May 2, 1864, Warrensburg,
Colonel James McFerran to Captain James H. Steger
HDQRS. FIRST CAVALRY, MISSOURI STATE MILITIA,
Warrensburg, Mo., May 2, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to state that First Lieut. James E. Couch, Company C, First Cavalry, Missouri State Militia, and Francis N. Kelly, bugler, and Joseph T. Mason, private, Company C, First Cavalry, Missouri State Militia, were killed by Quantrill's guerrillas in Johnson County, Mo., on the 28th ultimo, and Jacob Spake, private in same company, was dangerously wounded. These guerrillas had just arrived from the south, and took Lieutenant Couch and his party by surprise. The band is supposed to number from 80 to 100 men, well mounted, armed, and equipped, and are reported to be in Federal uniform. Afterward, on the same day, detachments of Companies D and M, First Cavalry, Missouri State Militia, attacked the guerrillas, and after several sharp skirmishes dispersed them in small parties, capturing the regimental flag of the Fifth [?] Indiana Infantry Volunteers from them. The pursuit was kept up until dark. Whether any of the guerrillas were killed or wounded is unknown. Since then several companies of my regiment have been scouring the county in search of them without success. They are supposed to have gone west. Lieutenant Couch was a very promising young officer and well qualified for the position he held.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel First Cav., Missouri State Militia, Comdg.
Capt. JAMES H. STEGER,
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