War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0672 MO., ARK., KANS., IND. T., AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXXIV.

Search Civil War Official Records

insulters of unprotected women, and the murderers of old and infirm men. I made my dispositions as follows: Coffee was to make a detour and gain the rear of the town; Gordon to take position on the right flank and extend his line to Coffee, as was Shanks on the left, while I, with [J. C.] Hooper and Hunter, the artillery and the battalion, made the attack and drove them in their fortifications. The plan was well and skillfully carried out, and the doomed enemy were encompassed by a cordon of steel before they knew of a foeman near. Thorp, with his usual dash, drove their pickets into town, where they, with the main body, took refuge in a strong brick court-house, pierced and loopholed for musketry, where they kept up a hot fire upon our advancing columns. Without artillery this position could only be taken at a heavy sacrifice, and the Federals were already beginning to laugh at the fire of my skirmishers, when I ordered my cannon into position and sent two balls crashing through the walls. This was followed by an immediate demand for unconditional surrender, which, after some little parley, they agreed to, and all their horses, arms, stores, and everything they possessed fell into my hands. The men I paroled and left at liberty, thinking it best not to weaken my command by detaching from it the guards it would have been necessary to furnish to send them to our lines.

Halting in Neosho only long enough to distribute the arms and ammunition, I pushed on rapidly for Sarcoxie, resting on Jones Creek some five hours, and fed my command.

October, 4, passed through the blackened and desolated won of Sarcoxie, whose bare and fire-scarred chimneys point with skeleton fingers to heaven for vengeance; then to the town of Oregon,m or Bower's Mill, a notorious pest spot for the militia, which was sacked and then swept from the face of the earth, to pollute it no more forever, and halted within 18 miles of Greenfield.

By daylight of the 5th the town was surrounded. The nest was there, and warm, but the birds had flown. Our advance had a brief, short fight with their rear, killing some and capturing some. Here I appropriated the contents of several stores, captured a quantity of arms, and destroyed a strong fort, and rested for the night 10 miles north of Stockton, after burning a fort there and driving out a few militia.

All along this road the inhabitants had their household furniture taken from their houses, and waiting in silence and in sorrow for us to apply the torch, it having been represented to them that my command was laying the country waste, as though God had sent the whirlwind and the storm to drive back the laws of nature and desolate the land with fire, pestilence, and famine. On this route every house belonging to a Southern family was been burned, and the family as effectually destroyed as if the waves of the Dead Sea had rolled over them with their dread monotony.

October 6, passed through Humansville and encamped within 10 miles of Warsaw, capturing on the road some 30 Government wagons, and picking up many prisoners. This day's march was fruitful of good horses, and many changed hands in a few hours. At Humansville a force of militia attempted to dispute the march of my victorious army, but they were charged and scattered, and driven like sheep to the thick undergrowth and timber that skirts the town.

On the morning of the 7th, I reached Warsaw, and found the Federals drawn up in line of battle to dispute the crossing of the river. Before reaching the town, however, I had sent Gordon's regiment to cut them