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[510]

Doc. 79. operations against General Price.


Report of Major-General Rosecrans.

headquarters Department of Missouri, St. Louis, December 7, 1864.
Colonel: The Commanding General of the military division is already informed, by my current official despatches, of the principal incidents of the late campaign against Price in this department; but it is proper that I should submit a more detailed and connected report of the operations, for a correct understanding of their extent and the importance of the results.

From early in the spring it was known, through the lodges of the O. A. K.'s and other rebel sources, that Price intended a great invasion of this State, in which he expected the co-operation of that order, and of rebels generally, and by which he hoped to obtain important military and political results. In pursuance of these plans, the lodges, with rebel recruiting officers and agents, sent into Missouri clandestinely or under cover of the amnesty oath for that purpose, began an insurrection in Platte county on the seventh of July last. From that time guerrilla warfare raged in the river counties, west from Calloway on the north, and from Cooper on the south side of the Missouri.

This department having been depleted of troops, permission was obtained to raise volunteers to meet the exigencies of our situation, and under it about five complete, and as many incomplete regiments of twelve-months volunteer infantry had been organized previously to the raid.

On the third of September General Washburn sounded the tocsin by information that the force under Shelby, at Batesville, Arkansas, was about to be joined by Price, for the invasion of our State. The ripening of the corn lent to this additional color of probability, so that on the sixth Major-General A. J. Smith, passing Cairo with a division of infantry on the way to General Sherman, I telegraphed General Halleck the state of affairs, requesting orders for this division to halt at that point and wait until we could ascertain the designs of the enemy.

The division was halted, and on the ninth General Smith received orders from General Halleck to “operate against Price & Co. ;” but, deeming it impracticable to penetrate between one and two hundred miles into Arkansas with a small column of infantry, in pursuit of a large mounted force, the exact whereabouts as well as intentions of which were still unknown, he decided to move his command to a point near St. Louis, whence he could readily move by rail or river, and await Price's movements.

From that time information accumulated, showing the imminence of the raid. On the twenty-third we received certain information that Price had crossed the Arkansas with two divisions of mounted men, three batteries of artillery, a large wagon train, carrying several thousand stand of small arms, and was at or near Batesville, on White river. From this point, midway between the Mississippi and the western boundary of the State, there are three practicable routes of invasion: one by Pocahontas, into South-eastern Missouri; another by West Plains and Rolla or vicinity, north, toward Jefferson City: a third by Cassville, north, either through Springfield and Sedalia, or by the Kansas border, to the Missouri river. Strong military reasons favored the movement of their main force by the central route, while a detachment should go by Pocahontas, and strip South-eastern Missouri. Under these circumstances my first object was to secure our great depots at Springfield and Rolla, the hay cut during the summer, and our train of government wagons, required to maintain the troops in the Springfield district. To do this, and, as far as possible, save the scanty agriculture of the country from devastation, it was necessary to hold both Springfield and Rolla. Indeed, to have abandoned these points would have been not only to abandon the loyal people of those districts and their property to destruction, but to invite the enemy to destroy our trains while moving them, capture our stores, and beat our troops in detail.

Generals Sanborn and McNeill were therefore informed and ordered to place the trains and public property of their districts under the protection of the fortifications of Springfield and Rolla, to put their forts in the best possible state of defence, using every foot and dismounted cavalry soldier, including citizens and local militia, to the best advantage, and with all their efficient mounted force to watch the enemy's motions, and report the earliest indications of the direction of the coming storm. General Brown was ordered to concentrate all the troops from the west of the central district at Sedalia, to notify the citizen-guards, and see that neither they nor their arms were exposed to capture.

On the twenty-fourth Shelby was reported south of Pilot Knob, moving toward Farmington, with five thousand men and four pieces of artillery. General Ewing was ordered to concentrate the troops in the southern part of his district at Pilot Knob and Cape Girardeau, and to verify the accuracy of this report, which proved true. On the twenty-sixth General A. J. Smith, with two of his brigades, was ordered to a point on the Iron Mountain railroad “as far toward Pilot Knob as he deemed compatible with certainty that his position could not be turned,” and the “enemy get between him and St. Louis.” On the day before Sanborn had orders to move, with all his mounted force, to Rolla, it having become evident that the enemy would not probably strike west of that point.

