Churchill came up in good time with his command, and made an imposing sight with his mounted riflemen.
The officers and men did everything in their power to make the movement as prompt as possible, and they marched up to within a short distance of a force whose numbers were unknown with a step as regular and a front as unbroken as a body of veterans.
I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,
Captain, C. S. Army, and Adjutant-General.
Brigadier General BEN. McCULLOCH,
Commanding Brigade, Camp on Buffalo Creek, Mo.
JULY 9-11, 1861.-Skirmishes near and at Monroe Station, Mo.
Report of Colonel Robert F. Smith, Sixteenth Illinois Infantry.
HDQRS. SIXTEENTH REGIMENT ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS,
Monroe Station, Mo., July 14, 1861.
SIR: In accordance with your order, on the 8th of this month I left my headquarters at Palmyra, Mo., with Companies F and H, of the Sixteenth Illinois Regiment, and Companies A, F, H, and K, of Third Iowa Regiment, and Company A, of Hannibal Home guard, and one 6-pounder, and proceeded to this place. A heavy rain-storm coming on retarded our further progress. Early on the morning of the 9th I started south in search of the rebel force under Harris. At 4 o'clock p. m., when about 12 miles south of Monroe, our advance guard was fired into by the enemy, concealed in a clump of timber and brush, the first volley severely wounding Captain McAllister, of Company G, Sixteenth Illinois Regiment; also Private Prentiss, of Company A, same regiment, and slightly wounding a private of the Iowa regiment. I immediately ordered a charge, and drove the enemy from their cover. As they were all mounted, it was impossible to follow them farther with advantage. We found one of their men mortally wounded, and have reason to believe several more shot and carried off by their friends, and captured seven horses, saddled and bridled. We made camp near this place for the night.
On the morning of the 10th, having heard rumors of trouble at Monroe Station, moved my command back. On coming in sight of Monroe, found the station outhouses, seventeen passenger and freight cars, and other railroad property in flames, and found the enemy collected to the umber of three or four hundred on our left. On nearing them they began to move off, when I brought forward the field piece and sent a few round shot into their ranks, scattering them in all directions. The only damage done here that I know of was one horse killed.
After coming into Monore, I took possession of a brick building known as "The Seminary," and inclosed grounds adjoining, its position answering my purpose for defence, if necessary, and the apartments good quarters for the men, who were without tents. During the day we made several advances on the enemy, without being able to get near enough to do much damage.
On the morning of the 11th the enemy began to collect from all quarters, and by noon we were surrounded by from 1,500 to 2,000 men.