Who was Turner anyway?

Who was Turner anyway?

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A Turner Bugler, 2004

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The Army of the Ozark


January and February 1863

From The Missouri Democrat, Tuesday, January 20, 1863.


Results of the Hartsville Fight – The Federal and the Rebel Losses – The Rebels Leaving the State.

[Special correspondence of the Missouri Democrat.]

HOUSTON, MO., January 15, 1863.

Since writing you on the 13th the smoke has sufficiently cleared away from the battle field of Houston to enable us to judge with accuracy of the results of that most glorious little fight. Take it for all in all there has been nothing like it in the annals of the war in Missouri. Remember that our little command numbered but a scanty thousand, divided equally into infantry and cavalry, with only one section of artillery.

The enemy’s forces comprised three brigades, numbering between six and seven thousand, under the leadership of their most celebrated partisan commanders, among whom were Porter, Burbage, Green and Emmet McDonald. Marmaduke commanded in chief. At sunset the fight was virtually ended. It had then raged furiously since one o’clock in the afternoon. Our own men admirably posted in a commanding position, and sheltered by the undergrowth of the woods, suffered but the trifling loss of nine killed and thiry-five wounded. The enemy are known to have lost many of their best and bravest officers, among whom are Emmet McDonald, Brigadier General, and Colonels Thompson and Hinkle, Major Kirtley and Capt. Turpin, killed upon the field. Besides these a Major, two Captains, and two Lieutenants, whose names we have not been able to obtain, were also killed. The celebrated Colonel Porter was wounded in the hip by a shell, and has since died. Captain Crocker lost an arm, and two other Captains are badly wounded. These are all the ascertained casualties. But all night the ambulances were engaged in taking off the rebel dead and wounded, and their aggregate loss cannot be less than three hundred. In the morning a flag of truce was sent into the town to cover their surgeons, and the medical force of both commands assisted each other in relieving the sufferers.

It was the intention of the rebels on leaving Hartville to attack this place, but Generals Warren and Vance, on receiving news of the fight, convinced them that for the present at least, discretion was the better part of valor. They therefore changed direction to the right, and at last accounts were in the vicinity of West Plains, and still moving southward.

Such has been the inglorious termination of this important invasion. The attack on Springfield failed by reason of their inability to concentrate the different commands moving from points so widely separated. But the concentration once made, it seemed an easy task to march through the gaps made in our lines of defense by the expeditions of Generals Herron and Blunt, and seize Lebanon and Rolla, and, on the return, this place and Salem, and such, we learn from paroled prisoners, was the plan adopted. With so large and mobile of force as they possessed, and with such slight obstacles to their progress, who can say that the destinies of Missouri were not again trembling in the balances, and would probably have been lost but for the decision and pluck of our army. With the loss of their principal leaders, their best and bravest soldiers, and the expenditure of ammunition before the allotted time, no other course was left them but to retreat. They had fought bravely, but were whipped, and with a chivalry worthy of a better cause. Marmaduke protected and respected the few prisoners who were taken in the first skirmish, and sent word to our commander that his men “fought like tigers.”