The safety of St. Louis was vital to us; I therefore telegraphed Brigadier-General H. E. Paine, commanding in Illinois, who promised me assistance from some regiments of returning “hundred-day volunteers,” who, though they [511] had already served beyond their time, generously consented to come for the defence of the city. The enrolled militia of St. Louis, though but skeleton regiments, were called out, and the citizens also requested to organize and arm. General Ewing was sent to Pilot Knob, with directions to use his utmost exertions to find out whether any more than Shelby's division was in South-east Missouri, and to that end to hold Pilot Knob until he was certain. With a soldierly comprehension of the importance of his duties, while reporting the current rumors of the advance of Price with his whole force, he expressed his doubts, and held his position until the twenty-seventh, when he sustained a terrific assault in Fort Davidson, a small fieldwork in the valley, surrounded by hills within cannon range, which he held with about one thousand men, one half raw troops — establishing, beyond question, the presence of all Price's command in that quarter. He gloriously repulsed, killing and wounding some fifteen hundred of the enemy, and lost only twenty-eight killed and fifty-six wounded, as appears from his report herewith. While Ewing's fight was going on, Shelby advanced on Potosi, and thence to Big River bridge, threatening General Smith's advance, which withdrew from that point to within safer supporting distance of his main position at De Soto.

Previous to, and pending these events, the guerrilla warfare in North Missouri had been raging with redoubled fury. Rebel agents, amnesty oath-takers, recruits, sympathizers, 0. A. K.'s, and traitors of every hue and stripe, had warmed into life at the approach of the great invasion. Women's fingers were busy making clothes for rebel soldiers out of goods plundered by the guerrillas; women's tongues were busy telling Union neighbors “their time was now coming.” General Fisk, with all his force, had been scouring the brush for weeks in the river counties, in pursuit of hostile bands, composed largely of recruits from among that class of inhabitants who claim protection, yet decline to perform the full duties of citizens, on the ground that they “never tuck no sides.” A few facts will convey some idea of this warfare carried on by Confederate agents here, while the agents abroad of their bloody and hypocritical despotism, Mason, Slidell, and Mann, in Europe, have the effrontery to tell the nations of Christendom our government carries on the war with increasing ferocity, regardless of the laws of civilized warfare. These gangs of rebels, whose families had been living in peace among their loyal neighbors, committed the most cold-blooded and diabolical murders, such as riding up to a farm-house, asking for water, and, while receiving it, shooting down the giver, an aged, inoffensive farmer, because he was a radical “Union man.” In the single subdistrict of Mexico, the commanding officer furnished a list of near one hundred Union men who, in the course of six weeks, had been killed, maimed, or “run off,” because they were radical “Union men or d----d abolitionists.” About the first of September, Anderson's gang attacked a railroad train on the North Missouri road, took from it twenty-two unarmed soldiers, many on sick-leave, and, after robbing, palced them in a row and shot them in cold blood. Some of the bodies they scalped, and put others across the track and ran the engine over them. On the twenty-seventh this gang, with numbers swollen to three or four hundred, attacked Major Johnson, with about one hundred and twenty men of the Thirty-ninth Missouri volunteer infantry, raw recruits, and, after stampeding their horses, shot every man, most of them in cold blood. Anderson, a few days later, was recognized by General Price, at Boonville, as a Confederate captain, and, with a verbal admonition to behave himself, ordered, by Colonel McLane, chief of Price's staff, to proceed to North Missouri and destroy the railroads, which orders were found on the miscreant when killed by Lieutenant-Colonel Cox, about the twenty-seventh of October ultimo.

On the twenty-eighth, when information of Ewing's fight and Price's presence at Pilot Knob came to hand, General Smith, discovering the enemy in his front, moving to west and north, in pursuance of his orders to hold the most advanced position compatible with the certainty of keeping between the enemy and St. Louis,determined to leave De Soto and retire behind the Meramec, a stream which, at from ten to fifteen miles south of St. Louis, offered considerable obstacles to the passage of a hostile force with wagons and artillery. General Ewing, finding Marmaduke's and Fagan's rebel divisions before him, and his position commanded by a numerically superior artillery, acting on suggestions made when discussing with him the possibilities of the position on the night of the twenty-seventh, spiked his heavy guns, blew up the magazine, ammunition and supplies, and, with the field battery and remains of his command, retreated through the hills toward the Meramec valley, hoping to reach a point on the railroad from whence he could move to St. Louis. But, as will be seen from his report, the enemy pursued him, harassed his rear on the march, which lie directed along a ridge where the enemy could not flank him, and overtook him near Harrison's station, where, seizing and extending the temporary defences constructed by the militia, he displayed such vigor that, after harassing him for thirty-six hours, and making several attacks, on the approach of a detachment of Sanborn's cavalry, the rebels left him, and he escaped, with all his command, to Rollo. The enemy's strength and position thus developed, my first business was to secure the points he best could strike — St. Louis, Jefferson City, and Rolla. General Smith's four thousand five hundred infantry, and the mounted force we could raise--Seventh Kansas, just in from Memphis, part of the Thirteenth Missouri volunteer cavalry, Colonel Catherwood, and the recruits of Merrill's Horse, hastily mounted and [512] organized, a total of fifteen hundred men — were all the force we could place between St. Louis and an invading army of at least fifteen thousand mounted men, whose advance was within a day's march of the city. Meanwhile Brigadier-General Pike, ably seconded by Generals Wolfe and Miller, of the Enrolled Missouri militia, had assembled and armed skeletons of the First, Second, Third, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Tenth, Eleventh, Thirteenth, and Fifty-second regiments of enrolled militia. The Mayor and others, under the direction of the Hon. B. Gratz Brown and Major Ledergerber, organized the citizens exempt from militia duty, who volunteered for the defence of the city, into companies and regiments, numbering, by the thirtieth, some four or five thousand men. The One Hundred and Thirty-second, One Hundred and Thirty-fourth, One Hundred and Thirty-eighth, One Hundred and Fortieth, and One Hundred and Forty-second Illinois hundred-day volunteers also began to arrive on the thirtieth, and were all in by October first, and formed into a brigade, under Colonel Wangelin, for the immediate defence of the city, beyond which they did not wish to serve, as all of them were out over time, and many having desirable offers as substitutes.

The enemy, moving up by Potosi, seemed to halt at Richwoods, about four miles south-west of St. Louis, in the hills between Big River and the Meramec, as if concentrating for an attack on the city. This appeared the more possible from the magnitude of his interest in it, and the fact that he did not show much force in the Meramec valley, even on the thirtieth. On that day Major-General Smith was ordered to occupy Kirkwood, which commands the Richwoods road and crossing of the Meramec to St. Louis, his cavalry to reconnoitre south and west, Colonel Merrill going as far as Franklin.

General Fisk, previously ordered to join General Brown with all his available force, reached and reported from Jefferson City to-day. At the close of it, news came that a brigade of rebel cavalry had burned the Moselle bridge, and were moving north toward Franklin. General Smith was ordered to send a brigade of infantry to support the cavalry at that point, and on the first of October Colonel Wolfe, with his brigade, reached Franklin, and, after a sharp skirmish, drove the enemy from the place, but not until he had burned the depot.

The rebels were now apparently at bay, with fifteen hundred cavalry and four thousand five hundred infantry. General Smith was not in condition to attempt offensive movements against a force of fifteen thousand veteran mounted rebels, who could reach St. Louis from any point in the Meramec valley, where he might confront them, in half the time it would take his infantry to reach it. Our obvious policy, under these circumstances, was to keep as close as possible to the enemy, without risking St. Louis, until General Mower's command should arrive from Arkansas, or at least we be able to join to Smith's our mounted forces at Rolla. Every hour's delay of the enemy in the Meramec valley brought Mower nearer, and increased our chance of striking him, as it did the security of Jefferson City. On the second the enemy was reported massing in the vicinity of Union, on the road either to Jefferson City or Rolla, and General Smith was ordered to Franklin. But as the enemy's movements appeared to tend westward, on the third General Smith was advanced to Gray's Summit, and General Pike moved to Franklin. On the fourth General Smith pushed his cavalry toward the Gasconade, advanced his infantry to Union, followed up by General Pike's militia. On the fifth Price's command took Herman, burned the Gasconade bridge, and was crossing that stream at the old State road ford. General Smith followed him. General Mower reported his arrival at Girardeau, out of supplies, his teams worn down, part of his cavalry dismounted, and many horses unshod. Transports and supply-boats were at once despatched, and on the eighth and ninth his command reached St. Louis, from whence the infantry was pushed forward by water as rapidly as the low stage of the river would permit, to join General Smith. The cavalry under Winslow re-shod and started by land from St. Louis on the tenth, toward Jefferson City, which point it reached on the sixteenth instant, one day in advance of the infantry.

On the sixth, the enemy began crossing the Osage at Castle Rock and one or two other fords under cover of his artillery, opposed by Colonel Phillips with the available cavalry at Jefferson City. While thus engaged, Generals McNeill and Sanborn reached Jefferson City, by a forced march, with all the mounted force from Rolla, and uniting with Fisk and Brown, gave us a garrison there of four thousand one hundred cavalry and two thousand six hundred infantry, mostly the new and partially organized twelve months men, with a few citizens and militia. As this force, though capable of giving a strong battle behind intrenchments, was not very formidable to act offensively against a veteran force like that of the enemy, it was decided by General Fisk, the other three Generals concurring, to oppose a moderate resistance to the enemy's advance across the Moreau, a small stream with muddy banks and bad bottom, four or five miles east of the city, and then to retire and receive his attack at the defensive line, which with industry and good judgment had been prepared by the entire laboring force, civil and military, at Jefferson City. The enemy burned the Osage bridge and crossed the river on the sixth.

On the seventh, he advanced on the city, crossed the Moreau, after sharp fighting, and developed a line of battle three or four miles long, east, south, and west of the place. But after reconnoitering its apparently formidable intrenchments, warned by his Pilot Knob experience in storming earthworks, he declined attacking, and, passing his train in rear, moved [513] around, massing on the west, and finally retiring.

On the eighth, General Pleasonton, on his arrival at Jefferson, under orders to assume command, despatched General Sanborn with all the available cavalry, four thousand one hundred men, to follow and harass the enemy until General Smith's command could come up. General Smith was informed of the rebel failure at Jefferson, and directed to move by the most expeditious route to that place, where Mower's infantry were to join and the cavalry overtake him. He was to send all his cavalry, under Colonel Catherwood, in advance to report to Pleasonton, who, on its arrival, was to join Sanborn and assume direction of the provisional cavalry division thus formed. General Pike. with his militia, was charged with the control of the country and the defences of our line of communication from St. Louis to Jefferson City. Sanborn followed the rebels, attacked their rear guard at Versailles, where it was uncertain what course they would take ; found they were going north toward Boonville, followed and drove them into line of battle near that place, and, when he found himself nearly enveloped by their entire army, fell back out of their reach to meet Catherwood's command and his provisions, which both arrived at California on the fourteenth. The enemy, taking advantage of this, crossed the Lamine at Scott's and Dug fords, and moved north toward Arrow Rock. Sanborn immediately followed this movement by Georgetown bridge, keeping between the Pacific railroad and the line of the enemy's march, and holding the line of the Blackwater, a western tributary of the Lamine, while Price, crossing a part of Shelby's command at Arrow Rock, on the Boonville ferry-boat, to the north side of the river, advanced on Glasgow, which he captured after a seven hours fight with a part of Colonel Harding's regiment, Forty-third Missouri volunteer infantry, and small detachments of the Ninth Missouri State militia and Seventeenth Illinois cavalry.

On the seventeenth our cavalry, following his westward movement, keeping south of, without pressing him, until General Smith's and Mower's troops could be brought up, kept the line of the Blackwater, and on the seventeenth reported themselves out of supplies, and the enemy between Marshall and Waverley.

