HEADQUARTERS FIELD DIVISION,
Camp Coffee, Mo., October 2, 1862.
GENERAL: In conformity with orders from Brigadier-General Rains the troops under my command marched from camp at Scott’s Mill, Mo., on the morning of September 24, and moved northward by way of Pineville, for the purpose of forming a junction with Colonel Shelby (who was at that time in command of a brigade of Missouri cavalry), which was effected on the evening of the 26th at the Big Spring, head of Indian Creek.
I assumed command on the 27th. Colonel Hawpe’s Texas regiment and Major Bryan’s Cherokee Battalion were ordered to Newtonia, having made it an outpost, and the mill at that place was put in operation for the purpose of supplying the command with breadstnffs, which it did abundantly.
Everything remained quiet until the 29th, when the enemy’s scouts appeared near Newtonia, but were at once driven back by a detachment from that place. It was reported at the same time that a body of Pin Indians and Federals were at Granby. It being important that we should hold Granby, on account of the valuable lead mines at that place, Colonel Stevens was sent, with his regiment of cavalry, to make a reconnaissance of the place, and if practicable to dislodge the enemy. He reached the vicinity of Granby after dark, but found no enemy.
On the morning of the 30th the enemy appeared in force in front of Newtonia and made a vigorous attack upon the troops at that place both with artillery and small-arms, which was promptly replied to by Captain Bledsoe’s battery of two guns, supported by Colonel Hawpe’s and Major Bryan’s commands, who were posted behind the stone fence. At the time of the attack I was en route for Granby, having with me Colonel Alexander’s Texas cavalry regiment, with the intention of taking possession of and holding that place. Upon hearing the firing we hastened to the scene of action. We found our forces hotly pressed by superior numbers of the enemy. Colonel Alexander was at once ordered to take position below the mill on the right, which was obeyed with alacrity under a strong fire of grape and Minie balls. The enemy’s infantry had now possession of some of the buildings in the suburbs of the village, their sharpshooters being near enough to pick off our artillerymen from their guns. Colonel Alexander’s regiment was forced to remount and fall back to the support of Bledsoe’s battery, taking position behind the stone fence east of Ritchie’s house to the right of the battery, Major Bryan’s battalion being on the left, Colonel Hawpe’s regiment occupying the stone barn and yard in front of Ritchie’s house. Captain Bledsoe, with his artillerymen, stood gallantly to their guns until the last shot was expended, showering grape and canister among the advancing foe, and when forced to fall back out of range of the enemy’s sharpshooters, when ordered to do so, came promptly into battery on the ridge about 150 yards to the right and rear of their former position, near the road from Newtouia to the Big Spring (Camp Coffee), by the way of Dr. Harmon’s, though without a solitary shot in their caissons. The effect of this was at once apparent in checking the Federal cavalry on our left, who had commenced advancing the moment they saw the battery retiring. Captain Bledsoe continued to occupy that position under a heavy fire from the enemy’s batteries until the close of the action. Colonel Hawpe at this juncture received orders to charge the enemy’s infantry, and at the head of his men at once went gallantly into the charge. Leaping the stone fence, they met the enemy, when a sharp fight took place; but being exposed to the fire of the enemy’s artillery, as well as infantry, were compelled, after succeeding in checking his advance, to fall back to their original position, under cover of the stone fence. At this moment the First Choctaw and Chickasaw Regiment, led by Lieutenant-Colonel Walker, entered the town at full gallop, passed through without halting, singing their war-songs and giving the war-whoop, and under my personal direction at once engaged the enemy under a heavy fire from artillery and infantry. Colonel Shelby’s Missouri regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel Gordon commanding, had in the mean time arrived on the field and taken position on the right, flanking the enemy. That, with the charge of the Choctaws, soon drove them from the town and put them to flight, followed by Lieutenant-Colonel Walker and his men.
At this moment Colonel Stevens’ regiment from Granby appeared on our left, and having received orders to charge the enemy, moved forward rapidly and arrived in time to participate in the pursuit. Lieutenant Colonel Gordon, not being aware that Colonel Stevens was in that direction, mistook his for a Federal regiment. Perceiving this, my son (Dr. Cooper) and my aide (Lieutenant Heiston) were sent by different routes to inform him that it was one of our own regiments, when he again moved forward. The delay occasioned by this mistake alone enabled the Federals to get off the field with their batteries and the reminant of their troops. The enemy now fled in confusion from the field, closely followed by our troops, the Choctaws in the center, the Missourians on the right, and Stevens’ regiment on the left. We captured a number of prisoners and strewed the woods and road with dead and wounded. Large numbers of arms were also captured, thrown away by the enemy in their flight. The enemy’s infantry (Ninth Wisconsin) were nearly all destroyed, being either killed or taken prisoners. The pursuit continued near 6 miles, when the enemy, meeting heavy re-enforcements, rallied his broken columns and again returned to the field.
I had in the mean time been re-enforced by Colonel Jeans’ Missouri cavalry and Captain Howell’s four-gun battery, which took position at the grave-yard on the north side of the town, the enemy occupying the elevated ridge 1 mile north. His force was greatly superior to ours. His artillery consisted of three batteries, which soon opened upon us, and was ably replied to by Captain Howell, who sustained their concentrated fire during the afternoon engagement, never abandoning a position except when ordered to do so. The men handled their guns with the greatest coolness and celerity. He lost many of his horses and some of his men; among them Sergt. Felix S. Heiston, who was particularly distinguished for his bravery and soldier-like bearing. He was killed at his gun by a cannon-ball. Stevens’ and Jeans’ regiments were ordered to attack the enemy’s cavalry on their right, assisted by Bledsoe’s battery. At this time a large body of men were seen coming in on our left and rear, which proved to be Colonel Folsom who had been ordered up from Scott’s Mill. Colonel Stevens was ordered to reconnoiter and ascertain who they were. In the mean time a few shots from Bledsoe’s battery, supported by Gordon’s cavalry, dispersed the enemy's cavalry, who were threatening our left on the Granby road.
About this time the enemy had sent unperceived two regiments of Pin Indians and jayhawkers upon my right, supported by masses of infantry. They obtained possession of some bushes and stone fencing on the spring branch below the mill. Their object was to turn my right, where the Choctaws were posted. Just at this time Colonel Folsom’s Choctaw regiment arrived, and by passing through a corn field succeeded unperceived in getting very close to the enemy on our right. The engagement soon became general between the two Choctaw regiments and the jayhawkers and hostile Indians. At the same time the enemy opened all his batteries, under cover of which he advanced blocks of infantry to the support of those regiments which had been previously sent to my right. The battle was now raging in all parts of the field. Their masses of infantry could be plainly seen advancing in perfect order, with guns and bayonets glittering in the sun. The booming of cannon, the bursting of shells, the air filled with missiles of every description, the rattling crash of small-arms, the cheering of our men, and the war-whoop of our Indian allies, all combined to render the scene both grand and terrific.
Seeing the enemy’s infantry advancing at double-quick to re-enforce their left, I at once ordered Captain Howell to send two of his guns to take position in the corn field and shell the enemy out before their infantry could arrive. This was soon effected and the enemy fleeing from the field. At the same time the other guns under Lieutenant Routh were turned upon his advancing columns and on the jayhawkers and Pin Indians, who had been thrown in advance, but were now in full flight. Lieutenant-Colonel Buster, with his battalion, now arrived, and throwing out on the right the two Choctaw regiments and Colonel Stevens’ regiment, on the left Colonels Jeans’ and Gordon’s Missouri regiments and Hawpe’s Texas regiment, placing Colonel Alexander’s regiment and Buster’s battalion with the artillery in the center, the enemy was pursued over the prairie a distance of 3 miles to the timber.
By this time it was night. The enemy had planted a battery so as to command the road and as we approached opened on us, but owing to the darkness did little execution. Getting the direction from the flash of the guns, Captain Howell was ordered into battery and threw a few shells into them, fired somewhat at random, but which it was afterward ascertained exploded among them, killing a number of men and horses. They now fled in confusion, leaving the road, passing through fields and woods, and abandoning loaded wagons by the way wedged between trees. Their flight continued until they reached Sarcoxie, Jasper County, a distance of 12 miles. The engagement lasted from sunup until dark, with the exception of an interval of two hours. The enemy’s force in this engagement, from the best information, derived from Federal sources, amounted to from 6,000 to 7,000 men, with eighteen pieces of cannon while our own force did not exceed 4,000 men during any part of the day, with only six pieces of cannon.
The thanks of the country are due the troops engaged in this battle for the bravery and coolness displayed in the face of an enemy greatly their superior in numbers. Of the officers it is enough to say that all, with a few exceptions, did their duty.
It is difficult to particularize where each seemed to vie with the other in deeds of bravery; but I cannot close this report without mentioning the gallant bearing of Lieutenant-Colonel Walker, of the First Choctaw and Chickasaw Regiment. He was always found at the head of his regiment in the thickest of the fight, encouraging his men by his words and actions. He remained on horseback during the whole day and escaped unhurt. My acknowledgments are also due to Colonels Alexander and Hawpe, and to Lieutenant-Colonel Lewellyn and Major Stone of Stevens’ Texas regiment, and to Colonel [B. G.] Jeans and Lieutenant-Colonel Gordon of the Missouri Brigade, and Major Bryan, of the Cherokee Battalion, for the coolness and courage displayed by them on the field wherever duty called them, and to Lieutenant-Colonel Buster, who arrived by forced marches from Maysville in time to participate in the pursuit.
Colonel Shelby was left in command at Camp Coffee, and deserves great credit for his promptness in sending re-enforcements and guarding the camp from an apprehended attack of the enemy. Capt. John Wallis, Colonel Stevens’ regiment, was severely wounded while charging the enemy at the head of his company, but his wound is not considered dangerous. Captain Duncan, of Colonel Hawpe’s regiment, lost a leg in the engagement while gallantly charging the enemy. Much praise is also due Capt. Martin Folsom, of the First Choctaw Regiment, for the distiuguished bravery shown by him in the engagement in the corn field. We have to mourn his loss, which will be severely felt by his regiment. He was wounded late in the day and has since died. Capt. William B. Pitchlynn, of the First Choctaw and Chickasaw Regiment, also behaved with distinguished gallantry. My acknowledgments are also due Captain Crisp, of Colonel Coffee’s Missouri regiment, and to Lieut. Col. John Henderson, of the Missouri State Guard (General Rains’ staff), who reported to me on the field, for the valuable services rendered in carrying orders, in leading troops, and placing them in position. My son, Dr. D. J. Cooper, of the First Choctaw and Chickasaw Regiment, was constantly with me, and rendered efficient service on the field. The artillery of Captains Howell and Bledsoe was admirably handled, and much credit is due those officers for the efficiency of their batteries.
Of my personal staff I can speak in the highest praise. They behaved with their usual coolness and courage. Capt. J. W. Wells, my adjutant-general, was left at the camp in the morning, a battle not then being expected, and afterward assisted Colonel Shelby in forwarding re-enforcements. He joined me before the evening engagement and rendered valuable services during the action. Lient. C. H. Tiner and my aide, Lient. T. B. Heiston, were also conspicuous for their gallantry and courage, and rendered efficient service. To Capts. J. W. Coarser and F. W. Miner my acknowledgments are also due for valuable services rendered during the battle in bearing orders.
The medical staff, under the direction of Dr. J. G. Russell, were prompt in their attention to the wounded. Not only our own but those of the enemy were removed from the field and had the same care shown them as our own.
Referring to the accompanying report for a list of the killed and wounded, I am, general, very respectfully,
DOUGLAS H. COOPER,
SOURCE: OR, Series I, Volume 13, Pages 296-300.
OCTOBER 13, 1862.
COLONEL: I herewith submit report of the battle at Newtonia, Mo.:
Early in the morning on September 29 last the enemy made their appearance about 1 1/2 miles north of the town, fired a few rounds of small artillery, and retired north.
On the morning of the 30th the enemy again made their appearance on the prairie north of Newtonia and taken [took] their position within cannon-range about 7 a. m., and immediately opened on the town with eight or nine pieces of artillery, consisting of 6 and 12 pounders. Their line of battle was formed about 1 1/4 miles from the Confederate force in town. The bombardment continued from this point or position for one hour or more. They then advanced on the town and taken [took] second position within 600 yards of the center of town and of the Confederate forces, and opened on us with ball, shell, grape, and canister shot. The town up to this time and some time after was defended by Captain Bledsoe’s battery of two guns, Colonel Hawpe’s regiment, and Major Bryan’s battalion. Hawpe’s regiment and Bryan’s battalion did not number at that time more than 500 men.
About this time Colonel Cooper arrived and directed the defense and attack until the close of the battle. The above Confederate forces defended Newtonia for more than two hours until re-enforcements arrived from Colonel Cooper’s headquarters, some 5 miles distant. The left wing of the enemy bore down and attacked us in the town, but were soon routed and driven back; charged in the center by the Choctaws, led in person by Colonel Cooper, their left by Colonel Shelby’s forces and their right by Colonel Stevens. The enemy were thus pursued for some 3 miles or more, until meeting re-enforcements he made a stand, when our forces fell back to Newtonia and quietly and patiently awaited the second attack of the Federal forces. The second engagement on the same ground lasted some three hours, by which time we were re-enforced by Captain Howell’s battery of four guns and small re-enforcements of cavalry. About 5.30 p. m. the enemy gave way the second time, and again pursued by our cavalry and a part of our artillery until darkness put an end to the pursuit. I would also add that the force of the enemy in this battle was considerably superior to ours, and that the loss of the enemy was not less (in killed, wounded, and prisoners) than 400, while ours did not reach 70.
J. M. BRYAN,
Major, Commanding First Cherokee Battalion
SOURCE: OR, Series I, Volume 13, Pages 301-302.
CAMP COFFEE, October 2, 1862.
SIR: Reports of captains have been handed to me of the battle of Newtonia, on the 30th instant, the particulars of which will be found in the following:
Company A, commanded by Capt. S. Loering, with the whole of his company, excepting 8, who were left on account of disability. Captain Loering’s men behaved well during the whole engagement. Captain Loering had only 1 man seriously wounded, not mortally; also lost 2 horses.
Company B, Captain McClure—company under command of First Lieut. John Fowler—was all engaged during the whole fight, with great credit to themselves and the whole regiment. Company numbered 66 men; had none killed; 2 of the privates were wounded in the arms; had 1 horse in the fight killed.
Company C, commanded by [Capt.] W. B. Pitchlynn, was engaged throughout the whole fight and were ready to meet the enemy whenever he appeared. Captain Pitchlynn lost his first lieutenant (Henry Van Osdel) while charging at the head of part of his company, to the great loss of us all; also 1 private [wounded] mortally and expired fifteen minutes afterward; 3 privates slightly wounded.
Company D, commanded by Capt. David Perkins, was present in the whole engagement and behaved well all day. Captain [Perkins] reports that his company was 53 strong; also reports 1 private seriously wounded in the arm, not mortally.
Company E, commanded by Capt. S. H. Jones, was engaged throughout the whole fight and behaved well. Captain Jones reports 1 second lieutenant seriously wounded, 1 sergeant and private. None of the wounds are mortal; one [man] lost his horse in the wood fight.
Company F, commanded by Capt. B. W. Folsom, consisting of 28. men, was all engaged in the fight, and did great credit to themselves during the engagement. Captain [Folsom] reports that he had 3 men slightly wounded (yet one he thinks crippled for life); 2 horses lost (1 killed and 1 taken by the enemy); 1 horse wounded.
