War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0075 Chapter XVIII. SKIRMISH AT KEETSVILLE, MO.

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to collect the remainder of the public property, to bury the dead, and bring up the rear. At roll call our men all answered to their names but 3-1 private, a sentinel, shot dead, another mortally wounded (since dead), and 1 supposed to be taken prisoner. Our horses were all cut loose and stampeded, but have all been recovered but about 40. The captain saved all his transportation and camp and garrison equipage. The loss of the enemy was 3 killed on the ground and 1 prisoner and horse taken. The prisoner says that they (the rebels) had some 10 wounded that he knows of. I also learn from the prisoner that Major Ross, of Sherman, Tex., was in command; that there were eight full companies, all Texans, of Colonel Young's brigade, except Captains Bird's, Smith's, and Davis' companies of McBride's division, Missouri troops. After their attack on Keetsville they went south, and at Harbin's they captured 10 prisoners, a sutler, and teamster, burning three wagons before the door.

On yesterday morning they ate breakfast 6 miles southeast of Harbin's, and said they were going on the their main camp in Boston Mountains, at Dr.-'s, who lives immediately at the foot of the mountain, on the road leading from this place to Ozark, on the Arkansas River. they have barracks there, no doubt, and their forces may be there. At Keetsville I hard another rumor that the rebels had three regiments in that vicinity to capture trains as they passed, and that they intended attacking this place. I have also information that Colonel Coffee, of Dade County, Missouri, is in the vicinity of Pineville, with 500 men, and that he is also recruiting other forces there for the purpose of capturing our trains. The train that has gone forward this morning was within half a mile of Keetsville at the time of the attack there, and Captain Montgomery very prudently turned it back to Cassville and covered his retreat. The forces sent out by Colonel Canby [?] under Colonel Ellis, instead of getting in the rear of the enemy, as I understood it would, passed up the main road just in my front some thirty minutes. Had they passed down the river to the Ozark road they no doubt would have fallen in with the enemy. We were all together at this place last night. We held a consultation this morning and Colonel Ellis proposed to press the train through direct. He escorts it with his command. I thought it would have been best to have kept the train back one day, and with our combined force displace the rebels and then send it forward. He, being the ranking officer, took precedence. I hope he will get through. I also learn that the citizens of Keetsville all knew of the attack being made, and communicated intelligence to the enemy, and purposely kept all knowledge of it from Captain Montgomery, and in the afternoon before the fight the ladies all left the town, one at a time, and that at the time of the attack all were out; and many other circumstances prove conclusively that the citizens are to all intents and purposes a part of the attacking party, there being no exceptions.

Colonel Williams' forces are very light, and there is another train expected to-morrow. Consequently I remained here to-day, in the mean time straightening up Captain Montgomery's company. I desire to know by return messenger what would be the proper course under the circumstances-to mount Montgomery's men and what to do with the town and people of Keetsville. It is the worst hole in all this country. I have men scouting to-day to find out something about the enemy, and we will do the best we can for them in our crippled condition without horses. I can mount Montgomery's men here in the county if you will give permission.