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The Missouri campaign of 1864-report of General Stirling Price.

[We have been very anxious to publish reports of the campaign in the Trans-Mississippi department, and are glad to be able to give the following report of General Price's operations in 1864, which was not published by the Confederate Government. It will be read with great interest not only by those who served with that gallant army but by all who desire to know the truth concerning this important campaign ]

General — I have the honor to make the following report of my operations in the late expedition to Missouri. I regret to state that the report is meagre and incomplete, for the reason that Major-General Marmaduke and Brigadier-General Cabell, who bore so honorable and conspicuous a share in the greater part of the expedition, were captured before its close and are prisoners in the hands of the enemy; whilst Major-General Fagan, who commanded the Arkansas troops, composing a large part of the forces engaged, has as yet been unable to make any report, nor have any been received from the subordinate commanders. In conformity with the letter [210] of instructions from General E. Kirby Smith, dated 11th August, 1864, I made immediate arrangements for a movement into Missouri, as concluded upon in my interview and conference with him upon that subject, with the cavalry force in the District of Arkansas, then under my command-being promised, in addition, the brigade of Louisiana cavalry, commanded by Colonel Harrison, estimated at 1,500 strong. At the same time information in full detail of the proposed movement, of the route to be pursued and of the probable time when it would be made, was, without delay, sent by me to Brigadier-General Shelby, who then commanded in Northeast Arkansas, with instructions to make an attack, when in his judgment he should deem advisable, upon Du Vall's bluff and the railroad between Little Rock and White river, in the possession of the enemy, and by diverting their attention, enable me to. cross the lower Arkansas and unite our forces without danger of failure. These instructions were carried out in full by General Shelby, and resulted in an attack upon the railroad, terminating in the most complete success — over four hundred Federals captured, three hundred killed and wounded, six forts taken and destroyed, ten miles of railroad destroyed, as well as vast quantities of forage, &c.; full particulars of which are contained in General Shelby's report accompanying. This exploit was one of the most brilliant of the war, and cast additional lustre upon the well earned fame of that gallant General and the officers and men under his command. It was part of the plan concluded upon that I should cross the Arkansas river about the 20th of August, with the troops under my immediate command; but from delay in receiving the necessary ordnance stores I was unable to do so. Finally, the required complement was received on the 27th, and on the 28th of August I was relieved from the command of the District of Arkansas and crossed the Ouachita river. On the 29th arrived at Princeton, where the divisions of Fagan and Marmaduke were, and assumed command of all the cavalry in the District of Arkansas, according to the instructions of General Smith above referred to. In the meantime, owing to the delay in starting, I was of the opinion that the enemy had become informed of my intended line of march, and concluded to cross the Arkansas river at the most feasible point north of Little Rock and south of Fort Smith, taking into consideration the probable means of obtaining forage and subsistence.

On the 30th I took up my line of march in the direction of Little [211] Rock, and arrived that afternoon at Tulip, a distance of nine miles. Colonel Harrison's brigade had not yet arrived, but as I could wait no longer, I left instructions at Princeton, directing him, if he should arrive there within three days, to follow on and form a junction with me, giving him information of the route I should take; but in case he did not reach Princeton in that time, he should then report to the commanding officer of the District of Arkansas. Colonel Harrison did not take part in the expedition.

On the morning of the 31st I resumed my march in the same direction as on the previous day, and continued on the same until within seven miles of Benton, when I diverged to the left, taking a northwest direction, sending Major-General Fagan across the Saline river to make a demonstration towards Little Rock and to protect my right flank. On the 5th September he joined me, bringing up the rear. I reached Dardanelle, on the Arkansas river, a distance of 167 miles from Camden, on 6th September. The country through which I had passed was hilly and in some parts mountainous, sparsely settled. but plenty of forage and subsistence was obtained. The Arkansas being fordable at this point on the 7th I crossed and marched to Dover, a distance of fourteen miles. Major-General Marmaduke, with his division, and part of his train, had already crossed before my arrival, thus covering the crossing of the remainder of the army.

At Princeton verbal and written communications had been sent to Brigadier-General Shelby, apprising him of the changes of route, and directing him to join me at Batesville. But up to this time I had received no information from him of his movements or position. I resumed the march in the direction of the last mentioned point--Major-General Fagan, with his command, marching along the Springfield road, and Major-General Marmaduke and headquarters train the Clinton road; taking separate roads on account of the scarcity of forage, and to rid that section of country of deserters and Federal jayhawkers, as they are termed (i. e., robbers and murderers), with which that country is infested. These bands, however, dispersed and took refuge in the mountains at the approach of the army; several were killed and a few taken prisoners. Arriving at Little Red river on the 10th, and still without information of the position or movements of General Shelby, I dispatched an officer of known skill and daring to communicate with him, directing that he should unite himself with the rest of the command at once. On the 18th I arrived at a point on White river, [212] eighteen miles above Batesville, and received information that Brigadier-General Shelby was at Powhatan, about sixty-four miles northeast of Batesville, and on the selected route to Missouri. I adopted the town of Pocahontas as the point of rendezvous, and directed Major-General Marmaduke, with his own command and train and that of headquarters, to march to that point direct, while I proceeded to Batesville and thence to Powhatan. Major-General Fagan, with his division, who had arrived at Batesville, marched to Powhatan on the left. I arrived on the 13th September and found General Shelby with part of his command. Reached Pocahontas the next day, and then the remainder of Shelby's command reported, including the brigades of Jackman, McCroy and Dobbins. In fine, the whole army was concentrated. The country over which I had passed was rugged and mountainous in the extreme, and had damaged the transportation to some extent, but it had been or was on the point of being repaired; and on the other hand, by adopting the routes marched over, sufficient forage and subsistence had been obtained.

