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Doc. 213.-battle of Newtonia, Mo.


General Salomon's report.

headquarters First brigade, army of Kansas, Sarcoxie, Mo., October 1, 1862.
Brigadier-General Schofield, Commanding:
General: I have the honor to report the following:

On the twentieth ultimo I sent scouting-parties to Newtonia, Granby, and Neosho. The latter, as per report of Col. Weer, killed two of the enemy's pickets, wounded several, and made one prisoner. Those at Granby reported no enemy there. The scouting-party to Newtonia was commanded by Col. Lynde, and consisted of the Ninth Kansas volunteers, cavalry, about one hundred and fifty men, and two mountain howitzers. In the afternoon I heard cannon firing in the direction of Newtonia. I ordered Lieut.-Col. Jacobi, Ninth regiment Wisconsin volunteers, with three cannon of Stockton's battery and two companies of the Ninth regiment Wisconsin volunteers, infantry, to his assistance. Toward evening Col. Lynde returned to camp, reporting that Lieut.-Col. Jacobi had taken a position of observation some nine miles from camp, and wanted reenforcements. I sent two more companies of the Ninth Wisconsin volunteers, infantry, and advised him that Col. Lynde would be with him in the morning.

The instructions of Col. Lynde and Lieut.-Col. Jacobi were mainly to find out the enemy, but not to risk any thing; to report to me immediately if they would find the enemy in force.

At about seven A. M., on the thirtieth, I heard heavy firing in the direction of Newtonia. I at once ordered the forces here, the First and Second brigades of Kansas, to be in readiness, and ordered Col. Hall, in command of Fourth brigade Missouri State militia, to march to Newtonia. The fire continuing, I ordered the Sixth Kansas volunteers, cavalry, and the Third Indian home guard to proceed to the battle-field in a trot, while I marched with the infantry and artillery in the same direction.

Our train was left in charge of some four hundred Indians and two pieces of Major Blair's battery. At about ten A. M., the messenger to Col. Hall overtook me on the road, with the message hereto annexed. I despatched Capt. Welch, Second Ohio volunteer cavalry, to keep communication between us open.

Soon afterward I received the news that our troops, in the attempt to take the town, were defeated, and the infantry cut up. Official reports I have not been able to obtain yet.

On my arrival at the battle-field, I found the Fourth Kansas, and the Third Indian home guards in line of battle on an elevation north of Newtonia. I ordered the Sixth Kansas, with two mountain howitzers to the right; the Third Indian regiment of home guards to the left, where a ravine, lined with corn-fields and stone fences, runs into town; the artillery (Captain Allen's battery) to the centre, supported by the First battalion of the Tenth Kansas infantry on their right, and the Ninth regiment Wisconsin infantry on their left; three pieces of Stockton's battery and the Second battalion Tenth Kansas infantry being kept in reserve.

The enemy was in strong position, behind stone walls and massive buildings. They were reenforced in the forenoon, and, as prisoners say, one thousand strong.

I awaited anxiously for the arrival of Col. Hall on the right flank of the enemy, keeping the enemy in check by my artillery.

An attempt to force our left flank was nobly rejected by Colonel Phillips's Third Indian home guards, supported by our reserve.

My intention was to advance upon the enemy with the whole force at the arrival of Col. Hall, [621] but when he had not arrived toward sunset, I ordered the retreat. Shortly afterward I was informed that Col. Hall was two miles in my rear in the timber. It became now dark. Gen. Rains was reported to be arriving, and I fell back on my defence at this place. Why Colonel Hall did not come in time, and on the road he reported he would come, is a mystery to me, and can be explained, perhaps, only by him. There is no doubt but that we could have annihilated the enemy if he had appeared in time, and on the proper road.

Our loss in the afternoon was very small; that of the enemy must be heavy, since our artillery fired from an elevated ground into their thick masses.

It give me pleasure to say that our troops behaved nobly. Col. Weer, commanding Second brigade, is entitled to my thanks for his conduct before, during, and after the battle.

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

F. Salomon, Brigadier-General, Commanding First Brigade Kansas Vols.


Colonel Hall's report.

headquarters Fourth brigade, M. S. M., camp near centre Creek, six miles east of Sarcoxie, Mo., October 1, 1862.
Brigadier-General E. B. Brown, Commanding Brigade:
General: Being left in command of your brigade during your temporary absence at Springfield, Mo., I beg leave to submit the following report:

At about eight o'clock A. M. of the thirtieth ultimo, firing from artillery was heard in the distance, supposed to be at or near Newtonia, Mo. The firing was continued until about ten o'clock A. M., of said day, when it ceased.

I had seen Brig.-Gen. Schofield's letter of instructions to the different commanders in this division, directing them not, on any account, to risk a defeat. I had seen Gen. Salomon's estimate of the number of the enemy's troops at Newtonia, Mo., which was eight thousand; also Colonel Weer's estimate, which was about eleven thousand. I was also aware of the fact that the forces of Gen. Salomon, of Col. Weer, and your brigade did not number near eight thousand.

