War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0352 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter XLIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CENTRAL MISSOURI,

Jefferson City, Mo., April 6, 1862.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report for the information of the major-general commanding that I have received information from Colonel Fitz Henry Warren, at Clinton, of return of two scouting detachments, bringing 15 prisoners; several of them bad. The very wet weather had rendered it impossible to move in any direction. I have also the honor to report the particulars of an engagement on the 25th [26th] ultimo, mention of which was made in my telegram to the major-general commanding of the 27th ultimo, between Major Foster, M. S. M., and gang of rebels under the notorious Mat. Houx, who is now reported among the killed.

On the morning of the 26th of March, upon hearing of a small party of rebels at a house 3 miles south of Warrensburg, Major Foster moved with 10 men with a design of capturing them. Proceeding 1 mile, he was reliably informed that the party numbered 25 or 30. Sending back to Captain Houts for re-enforcements, he was soon joined by Lieutenant jewell and 10 more, and he then moved forward to Hunter's (the house indicated) without getting a glimpse of the rebels While there, however, the enemy was discovered in his rear 1 mile north. He at once moved towards them, and upon reaching a hill discovered half a mile ahead about 85 horsemen drawn in line awaiting the approach of the militia. Major Foster halted to reconnoiter their position and strength, when the enemy, emboldened by the seeming hesitancy, changed precipitately down the hill upon the militia, who were instantly dismounted and prepared to receive the charge. They came, however, only to within 400 yards, when they broke and disappeared quickly in a clump of trees their right. The militia were quickly moved to a point likely to intercept them, dismounted 300 yards from the enemy, and moving double-quick upon his right and rear drove him in confusion again from their position capturing coast, blankets, &c.; all this without firing a short. The enemy was followed again to a position on Post Oak Creek, protected by logs and rail pens and almost entirely concealed by heavy underbrush. Receiving re-enforcements of 20 men, under Captain Mel. Foster, the militia dismounted to the number of 20, while the remainder were held mounted and as a reserve. A brisk fire was opened upon the enemy at shot-gun range, which was vigorously returned by the enemy. The engagement was sharp and bloody for about ten minutes, when the enemy broke in confusion. Then a charge was made by the mounted reserve of militia, which utterly routed the flying enemy, who made no attempt to rally his scattered forces. A large number of guns, blankets, coast, hats, &c., were found upon the field, together with 7 horses and equipments.

Our loss in this engagement was 9 wounded, 2 of them mortally, and have since died. The enemy had 5 killed, among them their chief, Mat. Houx, and a number wounded. The men are said to have fought on our side with a desperate determination to be looked for in veterans rather than raw, undisciplined militia.

Lieutenant John. M. Jewell, although mortally wounded and since dead, in the first of the engagement never deserted his post.

Captain Mel. Foster, short through the left breast, stood at the head of his men cheering and encouraging them until the field was ours. Sergeant Rains contributed to our complete success by the promptness with which he brought up the reserve.

Major Emory S. Foster, who commanded the militia upon this occasion,