fare of the town, who will escorted to his headquarters (a distance of a few miles) under guarantees of safety to their persons.
Brigadier-General, Commanding Second Division.
FEBRUARY 23-24, 1862.-Reconnaissance to pea Ridge Prairie, Mo., and skirmish.
Report of Captain John M. Richardson, Missouri Cavalry Militia.
SPRINGFIELD, MO., February 26, 1862.
SIR: On Friday, 22nd instant, I was ordered by Lieutenant-Colonel Mills, commanding this post, to proceed with my command to mount Vernon and there wait the arrival of Captain Mudgett. I started at 11.30 o'clock on the morning of the 22nd with 41 of my Mountain Rangers, the others being sick and on detached service. At 10 o'clock p. m. of the same day we reached Mount Vernon, having marched 33 miles. On arriving I received an order from Captain mudgett to be at Gullet's farm, 8 miles below Mount Vernon, by daylight next morning. We started at 3 o'clock, and were there by the time required. After conferring with Captain Mudgett he determined for me to proceed north of Spring River and disperse the rebels congregated there.
Having rested my command two hours we started, marched down Spring River on the north side to the old Booneville Ford, crossing there and traveling in a northwestern direction Sergeant Butcher with 8 men to proceed up the prairie on its south side, to arrest all persons running from the north, to search certain houses for arms, and to keep a good lookout for the rebels.
With the balance of the command I proceeded to the north side of the prairie, then changing my course east towards Bell's, where we expected to find the enemy. I had traveled up the prairie but a short distance when Sergeant Breshers, stationed on a high point of the prairie, made the signal the enemy had been found. Sergeant Butcher had marched up the south side of the prairie one mile and a half, when a band of rebels formed near a point of timber to oppose his progress. He marched steadily forward, and on nearing them they retired behind the point of timber, where the sergeant and his party charged them, the result of which was a running fight for 3 miles. In the action my men killed 3 rebels, wounded 1, and killed 1 horse. We had 1 horse shot, and the sergeant rode his down in the chase. We captured 3 prisoners and 3 horses. The sergeant and his party were engaged with from 12 to 15 rebels, and had it not been that my full command made its appearance so promptly on the south side of the prairie he would have brought on an action with from 40 to 50, who were posted in the brush, but retired as the command marched across the prairie.
It affords me great pleasure to commend Sergant Butcher and his men in the highest elms for their gallant conduct on the field. Any officer would be pretty command such men.
From the scene of action I sent Sergeant Breshers with 10 menta the north side of the prairie, and with the balance I marched up the south side, the two divisions meeting at John C's. Breshers rendered valuable services. We gave the neighborhood a good scouring, driving