JUNE 23--JULY 1,
1862.--Operations about Sibley and Pink Hill, Mo.
Report of Maj. Eliphalet Bredett, Seventh Missouri Cavalry.
CAMP POWELL, LEXINGTON, MO., July 3, 1862.
SIR: Having been detached in command of an expedition against bushwhackers, guerrillas, and others as far as Sibley and vicinity, in Jackson County, and invested with discretionary powers, subject to general orders, I have the honor to report that on the morning of the 23d of June I marched on the road to Sibley with 48 men of Company K, Captain Loring, and 60 men of Company F, Lieutenant McQuary. Arriving at Wellington, I made prisoners of 54 men (all charged with aiding and abetting the rebellion) and sent them under a guard of 12 men to this post. At Napoleon I made prisoners of 25 men, 3 of whom had just returned from the rebel army, and the others had been implicated in the affair of capturing and plundering the steamer Little Blue, committing also outrages on 40 sick soldiers on board. I prosecuted a general search of the town for contraband articles, which I found in various quantities secreted in cellars, hay-stacks, and outhouses, and sent these, together with the prisoners, to this post.
Beyond Napoleon I divided my command for the purpose of three different routes to Sibley, where the three divisions arrived on the afternoon of the 24th instant. Lieutenant Wightman, in command of one division, reported with 7 prisoners, taken in the bottom below Sibley, of whom one Burns, with a safeguard in his pocket, was found in possession of some Government property, a stolen carriage, and a pistol, on which was the name of a notorious bushwhacker and guerrilla. His safeguard having been issued at Independence under Lieutenant-Colonel Buel I sent him to that post for trial. Several others of this lot of prisoners were strongly suspected of connection with the bushwhackers. On my arrival, in obedience to your orders, Lieut. J.M. Vance reported to me from Independence with 60 men of Company D and 20 men of Company B, all of the Seventh Cavalry, Missouri Volunteers. I immediately detached Lieutenant Vance, with his command, ordering him to proceed to a point 8 miles below Sibley, preparatory to moving with a line of skirmishers on the following morning at 4 o'clock to meet a similar line approaching him from Sibley. Thus prepared, on me morning of the 25th instant, with my whole command as skirmishers, I patrolled the timber and brush below Sibley to the distance of 8 miles. By some misunderstanding Lieutenant Vance closed his files to the river at Cogswell's Landing, while my line of skirmishers moving from Sibley was still at a considerable distance, in consequence of which two bushwhackers, driven by my line toward where those of Lieutenant Vance should have been, found nothing to intercept them and made good their escape. After skirmishing an island in the vicinity about 2 miles long, with a chain of vedettes on the main-land, I returned with the command to Sibley without having accomplished any important result. The day had been intensely hot, and the men underwent much suffering, which they bore with cheerful subordination. Making Sibley my headquarters I sent scouts continually in different directions. Two of these above Sibley had each a shot at two bushwhackers running through the brush.
On the morning of the 26th Captain Loring, under orders, returned with his command to Independence. At night I got word that Quantrill, with 800 men, was about to attack my position, and early on the following morning I received a message from Lieutenant-Colonel Buel advising me that a body of Quantrill's men hall been seen the evening previous at Saint Clair's, about 10 miles south. I immediately marched my command in that direction. At the distance of 4 miles out. I discovered, about 2 miles distant, on our left flank, what I took to be the enemy's patrol galloping toward Pink Hill· I immediately sent a detachment of 8 men, disguised as bush whackers, under Lieutenant Wightman, with orders to move with all possible celerity into that neighborhood, and by secret patrol or by communicating with the secesh, without alarming, ascertain the position of the enemy. Lieutenant Wightman hastened to execute this order, and rejoined the column at Pink Hill with information that a small body of Quantrill's men had been there, but had left the neighborhood about an hour previous to his arrival. Further developments leading to the belief that they had gone to the Mapa Settlement, about 12 miles distant, on the following morning, 27th instant, I sent there a scout of 50 men, under Lieutenant Wightman. I also sent scouts in various other directions, who continued to bring arms and prisoners to Pink Hill, my headquarters. The number of prisoners was increased to 24, and Lieutenant Wightman had returned with intelligence that Quantrill's men had passed through the Mapa Settlement out of reach, when on the morning of the 30th instant I ordered Lieutenant Vance to return with his command to Independence, and I marched with mine on the direct road to Lexington. At 5 miles from Pink Hill we halted, and during the night scoured the country 9 miles south in quest of Dueates and his gang of bushwhackers, but without result.
We arrived at Napoleon on the 1st of this month, halted, and made prisoners of 4 men found lurking about the town and destroyed two barrels of contraband whisky. We arrived at this post on the afternoon of the 1st instant, according to instructions, having in custody 28 prisoners, one contraband horse, a quantity of guns, and sundry articles of stolen property found in the possession of the prisoners, all of which I turned over to Captain Rockwell, provost-marshal. I have caused to be delivered to the provost-marshal in all 107 prisoners, all of whom, except two or three, could be proven guilty of treason or misprision of treason. Had warned so many more to report at this post and at Independence to have their cases investigated, and in performing this office had used all proper endeavors to conciliate the enemies of the Government. I marched, with the 60 men from this post, the distance of 96 miles.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major, Seventh Cavalry, Missouri Volunteers.
J. L. CHANDLER,
First Lieutenant, Adjutant Seventh Cavalry, Mo. Vols.
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