· It was really good to get out once again.
· Even though there were only eight of us, we still drilled on things we could and it went well.
· Combining with the 3rd Missouri.
· Colonel Brad Amend and Color Sergeant Shawn Bell fell in with us as privates on Saturday.
· Sunday was a picture perfect day as far as weather is concerned.
· A little cold on Saturday.
· A lot cold Saturday night.
· Water was a long ways off.
· Getting into the fight when there were only about 7 Yankee’s left on Sunday’s battle. We stood longer waiting for prizes to be drawn than we did actually shooting.
· Directions to the dance from a teenage girl. “You turn ‘That Way!’”
Colonel Brad Amend (Sat) as a private
Captain Daniel Keith
Color Sergeant Shawn Bell (Sat) as a private
1st Sergeant Laurence Bryan
1st Corporal Jim Bearden
2nd Corporal John Ezell
Private Douglas Cobern
Private David Hunt
Private Joshua Keith (Sat)
Private David Thompson (Sat)
Dawson (Colonel Amend’s Grandson)
Dear Lieutenant Colonel David Alexander,
As you know, the 4th Missouri arrived on Friday evening. Our camping arrangements were made and we settled in for the evening. On the next morn we heard rumors of Yankee infantry and artillery moving our direction. We were combined with the 3rd Missouri and 15th North West Arkansas for both days of the battle. We had the honor of being selected as Color Company. After battalion drill and sporadic company drill we heard word the Yankees should make contact around 2PM.
The battalion was formed at 1:30 PM and marched into position. After the 26th Texas skirmished with the Yankees the battalion was called into position. The battle was hot and heavy. We made several advances and came within spitting distance of the Yankees. Soon their withering fire started to take a toll and we withdrew. I am proud to note that the Color Company never broke and only retreated when ordered too. The 4th Missouri’s casualties were three wounded including one officer and 1 killed.
The Yankee’s held the field but was unable to drive us from our encampment. The local population threw a dance in order to increase the spirits of the Confederate forces, for we all knew that there would be another day of hot action.
We woke up to a very cold but sunny Sunday Morning. A local church of my persuasion was holding a service so I attended and left 1st Sergeant Laurence Bryan in charge of the 4th’s contingent for the few hours that I was absent. Our local spies had reported of the arrogance of our enemies for they camped in the open without en-trenching with some pro-union civilians with them. Again the 26th Texas was first to engage the enemy. Secondly, the 22nd Arkansas was broken off from the battalion in a flanking maneuver. After a while the 22nd Arkansas was relieved by the 16th Arkansas. By the time the Color Company was put into the fray Yankees were almost completely depleted with less than a quarter of their strength still in the fight. The Color Company shot maybe five rounds and the Union men quickly so the hopelessness of their situation and turned their muskets over and surrendered. The prisoners were treated with respect. We had one casualty, and officer wounded and one deserted from the 3rd Missouri.
With the Yankee’s driven from the field and leaving their encampment it was time for the Missourians to head back to Missouri and defend our homes and families.
We thank you for allowing us the opportunity to fight with our brothers of the 1st Arkansas.
Your obedient servant,
Captain Daniel Keith,
Fourth Missouri Infantry Regiment
First Missouri Battalion
Missouri State Guard