Report of General Warren.
headquarters, Houston, Mo., Jan. 16, 1863.Colonel: I have the honor to report the operations of my force against the combined troops of General Marmaduke and Colonel Porter. Immediately on the receipt of a copy of the telegram from Brig.-General Brown, commanding at Springfield, January ninth, informing Major-Gen. Curtis of the advance of a column of six thousand rebels toward Springfield, I ordered Colonel Merrill, of the Twenty-first Iowa, senior officer, to move with seven hundred men, infantry, cavalry, and one section of artillery, by a forced march, to Springfield, to report to the commanding officer there. My own health incapacitated me from the fatigue of the expedition. For greater speed and progress, I sent with them a heavy transportation train for the use of the infantry. They reached Hartsville at six o'clock A. M., Saturday, and learned that Porter's column had passed through, taking the Marshfield road. Here Col. Merrill was reenforced by one hundred and fifty men of the Third Iowa and Third Missouri cavalry, sent by me to overtake and join them. The command pushed on some miles toward Springfield, and halted for supper and rest on Wood's Fork. No indications of the enemy were observed until the reveille was sounded, at two o'clock Sunday morning, when our scouts reported the advance of a heavy column in the direction of Springfield. Our position was a most unfortunate one, being an open space on the margin of the river, with high swells of ground, covered with timber and brush surrounding. The command was thrown into line of battle, and skirmishers sent out to dispute the advance. Brisk firing was kept up for an hour, during which Captain Bradway, company E, Third Missouri cavalry, was killed, when the enemy fell back in a southerly direction. This was a most favorable moment for us. Had they made a stand with their combined forces, they would have completely enveloped the command, and cut them to pieces. Sending out a pursuing force of cavalry, Colonel Merrill resumed his march on the Hartsville road, and soon discovered that the rebel force was swinging round and moving on Hartsville by the old Springfield road. The cavalry were promptly ordered to a trot, and the artillery thrown to the front, while the infantry came up on double-quick in gallant style. Col. Merrill's dispositions were made with great judgment and coolness. The artillery took position on a favorable location west of the court-house; the Ninety-ninth Illinois formed the right, flanked on the left by the Twenty-first Iowa, both in a cover of low brush, while the left, composed of detachments of the Third Iowa and Third Missouri cavalry, dismounted, extended in an attenuated line on the Lebanon road, also screened by a sparse undergrowth. Our artillery opened fire at eleven o'clock. The position of their troops was--one thousand thrown out three and a half miles on the Houston road; one thousand held the town approach from Springfield; one thousand rested on the Gasconade, south of town, covered by a high bluff; while twenty-five hundred to three thousand men were in the open field in front of our line, and occupying the court-house and other buildings in the town. Their artillery (five pieces) was in battery on a high bluff east of town, and to occupy it, they used a road cut by my order for the same purpose during my former occupancy of Hartsville. The officers in command with Generals Marmaduke and McDonald were Cols. Porter, Thompson, Burbridge, Shelby, Henkle, Jeffrey, and Campbell. The battle opened, after the fire of artillery, by a charge of Jeffrey's cavalry (seven hundred) on our whole line. The infantry, lying flat, held themselves with great coolness until the line was in easy range, when they fired with great accuracy, and threw the whole force into utter confusion. From this time until half-past 4 the firing was incessant, but smaller bodies of men were brought out, and although at times both flanks and the centre were heavily pressed, no large column moved up. Our men held their cover and did fine execution, while the artillery shelled the enemy from the  court and other houses. At this time, (three o'clock) had we a reserve of five hundred men, we could have broken their line, and compelled their retreat in disorder, but every man was required to hold our only avenue of retreat on the Lebanon road, where our communication was constantly threatened. The enemy commenced falling back — as I am informed by Lieutenant Brown, of the Third Iowa cavalry, taken prisoner while reconnoitring at Wood's Fork, (luring the first fight — at three o'clock, and the retreat became general at twilight. In the mean time, our artillery ammunition being nearly spent, Col. Merrill, ignorant of their movements, ordered the detachments to fall back on the Lebanon road, which they did in perfect order, with their whole transportation, losing not even a musket or cartridge-box. Our loss, as by statements appended herewith, is seven killed and sixty-four wounded, five prisoners and two missing. Theirs is large in men and officers. From subsequent details I am satisfied it will exceed three hundred killed and wounded, besides two lieutenants and twenty-seven privates prisoners. Among the killed (whose bodies were recognized at Hartsville) are Brigadier-General Emmet McDonald, Colonels Thompson and Hinkle, Major Rubley, Captain Turpin, and two lieutenants, names unknown, Colonel Porter, mortally wounded — since dead, Captain Crocker, well known in Western Missouri, and two other captains severely wounded. One piece of their artillery was dismounted and abandoned. They retreated toward Houston, but on Monday changed their direction and moved rapidly south toward the North Fork of White River, at the mouth of Indian Creek, where they paroled and released Lieutenant Brown and the other prisoners. General Marmaduke, several times on the march, expressed his wonder at the bravery of our troops, repeating: “Why, Lieutenant, your boys fought like devils.” I cannot sufficiently express my admiration of their conduct. The Twenty-first Iowa and Ninety-ninth Illinois were never before under fire, yet not a single man or officer flinched. Nothing could have been finer than their steadiness and discipline. The Third Iowa and Third Missouri cavalry were equally cool and determined; but they have before seen dangerous service. Where all were so brave, I am embarrassed to distribute commendation. To Colonel Merrill, in command of the force, I am under high obligations for his prudent firmness and good dispositions. Lieutenant-Colonel Dunlap, Twenty-first Iowa, was conspicuous, much exposed and wounded. He is worthy of high praise. Lieutenant-Colonel Parke, commanding Ninety-ninth Illinois, and Major Crandall of same corps, won honor and did their whole duty. Major Duffield, commanding the cavalry forces, is also to be mentioned in warm terms. But Captain Black, commanding the Third Missouri cavalry, made for himself a most enviable reputation; thirteen shot-holes in his coat sufficiently indicate where he was — in the hottest of the fire. I respectfully commend him to your attention, and that of Governor Gamble, for one of the vacant field commissions in his regiment, which he has so nobly earned. I should be unjust, did I omit to mention Captain Lemon, of the same regiment, who, at the head of his men, held a most exposed post, and had several narrow escapes from sharp-shooters concealed in the brush. But the artillery saved the battle. Lieutenant Waldschmidt's gunnery was superb, and his coolness astonishing. The enemy's Parrott gun got his range and fired with great precision, compelling him to change the position of his piece constantly. A courier reached Houston, giving me the in formation of the engagement at three o'clock A. M. Monday. I at once moved with five hundred men to Hartsville, supposing the enemy still in force. Arriving within seven miles at four o'clock--evening--my reconnoitring parties brought me intelligence that they were retreating in the direction of Houston. Sending back a courier with orders to Lieutenant-Colonel Caldwell, in command, to hold the place until I could reenforce him, I countermarched in all haste through mud and rain, reaching Houston that evening, and finding all quiet. Colonel Merrill's force rejoined me Thursday, and I am now once more concentrated. Hoping that our conduct will meet the approbation of the General commanding, I am, Colonel, very respectfully, Your obedient servant,
General Warren's address.
headquarters, Houston, Mo., January 15, 1863.soldiers: You have fought one of the fiercest battles of the war. You have, with eight hundred men actually engaged, met and repulsed six thousand of the enemy. Against their five pieces of artillery you had two. They had their choice of position, and planted their guns on a point which I had selected as being impregnable. With three thousand five hundred in full view, you knew the odds against you. Completely surrounded, except on the line of retreat, you fought for six hours, and then only fell back because your artillery ammunition was failing, and your single outlet menaced. Not an article of property was captured, and your covering infantry held the field after the enemy had retired. History, in the larger battles of this great rebellion, may make no full mention of your names, but the truth that a determined column, more than half of whom were never before under fire, stood like veterans, without faltering or flinching, before volley after volley, and charge after charge, will be a glorious memory to those who love you, and an honest pride in your own hearts. But I must not fail to do justice to the five hundred, who, knowing that the enemy were still  in force below, rushed with me to give them battle again, and when I learned of their flank movement toward Houston, countermarched, making some sixty-four miles through mud and rain in twenty-four hours, to defend your camp, and all this in perfect order and discipline, without a murmur or complaint. Nor may I pass without mention, the cool and determined courage of the weak force left to defend. When my courier came in to warn of the approach of the enemy, with an order to hold to the last extremity, officers and men, invalids and convalescents, stood ready without panic or alarm to defend to the last. Soldiers! your endurance and your valor are beyond praise; your accomplishment worthy of the highest commendation. Beyond the hope of reenforcement, you have held your position; fought the enemy, saved Lebanon and Rolla, with your post, from burning and sack. I give you my admiration of your heroism, and my thanks and gratitude that my name can be associated with this brigade as the proudest memory of my future life.