The towns and villages through which I had passed had been robbed, pillaged, burned and otherwise destroyed by the enemy, and were nearly deserted by the former inhabitants; in fact, the whole country presented but a scene of desolation.

Upon arriving at Pocahontas I proceeded to organize the army, which was completed on the 18th, as follows:

Fagan's division, commanded by Major-General J. F. Fagan, composed of Brigadier-General W. L. Cabell's brigade, Colonel Slemmons', Colonel McCroy's and Colonel Dobbins' brigades, Colonels Lyle's and Rogan's commands, and Captain Andrews' battalion.

Marmaduke's division, commanded by Major-General J. S. Marmaduke, composed of Brigadier-General John B. Clark's and Colonel Freeman's brigades, Colonel Kitchen's regiment, and Lieutenant-Colonel R. C. Wood's battalion.

Shelby's division, commanded by Brigadier-General J. O. Shelby, consisted of Colonels Shanks' and Jackson's brigades, and Colonel Coleman's command.

Having determined to invade Missouri in three columns, General Fagan with his division was ordered to march to Fredericktown, Missouri, by the way of Martinsburg, Reeve's station and Greenville. Major-General Marmaduke with his division was ordered to march to the vicinity of Fredericktown, Missouri, to the right of the route to be followed by Fagan's division, as above designated; [213] varying from it ten to thirty miles, or as near within those limits as might be practicable on account of the roads and forage. Shelby with his command was to march to the vicinity of Fredericktown, by a route to the left of General Fagan's, varying from ten to twenty miles, as nearly as practicable, on account of roads and forage. Headquarters to march with the centre column. At Fredericktown the three divisions were ordered to form a junction. A map of the route to be followed was furnished each of the division commanders. The most stringent orders were issued against straggling and pillaging under the severest penalties, and the division commanders were earnestly enjoined to use their utmost endeavors to have the orders carried into effect in every particular and without delay.

On the 19th of September the army marched in the order above designated, and on that day I entered Missouri with 12,000 men — only 8,000, however, armed — and fourteen pieces of artillery, and on the 24th of September reached Fredericktown, Missouri, with the centre column. Brigadier-General Shelby was in the advance, passing, in his route, through Doniphan and Patterson; whilst Major-General Marmaduke, whose route was by Poplar bluff, Castorville and Dallas, had not yet come up. On the 19th, before Brigadier-General Shelby reached Doniphan, news of the arrival of the army having been received, a force of the enemy, composed of a part of the Federal Missouri Twelfth cavalry, then occupying the place, withdrew, first setting fire to the town, which was consumed, and retreated to Pender's mills (burning the houses of citizens as they passed), where they were overtaken the next day and routed, with a loss of a lieutenant and three men killed, four wounded and six prisoners, besides several horses and small arms; our loss two killed and five wounded.

On the 22d Brigadier-General Shelby attacked the town of Patterson, but the garrison having received information of his approach hastily evacuated the place, with a loss of twenty-eight killed and several wounded, also a telegraph battery and operator captured; no loss on our part.

On the 25th I remained at Fredericktown awaiting the arrival of Marmaduke's division, which came up that evening within eight miles of the place. General Marmaduke on his route had a few skirmishes with the Federal militia, killing and wounding four and capturing eleven. Colonel Jeffries, of Marmaduke's division, had, before the arrival of the army at Pocahontas, been sent with his regiment to Bloomfield, Missouri, which the enemy evacuated on [214] his approach, killing a number and capturing arms and six wagon loads of army stores. He rejoined his brigade (Clark's) on the 24th; detached again on the 25th, he attacked and, by a gallant charge, drove the enemy out of the town of old Jackson. For particulars see Brigadier-General Clark's report. I received at Fredericktown satisfactory evidence that the strength of the enemy at Ironton was about 1,500, and that the Federal General A. J. Smith was camped about ten miles from Saint Louis with his corps, composed of about eight thousand infantry, on the Saint Louis and Iron Mountain railroad. I immediately ordered Brigadier General Shelby to proceed at once with his division, by way of Farmington, to a point on the Saint Louis and Iron Mountain railroad, where there were then five bridges in close proximity to each other, to destroy the railroad there and the bridges, and after effecting that object to fall back in the direction of Ironton and Pilot Knob, which would effectually prevent General A. J. Smith from reinforcing the garrison at those places, which I would attack and take with the divisions of Major-Generals Fagan and Marmaduke. General Shelby proceeded to the point indicated and performed the duty assigned him in the most complete and effectual manner, destroying the splendid bridge at Irondale as well as the three mentioned, tearing up miles and miles of the track, burning the ties, rails, &c. For full particulars, reference is made to his report accompanying. On the morning of the 26th, being rejoined by Major-General Marmaduke with his division, I proceeded at an early hour, with his and Fagan's divisions, in the direction of Ironton and Pilot Knob, at the same time sending forward a portion of Fagan's division to take and hold a difficult pass in that direction, between two mountains, within three and four miles of Ironton. This was effected rapidly and with success. That evening I sent forward the remainder of his division, leaving his train at Saint Francois creek, where forage could be obtained for the animals, and where I encamped for the night with the rest of the command. That evening General Fagan drove in the Federal pickets at Arcadia and took position before the town for the night. Next morning he drove the enemy from Arcadia, where they abandoned a very strong position, through Ironton, where he also took a strong fort, in a most gallant and brilliant manner. The enemy took refuge behind their fortifications at Pilot Knob. Having received such information as appeared to be perfectly reliable concerning the character and strength of the fortifications as induced me to believe that the [215] place could be taken without great loss, T accordingly directed Major-General Marmaduke to take possession of Shepherd's mountain, which was west of the fortifications and completely commanded them. This was most satisfactorily accomplished, and his artillery placed in position on the mountain. Major-General Fagan formed on the south and east. Skirmishing took place all the day, and firing of artillery from the enemy until 2 P. M., when a charge was ordered and made in the most gallant and determined manner, officers and men vieing with each other, in both divisions, in deeds of unsurpassed bravery, charging up to the muzzles of the enemy's cannon. Where all acted as heroes, it would seem almost invidious to make any exception; but I must be allowed to call attention to the courage and gallantry of General Cabell in leading his men to the assault, having his horse killed under him within forty yards of the fort. But the information I had received in regard to the strength of the fortifications, proved totally incorrect. Our troops were repulsed; and it being too late to renew the assault, they were withdrawn beyond reach of the enemy's guns, and preparations were made for a renewal of the assault on next day. I had dispatched a courier, on the morning of the 27th, to Brigadier-General Shelby, informing him of the proposed operations, and directing him to rejoin the main army to assist in the attack, and on the evening of the 27th another courier was dispatched, informing him of the capture of Arcadia and Ironton, and of the repulse at Pilot Knob, and of my design to renew there the attack on the following morning, and hoping that the courier would meet him on the way, instructed him to join me, as also the route to pursue. Neither of these communications, as it appears, was received by Brigadier-General Shelby, who, having heard that there was a force of the enemy at Potosi, had left the railroad and marched to attack them at that place, which was captured by him, with its garrison of one hundred and fifty Federals, arms, &c. The depot of the railroad at that place, with seven fine cars, were also destroyed. For full particulars, reference is made to the accompany report of Brigadier-General Shelby.

