other papers there is no doubt but that a portion of Quantrell's force was made up of persons belonging to the Missouri militia. I desire to take special notice of the bravery and coolness of Lieutenant James B. Pond, company C, Third Wisconsin cavalry, commanding the camp, Sergeant R. McKenzie, of company C, Third Wisconsin cavalry, and Sergeant R. W. Smith, of said company. The number of the killed is as follows:
The loss of the enemy, as far as known, is between twenty and thirty.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
|Major N. Z. Curtis, Lieutenant A. W. Farr, Lieutenant Cook,||3|
|Members of the brigade band,||14|
|Clerks and orderlies,||6|
|Company A, Fourteenth Kansas,||18|
|Company I, Third Wisconsin cavalry,||23|
|Company C, Third Wisconsin cavalry (in camp)||6|
Lieutenant-Colonel Blair's report.
headquarters Fort Scott, Kansas, October 15, 1863.sir: I have the honor to report to you, for the information of the Major-General Commanding, the following particulars, as far as they came to my knowledge, or under my observation, of the late disaster at Baxter's Springs. On the fourth instant Major-General Blunt, his staff, consisting of Major B. S. Henning, Third Wisconsin cavalry, Provost-Marshal; Major H. Z. Curtis, Assistant Adjutant-General; Lieutenant J. E. Tappin, Second Colorado cavalry, A. D.C.; and Lieutenant A. W. Farr, Third Wisconsin cavalry, Judge-Advocate; his clerks and orderlies, the brigade band, and parts of two companies of cavalry, respectively under the command of Lieutenants Robert Pierce, Fourteenth Kansas, cavalry, and Josiah G. Cavart, Third Wisconsin cavalry, left this place for Fort Blunt, Cherokee Nation. About four o'clock on the morning of the seventh instant, Lieutenant Tappin returned, informing me that about one o'clock the day previous, General Blunt had been attacked, within a few hundred yards of Lieutenant Pond's camp, at Baxter's Springs, and the entire command, except the General himself and about ten men, either killed or taken prisoners, and the baggage and transportation captured and destroyed. He also informed me that the General could not be persuaded to come away, but remained with his few men, hanging near the enemy, to watch their movements, and succor any of the wounded who might be left alive, while he despatched him (the Lieutenant) to me to inform me of the circumstances. The Lieutenant further stated, that as the enemy came over the brow of the hill, just from the direction of Pond's camp, it seemed without a doubt, that his little force had been captured, and destroyed also. He was further under the impression that Majors Curtis and Henning, and Lieutenant Farr, were prisoners. Within an hour I was en route to the General's relief, with three companies of the Twelfth Kansas infantry, two companies of the Second Kansas colored infantry, and about one hundred cavalry, under Lieutenants Josling and Clark. Twenty miles out, I met a despatch from General Blunt, that he was safe with Lieutenant Pond, who had been fortunate enough to repulse the enemy in their attack on his camp. I pushed on, however, without relaxation, and arrived at the Springs, a distance of seventy miles, in the afternoon of the second day, although it was the first heavy marching the infantry had ever attempted. On my arrival I found that the General had sent off every mounted man he could find, either as scouts or messengers, and had notified the officers in command on the line of the Arkansas River, of the disaster at the Springs, the direction in which the enemy was heading, and when he would probably cross the river. The graves were being dug and the dead carried in for burial as I arrived. It was a fearful sight; some eighty-five bodies, nearly all shot through the head, most of them shot from five to seven times each, horribly. mangled, and charred, and blackened by fire. The wounded, who numbered six or seven, were all shot at least six times, and it is a remarkable fact that with the exception of Bennett, of the Third Wisconsin cavalry, all who were alive when they were brought in, are in a fair way of final recovery. The circumstances of the double conflict, as well as I can gather them on the spot, are about these: Quantrell, with a force variously estimated at from six hundred to one thousand, was passing south, on the border line of counties in Missouri, and made a detour to attack the camp at Baxter's Springs, which up to that time had been defended by one company of colored men, under Lieutenant Cook, and a fragment of company D of the Third Wisconsin cavalry only. Fortunately, however, on the day before, I had sent Lieutenant James B. Pond, with part of another company of the Third Wisconsin cavalry, and a mountain howitzer. The cavalry was, however, all absent with a forage-train; but the blacks, the dismounted men of the cavalry, the howitzer, and Lieutenant Pond were still left. The first attack of the enemy, twelve M. of the sixth instant, was so sudden and impetuous, that he was inside the rude breastworks and firing pistolshots into the tents-before our forces recovered from the surprise into which they were thrown by the onset. They rallied, however, promptly and gallantly, under the directions of the Lieutenant, and after a severe struggle, repulsed the