On the seventeenth, Mower's infantry, except two small regiments, arrived at Jefferson City, and went at once by rail to Lamine bridge to join General Smith, who, passing Jefferson by land on the fourteenth, had followed the cavalry movement to that point, taking charge of the supplies, which, in consequence of the destruction of the bridge by the rebels, could go by rail no further. Winslow's cavalry, marching, reached Jefferson, the advance twenty miles beyond, at California, on the sixteenth, and was ordered to join General Pleasonton without delay.

On the eighteenth, General Smith was ordered to move to Dunksburg, near the cavalry Headquarters, taking five days rations, and leaving minimum garrisons to guard and handle stores at Sedalia and Lamine bridge.

The nineteenth found the movement accomplished, the cavalry with its centre near Cook's store, its right behind the Blackwater, and its left near Kirkpatrick's mills, toward Warrensburg. The enemy apparently hesitated in the vicinity of Marshall, as if uncertain whether to go west or double on his tracks between Sedalia and Jefferson; but our cavalry advance, receding a few miles to meet supplies and concentrate, on the seventeenth and eighteenth, seemed to decide his movement toward Lexington, where General Curtis telegraphed me on the nineteenth the head of his column had arrived, General Blunt, after a sharp skirmish, retiring toward Independence. I informed General Curtis of our position; that our troops reported Price near Waverley; advised that Blunt check his advance at Wellington, and as soon as we were sure his main force was moving on Lexington, we would endeavor, by a forced march, to strike him in the flank.

To ascertain Price's real intentions, General Pleasonton was directed to make a strong reconnoissance toward Waverley. The results of this reached me on the morning of the twentieth, and Pleasonton was directed at once to push the centre of his cavalry to Lexington, and General Smith, with his infantry, to support the movement. At seven P. M., Pleasonton reported the enemy had left Lexington, going west, McNeill and Sanborn entering the town.

October twenty-first our cavalry advance followed the enemy to Fire Creek Prairie, Brown's and Winslow's brigades reaching Lexington at two o'clock P. M., and the infantry at nine P. M. of the same day. General Curtis also reported a fight with the enemy's entire force at the Little Blue from ten A. M. to two P. M., and that to prevent being flanked he should retire to the Big Blue, where his militia and artillery were in strong position. Supposing the enemy could not cross the Big Blue in the face of Curtis, I despatched General Pleasonton my belief that he would move south, and that while McNeill's brigade should harass his rear, he, with the other three brigades, should move toward Lone Jack, near which would be General Smith's infantry, now marching from Lexington to Chapel Hill. At ten o'clock P. M., a despatch from Pleasonton informed me of the receipt of these conditional orders, and that the enemy, in full force, were moving far to the west, followed by his cavalry.

October twenty-second, Pleasonton's cavalry reached the Little Blue at ten A. M.; found the bridge destroyed; a temporary one was constructed, the enemy's skirmishers driven, the command crossed, when the enemy opened with artillery, and was steadily driven toward Independence, which place was taken by a brilliant cavalry charge, in which Catherwood's regiment captured two guns complete. Near a hundred [514] prisoners fell into our hands, and our troops pushed the enemy's rear guard all night. At eight P. M., Pleasonton reports, “All my brigades have been engaged. The enemy have left forty killed, and many sick and wounded in my hands. Heard nothing from Curtis. If Smith can come up in case we get a fight, it will be well. Have sent McNeill's brigade to Little Santa Fe. Price is reported intrenched this side of the Big Blue. Fighting still going on with an obstinate rear-guard. Let Smith come to this place.” Reluctantly General Smith was despatched to move to Independence, as requested, the messenger reaching him at Chapel Hill as he was putting his column in motion to march there in response to a direct message from General Pleasonton, advising him of the posture of affairs.

On the morning of the twenty-third Pleasonton began to move on the enemy at the crossing of the Big Blue, where the fight opened at seven A. M. and continued until one P. M., when Shelby, who had been fighting General Curtis' command, finding Marmaduke and Fagen were giving way, turned on Pleasonton, and “for a moment shook Sanborn's brigade,” but by the skilful use of Thurber's battery, throwing double-shotted grape and canister, and the gallant charging of our troops, they were routed and fled southward, pushed by Generals Pleasonton and Curtis that night beyond Little Santa Fe.

