caused a party to proceed to that place, to apprehend offending parties and give consolation and relief to the sufferers. The object seems to have been very judiciously accomplished by Captain Cole, of the Fifth Missouri Volunteers, whose report is herewith inclosed. It will be seen that at De Soto a large secession meeting was defeated and their flag taken by the timely arrival of Captain Cole. A list of the prisoners detained, and against whom most palpable evidence is understood to exist of persevering and systematic cruelty towards the friends of the Government, is herewith inclosed.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain, Second Infantry, Commanding.
Captain S. WILLIAMS,
Asst. Adjt. General, Hdqrs. Dept. West, Saint Louis, Mo.
Numbers 2. Report of Captain Nelson Cole, Fifth Missouri Infantry.
SAINT LOUIS ARSENAL, May 16, 1861.
SIR: Herewith I respectfully submit the report of an expedition under me in Washington County, Missouri.
Agreeably to instructions, I left this post last night at 10 o'clock with two companies of infantry, consisting of Company A, Fifth Regiment Missouri Volunteers, commanded by Captain N. Cole, and Company A, rifle Battalion, First Regiment Missouri Volunteers, Captain L. E. Koniuszeski commanding, with staff officers Surg. E. C. Franklin and Asst. Surg. S. H. Melcher, Fifth Regiment Missouri Volunteers, consisting of 176 men, rank and file.
Arrived at Potosi 3 o'clock a. m.; surrounded the town by a line of sentinels; posted sentinels around the houses of all persons opposed to the Government who had been active in driving from the town good and loyal citizens and threatening with death other residents of the place. At a preconcerted signal, the inmates of each house were simultaneously arrested, and confined in the court-house of the town, previously taken possession of by a detachment of my troops. The residences of the respective parties were diligently searched, but no arms of any amount were found. Arrested in all 56 men. Forty-seven took the oath of allegiance to the Government, and 9 were returned to this post as prisoners of war.
I next proceeded to visit two smelting furnaces, the owners of which have been recently engaged in furnishing lead to the enemies of this Government, and captured 100 pigs of lead; also seized 325 pigs of lead at the railroad depot; seized also a quantity of wearing material, partly manufactured into uniforms for disloyal troops. At 12 o'clock proceeded on our return to Saint Louis, stopping at De Sooto, about 20 miles distant, where a large secession meeting was being held. Disembarking the troops, I found the meeting dispersed on our approach. Being informed that a body of mounted men, about 50 in number, were still hovering about the outskirts of the town, I dispatched a platoon of 40 men to capture them, if possible. On being commanded to halt they dismounted, fled to the woods, and we succeeded in capturing 15 horses; seized some fire-arms and a secession flag; hoisted the American flag in the town, and left 30 men, under command of First Lieutenant Murphy of Com-