War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0681 Chapter XXXIV. EXPEDITIONS TO OREGON COUNTY, MO., ETC.

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PILOT KNOB, MO., October 13, 1863-5.30 p. m.

GENERAL: Major [J.] Wilson, Third Missouri State Militia Cavalry, in command of one of the detachments I ordered to the State line to resist the threatened approach of the enemy from Arkansas, sends me dispatches from Alton, Oregon County, under date of the 10th instant. He had made a rapid march to Evening Shade, Ark., 60 miles south of Alton, where, on the 7th instant, he surprised the enemy in their camp and attacked him. He captured 1 captain, 3 lieutenants, and 56 privates, with their horses and arms, and afterward destroyed their camp, pursuing the fleeing rebels toward White River; returned to Alton. The prisoners have arrived at Pilot Knob, and will be forwarded to Saint Louis.

The citizens of Lawrence County, Arkansas, are organizing to resist the rebel conscription, and are stretching out their hand to the old flag for protection. The rebel general [colonel] Waldo P. Johnston, Missouri State Guard, who succeeded M. Jeff. Thompson, with authority to organize a force in Southern Missouri, which, "from friendly trees," might shoot Union soldiers and citizens, is said to have abandoned the enterprise, and would be very glad again to represent Missouri in the service of the Union.

CLINTON B. FISK,

Brigadier-General.

Major-General SCHOFIELD.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF SOUTHEASTERN MISSOURI,

Pilot Knob, Mo., November 4, 1863.

MAJOR: I have the honor to report that, on 28th day of September, 1863, I issued the following letter of instructions to Colonel R. G. Woodson, commanding post and forces at Pilot Knob:

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF SOUTHEASTERN MISSOURI,

Pilot Knob, Mo., September 28, 1863.

Colonel R. G. WOODSON,

Commanding Post, Pilot Knob:

COLONEL: On Tuesday morning, 29th instant, at 6 o'clock, you will move from this post two detachments of cavalry, commanded, respectively, by Major [J.] Wilson, Third Missouri State Militia Cavalry, and Captain William T. Leeper, Third Missouri State Militia Cavalry. Major Wilson's detachment will consist of 200 men; that of Captain Leeper 150 men. Captain Leeper will move to Wayne, Butler, and Ripley Counties, and as far south as Pocahontas, Ark., if he thinks best. Major Wilson will move, via Centreville, Eminence, and Van Buren, to Oregon County, and into Arkansas, if he thinks best.

The mission of each detachment will be the extermination of bushwhackers, guerrillas, thieves, and murderers, and the restoration of good order and quiet in the regions through which they operate. Straggling, plundering, pillaging, and burning must be prohibited. Let swift and summary punishment be inflicted upon offenders against this order. Let the people among whom these detachments move be made to understand that the United States troops are sent among them to put down disorder, and not to create it.

Each expedition will remain along the border for such time as may be them be deemed best. Much will be expected from them. Vigilance, determination, and perseverance will put an end to the reign of terror, jayhawking, and murder which has been supreme in the border counties.

Commandersk will be directed to keep you advised of their movements by frequent dispatches.

Subsistence, ammunition, &c., will be made ready to-day. The detachments will move promptly, with instructions to march rapidly and surprise the gathering claus of insurgents.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CLINTON B. FISK,

Brigadier-General.