Fitz-Henry Warren, Brigadier-General.
Lieutenant-Colonel Dunlap's report.
Houston, Mo., January 17, 1863.General: I have the honor to report to you the part taken by a detachment of the Twenty-first Iowa infantry volunteers, under my command, in the battle of Wood's Fork and Hartsville, on the eleventh instant. Perhaps these two engagements should occupy two reports, but as they occurred so near together, I have thought proper, with your permission, to combine both battles in one report. In obedience to your order, I left Houston, with other forces under Col. Merrill, on Friday, the ninth instant, at about noon, to march to Springfield, with the object of reenforcing that place. The first night we encamped for a short time at Beaver Creek. At twelve o'clock at night we moved on, and when within a few miles of Hartsville, we were drawn up in line of battle, as information had been received that the rebel Col. Porter had occupied the place the evening before, and might be there yet. We remained in line of battle until daylight, when it was ascertained that Porter had evacuated the town the night previous. We then moved on to Hartsville, when we halted until the afternoon, getting a little sleep for the men, and a bite to eat. At three o'clock P. M., we again moved on toward Springfield, Colonel Porter being in advance of us, and reached Wood's Fork at dark, when we camped for the night, in line of battle. At three o'clock next morning, in accordance with orders from headquarters, I was ready to march. A few moments afterward, firing was heard from the pickets, and word came in that a heavy force was in front of us. I immediately got my command in line of battle, and ordered the companies to send their blankets and overcoats to the wagons. I then sent out companies A and B, under Captains Johnson and Cook respectively, as skirmishers. In this position we remained until nearly daylight, when I was ordered to move my command half a mile in advance. I went down on the double-quick, and formed on the left of the road. The fight here lasted until nine o'clock, when the enemy withdrew. Soon afterward, with the remainder of the force, I commenced a movement toward Hartsville, guarding the train as we advanced. When within two miles of the town, I was ordered to form my men, and bring them forward on the double-quick. I did so, and arrived on the edge of the town simultaneously with the Ninety-ninth Illinois and the artillery. I drew my detachment up in line of battle on the brow of the hill, on the left of the Springfield road, where the artillery was stationed, my left reaching nearly to the Lebanon road. It was now nearly eleven o'clock (Sunday morning) when we got into line. My position was a very favorable one, being on the edge of the hill descending into the town, and sheltered by underbrush and small trees. The enemy's artillery opened on us immediately. I caused all my men to lie down during the engagement, except a few skirmishers, and to do their firing in this position, except when firing volleys or repelling the charges of the enemy. In a few moments, they charged on us in large force, and we repelled them, with great loss on their part. Several times, with short intervals, they repeated the charge, with reenforcements of fresh troops, and every time they were driven back in disorder. Failing in these charges, they formed a line in the opposite side of the town, so near to us that we could distinctly hear the commands of their officers, and opened on us a brisk fire of musketry, their artillery at the same time pouring into us a heavy fire; we returning the fire with most terrible effect. In a short time, a large body of mounted men poured into the town, and made a charge with terrible yells, upon our artillery at my right. When they approached to within a few rods, simultaneously with the Ninety-ninth Illinois, we poured into their ranks a full volley, causing them to reel and fall back in confusion and disorder. We continued our fire with so much heat as to empty many saddles, and create such a panic in their ranks, that they could not be rallied until they got over the opposite hill, nearly half a mile distant. Their sharp-shooters filled the court-house, and other dwelling-houses in town, who became very annoying to my command. I sent a request to Colonel Merrill to have the artillery turned upon the town; but not being able to find him, I ordered Lieut. Waldschmidt, commanding the artillery, to shell the town, and drive the rebels from their hiding-places. He immediately commenced firing on them with briskness, and after a few rounds, he retired from his position, as I supposed to cool his g<*>s, or repair some slight accidents, but he did not return, and as I afterward learned, he received orders to retreat by the Lebanon road. The firing now ceased on my right and left, and as I supposed some “strategic” movement  was going on, I ordered my command to increase the vigor of their fire, in order to attract the attention of the enemy, while the remainder of our force changed their position. We kept up a brisk fire for about half an hour, when hearing nothing from the balance of our line, I sent out skirmishers to the right and left to ascertain their whereabouts, and found that they had retired from the field, probably toward Lebanon. I had received no orders, and being only two hundred and twenty (220) strong, in front of four thousand, I was somewhat embarrassed as to the best course to pursue. To retreat then, would be to disclose our weakness to the enemy, and expose us to destruction ; to stay, seemed like embracing death. I determined, however, to hold my position until dark, or lose every man in the attempt, and in this I was sustained by the whole command. I then extended my line as much as possible, by scattering my men to the right and left, with instructions to maintain a vigorous fire, in order to prevent the enemy from ascertaining that our force had gone, at the same time pouring into them a hot fire from the main body. After this the enemy made three charges on our front, in one instance coming up in four ranks, but each time was driven back in a valorous manner by the Twenty-first Iowa. They now withdrew to the other side of the town, and the second time they formed a line, not with as strong force as before, however. My attention was now called to the hill beyond their line, and to my surprise as well as infinite delight, I discovered the rebels rapidly falling back on the road leading north. First their train went over the hill, followed by long lines of cavalry. Their retreat continued until sundown, by which time their whole force had gone, except a light rear-guard. I kept a brisk firing on the town, and a few moments before dark the rebels had vacated the place, and left us in triumphant possession of the hard-fought battle-field. Not deeming it safe or prudent to remain with so small a command in the vicinity of so large a force of the enemy, even while they were retreating, I concluded to withdraw. When we had gathered up what loose things we could, about an hour after dark, I left the town and the scene of our victory, taking the road to Lebanon, presuming that to be the way our forces had gone. There was not a mounted man left with us on the field, nor a live horse to be found in the vicinity. My horse having been shot in the early part of the engagement, however, it was impossible to send messengers to ascertain the whereabouts of our army. Believing, however, that our troops must have retreated in this direction, I moved on, hoping soon to join the main force. As the night was cold, and our blankets and overcoats had been left in the wagons, we could only make short rests until we reached the train. We continued to march on until three o'clock next morning, when we came up with our train and forces camped at Osap Fork, twenty-five miles distant from Hartsville Finding that the Colonel commanding had gone on to Lebanon the night before, I gave the troops a couple of hours' rest and some refreshments, and taking command of the force, put it in motion for Lebanon, which place we reached in the early part of the next day. In conclusion allow me to sum up as follows: Between Friday afternoon and Monday morning, the Twenty-first Iowa regiment marched one hundred miles, fought two battles, one of three and the other of eight hours duration, during the latter of which there was scarcely one moment's lull in the galling fire of artillery and musketry. And for three hours and until the enemy fled from before us, two hundred and fifty of them held their position against the combined force of the rebels, four thousand strong. Owing to the sheltered position that we occupied, and the fact of the enemy firing over us, as the men were principally kept on their faces, the number of casualties was comparatively small. I make special mention here of no one as having distinguished himself more than another. Every man was brave, cool, and active, and every one was a hero. Too much praise cannot be accorded to the men for their conduct during the whole of this long and severe engagement. I am, General, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A National account.
General Fitz-Henry Warren's brigade, under command of Colonel Merrill, received marching orders, and a part of the Twenty-first Iowa, Ninety-ninth Illinois, Third Iowa, Third Missouri cavalry with two pieces of artillery — in all about eight hundred men — for a forced march to Springfield. All was action throughout the camps, all wanted to go, but some were ordered to remain, with a part of the officers, to defend the camp in case of an attack; and military orders are explicit, and each company furnished twenty-five to thirty men. We arrived at Beaver Creek, twenty-two miles distant, at eight o'clock in the evening, and about twelve o'clock at midnight left for Hartsville expecting to arrive there by daylight, but in consequence of our scouts giving information that the town was occupied by the rebels, we were drawn up in line of battle six miles away, awaiting the return of a portion of cavalry sent forward to reconnoitre; they returning, gave information that they had left the night previous at daylight, arriving at nine o'clock A. M. Then for the first time we were refreshed with rations of coffee and meat; while there a man came into camp and supposing us to be secesh gave us valuable information of spies among the State militia. Left there at two o'clock P. M., arriving at camp for the  night at Wood's Fork, eight miles away on the road to Marshfield, whither the enemy, under Colonel Porter, had gone. They were reinforced by Marmaduke, who had been fighting at Springfield, and Gen. McDonald with four thousand mounted men was repulsed there. They encamped on the same creek only one half-mile away, and did not know of our approach until our bugle-call in the morning, which prepared them for an attack, or retreat. At five o'clock A. M., as twenty-five of the Third Missouri cavalry, under Captain Brodway, were advancing to get information as to certain signs of an enemy, they fell upon a body of the rebels, who fired a volley among them, killing Captain B., Corporal Boradilla and Thos. Urin. Then we heard another volley and a yell, but the cry was, “For God's sake stop; you are killing your own men,” which proved true, as the sixty prisoners taken reported the same facts. At daylight the artillery was sent forward to draw them out, and commenced shelling the woods; a number were killed and wounded there. Scouts were sent out immediately to ascertain the facts, and reported them retreating in a southeast direction, and the Third Iowa cavalry made a dash and cut off their rear-guard and some of their baggage. Soon after orders were given to move to Hartsville. Immediately we rushed forward, as we were informed they intended to flank us at that place. They succeeded in reaching there one hour previous, and gained a good position near the town on the bluffs and also encircling the place on the east and south side toward Houston and Springfield, cutting off our teams and reinforcements from tile former place, proving the fact that if mounted we should succeed much better in this desert and mountainous country, fighting these guerrillas, who are all mounted on the best horses the country affords. They had one rifled twelve-pound and four other cannon, of four to six pounds, and as soon as our cannon and howitzer came into position we opened the ball at one o'clock, and the Twenty-first on the left with the Ninety-ninth on the right came rushing forward on a double-quick of two miles into line of battle, not a minute too soon to meet the foe who were forming at the foot of the hill to occupy it; but were soon convinced we had arrived, and they as rapidly retreated. In the mean time thousands of our foes were on the opposite bluffs, and their sharp-shooters occupied every house. But here another disadvantage occurred to themselves, as, when Porter's force was last here, they tore down a palisade fort which would have proved an almost impregnable position to any infantry force. The pen will fail to give a tithe of the emotions of one who for the first time encounters a deadly foe. As tile din of battle commenced we thought of home, wife, mother, and children dear; then nerved to duty and fearless in the cause of right, our little band stood firm; and Iowa may be proud of the Twenty-first. We remained on the field until dark, and for two hours and a half after the cavalry, artillery, and teams had retreated toward Lebanon; the Ninety-ninth being out of ammunition, had gone. Expecting every minute an enfilading fire, scouts were sent out to watch the enemy, but we soon found that they were retreating, but kept up camp-fires to deceive us. After dark, as your correspondent was ordered to ascertain the position of our artillery, and hearing that a wounded man back with the ambulance could tell, I went with Lieutenants Dale and Bates, Sergeant Walker, Corporal McFadden and others, who carried on their shoulders some of the wounded, and having ascertained returned to find the regiment. They had gone, and as it was now after dark, and we could only return to assist Surgeon Lucius Benham, who was in charge of the wounded. The following is the list of killed and wounded: Lieut.-Col. C. W. Dunlap, commanding regiment, wounded in hand and slightly in breast — horse killed. Company C--Wm. Jones, Dubuque County, killed, shot through bowels; John M. Miller, Dubuque County, wounded in head, slightly; Richard Cook, Dubuque County, wounded with shell, slightly; Charles Dunham, Dubuque County, reported ported paroled; Lieut. Alexander, Dubuque County, (commanding company K,) reported seriously wounded with grape. Company H--Ira Carlton, Delaware County, killed. Company K--Harrison Hefner, Delaware County, killed, shot through bowels; Freeman Fear, Delaware County, wounded in thigh, serious; Ward White, Delaware County, wounded in breast, and arm broken; Adam Luchinger, Dubuque County, wounded in corner of right eye, slightly; Jacob B. Miller, Delaware County, wounded in arm, slightly; Erastus Smith, Delaware County, wounded in side, slightly; David Hiner, Delaware County, wounded in thigh, serious; James Jackson, Delaware County, wounded in wrist, slightly; George Simons, Delaware County, wounded in head, slightly; H. B. Stone, Delaware County, wounded, severely. Company I--Jacob Hoops, Dubuque County, wounded in thigh, slightly; John Q. Angell, Dubuque County, wounded in hand, slightly. Company E--Daniel Wolf, wounded in back, slightly. Company B--Carl Pehsschl, Clayton County, killed, shot through breast. Company D--Samuel W. Moore, Fayette County, wounded in arm, slightly. Killed, four; wounded, sixteen; paroled, one--seventeen. A number of the others were slightly wounded, but went with the regiment. To Lieut.-Col. Dunlap, too much praise cannot be given. He acted with caution and promptness, scarce thinking of himself. He was continually exposed, and had his horse shot from under him, also wounded in the hand and side, and had his holsters shot off and sword-belt cut away ; but watching every movement of the enemy with a vigilant eye. He changed the position of the regiment to meet every emergency and  his goodness of heart continually showed itself in the care of his men. When shot, grape, and ball were flying in almost every direction, he ordered them to lie flat and load, then advance, and every order was promptly obeyed, for every man has entire confidence in him. When he said, “Now, boys, up and at them-ready-aim — fire!” it was a shock that threw terror into the rebel ranks. The Ninety-ninth Illinois fought bravely — every man for himself. Their wounded were all from Pike County, where the regiment was raised. Philip Donahue, Company C, knee; Sergeant Lewis Kinman, company C, thigh; David Morris, company G, hand; Lieutenant Thomas Hubbard, company A; Sergeant Dennis Bagdley, company D, knee; Cornelius Johnson, company E, arm; Francis M. Ayers, company B; Sylvester Durrall, company E, shoulder; Wyatt M. Mitchell, company E, leg; Henry Perry, company I, shoulder; Henry Hoskins, company G, hip; Corporal H. Millard, shoulder; Nicholas Cunningham, company E, hand; Jewell Woodard, company D; Daniel Casey, company K; John Rutlidge, company C; T. J. Beard, company C; others were slightly wounded. Lieut. Bates and Corporal McFadden, of company I, were unremitting in their efforts to supply the wants of the wounded. We did not dare to build fires, and were obliged to cover the enemy with leaves. May we never have cause to witness such a sad scene again. But the many instances of cheerfulness under suffering, show moral heroism glorious to witness. The enemy lost Brig.-Gen. Emmett McDonald, the one who swore he would not cut his hair or shave until the Southern Confederacy was recognized--(he is now released from that oath.) Col. Thompson was killed, and Col. Porter was mortally wounded, and since died. They acknowledged from three to four hundred killed and wounded, and every house is a hospital. They retreated thirteen miles that night, and sent back the next morning a flag of truce to bury their dead. But our force was so small, our officers in command did not think it advisable to remain, and had also retreated toward Lebanon to await reinforcements. One of the wounded rebel officers said to our surgeon: “If we had known your force, you would not have got off so easily; but we thought by your volleys that you were largely reenforced.” The loss of the Third Missouri is two killed and three wounded; the Third Iowa none; artillery, three wounded. The Twenty-first Iowa and Ninety-ninth Illinois infantry stood the brunt of the whole battle, and the Twenty-first remained two hours and a half after all the other forces had retreated. It is evident that our small force fought bravely, and that the enemy thought we were largely reenforced. As Lieut. John D. Brown, Sergeant Wm. A. Gray, A. C. Northrup, and Peter Harrett, of the Third Iowa cavalry, (paroled to-day,) who had been on a scout, were returning from the direction of Springfield, they told them they had just come from there, and they evidently changed their route, moving through the woods to Mountain Stone, a famous rebel retreat and stronghold, by way of Hartsville. They were six thousand strong when they left Arkansas a few days ago, but their loss by desertion and death has weakened their force to their present number. Brig.-Gen. Warren left this place on Monday, the twelfth, with reinforcements, but fearing an attack on Houston, returned the next day. Today, the fifteenth, the command under Col. Merrill also returned safely, with all the train, and the boys are anxious for another brush. Lieut.-Col. Dunlap was unable to return, owing to injuries received on Sunday, and, with Lieut Alexander, is at Lebanon.