On the 4th I sent trains down from Brookfield to bring up Colonel Williams' force. About 11 a. m. I received a dispatch from Colonel Williams asking re-enforcements; that he was surrounded by some 3,00 men. I answered by telegraph that I would come down with 350 men to assist him and to hold the place. Shortly after I received another dispatch that the enemy had opened fire with two pieces of artillery. I ordered that the troops charge at once and take the battery.
These dispatches were received at Shelbina. I hurried forward the embarkation of the men at Brookfield, and started as rapidly as possible. On arriving at Macon City, I learned by telegraph that Colonel Williams' force had abandoned Shelbina, and were then near Clarence, 12 miles east of Macon. As it was now near night, I concluded to wait for their arrival. They came up about 8 p. m. I sent for Colonel Williams and the officers of the Second Kansas Regiment, and demanded the reasons for withdrawal. Colonel Bair and Major Cloud stated that they had insisted on the abandonment of the place against Colonel Williams' consent; that they considered the order to charge the battery impracticable. They further informed me that their time of service was out; that by orders from General Fremont they were on their way home to reorganize the regiment; showed me Major-General Fremont's orders for their transportation west, and demanded transportation accordingly. I requested them as a matter of justice to Colonel Williams to put their statement into writing, which was done, and a copy of which is hereto attached.
In the morning of the 6th I ordered down the balance of my force from Brookfield, and sent the Second Kansas west. Great delay occurred in obtaining the necessary timber and material for the repair of the road, which we had ascertained to be very much torn up in the neighborhood of Shelbina, especially as the engineers refused to run after dark.
On the morning of the 7th of September, having collected the necessary material, and taking under my command the Third Iowa and two hundred men of the Illinois Sixteenth, I started east one the road and worked through without opposition, but with considerable delay, to Shelbina, where I had the honor of opening communications with you. I was in hopes that the Second Kansas would have remained with the command, but did not consider that I had any authority to order them to do so. As Brookfield was, in my judgment, much exposed to attack, and had a large amount of Government property, I requested them to remain and guard that point. This they also declined, but afterwards, on arriving at the post, concluded to do so.
It appears from Colonel Williams' statement that he had only 280 of his own men; that he was willing to hold Shelbina, and wholly refused to abandon it, but was compelled to do so by the action of the Second Kansas.
The only casualty that occurred at Shelbina was that Captain McClure, of the Second Kansas, lost his foot by a cannon ball. I learned from good sources at that point that at least seven of the enemy were killed. The force was commanded by Martin E. Green, the same that was at Philadelphia, and fell away from that point before the advance of Moore and Smith, re-enforced largely by sudden levies from Monroe, Marion, and Ralls Counties. Their numbers I only gather from the reports made to me. I do not think that Green had of his own command more than 1,200.
It is my opinion that Shelbina could have been held, but the fault of