War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0297 Chapter XXV. ENGAGEMENT AT NEWTONIA, MO.

Search Civil War Official Records

was at that time in command of a brigade of Missouri cavalry), which was effected on the evening of the 26th at the Big Spring, head of Indian Creek.

I assumed command on the 27th. Colonel Hawpe's Texas regiment and Major Bryan's Cherokee Battalion were ordered to Newtonia, having made it an outpost, and the mill at that place was put in operation for the purpose of supplying the command with breadstuffs, which it did abundantly.

Everything remained quiet until the 29th, when the enemy's scouts appeared near Newtonia, but were at once driven back by a detachment from that place. It was reported at the same time that a body of Pin Indians and Federals were at Granby. It being important that we should hold Granby, on account of the valuable lead mines at that place, Colonel Stevens was sent, with his regiment of cavalry, to make a reconnaissance of the place, and if practicable to dislodge the enemy. He reached the vicinity of Granby after dark, but found no enemy.

On the morning of the 30th the enemy appeared in force in front of Newtonia and made a vigorous attack upon the troops at that place both with artillery and small-arms, which was promptly replied to by Captain Bledsoe's battery of two guns, supported by Colonel Hawpe's and Major Bryan's commands, who wee posted behind the stone fence. At the time of the attack I was en route for Granby, having with me Colonel Alexander's Texas cavalry regiment, with the intention of taking possession of and holding that place. Upon hearing the firing we hastened to the scene of action. We found our force hotly pressed by superior numbers of the enemy. Colonel Alexander was at once ordered to take position below the mill on the right, which was obeyed with alacrity under a strong fire of grape and Minie balls. The enemy's infantry had now possession of some of the buildings in the suburbs of the village, their sharpshooters being near enough to pick off our artillerymen from their guns. Colonel Alexander's regiment was forced to remount and fall back to the support of Bledsoe's battery, taking position behind the stone fence east of Ritchie's house to the right of the battery, Major Bryan's battalion being on the left, Colonel Hawpe's regiment occupying the stone barn and yard in front of Ritchie's house. Captain Bledsoe, with his artillerymen, stood gallantly to their guns until the last shot was expended, showering grape and canister among the advancing foe, and when forced to fall back out of range of the enemy's sharpshooters, when ordered to do so, came promptly into battery on the ridge about 150 yards to the right and rear of their former position, near the road from Newtonia to the Big Spring (Camp Coffee), by the way of Dr. Harmon's, though without a solitary shot in their caissons. The effect of this was a once apparent in checking the Federal cavalry on our left, who had commenced advancing the moment they saw the battery retiring. Captain Bledsoe continued to occupy that position under a heavy fire from the enemy's batteries until the close of the action. Colonel Hawpe at this juncture received orders to charge the enemy's infantry, and the head of his men at once went gallantly into the charge. Leaping the stone fence, they met the enemy, when a sharp fight took place; but being exposed to the fire of the enemy's artillery, as well as infantry, were compelled, after succeeding in checking his advance, to fall back to their original position, under cover of the stone fence. At this moment that First Choctaw and Chickasaw Regiment, led by Lieutenant-Colonel Walker, entered the town at full gallop, passed through without halting, singing their war-songs and giving the