This embodies the substance of the various captains’ reports with their companies under my command, all of which I respectfully submit to you.
Lieutenant-Colonel, Comdg. Choctaw and Chickasaw Regiment
SOURCE: OR, Series I, Volume 13, Page 302.
IN CAMP AT NEWTONIA, Mo., October 2, 1862.
On Tuesday morning, at 11 o’clock, of the 30th ultimo, this command left Pineville en route for this place. On dress parade the evening before our leaving orders were read to start at sunrise, but about daylight of the morning fixed for leaving a private of Captain Minhart’s company murdered a private of the same company. This necessarily delayed starting, and the command did not leave until as above stated. When about 6 miles from Pineville an express reached the colonel commanding battalion to the effect that a battle was raging between your forces and the enemy, and urging the necessity of our reaching the field as soon as possible. Orders were immediately issued to stop the train. Ammunition was issued to the men, the train ordered to follow the command, which started at a brisk trot, and arrived at Camp Coffee at 3 p. m. Here the command was ordered to halt for five minutes to drink at the spring and for the men to load their pieces. Again started at a gallop and reached the field at 5 p. m., when it was ordered to take position on the extreme left, which position it held during the cannonading which followed, officers and soldiers behaving well and holding their position in line as well as if on dress parade.
Upon the army withdrawing to bivouac for the night as ordered I formed the rear guard, and had gotten about half way to town when an expressman (Barnes) rode up and informed me that Colonel Walker’s command were left in the timber on the right without orders. I immediately dispatched him to order him in, which was promptly and successfully done.
Captain Minhart and his company were not with me, they having remained behind to bury their dead member mentioned above. Captain Ross also I directed to remain behind to attend and forward on some work at Pineville. Captain Degen, who was formerly a member of Minhart’s company, remained behind to pay the last respect to his dead companion. As soon as I received the dispatch of the battle I forwarded it on to Pineville, with instructions for the above officers and soldiers to hasten forward. They left immediately and arrived on the ground just as we had left it at about 7 o’clock, thus showing their anxiety to participate, having traveled 30 miles in five hours.
It is gratifying for me to be enabled to report that neither officer nor soldier was killed or wounded in the engagement.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
M. W. BUSTER,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Indian Battalion
SOURCE: OR, Series I, Volume 13, Page 303.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY IN THE FIELD,
Camp Elm Springs, Ark., October 13, 1862.
COLONEL: In obedience to your order of the 29th ultimo I marched the most of my regiment to Granby.
Early on the morning of the 30th, hearing heavy cannonading in the direction of Newtonia, I at once took up the line of march in the direction of that point. When near Newtonia I discovered the enemy extending in line from near Newtonia in a northerly direction near the timber. I was met by Captain Crisp with an order to charge the right flank of the enemy in double-quick time, which order I executed in colmnn of platoons, endeavoring to intercept and cut off their artillery. The enemy, after having fired a few rounds, retired with their artillery in great haste, leaving their infantry and cavalry to protect their retreat. Their cavalry soon giving way left the infantry exposed, and we captured some 80 prisoners, killing some 50 who refused to surrender. We pursued the enemy some 4 miles, capturing several guns, and were ably supported by the First Choctaw and Chickasaw Regiment, as well as a small portion of Colonel Shelby’s command. I received orders to march my men back to Camp Coffee. Before reaching Newtonia the enemy were re-enforced and opened a heavy cannonading upon my rear, which, however, was soon silenced by Captain Howell’s gallant battery.
My regiment remained in Newtonia until between 12 and 1 o’clock, when we were ordered out upon the enemy’s right flank, in company with Colonel Jeans’ regiment, to feel the position of the enemy, ascertain his strength, and draw him out. When within 300 yards of his right flank he opened fire upon Colonel Jeans, which was returned. The enemy was some 400 yards from my command when they fired upon me, which fire I did not return. At this time I discovered another column moving down upon my right, with one battery of four guns, endeavoring to cut me off from the main command. I immediately ordered a retrograde movement, which was executed in good order under a heavy fire from the artillery of the enemy without injury to my command. I immediately took position behind a rock fence, extending some 200 yards west from Newtonia, where the enemy poured a heavy fire from his artillery upon me for near an hour. I remained in this position until about 5 o’clock, when I was ordered to support the First Choctaw and Chickasaw Regiment with Colonel Folsom’s regiment in a charge upon the enemy, he retiring from the field pursued by the Choctaw regiment. I took position upon the left of Captain Howell’s battery, when darkness terminated the contest, the enemy having been driven entirely from the field.
