War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0169 Chapter XXV. SKIRMISH AT GREENVILLE, MO.

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Numbers 4. Report of Asst. Surg. Henry Douglas, Twelfth Missouri Cavalry (Militia).


September 7, 1862.

Agreeably to an order received from you, bearing date August 29, directing me to make a written statement of what came under my observation relative to the surprise of the camp at Greenville, Mo., on the morning of July 20, I therefore submit the following statement of the affair to the best of my recollection:

I have been acting in the capacity of assistant surgeon to the Twelfth Regiment Cavalry, Missouri State Militia, since the last of May, 1862. On June 27 I was ordered by Colonel Albert Jackson to report to Major Lazear, at Greenville, Mo., for duty as surgeon for a detachment of said regiment at that place, consisting of Companies B and G.

On July 16 Major Lazear was ordered away, leaving Captain William T. Leeper of Company B in command of the post. The detachment was encamped in an orchard about half a mile north of the village of Greenville, near the Fredericktown road, which road runs past the orchard under the bluff between it and the Saint Francis River, on some bottom land partially covered with underbrush. Company G was encamped along on the bluff on the north, while Company B was encamped from the bluff with two rows of tents running east, and east of this was a pile of forage, while my quarters were east of Company G and northeast of Company B. East of the orchard was timber land with thick undergrowth, with a wood road east and west.

On the morning of July 20 I got up about 4 a. m. to look after some hospital stores which had been secured from the storm near by. I went back into my tent, and between 4.30 and 5 o'clock I was startled by a tremendous yelling and the report of fire-arms. I ran to the door of the tent and saw a large number of the desperadoes running into the camp from the timber. The advance had got near the forage pile, which cut me off from Company B, the men of which seemed to be trying to get their arms, as the most of them, I thought, were out looking after their horses at the time, away from their tents. The men belonging to Company G seemed to be in great confusion, but trying also to get their guns. I ran toward them, hoping that they would make a stand behind the bluff, but before I could get to them they started and ran north along the summit of the bluff, and I was obliged to turn and follow after them, but commenced hallooing to them to stop and make a stand and help Company B, but the advance of the rebels was on us, or on me at least, and we all ran over the bluff on to the bottom and into the brush. I there succeeded in stopping 20 or 30 of the men. I told the second lieutenant, who was along, to take the men back and make a diversion in favor of Company B, who I had no doubt would make a fight lower down; but as he did not incline to do it, Sergeant Wicker volunteered to lead the men back, the lieutenant taking a gun in the ranks. As I had been hit in the leg with a bullet, which made me so lame that I could not walk but in great pain, I did not go with them. I waited for awhile, but not hearing but two or three shots from these men, I crossed over the river, and going down on the other side, where I heard Captain Leeper, with Company B, in a skirmish with them, but as the firing soon ceased and seeing a smoke rising from the camp, I supposed our men had been driven off and the