MARCH 5-13, 1863.-Operations in Newton and Jasper Counties, Mo., and skirmish (9th) near Sherwood.
Report of Captain David Mefford, Sixth Kansas Cavalry.
CAMP SALOMON, MO., March 14, 1863.
SIR: Agreeably to your order, I left camp on the March 5, with a detachment of the Sixth Kansas Cavalry, comprising Company A, Lieutenant [Thomas J.] Darling; Company C, Lieutenant [Richard L.] Phillips, and Company H, Lieutenant Campbell, Newton County, a distance of 25 miles,and encamped for the night.
Next morning (Friday) [6th] I went to Granby; scouted Shoal Creek thoroughly in that vicinity, and proceeded to Neosho.
Left Neosho Saturday morning early; scouted the country north and encamped at Savilla, a little village containing about a dozen houses, and each house containing several rebel sympathizers. Lost a valuable horse that night.
Sunday [8th] I went to Diamond Grove, about 8 miles from Savilla, and searched the woods thoroughly, but without any satisfactory result. Then moved down Turkey Creek and went to Sherwood, in Jasper County, a distance of 18 miles. Found a trail, but could get no information as to what troops had passed. It being nearly night, I remained in the town until 3 a. m. Monday. Followed up the trail a short distance, when my advance ran into a picket. Shots were exchanged, in which Sergeant Fountain, non-commissioned staff, was severely, though not dangerously, wounded in the face. The rebel picket was also wounded, but not fatally. Searched the woods and found the camp, which had contained about 70 or 80 men, judging from appearances, which the noted Tom Livingston had left in great hasten, cutting halters and ropes, &c. The bush being so thick it was impossible to follow them. I moved out on the edge of Turkey Creek timber and proceeded about 2 miles, and, seeing several men in a little bend of prairie, the advance went in pursuit, and after a chase of three-fourths of a mile they were suddenly turned upon by Livingston's whole force and obliged to fall back to the main command, still pursued. Seeing them repulsed, I quickly formed my men behind a clump of trees and bushes, dismounted them, and sent them in on foot. The enemy coming within 90 or 100 yards, firing commenced, lasting but a few minutes, the enemy retreating precipitately.
I had 1 man wounded in the leg. Injury sustained by the rebels not known, but, from the appearance of the woods, must have been considerable in horses. I sent Company H in the woods as skirmishers, and found the trail again; but, considering it useless to try to follow them, turned my course toward Neosho, which placed I reached at sundown.
I remained in Neosho Tuesday, getting my horses shod, &c.
Wednesday [11th] morning I was furnished with 40 Indians as scouts by Captain [A. C.] Spillman, Third Indian Regiment, commanding post. Found the trail and followed it for 35 miles, and encamped at Crawford Seminary, Ind. T. Took it up next morning and continued to follow it until about 2p. m. Thursday, without getting any information as to his whereabouts. My men being without rations, and horses run down with hard marching and no forage, I abandoned the pursuit and turned my course toward camp. I marched to Savilla that night.
Next morning [13th], being ready to mount, I heard firing half a mile from camp. I sent the Indians in the woods as flankers, and took the main road, with the Sixth Kansas, Came upon tow men of Company A,