War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0050 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter XVIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

No. 3. Report of Major W. M. G. Torrence, First Iowa Cavalry.

CAMP NEAR FAYETTE, MO., January 10, 1862.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that in compliance with your order I marched my command to Booneville, and was there joined by three companies of Merrill's Horse, under Major Hunt, and at the earliest day possible crossed the Missouri River, and reached camp near Fayette on the evening of the 5th instant, when I was there joined by four companies of the First Missouri, under command of Major Hubbard, and one company of the Fourth Ohio, Captain Foster. We proceeded at once to gather information of the enemy's movements by sending scouts through different portions of this and adjoining counties.

On the 7th instant reconnaissances in force were made to Glasgow, Roanoke, and surrounding country, and information received that one Colonel Poindexter was recruiting in this and other counties, and that he had his principal camp somewhere on the headwaters of Silver Creek, with a force of regularly enlisted men from 600 to 800 strong, together with an equal number of aiders and abettors of rebellion. Early upon the morning of the 8th instant we moved out of camp with 500 mounted men in search of their camp, and marched to Roanoke, 15 miles distant, and then in the direction of Silver Creek. When within 4 miles of where the camp was reported to be the column was halted, and the following disposition made of our forces: To Major Hunt was assigned the command of that portion of his forces armed with carbines, and with Major Hubbard's command and Captain Foster's company to form the advance of the column, to attack the camp, draw their fire, and reply with carbines, when the First Iowa and a portion of Merrill's Horse were to charge upon the camp, mounted, if possible, and if not practicable charge with revolver and saber on foot. To Lieutenant Dustin, of Company F, First Iowa, was assigned the advance guard, supported by Lieutenant Burrows, First Missouri.

All being in readiness the column moved forward rapidly, the advance guard driving the enemy's pickets and rushing to the entrance of the camp. The column followed soon after, dismounted, and drew the enemy's fire. They were in a strong position, being protected by ravines, thick underbrush, and timber. Their volley was promptly answered by our forces pouring in a galling fire. Three companies of the First Iowa and a part of a company of Merrill's Horse were then ordered forward to charge the camp, which was promptly done. The enemy were now thrown into confusion and soon began to retreat, leaving horses, guns, together with camp and garrison equipage. It was a complete rout, as the appearance of the camp fully attested. Two companies from the rear were ordered to cut off their retreat, but the darkness and heavy fog, together with the thick underbrush, rendered it impossible.

To avoid surprise and to be able to move all our forces forward an order was given to destroy the camp and look up dead and wounded. This was soon accomplished, and the darkness forbidding further pursuit, the whole command was then moved to camp, 23 miles distant. The prompt action of the troops throughout is worthy of the highest praise. Lieutenant Dustin is worthy of honorable mention for his gallant conduct in leading the advance guard; also Major Hunt, of Mer-