War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0189 Chapter XXV. SKIRMISH AT BROWN'S SPRING, MO., ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

wounded 24; Ninth Cavalry, Missouri State Militia, killed 2, wounded 10; Merrill's Horse, killed 6, wounded 11; Third Indiana Battery, killed 1, wounded 3; Red Rovers, Captain Rice, killed 2, wounded 7. Total, 13 killed and 55 wounded. We lost 22 horses killed, belonging almost entirely to the Third Iowa Cavalry.

The loss of the enemy, as ascertained, was 52 killed and from 125 to 150 wounded. His wounded were scattered for miles around the battle-field. Many of them were carried on horses back to Boone, Randolph, and other counties. On our march next day we found from one to a dozen at almost every house we passed, and many who were badly wounded continued with the enemy on his retreat. We captured 1 prisoner and a number of guns. There were among the killed and wounded a number of my neighbors and county men. A captain and a private of my regiment had each a brother on the rebel side and a lieutenant had a brother-in-law killed.

Porter has studiously impressed upon the minds of his men that if taken alive they would be killed. One rebel was found crawling from the field badly wounded and stripped, except his drawers. When approached he said he was a Federal soldier, but finally admitted that he was not, and stated that his object in denuding himself was to conceal his identity, and this avoid being shot as we passed over the field. Others, who had been taken into houses along the route of their retreat, hearing of our approach, would drag themselves out into the fields and woods to avoid us, thus showing the deep deception which has been practiced upon them.

I encamped for the night near the battle-field, and resumed the pursuit at daylight next morning. Moving down the Auxvasse some 4 miles I struck the rebel train, which I followed over a brushy, rugged, and broken county until noon. In many places the trail led over ravines and hollows, which they no doubt supposed were impracticable for the passage of vehicles. I at length reached a point where the trail ran out, and, upon examination, discovered that the enemy had doubled upon his track. The result was that, after marching until 2 p. m., we found ourselves within 2 miles of the point where we had came upon the trail in the morning. In the mean time I had been joined by Companies A and B of my own regiment, and, from information obtained from them, with other circumstances, I became satisfied that Porter had divided his force, which afterward proved true. A portion, perhaps numbering 300, under Cobb, Frost, and Purcell, had gone northwest through Concord. The remainder, led by himself, had gone northeast in the direction of Wellsville. I therefore determined to move directly to Mexico and endeavor to intercept the main body in the vicinity of Paris, being advised that there was a body of some 400 rebels near that place organized and ready to join Porter. I reached Mexico at 8 a. m. following morning, and on the same day received a message from Colonel McNeil, advising me that he was at Paris with 350 men, and that Porter was in the immediate vicinity with a large force, and asking co-operation. I at once telegraphed to Lieutenant-Colonel Morsey at Warrenton to move up with his command, numbering about 150 men, and on the following day the column moved for Paris, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Shaffer.

Prostrated by sudden illness, I was here compelled to abandon the expedition, well begun, and afterward so handsomely consummated.

Respectfully submitted,


Colonel Ninth Cavalry, Missouri State Militia.