Today in History:

18 Series I Volume XIII- Serial 19 - Missouri - Arkansas Campaign

Page 18 MO., ARK., KANS., IND. T., AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXV.

the date of my telegram to General Curtis Blunt's force had not been placed under my command. My force at Springfield was quite too weak to cope with the enemy in its front. I had ordered three regiments of infantry and a battery to Rolla to hold that place until General Steele's movement should render it secure and then to join me at Springfield.

Subsequently General Curtis placed the Kansas division under my command and retained the three regiments of infantry at Rolla, making the force there and within supporting distance about 7,000 strong; quite sufficient for its defense.

On September 24 Major-General Curtis assumed command of the Department of the Missouri. I had already on the 23rd, in anticipation of his arrival, directed Lieutenant-Colonel Marsh, who was in charge of my office at Saint Louis, to furnish General Curtis with a copy of my letter to General Steele and to give him full information of the condition of affairs in Missouri.

The commanding general of the department being in position to attend to the State in general better than myself, I requested to be relieved from the command of the District of Missouri and to be permitted to retain that of the troops in the field in the Southwest. This request was granted, and my command of the District of Missouri ceased on September 26, 1862.

The effective force under my command at and near Springfield was 4,800 infantry, 5,600 cavalry, and sixteen pieces of artillery,making a total of 10,800. Of this force 2,500 were required to guard the line of communications with Rolla and the depot of supplies at Springfield, leaving me 8,300 men for active operations. Two regiments of cavalry were, however, incomplete in their organization and equipment, and could not take the field until some time later.

A brigade of cavalry, under General Brown, and two brigades of General Blunt's command, under General Salomon and Colonel Weer, were in the vicinity of Sarcoxie, in observation of the enemy's force, which had advanced as far as Newtonia.

General Curtis having on September 27 placed General Blunt's command subject to my orders, I immediately requested General Blunt to send forward all available re-enforcements to Sarcoxie, informing him that I would join him there with a considerable force. I immediately organized a division, about 6,000 strong (including General Brown's brigade), under the command of General Totten, and sent it forward on September 30.

On the 30th a small force, sent out by General Salomon to reconnoiter the enemy's position, became engaged with a greatly superior force of the enemy's cavalry at Newtonia, and suffered severely. General Salomon moved forward to their support with the remainder of his force, and dispatched to Colonel G. H. Hall, Missouri State Militia (then commanding General Brown's brigade), for assistance. General Salomon reached the scene of action at 12 m., and renewed the engagement, which continued until near sunset, without serious loss on our side, when General Salomon retired from the field, closely pressed by the enemy. At this moment Colonel Hall arrived upon the field, with the enemy. At this moment Colonel Hall arrived upon the field, with about 1,500 cavalry and Captain Murphy's battery, attacked the enemy in the flank, checked his advance, and effectually covered the retreat of General Salomon's brigade. Colonel Hall deserves commendation for the efficient service rendered on that occasion.

The entire force engaged on our side was about 4,500 men. The

Page 18 MO., ARK., KANS., IND. T., AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXV.