonel Quayle, with about 50 of Captain Berry’s company, commanded by himself, and small detachments from the following companies: Captain McCool’s, under Lieutenant Brown; Captain Hart’s, under Lieutenant Black; Captain Williams’, under Lieutenant Bowen; and Captain Brinson’s under Lieutenant Utley; amounting in all to about 100 men. He advanced with his command on to the creek, to the left of the Choctaw regiment. Not finding the enemy there, he returned and charged a ravine on the right of the Choctaws, which he succeeded in taking under a heavy fire from the enemy. Driving them from their position, he marched on and charged another ravine still farther on the right, but when he got into the ravine the Indians, who had possession of its mouth, opened a raking fire upon his men. He ordered them to charge down the ravine, which they did, and put the enemy to rout. A party of Indians still kept up a heavy fire upon them from the right, who were at first supposed to be Choctaws, as they were wearing our badges, but they were deserted Cherokees and Creeks. In the last charge with Colonel Quayle there were about 20 Choctaws, who acted with the greatest bravery.

With the men under my command to wit, parts of four companies, under command of Captains Duncan, English, Wright, and Smith, after having dismounted I charged to the right of Colonel McIntosh’s command and put the Indians to flight without firing a gun. I then ordered my men to mount their horses and moved down, with the Creeks still remaining on their right, about half a mile, where we dismounted, charged into the creek bottom, and put the Indians to flight.

{p.19}

We then mounted our horses; it was then reported that the enemy was again advancing. We again dismounted and charged down the creek, putting the Indians completely to rout. We then mounted our horses and advanced up the creek about 1 mile, dismounted, and joined the remainder of my command on the right, who were then fighting on foot in a ravine. We there withstood a heavy fire from the enemy for some time, which finally abated. The Creeks then withdrew, followed by the Choctaws. I ordered my men to fall back [and] mount their horses, after which we made a charge, and succeeded in getting our wounded men off the field. I then formed a line to your left on the prairie.

The following is a list of the killed and wounded of my command.

The forces of the enemy, I think, would have amounted to about 2,500 or 3,000 men. From the best information I can get I would suppose their loss to be about 150 men. The number wounded on their side not ascertained, as they were borne from the field.

All the officers and soldiers under my command conducted themselves during the engagement with great decision and bravery.

W. B. SIMS, Col., Comdg. Fourth Regiment Texas Cavalry, C. S. Army.

Col. D. H. COOPER, Commanding Indian Department.

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No. 7.

Report of Capt. Joseph R. Hall, First Choctaw and Chickasaw Regiment, of engagement at Chusto-Talasah.

It being requested of me to make a report of the incidents of December 9, 1861, on which [day] we were attacked by the Hopoeithleyohola band, on Bird Creek, Cherokee Nation, I do respectfully submit the following, as it came to my observation during the engagement:

My attention was first directed to the advance of the enemy by some Creeks, who, upon the discovery of the enemy, wheeled their horses and with a whoop charged in direction of the enemy. This attracted the attention of all and gave us a view of a good body of men advancing on our rear. Each commander immediately engaged himself, forming his company into a line facing the enemy, no sooner than which was done we were ordered to march on the enemy, when they began to fall back into a creek bottom and waited our approach. The great hurry in which they marched made it impossible to keep the companies together, on account of the great difference in their horses and ponies; some were not able to keep up and those on the best horses would not halt. The distance being near 2 miles from where they started to the place of engagement, my company being in rear of Captain Reynolds’, I dismounted with him on the prairie a half mile above the house in the bend. At this time I do not think I had over 25 men. We marched in the brush on the creek as far as the creek banks. Not finding anything there we fell back to our horses and hurried down to the house, where there was at that time very heavy firing. On moving down I noticed more of my men who had dismounted above the house and were watching their chance for a shot. I dismounted my men a little below

Nominal list omitted shows killed, 2; wounded, 9. {p.20} the house, about a field, and there I found it impossible to hold some back, for others had not yet secured their horses.

They had not been there a great while before the firing ceased for a while from the enemy’s side, when it was again renewed, but not so heavy. I remained about the house about an hour, when I walked out to where I could see my horse. I met Colonel Cooper, who ordered me to get my men together and cross the creek below the house. Some of my men were then with Lieutenants Thompson and Krebs, on the creek above the house, mingled with men of different companies, while others were scattered around and below the house in the same manner with Lieutenant Tobly. Having secured me a good rifle and six-shooter from one of Captain Welch’s wounded men, I mounted my horse and got a few of my men together, which enabled me in getting together more of my men. Some of them were without caps and bullets. It being then quite late, I ordered the balance with me to save what ammunition they had until it was necessary for them to use it.

By this time I had 3 men wounded. The companies were then all forming on the prairie, and the enemy commenced showing themselves about the house and field below it, when the Creeks gave them a round.

Orders being given to march, we left behind 2 ponies which had fallen into the hands of the enemy.

I had about 45 men under my command, 40 of whom were engaged in the fight; the rest were with the train.

Respectfully, yours,

JOS. R. HALL, Commanding Company D.

Col. D. H. COOPER.

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No. 8.

Report of Capt. Jackson McCurtain, First Choctaw and Chickasaw Regiment, of engagement at Chusto-Talasah.

FORT DERDANE, Cherokee Nation, January 18, 1862.

Being your guest, I will try to give you a full report of High Shoal battle, on December 9, A. D. 1861:

On our marching, the alarm apprehended [being given] from the rear guard that they [were] attacked by the enemy, [the] regiment was immediately ordered to turn to the right and form into line instantly. Then the enemy was falling back to the creek. Then order was given again to march by twos. Thence we were on rapid march in following the enemy for a mile and a half; crossed a prairie. Then I halted my men about 100 paces from bank of creek on the left of Captain Jones, dismounted from our horses, then ran down to the bank of creek and commenced firing on the enemy. I did [not] occupy the position but [a] short time, and was about crossing the creek, when I was ordered to go down farther, left of my first position. I then took my men and went down near where a house was. When we came to near a house the front of the house was crowded by the enemy. Then we commenced firing on them. We took possession of the house soon after we commenced. Then my men were fighting all along on the creek. I have no idea of what length of time we were engaged in fighting at that place. I was ordered to take my men out of that place; I did so. {p.21} Then I was ordered again to go down to assist Captain Jones’ company. I went where Captain Jones’ company was in the ravine. While I was down there assisting Captain Jones [the] sun set, and [an] order was given to fall back to the regiment. My men and everybody else heard an order and left the place; but Lieutenant Riley and I,not hearing an order, remained until Lieutenant Riley told me we were left alone and was to be surrounded by the enemy. We were the very last men [to come] out [of] the ravine.

Lieutenant James Riley was [the] only lieutenant that [came] along with me, and in fighting he encouraged our men along and he stood and fought manfully with them through [the] whole fight.

I venture to say that all my men have bravely fought through during [the] whole battle; also I am confident the battle lasted fully four hours from the commencement to the end.*

...

It was late in the evening when we left the battle-field.

Yours,

JACKSON MCCURTAIN, Captain.

Colonel COOPER.

* Nominal list of casualties omitted shows 5 men wounded, 10 horses and equipments and 3 guns lost.

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No. 9.

Report of Capt. William B. Pitchlynn, First Choctaw and Chickasaw Regiment, of engagement at Chusto-Talasah.

FORT DERDANE, Cherokee Nation, January 18, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to submit a brief report of the engagement in which the company [of which] I am honored to be captain fought so successfully on Bird Creek, Cherokee Nation, December 9, 1861.

When orders were given to make a charge our point of attack was made a distance near half a mile above the old cabin, at the mouth of a certain ravine, and there we remained and fought desperately nearly an hour, when the firing of the enemy partially ceased. At this time we had orders to move and attack in the direction of the old cabin, where we remained the balance of the day.

The mode of warfare adopted by the enemy compelled us, as you are aware, to abandon strict military discipline and make use of somewhat similar movements in order to be successful.

At the close of the battle we took our proper place in the regiment, according to orders, and found one of my company fatally wounded, who expired on the second night after the baffle. Two horses and equipments were lost in the engagement.

I will merely state that my men fought bravely and gallantly.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

WM. B. PITCHLYNN, Capt. Co. A, Choctaw and Chickasaw Regt. Mounted Rifles.

Col. D. H. COOPER, Commanding.

{p.22}

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No. 10.

Report of Col. James McIntosh, Second Arkansas Mounted Rifles commanding division, of engagement at Chustenahlah, Cherokee Nation, with letters found in Hopoeithleyohola’s camp.

HEADQUARTERS DIVISION, Van Buren, Ark., January 1, 1862.

GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the battle of Chustenahlah, which took place in the Cherokee Nation on the 26th of December, 1861:

Before entering upon the details of the battle it is necessary for me to state that I entered the Cherokee Nation with a portion of my division upon the representation of Colonel Cooper, commanding the Indian Department, calling upon me for additional force. This call was based upon the hostile stand taken by the Creek chief Hopoeithleyohola and the disaffection which has sprung up in one of the Cherokee regiments. I hastened to Fort Gibson, with 1,600 men, and had an interview with Colonel Cooper, and entered into arrangements for mutual co-operation. The plan proposed was that Colonel Cooper, with his force strengthened by Major Whitfield’s battalion, should move up the Arkansas River and endeavor to get in the rear of Hopoeithleyohola’s position on one of the tributaries of the Verdigris River, near the Big Bend of the Arkansas, while my force should march up the Verdigris River opposite the position held by the enemy, and then move directly upon him. On account of the scarcity of forage it was mutually determined that either force should attack the enemy on sight.

I left Fort Gibson at 12 m. on the 22d ultimo with the following force: Five companies of the South Kansas-Texas Regiment, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Lane; the available strength of the Sixth Regiment of Texas Cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Griffith; seven companies of the Third [Eleventh] Regiment of Texas Cavalry, commanded by Colonel Young; four companies of my own regiment, Second Arkansas Mounted Riflemen, under Captain Gipson; and Captain Bennett’s company of Texans attached to the headquarters of the division. This force amounted to 1,380 men.

On the evening of the 25th ultimo a part of the enemy’s force appeared in sight immediately after our arrival in camp. A regiment was sent to observe them. I soon became satisfied that this party was endeavoring to lead us on a fruitless chase. I therefore restrained my impatient men and ordered them back to camp. During the evening an express reached me from Colonel Cooper, with the intelligence that it would probably be two or three days before he could make the preconcerted movement, on account of the desertion of his teamsters, and generously stated that if I found it necessary to advance he would give me all the assistance in his power. From this point, knowing it was impossible to move my train farther, I ordered it to remain in charge of Captain Elstner, acting brigade quartermaster, with a guard of 100 men.

With four days’ cooked rations I left camp early on the morning of the 26th, and moved cautiously toward the stronghold of the enemy among the mountains running back into the Big Bend of the Arkansas. Lieutenant-Colonel Lane, with his regiment, moved in advance. A company of his regiment, under Captain Short, was thrown forward as an advance guard, with orders to throw out flankers well to the right and left. Toward 12 m. we approached Shoal Creek, a tributary of the Verdigris.

{p.23}

As soon as Captain Short had crossed the stream a heavy and continuous firing was opened upon him. The company gallantly maintained its position. I immediately ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Griffith, with his regiment, to move up on the right, and Colonel Young on the left. The center composed of Lieutenant-Colonel Lane’s regiment, Captain Bennett’s company, and the detachment of the Second Regiment of Arkansas Mounted Riflemen, then moved forward and crossed the stream in the face of the enemy in large numbers posted to the right on a high and rugged hill, with its side covered with oak trees. The enemy continued their fire upon us. Colonel Young promptly crossed the stream and formed upon the left of the center, which was already in line of battle. Lieutenant-Colonel Griffith, with his regiment, was ordered to march up the stream, which flowed at the base of the hill on which the enemy was posted, and, after coming opposite their left flank to dismount, cross the stream, and attack him in the flank. All these orders were promptly and efficiently executed, and the whole force ready for action. The enemy was in a very strong position, and from it observed our actions, in happy innocence of the gallant resolve which animated the hearts of those in the valley below them. The Seminoles, under the celebrated chief Halek Tustenuggee, were in front on foot, posted behind the trees and rocks, while others were in line near the summit of the hill.

Hopoeithleyohola’s Creeks were beyond, on horseback. A few representatives of other tribes were also in the battle. The whole force was estimated at 1,700. Between the rough and rugged side of the hill a space of 200 or 300 yards intervened of open ground. Each tree on the hill-side screened a stalwart warrior. It seemed a desperate undertaking to charge a position which appeared almost inaccessible, but the order to charge to the top of the hill met a responsive feeling from each gallant heart in the line, and at 12 m. the charge was sounded, one wild yell from a thousand throats burst upon the air, and the living mass hurled itself upon the foe. The sharp report of the rifle came from every tree and rock, but on our brave men rushed, nor stopped until the summit of the hill was gained and we were mingled with the enemy. The South Kansas-Texas regiment led by those gallant officers Colonel Lane and Major Chilton, breasted itself for the highest point of the hill, and rushed over its rugged side with the irresistible force of a tornado, and swept everything before it. The brave Major Chilton, while approaching the summit of the hill, received a severe wound in the head, but with unabated vigor continued in the fight. Captain Bennett, with his company and the detachment of the Second Regiment Arkansas Mounted Riflemen, under Captain Gipson, gallantly charged side by side. Captain Gipson was ordered to dismount his command and move into a thicket into which he had driven a portion of the enemy, which he did promptly and with great execution.

After charging some distance on the extreme left, the gallant Colonel Young, observing that the enemy were moving to the more rugged part of the field of battle on the right, with ready foresight rapidly moved his regiment to that portion of the field, and succeeded in cutting off many of the enemy. Lieutenant-Colonel Griffith, having obeyed the first order given him, observing the enemy flying from the hill, rapidly mounted his command, and moved forward up the stream, crossed it some distance above, and gallantly encountered the enemy, who had made a stand near their principal encampment. The enemy by this time were much scattered and had retreated to the rocky gorges amid the deep recesses of the mountains, where they were pursued by our {p.24} victorious troops and routed in every instance with great loss. They endeavored to make a stand at their encampment, but their efforts were ineffectual, and we were soon in the midst of it. Property of every description was scattered around. The battle lasted until 4 o’clock, when the firing gradually ceased, and we remained victors in the center of Hopoeithleyohola’s camp.

The loss sustained by the enemy was very severe. Their killed amounted to upwards of 250. Our loss was 8 killed and 32 wounded. The brave and gallant Lieutenant Fitzhue was shot in the head, and fell while gallantly leading his company. Capt. J. D. Young, of Young’s regiment, and Lieutenant Durham, of the South Kansas-Texas Regiment, were both wounded while in the thick of the battle. We captured 160 women and children, 20 negroes, 30 wagons, 70 yoke of oxen, about 500 Indian horses, several hundred head of cattle, 100 sheep, and a great quantity of property of much value to the enemy. The stronghold of Hopoeithleyohola was completely broken up, and his force scattered in every direction, destitute of the simplest elements of subsistence.

At 4 o’clock the rally was sounded, and the different commands went into camp on the battle-field. The dead and wounded were collected and cared for. The officers of the medical department of the different regiments deserve much credit for their promptness in attending to the wounded.

A party of Stand Watie’s regiment of Cherokees, numbering 300, under the command of the colonel, although under my orders, came up just as the battle terminated. This regiment had been ordered to join me from its station on Grand River. It was no fault of its commander that it did not reach us sooner. Every effort on his part was made in order to reach us in time.

At early dawn on the day after the battle I again left camp in pursuit of the flying enemy. After a hot pursuit of 25 miles we overtook 2 wagons, which were captured and burned. At this moment sharp firing was heard upon the left, and a messenger came from Col. Stand Watie with the report that he was engaged with the enemy. I immediately moved in the direction, and upon our arrival I ascertained that Colonel Watie had overtaken a number of the enemy and had gallantly charged them. Major Boudinot, commanding the left flank of the regiment, had rushed into a deep ravine and driven the enemy from it. In the skirmish 15 men of the enemy were killed and a number of women and children taken.

Throughout our rapid march-sometimes on ground covered with snow and at others facing the chilly blasts from the north-the greatest enthusiasm prevailed in anticipation of the coming struggle, and at all times during the march and on the battle field every officer and soldier of the brigade nobly did his duty, and it is with heartfelt pride that I bring them to the notice of the Department. The charge at the commencement of the battle was splendid; none more gallant was ever made. Individual acts of daring and hand-to-hand encounters were of frequent occurrence during the day, but it would be impossible to enumerate them. I therefore refer the Department to the reports of regimental and detachment commanders, herewith transmitted.

To Captain Elstner, of the Second Regiment Arkansas Mounted Riflemen, who acted as brigade quartermaster and commissary, my thanks are due for the efficient and able manner in which he conducted the affairs of his department. To my personal staff I am indebted for much valuable service. Both Mr. Frank C. Armstrong and Mr. James S. {p.25} Vann, my volunteer aides-de-camp, went gallantly into the fight, and bore themselves with great coolness and courage. Lieut. G. A. Thornton, the acting assistant adjutant-general, was also active and efficient in carrying various orders, and deserves great credit for his coolness during the battle.

Casualties.-Killed, 9; wounded, 40.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES MCINTOSH, Colonel, Commanding Division.

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Letter of Col. James McIntosh, transmitting reports of subordinate commanders of the battle of Chustenahlah, December 26, 1861.

HEADQUARTERS DIVISION, Fort Smith, Ark., January 4, 1862.

GENERAL: I have the honor to transmit the inclosed reports of regimental and detachment commanders of the battle of Chustenahlah, Cherokee Nation, fought on the 26th ultimo; also copies of letters from Kansas to the Indians. These letters were found in Hopoeithleyohola’s camp.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,

JAMES MCINTOSH, Colonel, Commanding.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant-General, C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.

[Inclosures.]

Copies of letters taken in Hopoeithleyohola’s camp.

BARNSVILLE, September 10, 1861.

HOPOEITHLEYOHOLA, Hok-tar-hah-sas-Harjo:

BROTHER: Your letter by Micco Hutka is received. You will send a delegation of your best men to meet the commissioner of the United States Government in Kansas. I am authorized to inform you that the President will not forget you. Our Army will soon go South, and those of your people who are true and loyal to the Government will be treated as friends. Your rights to property will be respected. The commissioners from the Confederate States have deceived you. They have two tongues. They wanted to get the Indians to fight, and they would rob and plunder you if they can get you into trouble. But the President is still alive. His soldiers will soon drive these men who have violated your homes from the land they have treacherously entered. When your delegates return to you they will be able to inform you when and where your moneys will be paid. Those who stole your orphan funds will be punished, and you will learn that the people who are true to the Government which so long protected you are your friends.

Your friend and brother,

E. H. CARRUTH, Commissioner of U. S. Government.

{p.26}

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BARNSVILLE, KANS., September 11, 1861.

The CHICKASAWS AND CHOCTAWS, Who are loyal to the U. S. Government:

FRIENDS AND BROTHERS: The commissioners of the United States would like to meet delegations from your nations at the headquarters of the Kansas brigade, where they will confer with you. The Indians who are true to the Government will always and everywhere be treated as friends by her armies. Your rights will be held sacred; you will be protected in person and property. It is only over the enemies of government and law that an avenging hand will be raised.

Very respectfully, yours, &c.,

E. H. CARRUTH, Commissioner of U. S. Government.

HEADQUARTERS KANSAS BRIGADE, Barnsville, September 11, 1861.

TUSAQUACH, Chief of the Wichitas:

FRIEND AND BROTHER: It is the wish of the commissioner of the United States Government that you either come to Kansas with your friends the Seminoles or send two or three of your best braves. We also want the Keechies, Ionies, Cadoes, and the Comanches to send some of their men to meet and have a talk with the commissioners of your Great Father at Washington. His soldiers are as swift as the antelope and brave as the mountain bear, and they are your friends and brothers. They will give you powder and lead. They will fight by your sides. Your friend Black Beaver will meet you here, and we will drive away the bad men who entered your company last spring. The Texans have killed the Wichitas-we will punish the Texans.

Come with your friends the Seminoles.

Your brother,

E. H. CARRUTH, Commissioner for the U. S. Government.

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No. 11.

Report of Col. W. C. Young, Eleventh Texas Cavalry, of engagement at Chustenahlah, Cherokee Nation.

SIR: I have the honor to report the action of my regiment in the engagement of the 26th December. I took up my position on the left, according to your instructions, at the commencement of the action. I remained there until the woods were on fire, and being satisfied that the enemy did not intend an attack on our left, I moved my regiment in the direction of the mountains, on the right. On moving up the first mountain I passed Major Chilton, of Colonel Greer’s regiment, who was wounded in the head, and learning from him the direction the enemy had taken, I moved my regiment in an oblique direction through the mountains, where, after going some 2 miles, we came up with the enemy, strongly posted among the rocks and timber. We immediately charged them, carrying everything before us. After this the enemy, being completely routed, ran in different directions. My regiment then pursued them in detachment of companies, keeping up a running fight until 4 o’clock in the afternoon. The regiment was then rallied, {p.27} and we proceeded to gather up the killed and wounded, which we succeeded in doing, and reached camp a little after dark.

My regiment killed 211, viz: By the staff, 3; a detachment of 36 men from the companies of Captains Twitty, Reeves, and Young, commanded by Capt. J. D. Young, killed 34; Captain Harman’s company killed 16; Captain Burk’s company killed 30; Captain Nicholson’s company killed 16; Captain Bound’s company killed 26; Captain Featherston’s company killed 10; Captain Hill’s company killed 26; Captain Wallace’s company, 50. Total killed, 211.

Our loss killed on the field was 1 private, William Franklin, Captain Harman’s company; mortally wounded, Sergt. W. H. H. Addington, of Captain Young’s detachment, and W. S. Proctor, of Captain Wallis’ company; and J. N. Robinson, of Captain Wallis’ company, severely wounded, left arm broken; slightly wounded, Capt. J. D. Young, in the thigh, and Benjamin Clark, private in Captain Featherston’s company, wounded in the leg. Total killed and wounded, 6. In Captain Nicholson’s company 3 horses shot, and in Captain Harman’s company 3 horses shot. Captain Featherston’s company lost-; Captain Hill’s, 1 killed. In Captain Wallis’ company 1 horse killed and 1 disabled. In Captain Burk’s company 1 horse lost.

We took a great many women, children, and negroes prisoners; also a number of horses and cattle, which were turned over, by your order, to Captain Gipson, of the Arkansas regiment.

In conclusion, I am proud to say that both officers and men of my regiment behaved throughout the engagement as became soldiers and Texans.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. C. YOUNG, Colonel, Commanding Texas Cavalry.

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No. 12.

Report of Lieut. Col. John S. Griffith, Sixth Regiment Texas Cavalry, of engagement at Chustenahlah, Cherokee Nation.

HEADQUARTERS SIXTH TEXAS REGIMENT, Camp Hominy Creek, Cherokee Nation, December 27, 1861.

COLONEL: On the 26th instant, at 12 m., I was ordered by you to move my command up on the right of and parallel with Colonel Lane’s command. This executed brought me to Hominy Creek, when I was further ordered to dismount my men and form a line. When Colonel Lane made his gallant charge on the enemy I ordered my men to their horses, formed, and rapidly advanced in a flanking movement you intended for me to make up the valley for half a mile, crossed over to the west, or battle side of the creek, proceeded a short distance up, and discovered the enemy upon the opposite bank. I charged across the creek put the enemy to rout, continued up the valley something like a half mile farther, cutting off all the straggling and then flying Indians in that direction. I then turned to the left in a northwestward direction over the rocky hills and gorges that made into the larger gorge that was then in between Colonel Lane’s command and mine. Continuing this course, I crossed over five or six rocky hills, on three of which, behind the rocks, the enemy were in position in considerable numbers. My men gallantly charged in succession, putting them completely to rout. It was during these charges that the brave and gallant Lieutenant Fitzhue and Thomas Arnold fell among the foremost in the fight.

{p.28}

After going about 3 miles in this direction I came to the Cross Hollows. There the enemy were collected in large numbers. Dismounting my men, we poured a galling fire on them at about 125 yards distance, which finally dislodged them. From thence I proceeded in a westward direction, cutting off occasionally straggling Indians, until 3.30 o’clock p.m. The loss of the enemy by my command, as near as can be estimated by myself and officers, is 70 killed; that of my own men, 15 killed and wounded, as follows, to wit: Company C, Lieutenant Smith commanding, E. V. Howell, mortally wounded in the head; John R. West, wounded in the wrist. Company D, Lieutenant Kelly commanding, Bugler J. B. Harris, killed; G. W. Coffman, wounded in breast. Company B, Captain Wharton commanding, William Spencer, wounded in breast; W. P. Wright, wounded in breast and arm. Company F, Sergeant Young commanding, James Green, mortally wounded, shoulder and wrist; Henry Ellis, wounded in leg; George W. Wilson, wounded in chest and arm; Leonard Sheffield, wounded in breast. Company G, Captain Ross commanding, Thomas T. Arnold, killed; J. H. Whittington, wounded in groin. Company H, Lieutenant Whittington commanding, First Sergt. R. H. Baker, wounded slightly in shoulder; A. M. Keller, wounded slightly in hand. Company K, Captain Throckmorton commanding, First Lieut. G. S. Fitzhue, killed.

At 3.30 o’clock I started back to where the battle commenced, where I arrived at dark, bringing in 75 women and children as prisoners and 3 negroes and 80 horses, which are herewith turned over to you. To the brave and gallant Captains Ross, Hardin, Wharton, and Throckmorton, and Lieutenants Scott, Cummings, Kelley, Smith, and Whittington, and Sergeant Young I am much indebted for the success we had by their fearless charges in the front of their respective commands which so signally routed the enemy from every point. I am indebted to Adjutant Gurley and Sergeant-Major Porter for their efficiency in transmitting orders, as well as for good fighting. Lieutenants Truitt, Vance, and Cannon, and every non-commissioned officer and private, for so nobly sustaining their officers, not only deserve my thanks, but the applause of their countrymen. Assistant Surgeon Bradford did good duty as a soldier in the ranks until his presence was required with the wounded, whom he has since constantly and skillfully attended.

Before closing I must return my sincere thanks to Captains Ross, Wharton, and Throckmorton, and Adjutant Gurley for timely assistance when I was in imminent personal peril, and my gratitude to Providence for crowning our arms with victory.

With respect, I am, your obedient servant,

JOHN S. GRIFFITH, Lieut. Col., Comdg. Sixth Regiment Texas Cavalry.

Col. JAMES MCINTOSH, Commanding.

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No. 13.

Report of Lieut. Col. Walter P. Lane, Third Texas (South Kansas-Texas) Cavalry, of engagement at Chustenahlah, Cherokee Nation.

REGIMENTAL ENCAMPMENT, South Kansas-Texas Cavalry, December 26, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of my command in the battle of Chustenahlah, on the 26th instant:

I had with me the greater portion of five companies, to wit, Companies {p.29} A, B, E, F, and G. To these were attached a few from other companies in the regiment, in all about 350 men. Company A was commanded by Sergt. R. B. Gause, Company B by Lieut. M. D. Ector, Company B by Capt. D. M. Short, Company F by Capt. Isham Chisum, and Company G by Lieut. O. A. Durrum. Our advance guard, in command of Captain Short, being fired upon by the enemy, stood firm until our force came up. It was at once evident that the enemy were in force and had taken a very strong position, protected and sheltered to a great extent by trees and rocks, with an open prairie in front of them. I was ordered to charge the strongest point of the enemy. When the regiments had taken the different positions assigned them the bugle sounded the charge. As we approached the foot of the hill the enemy opened a heavy fire upon us. No confusion was created by it in our advancing columns. Many of the enemy made for their stronghold on the top of the hill, where there was a natural breastwork of rocks, and fired over the rocks at us. Many of my men, without making any halt, gained the heights by the few narrow entrances on the side where it was alone accessible, while others dismounted and scaled the rock, and here for a short time a desperate struggle ensued. Many shots were fired when the contending parties were only in a few steps of each other, and in some instances they were engaged in a hand-to-hand struggle. Soon the point was cleared by us, and the enemy retreated in great confusion, some of them making a stand for a short time in the deep gorges and rocky defiles of the mountains. When we had completely scattered and routed those who had made a stand against us, hearing a heavy firing northeast, I obliqued with my command in that direction, and joined Colonel Stone’s regiment, with which I co-operated during the remainder of the battle, going where from the firing, we would be most likely to come up with the largest bodies of the enemy. We continued in the pursuit until one hour by sun in the evening.

It is due to all those in command of companies to say that they deserve great credit for the manner they led their companies into the charge and for their conduct throughout the battle. The truth is, every officer and private in my command acted gallantly and to my entire satisfaction during the engagement. I am proud indeed that at such a time it was my fortune to command such men. When I consider the position occupied by the enemy, I deem it nothing but due to you to state that the battle was admirably planned, and was executed by the different commands in a manner calculated to reflect great credit on our arms.

Yours, very respectfully,

W. P. LANE, Lieut. Col., Comdg. South Kansas-Texas Cavalry.

JAMES MCINTOSH, Colonel, Commanding, and Acting Brigadier-General.

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No. 14.

Report of Capt. William Gipson, Second Arkansas Mounted Rifles, of engagement at Chustenahlah, Cherokee Nation.

DECEMBER 28, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken in the battle of Chustenahlah by the battalion of your regiment {p.30} under my command, composed of the following companies: My own, commanded by Lieutenant Scott; Captain Parker’s, commanded by Lieutenant Caldwell; Captain King’s, commanded in person; and Captain Flannagan’s, commanded by Lieutenant Callaway. In consequence of the companies being reduced by sickness and leave of absence, the whole number under my command amounted to only 130 men.

On the morning of the 26th December, after marching 10 miles, we came in sight of the encampment of the enemy, between whom and our advance guard an animated fire soon ensued. In obedience to your order I took position in the center, Colonels Greer and Stone’s regiment on my right and Colonel Young’s regiment and Captain Bennett’s company on my left. At the command we charged the enemy, who were positioned at a distance of 200 yards in the timber, and firing upon us from the points of the hills and valleys between. After our first fire they fell back among cliffs of rocks. We then dismounted, again attacked them, and again routed them. Finding that we could not overtake them on foot, we returned to our horses and followed up the retreat for 2 miles. Coming in sight of them, we again charged and routed them. We followed up the retreat for 3 miles, shooting and cutting the enemy down all along the route. I estimate that we killed from 80 to 100. I had none killed.

The following is a list of the wounded, viz:

My own company; Private J. G. Humphrey, dangerously; Private W. C. Eppler, dangerously; Private M. G. Blaylock, wounded in the arm; Private Riley Nicholson slightly.

Captain Parker’s company: William McCarthey, wounded in the head. Captain King’s company: Joseph H. Bradford, wounded slightly; Robert D. Bolton, wounded slightly.

Officers and men under my command fought bravely and did their whole duty.

WM. GIPSON, Senior Capt., Comdg. Bat. Second Ark. Mounted Riflemen.

Colonel MCINTOSH, Commanding.

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No. 15.

Report of Capt. H. S. Bennett, Lamar Cavalry Company, of engagement at Chustenahlah, Cherokee Nation.

I beg leave to state that on the day of the battle I had in my command 40 men, and that we formed in line for battle about 12 noon, and in a very short time made a charge on the enemy, then stationed about 300 yards distant, who instantly upon the charge being made fell back upon the opposite side of a ravine, covered with bush and vine, and on our approach to that point we received orders to dismount; but finding the enemy at such a distance, retreating and firing, I immediately ordered my company to remount and charge; but before reaching the base of the mountain the enemy had ascended its top and made a stand, and as we charged to the top of a steep and rocky mountain we encountered a very heavy fire from the enemy, about 100 strong. We ascended the mountain in good order, and made a desperate charge and at once put the enemy to flight. The enemy retreated in disorder. Occasionally from ambush or the cover of trees and rocks we received their deadly shots, and in this manner the conflict continued until we {p.31} had completely routed them from the mountain, and then the first struggle ended, the company killing some 20 of the enemy and wounding some 9 or 10. The number killed in my company was 2-Privates F. Lane and H. E. Wilson. One slightly wounded.

A portion of my command, under Lieut. I. H. Wright-whose gallantry on the occasion deserves praise-continued the pursuit some 7 or 8 miles, killing and wounding several more. It gives me pleasure to state that my small command did battle with a courage and heroism scarcely equaled.

The engagement on the 26th continued some three or four hours. For such a signal and glorious victory the highest praise is due our gallant commander.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

H. S. BENNETT, Captain, Lamar Cavalry.

Colonel MCINTOSH, Commanding Forces.

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No. 16.

Report of Col. James McIntosh, Second Arkansas Mounted Rifles, commanding division, of skirmish with Creeks and Seminoles.

HEADQUARTERS DIVISION, Fort Smith, Ark., January 10, 1862.

GENERAL: In my report to you in regard to the captured property taken at Chustenahlah I should have stated that 190 sheep were turned over to the commissary, Captain Lanigan, at Fort Gibson.

Since writing that communication I have received a report from Colonel Watie, commanding Cherokee regiment (who I left behind to collect the stock taken from the Indians), stating that he brought back with him between 800 and 900 head of cattle and 250 Indian ponies. Colonel Cooper, who marched with his command of Indians over the ground two or three days after the battle, also found a number of cattle, which were secured. All this property is in addition to what I have hitherto reported.

Colonel Watie also reports that on his return to Grand River from the battle-field, he having ascertained that a company of Cherokees numbering 50 or 60 were near his camp, making their way northward, with arms in their hands, sent two companies to arrest them. In endeavoring to accomplish this 1 Cherokee was killed and 7 made prisoners. Their wagons and some of their arms fell into the hands of Colonel Watie. From an officer just in from Colonel Cooper’s command I ascertain that Hopoeithleyohola has gone to Kansas; and has not more than 400 or 500 Creeks with him. Many of the Indians who espoused his cause have left him since the battle, and are now anxious to come in and make a treaty. As we have made them entirely destitute, I think all but Hopoeithleyohola’s immediate followers will come in.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,

JAMES MCINTOSH, Colonel, Commanding.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant-General C. S. Forces, Richmond, Va.

{p.32}

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No. 17.

Report of Col. Stand Watie, Second Cherokee Mounted Rifles, of skirmish with Creeks and Seminoles.

HEADQUARTERS, On Shoal Creek, December 28, 1861.

COLONEL: In the march upon the enemy yesterday the force under my command had proceeded some 20 or 25 miles when my scouts, under Captain Coody, reported the enemy in considerable force on the hills to my left. I immediately left the route you were pursuing and took my command to the place where the enemy had been seen. They had discovered my approach and retreated to strong positions among the hills and mountain gorges. I placed about half of the command under Major Boudinot, directing him to go to the left, while I took command of the rest to the right. The enemy was scattered over a large scope of country, much of it inaccessible to horses, but my men attacked the enemy wherever found, never failing to route them from their strongholds. The fight continued with intervals for two hours or more. What is quite remarkable, none of my men were either killed or wounded. According to the best estimates I can make of the loss of the enemy, it could not be less that 9 or 10 killed. I cannot tell the number of wounded, but I have reason to think it quite small. This estimate does not include the killed of the enemy by the force under Major Boudinot, whose report of the doings of his command is herewith respectfully submitted. Captain Jumen and Capt. Joe Thompson commanded the part of the force which I took charge of. The officers and men of their companies behaved with signal gallantry.

I have the honor to be, colonel, your obedient servant,

STAND WATIE, Commanding Cherokee Regiment.

Colonel MCINTOSH, Commanding.

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No. 18.

Report of Maj. E. C. Boudinot, Second Cherokee Mounted Rifles, of skirmish with Creeks and Seminoles.

HEADQUARTERS, Shoal Creek, December 28, 1861.

COLONEL: In obedience to your order I took charge of the left division of the force under your command in the attack made upon the enemy yesterday. The enemy were seen upon every hill and in every valley, and according to the best estimate we could make of their strength they must have numbered from 500 to 600 warriors. They made no determined stand, but were driven by our soldiers from point to point. Every man seemed anxious to be foremost, and the charges made upon the enemy over rocks, mountains, and valleys-the roughest country I ever saw-were made with the utmost enthusiasm, and with irresistible impetuosity. Although the firing was brisk and rapid for an hour and a half with intervals of following the enemy from one position to another, none of the men in my division were killed or wounded.

{p.33}

The killed of the enemy it is impossible to estimate accurately, as the skirmishing was over so much ground, so I give only the number which I am sure were counted, which is 11 killed; the wounded unknown.

The companies in the left division were commanded by Captains Bell, Mayes, Parks, and Coody, who all distinguished themselves by their daring and gallantry, as did also every officer and soldier in the command. You yourself had charge of the remainder of the force. We took some 75 prisoners, together with 25 or 30 pack horses, which afterwards were released by your order. It is due Colonel Taylor to state that when you gave me the command of the left division he was thought to be in your division, and after I discovered him in mine I yielded to his superior rank, and gave no orders but what were concurred in or first given by him.

E. C. BOUDINOT, Major, Cherokee Regiment.

Col. STAND WATIE, Cherokee Regiment.

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DECEMBER 3, 1861.–Action at Salem, Mo.

REPORTS.

No. 1.–Col. John B. Wyman, Thirteenth Illinois Infantry.
No. 2.–Maj. William D. Bowen, First Battalion Missouri Cavalry.

No. 1.

Report of Col. John B. Wyman, Thirteenth Illinois Infantry.

HEADQUARTERS, Rolla, December 4, 1861.

GENERAL: I have the honor to inform you that on Thursday last Colonel Dodge requested me to send a small party to Salem and vicinity, to bring in some witnesses in the case of some prisoners he has now in the fort. I made the arrangement for 40 men to go the next morning. In the mean time one of my scouts came in from Salem and below there, and reported that Freeman, with 80 or 100 men, was in the vicinity. I therefore increased the detachment to 120 men, with proper officers, all under command of Major Bowen. He left Friday, at 9 a.m., and reached Salem same afternoon (25 miles). Saturday and Sunday he devoted to scouring the country. Did not find Freeman, but took 8 prisoners, all of whom have been in the rebel army.

On Monday morning at 4 o’clock Freeman approached Salem with over 300 men, and when within 2 miles dismounted his men and made his way through the brush and woods (thus avoiding the pickets), and got to the inside picket line before any one was aware of his approach. Driving in these pickets, they proceeded to the quarters of Company A and commenced their attack. How bravely and gloriously they were repulsed I leave you to judge from reading the report of the major, which I have this moment received.

I beg also to inform you that upon the receipt of the news yesterday at 12 o’clock I ordered a re-enforcement sent Major Bowen, and at 1 p.m. 130 chosen men left this post and at 6 p.m. had joined the major at Salem, who was at that hour in peaceable possession of the town, {p.34} although anticipating another attack last night, but feeling fully confident he could cope with them successfully if they dared to do so.

I should be glad to receive orders from you to take or send such a force as would either exterminate or drive them out of the State. I am informed by reliable parties that Freeman and Turner both intend to winter in Dent County, and have laid in stores and forage for that purpose. In fact, the prisoners inform me they swear they “will do so or die.”

Awaiting your orders, I am, general, respectfully and obediently, yours,

J. B. WYMAN, Colonel and Acting Brigadier-General.

Major-General HALLECK, Commanding Department of Missouri.

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No. 2.

Report of Maj. William D. Bowen, First Battalion Missouri Cavalry.

HEADQUARTERS, Salem, December 3, 1861.

DEAR SIR: I was attacked this morning at 4 o’clock by 300 rebels, under command of Colonels Freeman and Turner. They dismounted some 2 miles from town, and by coming through the woods they got inside of my outer pickets. They first commenced firing on Company A’s quarters, killing 1 and wounding others. Companies B and C, being quartered some 500 yards from them, rallied on foot to the rescue of Company A. After a hard fight of twenty minutes Company D came up mounted. I ordered Captain Williams to charge on the rebels, who were then retreating, which was promptly done, dispersing them in every direction. My officers and men proved themselves to be soldiers and I feel I have just reason to be proud of them. My force consisted of 30 from each company-120 in all.

Our loss is 2 men killed, 2 mortally wounded (1 since dead), and 8 slightly wounded. The rebel loss was 6 killed, 10 mortally wounded, 20 slightly wounded. We also took several guns.

I am, general, respectfully and truly, yours,

W. D. BOWEN, Maj., First Bat. Cav., attached to Thirteenth Regt. Ill. Vols.

Acting Brigadier-General WYMAN.

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DECEMBER 3-12, 1861.–Scout through Saline County, Mo.

Report of Maj. George C. Marshall, Second Missouri Cavalry.

HDQRS. FIRST BATTALION, REGIMENT MERRILL’S HORSE, Sedalia, Mo., December 14, 1861.

Official report of a scout of Maj. George C. Marshall’s command, composed of 300 men of regiment Merrill’s Horse and three companies of regular cavalry, through Saline County.

December 3, marched northeast through Richard Gentry’s farm and encamped at Union Church, on Dr. Cartwright’s farm; took several prisoners.

{p.35}

December 4, marched northeast 15 miles. Our advance guard, of 12 of Company C of the Regulars, was fired upon by a portion of a company of 60 rebels, who then retreated into the brush. This occurred in front of Belwood’s farm, their rendezvous. Upon searching his house 2 kegs of powder and a quantity of parts of cavalry equipments were found. We encamped on Mrs. Wing-field’s farm.

December 5, marched about 15 miles; took several prisoners, some horses and mules, and encamped on the farm of the notorious Claiborn F. Jackson, and raised the Stars and Stripes over the traitor’s house.

December 6, marched north about 18 miles through Arrow Rock, where we found several kegs of powder concealed in warehouses; destroyed the ferry-boat, and while doing it our men were fired upon by a few men from across the river; the fire having been returned, the enemy ran. Leaving Arrow Rock, we marched north through Saline City, where we captured some arms and powder; encamped on Judge Robert Field’s farm.

December 7, marched north about 18 miles, and captured Captains Weed and Simmons, of General Clark’s staff. The column was halted at 8 a.m. about 2 miles from Glasgow, and left in command of Major Hunt.

Major Marshall, with a detachment of about 25 men, proceeded to Roper’s Mill, opposite Glasgow, where he had learned a portion of Capt. Robert W. Swynne’s company were encamped. They took the four pickets he had out prisoners, after giving one of them a hard chase, thus enabling him to surprise all there. Lieutenant Elwell took the left, with 16 men; Sergeant Bradshaw the right, with 5 men; and the major the center, with 3 men. A portion of the enemy were caught playing cards and others getting breakfast. Another portion, which had just crossed the river with the captain, well armed and mounted, started to run, but were soon halted by a few prompt shots. It was a finely-conducted surprise, completely bagging the whole of them, 28 in number, and getting their arms, ammunition, teams, cooking-utensils, &c. The column then moved north through Cambridge and encamped on William T. Gilham’s farm.

December 8, marched west about 21 miles. Nothing of interest occurred, and encamped on Mr. Softly’s farm.

December 9, marched 15 miles west; found Government wagons, 5 of which we brought with us and destroyed 3, being unable to get mules or harness to bring-them with us. Encamped on Mr. McReynolds’ farm, 2 miles from Waverly. Joseph Shelby brought his company down that night to try to annoy us by firing at our pickets and to try to scare us by bombarding us with a 10-inch mortar loaded with mud. Lieutenants Kelly’s and Gordon’s companies were called out, and soon scattered them and silenced their formidable battery.

December 10, marched into Waverly without any resistance. Learning there was powder concealed there, we proceeded to search some of the stores, and found 9 kegs of powder concealed under a platform in Shelby’s store. The celebrated mortar was found and taken. A 6-pounder gun-carriage was destroyed, the gun having been bursted a few days before we arrived there. Shelby stopped with his company on a high bluff across a deep ravine, watching our movements, the enemy amusing themselves by shooting at our men, when Lieutenant Kelly was ordered to charge on them, but they fled in perfect security on their swift steeds.

We only had to lament one of the regulars breaking his leg in the charge by his saddle turning, and the sad accident of Samuel Jones, {p.36} corporal Company E, in accidentally shooting himself, causing his instant death.

Leaving Waverly, we marched back 5 miles and encamped on Mrs. Murphy’s farm.

December 11, marched east through Marshall, about 27 miles, and encamped on Mrs. Wing-field’s farm.

December 12, marched to Sedalia through Georgetown, about 23 miles.

G. C. MARSHALL, Major, Commanding.

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DECEMBER 5-9, 1861.–Expedition through the Current Hills, Mo.

REPORTS.

No. 1.–Col. John B. Wyman, Thirteenth Illinois Infantry.
No. 2.–Maj.. William D. Bowen, First Battalion Missouri Cavalry.

No. 1.

Report of Col. John B. Wyman, Thirteenth Illinois Infantry.

HEADQUARTERS, Rolla, December 10, 1861.

CAPTAIN: I inclose copies of dispatches received from Major Bowen at 1 o’clock this morning. By them you will see that the major has fallen back to Salem, which place he will hold until further orders. My opinion is that a force sufficient to hold that place should be placed there permanently, say four companies cavalry and one battery artillery. I feel confident it would have the effect to keep McBride and Freeman at a proper distance. I submit this for the consideration of our general and await orders.

Very truly, yours,

J. B. WYMAN, Acting Brigadier-General.

Capt. J. C. KELTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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No. 2.

Report of Maj. William D. Bowen, First Battalion Missouri Cavalry.

HEADQUARTERS, Salem, December 9, 1861.

DEAR SIR: On the 5th we advanced in pursuit of the enemy. Finding they had retreated to the Current Hills, we pursued them four days through one of the roughest countries I have ever been in. We were two nights and two days in the saddle stopping only a half hour at a time to feed. I followed them from Jack’s Forks to Spring Valley, scouring the country in every direction as we advanced. We have been sometimes within 4 miles of him, but he has always managed to escape us, he having the advantage of knowing the by-paths. Captain Montgomery, being the advance guard of our column, on the 7th ran into a party of the enemy, but they discovered him and fled to the hills. He fired several shots at him without effect. It being a very rough country, heavy timber, and dark, it was impossible to follow {p.37} them. My command being-out of provisions and scarcity of forage, I have had to fall back to Salem.

Freeman has retreated to McBride’s command at Thomasville and is again advancing on the Currents. I shall be pleased, with your permission, to have another turn with him in the Current Hills; also to be furnished with two weeks’ rations, as the country is entirely destitute of everything in the provision line. I have taken 20 prisoners and some 35 horses. I think it is very necessary for the service to keep a force in Salem, and also to meet them on the Current Hills. Scouts sent out by Captain Stevens have not yet returned.

I await your further orders, and remain, your humble servant,

W. D. BOWEN, Major.

Acting Brigadier-General WYMAN.

P. S.-

GENERAL: Will you please inform me what I will do with the prisoners? A portion was taken with arms. I am satisfied they are all Freeman’s men. I think if half of them were kicked and let go it would be the best thing we could do with them, for they are already near scared to death.

Your humble servant,

W. D. BOWEN.

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DECEMBER 18, 1861.–Skirmish at Blackwater Crook, or Milford, Mo.

REPORTS, ETC.

No. 1.–Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck, U. S. Army.
No. 2.–Brig. Gen. John Pope, U. S. Army.
No. 3.–Lieut. Copley Amory, Fourth U. S. Cavalry.
No. 4.–Letter from Col. Fred. Steele, Eighth Iowa Infantry.

No. 1.

Report of Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck, U. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS, Saint Louis, Mo., December 20, 1861.