The casualties in my command were not large, considering the fire to which they were exposed.
In obedience to orders, on the morning of the 4th instant I marched my regiment from Camp Coffee in the direction of Newtonia. After getting within about 2 miles of Newtonia I discovered the enemy in force in three directions, charging in the direction principally of Harmon’s, south of Newtonia, and near the edge of the timber. Finding that I was cut off from Newtonia, I made a flank movement to the left and went into the timber. After marching some 2 miles west I intercepted the trail of our forces who had retreated from Newtonia. I followed this trail some 1 1/2 miles, and took position to cover the rear of our train, which was then moving in the direction of Pineville. While at this point I sent back Captain Elliott, of Colonel Shelby’s command, to ascertain if the enemy were pursuing, and he reported that they had formed line of battle near the timber and were firing into it with artillery and small-arms. I was then relieved by Colonels Buster and Jeans and moved my command on in the direction of Pineville, overtaking the command near Pineville.
My loss on the 4th instant was Private John Riley, Company F, who was on picket at Jollification, and was either killed or taken prisoner. The number of horses killed and wounded will be duly reported.
I cannot close this report without saying that I am under many obligations both to the officers and men under my command for their gallant bearing and undaunted courage in the face of the enemy. I cannot particularize, for each seemed to vie with the other in acts of bravery and deeds of daring; but I must be permitted to recommend to your consideration Captain Crisp, who led the charge on the morning of the 30th. His gallant bearing and determined bravery won from men and officers the highest praise.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. STEVENS,
Colonel, Commanding Regiment Texas Cavalry
SOURCE: OR, Series I, Volume 13, Page 303-305.
________, __, 1862.
On Saturday, September 27, at 11 a. m., I was ordered by Colonel Cooper from Camp Coffee to Newtonia. I went to Newtonia, accompanied by Major Bryan’s battalion. After arriving there I informed Colonel Cooper that it would be a suitable place for an outpost, upon which Captain Bledsoe’s battery was sent up from Camp Coffee, Newtonia made an outpost, and I appointed commander of the same. Soon after arriving at Newtonia I placed pickets on the Neosho, Granby, and Mount Vernon roads. Nothing of importance occurred on the 27th.
On the 28th, early in the morning, I heard the enemy were advancing from Sarcoxie toward Granby, and ordered heavy scouts in direction of the latter place, which returned at 1 o’clock on the morning of the 29th and reported no enemy seen, when I informed Colonel Cooper that there was no advance of enemy on Newtonia. About 9 o’clock of the same day the enemy fired upon our pickets from the, brush 2 miles on the right of the road leading to Granby. I immediately informed Colonel Cooper, who came to my relief with a portion of his command which was encamped at Camp Coffee, 5 miles south from Newtonia, and remained until evening, then returned to Camp Coffee, leaving with me Colonels Shelby’s and Jeans’ regiments.
These last-mentioned regiments remained in Newtonia until after daylight of the morning of the 30th, when, there, being no report of enemy in the neighborhood, they returned to Camp Coffee, and I reported to Colonel Cooper that no enemy was advancing on my post. In half an hour after sending this report the enemy fired upon and drove in our pickets. I immediately informed Colonel Cooper of this move, dismounted my own regiment, and formed them inside a stone fence. Bryan’s men I ordered to be dismounted and formed 50 yards below in the brush and, Bledsoe’s battery to be planted inside the stone-wall, these being the only men under my command. Soon after getting my men thus arranged the enemy opened fire upon us from two batteries (one about 600 yards west and the other about the same distance northwest), which was replied to by Bledsoe’s battery. After several shots were exchanged between the batteries the Federal infantry came up the ravine to within a few hundred yards of the wall, when a young captain belonging to Colonel Coffee’s command, wholly unknown to my regiment and representing himself as aid to Colonel Cooper, came up, cursed my men, called them cowards, and ordered them to come out from behind the wall and charge. That portion of my men who were next to this would-be aide to Colonel Cooper, hearing the order and believing him to be what he represented himself, instantly obeyed the order; and I, seeing a portion of my men charging the enemy, and believing they were acting under orders from Colonel Cooper, ordered those who still remained where I had first placed them to charge also. After a severe conflict with the infantry under heavy firing from the Federal batteries, which were only a few hundred yards distant, they fell back to the place first assigned them, and were soon followed up by the infantry to within gun-shot, when they were fired upon by my regiment. Charged by the Choctaw regiment, opened—
[Two pages of original report here missing.]
had been cut off, and was ordered to retreat in the direction of the timber to form a junction with Colonel Cooper, which I did by making a feint on the right wing of the enemy and then obliquing to the left. After getting into the timber I was ordered in front of the train to protect the same. The retreat was conducted all the way through in the very best of order.
The following-named men are missing from my regiment and supposed to be prisoners: Adjutant Church; Private Thomas Emerson, Company A; Private John R. Skinner, Company B; Privates W. J. Rimes and J. Jenkins, Company C; Third Lieut. V. B. Field and Private John N. Furgerson, Company D, and Private James Cally, Company F.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
T. C. HAWPE,
Colonel, Commanding Regiment
SOURCE: OR, Series I, Volume 13, Page 305-306.
ELM SPRINGS, ARK., October 13, 1862.
COLONEL: The following facts, as well as my memory serves me, will give you an outline of the participation of this regiment in the contest of the 30th ultimo at Newtonia:
I was ordered to have the available forces of my regiment ready by daylight on the morning of the 30th to march to Granby to relieve Colonel Stevens’ regiment. When about half way from our camp (Camp Coffee) to Newtonia we saw the smoke and heard the report of artillery. We were ordered by you to hasten up, and on arriving at Newtonia we were ordered to take position below the mill, on the branch, and dismount, which order was complied with under a strong fire of grape and Minie balls. We were then ordered to remount, retire, and hitch our horses and occupy the stone-wall to the right and left of Captain Bledsoe’s artillery, which was then doing good service; also a part of my regiment was thrown in the square stone wall. When Captain Howell’s artillery arrived our position was changed to his right, which we occupied until the engagement was over.
On the morning of the 4th instant about sunrise I received notice from Colonel Hawpe that Colonel Buster had been attacked beyond Granby; that he had returned and taken position 1 mile from Granby. In a short time I received orders to have my train in motion and move it to the rear near the timber and have the regiment formed, which being done, Colonel Shelby in person ordered me to the extreme right of Captain Howell’s artillery, Colonel Jeans occupying the immediate right. By the time I had the regiment in position I received an order to occupy the immediate right of Captain Howell’s artillery. Not knowing the source from which the order emanated (it not coming from Colonel Shelby), Lieutenant-Colonel Russell was dispatched to see if it was correct. He found neither artillery nor cavalry. I then counter-marched to hunt up the new position which we were informed our forces had taken, and on reaching the point could see neither artillery nor cavalry. I took their track and went on the Granby road until the enemy commenced firing from the position which I supposed to be ours; so the whole artillery force of the enemy was used on us, we being the only regiment in sight. We crossed the field of Ritchie toward the timber and came up in the rear of our forces, when we, with the balance, kept up the retrograde movement. In thirty minutes after leaving our camp a battery of flying artillery came up and occupied our wagon-yard.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
A. M. ALEXANDER,
Colonel, Commanding Regiment.
SOURCE: OR, Series I, Volume 13, Page 306-307.
Battle of Newtonia, Union Reports
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