War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0324 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter XVIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

During this last advance the enemy lost his position at Elkhorn Tavern, a battery of artillery, some standards (one of which, that of the Douglas Dragoons, fell into the hands of my command), and a large quantity of sutler's and subsistence stores. These latter supplies were obtained in good, for long fasting and incessant labor had nearly exhausted the powers of human endurance.

At about 7 o'clock on Saturday morning the enemy, having concentrated all his force, attacked our lines, directing his efforts particularly on the Elkhorn Tavern. The orders from headquarters were for my command to keep its position in the general line and to fall back with the regiment next on its right, that regiment having retired before the enemy. My command did the same, halting, however, and reforming in the face of the enemy some three times and delivering their fire with coolness and effect, and finally leaving the field by a flank movement to the left in good order, and among the very last of our troops. Both of my batteries (especially MacDonald's) served under the immediate observation and direction of the command general, who equally with myself is familiar with the services which they rendered at and about the Elkhorn Tavern.

In concluding this report I should do injustice to the troops so lately placed under my command did I not speak of them all - artillery, infantry, and cavalry - as having behaved in the most admirable manner. The only deficiency observable among them was a want of practical knowledge; but this was more than compensated for by cool, determined courage, exhibited on all occasions and to a degree seldom equaled. While their conduct on the field was thus admirable, it in no degree surpassed that which characterized their subsequent march to this place, straggling having been unknown to the column and prompt and ready obedience accorded the officers in command.

When all did their duty so well, it seems invidious to select any individuals for particular commendation; yet justice demands that the names of Colonel Colton Greene, Lieutenant Colonel James R. Shaler, and Captain Emmett MacDonald should be particularly mentioned. The former I found in command of the infantry when it was assigned to me a few days before the battle, and I permitted him to retain the chief command on the field. Colonel Shaler, my division inspector, volunteered and was accepted to act as Greene's lieutenant, and MacDonald's battery was heard in the thickest of the fight from the commencement to the close of the action. All these officers bore themselves in the most admirable manner throughout the engagement and are deserving of especial notice. Colonel Greene (whose report it transmitted herewith) justly speaks in terms of high commendation of Major William Franklin, Major Waldo P. Johnson, and Captain L. C. Campbell, the two last of whom were wounded, but remained on the field, and all of whom I most heartily commend to your favorable consideration.

Captain Champion, whose name is identified with the battles of Oak Hill, Drywood, and Lexington, and who led a party of 20 cavalry attached to my person, made a dashing effort, at the head of his little band, to capture the colors from a regiment drawn up in line of battle, and although he failed in his attempt and had 2 of his men wounded, yet he inflicted a loss of some 6 or 8 upon the enemy.

My own personal staff on the field (consisting of Lieutenant-Colonel Magenis, aide; Colonel T. T. Taylor and Mr. Henry Tracy, volunteering in that capacity; Dr. Joseph T. Scott, and Dr. S. R. Clark) was augmented by that of McBridge's Seventh Division, consisting of Colonels McBridge, Asbury, Campbell, and Drs. Wooten and Small. All of these