A part of General Pope’s forces, under Col. J. C. Davis and Major Marshall, surprised another camp of the enemy, on the afternoon of the 18th, at Milford, a little north of Warrensburg. A brisk skirmish ensued, when the enemy, finding himself surrounded, surrendered at discretion. We took 1,300 prisoners, including 3 colonels and 17 captains, and 1,000 stand of arms, 1,000 horses, 65 wagons, and a large quantity of tents, baggage, supplies. Our loss 2 killed and 8 wounded. Enemy’s loss not yet known. Information received last night from Glasgow that our troops at that place had taken about 2 tons powder in kegs buried on Jackson’s farm. This effectually cuts off their supply of ammunition.

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General, Commanding.

GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, Commanding Army

{p.38}

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No. 2.

Report of Brig. Gen. John Pope, U. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT CENTRAL MISSOURI, Otterville, December 23, 1861.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that, having replaced by troops from La Mine the garrison of Sedalia, I marched from that place on Sunday, the 15th inst., with a column of infantry, cavalry, and artillery, numbering about 4,000 men. The First Brigade was commanded by Col. J. C. Davis, Indiana Volunteers; the second by Col. F. Steele, Eighth Iowa Regiment. The object of the movement was to interpose between Price’s army, on the Osage, and the recruits, escorts, and supplies on their way south from the Missouri River. This body of the enemy was represented to be between 4,000 and 6,000 strong, with a large train of supplies.

I encamped on the 15th 11 miles southwest of Sedalia. That the enemy might be thoroughly misled as to the destination of the expedition, it was given out that the movement was upon Warsaw, and the troops pursued the road to that place, several miles beyond Sedalia. I threw forward on Clinton four companies of the First Missouri Cavalry, under Major Hubbard, with orders to watch any movements from Osceola, to prevent any reconnaissance of our main column, and to intercept any messengers to the enemy at Osceola.

On the 16th I pushed forward by forced marches 27 miles, and with my whole force occupied at sunset a position between the direct road from Warrensburg to Clinton and the road by Chilhowee, which latter is the route heretofore pursued by returning soldiers and by recruits. Shortly after sunset the advance, consisting of four companies of Iowa cavalry, under Major Torrence, captured the enemy’s pickets at Chilhowee, and learned that he was encamped in force (about 2,200) 6 miles north of that town. After resting the horses and men for a couple of hours I threw forward ten companies of cavalry and a section of artillery, under Lieutenant-Colonel Brown, Seventh Missouri Regiment, in pursuit, and followed with my whole force, posting the main body between Warrensburg and Rose Hill to support the pursuing column. I at the same time re-enforced Major Hubbard with two companies of Merrill’s Horse, and directed him, in order to secure our flank in the pursuit, to push forward as far as possible towards Osceola. This officer executed his duty with distinguished ability and vigor, driving back and capturing the pickets and one entire company of the enemy’s cavalry, with tents, baggage, and wagons. One of the pickets and two wagons were captured within the lines of Rains’ division, encamped north of Osage River.

The column under Lieutenant-Colonel Brown continued the pursuit vigorously all night of the 16th, all day of the 17th, and part of the night of the same day, his advance guard, consisting of Foster’s company of Ohio cavalry and a detachment of 30 men of the Fourth Regular Cavalry occupying Johnstown in the course of the night. The enemy began to scatter as soon as the pursuit grew close, disappearing in every direction in the bushes and by every by-path, driving their wagons into farm-yards remote from the road and throwing out the loads. As these wagons were all two-horse wagons of the country, and had been in fact taken by force from the farm-houses, it was impossible to identify them.

When our pursuit reached Johnstown, about midnight on the 17th, {p.39} the enemy, reduced to about 500, scattered completely, one portion fleeing precipitately towards Butler and the other towards Papinsville. The main body of my command moved slowly towards Warrensburg, awaiting the return of the force under Lieutenant-Colonel Brown, which proceeded from Johnstown to scour the country south of Grand River to the neighborhood of Clinton. In these operations 16 wagons, loaded with tents and supplies, and 150 prisoners were captured. The enemy’s force was thoroughly dispersed.

On the morning of the 18th Lieutenant-Colonel Brown’s forces rejoined the command. Knowing that there must still be a large force of the enemy north of us, I moved slowly on the 18th towards Warrensburg, and when near that town the spies and scouts I had sent before, marching from Sedalia in the direction of Lexington, Waverly, and Arrow Rock, reported to me that a large force was marching from the two latter places, and would encamp that night at the mouth of Clear Creek, just south of Milford. I posted the main body of my command near Warrensburg and Knobnoster, to close all outlet to the south between those two points, and dispatched seven companies of cavalry, five of the First Iowa and two of the Fourth Regular Cavalry, afterwards re-enforced by another company of regular cavalry and a section of artillery, all under command of Col. J. C. Davis, Indiana Volunteers, to march on the town of Milford, so as to turn the enemy’s left and rear and intercept his retreat to the southeast, at the same time directing Major Marshall, with Merrill’s regiment of horse, to march from Warrensburg on the same point, turning the enemy’s right and rear and forming a junction with Colonel Davis. The main body of my command occupied a point 4 miles south, and ready to advance at a moment’s notice or to intercept the enemy’s retreat south.

Colonel Davis marched promptly and vigorously with the forces under his command, and at a late hour in the afternoon came upon the enemy encamped in the wooded bottom-land on the west side of Blackwater, opposite the mouth of Clear Creek. His pickets were immediately driven in across the stream, which was deep, miry, and impassable, except by a long narrow bridge, which the enemy occupied in force-as is believed under Colonel Magoffin. Colonel Davis brought forward his force, and directed that the bridge be carried by assault. The two companies of the Fourth Regular Cavalry being in advance, under the command respectively of Lieutenant Gordon and Lieutenant Amory, were designated for that service, and were supported by the five companies of the First Iowa. Lieutenant Gordon, of the Fourth Cavalry, led the charge in person with the utmost gallantry and vigor, carried the bridge in fine style, and immediately formed his company on the opposite side. He was promptly followed by the other companies. The force of the enemy posted at the bridge retreated precipitately over a narrow open space into the woods, where his whole force was posted. The two companies of the Fourth Cavalry formed in line at once, advanced upon the enemy, and were received with a heavy volley of small arms, muskets, rifles, and shot-guns. One man was killed and 8 wounded by this discharge, with one exception all belonging to Company D, Fourth Cavalry, Lieutenant Gordon. Lieutenant Gordon him self received several balls through his cap. Our forces still continuing to press forward, and the enemy finding his retreat south and west cut off, and that he was in presence of a large force, and at best could only prolong the contest a short time, surrendered at discretion. His force, reported by the colonel commanding, consisted of parts of two regiments of infantry and three companies of cavalry, numbering in all 1,300 men. {p.40} among whom there were three colonels (Robinson, Alexander, and Magoffin),one lieutenant-colonel (Robinson), and one major (Harris), and 51 commissioned company officers.

About 500 horses and mules, 73 wagons heavily loaded with powder, lead, tents, subsistence stores, and supplies of various kinds, fell into our hands, as also 1,000 stand of arms.

The whole force captured, with their train, were marched into the camp of the main body, reaching there about midnight. Many arms were thrown away by the enemy in the bushes or creek when he surrendered and have not yet been found. It was impossible to furnish any accurate account of the number of prisoners, arms, or horses when I telegraphed, as they surrendered just at dark and were brought into camp at a late hour of night. The weather was bitterly cold, and the troops marched as early as possible the next morning for Sedalia and Otterville. As the prisoners and arms were at once sent down to Saint Louis, I have not yet had the opportunity of making any accurate count of them. The numbers as stated were reported to me by Colonel Robinson, their commander; by Col. J. C. Davis; and by Major Torrence, First Iowa Cavalry.

The forces under Colonel Davis behaved with great gallantry, and the conduct of Colonel Davis himself was distinguished. I desire to present to your special notice Col. J. C. Davis, Indiana Volunteers; Major Hubbard, First Missouri Cavalry; and Lieutenant Gordon, Fourth Regular Cavalry. Both officers and men behaved well throughout.

Within five days the infantry forces comprising-this expedition have marched 100 miles, the cavalry more than double that distance; have swept the whole country of the enemy west of Sedalia as far as Rose Hill to a line within 15 miles of the Osage; have captured nearly 1,500 prisoners, 1,200 stand of arms, nearly 100 wagons, and a large quantity of supplies. The march alone would do credit to old soldiers, and it gives me pleasure to state that it has been performed with cheerfulness and alacrity. The troops reoccupied their camps at Sedalia and Otterville just one week after they marched out of them. A list of our killed and wounded will be transmitted as soon as possible. The enemy’s loss is not known and cannot yet be ascertained. Some of his dead were found on the field.

I am, captain, your obedient servant,

JNO. POPE, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Capt. J. C. KELTON, Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the Missouri.

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No. 3.

Report of Lieut. Copley Amory, Fourth U. S. Cavalry.

HDQRS. SQUADRON FOURTH U. S. CAVALRY, Camp near Sedalia, Mo., December 29, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by Companies B, C, D, of the Fourth Regular Cavalry, under my command, at the action on the Blackwater River, at Milford on the 19th December. I had reported with my three companies to General Jeff. C. Davis, and had left the town of Knobnoster some 3 miles behind {p.41} us, when I heard the advance guard driving in the enemy’s pickets about 1 mile from Blackwater River towards Knobnoster. My command had the head of the column, and, ordering it to take the gallop, we soon came up with General Davis, who gave the following order: “There they are; give it to them, boys.” Immediately forming fours and then platoons, we charged across the prairie towards the timber, supposing the enemy to be there encamped, but observing no signs of them I broke by fours, and riding at a sharp gallop soon passed through the mile of woods intervening between the prairie and the bridge. On arriving at the open space before the river we observed a body of men on the opposite side. Having satisfied myself that they were the enemy defending the bridge, I sheltered my men as much as possible and ordered them to dismount. At this time and until after the crossing of the bridge the three companies were in the following order: 1st, my own, B; 2d, Lieutenant Gordon’s, D; 3d, Company C, under Sergeant Neff. After giving-them two volleys the enemy showed signs of confusion, and I gave the order to charge. My company (B), closely followed by the other two companies (D and C), gallantly dashed across the bridge. The enemy, terrified by the suddenness and boldness of the charge, broke and fled in two directions, one party taking the road to the right, closely pursued by my company (B), and the other party by the road to the left, followed by Lieutenant Gordon with D and C companies.

The party followed by Lieutenant Gordon led him directly to their camp, which neither of us had before seen. Immediately upon observing the enemy Lieutenant Gordon dismounted his men and delivered two volleys, which the enemy returned, wounding 8 men of Company D and one of Company C. And here I would state that the coolness and intrepidity of Lieutenant Gordon, whose courage was the theme of all present, were closely imitated by the two companies with him. Before this, having concluded it useless to keep up the pursuit, and having discovered the whereabouts of the main body of the enemy, I had wheeled my company to go to the assistance of Lieutenant Gordon. On arriving on the ground I found that one of the companies of the First Iowa Cavalry had broken and were in confusion. I ordered them to halt, but could not stop them. Having extricated the companies I turned to find General Davis, but could not see him anywhere. Meeting with Major Torrence, of the Iowa cavalry, I asked where General Davis was to be found, but he could give me no information. I then said, “You are next in rank; why don’t you take command and do something?” His reply was, “I am,” but I received no order from him.

I then withdrew the three companies and formed them in line of battle opposite the enemy’s camp, the five companies of Iowa cavalry forming on our left and about 200 yards in rear. At this point a flag of truce appeared, and setting out again in search of General Davis I found him on the left of our line. Pointing out to him the flag, I asked permission to go and meet it. He ordered me to do so. On coming up with the bearer of the flag I inquired of him what he desired. He informed me that he belonged to the Confederate Army, and wished to know what flag we fought under. Having given him the desired information he returned to his camp, while I reported to General Davis. The general then asked my opinion as to the feasibility of charging on the enemy’s camp, and I gave it as my opinion that it would be madness to charge them through prairie-grass breast-high to a horse and then through thick timber, the enemy being posted behind trees, and evidently outnumbering us four to one, but that if he would order us to {p.42} dismount and fight on foot something might be done. At any rate we were willing and ready to make the trial. After a few moments I received an order to take position half a mile on our right, for the purpose of intercepting the retreat of the enemy. We did so, and remained there until the surrender, which soon followed.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

COPLEY AMORY, Second Lieut., Fourth Cav., Comdg. Squadron Fourth U. S. Cav.

Col. J. C. KELTON, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Dept. of the Missouri, Saint Louis, Mo.

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No. 4.

Letter from Col. Fred. Steele, Eighth Iowa Infantry.

SEDALIA, January 2, 1862.

Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK, Commanding Department of the Missouri:

GENERAL: I have the honor to transmit herewith copy of a report addressed to your headquarters by Lieutenant Amory.* The original report I forwarded through General Pope’s headquarters. I have no doubt but that this is a correct report of the affair. Lieutenant Amory thinks that justice was not done him in General Pope’s report. Lieutenant Amory’s account is corroborated by Dr. Brodie and Lieutenant Gordon. If the matter were investigated I think it would be found that there are other inaccuracies in the official report of the expedition and affair near Milford.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,

FRED’K STEELE, Colonel Eighth Iowa Infantry, commanding at Sedalia.

* See No 3.

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DECEMBER 18, 1861.–Scout from Rolla towards Houston, Mo.

Report of Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck, U. S. Army.

SAINT LOUIS, Mo., December 20, 1861.

Captain Wood’s scouting party has returned to Rolla. It pursued the enemy south of Houston; killed 1 captain and brought in 1 major prisoner of war. About 100 of Price’s men were captured and released on parol, not being able to bring them in.

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN.

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DECEMBER 23, 1861.–Expedition to Lexington, Mo.

Report of Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck, U. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS, Saint Louis, Mo., December 24, 1861.

General Pope’s cavalry, sent to Lexington, has captured 2 captains and 1 lieutenant and 4 men, with horses, &c. They destroyed the {p.43} foundery and ferry-boats at that place. Colonel Bishop’s detachment overtook a party of bridge-burners yesterday killed 10, took 17 prisoners, and 30 horses. All damage on railroad will be repaired in three days.

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General.

Major-General MCCLELLAN.

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DECEMBER 25, 1861.–Expedition to Danville, Mo.

Report of Col. George R. Todd, Tenth Missouri Infantry.

HDQRS. TENTH REGIMENT MISSOURI VOLS., U. S. A., In the Field, Danville, Mo., December 25, 1861.

SIR: In obedience to your order I crossed the river, having with me a part of the Eighty-first Ohio Volunteers, under Colonel Morton, and a part of my own regiment, leaving the balance of each under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Hundhausen, at Hermann. The only practicable route for us was to High Hill, 10 miles east of this place. On arriving there we found that all the secessionists under arms had passed westward and were occupying this point. To-day at noon our pickets drove in those of the enemy and we immediately followed, and the enemy having abandoned the place we took possession without fighting. We have captured several of their men and a number of horses, but as yet cannot report definitely.

On the 23d instant I telegraphed from Hermann to General McKean, at Jefferson City, that there was a force of 200 to 500 secessionists passing through this point westward. He answered that he would send over a force to intercept their passage westward. If he has done so, and their passage northward is Cut off, I think about 1,000 of them can be taken, which will include all the Warrenton bridge-burners.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. R. TODD, Colonel, Commanding.

Major-General HALLECK, Commanding Department of the Missouri.

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DECEMBER 27-28, 1861.–Skirmish near Hallsville, Mo., and action at Mount Zion Church, Mo.

Report of Brig. Gen. Benjamin M. Prentiss, U. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN MISSOURI, Palmyra, Mo., January 4, 1862.

In pursuance of general orders, received on the evening of the 23d day of December, 1861, I proceeded from Palmyra for Sturgeon, on the morning of the 24th day of December, with five troops of Third Missouri Cavalry, Col. John M. Glover commanding. I arrived at Sturgeon on the evening of the 26th. During the following day, having learned that there was a concentration of rebels near the village of Hallsville, in Boone County, I sent forward one troop of cavalry, commanded by {p.44} Captain Howland, to reconnoiter in that vicinity. Captain Howland proceeded to Hallsville, but found no rebels. After proceeding about 2 miles beyond his advance guard encountered the rebels in force, commanded by Colonel Dorsey. Captain Howland endeavored to draw off his company, having taken 9 prisoners, but was overpowered. Being wounded and having lost his horse, he was taken prisoner, with 1 private of his company. The remainder of his men made good their retreat, arriving at Sturgeon at 6 o’clock p.m. Having learned the position of the enemy, I immediately ordered five troops of cavalry, Col. John M. Glover commanding, and five companies of Sharpshooters, Colonel Birge commanding, numbering in all 470, to march at 2 o’clock a.m., at which hour I started, and after marching a distance of 16 miles, at 8 o’clock a.m. of the 28th instant found one company of rebels, commanded by Captain Johnson, in position to the left of the road leading from Hallsville to Mount Zion. I ordered two companies of Sharpshooters to pass to the rear of the enemy and one of cavalry to dismount and engage them in front. It being difficult for the Sharpshooters to attain their position unperceived, the enemy manifesting a disposition to retire, Colonel Glover opened fire and succeeded in killing 5 and capturing 7 prisoners, from whom I learned the number and position of the main force. The enemy being posted at a church and place known as Mount Zion, in Boone County, and one mile and a half in advance, numbering near 900 men, I ordered the cavalry under Colonel Glover forward, accompanied by two companies of Birge’s Sharpshooters, Colonel Birge with them.

Arriving near the encampment, one troop of the cavalry were ordered to dismount and engage the enemy. The Sharpshooters were afterwards ordered through a field on our right to skirmish with the enemy’s left, and, if possible, drive them from the woods. The firing being heavy, these three companies not being able to drive the enemy from his cover, Colonel Glover, with his available force, moved in double-quick to the aid of the three companies engaged, and for half an hour longer the battle raged and became a hand-to-hand fight. Captain Boyd’s company of Sharpshooters were in the midst of the rebel camp, also Major Carrick, with Company C, Third Missouri Cavalry, when Colonel Glover arrived. The rebels could not stand the fire of our rifles and retreated, leaving in our hands 90 horses and 105 stand of arms. The battle was brought to a close about 11 a.m.

The reserve of two companies coming into action at the moment the enemy gave way, our victory was complete. After collecting our own wounded we proceeded to collect that of the enemy, placed them in the church, and sent for farmers and friends in the vicinity to render assistance. I collected wagons, made our own wounded as comfortable as possible, and at 4 p.m. started for Sturgeon, where we arrived at 9 p.m.

Our loss in the battle of Mount Zion and in the engagement of the evening previous is as follows: Killed, 3; severely wounded, 17; slightly wounded, 46. Rebel loss: Killed, 25; wounded, 150.

I have not been able to get a correct report of rebels missing, but, having taken 30 prisoners from them, learn that their punishment is a severe one. Sixty of the rebels, with Captain Howland and 4 of our men as prisoners, arrived at the camp at night, 20 miles distant from the field of battle.

Permit me to mention that our entire force behaved gallantly. I make special mention of the following officers: Col. John M. Glover, Major Carrick, Lieutenant Yates, and Lieutenant Kirkpatrick, of the {p.45} Third Missouri Cavalry; Colonel Birge, Captain Boyd, and Adjutant Temple, of Birge’s Sharpshooters; and Lieut. Edwin Moore, my aide. I also assure you that the men behaved with coolness and daring during the engagement.

I have the honor to be, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

B. M. PRENTISS, Brigadier-General.

Capt. J. C. KELTON, Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the Missouri.

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DECEMBER 29, 1861.–Descent upon Commerce, Mo., and attack on steamer City of Alton.

Report of Brig. Gen. AL Jeff. Thompson, C. R. Army.

HDQRS. FIRST MIL. DIST. MISSOURI STATE GUARD, New Madrid, Mo., December 30, 1861.

DEAR GENERAL: I left here on Saturday evening, at 9 o’clock, with 40 men, one 6-pounder, and one of my little rifled cannon. I proceeded up the road through Sikeston, but before reaching Hunter’s the little cannon was by accident rendered unfit for service, and the team attached to the 6-pounder gave out. I sent the little gun back to this place, and planted the 6-pounder to command Jones’ Ford. I then, with 27 men (I making 28), proceeded, by the Hunter’s Ford and Sandy Ridge road, to Commerce, which place we dashed into about 10 p.m. The town was completely surprised and I soon had all the male inhabitants assembled and guarded. I then had the stores of two Federals opened, and allowed my men to select such wearing apparel as they were in need of. About 2.30 o’clock the steamer City of Alton came in sight. I made arrangements to surprise her, not having cannon, but was defeated in my plan by the women of Commerce, whom I could not prevent from giving the alarm. She approached the shore, however, near enough to get a good peppering, and she backed down the river several miles, and had not attempted to pass up when I left, which was nearly sundown. I got muskets, 2 rifles, 6 horses, 15 or 20 suits of clothes, and returned (after stampeding the Union men of Scott County) safely to this post, having marched 106 miles in forty hours.

Yours, respectfully,

M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Maj. Gen. LEONIDAS POLK, C. S. A., Columbus, Ky.

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JANUARY 1-3, 1862.–Expedition from Morristown to Dayton and Rose Hill, Mo., skirmish en route, and destruction of Dayton.

Report of Lieut. Col. D. R. Anthony, First Kansas Cavalry.

HEADQUARTERS FIRST KANSAS CAVALRY, Camp Johnson, Morristown, Mo., January 4, 1862.

SIR: Information having been received by me on the evening of the 31st ultimo that Captains Fulkerson, Scott, and Brity, with from 154) {p.46} to 300 men, were at Dayton, Mo., making preparations, recruiting, and outfitting for Price’s army, at midnight I took 200 men, with the 12-pounder howitzer, and arrived at Dayton about daylight; but the enemy had run, two companies of Colonel Newgent’s command having encamped at Austin the night before, a place only 6 miles distant. The main body of the rebels had returned to the junction of Walnut Creek and Grand River. Small parties were seen of 20 or 30 men each in the woods and on the prairie hills; detachments were sent out after them. Captain Gregory, of Company E, had an engagement with one party of 25 men; killed 1 man. The captain’s horse was shot and 1 horse wounded. None of our men were hurt. Some 15 Union families moved into Kansas. We captured a lot of stock belonging to rebels, 6 tents, and company utensils.

On the 2d we moved to Rose Hill, and the next day returned to Camp Johnson.

The scouting party which went to Walnut Creek found that Captain Scott had left for the south. Dayton having been used voluntarily by its inhabitants as a depot for recruiting and supplying the rebels, and there being only one Union house in town, and all the Union men there desiring its destruction, it was burned, except the one belonging to the Union man. Although there were 46 buildings in the town, we found only two men to represent the whole population.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. R. ANTHONY, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

Brigadier-General DENVER, Commanding Troops in Kansas.

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JANUARY 5-12, 1862.–Operations in Johnson and La Fayette Counties, Mo., and skirmish (January 9) at Columbus, Mo.

Report of Lieut. Col. D. R. Anthony, First Kansas Cavalry.

HEADQUARTERS, Camp Johnson, Morristown, Mo., January 13, 1862.

SIR: On the 5th instant a party of twelve Union citizens of Johnson County, Missouri, mounted on horses and armed with shot-guns, came into camp and informed me that a force of 300 rebels under command of Colonel Elliott, were committing depredations upon Union men, and asking assistance from me to aid or protect them in moving their families to Kansas. I ordered Major Herrick, with 200 men, to proceed to Holden, Johnson County, and capture Colonel Elliott, and also to put down all rebel bands he met on the way and protect Union men. Major Herrick took four days’ rations; found no enemy in force on the route-indeed, the country seemed desolate and deserted by the men.

On the 9th Captain Merriman was sent with 50 men to Columbus. The people of Columbus informed him there was no enemy in that vicinity; but on his return, about half a mile south of the town, was fired on from ambush by Colonel Elliott, who had secreted his men in the bush, and 5 of our men were killed. Captain Merriman was forced to retreat. He was soon joined by Captain Utt, of Company A, with 50 more men. They then scoured the bush for miles around, but found no enemy, they having that day deserted their camp, which was found by our men located in a rocky ravine.

{p.47}

The next day Captain Swoyer, of Company B, left camp at Holden and searched the country of the Blackwater as far north as Chapel Hill, and learned that Colonel Elliott had reached a point within 10 miles of Lexington. Captain Swoyer returned next day to camp at Holden.

Captain Merriman, on the day of the attack on him, burned the town of Columbus, having learned it was the rendezvous of Colonel Elliott, and the people of the town having decoyed him into the ambush. Major Herrick remained at Holden until the 12th, and then returned to Camp Johnson. Fifty or sixty Union families availed themselves of the opportunity to move out with him. Major Herrick also captured 60 head of horses, mules, and cattle, and young stock belonging to men who fired upon Major Hough and those who were with Colonel Elliott, and brought them to camp.

Respectfully, yours,

D. R. ANTHONY, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding First Kansas Cavalry.

Maj. Gen. D. HURTER, Commanding Department of Kansas.

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JANUARY 8, 1862.–Skirmish at Charleston, Mo.

Report of Col. Nicholas Perczel, Tenth Iowa Infantry.

HDQRS. TENTH REGIMENT IOWA VOLUNTEERS, Bird’s Point, Mo., January 8, 1862.

SIR: In pursuance of your orders, on the 7th instant I took the cars with my command at 9 o’clock p.m. We left the cars at 11 p.m., joined the cavalry attached to my command, and proceeded towards Prairie road, on which, at one Swank’s house, a body of Tennessee cavalry, numbering about 1,000 men, were supposed to be encamped. I formed my line as follows: Guide and two troops at the head of the column; Company A, Tenth Regiment Iowa Volunteers, as advance guards; then formed the detachment of the same regiment and that of the Twentieth Illinois, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Small, of the Tenth Iowa, the cavalry in the center then the detachment from the Eleventh and Twenty-second Illinois Regiments, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Ransom, the Twenty-second bringing up the rear. We proceeded in the greatest and perfect stillness my instructions being to surprise and fight the rebel forces. The night was cloudy and rainy. Our guide several times lost his way, which delayed our progress considerably. At last, at 4 o’clock in the morning, we heard the distant and faint sound of a bugle. Marching on, we emerged into a more open country and a better-beaten road, but our guide having lost all calculation he did not know which side to take, and was obliged to awake the inmates of a farm-house and led us in the direction indicated by them. We passed seven farm-houses without molestation.

Towards 5 o’clock we found ourselves on the back track to Charleston. Here only was I informed by the guide that we had passed the pretended camp of the rebels. I think he did not know it himself. We marched a short distance in this direction, till we reached a farm-house {p.48} with the door open and fire and light in the room. As it looked to me a little suspicious, I detailed Captain Stoddard, with a squad of men, to visit it. He entered it, and found the owner, Mr. Rodan, washing himself, and the different members of his family at household work. When asked whether he had seen any rebel soldiers, he replied that he had seen but one soldier during the last two weeks. Nothing extraordinary having been discovered, Captain Stoddard returned to his post, and we resumed our march. We had not proceeded more than 150 yards when, as soon as the guide and advance guards passed, a body of rebels, almost 75 or 80 men, ambuscaded on the right of the road behind a rail fence, opened upon the detachment of the Tenth Iowa a deadly fire, covering almost all its length. I was at the head of this detachment, with Lieutenant-Colonel Small, commanding. The men were thrown into confusion, returned the fire at random and probably without effect, but by our united efforts they were rallied in less than two minutes. Captains Randleman and Lusby, having been ordered to cross the fence and pursue the rebels, did it with spirit and promptitude, but the rebels, as usual, disappeared. Not knowing the force of the rebels, I thought it prudent to reform our line to the rear in the woods on our left, and began the painful duty of collecting our sick and wounded. Assistant Surgeon Dr. Willey, and his aid, Ephraim R. Davis, steward, took with considerable zeal and activity to their work, and a little later were ably assisted by Dr. Bailey, of the Twentieth Illinois. Short as the fire was, the Tenth Iowa had 5 killed, 2 mortally wounded, and 15 more or less severely. The line of ambuscade did not reach the other detachment. I must remark that even towards dawn the darkness was so intense that I did not dare to push my advance guard forward. I followed it closely for fear that we might lose each other. I could not throw out any flanks, because, even at the shortest distance, the connection must have to be kept up by hailing, which would have frustrated all attempts to surprise the rebels by giving them early and continued warning. Deplorable as the result has been, I have to congratulate the promptitude with which every officer and man, notwithstanding the effect of first surprise, obeyed every order. Lieutenant-Colonel Small and all the officers have done their duty. On the 8th instant, in the morning, we put our sick on the cars and returned to our quarters.

The man Rodan having willfully and damnably denied all knowledge of the presence of the rebels, while in all probability the ambush proceeded from his house, I arrested and had him turned over to the officer of the post guard. He is at all events guilty of a capital crime, having misled us by his feigned ignorance and caused by this our severe loss. The charges against him will be made out and forwarded to the proper place.

Finally let me add the acknowledgment of prompt obedience and strict preservation of order to all officers and men of the other detachments composing my command.

I have the honor to be, yours, respectfully,

N. PERCZEL, Colonel, Commanding Expedition.

Brig. Gen. E. A. PAINE, Commanding Bird’s Point.

{p.49}

JANUARY 8, 1862.–Action at Roan’s Tan-Yard, Silver Creek, Mo.

REPORTS.

No. 1.–Brig. Gen. John M. Palmer.
No. 2.–Col. Thomas J. Turner, Fifteenth Illinois Infantry.
No. 3.–Maj. W. M. G. Torrence, First Iowa Cavalry.
No. 4.–Col. Lewis Merrill, Second Missouri Cavalry.

No. 1.

Report of Brig. Gen. John M. Palmer.

OTTERVILLE, January 10, 1862.

On the 8th, at 4 o’clock p.m., Majors Torrence and Hubbard with 450 men, attacked Poindexter, with from 1,000 to 1,300 men, on Silver Creek. The enemy were totally routed, with heavy loss. Seven left dead on the field; many carried off. From 50 to 75 wounded. Our loss reported at 4 killed. The rebel camp was destroyed, and a large number of horses and arms taken. A heavy fog alone saved them from complete destruction. The number of prisoners is reported at 30.

JOHN M. PALMER, Brigadier-General.

Major-General HALLECK.

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No. 2.

Report of Col. Thomas J. Turner, Fifteenth Illinois Infantry.

HEADQUARTERS LA MINE CANTONMENT, Otterville, Mo., January 14, 1862.

CAPTAIN: Major Hubbard, of the First Missouri Cavalry, returned to this place last night. He left his command on the north side of the river, opposite Booneville. Ice in the river prevented his crossing. He reports that on the 8th instant, at Silver Creek, in Howard County, he attacked the rebels, 900 strong, under command of Colonel Poindexter. After a brisk engagement, which lasted forty minutes, he completely routed the enemy. The enemy’s loss was 40 killed and 60 wounded. His loss 6 killed and 19 wounded. He captured 160 horses, 60 wagons, 105 tents, 80 kegs powder, about 200 rifles and shot-guns, and a large quantity of clothing, blankets, and bed-quilts. He has in his possession 160 captured horses and 28 prisoners. The wagons, powder and other property captured he was compelled to destroy for want of help to remove them. I directed him to bring the prisoners and horses here, unless he received orders to take them to some other point.

Major Hubbard is greatly in need of ammunition, as is also all the cavalry at this post. I have been informed that requisitions have been forwarded to Saint Louis for a supply, but they have not been attended to.

I would respectfully suggest that an ordnance officer be appointed for the post.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

THOS. J. TURNER, Colonel, Commanding Cantonment.

Capt. J. C. KELTON, Assistant Adjutant-General. {p.50}

No. 3.

Report of Maj. W. M. G. Torrence, First Iowa Cavalry.

CAMP NEAR FAYETTE, MO., January 10, 1862.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that in compliance with your order I marched my command to Booneville, and was there joined by three companies of Merrill’s Horse, under Major Hunt, and at the earliest day possible crossed the Missouri River, and reached camp near Fayette on the evening of the 5th instant, when I was there joined by four companies of the First Missouri, under command of Major Hubbard, and one company of the Fourth Ohio, Captain Foster. We proceeded at once to gather information of the enemy’s movements by sending scouts through different portions of this and adjoining counties.

On the 7th instant reconnaissances in force were made to Glasgow, Roanoke, and surrounding country, and information received that one Colonel Poindexter was recruiting in this and other counties, and that he had his principal camp somewhere on the headwaters of Silver Creek, with a force of regularly enlisted men from 600 to 800 strong, together with an equal number of aiders and abettors of rebellion. Early upon the morning of the 8th instant we moved out of camp with 500 mounted men in search of their camp, and marched to Roanoke, 15 miles distant, and then in the direction of Silver Creek. When within 4 miles of where the camp was reported to be the column was halted, and the following disposition made of our forces: To Major Hunt was assigned the command of that portion of his forces armed with carbines, and with Major Hubbard’s command and Captain Foster’s company to form the advance of the column, to attack the camp, draw their fire, and reply with carbines, when the First Iowa and a portion of Merrill’s Horse were to charge upon the camp, mounted, if possible, and if not practicable charge with revolver and saber on foot. To Lieutenant Dustin, of Company F, First Iowa, was assigned the advance guard, supported by Lieutenant Burrows, First Missouri.

All being in readiness the column moved forward rapidly, the advance guard driving the enemy’s pickets and rushing to the entrance of the camp. The column followed soon after, dismounted, and drew the enemy’s fire. They were in a strong position, being protected by ravines, thick underbrush, and timber. Their volley was promptly answered by our forces pouring in a galling fire. Three companies of the First Iowa and a part of a company of Merrill’s Horse were then ordered forward to charge the camp, which was promptly done. The enemy were now thrown into confusion and soon began to retreat, leaving horses, guns, together with camp and garrison equipage. It was a complete rout as the appearance of the camp fully attested. Two companies from the rear were ordered to cut off their retreat, but the darkness and heavy fog, together with the thick underbrush, rendered it impossible.

To avoid surprise and to be able to move all our forces forward an order was given to destroy the camp and look up dead and wounded. This was soon accomplished, and the darkness forbidding further pursuit, the whole command was then moved to camp, 23 miles distant The prompt action of the troops throughout is worthy of the highest praise. Lieutenant Dustin is worthy of honorable mention for his gallant conduct in leading the advance guard; also Major Hunt, of Merrill’s {p.51} Horse; Captains Clinton and Mondell, of the First Missouri, for their gallant and cool bearing during the entire action.

The loss of the enemy cannot be actually ascertained, but from the most reliable information their loss in killed and wounded cannot be less than 80 to 100.

Yours, most obediently,

W. M. G. TORRENCE, Major, First Battalion, First Iowa Cavalry.

Brigadier-General POPE, Otterville, Mo.

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No. 4.

Report of Col. Lewis Merrill, Second Missouri Cavalry.

HEADQUARTERS MERRILL’S HORSE, Columbia, Mo., January 10, 1862.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that on the night of Sunday, the 5th, nearly at daylight, I received a dispatch from Colonel Birge (at Sturgeon), stating that a party of some 300 or 400 rebels had camped that night at Renick, and were to move next morning to Roanoke, some 12 or 15 miles from there, with the object of crossing the river at Arrow Rock or Brunswick, and stating that he would attempt to overtake them by daylight of the 6th and requesting me to co-operate. Not approving the plan proposed for me by Colonel Birge, I sent Lieutenant-Colonel Shaffer, with all the men I could spare, to go by way of Fayette and thence north towards Roanoke and cut off the retreat of the enemy, should Colonel Birge’s command not succeed in overtaking him at Renick. Colonel Birge, I understand, went to Renick, and not finding the enemy, returned to Sturgeon the same day. Lieutenant-Colonel Shaffer reached Fayette late the night of the 6th, and there found a large cavalry force, consisting of detachments from the First Missouri Cavalry, under command of Major Hubbard, First Iowa Cavalry, under Major Torrence, and Merrill’s Horse, under Major Hunt. He then learned during the night that the enemy, variously estimated at from 1,300 to 2,500, were encamped on Smith’s farm, about 5 miles from Roanoke. At the same time he received information that the remains of the command of Colonel Dorsey, which had been engaged in the Mount Zion fight, was then marching to attack me at Columbia. I had only part of one company left when Colonel Shaffer left me, and he knew that part of that would be sent to Jefferson City to escort the provision train. Early next morning he sent the command of Major Hubbard, which he had found at Fayette, re-enforced by one company of his own command, to find the enemy’s camp, and returned at once to Columbia with the rest of his command.

Major Hubbard found the enemy’s camp about 14 miles northwest of Fayette about 3 o’clock p.m., and immediately attacked them, routing them completely and taking possession of their camp, which he entirely destroyed. I have no official reports of the engagement from the part of my regiment engaged, and I presume before this Major Hubbard’s reports have been received. The loss of my regiment was 2 killed and 3 wounded. The enemy’s loss is not positively reported, but 5 are known to have been killed and 14 taken prisoners. This is only what is certainly known.

{p.52}

Capt. J. B. Watson, of the rebel army (and believed to have been concerned in the Magi burning), now on recruiting service near here, was captured, with two of his men, to-day by a part of my command.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

LEWIS MERRILL, Colonel, Commanding Merrill’s horse.

Capt. J. C. KELTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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JANUARY 15-17, 1862.–Expeditions to Benton, Bloomfield, and Dallas, Mo.

Report of Col. Leonard F. Ross, Seventeenth Illinois Infantry.

HEADQUARTERS, Cape Girardeau, Mo., January 19, 1862.

GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report:

Having learned from reliable sources that the citizens of Stoddard, Scott, and Bollinger Counties, under the lead of Captains Bowles and Kitchen, of General Thompson’s division, Confederate Army, were organizing for the purpose of joining the rebel forces at New Madrid, on the 15th instant I ordered Maj. Francis M. Smith, of the Seventeenth Illinois Volunteers, with five companies of infantry, one company of cavalry, under command of Captain Graham Seventh Illinois Cavalry, and one piece of artillery, under command of Sergeant Dyer, Campbell’s battery light artillery, to proceed to Benton, Scott County, Missouri, and there attack and disperse any organization that might be found, capturing such persons as had been in the rebel army who had not subsequently surrendered themselves and taken the oath. At the same time I ordered Captain Murdoch, of the Missouri State Militia, to take charge of an expedition to Bloomfield, Stoddard County, Missouri, consisting of 50 of his own company (mounted) and a portion of Company H, Seventh Illinois Cavalry, Capt. Milton L. Webster commanding, with similar instructions; also an expedition to Dallas, Bollinger County, Missouri, under command of Maj. Jonas Rawalt, Seventh Cavalry, consisting of 100 mounted men, with the same instructions, designing to surprise and capture all persons in rebellion against the United States Government, as also their property which might be of use in conducting the present rebellion. In accordance with such instructions the several expeditions moved simultaneously from this post on the evening of the 15th instant for their respective destinations, all of which resulted as satisfactorily as the circumstances and surroundings indicated. On the 17th instant the various expeditions returned, bringing with them the following prisoners: From Dallas, Major Rawalt, with 18 prisoners formerly of Thompson’s command, but who had been discharged from further service.

The expedition under Captain Murdoch was the more successful, inasmuch as many of the discharged officers of Thompson’s command were attending a ball in Bloomfield preparatory to their re-enlisting, and were probably not anticipating an attack until they found themselves surrounded. Thirty-nine prisoners were captured. Among them were Lieutenant-Colonel Farmer, Second Regiment Missouri State Guard; Captain Cole, Company A, Second Regiment Missouri State Guard, and some 10 other officers, all of whom were discharged by virtue of expiration of term of enlistment. The expedition to Benton {p.53} arrested and brought in some five persons charged with aiding and abetting the rebels, as also having been in the service of the Confederate Government. A number of guns were also destroyed, the intensity of the cold making the carrying of the same very troublesome. Considerable property, consisting of stock, horses, saddles, bridles, &c., was brought into the post by the expeditions, and by my order was turned over to the quartermaster of the post.

I cannot speak too highly of the promptness of both officers and men in the several expeditions above reported. The weather was cold and disagreeable, and they were to a considerable extent unacquainted with the general character of the service upon which they were ordered; yet they responded with a promptness and alacrity that ultimately insured the success of the same. I desire further to state that in this instance I have the satisfaction of knowing that the news of the expedition did not, as usual, precede the march of the troops, but that, on the contrary, the knowledge of the same was kept within the limits of this post, owing to the thoroughness of the officers in charge of the pickets. I have, in accordance with my best judgment, looking at the matter in the light of all the facts that I can gather, released several of the prominent parties upon their parol of honor; a copy of which I inclose herewith. I regarded this as the best method to pursue, hoping by so doing to establish a more perfect understanding of the object and aim of the Government among those whose enmity arises unquestionably from (as I have previously intimated) perverted statements on the part of our enemies. These men have pledged their return upon honor at such time as you may indicate through this post, and I am fully satisfied of their honesty of purpose, feeling, as they expressed themselves, a desire to be, after their observation and limited acquaintance here, permanently out of the service.

I desire further to state in this connection that much remains undone yet in these localities which I hope to effect as soon as I can procure arms for the cavalry now located at this point. Many are returning and will yet return from the rebel army who fear to come voluntarily and take the oath because of an expressed determination on the part of General Thompson to hang such persons, but who, if taken by force, will be, I am satisfied, hereafter loyal citizens. I do not desire to intrude my opinion, but I am satisfied that the best policy to pursue towards the remainder of the prisoners is as pursued towards those above indicated. I shall, however, await for approval before doing so.

I have the honor to remain, your obedient servant,

L. F. ROSS, Colonel, Commanding Post.

[Indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CAIRO, Cairo, January 23, 1862.

Respectfully forwarded to headquarters Department of the Missouri. I disapprove the plan of paroling prisoners of Thompson’s army, as suggested by Colonel Ross, but refer the matter to the general commanding department for his order in the matter.

U. S. GRANT, Brigadier-General.

{p.54}

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HEADQUARTERS, CAPE GIRARDEAU, January 21, 1862.

GENERAL: In addition to the report of yesterday I desire to add that the expedition to Bloomfield was originally assigned to Major Livingston, Eleventh Missouri Volunteer Infantry, designing to give a command to each of the majors at this post. Before the expedition started, however, Major L. was taken sick, and the command was turned over to Captain Murdoch. In order to properly arm the cavalry that was sent I had to obtain the temporary loan of some rifles from the Eleventh Missouri Volunteers, leaving a portion of that regiment for the time unarmed. I earnestly hope that the cavalry regiment at this post will be armed as early as practicable, as we must rely almost wholly upon them to hold in check the roving bands of robbers and plunderers infesting Southeast Missouri. I would like to take a regiment of infantry, some artillery, and cavalry, and hold Bloomfield for a few days, until those men could be driven from the State. The roads are so heavy below that there is no danger of re-enforcements being sent from New Madrid or Columbus. There are reports of Price moving eastward near Arkansas line. I have heard nothing, however, reliable. Have you any such information?

Your obedient servant,

L. F. ROSS, Colonel.

Brig. Gen. U. S. GRANT, Cairo, ill.

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JANUARY 20-24, 1862.–Operations in and about Atchison, Kans.

Report of Capt. Irving W. Fuller, First Missouri Cavalry.

FORT LEAVENWORTH, KANS., January 28, 1862.

Abridged report of Capt. I. W. Fuller, First Missouri Cavalry, in command of a detachment of First Missouri Cavalry detached from this post by virtue of the following order, viz:

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 57.}

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF KANSAS, Fort Leavenworth, Hans., January 20, 1862.

Captain Fuller, Company E, First Missouri Cavalry, will proceed with his command to Atchison, and there report to Hon. J. H. Fairchild, mayor of Atchison City, with whom he will confer and co-operate in all measures necessary to maintain the peace of Atchison City and County and arresting any irregular bands or bodies of armed men who may be depredating on the public or contravening the provisions of General Orders, No. 5, issued from these headquarters, bearing date January 7, 1862. He will remain at Atchison until further orders.

By order of Major-General Hunter:

CHAS. G. HALPINE, Major, and Assistant Adjutant-General.

And in pursuance of the following order, to wit:

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 58.}

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF KANSAS, Fort Leavenworth, January 20, 1862.

I. So much of Special Orders, No. 57, from these headquarters, of this day’s date, as orders Captain Fuller, Company E, First Missouri Cavalry, to report to Mayor Fair child at Atchison City, is hereby revoked. Captain Fuller, with his entire command, will report to Deputy United States Marshal Hook, but in all other respects will carry out the provisions of Special Orders, No. 57.

{p.55}

II. Lieutenant Sprague, Company D, First Missouri Cavalry, with 20 men, will forthwith proceed on the road towards Atchison City until he overtakes the command of Captain Fuller, to whom he will report for orders.

By order of Major-General Hunter:

CHAS. G. HALPINE, Major, and Assistant Adjutant-General.

In pursuance of the above order I left Fort Leavenworth with my command at 2 o’clock p.m. of the 20th January, 1862, and proceeded to Atchison, where I arrived at 8 o’clock p.m. of the same day. I reported immediately upon my arrival to Mayor Fairchild (Special Orders, No. 58, revoking that part of Orders No. 57, not having reached me yet). Mayor Fairchild informed me that the citizens had driven the principal jayhawkers (depredators) out of town, but at the same time requested me to arrest certain parties who were suspected to be in league with these depredators and as having the keeping of stolen horses and cattle. In conformity with his request I arrested several of such persons as he pointed out to me and charged with the above crime, but who from want of evidence and with his concurrence were discharged.

On the next morning, January 21, 1862, at 4 o’clock a.m., Lieutenant Sprague joined my command with 20 men and reported for duty. At 8 a.m. of the same day I sent out Lieutenant Sprague with 25 men in search of horse-thieves and depredators and stolen property, who succeeded in capturing 5 of the stolen horses and 2 jayhawkers, and returned at 2 p.m. of the same day. I then proceeded with the balance of my command to the farm of Sueter Dixon, a noted jayhawker, and took from his farm 20 horses and 2 shot-guns, the property of citizens of Kansas and Missouri, to whom I restored their property upon their bringing satisfactory proof of ownership.

January 22, Mayor Fairchild delivered to me 8 horses taken from the jayhawkers by the Home Guards of Atchison previous to my arrival, which were all claimed by citizens of Kansas and delivered to them as above.

January 23, made several scouts and searches in the neighborhood of town. I was informed by Messrs. Brown, Dunlap, and Sumers that several horses were brought to their farms by parties unknown for safe-keeping, but that they supposed them to be jayhawked horses, and would like to have an investigation of the matter. I proceeded to the farms of the above-named men, seized the horses, and brought them into town, when they were immediately claimed by their proper owners and delivered to them.

January 24, I was notified by Mr. Irving, of Missouri, at 3 o’clock a.m., that 15 jayhawkers had robbed his farm in Missouri and taken therefrom 40 horses and mules and 6 negroes; that they dragged his family, among whom there are several females, out of bed, insulting them in the most revolting manner, robbed them of their jewelry, and finally left and proceeded in the direction of Elwood. I immediately concluded to go in search of this party, and Mr. Irving offering himself and a few neighbors as guides, I consented thereto, but dispatched him in advance. I overtook him at Geary City, where I found that his party had caught 2 and killed the captain (by name Chandler) of jayhawkers and wounded another. The rest had escaped, 11 in number, and had gone in the direction of Elwood. I then told Mr. Irving that I thought best for him and his party to go home, as I had a force sufficient to answer all purposes. Accordingly Mr. Irving and his party went home. I took the 2 prisoners in my charge and gave chase to the {p.56} remainder. I followed them closely. When I came within 8 miles of Elwood I ascertained that the party I was in pursuit of had divided. Five had gone west of Elwood, in the direction of White Cloud, and 6 had gone to Elwood. Accordingly I divided my command. I sent Lieutenant Sprague in pursuit of the party of 5 en route to White Cloud, and proceeded myself in pursuit of the other party en route to Elwood, where I captured them. Two hours after Lieutenant Sprague joined me, having been successful in the capture of the party sent after, with all the stolen property in their possession-5 horses, saddles, bridles, &c. The party I captured had in their possession 12 horses, 3 mules, and 4 wagons, all these the property of Mr. Irving.

