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Doc. 231. battle at Milford, Mo. Fought December 18, 1861.

Headquarters St. Louis, Dec. 20, 1861.
To Major-General G. B. McClellan, Major-General Commanding Army:
A part of Gen. Pope's forces, under Col. J. C. Davis and Major Marshall, surprised another camp of the enemy on the afternoon of the 18th, at Milford, a little north of Warrensburg. A brisk skirmish ensued, when the enemy, finding himself surrounded, surrendered at discretion. We took thirteen hundred prisoners, including three colonels and seventeen captains, and one thousand stand of arms, one thousand horses, sixty-five wagons, and a large quantity of tents, baggage, and supplies. Our loss is two killed and eight wounded. The enemy's loss not yet known.

Information was received last night from Glasgow that our troops at that place had taken about two tons of powder, in kegs, buried on Jackson's farm. This effectually cuts off their supply of ammunition.

H. W. Halleck, Major-General.

General Pope's report.

Headquarters District Central Missouri, Otterville, December 23, 1861.
Captain: I have the honor to state that, having replaced by troops from Lamine the garrison of Sedalia, I marched from that place on Sunday the 15th instant, with a column of infantry, cavalry, and artillery, numbering about four thousand men. The first brigade was commanded by Colonel J. C. Davis, Indiana Volunteers; the second by Colonel F. Steele, Eighth Iowa regiment. The object of the movement was to interpose between Price's army on the Osage and the recruits, escort, and supplies on their way south from the Mississippi River. This body of the enemy was represented to be between four and six thousand strong, with a large train of supplies.

I encamped on the 15th eleven miles southwest of Sedalia. That the enemy might be thoroughly misled as to the destination of the expedition, it was given out that the movement was upon Warsaw, and the troops pursued the road to that place several miles beyond Sedalia. I threw forward on Clinton four companies of the First Missouri Cavalry, under Major Hubbard, with orders to watch any movement from Osceola, to prevent any reconnaissance of our main column, and to intercept any messengers to the enemy at Osceola. On the 16th I pushed forward by forced march twenty-seven miles, and with my whole force, occupied at sunset a position between the direct road from Warrensburg to Clinton, and the road by Chilhowee, which latter is the road heretofore pursued by returning soldiers and by recruits. Shortly after sunset, the advance consisting of four companies of Iowa Cavalry, under Major Torrence, captured the enemy's pickets at Chilhowee, and learned that he was encamped in force (about twenty-two hundred) six miles north of that town.

After resting the horses and men for a couple of hours, I threw forward ten companies of cavalry, and a section of artillery, under Lieutenant-Colonel Brown, Seventh Missouri regiment, in pursuit, and followed with my whole force, posting the main body between Warrensburg and Rose Hill, to support the pursuing column. I, at the same time, reinforced Major Hubbard with two companies of Merrill's Horse, and directed him, in order to secure our flank in the pursuit, to push forward as far as possible toward Osceola. This officer executed his duty with distinguished ability and vigor, driving back and capturing the pickets, and one entire company of the enemy's cavalry, with tents, baggage, and wagons. One of the pickets and two wagons were captured within the lines of Rains' division, encamped north of the Osage River.

The column under Lieutenant-Colonel Brown continued the pursuit vigorously all night of the 16th, all day of the 17th, and part of the night of the same day, his advance guard consisting of Foster's company of Ohio Cavalry, and a detachment of thirty men of the Fourth regular cavalry, occupying Johnstown in the course of the night. The enemy began to scatter as soon as the pursuit grew close, disappearing in every direction in the bushes, and by every by-path, driving their wagons into farm-yards remote from the road, and throwing out their loads. As these wagons were all two-horse wagons of the country, and had been in fact taken by force from the farm-houses, it was impossible to identify them. When our pursuit reached Johnstown, about midnight on the 17th, the enemy, reduced to about five hundred, scattered completely, one portion fleeing precipitately toward Butler, and the other toward Papinsville.

The main body of my command moved slowly toward Warrensburg, awaiting the return of the force under Lieut.-Colonel Brown, which proceeded from Johnstown to scour the country south of Grand River to the neighborhood of Clinton. In these operations sixteen wagons, loaded with tents and supplies, and one hundred and fifty prisoners, were captured. The enemy's force was thoroughly dispersed.

On the morning of the 18th Lieut.-Colonel Brown's force rejoined the command. Knowing that there must still be a large force of the enemy north of us, I moved forward slowly, on the 18th, toward Warrensburg, and, when near that town, the spies and scouts I had sent out before marching from Sedalia, in the direction of Lexington, Waverly, and Arrow Rock, reported to me that a large force was moving from the two latter places, and would encamp that night at the mouth of Clear Creek, just south of Milford.

I posted the main body of my command between Warrensburg and Knob Noster, to close all outlet to the south between those two points, and despatched seven companies of cavalry, [480] (five of the Ohio First and two of the Fourth regular cavalry,) afterward reinforced by another company of regular cavalry, and a section of artillery, all under command of Col. J. C. Davis, Indiana Volunteers, to march on the town of Milford, so as to turn the enemy's left and rear, and intercept his retreat to the northeast, at the same time directing Major Marshall, with Merrill's regiment of horse, to march from Warrensburg on the same point, turning the enemy's right and rear, and forming junction with Colonel Davis.

The main body of my command occupied a point four miles south, and ready to advance at a moment's notice, or to intercept the enemy's retreat south. Colonel Davis marched promptly and vigorously with the forces under his command, and at a late hour in the afternoon came upon the enemy encamped in the wooded bottom-land on the west side of Blackwater, opposite the mouth of Clear Creek. His pickets were immediately driven in across the stream, which was deep, miry, and impassable, except by a long, narrow bridge, which the enemy occupied in force, as is believed, under Colonel Magoffin.

Colonel Davis brought forward his force, and directed that the bridge be carried by assault. The two companies of the Fourth regular cavalry being in advance, under the command respectively of Lieutenant Gordon and Lieutenant Amory, were designated for that service, and were supported by the five companies of the First Iowa Cavalry. Lieutenant Gordon of the Fourth cavalry, led the charge in person, with the utmost gallantry and vigor, carried the bridge in fine style, and immediately formed his company on the opposite side. He was promptly followed by the other companies. The force of the enemy posted at the bridge retreated precipitately over a narrow open space, into the woods, where his whole force was posted. The two companies of the Fourth cavalry formed in line at once, advanced upon the enemy, and were received with a volley of small-arms, muskets, rifles, and shot-guns. One man was killed and eight wounded by this discharge. With one exception all belonged to Company D, Fourth cavalry, Lieutenant Gordon.

Lieutenant Gordon himself received several balls through the cap. Our forces still continuing to press forward, and the enemy finding his retreat south and west cut off, and that he was in presence of a large force, and at best could only prolong the contest a short time, surrendered at discretion. His force, reported by colonel commanding, consisted of parts of two regiments of infantry and three companies of cavalry, numbering in all thirteen hundred men, among whom there were three colonels, (Robinson, Alexander, and Magoffin,) one lieutenant-colonel, (Robinson,) one major, (Harris,) and fifty-one commissioned company officers. About five hundred horses and mules, seventy-three wagons heavily loaded with powder, lead, tents, subsistence stores, and supplies of various kinds, fell into our hands, as also a thousand stand of arms.

The whole force captured, with their train, were marched into the camp of the main body, reaching there about midnight. Many arms were thrown away by the enemy, in the bushes and creek, when he surrendered, and have not yet been found.

It was impossible to furnish any accurate account of the number of prisoners, arms, or horses, when I telegraphed, as they surrendered just at dark, and were brought into camp at a late hour of the night. The weather was bitterly cold, and the troops marched as early as possible the next morning for Sedalia and Otterville. As the prisoners and arms were at once sent down to St. Louis, I have not yet had the opportunity of making an accurate count of them. The numbers, as stated, were reported to me by Col. Robinson, their commander, by Col. J. C. Davis, and by Major Torrence, Iowa Cavalry.

The forces under Col. Davis behaved with great gallantry, and the conduct of Col. Davis himself was distinguished.

I desire to present to your special notice Col. J. C. Davis, Indiana Volunteers; Major Hubbard, First Missouri Cavalry; and Lieut. Gordon, Fourth regular cavalry. Both officers and men behaved well throughout.

Within five days the infantry composing this expedition have marched one hundred miles, the cavalry more than double that distance — have swept the whole country of the enemy west of Sedalia, as far as Rose Hill, to a line within fifteen miles of the Osage — have captured nearly fifteen hundred prisoners, twelve hundred stand of arms, nearly one hundred wagons, and a large quantity of supplies.

The march alone would do credit to old soldiers, as it gives me pleasure to state that it has been performed with cheerfulness and alacrity. The troops reoccupied their camps at Sedalia and Otterville just one week after they marched out of them.

A list of our killed and wounded will be transmitted as soon as possible. The enemy's loss is not known, and cannot yet be ascertained; some of his dead were found upon the field.

I am, captain, your obedient servant,

John Pope, Brigadier-General Commanding. To Captain J. C. Kelton, A. A.-G., Department of the Missouri.

Cincinnati Commercial account.

Sedalia, December 20.
We have this morning arrived once more at our prairie camp, after a most glorious and successful campaign — the most glorious in results, and the lightest in casualties, which has thus far signalized our success in arms. We have, in brief, returned after being out six days, with an aggregate of near one thousand six [481] hundred prisoners, including two colonels, Robinson and Alexander; one lieut.-colonel, name unknown; one major, Harris; about twenty captains, and fifty lieutenants. In addition, we have taken near one thousand horses, seventy wagons, one thousand guns and firearms, besides large quantities of supplies, flour, bacon, hams, powder, pickles, preserves, clothing, &c. We have, indeed, dealt a heavy blow to the rebel General Price, who stands shivering on the banks of the Osage, fearing to advance, and yet fearing that he may any day have to run. Since that great day, when the deathless Lyon stemmed the torrent of their advancing arms with his little band of patriots, at Wilson's Creek, nothing has so disabled the rebels in Missouri. His despatches captured betray plainly the anxiety he feels concerning the safety of his men. His orders are to the various detachments to join him with all speed. There is, in fact, good reason to believe that had General Pope been allowed to continue his march, and if he had been supplied with another regiment of cavalry, he might have forced Price into an engagement in which he would have been worsted, or sent him back in a hurry to the Arkansas line once more. But it is understood that General Halleck sent him peremptory orders not to advance too near to Osceola, but to capture the outlying recruiting parties and return to this post. This would indicate not that we stand in any fear of Price, but rather that it is the intention of General Halleck to entrap and not to frighten him away.

The account of our expedition may be summed up briefly. The plan was matured between Generals Pope and Halleck; and before the outside world suspected it, the division of Gen. Pope was under orders to move. It consisted as follows:

First Brigade, Acting Brig.-Gen. Steels:--Twenty-seventh reg. Ohio Volunteers, Col. Kennett; Twenty-second reg. Indiana Volunteers, Col. Hendricks; First reg. Kansas Volunteers, Col. Thayer; One battery First Missouri Volunteers, Lieut. Marr; four companies regular cavalry, Col. Armory.

Second Brigade, Acting Brig.-Gen. Jeff. C. Davis.--Eighteenth reg. Ind. Volunteers, Col. Patterson; Eighth reg. Ind. Volunteers, Col. Benton; Twenty-fourth reg. Ind. Volunteers, Lieut.----; one battery First Missouri artillery, Lieut. Klaus; one squadron First Iowa Cavalry, Maj. Torrence.

The whole were under the immediate command of General Pope. The four companies of regular cavalry mentioned above must be understood to be only the fragments of the original companies, B, C, D, and E, and number in all, now, but a little over a hundred men. They are all under the command of Captain Crittenden, of the regular army, (son of Hon. John J. Crittenden.)

The command started from Sedalia on Sunday, the 15th, and encamped at night eleven miles distant on the direct road to Clinton. The weather was moderately warm for the season, and the road on the undulating prairies of the finest kind. The men were generally in fine spirits, and from the direction all supposed that we were destined for the stronghold of Price, at Osceola, acting as part of a grand concerted movement from four sides. Such, however, we found was not the case.

The next day, Monday, we made a splendid march, all the men being in good marching order; twenty-six miles brought us at sunset to Shawnee Mound, in Henry County. Here the reports of various companies of rebels began to come in from residents and from our scouts. One company of near five hundred was heard of at a point about twelve miles northwest, and several smaller bodies directly south of us, from Clinton to Butler. Gen. Pope then despatched his whole available force of cavalry, nearly seven hundred, before they had had three hours rest, after the five hundred near Morristown, while our men cooked a hearty meal, and retired to a sound sleep just on the edge of one of the innumerable little prairies of which this region is composed. The cavalry under Lieut.-Col. Brown, of the Seventh Missouri Volunteers, pushed on all night, and arriving at the rebel camp they found it vacated. The rebels had received warning and had fled precipitately, leaving numerous evidences of their haste. The cavalry, notwithstanding their forty miles' continuous march, pushed on after the fleeing rebels till they reached Rose Hill, picking up some twenty or thirty stragglers on the road, who from exhaustion or sickness had been dropped behind. Broken wagons and jaded horses were left behind, and here and there a tent or barrel was thrown out to lighten their load. At Rose Hill the rebels separated into several squads, as was learned from the inhabitants, some taking the road west, others taking the south road to Butler. The fresh wagon tracks and footprints confirmed the report, and Col. Brown had no other alternative than to rest his exhausted horses, and finally to make his way back to the main column next day, near Warrensburg. He brought in nearly one hundred prisoners.

General Pope in the mean time kept advancing in a direction west of north to Chilhowee, a most important point, being the centre of numerous important cross-roads. This was near the site of the rebel camp just referred to, and here our pickets brought in some few straggling men, who could give no satisfactory account of themselves, but who we were certain were bound for Price's army. At Chilhowee we heard of a rebel force from the north, and of the scouring of the country south of Clinton by Major Hubbard, of the First Missouri Cavalry, which deserves separate mention. The direction of our forces was at once east, toward Warrensburg. Report places their numbers as high as eighteen hundred. That night (Wednesday) we camped two and a half miles west of Warrensburg. The reports were again confirmed [482] and magnified by a loyal man, who was on his way to give us the information. He gave their location as at Kilpatrick's mill, on the Clear fork of Blackwater Creek. (Milford is the post-office name.) Early, therefore, on Thursday morning, more prisoners having made their way into our camp during the previous night, we started in the direction of Knob Noster, being directly south of the enemy. Colonel Merrill's Horse was ordered to take the direct road running parallel with the course of the Blackwater, so as to intercept them in case they took a western course.

The brigade of Colonel Davis was placed in the advance, with orders to keep well up to the cavalry, a section of artillery being ready to support the cavalry upon a minute's warning. General Pope, with the main body, kept due west for Knob Noster, so as to be ready to come up if necessary. Colonel Davis, finding that the enemy was still in camp at Milford, diverged to the left, and put the regular cavalry, under Lieut. Amory, in the advance, the four companies of the First Iowa Cavalry, under Major Torrence, being next. On approaching the mill, our men discovered that the rebels were posted on the opposite side of the bridge, across the mill-dam. Finding it would be dangerous to charge the bridge mounted, Lieut. Amory ordered the men to dismount and skirmish with pistols and sabres, as infantry, the fourth man holding the horses of the other three. This they instantly did, and advanced under the lead of Lieut. Gordon, of Co. D, who bravely led the way. Some ineffectual skirmishing took place between the regulars, who sheltered behind a barn on the south of the creek, and the rebels, who were on the north side. One of the rebels was seen to fall; no one on our side was hit. During this interval the Iowa Cavalry filed off to the left. in the attempt to cross the stream higher up, but after vainly traversing its steep sides and muddy bottom for a mile, returned to find Lieutenant Amory charging across the bridge, the rebels having deserted it upon seeing Colonel Davis, with the artillery, advancing. Lieut. Amory followed the road, thinking that the rebels might flee to the north. Lieut. Gordon, immediately after him, dashed after some of the scattering enemy through the wood, and after penetrating a few rods, received a volley from the enemy, whom he just then discovered formed in line. He formed in line as quickly as thought, and ordered his men to fire from their carbines, which they did, but with what effect is not yet known. One of the party, however, advanced and proposed a surrender, and at this they stood for some minutes.

The cavalry, under Major Torrence, and the regulars, under Lieut. Amory, had in the mean time gotten up in the flank and rear of another body of the enemy, who was thus enclosed on one side by a long marsh, on the other by a deep and muddy mill-pond, and on the third by our cavalry. Colonel Davis had by this time come up in the rear. A white flag was displayed, and Colonel Alexander, a young man, came forward and asked if thirty minutes would be allowed them for consultation. Col. Davis's answer was : “that as night was closing in, that was too long.” Col. A. then asked if he “would be allowed to go to Headquarters and bring back the answer of the commander of the corps, Col. Robinson.” Permission being granted, he returned in about five minutes, with the response that “they would be obliged to surrender as prisoners of war.” The rebels then stacked their arms, after a fashion, and were formed in line and marched between two files of our infantry, the Eighteenth and Twenty-fourth Illinois, with all the honors of war. Col. Davis immediately sent despatches to General Pope announcing his success, and as night was upon us the plunder was hastily stowed into wagons, and we commenced the march for camp. The spoils, as nearly as could be learned in the confusion, consisted of one thousand guns, of all kinds, from Enfield to common shot-guns, a few pistols, a few sabres, and a small stock of clothing. In their wagons were found jars of apple butter and fruit cakes, undoubtedly designed as presents from loved ones at home for the chivalrous soldiers in the woods. Hams, pork, flour, corn meal, and harness were also stowed away in their wagons. The result of the firing could not be precisely ascertained, as it was getting dark, and the principal firing occurred in the woods. One of the rebels was killed near the bridge, and it is supposed several were wounded nearer the camp. On our side the casualties were unfortunately greater; the unprecedented gallantry of our men, and the superior position of the rebels giving them a temporary advantage, which was followed by their surrender just when they were at our mercy. Lieutenant Gordon, who led the detachment which did all the fighting and received all of the enemy's fire, deserves especial mention. He is of the true fighting stock, and exhibited the utmost cool-ness in the face of the foe. He brings as a slight memento of the engagement the marks of a bullet hole on the side of his cap, and a buck shot which struck the top and knocked it three paces to the rear. The fighting did not occupy more than forty minutes. We had one man killed on the spot, an Iowa soldier and volunteer aid to General Davis, name unknown; eight wounded. Their names I have ascertained from Dr. Brodie, the division surgeon, under whose care they have been treated: Privates Graham, Twenty-fifth Illinois Volunteers, wounded in intestines, since died; N. Jubert, Company C, Fourth regiment Cavalry, wounded in knee-joint; G. Collenburth, Company D, Fourth regiment Cavalry, wounded in the nose; T. Tracy, Company D, Fourth regiment Cavalry, wounded in the leg; E. Dillon, Company D, Fourth regiment Cavalry, wounded in the lung; William McGee, Company D, Fourth regiment Cavalry, wounded in the head-dangerous; F. Hyar, Company D, Fourth [483] regiment Cavalry, wounded in the head — dangerous; T. Dormey, Company D, Fourth regiment Cavalry, wounded in the ankle; F. Kinney, Company D, Fourth regiment Cavalry, wounded in the head.

The prisoners are composed in great part of recruits from the counties north of the Missouri River, with a considerable mixture of the old soldiers of Gen. Price. Their appearance is decidedly better than that of the rebels I have seen heretofore. More uniformity in dress and more respectability in person. The last draft of Gen. Price is likely to be less numerous than his first, but far more influential in morale.

Col. Robinson, the senior officer, is a man of middle age, intelligent countenance, resided in Cooper County, and has been with Price from the beginning. Col. Alexander is younger, and looks more like chivalry; he also has been through the struggles of Dry Spring, Wilson's Creek, and Lexington, and tells some interesting stories of the hardships and hair-breadth escapes he has undergone. They are well dressed, that is to say, the material of their clothing is not fine, but the ornamentation is showy and evinces some attention to this important military qualification.

Important despatches were received Thursday evening from Gen. Halleck under an escort. It is reported that some of our messengers have been taken prisoners by the secesh, and it is ordered that we fall back to Sedalia. Gen. Pope, therefore, accompanied with the victors as an escort, and the wounded men, started, and made the journey (twenty miles) by two o'clock. The wounded were at once placed in the hospital, and it is feared one more at least may die.

Following close upon us was the brigade of Col. Hovey, of the Twenty-fourth Indiana, who had been despatched with two regiments, a battery, and two squadrons of the First Missouri Cavalry, who proceeded on the Clinton road some twelve miles from Sedalia, when the cavalry, under Major Hubbard, some two hundred and fifty in number, made a reconnoissance of the country extending westward and southward, as far as the Grand River, beyond Clinton. Here they came upon the pickets of Gen. Rains, who, with an advanced cavalry force, was guarding the Grand River. This was, in fact, the outpost of Price's position. The pickets were driven in, one shot, and about sixty prisoners taken within the lines of Gen. Rains. Three miles beyond Clinton he burned a mill, at which the secessionists were grinding wheat and corn, took about six wagon-loads of feed, and found some mules, branded U. S. The owner of the mill pleaded the most unconscious innocence, but his reputation was undoubted, so the major informed him that he would only burn his mill down. “Oh God!” cried the man, “it cost me five thousand dollars.” He was informed that if he heard of any more outrages on Union men, he would return and burn every house in the county belonging to a traitor. This is, among the soldiers and citizens, regarded as not only just, but necessary, to stop the cruelty and murder which have prevailed of late wherever the rebels have the sway.

The detachment of cavalry under Lieut.-Col. Brown also burned a mill near Johnstown, on the border of Bates County. His force have travelled two hundred and fifty miles in six days, and have done an immense service to the country in that time. But the spirit of the men is up, and if their horses would stand it, they would soon clear the whole of Western Missouri of roving bands. This may also apply to the infantry and artillery, for never was there better feeling and more pluck than at this moment. The unexpected and unparalleled success has stimulated them to the highest pitch, and if Gen. Halleck would give the order to-morrow to attack Price in his intrenchments, a cavalry force would be in his rear before he could move. A force of cavalry has been ordered to make a circuit from Warrensburg, and we may expect to hear of more good luck in the way of captures. The prisoners will all be in to-morrow. Gen. Pope says there are over one thousand six hundred in all.

The slavery insurrection has completely turned the heads, as well as hearts, of the traitors in Missouri. Neither the ties of religion, humanity, patriotism, nor neighborhood, have kept their wonted hold. This lunacy has of late taken a very strange and very cruel shape. The Union men are being hunted out by these lawless dare-devils, like wild beasts or noxious reptiles. A remarkable instance of this species of diabolism was related by a very worthy gentleman at Headquarters this morning. It appears that the loyal people of Lexington have been banished from their homes for some weeks. One of the Home Guards, a German, Fettes by name, ventured to revisit his home in Lexington, since the proximity of General Prentiss. A party of rebels discovered him in a house, under a bluff, and seized him. They did not swear him, as some of our good-natured friends may imagine, but as the river was conveniently near, they tied a rock to his neck with a rope, and threw him into the river. The poor martyr, struggling for his life, managed to swim ashore, when these chivalrous sons of Mars threw him over again, and again he regained his foothold; a third time they cast him into the stream, and then left him for dead. Fettes, however, managed to carry the rock until he got into shoal water, and after waiting until his captors had gone, he made his escape, and by the help of friends, is now believed to be on the north side of the river.

From Colonel Hovey, of the Twenty-fourth Indiana, we learn the particulars of a successful ruse, whereby he succeeded in making a capture of six prisoners and two hundred bushels of corn meal, but recently ground for the use of the rebels He was ordered by Gen. Turner to reconnoitre with about a hundred men on the road to Clinton. He left on Monday morning, taking Fairview and Siseonville on his [484] route. Learning on Tuesday that a party of the enemy was encamped at a mill near Chapel Hill, he adopted a scheme for bagging the whole of them next day.

He ordered his men into the wagons, and had them drawn, with the exception of a small guard, resembling a provision train. As they approached Hall's store the rebels appeared in the brush ready to seize the train. One of his officers rode around a hill to see the whereabouts of the party, when he encountered a mounted rebel, who raised his shot-gun, when he was brought to the ground by the revolver of Capt.----. Col. Hovey then ordered his men to emerge from their concealment, and a search made for the enemy. One of them was wounded in the fray, and one killed, two balls lodging in his neck. A few horses and mules fell into our possession, some of which were branded U. S. The mill was afterward burned, and the meal loaded up into our wagons. Col. Hovey arrived at Sedalia on Saturday morning, regretting that he had not been allowed to remain a day longer, as other bands are reported in the same vicinity.

The prisoners arrived at the camp near Knob Noster late on Thursday night, and on the next morning a detachment was sent back to Milford to discover, if possible, the wounded of the enemy. Gen. Pope, accompanied by the regular cavalry, engaged in the capture, as an escort returned to Sedalia. Early in the morning the weather, hitherto so favorable, turned to an extremely cold and bitter December blast, sweeping over the prairies with intense keenness. Many of the cavalry men suffered from frozen feet and ears; the insufficiency of the hats to protect them being painfully apparent. If a cap or hood to the overcoat could be introduced into our army, it would be worth all the cost. Later in the day a snow storm came up, as we reached the railroad. The prisoners with the infantry would make an easy march to the edge of the wide prairie intervening between them and Georgetown, and will, consequently, be in on Saturday night.


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