|John S. Marmaduke led a Confederate raid into Missouri in early January 1863. This movement was
two-pronged. Col. Joseph C. Porter led one column, comprising his Missouri Cavalry Brigade, out of Pocahontas,
Arkansas, to assault Union posts around Hartville, Missouri. When he neared Hartville, on January 9, he sent a
detachment forward to reconnoiter. It succeeded in capturing the small garrison and occupying the town. The same
day, Porter moved on toward Marshfield. On the 10th, some of Porter’s men raided other Union installations in
the area before catching up with Marmaduke’s column east of Marshfield. Marmaduke had received reports of
Union troops approaching to surround him and prepared for a confrontation. Col. Samuel Merrill, commander of
the approaching Union column, arrived in Hartville, discovered that the garrison had already surrendered and set
out after the Confederates. A few minutes later, fighting began. Marmaduke feared being cut off from his retreat
route back to Arkansas so he pushed Merrill’s force back to Hartville, where it established a defense line. Here, a
four-hour battle ensued in which the Confederates suffered many casualties but compelled the Yankees to retreat.
Although they won the battle, the Confederates were forced to abandon the raid and return to friendly territory.