Huzzah Valley at Steeleville, MO October 4th & 5th, 2008

Sir,

As per the request of Lt. George here is the report from the action at Huzzah Valley 4th and 5th October. 

Pvt. Archie, Bailey, Delker, Gentry, Sneed, and myself arrived at the location of the 1st Missouri Battalion late on the evening of 3rd October.  Lt. George, 1Sgt. Moran, Pvt. Blewitt, and Pvt. Carver had already setup camp.  We proceeded to bed down for the night. 

Reville came at 7am and 1Sgt. Moran conducted roll call.  Members of the 1stMo Dismounted fell in with us later that morning for drill.  Please excuse the informality and lack of surnames.  They were Cpl. Bearden, James, Kevin, and Richard.  All the men did their duty throughout the engagement.  Battalion Parade and Drill followed the Company Drill.  Lt. George told us later that we had received several complements on our ability to maneuver around the field.

Sister Isabelle Tennessee Sharp, local Temperance women, made a visit to camp due to rumors of strong drink within the 1st Missouri Battalion.  She managed to corner a few Privates inside Lt. George's tent but they made a quick escape that any Bushwhacker would have deemed worthy.  The soldiers did come to their senses and presented themselves to Sister Isabelle.  She learned them the ways of temperance and how they should shore up their moral fiber in order to gain a virtuous wife. 

At about 1:30 in the afternoon the Battalion took the field.  It seems that some Lincoln Lov'n  Dutchmen had found the courage to take the field against us.  Armed with our rifles and the knowledge that the good Lord Almighty was on our side set about the days work.  Every man did their duty to their utmost ability.  Lt. Col. Williams in command of the Battalion.  Major Looney was in command of the left wing and Major Cox was in command of the right wing.  We were honored to be Color Company for the engagement.  The battle that followed lasted about 30 minutes.  After a couple of pushes we withdrew a few yards to reorganize after taking some losses.  We were able to push all the way across the field and the German Hirelings left the field with us in command of the ground.  This also happened to be the first time for Pvt. Delker to see the elephant and I can report with great pleasure that he shouldered his responsibility very well and did honor to himself, his family, and the Cause for which we all fight.

That night there was a great celebration.  There was a dance that several of our soldiers attended.  Afterwards there a fireworks display put on by our fellow soldiers in the artillery.

The next morning came without incident.  Lt. George drilled the company in the mid morning.  We practiced several maneuvers and the stacking of arms.  There were also rumors that a Yankee force was approaching our position again, it seemed the poor devils had not had enough.  We would much obliged to show them the way to hell.

At approximately 1:30 in the afternoon the battle commenced again over the same ground.   Major Looney took the 4th Company in the line of March away from the rest of the Battalion on the extreme left flank of the line.  Our Company still held the position of Color Company in the battle line.  Lt. Col. Williams marched us across the field of glory to meet the enemy and drive them from our home.  With great effectiveness of firing by company and then battalion we advanced toward the enemy and slowly drove them back.  Major Looney's force did its job keeping the enemy cavalry occupied and keeping pressure on the Union right.  When we had reached within 75 yards of the enemy line Major Looney's force rejoined the Battalion and we made the final push into that pale blue line and sent the Unionists back to where they came from.  Again our forces ended the day in command of the field

Privates Archie and Bailey were selected to be the Color Guard on both days of the engagement.  Both men did their duty with great honor and upheld the integrity of the 4th Missouri, themselves, and the great state of Missouri.

 

Your Obedient Servant,

Laurence Bryan

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