APRIL 19-20, 1863.-Scout near Neosho, Mo.
Report of Captain, Ozias Ruark, Eighth Missouri State Militia Cavalry.
POST NEOSHO, MO., April 21, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to your orders, on the 19th of the present month, I took command of a detachment of 30 men from Companies L and M, Eighth Missouri State Militia Cavalry, with Lieutenant John R. Kelso, and proceeded in the direction of Seneca Mills, in search of certain notorious bushwhackers in that region of country. Traveling till about 2 p. m., and finding no one, I detailed Lieutenant Kelso, with 5 men, all properly uniformed, and sent them forward for the purpose of obtaining reliable information, while I, with the remainder of the command, proceeded to Scott's Mill and encamped. Lieutenant Kelso returned to me about midnight, and informed me that he had found a kennel of bushwhackers, two of whom had fought till they did. He also had found in Cowskin Prairie a pasture containing a number of cattle jayhawked by the bushwhackers, who intended, in a short time, to drive them to the Southern army. We saddled our horses immediately, and returned to the place indicated, surrounded several house, and found two more desperate bushwhackers, who fought will they did. We then went to a pasture, and found 40 head of cattle, jayhawked by these thieves to sell to the Southern army; all of which, with one two-horse wagon and one horse, I have brought to this post.
Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon Lieutenant Kelso for the daring and cunning he displayed. With five in citizens' dress, and well armed, he succeeded in convincing the bushwacker that he was a dispatch-bearer from General Marmaduke. They freely boasted to Lieutenant Kelso of having driven all the Union people out of the country. They bragged of having killed a number of Federal soldiers, of jayhawking the property of Union men, and said if they got any of the Neosho militia they would have them at the stake. One of these thieves stated that the had been a prisoner at Forty Scott; that he took the oath,put in his pocket, and then stole two United States mules and a wagon, and returned to his home in McDonald Country, Missouri, under protection of the oath. After conversing a short time with the bushwhackers, Lieutenant Kelso made an agreement with them that he and they would jayhawk and collect 100 head of cattle and drive them to the Southern army and sell them, and he and they went out and actually gathered in a few before he reported himself to me at midnight.
The scout was out about thirty hours, and traveled 60 miles, without loss or accident of any kind.
Captain Company L, Eight Missouri State Militia Cavalry.
Captain MILTON BURCH,
Commanding Post Neosho, Mo.
APRIL 25, 1863.-Skirmish at Webber's Falls, Ind., T.
Reports of Colonel William A. Phillips, Commanding Indian Brigade.
FORT GIBSON, C. N.,
April 26, 1863. (Received May 6.)
SIR: Crossed the Arkansas River on the night on the 24th, and marched 30 miles in the night, and at daylight struck the rebels of