War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0165 Chapter XXV. SCOUT IN POLK AND DALLAS COS., MO.

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ter's 5, one a rebel lieutenant. After examining the prisoners I released 17 upon their parole of honor that they would within ten days report themselves to some officer authorized to administer the oath of allegiance to the United States. The remaining 20 I had guarded till the morning of the 21st, when I sent them to Springfield, in charge of Sergeant Smith, with a detachment of 16 men.

After sending out a few scouts I marched with the rest of my command to Buffalo, where we rested till the morning of the 22nd. My scouts brought in a number of prisoners, all of whom I released upon their taking the oath of allegiances except 5, whom I sent to Springfield in charge of 3 privates. I then sent out Sergeant Baxter with a small party to try and catch Captain Thomas Lofton and his gang. With the rest of my command I marched in as public a manner as possible toward Springfield, intending, however, to turn back in the night and scour the country again in small parties. This I did, but with only partial success, few of the rebels who had escaped us on the first night having returned.

By agreement we met on the morning of the 23rd to rest and feel about a mile below Ben. Botter's, on the Pomme de Terre, where we found great quantities of corn concealed. All the parties having come in expected that commanded by Sergeant Baxter, I marched for camp, where I arrived at sunset, bringing 1 more prisoner, having released several where we stopped to feed.

No casualty occurred to any of my command, with the exception of Joseph C. Powell, private in Company H, who accidently shot himself through the eft hand, inflicting a dangerous wound.

Sergeant Baxter sent a messenger to me to let me know that he had discovered Lofton and his gang and wished more men, Lofton's force being superior to his own. This messenger did not reach me until I had arrived in camp and given up my command. I therefore sent an order for him to come in immediately. He obeyed promptly, traveling all night. He reports a skirmish with some notorious bushwhackers, with whom I am well acquainted and whom he found in arms. He killed one by the name of Arnold; another by the name of Greene was taken prisoner, but broke away and made his escape, badly wounded, it is thought, as he was seen to fall forward at three different shots. Greene's escape is quite unfortunate, as he is a notorious horse-thief as well as rebel, and has broken from prison twice and made his escape. One other prisoner (Isham Case) made his escape. Two others were brought, and I have just sent them to the provost-marshal. These make 28 that we have brought to Springfield. Some of these are dangerous and bad men, and would be no discredit to the Alton prison.

This expedition occupied four days, during which time some portions of the command traveled 150 miles - sometimes over bad roads; sometimes without any road at all. We suffered some from hunger, but no one was heard to complain. The men showed an alacrity that would do credit to veteran soldiers. After two days and a night of toil, without sleep, not a man object to standing guard when required to do so. With such men under my command I always consider success certain.

The indefatigable enterprise of Sergeant Baxter deserves special praise. He merits a better position than he now occupies.

Sergeants Gammon and Smith also showed themselves to be able officers and brave men. They will make their mark yet in the world.

In regard to the rebels inhabiting the portions of country that I visited, they seem quite sanguine in the hope that the great rebel army