determined to surprise him, if possible; so I took up line of march for that point, traveling all day and the following night up to 12 o'clock, when I caused a halt at a distance of 2 1/2 miles from Ozark. I then went forward to reconnoiter their position, but found that I could not approach near enough to see their camp without alarming their pickets. I then returned to camp and paraded all of my armed men, and found that I had but 55 men that were armed with arms suitable to engage the enemy with. Leaving My pack-mules and unarmed men at that point I moved on, intending to take a position near their camp and remain until the break of day before making the attack, but when within a quarter of a mile of their camp we ran upon their pickets. I ordered my advance guard to charge upon them, which they did with spirit. I followed up closely, intending not to give them time to form, but on arriving in sight of their camp I found that they had been advised of our approach and were prepared to defend themselves, having all their tents lighted up. I instantly formed my men and ordered a charge. The enemy was found in front of the court-house and posted in several adjoining buildings. We charged upon those in the street, tramping them down and scattering them in all directions. We then charged upon those in the court-house and drove them out, they taking shelter in the adjoining brush. Learning that a large body of the enemy was forming in the street below, I ordered Captain Peabody to attack them, which we did, charging upon them with great ferocity, driving them back, they taking shelter in the house and stables, keeping up a continued fire upon us. I then drew off my men and formed them in line of battle on the enemy's camp ground, excepting them to come out of the houses and give us a fair fight; but we soon found that it was impossible to draw them out, and as they had 8 men to our 1 I concluded that it would not be prudent to attempt to drive them out of the houses.
It was impossible for me to learn the number killed and wounded of the enemy, it being dark and many of them in houses. Our men saw 3 killed and 10 wounded. I put their loss at 10 killed and 20 wounded. We had but 2 men slightly wounded.
My officers and men fought well. Captain Peabody, Lieutenants Biser and Miller, and Captain Gibbs are among those that distinguished themselves.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
ROBERT R. LAWTHER,
Colonel Missouri Partisan Rangers.
AUGUST 2, 1862.- Skirmish on Clear Creek, Near Taberville, Mo.
Report of Colonel Fitz Henry Warren, First Iowa Cavalry.
Butler, Bates County, Mo., August 4, 1862.
MAJOR: I have the honor to report that a detachment of my command, under Capts. J. W. Caldwell and Heath, consisting of 135 men, made an attack on a body of from 400 to 500 guerrillas, near Gordon's farm, on Clear Creek, corner of Saint Clair County. The rebels were strongly posted in the edge of the timber and were protected by thick brush. Captain Caldwell made a movement on their front and Captain Heath on their flank. Captain Heath, in moving to his position, encountered an ambush, and had to run the gauntlet of their entire line.