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Doc. 258 1/2.-the battle of Booneville.

Headquarters Department of the West, Booneville, Mo., June 17, 1861.
The steamers A. McDowell, Iatan, and City of Louisiana, left Jefferson City yesterday afternoon at two o'clock, and reached a point a mile below Providence last night, where it was thought best to lie up a few hours. Three companies of Boernstein's regiment under his command were left to protect the capital. We were cheered enthusiastically by the little town of Marion, as we passed there yesterday evening. This morning we took an early start, and reached Rocheport before six o'clock, where we made a short stop, but found the people mostly surly and not disposed to be communicative. We learned, however, that the enemy were in considerable force a few miles below this place, and preparing to make a vigorous defence. Leaving there, and taking the steam ferry-boat Paul Wilcox with us, we ran up steadily till we had passed the foot of the island eight miles below here, and seeing a battery on the bluffs, and scouts hastening to report our arrival, we fell back to a point opposite to the foot of the island, and at 7 o'clock A. M. disembarked on the south shore, where the bottom land between the river and bluffs is some mile and a half wide. No traitors were visible there, and the troops at once took the river road for this city. Following this road some what over a mile and a half to where it ascends the bluffs, several shots from our scouts announced the driving in of the enemy's pickets.

We continued to ascend a gently undulating slope for nearly half a mile, when the enemy were reported in full force near the summit of the next swell of ground, about three hundred yards from our front. The enemy were exceedingly well posted, having every advantage in the selection of their ground, but as you will see, it has been clearly demonstrated that one secessionist is hardly superior to many more than his equal number.

Arriving at the brow of the ascent, Capt. Totten opened the engagement by throwing a few 9-pounder explosives into their ranks, while the infantry filed oblique right and left and commenced a terrible volley of musketry, which was for a short time well replied to, the balls flying thick and fast about our ears, and occasionally wounding a man on our side. The enemy were posted in a lane running towards the river from the road along which the grand army of the United States were advancing, and in a brick house on the north-east corner of the junction of the two roads. A couple of bombs were thrown through the east wall of that house, scattering the enemy in all directions. The well-directed fire of the German Infantry, Lieut.-Col. Schaeffer on the right, and Gen. Lyon's company of regulars and part of Col. Blair's regiment on the left of the road, soon compelled the enemy to present an inglorious aspect. They clambered over the fence into a field of wheat, and again formed in line just on the brow of the hill. They then advanced some twenty steps to meet us, and for a short time the cannons were worked with great rapidity and effect. Just at this time the enemy opened a galling fire from a grove just on the left of our centre, and from a shed beyond and still further to the left.

The skirmish now assumed the magnitude of a battle. The commander, Geh. Lyon, exhibited [409] the most remarkable coolness, and preserved throughout that undisturbed presence of mind shown by him alike in the camp, in private life, and on the field of battle. “Forward on the extreme right;” “Give them another shot, Capt. Totten,” echoed above the roar of musketry clear and distinct, from the lips of the general, who led the advancing column. Our force was 2,000 in all, but not over 500 participated at any one time in the battle. The enemy, as we have since been reliably informed, were over 4,000 strong, and yet, twenty minutes from the time when the first gun was fired, the rebels were in full retreat, and our troops occupying the ground on which they first stood in line. The consummate cowardice displayed by the “seceshers” will be more fully understood when I add that the spurs or successive elevations now became more abrupt, steep, and rugged, the enemy being fully acquainted with their ground, and strong positions behind natural defences, orchards, and clumps of trees offering themselves every few yards. Nothing more, however, was seen of the flying fugitives until about one mile west of the house of William M. Adams, where they were first posted. Just there was Camp Vest, and a considerable force seemed prepared to defend the approaches to it. Meanwhile, a shot from the iron howitzer on the McDowell announced to us that Capt. Voester, with his artillery men, and Capt. Richardson's company of infantry, who were left in charge of the boats, were commencing operations on the battery over a mile below Camp Vest. This but increased the panic among the invincible () traitors, and Capt. Totten had but to give them a few rounds before their heels were again in requisition, and Captain Cole and Miller, at the head of their companies, entered and took possession of the enemy's deserted breakfast tables.

About twenty horses had by this time arrived within our lines with vacant saddles, and the corps reportorial were successfully mounted on chosen steeds. The amount of plunder secured in Camp Vest, or Bacon, as the citizens here call it, from the name of the gentleman owning a fine house close by, was very large. One thousand two hundred shoes, twenty or thirty tents, quantities of ammunition, some fifty guns of various patterns, blankets, coats, carpet sacks, and two secession flags were included in the sum total.