These are the most material points of my proceedings.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

I. W. FULLER, Captain, First Missouri Cavalry.

Lieutenant SACHS, Post Adjutant, Fort Leavenworth, Kans.

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JANUARY 22, 1862.–Occupation of Lebanon, Mo.

Report of Lieut. Col. Clark Wright, Wright’s Battalion Missouri Cavalry.

HEADQUARTERS, POST LEBANON, January 22, 1862.

MAJOR: I arrived at this place at 1.30 o’clock p.m. and took formal possession of the town. I sent forward two companies, however, in advance, who arrived about daylight, but found no one here, although there were 20 rebels here yesterday. At this writing I have a number of scouting parties out in various directions, and by next will be able to tell you what is going on in this vicinity. Some days ago, from the Gasconade, I dispatched scouts to turn the rear of the enemy and learn if possible what was going on in the Southwest. One of these has returned, and reports the enemy all quiet about Springfield, and the rebels all believe that we have gone back to Rolla; they have no idea of our making a forward movement; that quite all of Rains’ men have gone home, and say they will remain through the winter. Rains, on last Thursday, with 400 men-all he had left-went to Granby, it is said, to run the lead furnaces. On Friday last another squadron of 200 passed Miller’s, on the head of Spring River, going south. He says there are none other than Missouri troops in Springfield, and that Price has not over 10,000 troops.

I also learn that since I retired from this post some considerable amount of supplies has been run off to the rebels. I will stop that arrangement, however.

At this moment the scouting party sent out under Lieut. Valentine Preuitt, First Missouri, have returned, bringing in 1 prisoner, and report having killed Capt. Tom Craig, of this place, in a running fight. He was thought to be Federal-proof, and his lady friend (secesh) was exulting at the time the news arrived over the matter and how nicely he had escaped us, and that we would never get him; but the scene is changed. At the request of his wife I have sent an escort and wagon to bring in the body. We have also found a cache of cut pork, said to belong to him. I have sent out the quartermaster to estimate and {p.57} bring it in. I think by to-morrow I will have the machine fairly in motion, after which the atmosphere in this vicinity will be very unhealthy for rebels. I captured also a lot of papers belonging to the rebels, but have not had time to examine them. My next will give some light on the subject. I am still more convinced of the importance of holding this post than ever. It will require, however, an energetic commander. I also think it very important to attack Springfield at once. That I will leave, however, for wiser heads and larger forces.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, major, your most obedient servant,

CLARK WRIGHT, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Post Lebanon, Mo.

Maj. N. P. CHIPMAN, Assistant Adjutant-General, Rolla, Mo.

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JANUARY 29-FEBRUARY 3, 1862.–Expedition to Blue Springs, Mo.

Report of Capt. William S. Oliver, Seventh Missouri Infantry.

HEADQUARTERS CAMP STEVENSON, Independence, February 3, 1862.

GENERAL: I have just returned from an expedition which I was compelled to undertake in search of the notorious Quantrill and his gang of robbers in the vicinity of Blue Springs. Without mounted men at my disposal, despite numerous applications to various points, I have seen this infamous scoundrel rob mails, steal the coaches and horses, and commit other similar outrages upon society even within sight of this city. Mounted on the best horses of the country, he has defied pursuit, making his camp in the bottoms of the and Blue, and roving over a circuit of 30 miles. I mounted a company of my command and went to Blue Springs. The first night there myself, with 5 men, were ambushed by him and fired upon. We killed 2 of his men (of which he had 18 or 20) and wounded a third. The next day we killed 4 more of the worst of the gang, and before we left succeeded in dispersing them. I obtained 6 or 7 wagon loads of pork and a quantity of tobacco, hidden and preserved for the use of the Southern Army, and recovered also the valuable stage-coach, with 2 of their horses. I was absent a week, and can say that no men were ever more earnest or subject to greater privations and hardships than both the mounted men and the infantry I employed on this expedition.

Quantrill will not leave this section unless he is chastised and driven from it. I hear of him to-night 15 miles from here, with new recruits, committing outrages on Union men, a large body of whom have come in to-night, driven out by him. Families of Union men are coming into the city to-night asking of me escorts to bring in their goods and chattels, which I duly furnished.

The duplicate orders from you to move I received the same day, while absent on this expedition. I returned to this place at once, but find it utterly impossible in the present condition of the command to start at once. My men are without boots and shoes, and the long march In the snow and cold from Morristown and this last severe expedition has filled the hospital, as you are aware from the report of the {p.58} post surgeon, heretofore transmitted. Three are confined to their beds with broken limbs and two with small-pox. They cannot be removed in my wagons. Others may come down in a few days.

I applied to General Hunter for shoes, &c. He replied that all my supplies of that sort must be obtained through you. Saying nothing, general, about the deplorable condition which the withdrawal of my force will leave this people in, is it not pertinent for me to ask how I can move my command in its present condition on this frozen ground and snow? I assure you, sir, nothing do I more desire than to rejoin my regiment, but if I go now my men must travel with frozen feet, and my sick I must leave behind for aught I see. I am not insensible, and cannot be, to the appeals which pour in upon me from the many Union men of this vicinity to remain, but I have no duties to discharge transcending your command, and do not ask for delay on that account.

The duties of the officers of the battalion are rendered onerous and burdensome on account of the absence of three lieutenants and a captain belonging to the Seventh Missouri, now at Sedalia; besides which one lieutenant is confined to his bed sick.

For the last two weeks I have been without any sugar, there being none to be had. I send to-morrow to Kansas City to endeavor to obtain supplies; still I have a plenty of pork, confiscated flour, and secesh forage and wood.

Hoping this presentation of facts will excuse me from moving until at least I obtain further commands from you, and awaiting your further orders, I remain, with great respect, your obedient servant,

W. S. OLIVER, Captain, Comdg. Detached Battalion Seventh Mo. Vols.

P. S.-I omitted to say I find that I had 1 man killed and 2 wounded during the expedition referred to.

Brigadier-General POPE, Commanding, Otterville, Mo.

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FEBRUARY 9, 1862.–Skirmish at Marshfield, Mo.

Report of Brig. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis, U. S. Army.

HDQRS. SOUTHWESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI, CAMP AT COPEY, 18 MILES IN ADVANCE OF LEBANON, February 10, 1862-5 p.m.

CAPTAIN: I should have reported that a party of my cavalry, under Lieut. Col. F. W. Lewis, First Missouri Cavalry, made a descent on Bolivar last Saturday morning, taking 1 or 2 straggling rebel soldiers and carrying terror and astonishment due north of Springfield. On their way back they captured 125 head of cattle, which had been collected for the rebel army.

Yesterday at 4 o’clock a cavalry battalion, under Lieutenant-Colonel Wright, entered Marshfield, routing and pursuing a small party of the enemy’s force that was running the mill. Pursuit was made, and Captain Montgomery overtook them, killing 2, wounding 3, taking 3 prisoners, several slaves, 3 Government mule teams, 2 common teams, all loaded with wheat designed for the enemy. None of our men were {p.59} hurt. My march to-day has been very satisfactory. Latest news from Springfield: Price was still there. General Frost arrived Friday or Saturday with a few men, and his battery, with about 400 men, was expected within four days. Firing heard to-day from that direction. Probably that re-enforcement has arrived.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

SAML. R. CURTIS, Brigadier-General.

Capt. J. C. KELTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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FEBRUARY 12, 1862.–Skirmish at Springfield, Mo.

Report of Brig. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis, U. S. Army.

HDQRS. SOUTHWESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI, Springfield, Mo., February 13, 1862.

CAPTAIN: The flag of the Union floats over the court-house of Springfield, Mo. The enemy attacked us with small parties at 10.30 o’clock 12 miles out, and my front guards had a running fire with them most of the afternoon. At dusk a regiment of the Confederate cavalry attacked the outer picket, but did not move it. A few shots from a howitzer killed 2 and wounded several. The regiment retreated to this place, and the enemy immediately commenced the evacuation of the city. I entered the city at 10 a.m. My cavalry is in full pursuit. They say the enemy is making a stand at Wilson’s Creek. Forage, flour, and other stores in large quantities taken. Shall pursue as fast as the strength of the men will allow.

Very respectfully, &c.,

SAML. R. CURTIS, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Capt. J. C. KELTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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FEBRUARY 14, 1862.–Skirmish at Crane Creek, Mo.

Report of Brig. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis, U. S. Army.

HDQRS. SOUTHWESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI, McCullah’s Store, February 14, 1862-7 p.m.

GENERAL: The enemy was attacked by my cavalry about half an hour since; he was then at Crane Creek.* Whether he will stand there or not is very uncertain, but I think it will be hard for his train and heavy artillery. He will probably move on through. I will try to attack him in rear to-morrow, but will delay if he stops until you can reach him. I regret that I can get no report from you, but hope you got my reply to yours this morning. I find one or two companies of Benton Hussars here, and will take them with me, as the nearest and best way for them to rejoin you. I hope you are able to reach the enemy or {p.60} strike his flank at McDowell’s, since he is now probably passing Crane Creek.

Truly, yours,

SAML. R. CURTIS, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Brig. Gen. FRANZ SIGEL, Commanding Division.

* See Bowen’s report, Pea Ridge, or Elkhorn, Ark.

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FEBRUARY 15, 1862.–Skirmish near Flat Creek, Mo.

Report of Brig. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis, U. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS SOUTHWESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI, CAMP NEAR FLAT CREEK, 2 MILES WEST OF CHRISTIAN’S, February 15, 1862-7 p.m.

GENERAL: I moved slowly till I had passed Crane Creek. There the precipitate flight of the enemy induced me to order forward the cavalry, with instructions to overtake and charge the enemy. When they arrived here they were fired on by artillery, and therefore made a stand until other forces came up. The little howitzers returned the fire of the enemy, and kept them at bay till I got heavier batteries in position and drove the enemy forward. The valley is very strong for the enemy, and I wonder he did not make a better stand. I am taking the straggling cattle for rations to-night, and will move on to Cassville at 4.

I hope the force of your command is near me to-night. My men are living on meat, and have hardly time to cook it; but they seem eager to push forward, either to take Price or drive him out of the State.

I am, general, very truly, yours,

SAML. R. CURTIS, Brigadier-General.

Brigadier-General SIGEL, en route.

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FEBRUARY 16, 1862.–Action at Potts’ Hill, Sugar Creek, Ark.

Report of Lieut. Col. Clark Wright, Wright’s Battalion Missouri Cavalry.

HEADQUARTERS WRIGHT’S BATTALION, Camp Carr, Big Sugar Creek, Ark., February 17, 1862.

COLONEL: I desire to submit through you to the general commanding a brief report of the charge made upon the rebels on yesterday. When my command was ordered forward, we came up, as you are aware, and formed on the rear of Major McConnel’s battalion, Third Illinois Cavalry. The major and myself held a brief consultation, and mutually agreed that, if permitted, and a charge was made, to go in together, and at his suggestion I followed Colonel Ellis, being supported by the major. Thus we were formed at the creek when the, charge was sounded. Colonel Ellis, leading the charge, took the road and received a heavy cross-fire from the enemy. As I approached I discovered a heavy column of the enemy on either side of the road. I at once deployed my battalion to the right and charged their lines. Major McConnell {p.61} went to the left. For a few minutes the fight was well contested on the right, the heavy timber and dense underbrush affording good covering for the enemy. I ordered a saber charge after firing our carbines and pistols, but soon found that the brush was too dense to make it rapid enough. Consequently we returned sabers and fought our way through with carbines. My battalion moved steadily forward, routing the enemy, driving him beyond the brush into the open ground beyond, at which point I received an order to fall back. I dropped back some 200 yards and formed. Our loss is 1 killed (private, Company C); Captain Switzler, Company A, severely wounded; 2 privates, Company C, slightly wounded. Loss of the enemy unknown. My officers and men all acted with great bravery and coolness, and kept in as good order as the circumstances would admit of; and, so far as my observation extended, Colonel Ellis’ command, First Missouri, Major McConnell’s battalion, Third Illinois, and Major Bowen’s battery all deserve credit for their bravery and energy in repulsing and routing the enemy from such an ambush. All acted nobly under the circumstances.*

I am, very respectfully, colonel, your most obedient servant,

CLARK WRIGHT, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Wright’s Battalion Cavalry.

Col. E. A. CARR, Acting Major-General, Commanding Fourth Division.

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FEBRUARY 17, 1862.–Action at Sugar Creek, Ark.

Report of Brig. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis, U. S. Army.

HDQRS. SOUTHWESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI, SUGAR CREEK CROSSING, 6 MILES FROM LINE IN ARKANSAS, February 18, 1862.

CAPTAIN: The general’s dispatch of the 14th is received. We rejoice again at the success of our comrades in the East.

The enemy was re-enforced yesterday by the troops of McCulloch and made another stand at this place. His batteries opened on us and were very soon replied to by mine. After a few rounds of shot and shell I ordered a cavalry charge, which drove them from the high grounds they occupy, with the loss of many killed, wounded, and scattered. My loss is 13 killed and 15 or 20 wounded.* Among the latter are Major Bowen, of my escort, in the wrist; my assistant adjutant-general, Captain McKenny, severely cut, but not dangerously; Captain Switzler, not dangerously.

My advance encamped on the battle ground. General Sigel’s command is 4 miles back and will reach me this morning. Have sent cavalry forward to annoy and explore. Cross Hollow is their next point 12 miles ahead. I shall also await the arrival of the First and Second Divisions, as this is their great boasted trap for the Federal Army. Hope also the Third Iowa will arrive to-day.

Very respectfully, &c.,

SAML. R. CURTIS, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Capt. N. H. MCLEAN, Assistant Adjutant-General.

* See Bowen’s report of Pea Ridge, or Elkhorn, Ark.

{p.62}

FEBRUARY 18, 1862.–Action at Bentonville, Ark.

REPORTS.

No. 1.–Brig. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis, U. S. Army.
No. 2.–Maj. C. Schaeffer Boernstein, Chief of Staff.
No. 3.–Brigadier-General A. Asboth, U. S. Army.

No. 1.

Report of Brig. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis, U. S. Army.

[Received SAINT LOUIS, February 21, 1862.]

I sent a cavalry force under Brigadier-General Asboth yesterday to take Bentonville. A small force was routed; their equipments taken; a large flag, arms, and teams were brought in. It is difficult to procure information of the topography of the country. Cross Hollow is a deep ravine, in thick brush, flanked by the White River Mountains.

General Sigel’s force and five companies of the Third Iowa have arrived, so my force is again united. I want to take Cross Hollow and Fayetteville, but see nothing else this side of the Arkansas River worth going after, and I have no means of crossing that river. Forage and meat are found in abundance, but the taking of it is attended with considerable labor, and tends to demoralize my troops and draw after me a horde of camp followers, who commit many outrages.

The scattered blankets and coats on the field show that the enemy had made a more extensive arrangement for battle than I supposed. Their rout was complete, but they keep their artillery so far back in defiles I have not yet been able to secure it. I shall make a reconnaissance in force to-day, and have private scouts also busy feeling the enemy in his brushy cavern.

SAML. R. CURTIS, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Capt. N. H. MCLEAN, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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No. 2.

Report of Maj. C. Schaeffer Boernstein, Chief of Staff.

SAINT LOUIS, March 4, 1862.

CAPTAIN: The rebel flag which I had the honor to deliver to head quarters by order of Brig. Gen. S. R. Curtis, commanding Southwestern District, Western Department, was taken at Bentonville, Ark., the 19th [18th] of February.

The day after the engagement at Sugar Creek Brigadier-General Asboth was ordered by the commanding general to march towards Bentonville. His force consisted of parts of the Benton and Frémont Hussars and one battery commanded by Captain Elbert. Bentonville was occupied by a part of Colonel Rector’s regiment of Arkansas infantry. After a short engagement the rebels were driven to flight, leaving behind a large amount of provisions, arms, wagons, and horses. Besides that our forces captured a number of prisoners, and took possession {p.63} of their regimental flag, which they found hoisted at the courthouse.

Your most obedient servant,

C. SCHAEFFER BOERNSTEIN, Major and Chief of Staff.

Capt. J. C. KELTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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No. 3.

Reports of Brigadier-General A. Asboth, U. S. Army.

BENTONVILLE, ARK., February 18, 1862.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that I entered this place with my command at 20 minutes past 12 o’clock, taking down the secession flag floating from the court-house, and securing a number of prisoners and arms. I hold now quiet possession of the surrounded town, and, searching all the houses, will collect further arms and ammunition.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ASBOTH, Brigadier-General.

General SAMUEL R. CURTIS.

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HEADQUARTERS SECOND DIVISION, Camp at Sugar Creek Crossing, Benton Co., Ark., Feb. 19, 1862.

GENERAL: By your order of yesterday I was directed to set out with a portion of my cavalry and two pieces of artillery upon a reconnoitering expedition on the road to Bentonville, under instructions to take possession of that town if possible. In obedience to and in furtherance of this order I issued the Special Order, No. 30, herewith inclosed,* and with the force therein designated started upon the reconnaissance at 9.30 o’clock a.m. Following Sugar Creek 4 1/2 miles, I struck the Cassville and Springfield road (which leaves the Wire road at a point 6 miles behind Sugar Creek Crossing, where the First and Second Divisions were last encamped), and after surprising a dismounted rebel cavalry picket 4 miles this side of Bentonville and taking some of their horses and all their saddles and bridles, I occupied Bentonville at 20 minutes past 12 o’clock. The accompanying topographical sketch,* with notes of explanation, gives a full description of the road, together with the character of the country, its resources, camping sites, &c.

The deserted rebel camp exhibited vestiges of a late encampment of about 5,000 men, the larger part of whom, according to information received, has departed on the road to Smith’s Mill, towards Bloomington, or Mud Town. Bentonville was entirely deserted upon our taking possession of it. In a short time, however, we collected from the bushes in its vicinity about 60 men, 32 of whom, being rebel soldiers or taken with arms, I brought in as prisoners. A list of their names is herewith inclosed.* To the others, sick and wounded and noncombatant inhabitants of the town, I administered the oath of allegiance.

{p.64}

The rebel post quartermaster escaped from his office, but his horse and equipments were taken, together with his office papers and accounts, as were also the mail-bag and letters from the post-office, besides those found in the barracks and hospitals. Four teams, all that were in the town, were loaded with provisions, arms, accouterments, clothing, &c., which were placed in charge of my acting division quartermaster, Captain Bensberg, together with 7 horses in teams and $475.75 in Confederate bills dropped by a flying rebel. Twenty-nine other horses taken are in possession of the respective cavalry companies, and will be immediately collected for the use of the artillery.

The last rebel troops left Bentonville on Sunday-some of their baggage trains not until Monday forenoon-all in the direction of Mud Town, to re-enforce, as is stated, the enemy’s position at Cross Hollow. No troops have come from or left for Maysville.

On my return I took another road, represented to be good, without any creek crossings, joining the Fayetteville road 4 miles south of Sugar Creek Crossing, but as it was already sunset, and my cavalry, besides the 2 pieces of artillery, embarrassed with 32 prisoners and laden wagons, and not knowing with certainty the position of the enemy on the Fayetteville road, from where cannonading was heard the whole afternoon, I resumed the Smith Mill road again to Sugar Creek Valley and arriving at our encampment with my whole command at about 7.30 o’clock in the evening, presented the secession flag to General Curtis, commanding.

The provisions and clothing taken will be distributed among the men of the command. One of the wagons, however, having been overturned near the camp of the First Division, its 2 horses, together with the provisions it contained, were appropriated by the troops.

It was impossible for me to explore the section of country lying between the Fayetteville road, the Sugar Creek road to Bentonville, and the road from that place by Osage Springs to Mud Town, but from information received it is intersected by by-roads in all directions, adapted to cavalry maneuvers in flank of the rebel position at Cross Hollow. It however lacks water. A closer examination is required.

With regard to the 32 prisoners and 34 muskets and rifles, as well as to the disposition of the before-mentioned money, I would ask for orders.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ASBOTH, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

General FRANZ SIGEL, Commanding First and Second Divisions.

* Omitted as of no present importance.

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FEBRUARY 18-19, 1862.–Expedition to Mount Vernon, Mo.

Report of Lieut. Col. James K. Mills.

HEADQUARTERS POST OF SPRINGFIELD, MO., February 20, 1862.

GENERAL: Learning that the secession flag was in Mount Vernon, and that a small party of Price’s soldiers (cut off by your advance to the southward) had entered the place, I dispatched Captain Mudgett, of the Third Iowa Cavalry, with 30 men of his command, to capture them. They left here on the 18th and returned on the evening of the {p.65} 19th, having been perfectly successful. They took the flag and 5 prisoners, and once more raised the Stars and Stripes over the courthouse.

I have discovered the whereabouts of some 125 rebels some 28 miles from here, who were cut off from joining Price, and are reported to have a train with them. I have organized a sufficient force, and as soon as my spies return shall send after them.

Respectfully, yours,

JAMES K. MILLS, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Post.

Brigadier-General CURTIS, Commanding Army of Southwest.

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FEBRUARY 19, 1862.–Skirmish at West Plains, No.

REPORTS.

No. 1.–Lieut. Col. S. N. Wood, Sixth Missouri Cavalry.
No. 2.–Maj. William C. Drake, Third Iowa Cavalry.

No. 1.

Report of lieut. Col. S. N. Wood, Sixth Missouri Cavalry.

HEADQUARTERS WOOD’S BATTALION, SIXTH MISSOURI VOLUNTEER CAVALRY, Rolla, February 26, 1862.

COLONEL: According to your order of February 15 I left camp Sunday, February 16, 1862, with all my available force, consisting of Company A, Capt. S. A. Breese, 42 men; Company B, Captain Hackney, 25 men; Company C, Lieutenants Martin and Hawkins, 27 men; Company D, Capt. E. M. Morris, 29 men; Company E, Captain De Gross and Lieutenant Cole, 29 men; total, 152; arrived at Salem, Mo., the same evening, and reported to Major Drake, Third Iowa Cavalry; got what information I could, and we mutually agreed upon an expedition south, and both went to work to get our commands ready to move. Major Drake’s command consisted of Captain Miller and Lieutenant Cherrie and 60 men, Lieutenant McDannal and 50 men; total, 110 men; making a total force of 262 men; Company A, of my battalion, taking along their mountain howitzer. We camped Monday night 8 miles south of Salem. Tuesday we traveled 30 miles, to Roark’s store, in Spring Valley. Wednesday morning at 1 o’clock we were in our saddles and on our way to either Thomasville or West Plains. Eight miles brought us to Harlow’s Mill, a notorious rebel rendezvous, and 30 miles from either Thomasville or West Plains. A cold sleet had fallen all the morning. My men were completely saturated and almost frozen. We were compelled to halt and build fires to keep from freezing.

Here I learned that Coleman’s infantry was at West Plains, but no troops in Thomasville. Where Coleman himself was I could not learn. I immediately detailed a small wagon guard, and with the balance of command, including our mountain howitzer, pushed on 30 miles to West Plains. I sent Major Drake with the Third Iowa Battalion to take {p.66} position on the south and east of the town. I sent Companies D, E, and C to the west, and prepared to enter the town on the north with Company A and the howitzer, supported on our left by Company B. At 3 p.m. we thus had the town completely surrounded. We advanced and entered the place, a brisk firing having commenced on our part. Not over half a dozen shots were fired by the rebels, they breaking and running in every direction. Supposing them posted in force in the court-house, Sergeant Moody opened fire upon the building with the howitzer. One shot with canister covered the entire front with bullet-holes. A shell passed through both walls and three partitions and then exploded.