General Salomon never, by word or letter, intimated to me that he intended attacking the enemy at Newtonia. I was, therefore, lost in conjecture as to who were engaged in firing the artillery we heard in the morning. About ten o'clock A. M., of said thirtieth ultimo, I received the following order:

Colonel Hall, Commanding Fourth Brigade, Missouri State Militia:
Advance immediately toward Newtonia. Heavy firing in our advance.

A. Block, A. A.G.

Send answer by bearer when you will strike Newtonia road.

This was the only communication ever received by me from Gen. Salomon concerning the movement of troops under my command at that time. It left me in utter ignorance of Gen. Salomon's intentions. I did not know whether he intended to advance with his forces from Sarcoxie toward Newtonia. I was entirely without information of the intentions of Gen. Salomon. I desired him to send me a messenger. He neither sent me a messenger or a line, nor did he communicate with me in any way until I had reached the battlefield. I immediately, upon receipt of the above order from Gen. Salomon, ordered the different regiments, battalions, and companies of the. brigade to march. We marched toward Newtonia by the way of Jollification. I marched about eight miles. I had not heard any firing since we started. I had not received any communication from Gen. Salomon; I was ignorant of his movements or intentions. I had no means of knowing the result of the morning's engagement, but had good reason to believe that the enemy had maintained their position. By marching to Newtonia, by the way of Jollification, the whole force of the enemy would be directly between my command and the troops of Gen. Salomon, whether they were at Sarcoxie or advancing from Sarcoxie to Newtonia. I therefore, upon consultation with the principal officers of your brigade, determined to march west till I struck the road leading from Sarcoxie to Newtonia, or until I could learn something about Gen. Salomon's movements or intentions. We reached the road leading from Sarcoxie to Newtonia at about eight miles distant from Newtonia, about four o'clock P. M., of said thirtieth ultimo. Here we came upon some stragglers belonging to Salomon's command. From these men I learned that Gen. Salomon and Col. Weer, with their brigades, had marched toward Newtonia — that about four hundred men belonging to Salomon's command had made the attack in the morning on the enemy's forces, about eight thousand strong, at Newtonia, and Gen. Salomon and Col. Weer had marched down to their relief.

At the time we reached the road from Sarcoxie to Newtonia, firing by artillery was heard by me again at or near Newtonia, which told me that Gen. Salomon had, with his forces, reached Newtonia. It was about as far from our camp to where we struck the Sarcoxie road as from Sarcoxie to Newtonia. We marched from the last-mentioned place, where we came into the Sarcoxie road to Newtonia with all possible despatch; we reached the battle-field about sunset.

General Salomon, on the battle-field, requested me to cover his retreat with my brigade. Gen. Salomon's troops were retreating in great confusion. The enemy in full force were advancing to attack the rear of his column, which must have been captured or destroyed, but for the timely arrival of your brigade. I drew up your brigade in line of battle in front of the enemy, and between the enemy and the retreating forces of Brig.-Gen. Salomon. The enemy, seeing my disposition, drew up in line of battle and commenced firing their artillery at my line. I ordered Lieut. Marr, in command of Captain Murphy's company of First Missouri artillery, to open fire upon the enemy, which was obeyed in a prompt and efficient [622] manner. The troops of your brigade acted with great coolness and courage on the field, and during the retreat, about dark, the enemy withdrew their force from the field.

Having secured the retreat of the forces of Gen. Salomon, I drew off the men under my command. Our only casualty was one man badly wounded by the bursting of the shell. General Salomon's troops were scattered from near the battle-field to Sarcoxie. I saw them all safely back to Sarcoxie. I there on this morning met Gen. Salomon. He declined renewing the attack upon the enemy. It therefore became my duty to march the brigade back to Centre Creek to protect the train.

I arrived at camp about ten o'clock A. M. of this first instant. I found every thing safe.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

George H. Hall, Colonel Fourth Cavalry, M. S.M., Commanding Brigade.


General rains's report.

Headquarters in the field, Elk horn, October 4, 1862.
To Major-General T. C. Hindman:
General: Colonels Cooper and Shelby repulsed the enemy, four to five thousand strong, at Newtonia, on the thirtieth September, killing one hundred and fifty; captured one hundred and fifteen prisoners; number of wounded not known. The enemy, commanded by Brig.-Gen. Salomon, fell back to Sarcoxie, a distance of fifteen miles, which place they now occupy in considerable force, having been reenforced from Kansas. The entire command at Sarcoxie is from Kansas. The prisoners taken are of the Wisconsin Ninth, Salomon's brag regiment.

The enemy still occupy Springfield and Mount Vernon, with two thousand at Cane Creek, twenty-five miles south of Springfield.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

James S. Rains, Brigadler-General.

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F. Salomon (25)
William Weer (6)
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