by Captain Wilson, of Company K, Tenth Illinois, and myself, as being the best in the vicinity of Neosho. I saw to placing the pickets in person, and have no doubt but Captain Burch placed them the evening before the action where I ordered.
On the night of the 30th I called a council of my captains. They were all of opinion there was no danger and no necessity of moving camp. I then ordered the camp guard to be doubled, the horses saddled, and the men kept in readiness. At a late hour of the night I went with the officer of the day (Captain Burch) to examine the position of the camp guard, and to determine for myself if it was far enough off to warn us in time to be ready in case of an attack. Six reliable men were sent into the woods south of the camp to reconnoiter, and in addition I ordered the officer of the day to report to me during the night any suspicious he might have of the approach of an enemy.
The night passed off without any alarm, and as late as 8 o'clock next morning no attack had been made, and the officers were of opinion no enemy would make his appearance that day. I thought the best that could be done would be to guard the camp, so as to have time to prepare for action if the rebels should come. That was done. The enemy passed between the pickets through the brush, and in that way approached our camp.
Our loss is 8 wounded, 2 missing, and 1 taken prisoner by the enemy. The loss of the enemy so far as reliably reported to me is 4 killed and 1 wounded. I refer you to a tabular statement, herewith inclosed, for loss of property.*
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN M. RICHARDSON,
Colonel Fourteenth Regiment Missouri State Militia.
Commanding Post Springfield, Mo.
No. 4. Report of Lieutenant Colonel James K. Mills, Twenty-fourth Missouri Infantry.
Post of Springfield, Mo., June 13, 1862.
GENERAL: Special Orders, No. 9, Headquarters Southwestern Division of Missouri, June 4, 1862, was received by me on the day of its date, and in compliance with the instructions therein contained I respectfully submit the following report of my investigation of the circumstances connected with the defeat of Colonel Richardson's force at Neosho:
On the evening of May 29 Colonel Richardson, with portions of six companies of his regiment, numbering about 225 men, and one company of the Tenth Illinois Cavalry, under Captain Wilson, arrived at Neosho. An examination of the country for 2 miles beyond the town discovered no signs of the enemy, and information was received from the residents of the place that the forces of Coffee and Stand Watie had fallen back at least 40 miles. Under these circumstances Colonel Richardson pitched his camp on the flat north of the village, a site previously selected by General (then Colonel) Sigel for a like purpose.
*Omitted as unimportant.