Today in History:

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


them, and on their return I rode up myself, and he still refused to give information to me, and emphatically declared not to know anything about the marauders. His behavior during all this time was exceedingly insulting, and, on his inquiry to what troops or corps we belonged, when answered by me "To the First Missouri Cavalry," he remarked snubbishly, "You are a pretty man. A Missourian fighting against Missourians. You ought to be on the other side" (meaning the Southern Confederacy or Price's army). On his constant refusal to guide me and command in the direction which the marauders had taken I ordered 2 men to take him, ordering at the same time a horse to be saddled for him. He still resisted stubbornly, and the men drew their sabers in order to force him. He at last went along with us, evidently trying to evade leading or guiding us toward the right direction in which the marauders had gone, leaving it entirely to us to ferret the proper direction, and only by following the track left by the wagon was it that we succeeded in coming onto the marauders, who had come to a halt in the thickest part of the brush. Here we encountered about 12 of the party, who, when attacked by us, immediately ran into the brush and made good their escape, with the exception of 2, who were shot dead. We succeeded in recapturing 18 horses, 3 mules, 1 wagon, 4 sets of harness, and 5 guns, also some horse equipage, blankets, &c. our men scoured the brush for some time yet, but without further success. All this took place within a half and less than a mile from Field's house.

After the attack was over, and when the skirmishers commenced to rally again, I gave orders to Sergeant Clino and Private Ramsay, of Company E, to take Fields aside, in order to question him about where the harness and rest of the horses had been taken to, and during this marauders had stopped at his house. While making this confession something drew the attention of Sergeant Clino and Private Ramsay from the prisoner, and while they were looking to another direction Fields started to run into the brush, and observing this Sergeant Clino ordered him to stop, two which he paid no attention, but kept on running, when both at once fired after him, both shots taking effect, the result of which was fatal to Fields. Had Fields not tried to run, or had he halted when ordered so to do, no shots would have been discharged at him, and his own imprudence is to blame for this result; expressly so, because he overheard me plainly when I told Sergeant Clino not to let him escape. It is my humble opinion that Sergeant Clino and Private Ramsay did no more than would have been done by any other soldier in the service of the United States under similar circumstances, and I freely bear testimony that no other object caused the often-mentioned Sergeant Clino and Private Ramsay to take this step than the pure intention of serving the good cause of their country. This is the true statement of all the facts connected with this affair; and while I am exceedingly sorry about the result, I at the same time must be leave to acknowledge that I see no cause to punish, or even reprimand, Sergeant Clino and Private Ramsay for discharging what they thought to be their duty.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

Allow me to sign myself, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Second Lieutenant, Company E, First Mo. Ca., Commanding Scout.

Colonel W. A. WHEATLEY,

Twenty-sixth Indiana Infantry, Commanding Sedalia, Mo.