AUGUST 16, 1862.--Action
at Lone Jack, Mo.
No. 3. -- Report of Capt. Milton H. Brawner, Seventh Missouri Cavalry.
Lexington, Mo., August 20, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report that the forces sent out by your order, under command of Maj. Emory S. Foster, Seventh Regiment of Cavalry, Missouri State Militia, consisting of detachments from five companies of the Seventh Cavalry, Missouri Volunteers; three companies of the Sixth Cavalry, Missouri State Militia; two companies of the Eighth Cavalry, Missouri State Militia, and three companies of the Second Battalion of Cavalry, Missouri State Militia, together with a section of two pieces of the Third Indiana Battery, in all 806 men, marched on the 15th instant to Lone Jack, 32 miles southwest of this place, arriving there about 9 o'clock same evening.
Having ascertained, immediately upon arriving there, that about 800 rebels, under the command of Colonel Coffee, were encamped about 1 mile south of the town, we prepared against a surprise. The artillery was brought into position, commanding the lane through which we were passing, while skirmishers were thrown out on each flank and to the front, and the whole column moved forward. After advancing about three-fourths of a mile, between the town and the camp of the enemy, their cavalry charged down the lane upon us, but were received with a volley of musketry, which scattered them in all directions. Their camp was at the same time shelled by the battery with good effect. The enemy having fled, and no further demonstrations on their part being anticipated, the command returned to Lone Jack, arriving at 11 o'clock, and encamped for the night.
On the morning of the 16th, about daylight, we were attacked by an entirely different force, commanded by Cockrell, Thompson, Hays, Quantrill, and others, numbering about 3,200, who, as we afterward learned, had been encamped about 9 miles northwest of Lone Jack. They came upon us under cover of corn fields and ridge fences, pouring upon us a most deadly fire, to which we replied with spirit. Our battery of two guns, supported by Company A, Seventh Cavalry, Missouri Volunteers, opened upon them with terrible effect, scattering them in confusion. They rallied, however, supported by overwhelming numbers. The battery was taken, but we retook it. Again it was lost and retaken. The contest at this time was terrible. Two-thirds of the detachment supporting the battery and 24 of the 36 men belonging to it are reported among the killed and wounded.
During one of the charges, made to recapture the battery Major Foster was dangerously wounded, and the command devolved upon me.
The struggle was continued for nearly five hours, our men fighting gallantly during the whole time against vastly superior numbers, as well as better position on their part. Two parties having been detached the day before, our forces did not amount to more than 720 men.
Nearly every officer of the command, including myself, was either killed or wounded. The enemy was finally driven from his position, and the hard-fought field was ours.
At this juncture the force under Coffee, whom we had repulsed the evening before, again appeared on our left flank, with the evident design of surrounding our worn-out troops and cutting off all retreat. The men being utterly exhausted, and our ammunition almost gone, I deemed it unadvisable to hold the ground longer, and accordingly got the command together and marched off in good order toward this post, unmolested by the enemy.
We were forced, much to our regret, to leave the battery behind, the horses attached to it having all been killed and the harness mostly destroyed and other portions of the equipage scattered in all directions. The gallantry of the men was conspicuously displayed after the last recapture of the battery, they being forced to handle the guns entirely without the aid of horses. No horses could be obtained to draw the guns from the field, and we spiked one of them and otherwise very much injured the other, while the ammunition belonging to them was mostly destroyed before we left. The command arrived at this post on the same evening at 7 o'clock.
I take great pleasure in mentioning the courage and good conduct generally displayed by the men of the command. Among those deserving special mention for gallant conduct were Capt. H. P. Spellman, First Lieut. Charles R. Combs, and Orderly Sergt. John P. Anderson, Company C; Lieut. Robert D. Anderson, Company A; Lieutenant [Samuel M.] Baker, Company I, and Lieutenant [John] Schee, of Company E, Seventh Cavalry, Missouri Volunteers, and Captain [William W.] Owens and the officers and men of the Eighth Cavalry, Missouri State Militia; Asst. Surg. W. H. H. Cundifi, Second Battalion Cavalry, Missouri State Militia, also deserves special mention for gallant conduct and faithful performance of his duty while on the field. Sergt. J. C. Updegraff, of the Third Indiana Battery; displayed great gallantry and good conduct.
Our loss is, killed, 43; wounded, 154; missing, 75. Total, 272. The enemy acknowledge a loss of 118 killed. The number of their wounded is not definitely known, but undoubtedly much exceeds that of the killed. Of those reported missing at the close of the action numbers are returning daily, materially diminishing our loss.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
M. H. BRAWNER,
Captain Company A, Seventh Cavalry, Missouri Volunteers.
Col. DANIEL HUSTON, jr.,
Seventh Cavalry, Mo. Vols., Comdg. Sub-Div., Central Mo.
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