completely routed, with loss of between 60 and 70 killed, wounded, and prisoners, principally killed; all his train, stores, &c. The rout was so complete that no remnant of his command could be found together.
At White Rock Prairie I was re-enforced by a battalion of the Eighth Missouri State Militia Cavalry, with orders to march to Bentonville, Ark, and report to Colonel [W. F.] Cloud. Arriving at Bentonville, found Cloud had moved, leaving instructions for me to move in southwest direction toward Fort Gibson, in Indian Nation. At Fort Gibson received instructions to march to Honey Springs, on the Canadian. Here joined Major General Blunt's command, and moved with him throughout his entire raid into Arkansas and Indian Nation, participating in all the engagements of the expedition. At the battle of Back Bone Mountain I lost 2 men killed and 2 wounded. Returned to Fort Smith, which place we occupied September 1, 1863. We remained at Fort Smith one week, continually scouting in direction of the enemy, giving aid to thousands of oppressed loyal men, who had been forced into the rebel ranks by the brutality and despotism of the Confederate rulers, to come into our lines, which they did, with horses and arms, and, in almost every instance, enlisted in the United States service. It was clearly demonstrated that three-fourths of the rebel army of Arkansas and Texas were Union men, and could not be forced to fight the armies of the Federal Government. Throughout the entire raid the people rejoiced at the change; their only fear was that the country would not be held by our troops. We remained at Fort Smith until re-enforcements had arrived sufficient to make the post secure, when, upon representation of the condition of my command, being destitute of stores, I was relieved by order from General Blunt, and allowed to return. On the return march I destroyed two large tanneries, one distillery, and a large lot of leather, hides, &c.
We were out six weeks, without tents or a change of clothing, and a great portion of the time on very short rations; marched over 700 miles. The sanitary condition of the command could not have been better. I did not leave a sick man on the trip.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. C. CATHERWOOD,
Colonel, Commanding Expedition.
Brigadier General JNO. McNEIL,
Commanding District of Southern Missouri.
HDQRS. DISTRICT OF SOUTHWESTERN MISSOURI,
Springfield, Mo., August 15, 1863.
Colonel E. C. CATHERWOOD,
Commanding Expedition against Coffee:
COLONEL: Your dispatch from the field* near Pineville, announcing your defeat of Coffee and his band, has been received. I heartily congratulate you on this distinguished success. You will tender to the brave officers and men of your command, including the command of Captain Burch, my cordial and sincere thanks for their bravery, endurance, and devotion to duty, testified on this expedition. The rout of Coffee seems to have been signal and complete, and the southwestern counties of our State are thus relieved of the terrors of a ruthless marauder and thief. I hope the pursuit may continue to be conducted with the
* Not found.