War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0763 Chapter XXXIV. ATTACK ON BLOOMFIELD, MO., ETC.

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raised, and knowing that the hunt was broken up for that time, we started back to camp, with 5 rebel prisoners, 1 Federal soldier, and 6 horses, belonging to the prisoners we captured. The prisoners are all men of desperate character, being regular guerrillas, that have infested and been a terror to all the loyal citizens of the Southwest.

I subscribe myself, your obedient servant,

MILTON BURCH,

Captain, Com'dg Department Eighth Missouri State Militia Cavalry.

NOVEMBER 29-30, 1863.- Attack on Bloomfield, Mo., and pursuit of the Confederates to Brown's Ferry, Ark.

REPORTS.

Numbers 1.- Captain Valentine Preuitt, First Missouri Cavalry.

Numbers 2.- Major Josephus Robbins, Second Missouri State Militia Cavalry.

Numbers 3.- Major Samuel Montgomery, Sixth Missouri Cavalry.

Numbers 1. Report of Captain Valentine Preuitt, First Missouri Cavalry.

HEADQUARTERS,

Bloomfield, Mo., December 2, 1863.

SIR: I received information, about the 25th of November, that a force was being concentrated some 50 miles south of here, for the purpose of co-operating with other forces being raised farther south, with a design of making a raid upon this place. About the 27th of November, I learned that a large force had been raised, and were on the west side of the Saint Francis.

In the mean time I received your dispatch, wanting me to be on the alert to defend myself. I immediately made preparations to defend the post until the last, and remained in readiness until the morning of the 29th, when I was surrounded by 500 rebels, about 7 a. m., and immediately opened the fight with two small howitzers, throwing shell into the ranks of the enemy, which soon made them disappear from the hills which surrounded the place, and take refuge int eh hollows and sinks beyond. At 8 a. m. they sent in a flag of truce, demanding the surrender of the place, stating that they had us completely surrounded, my communications cut, and that we should be treated as prisoners of war, threatening to charge and take the place on a refusal to comply with the demand. I went over and met the flag myself. It was signed by one Lee Crandall, colonel, C. S. Army, commanding. I simply answered that "I was ready to fight, but not surrender; if they wanted to fight, to open the ball."

I returned to the court-house and opened fire on them the second time. After firing several shots into them, they withdrew, threatening to return soon. I then sent Lieutenant [W. B.] Dorsey, under a flag of truce, proposing to fight them, which they declined, and intimated an intention to retain Dorsey as a prisoner. His ready with saved him, and he was permitted to return, under an escort. On his return he made good