Doc. 163.-the battle near Fulton, Mo.
Fulton “telegraph” narrative.
Fulton, Mo., July 29, 1862.on Sunday, July twenty-seventh, Col. Guitar, with parts of three companies, arrived in this city about five A. M., and after arranging matters here, started to Col. Porter's command, supposed to be at Brown's Spring, about ten miles north of this city. He left here with two hundred men and two pieces of artillery, about eleven A. M., and arrived in the vicinity of the rebel camp about half-past 2 P. M. ; and as there was a thick underbrush, Col. Guitar had the cannon placed in position some four hundred yards from their camp, dismounted his cavalry and deployed them, advancing in force towards the spring, where the enemy was encamped. After some half-hour of cautious advancing, it was found that the enemy had decamped, from all appearances only about ten minutes before our men reached it, leaving on the ground quite a lot of provisions. Colonel Guitar camped on the ground that he placed his cannon in position on, and left it the next morning about eight o'clock, determined to find the enemy, which, from the best information he could get, was from seven to nine hundred strong, and had moved down Auxvasse Creek. The Colonel scattered his command, with instructions that whenever the enemy's position was discovered, to send him word immediately, while he would move out to the State road, leading from Columbia to Danville. Before the Colonel arrived at the road, he discovered that there were troops in it, which proved to be parts of Merrill's Horse and the Third Iowa cavalry, and a part of Col. Glover's regiment — in all about five hundred and fifty men. Colonel Guitar gave them the same instructions that he had given the others in the morning, and sent about two hundred of them across the creek, to follow down parallel with it, and as close to it as possible. The Colonel, when he got to the timber on the south side of the creek, left the State road and proceeded down the creek until he reached the intersection of the road leading from Fulton to Danville, where he was joined by Lieut. H. A. Spencer, of the Third Iowa cavalry, commanding a detachment that was sent out early in the morning, who was following at a double-quick on the trail of the enemy. The whole command, except the two hundred that were sent across the creek last, followed on; and after proceeding about three quarters of a mile, company E, of the Third Iowa cavalry, discovered the enemy in a very dense thicket, and fired upon him, and according to instructions, fell back to the main column, which was near at hand, when they dismounted, to fight on foot. The column followed suit, and the cannon was ready for action in short order; but whilst this was being done, the secesh were pouring into our ranks rifle balls and buckshot at such a rate that  none other than those who could stand it like veterans did stand it. A dozen rounds or so from our artillery rather put a stop to their deadly work, and gave our column more time to form on foot, systematically. The action commenced about one o'clock P. M., and raged almost incessantly for two hours. Twice during the time they attempted to storm our batteries, but were successfully repulsed each time. At one time they came up within thirty feet of them, they being loaded with canister, but, by some mishap, caps were not at hand; and while caps were being procured, they succeeded in getting so close. Each of the artillerymen drew his revolver, and went to work in earnest, when the man who went after caps returned with them, just in time to give them a charge, which made them retire in confusion, but not until one of our artillerymen was killed and two wounded. Taking every thing into consideration, it was one of the hardest fought battles that we have had in North-Missouri. Our men all fought like veterans, and compelled the enemy to leave the ground. Our forces would have followed them up but for the sultry hot weather, the men being nearly famished for water. After getting a drink of water and cooling off as well as they could, our men went to scouring the battle-field, and found by the trails of blood that the enemy had been removing their hors du combat men. At six o'clock Monday evening there were nine of our men dead and forty wounded. From the best information we could get from the yeomanry of the neighborhood, who came into our lines in the evening after the battle, to get permission to scour the battle-ground and vicinity for dead and wounded rebels, there was from seventy-five to one hundred of them killed and wounded. Company E, of the Third Iowa cavalry, commanded by Captain Duffield, suffered more than any other company in the column. One of the company was killed dead on the ground, three mortally wounded, and eight severely.