The contest was brief. None killed or wounded on our side. Their loss was 5 killed, 1 mortally wounded (died before leaving the place), 8 slightly wounded, and 60 taken prisoners. We remained in town (which is only 10 miles from the Arkansas line) until the next day (20th) at 2 p.m. Of the prisoners taken about 20 were released, as there was no evidence connecting them with the rebel army. We also captured about 40 horses and 60 stand of arms, together with several wagons. I append a list of prisoners and captured property.*

At 2 p.m. Tuesday (20th), learning that Colonel Coleman and 30 men were in Texas County, we marched north 20 miles to Hulton Valley, made one or two arrests, sending scouts in all directions to ascertain Coleman’s position. We remained in Hulton Valley until noon (21st), but hearing nothing of Coleman we marched 20 miles north to Elk Creek, Saturday I marched the main command to Houston, sending Captain De Gress and 20 men to Smiley’s Mill for flour. Captain De Gress fell in with a party of 11 rebels, killed 2 and took 1 prisoner, arriving at camp at 9 o’clock p.m. Believing that other parties of rebels were in the county, I determined to scout the whole county.

I immediately prepared orders, and from 2 to 4 a.m. Sunday morning had sent out seven scouting parties of from 15 to 20 each. Hearing that Coleman had a fort near Smiley’s Mill, I sent Captain Breese and 20 men to ascertain the fact, and if true to destroy it. The captain found a large frame house, the property of Dick Smiley. The inside partitions had been removed. Logs had been put up as high as a man’s breast all around the house. Outside of this a ditch had been dug, the dirt being thrown between the logs and the building. A door had been heavily planked and port-holes cut just above the logs, making a position, if occupied by a few men, hard to take without artillery. Captain Breese set fire to it and burned it down. Lieutenant Cherrie returned before night, having found 10 armed rebels at Judge Gilmore’s, and captured the entire party. Three or four other prisoners were taken.

Monday morning, being satisfied Colonel Coleman and party had escaped south, and no further work left for us to do, and being out of provisions, I directed Major Drake to return with his command to Salem, taking my own command , prisoners, and horses, and returning to Rolla, arriving here at 1 o’clock this day. The total number of prisoners is 60.

In conclusion I must bear testimony to the gallantry of the officers and soldiers constituting the command. We started with but five days’ rations of sugar and coffee and but two of other articles, depending upon what the country afforded for subsistence. Without tents, traveling 225 miles in ten days, sleeping on the ground, half of the command {p.67} constantly on guard, yet both officers and men endured it all without a murmur.

I have the honor, colonel, to be, your obedient servant,

S. N. WOOD, Lieut. Col., Commanding Wood’s Battalion, Sixth Mo. Vol..

Col. J. B. WYMAN, Commanding Post, Rolla, Mo.

* Omitted.

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No. 2.

Report of Maj. William O. Drake, Third Iowa Cavalry.

HEADQUARTERS POST AT SALEM, MO., March 4, 1862.

I have been unable to make regular reports of my command, owing to absence on sundry and divers scouts, &c. At the time our last report should have been made we were out on a scout in force.

On February 17, 120 of my command were attached to Lieut. Col. S. N. Wood’s battalion of 120 men under orders to scout through Dent, Shannon, Howell, and Texas Counties. We returned, bringing with us 100 prisoners, 80 horses, mules, &c., 80 rifles and shot-guns, 2 kegs of-powder, a large lot of commissary stores, and other contraband articles, including wagons, ambulance, buggy, &c., most of which were captured at West Plains, the county seat of Howell County, and the balance at Houston, the county seat of Texas.

West Plains was the headquarters of Colonel Coleman, the guerrilla chief of this country. He had there at the time of our descent about 40 infantry, forming a nucleus for a regiment of Price’s army. Himself and his cavalry force were absent on a scout. At about a mile and a half before reaching the town Colonel Wood’s battalion and ours separated, to enter the town from different sides. Our boys got there first and made the attack, resulting in 6 killed and 10 wounded of the enemy and the rest prisoners. After the fight was all over Wood’s men came up.

Our boys behaved like veterans and did credit to your command.

We expected to find Coleman and his mounted men there and looked for quite a brush, but we were disappointed. At Houston we expected a fight, but found no one there to oppose our entry. Took possession of the town; remained there over Sunday, and returned on Monday to Salem. Colonel Wood took prisoners and property to Rolla. General Halleck telegraphed to General McClellan that Colonel Wood had driven the rebels from Dent, Shannon, Howell, and Texas Counties.

The Third Iowa Cavalry was not mentioned, at which the boys feel highly indignant after doing all the work.

For state of my command would refer you to accompanying report.*

With great respect, I am, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM C. DRAKE, Major, Commanding.

Col. CYRUS BUSSEY.

* Not found.

{p.68}

FEBRUARY 23, 1862.–Occupation of Fayetteville, Ark.

REPORTS, ETC.

No. 1.–Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck, U. S. Army.
No. 2.–Brig. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis, U. S. Army.
No. 3.–Brig. Gen. A. Asboth, U. S. Army.
No. 4.–Proclamation of General Asboth to the citizens of Fayetteville, Ark.

No. 1.

Report of Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck, U. S. Army.

HDQRS. DEPT. OF Mo., Saint Louis, February 27, 1862.

General Curtis has taken possession of Fayetteville, Ark., capturing a number of prisoners, stores, baggage, &c. The enemy burned a part of the town before they left. They have crossed the Boston Mountains in great confusion. We are now in possession of all their strongholds. Forty-two officers and men of the Fifth Missouri Cavalry were poisoned at Mud Town by eating poisoned food which the rebels left behind them. The gallant Captain Dülfer died, and Lieutenant-Colonel Von Deutsch and Captain Lehmann have suffered much, but are recovering. The indignation of our soldiers is very great, but they have been restrained from retaliating upon the prisoners of war.

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General.

Major-General MCCLELLAN.

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No. 2.

Report of Brig. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis, U. S. Army.

HDQRS. SW. DIST. OF Mo., Camp Halleck, Feb. 24, 1862.

CAPTAIN: Our flag was raised on the court-house of Fayetteville yesterday at 11 o’clock. The picket of the rebels fled, losing several, who were taken prisoners, among them two officers. Principal buildings around the square were still burning, having been fired by the rebels to destroy those stores which they had no time to carry away. The main force of the enemy has fled beyond the mountain ranges that divide the waters of White River and Arkansas. I am now master of all their strongholds and larger cities of Western Arkansas, and hold a check on the rebels in the Indian country, being south of the Cherokees and east of the Choctaws. I am told the enemy is blockading the mountain passes by felling trees and otherwise obstructing the way, as McCulloch did Cross Timber Valley last summer. Forty-two of the officers and men of the Benton Hussars were poisoned at Mud Town, on arriving at that place Thursday last, by eating rebel food or drinking rebel liquor. One gallant officer, Captain Dülfer, died. Lieutenant-Colonel Von Deutsch and Captain Lehmann suffered very much, but have recovered. For the sake of humanity I hope it was not intended, but the evidence of the animus is almost irresistible. The murder of one of our soldiers in Bentonville was resented by burning of part of the town by our troops; but the perpetrators of the burning will be summarily punished by me.

Two days’ rations of flour arrived last evening. I have started mills at every place on my way, but sonic deficient or awkward arrangement of transportation prevents it from coming up as it should. I have the rebel mills at Cross Hollow and two mills on my right wing {p.69} grinding, but I am not certain that wheat in sufficient quantities can be secured.

Respectfully, &c.,

SAML. R. CURTIS, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Capt. N. H. MCLEAN, Assistant Adjutant-General, Saint Louis, Mo.

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No. 3.

Reports of Brigadier-General A. Asboth, U. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS AT COLONEL TIBBETT’S, Fayetteville, Washington Co., Ark., Feb. 23, 1862.-11.20 o’clock.

GENERAL: I am now in Fayetteville. The Stars and Stripes float from its court-house. The enemy’s picket, driven in by my men, retreated from the town, and, joined by some others, are drawn up at a short distance from it. The buildings in the town square are still burning. We have already several prisoners taken in arms, among them two officers. Your instructions as to the occupation of the town will be fully complied with. The Third Iowa Cavalry I now order to charge upon the enemy.

ASBOTH, Brigadier-General, Commanding Second Division.

General SAMUEL R. CURTIS, Commanding Southwestern District, Dept. of the Missouri.

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HEADQUARTERS AT COLONEL TIBBETT’S, Fayetteville, Washington County, Ark., February 23, 1862.

GENERAL: Two companies of cavalry, the retreating rear guard of the enemy, were followed by our cavalry, leaving behind 1 killed and 2 wounded, 1 mortally. We have 1 wounded. A dying private of McIntosh’s regiment disclosed to our surgeon that three regiments of McCulloch’s command are posted 10 miles from here, but the town as well as the surrounding country, is well guarded by our cavalry and artillery. The enemy having been seen in the forenoon 7 miles from here, on the West Fork of the White River, I sent a company of Frémont Hussars to that point, but they came too late; the enemy had flown. It was Brooks’ battalion, from 400 to 500 strong-the same that we had met towards Mud Town the day before yesterday.

All the troops were in the best spirits, and the Third Illinois [?] Cavalry, forming the advance guard, behaved very well, dismounting at command to act as infantry in the bushes. Of the activity, zeal, and energy of Colonel Phelps I cannot speak too highly.

The people having full confidence in your command, and looking to you for protection, while the rebels are disheartened by the defeat in Tennessee and by the rapid advance of your troops, I would consider it advisable to hold Fayetteville. The Union men implore it and promise provisions for our men and forage for the animals. Re-enforced by two regiments of infantry, I will hold the place and surrounding country against all the troops now before us. If ordered to leave, all {p.70} the loyal people will have to leave with us, just as the Missourians did a few months ago. Some of the leading citizens of the town will see you to-morrow at your headquarters and submit their request to such effect.

The topographical sketch showing our position and disposition of troops will follow, and will sustain my suggestion as to holding the place. I therefore ask you, general, to grant me and my command permission to remain here. It will improve the spirit of our men and break down more and more that of the enemy.

The printing-office was destroyed, but we found a portable printing-press in the court-house, and I have issued an order to collect printers in our command to put it in operation.

The hospital here is in good condition, well provided with mattresses and couches for from 50 to 60 men.

We discovered and secured from 30 to 40 wagon loads of lead, for which it would be well to send teams.

Requesting your orders, I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ASBOTH, Brigadier-General, Commanding Second Division.

P. S.-We have also secured 6 wagon loads of tools for pioneers, sappers and miners, left behind by the Confederate forces.

General SAMUEL R. CURTIS, Commanding Southwestern District, Dept. of the Missouri.

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No. 4.

Proclamation of Brigadier-General Asboth, U. S. Army, to the citizens of Fayetteville, Ark.

HEADQUARTERS AT COLONEL TIBBETT’S, Fayetteville, Washington County, Ark., February 23, 1862.

To the Citizens of Fayetteville:

Sent in command of the advance guard of the United States Army of the Southwestern District, Department of the Missouri, by General Samuel R. Curtis, commanding, I have occupied your town to arrest the wanton destruction of public and private property already inaugurated by the Confederate troops; to sustain those of its inhabitants who have been faithful to the laws; to encourage all who may have temporarily wavered in their duty under the threats of bad and designing men, and to establish the law and order essential to the public weal. While, therefore, calling upon the loyal citizens of this town to aid me in the furtherance and accomplishment of these objects, I at the same time offer to all who may have faltered in their fealty but who shall now truthfully declare their allegiance to the laws of the Union, the protection of its flag. Deserted fire-sides cannot be guarded, but every house containing a living soul shall have the protection of our power. None, therefore, should depart. Those absent should return.

General Curtis, the commanding general, desires personally to see and confer with one or two of your leading citizens regarding the welfare {p.71} of the town, who will be escorted to his headquarters (a distance of a few miles) under guarantees of safety to their persons.

ASBOTH, Brigadier-General, Commanding Second Division.

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FEBRUARY 23-24, 1862.–Reconnaissance to Pea Ridge Prairie, Mo., and skirmish.

Report of Capt. John M. Richardson, Missouri Cavalry Militia.

SPRINGFIELD, MO., February 26, 1862.

SIR: On Friday, 22d instant, I was ordered by Lieutenant-Colonel Mills, commanding this post, to proceed with my command to Mount Vernon and there wait the arrival of Captain Mudgett. I started at 11.30 o’clock on the morning of the 22d with 41 of my Mountain Rangers, the others being sick and on detached service. At 10 o’clock p.m. of the same day we reached Mount Vernon, having marched 33 miles. On arriving I received an order from Captain Mudgett to be at Gullet’s farm, 8 miles below Mount Vernon, by daylight next morning. We started at 3 o’clock, and were there by the time required. After conferring with Captain Mudgett he determined for me to proceed north of Spring River and disperse the rebels congregated there.

Having rested my command two hours we started, marched down Spring River on the north side to the old Booneville Ford, crossing there and traveling in a northwestern direction to a point where the road leading from Oregon, or Bower’s Mills, to Greenfield enters the Pea Ridge Prairie. At that point I directed Sergeant Butcher with 8 men to proceed up the prairie on its south side, to arrest all persons running from the north, to search certain houses for arms, and to keep a good lookout for the rebels.

With the balance of the command I proceeded to the north side of the prairie, then changing my course east towards Bell’s where we expected to find the enemy. I had traveled up the prairie but a short distance when Sergeant Breshers, stationed on a high point of the prairie, made the signal the enemy had been found. Sergeant Butcher had marched up the south side of the prairie one mile and a half, when a band of rebels formed near a point of timber to oppose his progress. He marched steadily forward, and on nearing them they retired behind the point of timber, where the sergeant and his party charged them, the result of which was a running fight for 3 miles. In the action my men killed 3 rebels, wounded 1, and killed 1 horse. We had 1 horse shot, and the sergeant rode his down in the chase. We captured 3 prisoners and 3 horses. The sergeant and his party were engaged with from 12 to 15 rebels, and had it not been that my full command made its appearance so promptly on the south side of the prairie he would have brought on an action with from 40 to 50, who were posted in the brush, but retired as the command marched across the prairie.

It affords me great pleasure to commend Sergeant Butcher and his men in the highest terms for their gallant conduct on the field. Any officer would be proud to command such men.

From the scene of action I sent Sergeant Breshers with 10 men to the north side of the prairie, and with the balance I marched up the south side, the two divisions meeting at John Colly’s. Breshers rendered valuable services. We gave the neighborhood a good scouring, driving {p.72} the secessionists before us. We were in a section of country infested with a band of bad men-secessionists. We alarmed them greatly, and rendered good service to the Union cause. They had come to the conclusion our troops would not visit them, and were depredating on the property of loyal citizens. The 3 prisoners we took were engaged in the attempt to rob the house of John Gullet of a lot of boots and shoes on the evening of the 19th instant.

On the evening of this hard day’s work we reached the plantation of Price Anderson. Traveling without tents and camp equipage, we were preparing to take our rest on the ground without shelter, when Mr. Anderson invited the company to take shelter in his large and commodious residence. Having reason to believe an enemy in front of us, the command laid on its arms during the night.

On the morning of the 24th I divided the command, sending half of it, under Sergeant Butcher, up Stall’s Creek, and from thence to Mallard’s still-house, in the Turnlack timber north of the prairie with directions to destroy Pennington’s still-house and the one at Mallard’s, and to come to my assistance if he heard firing. With half the command I crossed the prairie to Daniels’ farm, where it was represented the rebels had a strong picket. Not finding them, I marched to Mallard’s still-house from the northwest. The rebels had fled before us, and I returned to Mount Vernon, and on the 25th came to this city. There were two reasons for destroying those still-houses: First, they were places of rendezvous for the forming secession bands for plunder; secondly, bad men would get drunk there, and go to Union men’s houses and expose their naked persons to Union women. I hope you will, and I know every good woman in the State will, indorse the destruction-the burning of those still-houses. They were each worth almost $150.

Since my company was mustered into the service I have been constantly in the field and am behind with my property reports, but will make them out at the earliest convenient moment.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN M. RICHARDSON, Captain Mountain Rangers, Mo. S. M.

Col. CHESTER HARDING, Adjutant-General, Missouri.

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FEBRUARY 23-25, 1862.–Reconnaissance from Greenville, Mo., and skirmish near Saint Francisville.

Report of Col. Albert Jackson, Twelfth Missouri Cavalry Militia.

GREENVILLE, MO., February 27, 1862.

SIR: On the 23d instant there was a scouting party sent out from this post by the commandant, Colonel Alexander, of about 200 men. The troops composing this party consisted of parts of two companies of the First Indiana Cavalry, Captain Hawkins’ company Missouri Volunteers, and Captain Leeper’s company Missouri State Militia, all under command of Major Clendenning, of the First Indiana Cavalry. On Tuesday, the 25th instant, they were surprised by a party of rebels, variously estimated at from 2,000 down to 80 men, the true number, from best accounts not being less than 80 nor over 200 men. That our men, or at least the largest portion of them, made an unnecessary {p.73} stampede and inexcusable retreat there can be no question. The fault of it is, I believe, universally attributed to the officer in command of the expedition, whether justly or not I do not pretend to say. I wish, however, to represent the case so far as to do justice to Captain Leeper and a part of his company, who by their dauntless courage and heroic conduct on the occasion prevented our force from being involved in the most humiliating disgrace.

When the surprise was made our whole force was just mounted and about to make a forward movement. Captain Leeper immediately ordered his men to dismount and form, which was done by most of his men, and immediately engaged the enemy. By orders of the commanding officer the other troops moved a few yards in advance of the position which they occupied, and instead of their forming and charging, as they had a good chance to do, and by which movement, too, they would have secured every one of the rebels as prisoners, they turned around and broke back through the lane where Captain Leeper and his men were fighting, running over and breaking that line, thereby causing part of Leeper’s men to join in the stampede (panic they call it), and leaving him with only about 25 men with which to contend against the enemy. Leeper stood his ground with the few men left him and prevented the enemy from pursuing the fugitives; and at last, when the enemy turned back and left, he followed on after our men, gathering up some of their arms and clothing which they had disencumbered themselves of in their flight. He left 1 killed and 2 wounded on the field and lost 6 taken prisoners. The prisoners taken were those of Captain Leeper’s men, who had been knocked down and run over by Major Clendenning and his men as they turned and fled from the enemy, they not being able to recover before the enemy got up that far-which was as far, too, as he ever advanced. Captain Leeper feels a little sore under this defeat, but every one who noticed Captain Leeper’s conduct on the field of combat does him the justice to say that he acted bravely and as coolly as if no fight was going on, giving his orders to his men and seeing that they were as well disposed as they could be, and also calling to the fugitives to come back; that they could whip them if they would come back; and he now says that if only the whole of his own company had remained they would have been the conquerors instead of the vanquished.

It is not my place to write a report of this transaction; that is the duty of the proper officer. I only want to have justice done to an officer who under so unfavorable circumstances did his whole duty; and as Captain Leeper’s company is a part of the Missouri Militia, of which you have the chief command, I thought it would not be considered out of place for me in this way to bring his acts to your notice. Captain Leeper, I have no doubt, is wishing to merit and obtain a higher command than he now holds, and it is the opinion of all who know how bravely and honorably he did his duty on the occasion, and getting off with so small a loss (1 killed and 2 wounded), that he has shown himself worthy of the confidence of those who have bestowed upon him the office he now holds.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

ALBERT JACKSON.

General JOHN M. SCHOFIELD, Saint Louis.

{p.74}

FEBRUARY 25, 1862.–Skirmish at Keetsville, Barry Co., Mo.

REPORTS.

No. 1.–Brig. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis, U. S. Army.
No. 2.–Col. Clark Wright, Sixth Missouri Cavalry.

No. 1.

Report of Brig. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis, U. S. Army

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE SOUTHWEST, Camp Halleck, February 27, 1862.

CAPTAIN: A cavalry force of Texas Rangers turned my flank and surprised Captain Montgomery at Keetsville, killing 2 men, taking 60 or 70 horses, and burning some 5 sutler wagons. The enemy’s cavalry also made some demonstrations to my right. The citizens of Arkansas seem quite willing to rally under the old flag; but they fear the united forces of Price, Van Dorn, McCulloch, and Pike may return and force them to be secessionists as before.

SAML. R. CURTIS, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Capt. N. H. MCLEAN, Assistant Adjutant-General, Saint Louis, Mo.

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No. 2.

Report of Col. Clark Wright, Sixth Missouri Cavalry.

HEADQUARTERS SIXTH MISSOURI CAVALRY, Cassville, Mo., February 27, 1862.

GENERAL: I left Camp Halleck at 10 o’clock a.m., and pressed forward in the direction of Keetsville by forced marches. I learned however, before reaching there that 500 Texas Rangers had attacked Captain Montgomery. I still pressed forward, and on my arrival there learned that the captain had fallen back on Cassville, and that that point was threatened It was after dark, but I at once determined to join the forces at this place, where I arrived at 9 o’clock p.m. last night. The particulars of the attack I learn from the captain to be as follows:

About 11 o’clock on the night of the 25th some 500 mounted men, well armed, supposed to be Texas Rangers, made a descent upon their camp from the right and left through the brush, riding down the picket and guards, and commenced a general fire upon the men asleep in camp. The captain rallied his force on foot and a general fight ensued. A portion of our men, however, were cut off, but the remainder stood their ground and three times repulsed the enemy. After about twenty minutes, however, the enemy’s superior force being about to surround our force, the captain fell back under cover of the brush and maintained his position and held the town, the enemy retiring.

On yesterday morning, after the enemy had all left, our men found that the enemy had cut loose and stampeded some 40 of their horses. The captain and a portion of his men fell back to Cassville for assistance, leaving Lieutenant Montgomery and the remainder of the men {p.75} to collect the remainder of the public property, to bury the dead, and bring up the rear. At roll call our men all answered to their names but 3-1 private, a sentinel, shot dead, another mortally wounded (since dead), and 1 supposed to be taken prisoner. Our horses were all Cut loose and stampeded, but have all been recovered but about 40. The captain saved all his transportation and camp and garrison equipage. The loss of the enemy was 3 killed on the ground and 1 prisoner and horse taken. The prisoner says that they (the rebels) had some 10 wounded that he knows of. I also learn from the prisoner that Major Ross, of Sherman, Tex., was in command; that there were eight full companies, all Texans, of Colonel Young’s brigade, except Captains Bird’s, Smith’s, and Davis’ companies of McBride’s division, Missouri troops. After their attack on Keetsville they went south, and at Harbin’s they captured 10 prisoners, a sutler, and teamster, burning three wagons before the door.

On yesterday morning they ate breakfast 6 miles southeast of Harbin’s, and said they were going on to their main camp in Boston Mountains, at Dr. -’s, who lives immediately at the foot of the mountain, on the road leading from this place to Ozark, on the Arkansas River. They have barracks there, no doubt, and their forces may be there. At Keetsville I heard another rumor that the rebels dad three regiments in that vicinity to capture trains as they passed, and that they intended attacking this place. I have also information that Colonel Coffee, of Dade County, Missouri, is in the vicinity of Pineville, with 500 men, and that he is also recruiting other forces there for the purpose of capturing our trains. The train that has gone forward this morning was within half a mile of Keetsville at the time of the attack there, and Captain Montgomery very prudently turned it back to Cassville and covered his retreat. The forces sent out by Colonel Canby [?] under Colonel Ellis, instead of getting in the rear of the enemy, as I understood it would, passed up the main road just in my front some thirty minutes. Had they passed down the river to the Ozark road they no doubt would have fallen in with the enemy. We were all together at this place last night. We held a consultation this morning, and Colonel Ellis proposed to press the train through direct. He escorts it with his command. I thought it would have been best to have kept the train back one day, and with our combined force displace the rebels and then send it forward. He, being the ranking officer, took precedence. I hope he will get through. I also learn that the citizens of Keetsville all knew of the attack being made, and communicated intelligence to the enemy, and purposely kept all knowledge of it from Captain Montgomery, and in the afternoon before the fight the ladies all left the town, one at a time, and that at the time of the attack all were out; and many other circumstances prove conclusively that the citizens are to all intents and purposes a part of the attacking party, there being no exceptions.

