previous next

Doc. 41. guerrilla barbarities.

The fight at Roseville, Ark.

The Roseville fight occurred on the morning of the fourth of April, 1864. The attacking party consisted of the Thirtieth Texas cavalry, four hundred strong, under Lieutenant-Colonel Battles, and fifty guerrillas, under Titsworth. Our force was about seventy-five men of the Second and Sixth Kansas cavalry, under Captains Gardner and Goss. The balance of their command was out foraging. The pickets were driven in at eight A. M. Our boys made barricades of cotton bales, and behind these, and in some log houses, met the enemy. The latter dismounted about half a mile from town, and advanced through the timber. They charged gallantly into the town. at the same time making flank movements. The fight was severe and gallant, both sides coming to the work bravely. Under the rapid fire of our Sharpe's rifles the enemy finally fell back disordered, retreating in great haste. Eight or ten of their dead were left on the field or found afterward. Eleven of their wounded were found, and are now in our hospital. Major Davenport and Lieutenant Armstrong, of the Texas cavalry, are also reported killed. The loss on our side was: Sixth Kansas cavalry, Company D, Captain Goss, three killed, five wounded; Second Kansas cavalry, Company D, one killed and one wounded; Company E, four wounded. Total, four killed and ten wounded. The loss of the enemy, from what they abandoned and what they left, could not be less than fifteen killed and twenty-five wounded.

Doctor Prentiss, of the First Kansas colored volunteers, arrived at Roseville next day, from General Steele's army, and took charge of the wounded. It was a fortunate circumstance, as the Assistant-Surgeon of the Sixth, Doctor S. A. Fairchild, sent with an escort from this place, was most inhumanly butchered, after capture, by bushwhackers. Doctor Fairchild left Fort Smith on the fifth, with an escort of twenty-six men, under Lieutenant McKibben, of the Sixth. [326] Twenty-five miles south of this place it was reported that, the day before, one hundred rebels passed through Charlestown. They passed a recently abandoned post about six miles further, and three miles further on, at the farm of a well-known bushwhacker, they were fired upon by about fifty men, stationed in a ravine. At the same time a large force was seen on each side of the road, endeavoring to surround the escort. Lieutenant McKibben, seeing that was his only chance, directed the men to keep well together, and ordered a charge. With sixteen of the men he got safely through to Roseville, after a sharp fight and severe chase. Doctor Fairchild and eleven of the men fell into the hands of the enemy. On the next day the Lieutenant returned to the scene of the attack. The bodies of nine men were found on the road. Evidences were plenty of a severe struggle, but the appearance of the bodies was the most damning evidence of the fiendishness of the rebels. All of them were stripped of all clothing, and horribly mutilated. One man's head was beaten to a jelly, evidently with the butts of guns. Not a wound was found on him, otherwise than the blows on his head. Others had their ears and noses cut off, and three of the party were castrated. Next day, the doctor's body, and those of the other two, were found. The surgeon was shot through the head and shoulders, and his was the only body unmutilated. A woman was seen on horseback among the guerrillas as our men came in sight, who galloped off when the fight commenced. A woman living near the place says Doctor Fairchild told his captors the errand he was on, and entreated that he and his men should be treated as prisoners of war. They were answered by the assassins with curses and blows. They were reported to be led by Fitzwilliams, who, if anything, is more fiendish in character than Quantrell. Over two hundred loyal Arkansians were murdered by him in the vicinity of Fort Smith during the few weeks prior to the occupation by General Blunt

Another guerrilla band, under the lead of Buck Brown, surprised a party of ten men belonging to the First Arkansas cavalry, who were herding public stock near the Prairie Grove battlefield. The bushwhackers, twenty-one in number, were clothed in Federal uniform. They pretended to belong to the Thirteenth Kansas. The Arkansians were in a house, and were called out by the disguised rebels. While conversing in a friendly way, they commenced firing, and succeeded in killing and mortally wounding all but one, who escaped. There were five killed, and four mortally wounded. This was on the seventh.

A party of Choctaw guerrillas, on the thirteenth, made a raid in the State, at Long Prairie, twelve miles from this place. They murdered two citizens, stripped four women stark naked, and plundered everything portable.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Roseville (Arkansas, United States) (4)
Long Prairie (Arkansas, United States) (1)
Choctaw Bluff (Alabama, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
S. A. Fairchild (4)
McKibben (2)
Goss (2)
Titsworth (1)
F. Steele (1)
J. McDowell Sharpe (1)
Quantrell (1)
Prentiss (1)
Gardner (1)
Fitzwilliams (1)
Doc (1)
Davenport (1)
Buck Brown (1)
Blunt (1)
Battles (1)
J. C. Armstrong (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
April 4th, 1864 AD (1)
13th (1)
7th (1)
5th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: