Captain Box and his fearless men deserve credit for the brave and manly manner they attacked and defeated this rebel chief and gang, who have so often boasted that Federals were afraid of them. As General Brown is absent in the field, I will make this report directly to your headquarters.
Yours, very truly,
T. T. CRITTENDEN,
Lieutenant Colonel 7th M. S. M. Cav., Commanding 2nd Sub-Military Dist.
Colonel C. W. MARSH,
Numbers 2. Report of Captain Richard M. Box, Seventh Missouri State Militia Cavalry.
HDQRS. CO. H, SEVENTH MISSOURI STATE MILITIA CAV.,
Syracuse, Mo., November 1, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor of submitting to you the following report of a fight took place between a portion of my command and a company of rebel bushwhackers, under Lieutenant-Colonel Willhite, on Monday, the 5th of October last, about 10 miles from this place:
On the morning of the 5th ultimo, I learned that a company of rebels had passed near Syracuse about daylight. I at once ordered out 30 men, and started in pursuit; discovered their trail about 1 1/2 miles from town; followed it some distance, when we found that their track scattered through the woods. I then ordered half of my men to dismount, at the same time dismounting myself, and followed the scattering tracks through the thick brush for about 10 miles, keeping the cavalry about 100 yards in our rear. Came up with them about 2 p. m., when we surprised them with a volley from our rifles. I then ordered a charge, which was done in splendid style by my men, killing several of the rebels. They (the rebels) then fell back, in confusion, some 60 or 80 yards. I then ordered the horses forward, but seeing the rebels forming their line very rapidly, I made another charge, on foot, within 5 paces of their line, pouring a hot and deadly fire into their ranks from our revolvers. I again ordered the horses forward mounted and into line on the double-quick. During this time the rebels had crossed a small ravine, and had again formed in line. I ordered the third charge, which was successfully made by breaking their line. They then fell back in confusion, and continued firing while retreating. Chased them through the woods, scattering them in every direction. I kept all my men in line until I saw the rebels were so scattered that it was impossible for them to make another stand. I then deployed them, and searched the woods till night came on and the darkness prevented further action. Camped out that night about half a mile from where we had the fight. Two of my men were slightly wounded. The rebel loss was 12 killed; several were also wounded, but managed to make their escape. A number of horses were killed and wounded on both sides. My horse was shot in the head and shoulder, and my saddle was struck with some buck-shot.
Among the trophies of our victory was a large rebel flag (the same I sent you, and by you taken to General Brown); four horses; a number of shot-guns and revolvers; a quantity of new boots, clothing, and other articles, as well as some Confederate uniforms.