Lexington, Mo., August 20, 1862.
I have the honor to report that the forces sent out by your order, under
command of Major 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 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
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 Captain H. P. Spellman, First Lieutenant
Charles R. Combs, and Orderly Sergt. John P. Anderson, Company C;
Lieutenant 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.
Cundiff, 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.
Colonel DANIEL HUSTON, Jr.,
Seventh Cavalry, Mo. Vols., Commanding Sub-Div., Central Mo.
Official Records of the War of the Rebellion;
Page237 & 238 CHAP.XXV. ACTION AT LONE JACK, MO