War of the Rebellion: Serial 084 Page 0606 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

Search Civil War Original Records

WAYNESVILLE, MO., August 8, 1864.

Major J. B. KAISER, Commanding Post:

SIR: I have the honor to report that I have returned from a scout, performed in obedience to Special Orders, Numbers 228, headquarters post Waynesville, dated July 30, 1864. I left this post in a direction east by south, crossed Big Piney about twenty miles distant, and after traveling seven miles farther encamped for the night at the farm of a man named Craddock. Here I procured a guide, and August 1 again took up the march in a southern direction, marching through the woods and by-paths. After traveling about eight miles I discovered the trail of a body of men, which I learned to be a squad of ten bushwhackers going north. I followed the trail about two miles, when It scattered, and I could follow it no farther. After traveling some twelve miles farther camped at the farm of Mrs. Morse.

On the morning of August 2 I struck camp and marched over the same route I had the day previous, expecting they might be following my trail. I searched every place where such men could resort, but could not succeeding finding any. Camped for the night at Mill Numbers 1, on Piney.

On the morning of the 3rd I took up the march in the direction of Colonel Ormsby's,and from there went south to the farm of the Widow Ellis. This Mrs. Ellis, I learned, is constantly engaged in harboring and feeding guerrillas. The wives of two guerrillas have been staying there till very recently, when they took a scare and went south. While here I was joined by Lieutenant Griesbach with twenty men from Waynesville, which increased my command to about forty men. Several reports were brought in by citizens that a rebel force of 300 to 400 were in the vicinity of Houston. I determined to ascertain the truth or falsity of the report,and accordingly pressed on to houston, where I discovered their trail, and was informed by citizens that they numbered about eighty men, and were about one hour ahead of me. I immediately commenced pursuit, and fully expected to find them about three miles farther on at the farm of Mr. Lynch. When I arrived there, however, I learned that they had gone on about five miles farther to Smiley's Mill, where they would camp for the night. Here, in consequence of my horses being almost worn out, I determined to feed and rest for a short time. While here Mr. Sutton, who had been a prisoner, made his escape from the rebels and made his way to my command. He reported that the rebels had discovered me in pursuit and had hastily broken camp and fled south, and that they numbered 150 men. They were well mounted on fresh horses, and I knew it would be useless to follow them with my jaded and worn out horses, and so reluctantly gave up the chase. These men, I learned, were simply a band of marauders and thieves, whose headquarters are at Thomasville, Mo.

August 4, started back in the direction of Piney on the trail of four men led by Tom Yates. I soon lost the trail, however, and after traveling about twenty miles encamped at Johnson's Mill, on Big Piney.

August, 5 started west toward Bates' farm, and from there to Cook's Mill, marching through the woods and by-paths. From there on the morning of the 6th marched to Robbinson's, on Roubidoux, and on the morning of the 7th took up march for Waynesville, arriving here late in the evening, nothing worthy of note transpiring by the way.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

RICHARD MURPHY,

Captain Company B, Fifth Cavalry Missouri State Militia.