4th Mo Co E, CSA/MSG SOC May 17 - 18, 2008


Captain, sorry for the delay in reporting but the retreat has been difficult with frequent skirmishing with Federal cavalry.  Our company, along with the other companies of the Missouri Battalion and the Arkansas Battalion, began arriving in the vicinity of Kansas City on Friday the 16th of May.  General Price told our Commanders that the Federals were close and to expect a battle the next day.  Our Colonel decided to be on the move early the next morning to avoid being caught in camp by the Federals.  Most of us spend a restless night thinking about the morrow, listening to Federal supply trains near us and fighting the relentless attack of ticks.


The Battalion was on the move by 6 AM on Saturday the 17th of May.  We moved through some narrow roads in the woods down one hill and up the next.  Our flankers were out to detect the approach of the enemy.  After much walking on our part and having finished their breakfast, we made contact with the Federals.  The fighting was at first among skirmishers, then companies and finally at battalion and brigade level.  We had to get pushing the Federals who seemed content to stay near their main camp.  Our force got into a tight spot by being aggressive and only avoided disaster with the aid of our cavalry.  We finally broke contact and set up a temporary camp to rest, refit and find water.


That afternoon the artillery from both armies began to exchange shots.  We formed up and began moving across an open field towards the Federals.  It was an intense fight with gallant charges made by our boys.  We were able to push the Federals from the field and the day was ours.  The price was high.  We suffered many casualties.  Not only from the battle but from fatigue caused by the heat and extensive marching up and down many hills and valleys.  We returned to our main camp and rested the rest of the evening and night except for fighting the ticks.


The next morning, Sunday the 18th of May, started off quiet.  We had time for breakfast and even a church service given by the Captain of the 4th MO.  We moved out near noon and waited for the battle that everyone knew was coming.  The battle began with artillery fire and the Battalions formed for fight.  We moved out again towards the Federal, who seemed in greater numbers than the day before.  We made numerous advances and were supported by one artillery piece that kept moving with our advance.  After much fighting we made one last charge, but the Federals were to many and we were forced to retire.  We knew then that we would have to retreat south towards Springfield, Missouri and maybe into Arkansas.



Stand of Colors--now known by the Missouri boys as Stand of Ticks


The good.  1.  The weather-nice both days

                2.   Location-although our camp was in a poor area the overall site was good.  

                      Perhaps someday our Commanders can be allowed to pick a better camp 


                3.   Our cavalry-the were aggressive and saved our bacon a few times.

                4.   The horse drawn artillery-not sure who they were but if they are not part of 

                      the Missouri Brigade I vote we adopt them.  They moved up with us and 

                      supported us during both battles.


The Bad    1.   The ticks-way to many count or the fight off.

                 2.  The camp site-shade is nice but shade is also on the edge of fields along the

                      tree line.

                 3.  Water-if we are to move around a site water must be in position and kept full

                      for us.

                 4.  Parking-as reenactors we should be able to park on site out of view or close

                      enough to walk to in order to get items in our vehicles during the weekend.



Respectfully, Cpl.  Jim Bearden


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