position on the south and east of the town. I sent Companies D, E, and C to the west, and prepared to enter the town on the north with Company A and the howitzer, supported on our left by Company B. At 3 p. m. we thus had the town completely surrounded. We advanced and entered the place, a brisk firing having commenced on our part. Not over half a dozen shots were fired by the rebels, they breaking and running in every direction. Supposing them osted in force in the court-house, Sergeant Moody opened fire upon the building with the howitzer. One shot with canister covered the entire front with bullet-holes. A small passed through both wals and three partitions and then exploded.
The contest was brief. None killed or wounded on our side. Their loss was 5 killed, 1 mortally wounded (died before leaving the place), 8 slightly wounded, and 60 taken prisoners. We remained in town (which is only 10 miles from the Arkansas line) until the next day (20th) at 2 p. m. Of the prisoners taken about 20 were relased, as there was no evidence, connecting them with the rebel army. We also captured about 40 horses and 60 stand of arms, together with several wagons. I apped a list of prisoners and captured property.*
At2 p. m. Tuesday (20th), learning that Colonel Coleman and 30 men were in Texas County, we marched north 20 miles to Hulton Valley, made one or two arrests, sending scouts in all directions to ascertain Coleman's position. We remained in Hulton Valley until noon (21st), but hearing nothing of Coleman we marched 20 miles north to Elk Creek. Saturday I marched the main command to Houston, sending Captain de Gress and20 men to Smiley's Mill for flour. Captain De Gress fell in with a party of 11 rebels, killed 2 and took 1 pirsoner, ariving at camp at 9 o'clock p. m. Believing that other parties of rebels were in the county, I determined to scout the whole county.
I immediatelyprepared orders, and from 2 to 4 a. m. Sunday morning had sent out seven scouting parties of from 15 to 20 each. Hearing that Coleman had a fort near Smiley's Mill, I sent Captain Breese and 20 men to acertain the fact, and if true to destroy it. The captain found a large frame house, the property of Dick Smiley. The inside partitions had been removed. Logs had been put up as high as a man's breast all around the house. Outside of this a ditch had been dug, the dirt being thrown between the logs and the building. A door had been heavily planked and port-holes cut just above the logs, making a position, if occupied by a few men, hard to take without artillery. Captain Breese set fire to it and burned it down. Lieutenant Cherrie returned before night, having found 10 armed rebels at Judge Gilmore's, and captured the entire party. Three or four other prisoners were taken.
Monday morning, being satisfied Colonel Coleman and party had escaped south, and no further work left for us to do, and being out of provisions, I directed Major Drake to return with his command to Salem, taking my own command, prisoners, and horses, and returning to Rolla, arriving here at 1 o'clock this day. The total number of prisoners is 60.
In conclusion I must bear testimony to the gallantry of the officers and soldiers constituting the command. We started with but five days' rations of sugar and coffee and but two of other articles, depending upon what the country afforded for subsistence. Without tents, traveling 225 miles in tne days, sleeping on the ground, half of the com-