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Doc. 167.-the battle of Ozark, Mo.

Col. (rebel) Lawther's report.

camp Springfield, Mo., August 2, 1862.
on the morning of the thirty-first of July, while camped at the mouth of Long Creek, on White River, I learned that Col. Richardson, with his command of Gamble militia, amounting to some three or four hundred, was encamped at Ozark, Mo., a distance of fifty miles. I immediately determined to surprise him if possible, so I took up line of march for that point, travelling all day and the following night up to twelve o'clock, when I caused a halt at a distance of two miles and a half from Ozark. I then went forward to reconnoitre their position, but found that I could not approach near enough to see their camp without alarming their pickets. I then returned to camp and paraded all my armed men, and found that I had but fifty-five men that were armed with arms suitable to engage the enemy with. Leaving my pack-mules and unarmed men at that point, I moved on, intending to take a position near their camp, and remain until the break of day before making the attack; but when within a quarter of a mile of their camp we ran upon their pickets. I ordered my advanced guard to charge upon them, which they did with spirit. I followed up closely, intending not to give them time to form, but on arriving in sight of their camp I found that they had been advised of our approach, and were prepared to defend themselves, having all their tents lighted up. I instantly formed my men and ordered a charge. The enemy was formed in front of the court-house and posted in several adjoining buildings. We charged upon those in the street, tramping them down and scattering them in all directions. We then charged upon those in the court-house and drove them out, they taking shelter in the adjoining brush. Learning that a large body of the enemy was forming in the street below, I ordered Captain Peabody to attack them, which he did with great ferocity, driving them back, they taking shelter in the houses and stables, keeping up a continual fire upon us. I then drew off my men, and formed them in line of battle on the enemy's camp-ground, expecting them to come out of the houses and give us fair fight; but we soon found that it was impossible to draw them out, and as they had eight men to our one, I concluded that it would not be prudent to attempt to drive them out of the houses.

It was impossible for me to learn the number killed and wounded of the enemy, it being dark, and many of them in houses. Our men saw three killed and ten wounded. I put their loss at ten killed and twenty wounded. We had but two men slightly wounded.

My officers and men fought well. Capt. Peabody, Lieuts. Biser and Miller, and Capt. Gibbs, are among those that distinguished themselves.

I am, General, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

The P. R., of whom Lawther signs himself Colonel, are the Partisan Rangers, permission to raise which band of guerrillas is given from Richmond in the rebel commission copied below.

War Department, Richmond, May 29, 1862.
Major Robert R. Lawther, Present:
sir: Upon the recommendation of Major-Gens. Price and Van Dorn you are authorized to raise a regiment of partisan rangers, to be enlisted and mustered into service for the war, and to be composed of companies of infantry and of cavalry, as may be found practicable, each company to be fully organized as required for other companies of like arm. The men are entitled to bounty, but must furnish their own arms and equipments so [569] far as possible, and the mounted men their own horses.

You will be commissioned with proper rank as soon as the corps is completed, whether regiment or battalion. The other officers must be elected. Report for duty to the General commanding the department in which the men are enlisted.

George W. Randolph, Secretary of War.

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