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JULY 5, 1861
CAPTURE OF UNION TROOPS AT NEOSHO, MISSOURI

Report of Capt. Joseph Conrad, Company B, Third Missouri Infantry (Union) to Colonel Franz Sigel

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., July 11, 1861

SIR:  In accordance with your order, I most respectfully make hereby a statement of facts concerning the surrender of myself and men at Neosho, July 5, 1861:

After you had left Neosho, on the 4th day of July, I observed that the city was very unquiet.  I took all necessary precautions, by placing extra sentinels and sending out patrols every half hour, day and night.  The Fourth passed off quietly.

On the 5th day of July the same precaution was taken.  About 11 o'clock I heard the cannonading, whereon I immediately dispatched a patrol of 20 men, under the command of Lieutenant Damde, to inquire, if possible, the cause of it.  At 1 o'clock I received orders, signed by Brigade Quartermaster Richardson, to retreat with my command, if necessary.  Lieutenant Damde, with his patrol returned about the same time.  They had scarcely returned-in fact, had not been in camp more than ten minutes-before the enemy came pouring in in all directions to the number of about 1,200 to 1,500 men, under the command of Colonel Churchill and Major McIntosh (Arkansas Rangers).  Finding it impossible for me to hold my post with success, after due deliberation, after due consultation with my officers and men, I concluded it would be best to make the surrender as it was required-namely, unconditionally.

We were, after the surrender of our arms, placed in the court-house, where we remained until Monday, the 8th.

I must mention here that the officers of the Arkansas Rangers, as well as of the Missouri troops, behaved themselves quietly, accommodatingly, and friendly, both towards myself and men; but their privates, on the contrary, in a most insulting and brutal manner.

On the 8th we were released, we officers having before given our parole of honor not to serve any more against the Confederate States of America during the war, my men having before sworn to the same effect.  We left Neosho on the evening of the 8th at 5.30 o'clock, with an escort of about 30 men, under the command of Captain Boone, for our security and protection, the people of Neosho and farmers of that vicinity having threatened to kill us in the streets.  Captain Boone escorted us about 4 miles from the camp.  After innumerable hardships and dangers, without food and water, our canteens having all been stolen from us by the Southern troops, we at last reached Springfield, my men all broken down, having traveled the distance of 85 miles in fifty hours, with hardly any food at all.

Having made this statement, I respectfully place the same in your hands to judge my actions.

Very respectfully yours,

JOSEPH CONRAD,
Captain of Rifle Company B, Third Regiment Mo. Vols.

SOURCE: OR, Series I, Volume 3, Page 38.


Report of Brig. Gen. Ben. McCulloch (CSA) to Honorable H. P. Walker, Confederate Secretary of War

HEADQUARTERS McCULLOCH'S BRIGADE,
Camp on Buffalo Creek, Mo., July 5, 1861.

Sir:  I have the honor to transmit the inclosed report, detailing an account of the taking of the town of Neosho, Mo., by a part of my brigade, and of the surrender to them of 80 men, with their arms, &c.  I am now within about 25 miles of the governor of the State, who I learn has been fighting his way to me during the day.  I will push a portion of my force (now nearly 4,000 men) as near to him as possible to-morrow, and do all in my power to relieve him.  It will depend upon his fate what my future movements may be.  My great object in coming into the State has been to relieve the governor and the force under him.  I will again inform you of my whereabouts in the course of a few days.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

BEN. McCULLOCH,
Brigadier General, Commanding.

SOURCE: OR, Series I, Volume 3, Page 38


Report of Capt. James McIntosh (CSA) to General Ben McCulloch

HEADQUARTERS McCULLOCH'S BRIGADE,
Camp at Barlin's Mill, July 5, 1861.

GENERAL:  I have the honor to inform you that in obedience to your orders I started at 11 o'clock a. m. to-day with four companies of Colonel Churchill's regiment of Arkansas Mounted Riflemen and Captain Carroll's company of Arkansas State troops to make an attack upon some Federal troops at Neosho, Mo., in conjunction with Colonel Churchill, commanding six companies of his regiment.  We started on different roads which entered the town -- one from the west, the other from the south -- with an arrangement to make the march of 16 miles in four hours, and upon entering the town to make a simultaneous attack.  I found that the distance was not so much as stated.  It would therefore be necessary for me to have waited near the town an hour, and fearing that information would be carried into town to the enemy, I determined to attack at once, and made my arrangements accordingly.  I dismounted the four companies of Churchill's regiment about a quarter of a mile of the town, and marched them by platoon at double-quick within 200 yards of the Court-House, where we found a company 80 strong.  I sent Captain Carroll with his company to make a detour and to take them in rear.

