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Doc. 22. fight at Bennett's Mills, Mo.

A correspondent of the Missouri Democrat gives the following account of this affair:

Rolla, September 3, 1861.
From a gentleman who arrived here from Bennett's Mills last evening, we have further particulars of the attack made on the Dent County Home Guard, stationed at that place, by some three hundred and fifty rebels of Schnabel's regiment. The attack was made by the latter just at dawn of day on Sunday morning, when most of the Home Guard were absent, there being only thirty-eight men present in their sleeping-quarters, under the sheds in the rear of some corn cribs. Fourteen of the men were out on pickets, and twenty-five were absent making preparations to bring to Rolla the eighteen prisoners taken the day before. The officers, except Lieutenant Stewart and Sergeant Bay, were absent; Captain Bennett was away from home, and Lieutenant Chandler had just before gone up to the captain's house after some meal, when he was cut off from his command.

The enemy advanced stealthily in two divisions and fired on the small party of Home Guards, who, taken by surprise, caught up their guns and resisted the attack bravely for half an hour. The enemy made their appearance in a few moments after the alarm shots were heard of the pickets. The enemy, before advancing, had picketed their horses on the Salem road, and crept around the pickets, almost reaching the camp before an alarm was given. They made one rush at first up a ravine, but fell back, owing to the sharpness of the fire poured in upon them, and afterward they fired for some time from the cover of the trees and bushes. At length the Guard, seeing the danger of being overpowered by a superior force, were ordered to retreat by Sergeant Bay, which was effected down a bluff and up a ravine, each man taking his gun and scattering for himself.

When Lieutenant Chandler first heard the alarm, he undertook to reach his men, but was prevented by an intervening force. A man fired on him with a pistol, wounding him in the arm. The lieutenant rushed for Captain Bennett's house, seized a rifle, and taking deliberate aim at the man who had wounded him, sent a bullet through his heart. The man gave a spring, threw up his arms, and fell backward on his head.

The number of the killed and wounded of the enemy could not be ascertained. They filled a large Michigan wagon, belonging to Lieutenant Chandler, with the dead and wounded, and carried them off the field.

Of the Home Guard the following were known to be killed: A. G. Stewart, Second Lieutenant; Thos. J. Estes, private; mortally wounded: Joseph Laroue; the following were also wounded: George Counts, arm shattered; the man who first informed Capt. McFall's men of the fight; Wm. Counts, shot in thigh; Thomas Howe, shot in shoulder; Thomas Holmes, slightly wounded in side of head; Lieut. Chandler, flesh wound in arm; A. H. Tullock, wounded in abdomen.

The rebels perpetrated a singular blunder. They approached the house in which the eighteen prisoners, taken from them the day before, were confined, and the leader of the party saying, “Here is a party of the d----d abolitionists, give 'em h — ll,” fired in upon the latter and burst open the door.

Some of the prisoners were undoubtedly wounded, as groans were heard from the quarters in which they were confined. The manner in which the above prisoners were captured the day before by the Home Guard, was as follows:--They belonged to a party of thirty-five men, organized at Kirkwood, St. Louis County, commanded by Capt. Robert Harwood, of that county. The guns carried by them belonged formerly to the St. Louis Grays. This company was passing through in quest of the rebel quarters, representing themselves as Unionists and carrying a United States flag.

Their true character being ascertained, they were attacked in separate squads about the vicinity, and eighteen of their men were captured as above stated. The balance fearing capture, after losing two killed, concealed their guns in a thicket, also forty-five pounds of powder, and dispersed toward Salem. A party of the Home Guard were preparing an expedition to search [58] for these guns on the morning of the attack at Bennett's Mills. The enemy decamped from the latter place after the fight, and no one was left but a few of the citizens and Capt. Bennett, who had returned. The rebels took away between thirty and forty horses belonging to the Home Guard.

No information has been received from Capt. McFall's detachment, which left here Sunday evening in pursuit of the above party.

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W. L. Chandler (4)
Bennett (3)
A. G. Stewart (2)
McFall (2)
Bay (2)
Unionists (1)
A. H. Tullock (1)
Schnabel (1)
Joseph Laroue (1)
Thomas Howe (1)
Thomas Holmes (1)
Robert Harwood (1)
Thomas J. Estes (1)
Doc (1)
William Counts (1)
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September 3rd, 1861 AD (1)
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