The enemy at Pilot Knob, on the night following the first attack, evacuated the fort, blowing up the magazine, leaving in my possession sixteen pieces of artillery, a large number of small arms, a large amount of army stores, consisting of bales of blankets, hundreds of barrels of flour and bacon, quantities of coffee, &c. After destroying the artillery, which I could not take with me, and distributing [216] among the troops such of the stores as were needed, I moved my command twelve miles on the road the enemy had retreated, sending Marmaduke forward in pursuit, in command of his own and Shelby's divisions, which had rejoined the command. Untiring pursuit was made night and day, but it was not until the evening of the following day that he was overtaken, owing to the natural difficulties presented by the country over which the enemy retreated. Major-General Marmaduke, who was in advance, fought him until an hour before sunset, when Shelby was thrown in front and the fight continued until dark. The enemy having thrown up fortifications during the night, it was deemed not advisable to renew the attack, and the forces were withdrawn. The particulars in full are contained in accompanying reports of Brigadier-Generals Shelby and Clark.

My loss in this effort I cannot give, as I have no report from Fagan's division, but the loss in Marmaduke's division was fourteen officers and eighty men killed and wounded. The loss in Fagan's division was doubtless greater. Whilst at Ironton, receiving information that the Federal forces exceeded my own two to one, and knowing the city to be strongly fortified, I determined to move as fast as possible on Jefferson City, destroying the railroad as I went, with a hope to capture that city with its troops and munitions of war. I arrived at Richwoods on the 30th, having passed through Potosi. Lieutenant Christian, whom I had sent to the Mississippi river before I left Camden for the purpose of obtaining gun-caps, joined me at this place, bringing 150,000. Lieutenant Christian is a most energetic and efficient officer, and deserves especial notice. Major-General Fagan sent 300 men to De Soto to destroy the depot, which was effected, and the militia, who had gathered there in some numbers, at the same time was scattered. At the same time, General Cabell was sent with his brigade to cut the Pacific railroad, east of Franklin, which he did effectually, also burning the depot in that town. On the 29th, Colonel Burbridge and Lieutenant-Colonel Wood were detached by Major-General Marmaduke and sent to Cuba to destroy the depots on the Southwest branch of the Pacific railroad at that place, which they succeeded in doing. The divisions of Marmaduke and Shelby tore up several miles of the Southwest branch of the Pacific railroad. For full details, see reports of Brigadier-Generals Clark and Shelby. Lieutenant-Colonel Wood, of Marmaduke's division, destroyed the important bridge over the Moselle. These two divisions were sent [217] forward in the direction of Union, which was captured by Brigadier-General Clark, killing thirty-two and wounding seventy of the Federal garrison. On the 2d of October Clark's brigade took possession of Washington without opposition and destroyed the Pacific railroad bridge about two miles from that place. On the 3d a train was captured at Miller's station, with a large amount of clothing and four hundred Sharp's rifles. On the same evening the town of Hermann was taken possession of, after a slight opposition (the enemy abandoning a six-pound iron gun), by Clark's brigade; for particulars, see report of Brigadier-General Clark, with the accompanying report of Colonel Green. On the 4th of October Major-General Marmaduke sent four hundred men with one gun, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Wood, to destroy the Pacific railroad bridge over the Gasconade river, which he effected. Linn was captured with one hundred prisoners and as many arms by a portion of Shelby's division. On the 6th Brigadier-General Shelby sent a force under Colonel Shanks to destroy the bridge over the Osage, on the Pacific railroad, which was successfully accomplished. A passage was there forced by him across the Osage, six miles below Castle Rock. The enemy disputed the passage warmly, but in vain. In this action the gallant Colonel Shanks received a severe if not mortal wound, and was left in the hands of friends to be cared for; he afterwards fell into the possession of the enemy, and is reported to have since died — a loss greatly to be deplored. He was ever foremost in battle and last in retreat; his death would be regretted by all who mourn the loss of the good and the brave. At the same time Colonel Shanks forced the passage of the Osage as stated, Colonel Gordon, of the same division, forced its passage at Castle Rock, and the division bivouacked that night seven miles from Jefferson City. On the next morning Major-General Fagan was thrown in front with his division, and on the march came upon the enemy five miles from Jefferson City, in large force. A hotly contested battle immediately ensued, but the enemy was gradually driven back to Moscow creek, when being reinforced they again made an obstinate resistance, but were finally routed and forced to seek shelter in their entrenchments — Fagan occupying the heights in full view of the city. On this occasion Major-General Fagan handled his troops with marked skill and ability, under my own immediate observation. Night approaching, I determined to move my forces two miles south of the city, where water and forage were abundant Did so, and encamped for the night. I had received [218] positive information that the enemy were 12,000 strong in the city, and that 3,000 more had arrived on the opposite bank of the river, by the North Missouri railroad, before I withdrew to the encampment selected; whereupon I gave immediate instructions to Brigadier-General Shelby to send a sufficient force to burn the bridges. and destroy the railroad west of Jefferson City, in the direction of California, the county seat of Moniteau county; and after a consultation with my general officers, I determined not to attack the enemy in his entrenchments, as they outnumbered me two to one and were strongly fortified, but to move my command in the direction of Kansas, as instructed in my original orders, hoping to be able to capture a sufficient number of arms to arm my unarmed men at Booneville, Sedalia, Lexington and Independence — places which I intended to occupy en route. The next day I accordingly marched towards Kansas and was followed by General McNeill, who made an attack on my rear guard, Fagan's division, but was easily repulsed. General Shelby's division, constituting my advance, reached California on the 7th, having sent a portion of his command to destroy the Pacific railroad, which it did, track, bridges, &c.; passing rapidly on to Booneville he, by a rapid charge, drove in their pickets and the garrison took refuge in their entrenchments. Brigadier-General Shelby, disposing his forces in such a manner as to prevent the arrival of reinforcements, awaited until his artillery could come up. In the meantime propositions for the surrender of the town were made to him and accepted. Accordingly, the place, its garrison, stores, &c., were delivered into his hands. For particulars, reference is made to his accompanying report.

I followed on with the divisions of Major-Generals Fagan and Marmaduke, and camped on the night of the 8th fourteen miles from Jefferson City. On the 9th marched through and beyond California, making twenty-six miles. On the 10th arrived at Booneville with the rest of the command. My reception was enthusiastic in the extreme — old and young, men, women and children vied in their salutations and in ministering to the wants and comforts of my wearied and war-worn soldiers. About 300 prisoners were captured at Booneville, with arms, ammunition and many stores, which were distributed among the soldiers. On the 11th, hearing of the approach of General McNeill, with a cavalry force estimated at 2,500 men, for the purpose of attacking Booneville by the Tipton road, I selected my position about half a mile from the river, and placed the divisions of Major-Generals Fagan and Marmaduke in [219] line of battle to receive him. The enemy attacked them, but was easily driven back with loss, and was pursued by a portion of Fagan's division and Jackman's brigade a distance of twenty-one miles from Booneville, with heavy loss, in spite of an obstinate resistance and the ruggedness of the country over which the pursuit was made.

For full particulars of the action, so far as his own troops were concerned, see report of Colonel Jackman accompanying.

Captain Anderson, who that day reported to me with about 100 men, was sent to destroy the North Missouri railroad; at the same time Quantrell, with the men under his command, was sent to destroy the Hannibal and Saint Joseph railroad, to prevent, if possible, the enemy from throwing their forces from Saint Louis in my front. These officers, I was afterwards informed, did some damage to the roads, but none of advantage, and totally failed in the main object proposed, which was to destroy the large railroad bridge in the edge of Saint Charles county. I moved that evening from Booneville to Chatteau Springs, on my proposed route, a distance of eleven miles, having recruited at Booneville 1,200 or 1,500 men, mostly unarmed. That night, receiving information that there was 5,000 stand of arms stored in the city hall at Glasgow, I sent Brigadier-General Clark, of Marmaduke's division, with his own brigade and 500 of Jackman's, with orders to cross the river at Arrow Rock and attack the place the next morning at daybreak and capture it; at the same time sending Brigadier-General Shelby, with a small portion of his division and a section of artillery, to attack the town at the same hour from the west side of the river, to divert the attention of the enemy and protect their advance under cover of the fire from his artillery. Owing to unforeseen difficulties in crossing the river, Brigadier-General Clark was unable to commence the attack for an hour after Brigadier-General Shelby had engaged them. The place was surrendered, but not until the City Hall was destroyed and the arms consumed by fire. However, we obtained eight hundred or nine hundred prisoners, 1,200 small arms, about the same number of overcoats, one hundred and fifty horses, one steamboat, and a large amount of under-clothing. This enterprise was a great success, effected with but small loss on our side and reflects great honor on all parties concerned. The prisoners were paroled, such of the ordnance and other stores as could be carried were distributed and the remainder with the steamboat burned. For particulars, reference is made to the accompanying reports of [220] Generals Clark and Shelby. In the awards of praise contained, the Commanding-General cordially concurs.

On the night of the 13th encamped at Mr. Marshall's, marching fourteen miles, and on the next day to Jonesboroa, eight miles, where I was joined by General Fagan, who had been left behind at the Lamine. I then ordered Brigadier-General M. Jeff. Thompson, then commanding Shelby's old brigade, to take with him a force of not less than eight hundred or one thousand men and one section of artillery by Longwood and thence to Sedalia and to attack the Federals at that place, if he should deem it prudent and advisable. This order was promptly and completely carried out by General Thompson; the place, though strongly fortified and well garrisoned, was carried by a bold and daring assault, and fell into our hands with over two hundred prisoners, who were paroled, several hundred stand of arms, many pistols and wagon loads of goods suitable to soldiers. Reference is made to the accompanying reports of Generals Shelby and Thompson. The latter withdrew on the approach of a large force of the enemy.

On the 15th I reached Keisus, having passed through Marshall, marching seventeen miles, where I remained two days awaiting General Clark, for whose safety I began to entertain fears, inasmuch as information had been received that the enemy were on my left flank and in my rear in large force. Previous to the attack on Sedalia, the large and magnificent bridge over the Lamine, on the Pacific railroad, had been destroyed by Lieutenant James Wood, of Elliott's battalion, who had been sent there for that purpose by General Shelby. On the 17th I received information that the enemy (Kansas troops) had entered Lexington on the 16th. On the 17th I also received news of the capture of Sedalia by General Thompson. On the 18th, having been joined by Shelby's division and Clark's brigade of Marmaduke's division, I marched to Waverly, twenty-two miles.

On leaving Pocahontas I had sent an agent of great intelligence and tact into Saint Louis to ascertain the strength of the enemy at that city, with instructions to report to me if possible at Potosi. He was, however, so closely watched that he could not join me until I had passed that city. Upon overtaking me he informed me that I would be pursued by 24,000 men from Saint Louis and 15,000 from Jefferson City, which, with the force in my front from Kansas, he believed to be the entire force with which I would have to contend. [221]

I then abandoned my former determination to issue an address. to the people, calling upon them to rally to me, as they were already pouring in so rapidly that I knew I would not be able to protect and feed them, and as it would require that my army should be kept together to protect them on a rapid and dangerous. retreat from the State. At daybreak on the morning of the 19th I moved from Waverly towards Lexington--General Shelby's division in the advance. Having received information that Generals Blunt, Lane and Jemmison, with between 3,000 and 4,000 Federals. (Colorado, Kansas and Missouri Federal troops) were at Lexington, and fearing they might make a junction with McNeill and A. J. Smith, who were at Sedalia and Salt Fork, I made a flank movement to the left, after crossing Tabo, so as to intercept their line of march. The advance under Shelby met them at 2 P. M., and a battle immediately ensued. For a time the Federals fought well and resisted strenuously, but finally giving way, they were pressed by our troops, driven well past Lexington, and pursued on the road to Independence until night. That night the enemy evacuated Lexington in great haste and confusion. Shelby's old brigade, under Brigadier-General M. Jeff. Thompson, bivouacked that night in the suburbs of town. I encamped at General Shield's, three miles south of Lexington, marching that day twenty-six miles. On the morning of the 20th I moved west, in the same direction as before, to Five Creek prairie, twenty-two miles, where I encamped: Information was received that the enemy had fallen back to the Little Blue. On the 21st I resumed my line of march to the Little Blue on the Independence road — Marmaduke's division in the front, whose advance soon came upon the enemy's pickets, who, being driven across the Blue, burned the bridge as they crossed. A ford half a mile below the bridge was seized by our troops, and Marmaduke's division crossed it. His advance, Colonel Lawther's regiment, soon came upon the enemy, who were strongly posted behind a stone fence, in superior numbers. Lawther's regiment was driven back and hotly pursued by the foe, when they were reinforced by Colonel Green with one hundred and fifty men. A fierce engagement ensued, with varying success--Colonel Green contesting every inch of ground, when Wood's battery arrived and the enemy gave way; but being reinforced, again renewed the attack. Just as the ammunition of our troops engaged — who still manfully resisted with success the far superior numbers of the enemy — was about to become exhausted, Colonel Kitchen's regiment [222] arrived. Again the enemy was repulsed, and fell back to their former strong position. Hearing of the critical condition of General Marmaduke's division, I had sent orders for Shelby to move rapidly to his relief. He accordingly hastened with his division to the scene of action, and arrived there at the time the enemy had taken refuge in their first position; an attack was made upon them; a furious battle followed; the enemy was forced from his position and retreated. General Shelby now, taking the lead, drove them in a stubborn running fight on foot (his men having been dismounted) for two miles, and beyond Independence. For full particulars of this fight, reference is made to the reports of Generals Shelby and Clark, and to that of Colonel Green, accompanying the latter. In this action, General Marmaduke acted with distinguished gallantry, having not less than two horses shot under him. General Clark, of his division, also exhibited great skill and bravery, whilst Colonel Green, by the manner in which he handled his regiment against vastly superior forces, flushed with success, beating them back with his handful of men, contesting every inch of ground until assistance came, as well as by the personal courage exhibited by him, justly excited the admiration of his superior officers. Fagan's division, under my orders, supported General Shelby, but was not immediately engaged. Encamped that night in Independence — marching twenty-six miles, the troops being engaged most of the time.

On the evening of the 21st, Captain Williams, of Shelby's division, who had been sent on recruiting service, rejoined his command with six hundred men, capturing on his route the town of Carrollton with three hundred prisoners, and arming his entire command. On the morning of the 22d I left Independence. The enemy had fallen back to Big Blue on the Kansas City road, to a position strong by nature and strengthened by fortifications, upon which all their art had been expended; where they had been joined by General Curtis and his forces, thus increasing Blunt's army to between 6,000 and 8,000 men. Receiving this information, I determined to advance on the Santa Fe road, with Shelby's division in front, detaching Jackman and sending him on the Kansas City road to engage the enemy, then skirmishing with the pickets. General Shelby crossed the Big Blue with the remainder of his division, meeting some opposition from the enemy, which was soon overcome. After crossing, he engaged the enemy to cover the crossing and passage of the train. General Thompson with his brigade, [223] except Gordon's regiment, pressed the enemy to near the town of Westport, when he was ordered to fall back to the Blue. Colonel Gordon, with his regiment, who had been detained to guard the left, soon became engaged and was sorely pressed by overpowering numbers, when he was rejoined by Jackman, and gallantly charging they repulsed the enemy, pursued them some distance and inflicted heavy loss upon them; also captured a twenty-four pound howitzer. A large force of the enemy came out front Westport and a fight ensued, the enemy endeavoring to regain the lost gun. They were sternly resisted, and finally the arrival of General Thompson and night stopped the combat. Reference is made to the report of General Shelby for particulars. Two flags were also captured and presented to me on the battlefield by Captains McCoy and Wood, of Gordon's regiment, who had taken them with their own hands from the enemy. In the meantime other forces had engaged me in the rear. Having received information that other bodies of the enemy were pursuing me, I had directed pickets to be placed at the Little Blue to give notice of their approach. This had been done by General Fagan, and being advised on the morning of the 22d that the enemy had attacked and driven in his pickets, he dispatched General Cabell to drive back the enemy, which he did; but on his return, coming through Independence, the enemy struck Cabell in flank, cutting off three hundred or four hundred men and capturing two pieces of artillery. General Marmaduke's division, which formed the rear, became engaged with the same enemy half an hour before sundown. The division was then about two miles from Independence; the advance of the enemy was checked by our troops, who then fell back one half mile to a new position, which the enemy attacked with increasing fierceness, driving our troops steadily back until a late hour at night, and in almost impenetrable darkness.

For particulars, reference is made to the accompanying report of General Clark. I encamped that night on the battlefield near Westport, in line of battle, having marched twelve miles, the troops constantly engaging the enemy the whole distance. On the morning of the 23d I took up my line of march and soon discovered the enemy in position on the prairie. The train had been sent forward on the Fort Scott road. I had instructed General Marmaduke to resist the advance of the enemy, who was in his rear, if possible, as he was on the same road as the train. General Shelby immediately attacked the enemy, assisted by General. Fagan, with two [224] brigades of Arkansas troops, and though they stubbornly resisted and contested every point of approach, drove them six or seven miles into Westport. In the meantime, General Marmaduke, who was to my right and rear, being attacked by an overwhelming force of the enemy, had to fall back, after a most strenuous resistance — his ammunition being exhausted.

For full particulars, reference is made to the report of General Clark.

Being at that time near Westport, and in full view of Generals Fagan's and Shelby's commands, I received information that my train, which was in front and on the right of the Fort Scott road, was threatened by some two thousand or two thousand five hundred of the enemy, moving in a line parallel with the Fort Scott road. I immediately directed General Fagan and General Shelby to fall back to the train as soon as they could do so with safety, which I would attempt to defend until they arrived. I immediately pushed forward to the front of the train with my escort, and there formed in line of battle the unarmed men who were present to the number of several thousand; throwing my escort and all the armed men of Tyler's brigade forward as skirmishers — the whole not amounting to more than two hundred--to the front of the enemy, and directing General Cabell, who arrived soon after, to hold the crossing of the creek on my left, sending forward at the same time for a portion of Colonel McCroy's brigade, which was in advance of the train, and on his arrival found him in line of battle on the left flank of the enemy, which caused the enemy to fall back a considerable distance on the prairie. In the meantime, the rear and flank of the commands of Generals Fagan and Shelby, by the falling back of General Marmaduke, were uncovered, and the former, in attempting to rejoin me, was attacked by a large force of the enemy, but with the aid of Colonel Jackman and his. brigade, who acted so heroically and skillfully as to receive the thanks of General Fagan on the field, the enemy was repulsed. General Shelby, in attempting to obey my instructions, was attacked in the flank, and his command thrown into some confusion, but he rallied, repulsed the enemy and joined me that evening, as did also General Fagan. Full details of this are contained in the accompanying reports of General Shelby and Colonel Jackman.

I encamped that night on the middle fork of Grand river, marchirng twenty-four miles--the troops having been engaged with the enemy nearly all day. The number of the enemy's troops engaged [225] that day exceeded 20,000 well-armed men, whilst I did not have 8,000 armed men.

On the evening of the 24th I moved with the command on the Fort Scott road to the Marais du Cygnus, where I encamped, having marched thirty-three miles--no enemy appearing. During the night I received information from General Marmaduke, who was placed in charge of the approaches in front, that the. enemy was threatening his pickets; and upon consultation with General Marmaduke, we were both of the opinion that the enemy was marching upon our right by Mound City, on a road parallel to the one on which we were. We were. strengthened in that belief by a dispatch which had been captured from the commanding officer (Federal) at that place to his scouts stationed near our then encampments, stating “that he would be largely reinforced that night, and he wanted a sharp lookout for my army, and he wanted the earliest information of the route on which I traveled and the direction.” I also learned at a late hour that night, from some recruits who joined me and had traveled fifteen miles on the route I had come, that no enemy was in my rear.

On the morning of the 25th I resumed my march in the same direction as before, and thinking from the information received the night before that if I should encounter the enemy, it would be in my front or on my right flank.

General Shelby's division composed the advance; Generals Fagan and Marmaduke brought up the rear; Colonel Tyler's brigade to the right of the centre of the train, four hundred yards; Shelby's old brigade to the right of the front of the train, four hundred yards; and Colonel Jackman's brigade to the immediate front. On reaching Little Osage river I sent forward a direction to General Shelby to fall back to my position in rear of Jackman's brigade, for the purpose of attacking Fort Scott, where I learned there were one thousand negroes under arms. At the moment of his reaching me, I received a dispatch from General Marmaduke in the rear, informing me that the enemy, 3,000 strong, were in sight with lines extending, and on the note General Fagan had endorsed he would sustain General Marmaduke. I immediately ordered General Shelby to take his old brigade, then on my immediate right, and return to the rear as rapidly as possible to support Generals Fagan and Marmaduke. I mounted my horse and rode back at a gallop, and after passing the rear of the train I met the divisions of Generals Fagan and Marmaduke retreating in utter and indescribable [226] confusion, many of them having thrown away their arms. They were deaf to all entreaties or commands, and in vain were all efforts to rally them. From. them I learned that Major-General Marmaduke, General Cabell and Colonel Slemmons, commanding brigade, had been captured, with three hundred or four hundred men, and all their artillery--five pieces. General. Fagan and several of his officers, who then joined me, assisted me in trying to rally the armed men, without success. I then ordered General Shelby to hold the enemy (who were pressing their success hotly and fiercely) in check, if possible, at the crossing of the Osage until the train could be placed in safety — which he succeeded in doing for several hours. I again formed the unarmed men, numbering several thousand, in lines of battle on the prairie beyond the river. General Fagan in the meantime had succeeded in rallying a portion of his forces and assisted General Shelby in again holding the enemy in check upon the prairie and in front of the immense lines of unarmed men until night, when I withdrew. The train having reached the Marmiton, ten miles, I then overtook it, having marched twenty-eight miles. On the next morning, after destroying many wagons, with broken-down teams that could not be replaced, I moved at two o'clock, there being but little forage in the neighborhood of my camp. We marched over beautiful prairie roads fifty-six miles and encamped at Carthage, on Spring river, the nearest point where forage could be procured, as I was informed by Generals Fagan and Shelby, who earnestly desired me to reach Spring river, as no forage could be obtained short of it. The Federal prisoners I had with me became so much exhausted by fatigue that, out of humanity, I paroled them. For full report of this action, see the several reports of Generals Shelby and Clark, and other accompanying reports.

On the next morning at 9 o'clock, after giving the men and animals time to rest and feed, I resumed the march and camped on Shoal creek, twenty-two miles. During the march a number of desertions took place among the Arkansas troops and recruits. No enemy having appeared, the morale of the troops had much improved.

On the 28th I marched towards Newtonia--Generals Fagan and Marmaduke's divisions, the latter now commanded by General Clark, in the rear, and General Shelby's in the advance. On approaching Newtonia our advance was discovered by the Federal garrison, who commenced to retreat. On seeing this Shelby's advance [227] attempted to intercept them — the distance they had gained was too great for this to be effected. They succeeded, however, in killing the Federal Captain Christian, a notorious “bushwhacker,” noted for his deeds of violence and blood.

After passing over the prairie four miles beyond Newtonia, General Shelby encamped in a skirt of timber; the other divisions passed beyond and encamped in the positions they were to take in the march of the following day. Ere long our scouts brought information that the enemy was crossing the prairie in pursuit of us. Preparations were at once made to receive him, and at 3 P. M., General Blunt, with 3,000 cavalry, made a furious onslaught on our lines. He was met by Shelby, supported by a portion of Fagan's command. A short but obstinate fight ensued, when General Blunt was repulsed and driven three miles, with heavy loss. This was the last we saw of the enemy. For full particulars, see General Shelby's report.

The army marched that day twenty-six miles. On the 29th we marched twenty-six miles and encamped on Sugar creek, five miles south of Pineville, passing through that town. On the 30th and 31st we reached Maysville, near the Arkansas line, marching forty-three miles. November 1st we reached Boonsboroa, or Cane Hill, as it is commonly termed, marching seventeen miles. Then information was received by General Fagan from Colonel Brooks that he had the town of Fayetteville, Arkansas, closely invested, having forced the garrison within their inner fortifications, and asking for men to enable him to take it. As this was a place of importance to the Federals, and its capture would be of great advantage to the cause, upon General Fagan's earnest solicitation, I ordered a detail of five hundred men and two guns to be made to him for that purpose, which was furnished by General Shelby, under command of Colonel Elliott--the guns from Collins' battery. The expedition started to Fayetteville, formed a junction with Colonel Brooks, but before the place could be taken, the approach of General Blunt, with a large cavalry force, caused the seige to be raised, and Colonel Elliott rejoined his command. Our march from Illinois river to Cane Hill was over a bad road, rough and hilly, rendered worse than usual by constant rain; in consequence, much of the stock became worn out and was abandoned on the route. On the 3d I remained in camp; the weather very bad, both snowing and raining during the day. I there received information that the Federals at Little Rock had been greatly reinforced by a portion of [228] General Canby's command; and as it was necessary that I should here adopt the line of march I should pursue on my return to Arkansas, to district headquarters, or elsewhere, as I should be directed, I determined not to risk the crossing of the Arkansas river between Forth Smith and Little Rock, on which route I could not procure subsistence, forage or grass in anything like sufficient quantity; but decided to cross through the Indian country, where beef at least could be obtained, which would subsist my men for the few days it would require them to march until they would meet supplies, even if no salt or breadstuffs could be procured, whilst some grass could be obtained for the animals. In addition,. the route across the Arkansas river below Fort Smith would be over a hilly and mountainous country — that the stock, in its present condition, would be unable to travel over — whilst through the Indian country it would be over level plains, traversed by good roads. Again, by taking the route below Fort Smith I would expose my army to be destroyed by a joint attack from forces detached from the heavy garrison there, acting with large forces from Little Rock, which could be easily spared, and which would, in all probability, take place, as information of my adopting that route would certainly reach them, and the slowness with which I was compelled to move would give them ample time to make all preparations. I furthermore came to this conclusion from the fact that it coincided with my instructions — in the propriety of which my own judgment fully concurred. Colonels.Freeman, Dobbins and McCroy were ordered to return, with such of their men as still remained with their colors, to the places where they had raised their commands, to collect the absentees, and bring them within our lines during December, if possible; and on the 4th of November I marched with the balance of my command through the Indian territory in the direction of Boggy depot. On the 13th I reached Perryville — a distance of one hundred and nineteen miles--when I met three wagons with supplies and encamped, remaining one day to rest and recruit my men. I had marched carefully and slowly, stopping to graze my stock whenever an opportunity offered. On the 14th, General Shelby, at his request, was left behind on the Canadian to recruit. On the 20th, Cabell's and Slemmons' brigades were furloughed. On the 21st of November I arrived at Clarksville, where I received an order from General Magruder to march to Lanesport and there establish my headquarters. I arrived there on the 2d of December, having marched 1,434 miles. The march [229] through the Indian country was necessarily a severe one, especially upon the stock, many of which died or became worn out and were left. The men, in some instances, hungered for food, but never approached starvation, nor did they suffer to the extent that other of our soldiers have cheerfully endured without complaint for a much longer time during the war. At all events, I arrived in the country where food and forage could be obtained in abundance, bringing with me all the sick and wounded and all my command with which I entered the Indian country, except those who voluntarily straggled and deserted their colors. To enumerate specially the names of the officers who distinguished themselves for skill and courage would swell this report beyond all reasonable limits. Therefore, as to all but general officers and those who acted in that capacity, I must simply refer to the accompanying reports, heartily concurring in the meed of praise awarded to such officers as are thus enumerated by their immediate commanding officers.

General Fagan, commanding the division of Arkansas troops, bore himself throughout the whole expedition with unabated gallantry and ardor, and commanded his division with great ability.

General J. S. Marmaduke, commanding the division of Mississippi troops, proved himself worthy of his past reputation as a valiant and skillful officer, and rendered with his division great service. His capture was a great loss to the service.

General J. O. Shelby, commanding the division of Missouri troops, added new lustre to his past fame as a brilliant and heroic soldier, and, without disparagement to the other officers, I must be permitted to say that I consider him the best cavalry officer I ever saw. The services rendered by him and his division in this expedition are beyond all praise.

General Cabell bore himself as a bold, undaunted, skillful officer. Impetuous, yet wary, he commanded his brigade in such a manner as to win praise from all. I regret that from want of reports from their several commanding officers, I cannot do justice to this as well as the other brigades of Arkansas troops. General Cabell's capture was a great misfortune, and his place will be difficult to fill.

General Clark, true to his past fame, bore himself with undaunted courage and bravery, as well as skill and prudence. His brigade was most skillfully handled.

Colonels Slemmons, Dobbins and McCroy (the first of whom was [230] captured) acted throughout as brave, daring, yet prudent commanders and are each entitled to great praise.

Colonel Jackman, through the whole expedition, won for himself great honor for the services he rendered, as have been herein enumerated, and for which the whole army awarded him the highest praise.

Colonel Freeman proved himself to be a brave and energetic officer, but as his men were mostly unarmed they were unable to render the same brilliant services as other brigades that were armed.

Colonel Tyler, who was placed in command of a brigade of new recruits, for the most part unarmed, deserves great praise for the success with which he kept them together and brought them within our lines. He deserves especial mention for the cool gallantry he displayed in charging the enemy with them at an important juncture, thereby greatly aiding in saving the train from destruction.

My thanks are due to my staff officers for their untiring energy and unremitting attention to their duties during the entire campaign; their zeal and devotion cannot be too highly commended by me.

In conclusion, permit me to say that in my opinion the results flowing from my operations in Missouri are of the most gratifying character. I marched 1,434 miles, fought forty-three battles and skirmishes, captured and paroled over three thousand officers and men, captured eighteen pieces of artillery, three thousand stand of small arms, sixteen stand of colors (brought out by me, besides others destroyed by our troops who took them), at least three thousand overcoats, large quantities of blankets, shoes and clothing, many wagons and teams, numbers of horses and great quantities of subsistence and ordnance stores. I destroyed miles upon miles of railroad, burning depots and bridges. Taking this into the calculation I do not think I go beyond the truth in saying that I destroyed in the late expedition to Missouri $10,000,000 worth of property. On the other hand, I lost ten pieces of artillery, two stand of colors, one thousand stand of small arms, whilst I don't think I lost over one thousand prisoners, including the wounded left in their hands, other than recruits on their way to join me, some of whom may have been captured. I brought out with me over five thousand recruits, and they are still arriving daily. After I passed the German settlements in Missouri, my march was an ovation; the people thronged around and welcomed us with open hearts and hands. Recruits flocked to our flag in such numbers as to [231] threaten to become a burden instead of a benefit, being mostly unarmed. In some counties the question was not who should go to the army, but who should stay at home. I am satisfied that could I have remained in Missouri this winter the army would have increased fifty thousand men.

My thanks are due Lieutenant-Colonel Bull, my Provest Marshal-General, for the able, energetic and efficient discharge of his duties.

I have the honor to remain, your obedient servant,

Stirling Price, Major-General Commanding.

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