After halting my command I sent Dr. Armstrong, volunteer aide-de-camp, to demand a surrender of the forces.  I allowed them ten minutes to decide.  At the end of the time the captain in command made an unconditional surrender of the company, laying down their arms and side-arms.  We took 100 rifles with saber bayonets, a quantity of ammunition, and a train of seven wagons loaded with provisions.  Colonel Churchill came up in good time with his command, and made an imposing sight with his mounted riflemen.  The officers and men did everything in their power to make the movement as prompt as possible, and they marched up to within a short distance of a force whose numbers were unknown with a step as regular and a front as unbroken as a body of veterans.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,

JAMES McINTOSH,
Captain, C. S. Army, and Adjutant-General.

SOURCE: OR, Series I, Volume 3, Pages 38-39.


Report of Brig. Gen. Ben. McCulloch to Honorable H. P. Walker, Confederate Secretary of War

HEADQUARTERS McCULLOCH'S BRIGADE,
Camp Jackson, Ark., July 9, 1861.

SIR:  I have the honor to state that I returned to this camp to-day.  It is 2 miles from Maysville, Ark., and 7 miles from the northern boundary of the State.  I started from this position on the 4th instant with Churchill's regiment of mounted riflemen and 1,200 men of General Pearce's brigade, under the command of the general.  General Price, of Missouri, had reached a position in the northwestern [southwestern] corner of his State with 1,700 men.  The general offered to march with me to the aid of the governor of his State, and joined my command as we passed his camp on the first day's march.

From authentic information I had learned that the governor of Missouri had formed a junction with General Rains and was endeavoring to make his way to General Price's camp, and also that every effort was being made by the Northern troops to cut him off....

On the 5th instant I found from authentic information that if the governor was to be rescued by my command, it was necessary to move with more celerity than the infantry and artillery could march.  I therefore moved on with about 3,000 cavalry, leaving the infantry and artillery in camp 28 miles north of this camp.  Upon arriving within 12 miles of Neosho I ascertained that the force had already left that place and marched north against the governor, leaving a detachment in Neosho between 100 and 300 men.  I immediately sent two columns of cavalry on different roads to capture the detachment -- one column of six companies, under Colonel Churchill, and another, under Captain McIntosh of five companies.  The movement was entirely successful, and 137 prisoners fell into my hands, with 150 stand of arms, 1 color, 7 wagons (loaded with subsistence stores), and an ambulance.  In the hurry of reporting this affair I made the amount of property and prisoners captured less than it actually was....

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

BEN. McCULLOCH,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.

SOURCE: OR, Series I, Volume 3, Pages 607-608.


Goodspeed's Account of These Events

The Neosho affair of July 2 [5], 1861, resulted in the capture of Capt. Conrad and eighty men of Sigel's command.  They were quartered in the brick court-house, but seeing the inutility of giving battle to Gen. McCulloch's troops and the Neosho Company of Price's command, who appeared suddenly on the hills, surrendered.  After the capture at Neosho of Maj. [Capt.] Conrad's command by Confederate Capt. Churchill, a messenger arrived from the Federal commissary at Granby.  Seeing P. R. Smith, whom he knew, he asked him which was Col. Sigel; Mr. Smith, thinking he asked for Col. Churchill, pointed to Churchill, and the messenger at once delivered the letter; Churchill, seeing at once what was to be done, ordered Capt. Carroll's detail to Granby to capture Sigel's train, which was accomplished.  He was about to order the messenger to be made prisoner, when Mr. Smith stated he knew the boy, and Churchill turned him over to Mr. Smith's care.

SOURCE: Goodspeed's History of Newton County, Missouri (1888), page 248.


Another Post-War Account of These Events

While on the march information reached us that a fight had taken place at Neosho, Mo. General McCulloch had surprised the enemy there, and Captain McIntosh, Adjutant-General of the Brigade, reported the capture of eighty Federals, one hundred rifles, and seven wagons loaded with provisions.  Two of these wagons were loaded with delicacies and provisions sent by the ladies as a Fourth of July dinner for the Republicans.  Unfortunately both the intended recipients and their luxuries fell into the hands of the Southerners, and the Union dinner well suited rebel appetites.

SOURCE:  William H. Tunnard, A Southern Record.  The History of the Third Regiment, Louisiana Infantry (1866), pages 40-41.

NOTE

Since the Federals at Neosho weren't captured until July 5, it seems likely they ate their own 4th of July dinner.

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