War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0198 MO., ARK., KANS., IND. T., AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXV.

Search Civil War Official Records

bers. The enemy numbered about 120, and were commanded by Colonel Lawther.

These, I think, major, are all the facts worthy of notice in regard to the battle of Ozark.

On the second day after the battle of Ozark, being also the 2nd day of the month, I was placed by Colonel Barnes in command of 100 men, composed of detachments from all the companies of the Fourteenth Regiment Cavalry, Missouri State Militia, ordered to proceed to Forsyth, and ascertain whether the enemy in any considerable numbers had crossed the river either above or below that place. I was ordered to attack any force I might meet, and, if overpowered, to fall back and draw them out toward this place. I marched at 2 p m., and proceeded 10 miles without the occurrence of any incident worthy of notice. We then met a man, who stated that he had been taken prisoner by some of Lawther's men two days before, and kept at Moore's, 2 miles beyond Forsyth. He stated that lawther was encamped somewhere, between Moore's and the river, though he did not know the exact position of the camp. He had learned, however, that there were pickets at the crossing of the river at Forsyth.

Nothing further of interest occurred till we arrived within 7 miles of Forsyth. We reached this point a little after dark, having traveled 23 miles, most of the way over very rough and almost uninhabited country. Here we fed and rested and hour a half, and in the mean time took 3 prisoners. One of these by the name of Jackson had been a rebel captain, but had taken the oath of allegiance to the United States. He informed me that he was an old settler, and knew every hog-path in that part of the enemy. I asked him if he could take me to Snapps', 1 1/2 miles on the other side of the river, without crossing at the Forsyth Ford. He said he could do so by going 10 miles out of the way and crossing at Clapp's old mill, at the mouth of Beaver. I gave him to understand that of he in any way proved false I would out him to instant death, and then, followed his guidance, I moved toward Clapp's Mill. Here I expected to find a portion of the enemy, had I was not entirely disappointment, as we found Bob Wisener, whom we killed, and Marion Thompson, whom we took prisoner. These were two notorious jawhawking rebels, who formerly lived near Ozark. Wisener was the one who had acted as guide to Lawther when he made the attack upon us at Ozark. He was a man of considerable influence, and his death has created quite a sensation among the rebel sympathizers about Ozark.

On leaving the mill I ordered my guide to lead us to within 300 yards of a large spring near Snapps', where he supposed the enemy to be encamped. Up to this time I had taken prisoners all the rebel citizens I met.

It was my intention to form my command into two division, and, after having reconnoitered and ascertained the enemy's position, to send 40 men, armed with sabers and mounted, with orders to pass around and attack them in the rear, while the rest of the command, having dismounted and concealed their horses, should approach silently on foot, and await the attack of the cavalry. At the very place, however, where we were to halt the guide and advance guard came in full view of the enemy's pickets. They did not immediately give the alarm, but seemed to look upon us with astonishment, as if they did not know what our appearance meant. When I came up with the advance guard and saw the pickets myself I concluded that perhaps the enemy was apprised of our approach and was prepared to give us a warm recep-