Doc. 10.-the battle of Silver Creek, Mo: fought January 8, 1862.
Official report by Major Torrence.
camp, near Fayette, Mo., January 10, 1862.General: I have the honor to report that, in compliance with your order, I marched my command to Booneville, and was there joined by three companies of Merrill's horse under Major Hunt, and at the earliest day possible crossed the Missouri River, and reached camp, near Fayette, on the evening of the fifth inst., when I was there joined by four companies of the First Missouri, under command of Major Hubbard, and one company of the Fourth Ohio, Captain Foster. We proceeded at once to gather information of the enemy's movements by sending scouts through different portions of this and adjoining counties. On the seventh inst., reconnoissances in force were made to Glasgow, Roanoke, and surrounding country, and information received that one Col. Poindexter, was recruiting in this and other counties, and that he had his principal camp somewhere on the headwaters of Silver Creek, with a force of regularly-enlisted men from six to eight hundred strong, together with an equal number of aiders and abettors of rebellion. Early upon the morning of the eighth inst., we moved out of camp, with five hundred mounted men, in search of their camp, and marched to Roanoke, fifteen miles distant, and thence in direction of Silver Creek. When within four miles of where the camp was reported to be, the column was halted, and the following disposition made of our forces: To Major Hunt was assigned the command of that portion of his forces armed with carbines, and with Major Hubbard's command and Capt. Foster's company to form the advance of the column, to attack the camp, draw their fire, and reply with carbines, when the First Iowa and a portion of Merrill's horse were to charge upon the camp, mounted, if possible, and if not practicable, charge with revolver and sabre on foot. To Lieut. Dustin, of Company F, First Iowa, was assigned the advance guard, supported by Lieut.  Burrows, of the First Missouri. All being in readiness, the column moved forward rapidly, the advance guard driving the enemy's pickets and rushing to the entrance of the camp. The column followed soon after, dismounted, and drew the enemy's fire. They were in a strong position, being protected by ravines, thick underbrush and timber; their volley was promptly answered by our forces pouring in a galling fire. Three companies of the First Iowa, and a part of a company of Merrill's horse, were then conducted forward to charge the camp, which was promptly done. The enemy were now thrown into confusion, and soon began to retreat, leaving horses, guns, together with camp and garrison equipage. It was a complete rout, as the appearance of the camp fully attested. Two companies from the rear were ordered to cut off their retreat, but the darkness and the heavy fog, together with the thick under-brush, rendered it impossible. To avoid surprise, and to be able to move all our forces forward, an order was given to destroy the camp, and look up the dead and wounded. This was soon accomplished, and the darkness forbidding further pursuit, the whole command was then moved to camp, twenty-three miles distant. The prompt action of the troops throughout is worthy of the highest praise. Lieut. Dustin is worthy of honorable mention for his gallant conduct in leading the advance guard; also Major Hunt, of Merrill's horse; Captains Clinton and Mendell, of the First Missouri, for their gallant and cool bearing during the entire action. Our list of killed and wounded is as follows, namely: First Missouri.--Lieut. Burrows, Ausco Clark, John A. Brown, and James Conia, of Company L; John F. Dumont, Wm. Myers, Thomas W. George, Geo. W. Mitchell, John Hersing, and John McGeary, of Company I. Fourth Ohio.--Capt. Foster, Lieut. Kinger, Benj. F. Dugan, and Samuel Koffman. Merrill's Horse.--Alexander Keath, Henry Redding, and Thos. Moore, of Company E, and Jacob King, of Company D, First Iowa.--James Scott, Thos. C. Fletcher, and James Caran of Company A; James Convey, and Stephen Sexton of Company F; Cornelius Thompson, and Andrew Johnson, of Company I. The loss of the enemy cannot be acurately ascertained, but from the most reliable information, their loss in killed and wounded cannot be less than eighty to one hundred. Your most obedient,
Missouri Democrat account.
battle of New-Orleans was celebrated in this county by one of the hardest fought battles of the campaign in Missouri, considering the number of men engaged and position of the enemy. Our forces had been engaged for several days in a grand hunt, and had scoured the county as thoroughly as did Daniel Boone many years since, but after different game. The whole county was full of reports about the movements of the secesh, and it was difficult to ascertain accurately as to their number or whereabouts; but we were not to be foiled in these, if indefatigable energy and endurance of officers could accomplish it, and these Majors Torrence and Hubbard possessed. Reconnoissances in force were made in all directions from camp near Fayette, and reports promptly made during the preceding week. It was found that one Col. Poindexter was recruiting in various places in the county, and that he was encamped with his principal force, of from five hundred to seven hundred men, on Silver Creek, and had other camps ready to reenforce him when ready to move, to the number of twelve hundred to fifteen hundred strong. They further reported that he had pledged himself to his men that he would clean out the Federals in the county of Howard in a very few days. Night after night was selected to surprise our camp with his whole force, but through some mishap they never appeared. On the morning of the eighth inst. all was in motion in our camp, under orders from Major Torrence to hold ourselves in readiness to move with all our ablebodied men at an early hour. We took up our line of march for Roanoke, and, after moving a few miles, we were joined by Major Hubbard's command. Our forces now comprised a portion of Merrill's horse, under Major Hunt, one company of the Fourth Ohio, under Capt. Foster, a part of the Missouri First, under Major Hubbard, and four companies of the First Iowa, under Major Torrence. After passing the town of Roanoke, the whole column moved rapidly about five miles, and halted to have position and duties assigned to the several commands. Learning that the enemy were in a strong position on the Creek, where it probably would be impossible to charge them with mounted men, it was determined, if necessary, to dismount and fight as infantry. Capt. Foster was assigned the advance, followed by Merrill's horse and the Missouri First, all armed with carbines: The First Iowa were to make the charge upon the camp with drawn sabers, and if impossible to make a charge mounted, they were to dismount and move on foot. Lieut. Dustin, of the First Iowa, with ten men, formed the advance guard. All being in readiness, we moved forward very rapidly, and following the tortuous windings of a narrow road, leading through narrow lanes and thick timber, till the sharp crack of a rifle told us that we were upon their pickets. This was the signal for us to rush forward, which we did with a will. On, on, through underbrush and defiles, till the advance guard rushed to the entrance of their camp, and found the enemy drawn up in line of battle. This was so unexpected by them, that they stood in mute astonishment at the audacity of a lieutenant and ten men holding the entrance  to their camp, but they soon awakened to their danger as our advancing column came rushing up to his relief. It was now found that the thick timber and underbrush forbade us charging upon the camp, and the order to dismount passed along the lines like magic, and a column of armed infantry emerged from our lines on the roadside, ready for the onset. The battle now commenced in earnest, and volley after volley of musketry told us that the work of death had begun. They rushed from their line of battle, after their second volley, into the intrenchment formed by the creek, and behind trees, logs, etc., and opened fire upon our lines, which was promptly answered by our forces armed with carbines, by a continued fire. Major Torrence now ordered his men forward with revolver and saber, to make a charge on the camp, and with a yell along their lines they advanced, and in the face of the enemy's fire, rushed into camp, guidons flying to the breeze. So great was the eagerness to move forward, that three companies claim the honor of being first in camp. The enemy now, true to their time-honored custom, gave way, and ran most ingloriously from their camp, leaving guns, horses, camp equipage, and a large quantity of new clothing for men in Price's army, sent no doubt by their friends in care of Poindexter; also, a quantity of powder. It was a complete rout, as the appearance of the camp fully attested. It was now nearly dark, with a heavy fog, and fearing that the enemy only retired as a ruse to rally and attack us, the order was given to destroy the whole camp and equipage that we might meet, and pursue them. The work of destruction was soon complete — wagons, saddles, tents, blankets, clothing, etc., all heaped in burning ruins. We now looked up our dead and wounded, and cared for them. The enemy's dead lay in all portions of the camp, and the groans of their dying mingled with the exultant shouts of the victors. It was a fearful struggle, as the soldiers all well knew they could never retreat, and it was victory or death to them. The cool courage and gallant bearing of the officers in command, were highly commendable. The heavy tones of Major Torrence's voice were heard in all parts of the battle — now here, now there, encouraging his men, and leading them onward to victory. We could not learn, accurately, the loss of the enemy, but found ten of their dead in and around the camps, with several severely wounded. We learn that they were expecting, momentarily, a large reenforcement to their camp, and claim a complete surprise. So much for the generalship of Col. Poindexter.