War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0197 Chapter XXV. SKIRMISHES NEAR FORSYTH, MO.

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platoons I marched them to the western side of the camp, opposite the side on which I expected the attack to be made. I considered this movements necessary, from the fact that the camp is almost surrounded by dense undergrowth within gunshot, and to have remained in the camp would have been to expose my men to the fire of a concealed foe and to the danger of being surrounded. Having arrived at the place selected I ordered the men to dismount and every fourth man to hold horses, the rest to from into line and await the attack on foot. After holding a consultation, however, with the other officers I concluded to concealed the horses in the dense thicket in our rear and all fight on foot. Previous to this time the pickets had been re-enforced, and the camp-guards placed in a greater distance and concealed in the brush.

When the horses were secured I ordered Lieutenant Kelso and Lieutenant Etter, who commanded on the left, to wait till the enemy charged fully into the camp and discharged pieces into the empty tents, as I rightly they would no, and then advance to meet them. Captain Robertson and Lieutenant Mooney, who commanded on the right, were ordered to hold their men in reserve to sustain Lieutenants Kelso and Etter in case they should be overpowered, or to resist an attack from the other side should such an attack be made.

Scarcely were these arrangements made when the pickets on the east commenced firing and rushed in, followed by the enemy, who poured out of the dark woods and thundered down upon our camp yelling like devils, and firing at our tents. On they came, like a tornado, striking our strong picket ropes, overturning some of their horses, and throwing the balance into disorder. Then was our time. The order to fire was given on the left, and as the guns roared out the men set up the most deafening yells. The enemy quickly fled in all directions. A few passed by our left flank, passed around some houses and lots and returned, passing our right flank and receiving another fire as they did so.

We remained in line till daylight, when we ascertained that our loss was 2 men wounded, 1 only slightly, and 2 horses killed. The enemy lost 1 man, taken prisoner, and, as we have since learned from Union men who were taken prisoners, they lost 9 wounded, 3 of whom died before reaching Forsyth. They also lost 2 horses, killed on the ground, and several severely wounded, which had to be left behind in their flight. We captured 2 horses, 8 guns, 2 holsters, 2 revolvers, 3 saddles, and many other articles, such has saddle-bags, blankets, hats, &c.

The men generally conducted themselves in a manner which does them the highest credit. They seemed to regard the battle as a grand species of sport. Too much praise cannot be given to Captain Robertson and Lieutenants Mooney, Etter, and Kelso. Captain Robertson forgot his sickness, and though his horse was shot under him, he continued to cheer his men, regardless of the danger to which he was exposing himself in his feeble condition. Lieutenants Kelso and Etter seemed really to enjoy the scene, and their men partook of their spirit, while the calm and firm deportment of Lieutenant Mooney served equally well to inspire his men with confidence. Lieutenant Allison, though not directly in the battle, deserves praise for the skill with which he managed the guards. Major Ashley, our surgeon, also deserves a favorable notice. Mingling in the thickest of the fight, he displayed a zeal in inflicting wounds upon the enemy only equaled by that which he displayed after the battle was over in dressing the wounds which the enemy had inflicted upon some of my men. With such officers and men I should always calculate on victory, even against greatly superior num-