Numbers 2. Report of "General" D. R. Atchison,* Confederate service.
LEXINGTON, MO., September 21, 1861.
SIR: In pursuance of your order I left his place on the evening of the 15th instant, and proceeded forthwith to Liberty, Clay County, Missouri, where I met the State Guard, on the march from the northwest-five regiments of infantry, under the command of Colonel Saunders, and one regiment of cavalry, under the command of Colonel Wilfleym, from the fifth district; five regiments of infantry, under command of Colonel Jeff. Patton, and one battalion of cavalry, under Colonel Childs, from the fourth district. I delivered your orders to the above commands to hasten to this point (Lexington) with as much dispatch as possible. They marched forthwith, and arrived at the Missouri River about 4 o'clock in the evening,, when Colonel Boyd's artillery and battalion and baggage were crossed over to the south side, where the colonel took his position, Captain Kelly patting his artillery so at to completely command the river. The crossing continued all night without interruption, every officer and man using his best exertions. We received nea during the night that the enemy would be in the town of Liberty, about 6 miles distant from Blue Mills Ferry, at an early hour the ensuing morning. We were crossing in three small flats, and much time was necessary to move the large train, of some hundred wagons. Colonel Childs, with his command, had taken post for the night about 2 miles from Liberty, ont he road to the ferry. He engaged the enemy's advance or picket sin the morning, killing 4 and wounding 1, with no loss on our side. The enemy fled, and we heard no more of them till 4 or 4 o'clock, when their approach was announced, in large force, supposed to be about 900 men, with one piece of artillery (a 6-pounder). The men of our command immediately formed, Colonel Jeff. patton leading the advance, to meet the enemy. After proceeding about 3 miles from the river they met the advance guard of the enemy, and the fifth commenced. But the Federal troops almost immediately fled, our men pursuing rapidly, shooting them down, until they annihilated the rear of their army, taking one caisson, killing about 60, and wounding, it is said, about 70. The Federal troops attempted two or three times to make a stand, but ran after delivering one fir. Our men followed them like hounds on a wolf chase, strewing the road with the dead and wounded, until they were compelled to give over the chase form exhaustion, the evening being very warm. Colonel Saunders, Colonel Patton, Colonel Childs, Colonel Cundiff, Colonel Wilfley, Major Gause Adjutant Schackleford, and all the other officers and men, as far as I know or could learn, behaved gallantly.+
D. R. ATCHISON.
*No record of his official status.
+A return of casualties for Fourth Division Missouri State Guard reports a loss of 2 killed and 3 wounded in this action.