War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0467 Chapter XXXIV. AFFAIR AT ROUND PONDS, MO.

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August 3, 1863.

GENERAL: The guard was stronger than the attacking party, but the surprise was complete; they were shot in sleep. It is difficult to guard against such surprises, as the swamp is close to the road and very dense. General Davidson sent his train up without any guard, camping on the same ground. He came through in person with but 12; I did the same with 5. One train had just passed; another was but 10 miles behind, with 140 men. The bridge guard was but 3 miles distant. I thought the middle train secure with a small guard. They had about 20 men, besides 40 drivers, armed mostly.


Colonel, Commanding.

General FISK.


August 3, 1863.

GENERAL: The sergeant in charge of captured train just in. He reports that the attack was made from the swamps, but his sentinels on that side were killed instantly and the guerrillas rushed on to the half-awakened men and killed them before resistance could be made. Camping too close to the swamp was the fatal error. It happens the sentinels were posted properly, but the cover was so dense that they were killed before the alarm was given. The teamsters fled to the swamps. Their guard paid for their fault with their lives.


Colonel, Commanding.

Brigadier- General FISK,

Commanding District.

Numbers 3. Report of Lieutenant Colonel J. Ellison, Tenth Missouri Cavalry (Confederate).


August 16, 1863.

GENERAL: Captain John McWherter, who has been out scouting on Crowley's Ridge, has just arrived. Lieutenant [John P.] Taylor and Lieutenant [John R.] Miller are on their way to camp. Captain [Timothy] Reves has not yet arrived at Batesville. Report says he (Captain Reves) has gone into Missouri. Captain John McWherter and 8 other men an engagement with the enemy at Round Ponds, on the road between Cape Girardeau and Bloomfield, Mo. Captain J. [John McWherter] and the others all belong to this command. An account of the fight is as follows: The above little party, finding that a train of wagons belonging to the enemy were on the road, followed, and when the guard, numbering 16, also the drivers, were all asleep they rushed in on the camp of 65 wagons by fire. They captured 19 horses and 7 pistols, and could have taken any number of horses if they had had men to lead them away, as there were at least 400 head of horses and mules at the camp.

I have that all the boast above and below sunk, as per your order. The boat at Jacksonport has not been sunk, although I had given the orders to sink it; but finding that the enemy had not advanced as I supposed they would when I gave the order, therefore I countermanded it.