General Smith's command arriving at Independence at five P. M., was ordered to move that night by a forced march to Hickman's mill, hoping it would strike the enemy in flank while passing that point. Had he been ordered and marched for that point instead of Independence the day before, General Smith would have arrived in time to strike the enemy's compact columns and train with nine thousand infantry and five batteries. But it was too late. He did not reach the mill until long after not only the enemy's, but our own columns had passed there. News from the cavalry fronts during the night showed that nothing remained but to push the enemy with our cavalry, allowing the infantry to follow as best it could, to act as support in case of possible reverse to us, or reinforcements which were currently reported on their way to meet the enemy.

On the twenty-fourth, with the Kansas troops in advance, we pursued the enemy until within fifteen miles of the trading post, when, at General Curtis' request, General Pleasonton's command took the lead, and at the end of sixty miles' march overtook the rebels about midnight at the Marias des Cygnes: began skirmishing, and on the twenty-fifth, at four A. M., opened on their bivouac with artillery, creating the greatest consternation, following it up by an attack which drove them promptly from the field, leaving in our hands horses, mules, wagons, arms, and some prisoners. Our troops followed them in a running fight until two o'clock P. M., when they came up with them at the Little Osage crossing, in position, with eight pieces of artillery on their line of battle. With the instinct of a true cavalry general, Pleasonton immediately ordered an attack by Benteen's and Phillips' brigades, which by a magnificent charge completely routed them, capturing eight guns, two stands of colors, Major-General Marmaduke, Brigadier-General Cabell, five colonels, other officers, and near one thousand prisoners, besides wagons, small arms, &c. Sanborn's brigade, which was a mile and a half behind, and the Kansas troops, still further in rear, did not arrive in time to take part in the battle; but Sanborn's brigade led in the pursuit of the routed enemy, overtook them at a small stream a few miles beyond the battleground, charged them in the timber, drove them across it into the open prairie, where they formed in order of battle three lines deep. But such was the enthusiasm of the men of this brigade, when they reached the edge of the wood and saw this triple line, they charged it without orders, knocked it in pieces, and chased the fugitives until night closed the pursuit, and the enemy fled under cover of the darkness, toward the Arkansas borden. Besides the wagons captured during this day at the Marias des Cygnes, on the way to and at the Little Osage, the enemy had destroyed many, including ammunition wagons, and for twenty-five or thirty miles beyond the Osage battlefield their route was strewn with debris of burning wagons and other property. Pleasonton's cavalry had now been in motion almost day and night for six days, during which it had marched at least two hundred and four miles and fought four battles. It was pretty well exhausted and broken down, and went into Fort Scott that night for food and a little rest. He reported to me the result of his day's work — that the enemy was going at his utmost, and his own troops were so broken down it would be impossible, without fresh horses, to strike the enemy another great blow this side of the Arkansas, and recommended that Generals Sanborn and McNeill follow, to support Curtis' troops in pursuit, so long as there was any prospect of damaging the enemy, and then return to Springfield and Rolla.

On the receipt of the news of the enemy's rout, General Smith, whose command was out of provisions, was directed to move to Harrisonville, and thence get supplies from Warrensburg, where one hundred wagons were waiting with provisions for our command, sending thirty thousand rations to the cavalry. Further reports of the enemy's condition satisfied me there would be no use in breaking down any more of our horses, since General Curtis, whose cavalry horses were fresher than ours, supported by Sanborn and McNeill, on their way down the State line, would be more than ample to deal with any resistance Price's command would offer this side of the Arkansas.

Orders were accordingly given, and General Pleasonton returned with Phillips' brigade, the [515] cannon, and part of the prisoners, to Warrensburg. The Kansas troops and Benteen's brigade pursued the enemy's flying columns, a part of whom made their last stand at Newtonia, Missouri, where General Blunt overtook and attacked them on the twenty-eighth, but was being worsted when Sanborn, having marched one hundred and two miles in thirty-six hours, arrived in time to save the day. The enemy fled, making no further stand this side of the Arkansas. In a country destitute of food for man and beast, five times defeated, pursued four or five hundred miles, with the loss of nearly all their artillery, ammunition, and baggage train, demoralization and destitution and want of supplies, would the rebels cross the Arkansas for supplies at the risk of falling into the hands of Thayer's forces or Steele's cavalry; and if allowed, would almost disintegrate and disband them on the way thither.

