winds to wail the requiem of the past, my brigade, consisting of the First Regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel [B. F.] Gordon; Second Regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel [C. A.] Gilkey; Third Regiment, Colonel [G. W.] Thompson; the scouts, Major Elliott, and Captain Quantrill's old company, under First Lieutenant Gregg, were on the march for foray on the border's side.
The day was auspicious; a bright red sun had tempered the keen air to pleasantness, and cheered the mounted soldiers with the hopes of a gay and gallant trip. The first two days' march was long and comfortable; the third the rain commenced, cold and chilling, and continued without intermission for three days, the grand old mountains standing bare against the dull and somber sky, their heads heavy with the storms of centuries. The men suffered much, but, keeping the bright goal of Missouri constantly in sight, spurred on and on quite merrily.
For two days all went well. The third day my advance, consisting of Major [B.] Elliott's scouts, came suddenly upon about 100 notorious bushwhackers and deserters, who fired upon them quite stubbornly; but upon dismounting several companies of Colonel Gilkey's regiment, in conjunction with Elliott's battalion, and following them in their almost inaccessible retreat, 20 were killed, about the same number wounded, and many prisoners taken, and this murdering, robbing, jayhawking band broken up completely and effectually. Thus the skirmish of White Spring, successful as it was, proved to be the prelude of the victories of Springfield and Hartville. The rain commenced now in earnest, and for three days its cold, merciless peltings were endured by the men without a murmur, although the sky was dark and barren as a rainy sea, and the keen northeast wind pierced the thin clothing of the men with icy breath.
The 4th, 5th, and 6th were spent in long and cold forced marches, varied somewhat by Colonel MacDonald's successful sally upon Fort Lawrence and your advance upon the fortified town of Ozark. Five miles from this place, by your order, I halted my brigade, and gave them time to forage their animals and cook something for themselves, which they did, and were again in marching order by 9.30 o'clock. At this place, and before we started to attack Ozark, I sent Major Elliott and his scouts and two companies from Lieutenant-Colonel Gilkey's regiment to gain a position in the rear of the town, on the road leading north, and cut off their retreat. He gained the position thus indicated, but gained it too late, for the Federals had left in hot haste long before Major Elliott could have possibly got around them. Upon arriving in close proximity to Ozark, and not being satisfied as to its evacuation, I dismounted the half of each regiment composing the brigade, formed them as infantry, and, feeling my way along slowly and cautiously, with numerous skirmishers, I soon found that the nest was there and it was warm, but the birds had flown, and nothing remained to do but apply the torch to fort and barracks. Soon the red glare of flames burst out upon the midnight sky, and the cold, calm stars looked down upon the scene. Several prisoners were here taken, and any quantity of commissary stores, but, having no transportation, all, except a small portion consumed by the men, were destroyed, and by 12 o'clock we were again marching northward. It was an intensely cold night, that of the 7th, and the frost hung heavy and chill on the garments of my devoted brigade, marching on to the stronghold of the enemy with a determination in their hearts rarely surpassed.
The sun came up on the morning of the 8th like a ball of fire, and the day was gloomy and chill; but Springfield loomed up before us in the