Numbers 2. Report of Major Clark Wright, Fremont Battalion (Missouri) Cavalry.
HEADQUARTERS FREMONT BATTALION,
Camp McClurg, October 15, 1861.
GENERAL: At 7 o'clock of the morning of the 14th my command left Camp Gorgas in advance of the column in the following order: A detachment of 30 men, well mounted, from Company A, 500 yards on the extreme right; 5 wounded sentinels at the respective distances of 100 yards each, reaching back to the head of the column; 20 scouts each on the right and left flank, to march in line with head of column, with instructions to allow no one to pass forward of ahead of the column. Thus we moved forward, feeling our way, without any incident worthy of note until 11.30 o'clock a. m. On our arrival at Alexander Berry's, 5 miles southeast of this place, I there learned that there was no doubt but Linn Creek was occupied with rebel forces, and rumor said 200, who had arrived the day before. I at once resolved to strike them with all the available force I had, leaving out the skirmishers and sufficient force to cover the front of the Thirteenth Illinois Regiment, out then in my immediate rear. I immediately sent forward two scouts in citizens' dress to go into the town, take observation, and report to me 1 mile out before I arrived. Then called out Company D (Captain Crockett), myself taking the right, and ordered a descent upon the town in double-quick. Arriving at the point to meet the scouts, I called a halt. Their not returning led me to suppose they were detained. I soon learned, however, from a lady just from town, that there was a company of secesh rebels, commanded by the notorious Bill Roberts, then in town; also, that the notorious sheriff (Mr. Cummings) was at home. It at once made the preliminaries, and ordered a double-quick march, with instructions to arrest the whole camp and all the men in town. We arrived at 1 o'clock, and at once surrounded the whole thing, and demanded an unconditional surrender. The notorious captain and a few of his followers, as well as his wife, broke from some of the buildings, fired on my troops, and attempted to escape. I promptly ordered them fired on, which was promptly executed. Some fifty random shots were fired, but owing to the fences, buildings, and other means of cover none were killed, and but one slightly wounded on the rebel side. None killed or wounded of my troops. The scene was a wild one. The activity of the cavalry in guarding the avenues of the place, arresting the citizens, and the rebels running to and for; the screams of secesh wives, daughters, and children; the firing from both sides echoing back form the bluffs on either side, made the whole thing look somewhat frantic. However, at the end of thirty minutes we had the town restored to its usual quiet, and the secesh under guard. Every member of Company D behaved well. Captain Croskett and Lieutenant Kirby executed every order with promptness and bravery. The men, without exception, acquitted themselves to my entire satisfaction.
The result of our descent was as follows: Prisoners, 37; horse, 5; mules, 2; guns, 26; holster-pistols, 2; 1 keg powder; 1/2 bushel of bullets, as well as the peaceable possession of the town.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major, Commanding Fremont Battalion Cavalry.
Acting Brigadier General WYMAN, Commanding.