At 1 o'clock p. m. they opened fire on us from one 9 and one 6 pounder, at a distance of about a mile. Their firing was very inaccurate, only three shots out of the first twenty-seven striking the building, and they did very little damage, my men being well covered by a breastwork they had thrown up. After throwing the first six shots, they moved their cannon some 400 yards nearer and opened fire. I immediately answered with the 6-pounder, dismounting their smaller gun, which made a general scattering, and caused them to carry their 9-pounder to a safer distance. Their firing from this time had little or no effect.
Much credit is due Captain Fritz, of Company F, Sixteenth Regiment, for the able manner he led his men throughout our little expedition. Also to Gunner Fishbourn, who planted his shot among them every time, but who had to deal sparingly, as he was almost out of shot when we were relieved. I was also much pleased with the officers and men generally for their coolness and obedience to orders throughout.
At 4.30 o'clock p. m. of the 11th a train was seen coming from the east with re-enforcements. It proved to be Major Hays, of my regiment, with Companies D, B, and a, of the Sixteenth Illinois, and one 9-pounder field piece. The enemy now began to move off, and by dark had left the field entirely, since which time they have been skulking about the country in squads, burning wood-piles, small bridges, and culverts, when opportunity offered of doing so without danger.
On the morning of the 12th we were again re-enforced by Colonel Palmer's Fourteenth Regiment, who returned to Quincy to-day, leaving us in a worse position than ever, with the exception that we have more ammunition.
Colonel Palmer brought two brass field pieces with him, which he has again taken away. Something of the kind would be very acceptable here just now, as there is a slight probability of their being useful.
I have the honor to be, very obedient servant,
ROBERT F. SMITH.
JULY 18, 1861.-Action near Harrisonville, Mo.
Report of Major R. T. Van Horn, Missouri Reserve Corps.
HEADQUARTERS CAMP UNION,
Kansas City, August 3, 1861.
SIR: A former report of operations under my command having been intercepted by the enemy and taken from my special messenger, I reinvite at this date:
In pursuance of your order by telegraph of July 16, I left Camp Union at 5 o'clock next (Wednesday) morning, to relieve Major Dean, of the Cass County Home Guard, at Austin, 45 miles distant. I camped same night south of the Little Blue River, 20 miles, with my command, consisting of Company A, Captain Van Daun, and Company b, Captain Millar, of the U. S. Reserve Corps, stationed here, comprising 150 men, together with 10 citizens, mounted as volunteers, under captain Bugher. Our baggage consisted of ten days' rations and a hospital wagon with officers' baggage.
On Thursday, the 18th, at 11 o'clock, we halted at a spring in the edge of a timber, 5 miles north of Harrisonville, in Cass County, Missouri,