General Curtis thought pushing them was best, and accordingly followed, although he did not again overtake them. At his urgent instance, against my own judgment as well as that of Generals Sanborn and McNeill, I pushed their two brigades down to the Arkansas border, whence Sanborn sent an advance to Fort Smith, reaching there on the morning of the eighth, to notify General Thayer of the enemy's desperate condition, and the direction he had taken from Cane Hill toward the Indian nation, between Fort Smith and Fort Gibson.

Meanwhile, at Sherman's request, followed by orders from the General-in-chief, I directed Major-General A. J. Smith to move his command by the most expeditious route to the Mississippi, in the vicinity of St. Louis, there to embark and proceed to Nashville and report to Major-General George H. Thomas.

On the third of November I returned to St. Louis, to be there during the election, and on the receipt of the news of the enemy having crossed the Arkansas, directed the cavalry to repair to their respective districts, and Winslow's cavalry to move by the best route and join General Thomas at Nashville.

In entering into details, I have aimed to give the General Commanding a sort of military photograph of our daily condition and movements, as well for his critical judgment as for history, omitting events, of whatever magnitude, not having a bearing on our movements, and most of the minor ones which did enter into their determination. I trust that the precautions taken in advance of Price's movements; the preparations before we knew where he was coming; the means taken to secure our most important points, and occupy them until we could concentrate the forces to strike him with a certainty of success, outweighing any damage he could meanwhile do us; the energy and activity in concentration; vigor in pursuit and fiery gallantry of our troops in battle, will receive the approbation of the General Commanding the military division.

It will appear from these details and accompanying reports that our dismounted cavalry, infantry, and militia nobly performed their duty, watching, marching, and fighting whenever and wherever opportunity offered; that by their aid in holding our depots and supporting our mounted force, we have saved all our important posts, and most of the country from pillage, except a belt of some twenty miles wide along the route of the invasion, and with less than seven thousand effective cavalry have pursued, overtaken, beaten in several engagements, and finally routed an invading cavalry, variously estimated at from fifteen thousand to twenty-six thousand men, reinforced by six thousand armed recruits from Missouri; taking from them ten pieces of artillery, two stands of colors, one thousand nine hundred and fifty-eight prisoners of war, a large number of horses, mules, wagons, and small-arms; compelled them to destroy most of their remaining wagons, train, and plunder, blasted all the political schemes of the rebels and traitors who concerted with Price to revolutionize Missouri, destroy Kansas, and turn the State and Presidential election against the Union cause, and by our triumph in the late elections have given to gallant and suffering Missouri the fairest prospect she has ever yet seen of future freedom, peace, and prosperity — all the fruit of a campaign of forty-eight days, in which most of our victorious troops had never before seen a great cavalry battle. Rarely, during this or any other war, has cavalry displayed more persevering energy in pursuit, more impetuous courage and gallantry in attacking, regardless of superior numbers, or had its efforts crowned with greater fruits of success.

While paying a just tribute of thanks to all the officers and soldiers of the cavalry, artillery, infantry, militia, and citizen guards, who served during the raid, for their prompt and cheerful obedience to all orders,whether to labor, march, or fight, I must refer to the accompanying reports of their commanders for special mention of individual gallantry. Major-General Pleasonton deserves the thanks of the country for the able manner in which he handled and fought the cavalry, and for the brilliant and fruitful victories he won over triple his own force. I hope he may receive promotion in the Regular Army. Major-General A. J. Smith deserves thanks for promptitude, energy, and perseverance in all his movements, and for the good judgment displayed in his campaign. Nor must I omit a tribute of admiration to those brave and true soldiers, who, under Mower, followed Price from Arkansas, marching three hundred miles in eighteen days, and after going by boat from Cape Girardeau to Jefferson City, resumed the pursuit, making another march of four hundred and sixty-two miles before they embarked for Nashville, to take part in the not doubtful contest before that city for the mastery of Middle Tennessee. The district commanders all deserve my thanks for prompt and cordial co-operation [516] in all measures precautionary and preparatory for the raid.

