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Doc. 166.-the fight at Newark, Mo.


A National account.

St. Louis, August 12, 1862.
No connected account of the brilliant affair at Newark, where seventy-five men successfully resisted for many hours the attack of one thousand two hundred rebels, having been published, I am indebted to an officer engaged in the fight for full [568] particulars. About five o'clock on the morning of the first instant, a brave band of State militia, commanded by Captain Wesley Lair, numbering exactly seventy-five men, were attacked by one thousand two hundred guerrillas, led on by Col. Porter in person. The rebels charged into the town in four columns, four deep, yelling like Apaches, and expecting, probably, to frighten the Union troops into immediate surrender.

The State troops, however, to their immortal glory be it written, concluded to fight before surrendering, and consequently rallied in platoons and delivered such deadly volleys into the ranks of the enemy that the rebels paused. The first assault was repelled. The rebels then attempted a flank movement and threw three hundred men on each side of Capt. Lair's camp, hoping to cut off communication between the camp and town. Captain Lair, to prevent the success of this movement, withdrew his men from the camp and occupied the brick church and Masonic hall in the town of Newark. The rebels followed them into town. They were greeted with such a perfect storm of Minie balls that they were glad to try a less bold system of tactics. The rebels left their houses and with carbines, shot-guns, and pistols renewed the attack. They gained possession of surrounding buildings and poured a heavy fire into the windows of the quarters where the Union troops were defending themselves. The fire was gallantly returned, and in this way the unequal combat lasted an hour and a half. About half-past 7 o'clock Porter withdrew his forces and sent in a flag of truce, demanding an unconditional surrender. Captain Lair refused to accede to such terms, and invited Porter to a personal conference. Porter and Capt. Lair then agreed that the garrison should be treated as prisoners of war and paroled, with the privilege of retaining their private property. It was further stipulated that they should not be insulted in any manner whatever. The terms of the surrender were generally carried out, and our men laid down their arms. While these preliminaries were going on, the rebels were preparing wagon-loads of hay to set fire to the church and hall in which our men were staying.


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