War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0091 Chapter XXV. SKIRMISH NEAR NEOSHO, MO.

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attempt of a small detachment of rebels to capture two of our camp sentinels. Failing in this the alarm was given, and my command was ordered to prepare for action. The companies were immediately mounted and formed. The enemy commenced firing when over 300 yards from our lines, none of their shots at first reaching our troops. They marched forward very slow, yelling and firing as they approached. Upon viewing their lines carefully I discovered their center to be immediately south of the camp, their left wing west, and their right resting on the village of Neosho, close by. A careful inspection of the enemy satisfied me their best arms and main strength was in the center, and if that could be successfully resisted the day would be ours, through their force was greatly superior to ours in numbers. I ordered Lieutenant Wilson to take a position with Company A on the south side of the camp, facing the right of the enemy's center. Lieutenant Norton had formed Company H facing the left of the enemy's center. Captains Breeden's, Julian's, and Hargrove's companies in good time formed in the center and to the north of the camp. At this time a few shots from the enemy began to reach our lines, but they fired too high. They had a few very fine guns, and appeared to be firing at random into the camp, doing no damage. As the enemy approached our lines Company A was thrown into confusion. I rode up to the company and saw Lieutenant Wilson reform it, under a heavy fire from the enemy, into as perfect a line as I ever saw on dress parade. My heart bounded with joy at such noble and gallant conduct of the young officer and the steady firmness of the men. The enemy had by this time made his appearance. We having drawn his fire, losing thereby only three horses, I ordered Lieutenant Wilson to charge. They, not being willing to stand a saber charge, fell back in haste and confusion to the brush. In the means time Lieutenant Norton, at the head of Company H, had received and returned the fire of the left of the rebel center. The enemy came to a stand, but did not retire.

The conduct of the rebels thus far satisfied me the day would be ours unless they had a large reserve, which did not appear probable. Turning to give orders for my troops to take position on ground selected by myself for the action, I was wounded in the right arm, my horse shot, and in falling fell on my left leg, the fall at the same time dislocating my shoulder and spraining my wrist. In this condition I was unable to rise. My troops, supposing their commander killed, and no other field officer being present to take the command, became discouraged, confused, and began to leave. The confusion increasing, the officers took the balance off the field. I attribute the loss of the field officer my misfortune in being crippled and the want of another field officer to take the command. Four of my best officers-Captains Julian and Burch and Lieutenants Worley and Kelso-were unfortunately absent, the three former on duty. They made a desperate effort to get into the action. These gallant officers in their effort to get by my side subjected themselves to the fire of one whole company of rebels. It was a terrible gauntlet to run, but they came through unharmed; too late, however, to aid in saving the day. They proved themselves entirely worthy of my confidence and are entitled to that of the Government.

You may suppose the camp was surprised. Such was not the case. The companies had ample time to prepare, and in good time would have been assigned favorable positions had I not been disabled. I left the ground in advance of only four of my men, and there was no enemy then on it or approaching it. I was careful in selecting the camp. The ground was first chosen by General Sigel, and in this last instance