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The Fight at Newtonia.


October 1862

From The Missouri Democrat, Wednesday, October 8, 1862.


Colonel Salomon Charges into the Town, But Finds a Larger Force Than He Expected—Desperate Fighting.

[From the Springfield Missourian, Oct. 4.]

From a private in the 5th Kansas Cavalry, who participated in the fight at Newtonia last Tuesday, we learn the following particulars:

Colonel Salomon, on Monday last, learning that there was a rebel force, thought to be about 500 strong, at Newtonia, send about 600 Federal troops—about 175 infantry, the balance cavalry—under command of a Major of the 9th Wisconsin, whose name we did not learn—to drive them out.  They charged into Newtonia on Tuesday morning and found the rebels had been heavily reinforced, having a force estimated at 7,000, with six pieces of artillery.  Our men, of course, had to get out as best they could, the infantry fighting them hand to hand for three-fourths of an hour, as they fell back out or Newtonia.  It is said that if the rebels had managed well they would have captured the Federal troops, having nearly surrounded them twice.  Company H, of the Kansas 6th Cavalry, about 40 strong, were surrounded, but drew their sabres and cut their way out.

The Federal troops fell back about three miles, followed by the rebels, when the former met a reinforcement of about 300 cavalry and four pieces of artillery, making six in all, and in turn drove the rebels back into Newtonia.  A considerable cannonade was kept up for some time between the two armies, our men now having three or four regiments—the 6th Kansas cavalry, 9th infantry, 9th Wisconsin infantry, and a regiment of Indians.  About night our troops commenced falling back to camp for the night.  The rebels followed them, when our men turned on them and drove them back into Newtonia and held the field.

The Federal loss during the day is stated at about 140 killed, wounded and missing.  They were, probably mostly taken prisoners, only 7 are known to have been killed.  Such of our wounded as fell into the hands of the rebels were treated in the most barbarous manner.  Their throats were cut, and their clothing, in many instances, entirely stripped from off them.

The rebel loss is not known, but is thought to be much larger than ours in killed and wounded.

They were still at Newtonia, at last accounts, but we are confident they will not be there much longer.  A day or more will determine who are masters in the Southwest.