above Rocheport, at 9 a. m. this morning. A sharp skirmish ensued. There were several lost, killed and wounded, on each side. I leave in ten minutes for scene, and will be with them before midnight. I will endeavor to organize district when I get back.
JUNE 20-23, 1863.-Scouts from Waynesville, Mo.
Report of Captain Josiah C. Smith, Fifth Missouri State Militia Cavalry.
WAYNESVILLE, MO., June 28, 1863.
MAJOR: Of the two late scouts made by your orders, I have the honor to report that on Saturday evening, the 19th [20th], when about 6 miles out of camp, I came across a gang of 26 bushwhackers. With my squad of 8, I pitched into them, and scattered them in all directions. It was in a short time a general running free fight, in which one of the men was taken prisoner, his horse and equipments taken, and he turned loose, on parole of a man signing himself S. S. Tucker, but whose real name is Benson Woods. The parole is, of course, not valid. Night coming on, we returned to camp, bringing only one pair of saddle-bags filled with provisions (As trophies).
Leaving camp again on the morning of the 20th, we scouted the country between Robideaux and Gasconade to near the line of Laclede County. On the 21st, discovered signs of a band. On the 22nd, struck there trail; but previous to this I had joined Lieutenant [C. C.] Twyford, of my company, with a squad of men, now making our number up to 27. Abut noon we came across the band grazing their horses; but they discovered us about the same time we did them, but we were on to them so quick that only 2 of them succeeded in mounting, 1 of whom we caught, after a chase of nearly 2 miles; also 4 loose horses. Of those that we left afoot, 2 escaped, but their leader, a noted stage robber by the name of Casey, was killed. And here allow me to mention the noteworthy conduct of William Wilson, a citizen of this place, who evinced true courage and determination in chasing up and capturing these outlaws, having his horse shot under him, but never faltering as long as anything was to be done. On the 23rd, we struck the trail of the two who had escaped on foot. After trailing them about 25 miles, we came upon them as they ran from their old den, which is in Wright County, 10 miles southwest of Mountain Store, and am sorry to say that circumstances were such that we were forced to take these two villains prisoners. We had now four out of the five first routed.
We then proceeded to their camp, near by, which the Lebanon troops said had been entered by them; but in this they were mistaken, although they had found several camps, and been within 200 yards of their last hiding place, and, no doubt, had caused them to evacuate in a hurry, as we found left in camp one Austrian rifle, one shot-gun, curry-comb, brushes, shoeing tools, &c. We could find nothing of their trail owing to the heavy fall of rain. We now turned our heads toward camp, and scouted over many miles of country, visiting portions of your counties, and stirring the secesh up in general.