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ch nine hundred and fifty-three were of Herron's division. Early in January, 1863, a rebel force, estimated at from four thousand to six thousand, under Marmaduke, moved upon Lawrence Mills, and proceeded by way of Ozark to the attack of Springfield, Missouri, to which place our small force, consisting chiefly of militia, convalescents, and citizens, was compelled to fall back. This miscellaneous garrison, a motley mass of only about one thousand men, obstinately defended the place most of th an estimated loss of nine hundred. Our loss in the fort was thirteen killed and fifty-one wounded. On the fourth of March, Colonel Coburn, with one thousand eight hundred and forty-five men, attempted a reconnoissance from Franklin toward Springfield, encountering on his way Van Dorn's rebel column, estimated at seven thousand five hundred. The enemy retreated, drawing Colonel Coburn into a gorge, where he was surrounded, and nearly all his force captured. Our loss was one thousand fou
y injuring another one. How soon the damage was repaired and how trivial it was, you have already learned. The enemy succeeded in reaching the railroad and in partially safely getting away, only in consequence of the columns from Martinsburgh and Harper's Ferry having defeated General Kelly's calculation by failing to reach Romney at six P. M. on the evening of the second. It was calculated that this column would be at Romney as stated, and that any rebel force which moved in by way of Springfield or Frankfort would be cut off by Fitzsimmons's, Thompson's, or Mulligan's forces, and kept from doing any great injury to the railroad by the troops stationed at Cumberland and elsewhere within easy supporting distances. This was not all the plan of operation, but that portion which the enemy knew about, as well as ourselves; and hence I can see no indiscretion in now publishing it. Yet while all did their duty in the best possible manner, (and here I feel constrained to assure the reade
e. General Seymour accepted the issue just as it stood, pushed the guns into position upon low ground about eighty yards from the nearest rebel battery, and saw his gunners and their horses shot down with unmatched equanimity. The Seventh New-Hampshire had so deadly a fire poured into their ranks that they broke and fell back in confusion. Dissatisfaction and want of confidence had been created in the regiment by depriving it of the Spencer repeating-rifle, and the issue, instead, of Springfield muskets in bad condition; some lacking locks, others rusted or wanting crews, proper springs, or otherwise useless. Unable to protect themselves with these curious weapons, one wing of the regiment gave way and could not be rallied. The other wing, which had retained the Spencer arm, remained until they had expended their ammunition, and their officers could supply no more. Then they withdrew to the rear, and the Eighth (colored) United States volunteers, commanded by Colonel Fribley,
r up, but started on the seventh of April for Shreveport, with the Cricket, Fort Hindman, Lexington, Osage, Neosho, and Chillicothe, with the hope of getting the rest of the vessels along when the usual rise came. Twenty transports were sent along, filled with army stores, and with a portion of General A. J. Smith's division on board. It was intended that the fleet should reach Springfield Landing on the third day, and then communicate with the army, a portion of which expected to be at Springfield at that time. I found the difficulties of navigation very great, but we reached the point specified within an hour of the time appointed. At this point we were brought to a stop; the enemy had sunk a very large steamer (the New Falls City) right across the river, her ends resting on each bank, and her hull, broken in the middle, resting on the bottom. This was a serious obstruction, but I went to work to remove it. Before I commenced operations, however, a courier came in from General