On July 2,1864, Major Reeves Leonard, Ninth Cavalry Missouri State Militia, Fayette, Mo., reported the following incident to Gen. Fisk, Commander of the District of North Missouri in St. Joseph, Mo.:
"Sergeant Koontze, of this command, with fifteen men had a skirmish yesterday six miles from Fayette, with [Clifton] Holtzclaw and twenty-five other guerrillas. Our loss was one killed and one wounded. Holtzcaw's two killed and one wounded. The guerrillas scattered; they were getting their breakfast at the house of one Henry Miller [site of the present Phillip Baylor home]- had been there all morning; no one reported the presence of these guerrillas although there was ample opportunity. Colonel Williams is here. He reports one hundred fifty guerrillas in Perche Hills and I suppose he will start there forthwith.'
Gen. Fisk, conveyed this information to Col. 0. D. Greene, the Assistant Adjutant General in St. Louis on the same date. Both reports are in the OR, Series 1, Vol. XLJ, Book 1, p. 10. (See also Columbia Missouri Statesman, July 8, 1WA, p 3, cot. 4, and July 15,1864, p. 1, col. 7)..
Michael Feilman (Inside War, pp. 137-138) says that Clifton D. Holtzclaw, the well-known central Missouri guerrilla leader, sent the following communication to the post Commander at Keytesville about this same period of time. "I wish to inform you that you must restrain your troops or I shall be compelled to retaliate [with] every violation of the rules of civilized warfare. I am determined to kill two Union for every So[uthern] sympathizer that you or your party may kill ( that is, peaceable citizens), and also will kill a Radical for every house that is burnt I regret that these things are necessary, but you or the men with you give me no choice.... I will state that I am only repeating my instructions from the Confederate Government.'
From Civil War in Howard County: