Numbers 6. Report of Colonel R. L. Y. Peyton, Third Cavalry, Eighth Division Missouri State Gaurd.*
Cowskin Prairie, Mo., July 19, 1861.
GENERAL: I have the honor to say that on the morning of July 5, whole the army was on the march towards Carthage, I was informed by you that the Federal troops were some miles just ahead of us; then directed to ascertain the number of companies in my regiment properly armed and supplied with ammunition. I did so immediately, and found that only two companies and part of another had the necessary ammunition; the remaining six and a half, though the most of them had good arms, were totally without ammunition and could obtain none. I reported this to you, and was then directed, as senior colonel, to take command of the cavalry, composed of my own force, just mentioned, and also the battalions of Colonel McCown and Lieutenant-Colonel Baughn [Vaughan?], and the companies of Captains Owens and Stone, of Henry County, and march them forward in the direction of the enemy. The force from my own regiment, composed of Company A, commanded by Captain Dook; Company B, commanded by Captain Marchbanks, and part of Company H, commanded by Captain Erwin, as also the battalions of Colonel McCown and Lieutenant-Colonel Baughn [Vaughan?] and the companies of Captains Owens and Stone in a few moments were on the line of march. The balance of my regiment was left under command of Lieutenant-Colonel White. Major Tyler, of the regiment, went with us.
After a march of some 6 miles, and when arriving on the brown of the hill north of Coon Creek, we found the enemy posted about a mile ahead of us on the main road. Here a halt was ordered, and in very few moments, our artillery coming up, the cavalry, by your directions,were deployed to the right, and moving down a sloping plain for about 400 or 500 yards, were halted to await further orders from yourself, my own regiment at the head of the main body, and the battalion of Colonel McCown filing to the right and taking position some 300 yards in advance of us. While resting here I received an order to send off the companies of my regiment to join that of Captain Shelby, detailed for some special service, and immediately sent Captain Dook and his company. While in this position the batteries of the enemy were on the left, to the southeast and north of the creek, distant about three-quarters of a mile from my regiment, with a large con field between us, and directly south of us to the timber of the creek it was, I suppose, a little over half a mile, with fencing to pass through. After remaining at the point I have a mile, with fencing to pass through. After remaining at the point I have mentioned for some short time you appeared on the field and took command in person of the whole column.
By your order my regiment and those in rear of me turned to the left, and entering the field (the fence being thrown down for the purpose) came up in the rear [of] Colonel McCown's battalion, who had entered the same before us and from a different point, and then the while force by your command passed through to the timber of the creek. This was done under a severe and heavy fire from the cannon of the enemy, yourself in the advance. In rushing for nearly a quarter of a mile under the fire of the artillery, my own regiment (consisting then of only 60
*Printed from an official copy.