War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0289 Chapter XXV. ENGAGEMENT AT NEWTONIA, MO.

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Numbers 3. Report of Colonel George H. Hall, Fourth Missouri Cavalry (Militia), commanding brigade.


Six miles east of Sarcoxie, Mo., October 1, 1862.

GENERAL: Being left in command of your brigade during your temporary absence at Springfield, Mo., I beg leave to submit the following report:

At about 8 a. m. of the 30th ultimo firing from artillery was heard in the direction of, and supposed to be at or near, Newtonia, mo. The firing was continued until about 10 o'clock of the said day, when it ceased. I had seen Brigadier-General Schofield's letter of instructions to different commanders in his division, directing them not on any account to risk a defeat. I had seen General Salomon's estimate of the number of the enemy's troops of Newtonia, Mo., which was 8,000; also Colonel Weer' estimate, which was about 11,000. I was also aware of the fact that the forces of General Salomon, of Colonel Weer, and of your brigade did not number near 8,000. General Salomon never, by word or letter, intimated to me that he intended attacking the enemy word or letter, intimated to me that he intended attacking the enemy at Newtonia. I was therefore lost in conjecture as to who were engaged in firing the artillery we heard in the morning. About 10 a. m. of the said 30th ultimo I received the following order:

Advance immediately toward Newtonia. Heavy firing in advance.


Assistant Adjutant-General.

Colonel HALL,

Commanding Fourth Brigade, Missouri State Militia.

P. S.-Send answer by bearer where you will strike Newtonia road.

This was the only communication ever received by me from General Salomon concerning the movement of the troops under my command at that time. It left me in utter ignorance of General Salomon's intentions. I did not know whether he intended to advance with his forces from Sarcoxie toward Newtonia. I was entirely without information of the intention of General Salomon. I desired him to send me a messenger. He neither sent me a messenger or a line, nor did he communicate with me in any way until I reached the battle-field.

Immediately upon the receipt of the above order from General Salomon I ordered the different regiments, battalions, and companies of the brigade to march. We marched toward Newtonia by the way of Jollification. We marched about 8 miles. I had not heard any firing since we started. I had not received any communication from General Salomon. I was ignorant of his movements or intentions. I had no means of knowing the result of the morning's engagement, but had good reason to believe that the enemy had maintained his position. By marching to Newtonia by way of Jollification the whole force of the enemy would be directly between my command and the troops of General Salomon, whether they were at Sarcoxie or advancing from Sarcoxie to Newtonia.

I therefore, upon consultation with the principal officers of your brigade, determined to march west until I struck the road leading from