War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0292 MO.,ARK.,KANS.,IND. T.,AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXV.

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a deserted house and corn field on our left (distance from town about 1 1/4 miles). At this point I discovered a strong outpost still farther on our left and nearly in our rear. I ordered Captain Coleman, with his company, to observe their movements, while I directed Lieutenant Opdyke to shell the house and corn field; Major Bancroft, with two companies, to protect our right flank, and Major Pomeroy, with one company, covering the howitzers. A few rounds from our howitzers soon dispersed the enemy, who sought shelter in the town. We then advanced our lines to within three-quarters of a mile of the town and opened on them with the howitzers, but the distance was too great for our shells to do any damage. After remaining on the field for one and a half hours and making what observations I could, the enemy not replying with any guns, I ordered the command to retire. At this time 2 prisoners were brought in, from whom I learned the strength of the enemy in town to be about 2,600, with two pieces of cannon. We fell back slowly to the prairie north of Shoal Creek, rested, retired to camp, and reported to you. On the morning of the 30th I again left my camp at 3 o'clock a. m. with the same command as yesterday, according to your verbal orders, and proceeded to Newtonia, arriving there about 6 o'clock a. m., and fund Lieutenant-Colonel Jacobi, of the ninth Wisconsin Volunteers, with the re-enforcements, already on the ground, and the action had already commenced by Captain Mefford, of the Sixth Kansas Volunteer, driving in the outpost of the enemy on our left in splendid style and taking some prisoners. A portion of the infantry having been ordered forward to a wooded ravine north of the town by Lieutenant-Colonel Jacobi, I now ordered the artillery forward, under command of Lieutenant masterson, to the center, at the same time directing Majors Bancroft and Pomeroy, with the Ninth Kansas Volunteer Cavalry and the two howitzers, to occupy and elevated piece of ground on our extreme right and Captain Mefford was directed to occupy our left. The artillery opened on the town in gallant style with shot and shell. the position of the enemy proved to be a strong one, they having the shelter of several large brick houses, one large stone barn, as well as a long line of heavy stone wall. Near the stone barn the enemy had two pieces of cannon, which opened fire on us in answer to our own. This was the position of things at a bout 7 o'clock a. m. The enemy having got the range of our guns, they were changed to a new position farther to the right and nearer the town and enemy. Their shots were now thrown at random, sometimes on our right, sometimes on our center, and then again on our left, without doing us any damage. The firing from our guns not being as effective as I desired, they were directed to advance still nearer and within about 600 yards of the town. The artillery now played on the position of the enemy with marked effect, dealing death and destruction at each discharge, and for a time their guns were silenced. They soon got them into a new position, but did us no damage.

The Ninth Kansas Volunteer Cavalry, with the howitzers, were now ordered up from our right, and Captain Flesher, with Company E, was directed to support Captain Mefford on our left-the balance to support the battery, the howitzers occupying a position by the side of the larger guns-the balance of the infantry having been ordered forward to the wooded ravine by Lieutenant-Colonel Jacobi. I soon after saw the infantry close to the stone wall already described, from which soon leaped a perfect stream of fire fight into the ranks of the infantry, they returning the fire nobly and slowly retired. And just here permit me to say that the conduct of the infantry under these trying circumstances deserves the highest commendation, showing