Scene 9: 1863-65 -- Boyd’s Report
Scene Description: Federal Lt. Boyd comes on-stage in front of curtain CDS apron, salutes, and reads his report.
Federal Lieut. John W. Boyd
SIR: In compliance with Special Orders, No. 42, issued from your headquarters November 3, I started on scout with 15 men of my company, 5 men of Company B and 5 of Company G, in the direction of Spring Valley. Marched that day 25 miles, without discovering anything worthy of note. Visited the residences of Benjamin Carter and Wilson Farrow; they were gone. Burned Carter's house.
November 5, divided the scout. Sent 10 men to march by way of Bay Creek to Jacks Fork. I proceeded with the balance of the command by way of Leatherwood; found fresh trail of horses; followed them on Jacks Fork to the residence of Miles Stephens and brother, Jack Stephens, whom I was satisfied were bushwhackers. Burned the house. Heard that Fred Taylor had been at Stephens' last week with 25 men. Proceeded down Jacks Fork 10 miles, having marched 30 miles that day. Camped at Widow McCormick's. Had positive evidence that the widow had kept a general rendezvous for guerrillas.
On the morning of the 6th, burned the buildings. Learned from the widow's son, a young lad, that on the previous evening James Mahan had got him to give news of our approach. Sent back and took Mahan prisoner. Went down to Jacks Fork to mouth of Mahan's Creek. Prisoner Mahan attempted to escape, and was shot by the guard. On the morning of the 9th, marched up Mahan's Creek. About 9 o'clock discovered about 20 of the enemy on the bluff above us; fired a few shots at them. When they fell back I took 20 men up the hill and reconnoitered expecting to find them in force to give us battle, but they had all fled into the rocky ravines and hills where it was impossible to pursue to advantage. Returned to the road and met 3 men, who started to escape on seeing us; killed 2 of them, whom I ascertained from papers found on their persons to be William Chandler supposed to live in Dent County, and a man named Hackley, who had in his pocket a discharge as lieutenant from Company F, Mitchell's regiment, rebel army. He also had several packages of letters from persons in the rebel army and citizens in Arkansas, directed to persons in Dent and Phelps Counties all of which are submitted for your disposal. Two miles farther on we captured William Story on a United States horse. He attempted to escape, and was killed. Camped that night at Morgan Dean's.
November 8, started in the direction of Houston; marched 5 miles, and captured William Hulsey, James Hulsey, William McCuan, and Samuel Jones at the house of James Harris, all well provided and packed, going to Freeman. One of them had a horse that was stolen some time since from one of our men; also goods of different kinds. They were killed. Jones, on account of his extreme youth and apparent innocence, I brought in, a prisoner. Five miles farther, at the house of John Nicholson, a known rebel and bushwhacker, we captured the said John Nicholson, Robert B. Richards, alias Bruce Russell, and Jesse Story, all of whom were killed. We then marched by way of McCobbin's Mill to Spring Valley, and camped at Wiley Purcel's.
November 9, started direct for this post, and all arrived here in the evening, all in good health, having been out six days, marched 145 miles, killed 10 men, returned 1 prisoner, burned 23 houses, recaptured 9 horses that had been previously stolen, and took 6 contraband horses and mules.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
Lt. John W. Boyd