Leaving Captain Cole in command of the camp, we pushed on towards Booneville, chasing the cowardly wretches who outmanned us two to one. The McDowell now came along up in the rear and off to the right from our troops, and having a more distinct view of the enemy from the river, and observing their intention to make another stand at the Fair Grounds, one mile east of here, where the State has an armory extemporized, Captain Voester again sent them his compliments from the old howitzer's mouth, which, with a couple of shots from Captain Totten, and a volley from Lothrop's detachment of rifles, scattered the now thoroughly alarmed enemy in all directions. Their flight through the village commenced soon after 8 o'clock, and continued till after 11 o'clock. Some three hundred crossed the river, many went south, but the bulk kept on westwardly. A good many persons were taken at the different points of battle, but it is believed the enemy secured none of ours.

Capt. Richardson had landed below, and, with the support of the howitzer from the steamer McDowell, captured their battery, consisting of two 6-pounders, (with which they intended to sink our fleet,) twenty prisoners, one caisson, and eight horses with military saddles. The enemy did not fire a shot from their cannon. Speaking of prizes, the brilliant achievement in that line was by our reverend friend, W. A. Pill, chaplain of the First regiment. He had charge of a party of four men, two mounted and two on foot, with which to take charge of the wounded. Ascending the brow of a hill, he suddenly came upon :a company of twenty-four rebels, armed with revolvers, and fully bent upon securing a place of safety for their carcasses. Their intentions, however, were considerably modified, when the parson ordered them to halt, which they did, surrendering their arms. Surrounded by the squad of five men, they were then marched on board the Louisiana, prisoners of war. The parson also captured two other secessionists during the day, and at one time, needing a wagon and horses for the wounded, and finding friendly suggestions wasted on a stubborn old rebel, placed a revolver at his head, and the desired articles were forthcoming. In time of peace the preacher had prepared for war.

After passing the Fair Grounds, our troops came slowly towards town. They were met on the east side of the creek by Judge Miller of the District Court, and other prominent citizens, bearing a flag of truce, in order to assure our troops of friendly feelings sustained by three-fourths of the inhabitants, and if possible prevent the shedding of innocent blood. They were met cordially by Gen. Lyon and Col. Blair, who promised, if no resistance was made to their entrance, that no harm need be feared. Major O'Brien soon joined the party from the city, and formally surrendered it to the Federal forces. The troops then advanced, headed by the Major and Gen. Lyon, and were met at tho principal corner of the street by a party bearing and waving that beautiful emblem under which our armies gather and march forth conquering and to conquer. The flag party cheered the troops, who lustily returned the compliment. American flags are now quite thick on the street, and secessionists are nowhere.

As usual, the traitors had destroyed the telegraphic communication with the East, and I have therefore been unable to transmit the news of our victory. The gallant bearing of our men is the subject of constant remark and praise from the officers, while Colonel Blair, [410] Lieutenant-Colonel Andrews, Adjutant Hascock, Major Conant, and many others, won golden opinions from the soldiers for their fearless and determined behavior. There were two men killed on our side — Jacob Kiburz, commissary of Company B, Second regiment, who kept a segar manufactory on Second street, St. Louis, between Plum and Poplar, and M. N. Coolidge, of Company H, First regiment. Nine of our men were wounded, but few of them severely. One man is also missing, who was known to have been badly shot. Thos. McCord, of Lothrop's regulars, was one of the most seriously hurt. The loss of the enemy will, probably, never be fully ascertained. It did not fall short of fifty, and probably will run nearly as high as a hundred. Among their dead are Dr. William Quarles, Isaac Hodges, and thirteen others of the Cooper County Company; Francis A. Hulin, of the Pettis County Rifles, and many others more or less prominent, some of whom have not yet been recognized.

The enemy had two regiments of 1,800 men, under command of Col. J. S. Marmaduke of Arrow Rock, and nine hundred cavalry, besides other companies whose muster-rolls have not been captured. Horace H. Brand was Lieutenant-Colonel of Marmaduke's regiment. It was reported, and for some time generally believed, that he was among the dead, but he has since been heard from, taking a meal several miles away. Gov. Jackson was also seen at 3 o'clock this afternoon, at a blacksmith's shop, about fifteen miles from here. Gen. Price left Sunday morning, on the steamer H. D. Bacon, for Arrow Rock. His health was very poor when he left.

One can hardly imagine the joy expressed and felt by the loyal citizens when the Federal troops entered the city. Stores which had been closed all day, began to open, the national flag was quickly run up on a secession pole, cheers for the Union, Lyon, Blair, and Lincoln were frequently heard, and every thing betokened the restoration of peace, law, and order. True men say had the troops delayed ten days longer, it would have been impossible for them to remain in safety. Irresponsible vagabonds had been taking guns wherever they could find them, and notifying the most substantial and prosperous citizens to leave. As a specimen of the feeling here, Mr. McPherson, proprietor of the City Hotel, denounces the whole secession movement as the greatest crime committed since the crucifixion of Our Saviour.

At one time, when bullets were flying thick and Gen. Lyon was at the head of the column mounted, he undertook to dismount, that his position might be a trifle less conspicuous, when his horse suddenly jumped with fright, throwing the general to the ground, but with-out injuring him seriously. The rumor suddenly spread through the ranks that General Lyon had been shot from his horse, and the indignation and cries of vengeance were terrific. At the Fair Grounds several hundred muskets were seized at the armory, where flint locks were being altered. Capt. Totten says he fired about 100 rounds of ball, shell, and canister.

The following companies of Col. Blair's regiment, though actively engaged in the skirmishing, had none of their men killed or wounded: Companies A, Capt. Fusch; C, Capt. Stone; D, Capt. Richardson; E, Capt. Cole; F, Capt. Gratz; G, Capt. Cavender; K, Capt. Burke. Company B, Capt. Maurice, has one wounded and one missing; Company H, Capt. Yates, has one killed and four wounded; Company I, Capt. Miller, one wounded.

The following interesting documents were found among others equally interesting and more decidedly treasonable:

Headquarters First Regiment Rifles, M. S. G., Booneville, Mo., June 14, 1861.
General orders no. 3.--The commanders of companies of the regiment and of the troops attached will bring their companies to Booneville with the greatest despatch. They will proceed to move the instant this order is received, bringing with them all arms and ammunition it is possible to procure. The expenses of said movements will be paid by the State. All orders of a prior date conflicting with this from any Headquarters whatever will be disobeyed.

By order of

Captain — Hurry on day and night. Everybody, citizens and soldiers, must come, bringing their arms and ammunition. Time is every thing. In great haste,

--St. Louis Democrat.

A secession account.

An eye-witness of the fight at Booneville, on Monday last, at 8 A. M., about six miles below that town, gives the subjoined facts:

Major-General Price was ill on Sunday, and issued an order for the retirement of the State troops towards Arkansas. He, himself, left for his home, at Brunswick. The forces under General Lyon landed near Rocheport, on the south side of the Missouri River, and marched thence toward Booneville. A few companies of State troops met them about six miles below Booneville, and attacked Lyon's forces, Company B, Blair's regiment, being the party receiving the fire. About ten of said company were killed and wounded, as the result of that fire. The company firing then retreated. Several other State companies, at this point of time, kept firing from different directions on Lyon's forces. Gen. Lyon then planted his cannon, and fired about twenty rounds on the State troops, using grape and ball. None of the State troops were killed by this cannonading, so far as is known. But those who were [411] seeking the State troops, to join in the fight, were made prisoners to the number of fifteen or twenty, and three are known to be killed. These prisoners were taken, and the men killed after a retreat was ordered by the officers commanding the State troops.

The State troops retired in good order, not more than three hundred having engaged in the skirmish. Some ten of the Federal troops were killed, and as many as from twenty to thirty wounded, some mortally.

Col. Marmaduke commanded the State troops; and Gov. Jackson was in person on the ground. No cannon were captured by the Federal troops; all having been saved, except some pieces which were thrown into the river, these having been placed in position on the river, four miles south of Booneville.

Gen. Parsons, with some fifteen pieces of ordnance, was advancing to meet the State troops, at the time they were retreating. All these were saved. No word of disbanding the State troops was ever heard of; nor of the flight of Governor Jackson, who, on the contrary, coolly remained two hours after the retreat of the State troops. Gov. Jackson is now with his men; the order to retreat was given on Sunday, purely as a strategic movement; while some of the boys determined to have the fun of making the invaders smell burning gunpowder anyhow; and the attack was made with the distinct purpose of retreating immediately afterward. It was currently reported at Booneville that Gen. Lyon remarked, if the fire of the State troops had been continued, he must have ordered a retreat. The Federal forces stood their ground and returned the fire; but the State troops were covered by a woodland, and fired from different directions on Lyon's forces. Lyon has now possession of Booneville, and has issued a proclamation. The State troops are concentrating at a point fifteen or twenty miles west of Booneville, and are organizing, and preparing fully for the conflict.

Ben. McCulloch, it is stated, is now advancing between Springfield and Tipton with 10,000 men and 20,000 extra stand of arms. Gov. Jackson intends to deal kindly and humanely, not only with any prisoners who may be taken in battle, but with all those citizens of Missouri, whether native or adopted, who have been misled and deceived by the wicked teachings of the enemies of the State and its institutions. Those men who have been forced by want of bread to enter the Federal service, have nothing to fear, either in war or peace, from the civil government of the State, or from the State troops, who may be made prisoners of war.--Louisville (Ky.) Courier, June 26.

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