on it likely to be of use to Blunt
or the Federal
commanders south of Rolla
This was easily done, for the Federal
force at Springfield
remained there behind their fortifications, and made no effort to interfere with him. There were numerous depots of supply along the road, and these were destroyed, together with telegraph lines and stockades, and the militia garrisoning the latter were captured or dispersed.
He remained on this line for a week and completely destroyed all communication between Rolla
and points further south.
At Sand Spring Porter
joined him, and he left the Rolla
road and moved in the direction of Marshfield, in Webster county
On the second day's march from Marshfield
in advance met a heavy force of Federal cavalry on the main road between Marshfield
, and promptly attacked it. The Federals gave way and it was a race between the two columns on different roads for Hartville
Just before reaching that point there was a considerable stream to be crossed, and the crossing was disputed by a strong body of Federals, but Porter
drove them back and crossed.
was informed by his scouts that the Federals
were retreating from the town, and, without waiting for Shelby
to come up, ordered Porter
forward, who obeyed the order, moving in column, without advance guard or flankers.
The Federal wagons were leaving the town, but the Federal
soldiers were ambushed in a heavy black-jack thicket bordering the road, with a strong rail fence on the other side.
got well in the trap, the concealed line rose and poured into his extended flank a terrific fire.
In an instant his command was a struggling mass of men and horses.
They could not charge into the scrub-oak thicket, and the fence held them firmly on the other side.
As speedily as they could Porter
and his officers got the men on more open ground, but the Federals
followed them closely, firing volley after volley into them and preventing them rallying and reforming.