General Ewing deserves special mention for military judgment, courage and gallantry in holding Pilot Knob till he had certainty of the enemy's force, as well as for the manner in which he withdrew his troops to Rolla. Gen-McNeill, for promptitude and energy in putting Rolla in a state of defence, and for moving with all force to Jefferson City in time to succor it; General Fisk, for the prompt and cheerful discharge of very trying administrative duties, and for his energy and good sense in preparing the defence of Jefferson City, as in the subsequent repair of Lamine bridge. General Brown displayed energy and good sense in preparing the city for a good defence, and General Sanborn for vigilance, energy and soldierly judgment, while commanding the cavalry advance between Jefferson City and Dunksburg, as well as throughout the campaign. Colonel J. V. Dubois, aid-de-camp, chief of staff; Captain Henry, assistant quartermaster, of General Steele's staff, volunteer staff quartermaster in the field ; Captain G. Schull, chief commissary; Surgeon P. V. Schenck, medical director in the field ; Captain Hoelcke, acting aid-de-camp, engineer; Major Fisher, Fifth Missouri State Militia, on engineer duty; Captain J. F. Bennett, assistant adjutant-general, and my personal aids, Major F. S. Bond, aid-de-camp, Captain R. S. Thomas, aid-de-camp, and Captain Hills, Twelfth Kansas Militia, provost-marshal, accompanied me during the campaign, and were zealous and indefatigable in the discharge of their respective duties; Major McDermott, First Iowa cavalry, who, with his battalion of First Iowa cavalry, did such good service in North Missouri, and behaved very gallantly in the pursuit of the rebels from Jefferson City to Boonville, commanded the escort from Sedalia, and deserves honorable mention. Brigadier-General J. B. Gray, Adjutant-General of Missouri, and Brigadier-General Pike, of the enrolled, are entitled to public thanks for their valuable and indefatigable services in connection with the enrolled militia. Colonel F. J. Haines, commissary of subsistence, to whom all the armies, as well as the country, owe a debt of gratitude for invaluable services, not likely to be overpaid, displayed his usual promptitude and foresight in providing for the wants of our troops and depots. Colonel William Myers, chief quarter-master, in supplying animals, fitting up trains, and providing for the wants of our troops, exhibited his characteristic care and skill.

I must also mention the voluntary services of those tried veterans, Colonel Wangelin, of the Twelfth Missouri volunteer infantry, and Colonel Laibold, who did all in their power to aid in the defence of St. Louis.

Senator B. Gratz Brown and Mayor Thomas, seconded by the efforts of many patriotic citizens of all classes, did much to prepare for the defence of the city, and deserve my thanks. I should be glad to call the General's attention to many militia officers, such as General Craig, whose able management in the North-west, in the absence of General Fisk; Colonel Gale, who so promptly organized his militia regiment, Fifty-fourth E. M. M., at Franklin, and many others scattered over the State, who rendered great service to the country.

But as the chief motive of these officers and the men of their commands was their country's good, the consciousness of duty manfully performed must be their chief reward, until the day comes when our children, pointing to them as to others who have borne arms in this great national struggle, shall say, “there go some of the men who helped to save our nation.”

The accompanying reports show our total losses in this campaign were: One hundred and seventy killed, of whom one hundred and sixteen were murdered at Centralia; three hundred and thirty-six wounded; one hundred and seventy-one prisoners, of whom, many, if not all, are illegally paroled; six hundred and eighty-one hors de combat. Besides which, there were several small squads of prisoners illegally captured and paroled in South-east Missouri, and the troops at Glasgow, whose surrender was, I think, justifiable, and possibly lawful.

W. S. Rosecrans, Major-General. Lieutenant-Colonel Christianson, Assistant Adjutant-General, Military Division West Mississippi, New Orleans, La.

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, Mo. (Missouri, United States) (8)
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