Colonel Williams’ forces are very light, and there is another train expected to-morrow. Consequently I remained here to-day, in the mean time straightening up Captain Montgomery’s company. I desire to know by return messenger what would be the proper course under the circumstances-to mount Montgomery’s men and what to do with the town and people of Keetsville. It is the worst hole in all this country. I have men scouting to-day to find out something about the enemy, and we will do the best we can for them in our crippled condition without horses. I can mount Montgomery’s men here in the county if von will give the permission.

{p.76}

I learn from a reliable source, since writing the above, that there are 400 rebels in Stockton and 150 at White Haw, both places in Cedar County Missouri; also 100 at King’s Point and 90 near Millville in a fort, in Dade County, Missouri. All those parties are committing’ depredations and swearing vengeance against the Union men.

I am, very respectfully, general, your most obedient servant,

CLARK WRIGHT, Colonel Sixth Missouri Cavalry.

Brig. Gen. SAMUEL R. CURTIS, Commanding, &c.

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FEBRUARY 28-APRIL 8, 1862.–Operations at New Madrid, Mo., and Island No. 10, and descent upon Union City, Tenn.

SUMMARY OF THE PRINCIPAL EVENTS.

Feb.28.–Union forces advance from Commerce upon New Madrid, Mo.
Mar.1.–Skirmish near Sikeston, Mo.
2.–Skirmish near New Madrid, Mo.
3-14.–Siege and capture of New Madrid, Mo.
7.–Engagement at Point Pleasant, Mo.
15-April 7.–Siege and capture of Island No. 10.
17.–Action at Riddle’s Point, Mo.
18.–Engagement at Point Pleasant, Mo.
23.–Expedition from Point Pleasant to Little River, Mo.
30-31.–Descent upon Union City, Tenn.
31.–Brig. Gen. William W. Mackall, C. S. Army, supersedes Maj. Gen. John P. McCown in command at Madrid Bend.
April 8.–Garrison of Island No. 10 surrendered at Tiptonville, Tenn.

REPORTS, ETC.

No. 1.–Maj. Gen. John Pope, U. S. Army, commanding the Army of the Mississippi.
No. 2.–Statement of the organization and return of casualties in the Army of the Mississippi during the operations against New Madrid.
No. 3.–Surg. O. W. Nixon, U. S. Army, Medical Director.
No. 4.–Strength and organization of the Army of the Mississippi, operating against Island No. 10, March 31, 1862.
No. 5.–Capt. Joseph A. Mower, First United States Infantry, commanding siege train.
No. 6.–Maj. Warren L. Lothrop, First Missouri Light Artillery.
No. 7.–Brig. Gen. David S. Stanley, U. S. Army, commanding First Division.
No. 5.–Col. John Groesbeck, Thirty-ninth Ohio Infantry, commanding First Brigade.
No. 9.–Col. J. L. Kirby Smith, Forty-third Ohio Infantry, commanding Second Brigade.
No. 10.–Col. John W. Sprague, Sixty-third Ohio Infantry.
No. 11.–Brig. Gen. Schuyler Hamilton, U. S. Army, commanding Second Division.
No. 12.–Col. William H. Worthington, Fifth Iowa Infantry, commanding First Brigade.
No. 13.–Maj. William S. Robertson, Fifth Iowa Infantry.
No. 14.–Col. Nicholas Perczel, Tenth Iowa Infantry, commanding Second Brigade..
No. 15.–Brig. Gen. E. A. Paine, U. S. Army, commanding Fourth Division.
No. 16.–Col. James D. Morgan, Tenth Illinois Infantry, commanding First Brigade.
No. 17.–Col. Gilbert W. Cumming, Fifty-first Illinois Infantry, commanding Second Brigade.
No. 18.–Brig. Gen. Joseph B. Plummer, U. S. Army, commanding Fifth Division.
No. 19.–Col. Napoleon B. Buford, Twenty-seventh Illinois.{p.77}
No. 20.–Col. Washington L. Elliott, Second Iowa Cavalry.
No. 21.–Flag-Officer Andrew H. Foote, U. S. Navy.
No. 22.–Commander Henry Walke, U. S. Navy.
No. 23.–Assistant Secretary of War Thomas A. Scott.
No. 24.–General G. T. Beauregard, C. S. Army, commanding the Confederate Army of the Mississippi
No. 25.–Maj. Gen. John P. McCown, C. S. Army, commanding at Madrid Bend.
No. 26.–Brig. Gen. William W. Mackall, C. S. Army, commanding at Madrid Bend, with letter from General Beauregard.
No. 27.–Col. E. D. Blake, C. S. Army, Acting Inspector-General.
No. 25.–Maj. George W. Brent, C. S. Army, Acting Inspector-General.
No. 29.–Capt. A. B. Gray, C. S. Army, Chief Engineer.
No. 30.–Capt. D. B. Harris, C. S. Engineers.
No. 31.–Capt. D. Wintter, C. S. Engineers.
No. 32.–Brig. Gen. J. Trudeau, Chief of Artillery.
No. 33.–Capt. A. Jackson, Jr., Tennessee Artillery.
No. 34.–Capt. Edward W. Rucker, C. S. Artillery.
No. 35.–Brig. Gen. Alexander P. Stewart, C. S. Army.
No. 36.–Brig. Gen. E. W. Gantt, C. S. Army.
No. 37.–Brig. Gen. L. M. Walker, C. S. Army.
No. 38.–Brig. Gen. M. Jeff. Thompson, Missouri State Guard.
No. 39.–Col. J. G. W. Steedman, First Alabama Infantry.
No. 40.–Lieut. Col. W. D. S. Cook, Twelfth Arkansas Infantry.
No. 41.–Col. J. B. G. Kennedy, Twenty-first Louisiana Infantry.
No. 42.–Cal. Alexander J. Brown, Fifty-fifth Tennessee Infantry.
No. 43.–Confederate report of guns, carriages, ammunition, &c.
No. 44.–Flag-Officer George N. Hollins, C. S. Navy.
No. 45.–Abstract from Major-General Polk’s memorandum of Brigadier-General McCown’s command at New Madrid and Island No. 10 in the latter part of February, 1862.

No. 1.

Reports of Maj. Gen. John Pope, U. S. Army, commanding the Army of the Mississippi.*

NEW MADRID, MO., April 1, 1862.

Was absent when your dispatch arrived. Canal is finished and boats now descending bayou to this place; expect them hereto-night. Enemy commenced erecting batteries at points of high land, only landing places on river; little serious to be feared from them. Our floating battery, properly placed, will deal easily with them or any other obstacle to landing. Have erected two batteries, of two 32s each, but a mile and a half below the 24-pounder battery, opposite mouth of slough (see sketch sent you).** These batteries cover handsomely the landing on opposite shore. I have no apprehension of the result. Commodore Foote promises to run a couple of his boats past Island No. 10 to-night. If so, all difficulty is over. Troops in fine condition and can be relied on. Railroad to Sikeston under water and roads to Commerce bad. Best send anything for this command to Island No. 8, with orders to Colonel Buford to send it through the canal in barges or flats; easy communication in this way for stores. Do not be uneasy; no precaution will be omitted, and there is no fear of the result in the command. I {p.78} telegraphed yesterday that gunboats had again been repulsed by our Iowa battery, one of them so badly damaged as to drift broadside down the river, unable to work her engines.

JNO. POPE, Major-General.

General HALLECK.

* See also Pope’s dispatches from February 28 to April 10, in “Correspondence, etc.,” post.

** Not found.

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NEW MADRID, MO., April 9, 1862.

The canal across the peninsula opposite Island No. 10, and for the idea of which I am indebted to Gen. Schuyler Hamilton, was completed by Colonel Bissell’s Engineer Regiment, and four steamers brought through on the night of the 6th. The heavy batteries I had thrown up below Tiptonville completely commanded the lowest point of the high ground on the Tennessee shore, entirely cuffing off the enemy’s retreat by water. His retreat by land has never been possible through the swamps.

On the night of the 4th Captain Walke, of the Navy ran the enemy’s batteries at Island No. 10 with the gunboat Carondelet and reported to me here. On the night of the 6th the gunboat Pittsburgh also ran the blockade.

Our transports were brought into the river from the bayou, where they had been kept concealed, at daylight on the 7th, and Paine’s division loaded. The canal has been a prodigiously laborious work. It was 12 miles long, 6 miles of which were through heavy timber, which had to be sawed off by hand 4 feet under water. The enemy has lined the opposite shore with batteries, extending from Island No. 10 to Tiptonville, Meriwether Landing, to prevent the passage of the river by this army. I directed Captain Walke to run down with the two gunboats at daylight on the 7th to the point selected for crossing, and silence the enemy’s batteries near it. He performed the service gallantly, and I here bear testimony to the thorough and brilliant manner in which the officer discharged his difficult duties with me, and to the hearty and earnest zeal with which at all hazards he co-operated with me.

As soon as he signaled me the boats containing Paine’s division moved out and commenced to cross the river. The passage of this wide, furious river by our large force was one of the most magnificent spectacles I ever witnessed. By 12 o’clock that night (the 7th) all the forces designed to cross the river were over, without delay or accident. As we commenced to cross, the enemy began to evacuate Island No. 10 and his pontoons along the shore. The divisions were pushed forward to Tiptonville as fast as they landed, Paine’s leading. The enemy was driven before him, and although they made several attempts to form line of battle and make a stand, Paine did not once deploy his column. The enemy was pushed all night vigorously, until at 4 a.m. he was driven back upon the swamp and forced to surrender.

Three generals, seven colonels, seven regiments, several battalions of infantry, five companies of artillery, over 100 heavy siege guns, 24 pieces of field artillery, an immense quantity of ammunition and supplies, and several thousand stand of small-arms, a great number of tents, horses, wagons, &c., have fallen into our hands.

Before abandoning Island No. 10 the enemy sunk the gunboat Grampus and six of his transports. These last I am raising and expect to have ready for service in a few days. The famous floating battery was {p.79} scuttled and turned adrift, with all her guns aboard. She was captured and run aground in shoal water by our forces at New Madrid.

Our success is complete and overwhelming. Our troops, as I expected, behaved gloriously. I will in my full report endeavor to do full justice to all.

Brigadier-Generals Paine, Stanley, and Hamilton crossed the river and conducted their divisions with untiring activity and skill. I am especially indebted to them.

General Paine, fortunate in having the advance, exhibited unusual vigor and courage, and had the satisfaction to receive the surrender of the enemy.

Of Colonel Bissell, Engineer Regiment, I can hardly say too much. Full of resource, untiring and determined, he labored night and day, and completed work which will be a monument of enterprise and skill.

We have crossed this great river with a large army, the banks of which were lined with batteries of the enemy to oppose our passage; have pursued and captured all his forces and material of war, and have not lost a man nor met with an accident.

JNO. POPE, Major-General.

Major-General HALLECK.

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Preface to report of Brig. Gen. John Pope of operations which resulted its the capture of New Madrid.*

At this time the rebel armies in the West occupied a line of fortified positions from Bowling Green to Columbus, Ky. This line was broken by General Grant at Forts Henry and Donelson by the 16th of February, 1862. His operations compelled the evacuation of Columbus, on the east bank of the Mississippi River, which place, though strongly fortified, was turned by the advance of Grant up the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. This result had been for some time foreseen by the rebel generals, and General Beauregard, who had been assigned to command, selected Island No. 10, 60 miles below Columbus, as the strong place where the possession of the Mississippi River was first to be contested. The place was strongly fortified, mounted with 150 pieces of heavy artillery, and garrisoned by about 9,000 men. I do not mean that the island itself contained this garrison and these guns, but that they were disposed in the system of defenses for the island, on and around it, on both banks of the Mississippi River.

New Madrid was manifestly the weak point of this system, and against that place our first operations were to be directed.

I was recalled to Saint Louis from Central Missouri on the 14th of February, 1862, and on the 18th General Halleck pointed out to me the situation at New Madrid and Island No. 10, and directed me to organize and command a force for their reduction.

On the 19th I left Saint Louis for Cairo, Ill., which was then believed to be threatened from Columbus, with orders to assume command at that place in case any movement against it was made by the enemy, but as soon as apprehension of such a movement was at an end to proceed with my operations against New Madrid.

On the 21st of February, finding that the fear of an advance upon Cairo was groundless, I left that place on a steamboat, with a guard of {p.80} 140 men, and landed on the Missouri shore at Commerce, 30 miles above. Commerce is the lowest point where the bluffs impinge upon the river between Saint Louis and Helena, in Arkansas, and was on that account selected as a base of operations against New Madrid, from which place it is distant by land miles. The bluffs, however, retreat directly to the west from Commerce leaving an alluvial, swampy bottom land, at least 30 miles wide, along the river below that place. A dismal and almost impassable swamp, known as the Great Mingo Swamp, extends all the way from Commerce to New Madrid. At that season of the year the banks of the Mississippi were overflowed, and the river spread out for miles on both sides beyond its bed. The whole country for 30 miles west of the river was under water. At many places the water was 8 or 10 feet deep and everywhere from 1 to 5 feet deep. An old embankment, upon which a corduroy road had been built, extended part of the way to New Madrid, but the road had not been repaired for years, and was in a very bad condition, and in many places entirely impassable. The weather was cold and wet. A drizzling snow and rain was falling upon us, and adding to our almost insuperable difficulties from the time we marched from Commerce until we reached New Madrid. I can only account for the fact that the enemy attempted no opposition to our march by their belief that the country at that season of overflow was entirely impracticable.

I landed at Commerce on the night of the 21st of February, 1862, with the small escort I have mentioned. Regiments were sent me rapidly from Saint Louis, from Cincinnati, and from Cairo; most of them entirely raw, having had their arms first placed in their hands when they embarked on the steamer to join me. Few of them had ever served at all, and as they had never served together or been even brigaded, I was forced to make a complete organization of them at Commerce. In this difficult task I was so ably assisted by Generals Schuyler Hamilton, Stanley, Palmer, and Granger that within one week of the day I landed almost alone at Commerce we began our march to New Madrid. This organization was the nucleus of the corps afterwards designated the Army of the Mississippi, widely known and greatly distinguished in the West for its discipline, its gallantry, and its effectiveness, and for the soldierly and cordial good feeling which, characterized both officers and men.

It is not only proper, but it is my duty, to say here that during my whole experience in this war I have never seen troops which would compare with this little army. Of the mobility and esprit de corps, of courage in battle and patience and fortitude under exposure, labor, and privation, and of the cordial harmony which existed among the officers and men, from the highest to the lowest, the services and the reputation of this little army, from the beginning to the end of the war, whether acting together or separated and serving in other organizations, are sufficient evidence. I cannot at this day think of them and recall my association with them as their commander without emotions which could not be expressed in such a paper as this. As long as I live I shall never cease to remember them, nor fail to acknowledge the deep and lasting gratitude I owe them for the cordial support they gave me while I served with them, and for their earnest sympathy and unfaltering confidence during the most trying and darkest period of my life. I esteem it the highest honor to have belonged to this little army, and regard every officer and soldier connected with it as a personal friend, from whom neither time nor circumstances can ever estrange me.

{p.81}

After incredible labor and exposure, wading through the swamps, and in many places dragging wagons and artillery by hand, we appeared before New Madrid on the 3d of March, and at once drove in the pickets and outposts of the enemy and closely invested the place.

I append hereto my official report of the operations against New Madrid, the reports of division and brigade commanders, and my official correspondence with General Halleck by letter and telegraph. I also attach hereto a return of the force engaged, which exhibits in detail its entire organization and every regiment of which it was composed.

* This was the preface to copy of the report submitted by General Pope to the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War.

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HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE MISSISSIPPI, New Madrid, March 14, 1862.

GENERAL: I have the honor to submit for the information of the general commanding the department the following report of the operations which resulted in the capture of this place.

I arrived before the town with the forces under my command on Monday, the 3d instant. I found the place occupied by five regiments of infantry and several companies of artillery. One bastioned earthwork, mounting 14 heavy guns, about a half a mile below the town, and another irregular work at the upper end of the town, mounting 7 pieces of heavy artillery, together with lines of intrenchments between them, constituted the defensive works. Six gunboats, carrying from 4 to 8 heavy guns each, were anchored along the shore between the upper and lower redoubts. The country is perfectly level for miles around the place, and as the river was so high that the guns of the gunboats looked directly over the banks, the approaches to the town for several miles were commanded by direct and cross-fire from at least 60 guns of heavy caliber. It would not have been difficult to carry the intrenchments, but it would have been attended with heavy loss, and we should not have been able to hold the place half an hour exposed to the destructive fire of the gunboats.

As there seemed no immediate hope of the appearance of our gunboats, it became necessary to bring down a few heavy guns by land to operate against those of the enemy. They were accordingly sent for, and meantime forced reconnaissances were pushed over the whole ground and into several parts of the town. Some brisk skirmishes resulted in which the enemy invariably retreated precipitately. It was found impossible to induce them to trust any considerable force of their infantry outside of their intrenchments. As soon as I found it would be necessary to await the arrival of our heavy guns I determined to occupy some point on the river below, and establish our small guns, if possible, in such position as to blockade the river, so far as transports were concerned, and to cut off supplies and re-enforcements for the enemy from below. Point Pleasant, 12 miles below, was selected as being in a rich agricultural region, and being the terminus of the plank road from the interior of Arkansas. I accordingly threw forward Colonel Plummer, Eleventh Missouri, to that point, with three regiments of infantry, three companies of cavalry, and a field battery of 10-pounder Parrott and rifled guns, with orders to make a lodgment on the river bank, to line the banks with rifle pits for 1,000 men, and to establish his artillery in sunk batteries of single pieces between the rifle pits. The arrangement was made to present as small a mark as possible to the shells of the gunboats, and to render futile the use of {p.82} round shot from their heavy guns. Colonel Plummer marched with all speed, and after some cannonading from gunboats which he found there he succeeded in making a lodgment, constructing his batteries and rifle pits, and occupying them in sufficient force to maintain them against any open assault. After repeated and persistent cannonading from the gunboats the enemy found it impossible to dislodge him, and he maintained obstinately his position and the blockade of the river to transports during the whole of our operations. Meantime the enemy continued every day to re-enforce New Madrid from Island No. 10, until, on the 12th, they had 9,000 infantry, besides a considerable force of artillery and nine gunboats. The fleet was commanded by Commodore Hollins; the land forces by Generals McCown, Stewart, and Gantt.

On the 11th the siege guns were delivered to Colonel Bissell, Engineer Regiment, who had been sent to Cairo for the purpose. They were at once shipped to Sikeston; reached here at sunset on the 12th; were placed in battery during the same night within 800 yards of the enemy’s main work, so as to command that and the river above it, and opened fire at daylight on the 13th, just 34 hours after they were received at Cairo. One brigade, consisting of the Tenth and Sixteenth Illinois, under Colonel Morgan, of the Tenth, was detailed to cover the construction of the battery and to work in the trenches. They were supported by Stanley’s division, consisting of the Twenty-seventh and Thirty-ninth Ohio, under Colonel Groesbeck, and the Forty-third and Sixty-third Ohio, under Colonel Smith. Captain Mower, First United States Infantry, with Companies A and H of his regiment, was placed in charge of the siege guns. The enemy’s pickets and grand guards were driven in by Colonel Morgan from the ground selected for the battery without firing a shot, although the enemy fired several volleys of musketry. The work was prosecuted in silence and with the utmost rapidity, until at 3 a.m. two small redoubts, connected by a curtain and mounting the four heavy guns which had been sent me, were completed, together with rifle pits in front and on the flanks for two regiments of infantry.

Our batteries opened as soon as the day dawned, and were replied to in front and on the flanks by the whole of the enemy’s heavy artillery on land and water. As our supply of ammunition for heavy artillery was very limited, I directed Captain Mower to fire only occasionally at the enemy’s land batteries, and to concentrate all his fire upon the gunboats. Our guns were served by Captain Mower with vigor and skill, and in a few hours disabled several of the gunboats and dismounted three of the heavy guns in the enemy’s main work. Shortly after our batteries opened one of the 24-pounder guns was struck in the muzzle by a round shot from the enemy’s batteries and disabled. The cannonading was continued furiously all day by the gunboats and land batteries of the enemy, but without producing any impression upon us. Meantime during the whole day our trenches were being extended and advanced, as it was my purpose to push forward our heavy batteries in the course of the night to the bank of the river. While the cannonade was thus going on on our right I instructed General Paine to make a demonstration against the intrenchments on our left, and supported his movement by Palmer’s division. The enemy’s pickets and grand guards were driven into his intrenchments and the skirmishers forced their way close to the main ditch.

A furious thunder-storm began to rage about 11 o’clock that night and continued almost without intermission until morning. Just before daylight General Stanley was relieved in the trenches with his division {p.83} by General Hamilton. A few minutes after daylight a flag of truce approached our batteries with information that the enemy had evacuated his works. Small parties were at once advanced by General Hamilton to ascertain whether such were the facts, and Captain Mower, First United States Infantry, with Companies A and H, of that regiment, was sent forward to plant the United States flag over the abandoned works. A brief examination of them disclosed how hasty and precipitate had been the flight of the enemy. Their dead were found unburied; their suppers, untouched, standing on the tables; candles burning in the tents, and every other evidence of a disgraceful panic. Private baggage of officers and knapsacks of men were left behind. Neither provisions nor ammunition were carried off. Some attempt was made to carry ammunition, as boxes without number were found on the bank of the river where the steamers had been landed.

It is almost impossible to give any exact account of the immense quantities of property and supplies left in our hands. All their artillery, field batteries and siege guns, amounting to thirty-three pieces, magazines full of fixed ammunition of the best character, several thousand stand of superior small-arms, with hundreds of boxes of musket cartridges, tents for an army of 10,000 men, horses, mules, wagons, intrenching tools, &c., are among the spoils. Nothing except the men escaped, and they only with what they wore. They landed on the opposite side of the river, and are scattered in the wide bottoms. I immediately advanced Hamilton’s division into the place, and had the guns of the enemy turned upon the river, which they completely command. The flight of the enemy was so hasty that they abandoned their pickets and gave no intimation to the forces at Island No. 10. The consequence is that one gunboat and ten large steamers which were there are cut off from below, and must either be destroyed or fall into our hands. Island No. 10 must necessarily be evacuated, as it can neither be re-enforced nor supplied from below.

During the operations here the whole of the forces were at different times brought under the fire of the enemy and behaved themselves with great gallantry and coolness. It seems proper, however, that I should make special mention of those more directly concerned in the final operations against the place. The Tenth and Sixteenth Illinois, commanded respectively by Colonels Morgan and R. F. Smith, were detailed as guards to the proposed trenches and to aid in constructing them. They marched from camp at sunset on the 12th and drove in the pickets and grand guards of the enemy, as they were ordered, at shouldered arms, and, without returning a shot, covered the front of the intrenching parties and occupied the trenches and rifle pits during the whole day and night of the 13th under furious and incessant cannonading from sixty pieces of heavy artillery. At the urgent request of their colonels their regimental flags were kept flying over our trenches, though they offered a conspicuous mark to the enemy. The coolness, courage, and cheerfulness of these troops, exposed for two nights and a day to the furious fire of the enemy at short range and to the severe storm which raged during the whole night of the 13th, are beyond all praise, and delighted and astonished every officer who witnessed it.

The division of General Stanley, consisting of the Twenty-seventh Thirty-ninth, Forty-third, and Sixty-third Ohio Regiments, supported the battery from 2 o’clock a.m. on the 13th to daylight on the 14th, exposed to the full fury of the cannonade, without being able to return a shot, and the severe storm of that night, and displayed coolness, {p.84} courage, and fortitude worthy of all praise. In fact, the conduct of all the troops of this command so far exceeded my expectations that I was astonished and delighted, and feel very safe in predicting for them a brilliant career in arms.

To General Stanley, who commanded in the trenches on the 13th and to General Hamilton, who relieved him on the morning of the 14th I am specially indebted, not only for their efficient aid on the last days of the operations here, but for their uniform zeal and co-operation during the whole of the operations near this place. Brigadier-General Plummer, commanding at Point Pleasant, is entitled to special commendation for the bold and skillful manner in which he effected a lodgment at that place under fire of the enemy’s gunboats and for the determined persistence with which he maintained himself and the blockade of the river for days under heavy fire of the enemy. Captain Mower, First United States Infantry, who, with two companies of his regiment (A and H), had charge of the batteries and served the guns, I desire to present to your special notice. A more gallant and efficient officer is not to be found with this command, and his eminent services during the reduction of this place entitle him to special notice. Col. J. W. Bissell, Engineer Regiment, rendered me most valuable service both before and during the bombardment of the place. He conducted the erection of the heavy batteries and remained in them until the enemy evacuated the place. Major Lothrop, chief of artillery, has distinguished himself throughout the operations. My personal staff, Major Butler assistant adjutant-general, Maj. C. A. Morgan and Capt. L. H. Marshall, aides-de-camp, and Major Corse, inspector-general, were prompt and efficient in conveying my orders under the fire of the enemy.

I transmit inclosed the reports of division and brigade commanders immediately concerned in the final operations as also of Captain Mower, commanding in the batteries, and of Major Lothrop, chief of artillery. Col. J. W. Bissell, Engineers, has been too incessantly occupied to make a written report, but desires to mention the following officers of his regiment who displayed unusual gallantry: Lieutenant-Colonel Adams, Captains Dean, Hill, and Tweeddale, and Lieutenants Odenbaugh, Randolph, and Besier.

Our whole loss during the operations was 51 killed and wounded. A detailed list will be transmitted as soon as it can be made.

The enemy’s loss cannot be ascertained. A number of his dead were left unburied, and more than a hundred new graves attested that he must have suffered severely.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO. POPE, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Brig. Gen. G. W. CULLUM, Chief of Staff and Engineer, Department Mississippi.

NOTE.*-As I have already stated, New Madrid was the weak point of the system of defense on and around Island No 10 and if New Madrid could be captured we would gain a point on the Mississippi River below the island which would at once intercept communications and cut off re-enforcements and supplies sent by water. Neither troops nor supplies could reach its garrison in any other manner, New Madrid in our possession furnished us a base of operations against the island {p.85} which made its capture a simple matter of time. Immediately upon the occupation of New Madrid I began operations for the reduction of Island No. 10. I append hereto my official report and correspondence, as also the reports of division and brigade commanders, which give as full and complete a history of the operations against Island No. 10 as is necessary to a thorough understanding of the subject.

* To copy of report submitted to Joint Committee on Conduct of the War.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Camp five miles from Corinth, Miss., May 2, 1862.

GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations which resulted in the capture of Island No. 10 and the batteries on the main shore, together with the whole of the land forces of the enemy in that vicinity. A brief sketch of the topography of the immediate neighborhood seems essential to a full understanding of the operations of the army.

Island No. 10 lies at the bottom of a great bend of the Mississippi, immediately north of it being a long, narrow promontory on the Missouri shore. The river from Island No. 10 flows northwest to New Madrid, where it again makes a great bend to the south as far as Tiptonville otherwise called Meriwether’s Landing, so that opposite New Madrid also is a long narrow promontory. From Island No. 8 across the land to New Madrid is 6 miles, while by river it is 15; so likewise the distance from Island No. 10 to Tiptonville is 5 miles, while by water it is 27.

Commencing at Hickman, a great swamp, which afterwards becomes Reelfoot Lake, extends a long the left bank of the Mississippi and discharges its waters into the river 40 miles below Tiptonville, leaving the whole peninsula opposite New Madrid between it and the river. This peninsula, therefore, is itself an island, having the Mississippi River on three sides and Reelfoot Lake and the great swamps which border it on the other. A good road leads from Island No. 10 along the west hank of Reelfoot Lake to Tiptonville. The only means of supply, therefore, for the forces at and around Island No. 10 in this peninsula were by the river. When the river was blockaded at New Madrid supplies and re-enforcements were landed at Tiptonville and conveyed across the neck of the peninsula by land. There was no communication with the interior except by a small flatboat, which plied across Reelfoot Lake, a distance of 2 miles, and that through an opening cut through cypress swamps for the purpose. Supplies and re-enforcements or escape to any considerable extent were therefore impracticable on the land side. One mile below Tiptonville begin the great swamps along the Mississippi on both sides, and no dry ground is to be found except in occasional spots for at least 60 miles below. By intercepting the navigation of the river below Tiptonville and commanding by heavy artillery the lowest point of dry ground near that place the enemy would be at once cut off from his resources and prevented from escaping.

Immediately after the reduction of New Madrid this subject engaged my attention. The roads along the river in the direction of Point Pleasant followed a narrow strip of dry land between the swamps and the river, and were very miry and difficult. With much labor the heavy guns captured from the enemy at New Madrid were dragged by hand and established in battery at several prominent points along the river, the lower battery being placed immediately opposite the lowest point of dry ground below Tiptonville. This extended my lines 17 miles along the river. A week was thus passed in severe labor. The {p.86} enemy, perceiving the consequence of establishing these batteries, attempted in every way by his gunboats to prevent their construction. They were therefore in every case established in the night. As soon as daylight unmasked our lowest battery the enemy saw at once that we must either be dislodged or all reliable communication with his forces would be cut off. Five gunboats, therefore, at once advanced against the battery, which consisted of two 24-pounder siege guns and two 10-pounder Parrotts, manned by a detachment of the First United States Infantry, under Lieutenant Bates, and supported by General Palmer’s division, encamped 1 1/2 miles in rear. Rifle pits for 500 sharpshooters were dug on the flanks of the battery, close to the river bank, and were constantly occupied. The gunboats ran up to within 300 yards, and a furious cannonade was kept up for an hour and a half when they were repulsed with the loss of one gunboat sunk, several badly damaged, and many men shot down at their guns by our sharpshooters from the rifle pits. Our loss was 1 man killed. From that time no attempt was made against the battery, and all communication from below with the forces near Island No. 10 cut off. One of the gunboats would occasionally, during a dark night, steal up close along the opposite shore to Tiptonville, but always at such great risk that it was seldom undertaken. Neither supplies nor men could be taken up or carried off in this way.

Such was the condition of affairs on the 16th of March. The object for which the land forces had been moved upon New Madrid was accomplished in the capture of that place and the blockade of the river to any supplies and re-enforcements for the enemy at and around Island No. 10.

Meantime the flotilla had been firing at long range both from the gun and mortar boats at the batteries of the enemy on and opposite the island for seven consecutive days without any apparent effect and without any advance whatever toward their reduction. This result was doubtless due to defective construction of the boats.

On the 16th of March I received your dispatch, directing me if possible to construct a road through the swamps to a point on the Missouri shore opposite Island No. 10 and transfer a portion of my force sufficient to erect batteries at that point to assist in the artillery practice on the enemy’s batteries. I accordingly dispatched Col. J. W. Bissell Engineer Regiment, to examine the country with this view, directing him at the same time, if he found it impracticable to build a road through the swamps and overflow of the river, to ascertain whether it were possible to dig a canal across the peninsula from some point above Island No. 10 to New Madrid, in order that steam transports might be brought to me, which would enable my command to cross the river. The idea of the canal was suggested to me by General Schuyler Hamilton in a conversation upon the necessity of crossing the river and assailing the enemy’s batteries near Island No. 10 in the rear.

On the 17th March I suggested to Commodore Foote by letter that he should run the enemy’s batteries with one of his gunboats, and thus enable me to cross the river with my command, assuring him that by this means I could throw into the rear of the enemy men enough to deal with any force he might have. This request the commodore declined on the ground of impracticability. Colonel Bissell having reported a road impracticable, but that a route could be found for a channel sufficient for small steamers, I immediately directed him to commence the canal with his whole regiment, and to call on Colonel Buford, commanding the land forces temporarily with the flotilla, which had been placed under my command, for any assistance in men or {p.87} material necessary for the work. Supplies of such articles as were needed and four steamers of light draught were sent for to Cairo, and the work begun. It was my purpose to make the canal deep enough for the gunboats, but it was not found practicable to do so within any reasonable period. The work performed by Colonel Bissell and his regiment of engineers was beyond measure difficult, and its completion was delayed much beyond my expectations. The canal is 12 miles long, 6 miles of which are through very heavy timber. An avenue 50 feet wide was made through it by sawing off trees of large size 4 1/2 feet under water. For nineteen days the work was prosecuted with untiring energy and determination, under exposures and privations very unusual even in the history of warfare. It was completed on the 4th of April, and will long remain a monument of enterprise and skill.

During all this period the flotilla bad kept up its fire upon the batteries of the enemy, but without making any progress toward their reduction. It had by this time become very apparent that the capture of Island No. 10 could not be made unless the land forces could be thrown across the river and their works carried by the rear; but during this long delay, the enemy, anticipating such a movement, had erected batteries along the shore from Island No. 10 entirely around to Tiptonville at every point where troops could be landed. The difficulty of crossing the river in force had therefore been greatly increased, and what would have been a comparatively safe undertaking three weeks before had become one full of peril. It is not necessary to state to you that the passage of a great river, lined with batteries and in the face of the enemy, is one of the most difficult and hazardous operations of war, and cannot be justified except in a case of urgent necessity. Such a case seemed presented for my action. Without this movement operations against Island No. 10 must have been abandoned and the land forces at least withdrawn. It is but bare justice to say that although the full peril of the movement was thoroughly understood by my whole command, there was not an officer or man who was not anxious to be placed in the advance.

There seemed little hope of any assistance from the gunboats. I therefore had several heavy coal-barges brought into the upper end of the canal, which daring the progress of the work were made into floating batteries. Each battery consisted of three heavy barges, lashed together and bolted with iron. The middle barge was bulkheaded all around, so as to give 4 feet of thickness of solid timber both at the sides and on the ends. The heavy guns, three in number, were mounted on it, and protected by traverses of sand bags. It also carried 80 sharpshooters. The barges outside of it had a first layer in the bottom of empty water-tight barrels, securely lashed, then layers of dry cottonwood rails and cotton bales packed close. They were then floored over at top to keep everything in its place, so that a shot penetrating the outer barges must pass through 20 feet of rails and cotton before reaching the middle one, which carried the men and guns. The arrangements of water barrels and cotton bales was made in order that, even if penetrated frequently by the enemy’s shot and filled with water, the outer barges could not sink. It was my purpose, when all was ready, to tow one or two of these batteries over the river to a point exactly opposite New Madrid, where swamps prevented any access to the river, and where the enemy, therefore, had been unable to establish his batteries. When near the shore the floating batteries, with their crews, were to be cut loose from the steamers and allowed to float down the river to the point selected for landing the troops. As {p.88} soon as they arrived within short range of it they were to cast out their anchors, so as to hold the barges firmly, and open fire upon the enemy’s batteries. I think that these batteries would have accomplished their purpose, and my whole force volunteered to man them. They were well provided with small boats, to be kept out of danger, and even if the worst happened, and the batteries were sunk by the enemy’s fire, the men would meet with no worse fate than capture.

On the 5th April the steamers and barges were brought near to the mouth of the bayou which discharges into the Mississippi at New Madrid, but were kept carefully out of sight of the river whilst our floating batteries were being completed. The enemy, as we afterwards learned, had received positive advices of the construction of the canal, but were unable to believe that such a work was practicable. The first assurance they had of its completion was the appearance of the four steamers loaded with troops on the morning of the 7th April.

On the 4th Commodore Foote allowed one of the gunboats to run the batteries at Island No. 10, and Captain Walke, U. S. Navy, who had volunteered (as appears from the commodore’s order to him), came through that night with the gunboat Carondelet. Although many shots were fired at him as he passed the batteries, his boat was not once struck. He informed me of his arrival early on the 5th.

On the morning of the 6th I sent General Granger, Colonel Smith, of the Forty-third Ohio, and Capt. L. H. Marshall, of my staff, to make a reconnaissance of the river below, and requested Captain Walke to take them on board the Carondelet and run down the river, to ascertain precisely the character of the banks and the position and number of the enemy’s batteries. The whole day was spent in this reconnaissance, the Carondelet steaming down the river in the midst of a heavy fire from the enemy’s batteries along the shore. The whole bank for 15 miles was lined with heavy guns at intervals, in no case exceeding 1 mile. Intrenchments for infantry were also thrown up along the shore between the batteries. On his return up the river Captain Walke silenced the enemy’s batteries opposite Point Pleasant, and a small infantry force, under Capt. L. H. Marshall, landed and spiked the guns.

On the night of the 6th, at my urgent request, Commodore Foote ordered the Pittsburgh also to run down to New Madrid. She arrived at daylight, having, like the Carondelet, come through untouched. I directed Captain Walke to proceed down the river at daylight on the 7th with two gunboats, and if possible silence the batteries near Watson’s Landing, the point which had been selected to land the troops, and at the same time I brought the four steamers into the river, and embarked Paine’s division, which consisted of the Tenth, Sixteenth, Twenty-second, and Fifty-first Illinois Regiments, with Houghtaling’s battery of artillery.

The land batteries of 32-pounders, under Captain Williams, First United States Infantry, which I had established some days before, opposite the point where the troops were to land, were ordered to open their fire upon the enemy’s batteries opposite as soon as it was possible to see them.

A heavy storm commenced on the night of the 6th, and continued with short intermission for several days. The morning of the 7th was very dark, and the rain fell heavily until midday. As soon as it was fairly light our heavy batteries on the land opened their fire vigorously upon the batteries of the enemy, and the two gunboats ran down the river and joined in the action.

{p.89}

I cannot speak too highly of the conduct of Captain Walke during the whole of these operations. Prompt, gallant, and cheerful, he performed the hazardous service assigned him with signal skill and success. About 12 o’clock m. he signaled me that the batteries near our place of landing were silenced, and the steamers containing Paine’s division moved out from the landing and began to cross the river, preceded by the gunboats.

The whole force designed to cross had been drawn up along the river bank, and saluted the passing steamers with cheers of exultation. As soon as we began to cross the river the enemy commenced to evacuate his position along the bank and the batteries along the Tennessee shore opposite Island No. 10. His whole force was in motion towards Tiptonville, with the exception of the few artillerists on the island, who in the haste of retreat had been abandoned.

As Paine’s division was passing opposite the point I occupied on the shore one of my spies, who had crossed on the gunboats from the silenced battery, informed me of this hurried retreat of the enemy. I signaled General Paine to stop his boats, and sent him the information, with orders to land as rapidly as possible on the opposite shore and push forward to Tiptonville, to which point the enemy’s forces were tending from every direction. I sent no force to occupy the deserted batteries opposite Island No. 10, as it was my first purpose to capture the whole army of the enemy.

At 8 or 9 o’clock that night (the 7th) the small force abandoned on the island, finding themselves deserted, and fearing an attack in the rear from our land forces, which they knew had crossed the river in the morning, sent a message to Commodore Foote, surrendering to him. The divisions were pushed forward to Tiptonville as fast as they were landed, Paine leading. The enemy attempted to make a stand several times near that place, but Paine did not once deploy his columns. By midnight all our forces were across the river and pushing forward rapidly to Tiptonville.

The enemy, retreating before Paine and from Island No. 10, met at Tiptonville during the night in great confusion, and were driven back into the swamps by the advance of our forces, until, at 4 o’clock a.m. on the 8th, finding themselves completely cut off, and being apparently unable to resist, they laid down their arms and surrendered at discretion. They were so scattered and confused that it was several days before anything like an accurate account of their number could be made.

Meantime I had directed Col. W. L. Elliott, of the Second Iowa Cavalry, who had crossed the river after dark, to proceed as soon as day dawned to take possession of the enemy’s abandoned works on the Tennessee shore opposite Island No. 10, and to save the steamers if he possibly could. He reached there before sunrise that morning, the 8th, and took possession of the encampments, the immense quantities of stores and supplies, and of all the enemy’s batteries on the main-land. He also brought in about 200 prisoners. After posting his guards and taking possession of the steamers not sunk or injured he remained until the forces from the flotilla landed. As Colonel Buford was in command of these forces, Colonel Elliott turned over to his infantry force his prisoners, batteries, and captured property for safe-keeping, and proceeded to scour the country in the direction of Tiptonville, along Reelfoot Lake, as directed.

It is almost impossible to give a correct account of the immense quantity of artillery, ammunition, and supplies of every description which fell into our hands. Three generals, 273 field and company {p.90} officers, 6,700 privates, 123 pieces of heavy artillery, 35 pieces of field artillery) all of the very best character and latest patterns), 7,000 stand of small-arms, tents for 12,000 men, several wharf-boat loads of provisions, an immense quantity of ammunition of all kinds, many hundred horses and mules, with wagons and harness, &c., are among the spoils. Very few, if any, of the enemy escaped, and only by wading and swimming through the swamps.

The conduct of the troops was splendid throughout, as the results of this operation and its whole progress very plainly indicate. We have crossed this great river, the banks of which were lined with batteries and defended by 7,000 men. We have pursued and captured the whole force of the enemy and all his supplies and material of war, and have again recrossed and reoccupied the camps at New Madrid, without losing a man or meeting with any accident. Such results bespeak efficiency, good conduct, high discipline, and soldierly deportment of the best character far more conclusively than they can be exhibited in pitched battle or the storming of fortified places. Patience, willing labor, endurance of hardship and privation for long periods, cheerful and prompt obedience, order and discipline, bravery and spirit, are the qualities which these operations have developed in the forces under my command, and which assure for them a brilliant and successful career in arms. It is difficult to express the feeling which such conduct has occasioned one fortunate enough to be the commander of such troops. There are few material obstacles within the range of warfare which a man of courage and spirit would hesitate to encounter with such a force.

To the division and brigade commanders, whose reports I transmit, I leave the grateful privilege of designating in detail the forces engaged in these operations. Generals Paine, Stanley, Hamilton, and Plummer crossed the river, together with a portion of General Granger’s cavalry division, under Col. W. L. Elliott, Second Iowa Cavalry. To all these officers I am deeply indebted for their efficient and cordial aid in every portion of our operations. They conducted their divisions with eminent skill and vigor, and to them I am largely indebted for the discipline and efficiency of this command.

General Paine, fortunate in having the advance, exhibited conspicuous gallantry and vigor, and had the satisfaction to receive the surrender of the enemy. General Palmer was posted ten days before the final operations in support and in charge of the battery below Tiptonville. Throughout he was prompt and active in the discharge of his duties.

Of Colonel Bissell, Engineer Regiment, and his regiment lean hardly say too much. Untiring and determined, no difficulties discouraged them and no labor was too much for their energy. They have conducted and completed a work which will be memorable in the history of this war.

My own personal staff-Major Butler, assistant adjutant-general; Major Morgan and Captain Marshall, aides-de-camp; Maj. J. M. Corse inspector-general, and Surg. O. W. Nixon, medical director-rendered me important service, and were in all respects zealous and efficient.

Our success was complete and overwhelming, and it gives me profound satisfaction to report that it was accomplished without loss of life.

I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO. POPE, Major-General, Commanding.

Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK, Commanding Department of the Mississippi, Saint Louis, Mo.

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No. 2.

Statement of the organization and return of casualties in the Army of the Mississippi during the operations against New Madrid, Mo.,* February 28-March 14, 1862.

[Compiled from nominal lists of casualties, returns &c.]

ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI.-Brig. Gen. JOHN POPE.

Command.Killed.Wounded.Captured or missing. Aggregate.
Officers.Enlisted men.Officers.Enlisted men.Officers.Enlisted men.
FIRST DIVISION.
Brig. Gen. DAVID S. STANLEY.
FIRST BRIGADE.
Col. JOHN GROESBECK.
27th Ohio134
39th Ohio123
Total First Brigade257
SECOND BRIGADE.
Col. J. L. KIRBY SMITH.
43d Ohio55
63d Ohio
Total Second Brigade55
Total First Division21019
SECOND DIVISION.
Brig. Gen. SCHUYLER HAMILTON.
FIRST BRIGADE.
Col. W. H. WORTHINGTON.
5th Iowa134
59th Indiana112
Total First Brigade246
SECOND BRIGADE.
Col. NICHOLAS PERCZEL.
10th Iowa
26th Missouri
Total Second Brigade
Total Second Division246
THIRD DIVISION.
Brig. Gen. JOHN M. PALMER.
FIRST BRIGADE.
Col. JAMES B. SLACK.
34th Indiana
47th Indiana
Total First Brigade {p.92}
SECOND BRIGADE.
Col. G. N. FITCH.
43d Indiana
46th Indiana
Total Second Brigade
Total Third Division
FOURTH DIVISION.
Brig. Gen. B. A. PARSE.
FIRST BRIGADE.
Col. JAMES D. MORGAN.
10th Illinois112
16th Illinois
Total First Brigade112
SECOND BRIGADE.
Col. G. W. CUMMING.
22d Illinois
51st Illinois
Total Second Brigade
Total Fourth Division112
FIFTH DIVISION.
Brig. Gen. J. B. PLUMMER.
FIRST BRIGADE.
Col. JOHN BRYNER.
47th Illinois
8th Wisconsin
Total First Brigade
SECOND BRIGADE.
Col. J. M. LOOMIS.
28th Illinois
11th Missouri
Total Second Brigade
Total Fifth Division
CAVALRY DIVISION.
Col. GORDON GRANGER.
2d Michigan
3d Michigan
7th Illinois123
Total Cavalry Division123 {p.93}
ARTILLERY DIVISION.
Maj. W. L. LOTHROP.
1st Missouri Light Artillery, Battery G
1st Missouri Light Artillery, Battery M
1st Illinois Light Artillery, Battery C
2d United States Artillery, Battery F
11th Ohio Battery11
3d Michigan Battery
2d Iowa Battery
Total Artillery Division11
UNASSIGNED TROOPS.
64th Illinois (Sharpshooters)
Engineer Regiment of the west
United States Infantry, Companies A, B, C, D, H, and I2518
4th United States Cavalry, Companies B, C, and D
2d Iowa Cavalry
2d Illinois Cavalry, Companies Hand I
Total unassigned2518
RECAPITULATION.
First Division21012
Second Division246
Third Division
Fourth Division112
Fifth Division
Cavalry Division123
Artillery Division11
Unassigned troops2518
Grand total Army of the Mississippi1721332

* The organization of this army is given as it stood on the 14th of March, 1862.

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No. 3.

Report of Surg. O. W. Nixon, U. S. Army, Medical Director.

NEW MADRID, March 16, 1862.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report to you the list of killed and wounded of your command in the recent action with the enemy intrenched at New Madrid.* The wounds, with two or three exceptions, were severe. Two died in a few hours after receiving their injuries and two others the next day. The wounded are carefully nursed, and every comfort at our command has been given them.

The different division and regimental surgeons have lost no opportunity, both on the field and in the hospital, of ministering to the comfort of the wounded.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

O. W. NIXON, Maj. Gen. JOHN POPE. Acting Medical Director.

* The nominal list accompanying this report shows 5 killed and 16 wounded; but see the revised statement, pp. 91-93.

{p.94}

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No. 4.

Strength and organization of the Army of the Mississippi, operating against Island No. 10, March 31, 1862.

Command.Present for duty.Aggregate present.Aggregate present and absent.Pieces of artillery.
Officers.Men.
1st (Stanley’s, Division1222,5353,3303,679Not stated in original
2d (Hamilton’s) Division1212,4282,9723,390
3d (Palmer’s) Division1513,1313,7904,647
4th (Paine’s) Division1422,8323,4473,988
5th (Plummer’s) Division972,4082,9983,523
Cavalry (Granger’s) Division751,3412,0262,236
Artillery (Lothrop’s) Division297829721,053
Engineer troops (Bissell)996802890
Unattached to divisions501,2381,4781,708
Bird’s Point, Mo.16775842872
Sikeston, Mo.5143151167
Total*83817,70922,80826,153

* This does not embrace Buford’s (flotilla) brigade, with an aggregate present for duty of 2,251.

ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI.–Maj. Gen. JOHN POPE.