Today in History:

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

Page 20 MO., ARK., KANS., IND. T., AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXV.

Colonel Weer's and Colonel Cloud's brigades, in pursuit of Cooper, and marched with General Totten's and General Herron's divisions toward Huntsville, leaving General Salomon's brigade, of Blunt's division, at Pea Ridge.

General Blunt, after a hard night's march, attacked Cooper in his camp at Old Fort Wayne, near Maysville, and, after a short but sharp engagement, captured all his artillery (four pieces) and completely routed him. The enemy fled in great disorder across the Arkansas River. General Blunt's loss was very small; that of the enemy considerable. The details of this gallant affair are given in General Blunt's official report, already transmitted to department headquarters. This brilliant success illustrated in a high degree the energy and gallantry for which General Blunt and his division are so justly celebrated.

After an almost continuous march of twenty-four hours' duration, over the White River Mountains, Totten's and Herron's divisions reached a point 8 miles west of Huntsville, where the enemy had encamped the day before. The next morning my advance was pushed forward to Huntsville, where it found a small number of the enemy's cavalry, who fled upon our approach. We now learned that the enemy was retreating across the mountains in the direction of Ozark, and had no intention of giving us battle until re-enforcements should arrive. Farther pursuit being therefore useless, and even impossible to any considerable extent, I marched, via the Bentonville road, to Cross Hollow and Osage Springs, reaching those placed October 22.

The expedition to Huntsville resulted in gaining the important information that General Hindman had just returned to his command and that the recent movements had been under his orders; that a small supply of arms and clothing for the conscripts had arrived at Ozark; that McRae, with a brigade of troops, would be up in a few days, and that McBride, and Parsons, who had recently been threatening Pilot Knob and Rolla, were also en route to join Hindman's command with from 3,000 to 4,000 men. These reports, not credited at first, were so corroborated in a few days as to leave little doubt as to their truth.

Having learned that there were still 3,000 or 4,000 of the enemy's cavalry north of the mountains, encamped on the main fork of White River, about 8 miles from Fayetteville, I sent General Herron, with all the available cavalry of his division, across the White River Mountains to strike the enemy in the rear, and General Totten, with the cavalry of his division and a battery of artillery via Fayetteville to attack the enemy in front, while the remainder of General Totten's division moved forward at the same time to Fayetteville to support the cavalry if necessary. General Herron reached the enemy's camp at early dawn on the morning of the 28th, and immediately attacked them with such vigor that, notwithstanding their greatly superior numbers, they were quickly driven from their camp and retreated rapidly into the mountains. They were pursued several miles by a portion of General Herron's command. General Totten's force did not get up in time to take part in the engagement.

Our loss was 5 wounded, 1 mortally. The enemy left 8 killed and 7 wounded on the field. All their camp equipage was destroyed by our troops-a severe loss to them.

Our troops engaged in this affair were of the First Iowa Cavalry and Seventh Missouri Militia Cavalry; total, about 1,000. General Herron and his men deserve special mention for the energy and gallantry displayed.

Page 20 MO., ARK., KANS., IND. T., AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXV.