Thompson commanded in person, being also in retreat, I ordered the Indiana cavalry to charge and pursue them. Thompson, however, had railed a portion of his troops about half a mile in the rear of his first position, and brought one gun into battery into the road, supported by infantry on either side. The cavalry charged and took the gun, and were exposed at the same time to a deadly fire from the enemy's infantry, but as the column I had ordered forward to their support did not reach the point in time, the enemy were enabled to carry the piece from the field. It was there that fell two of Indiana's noblest and bravest sons, Major Gavitt and Captain Highman.
The rout now became general, and the enemy were pursued by our troops for several miles, until the approach of night induced me to recall them to town. Captain Stewart, however, with his squadron of cavalry, followed them until late in the night, and brought in several prisoners.
One field piece was taken by the Seventeenth Illinois, under Colonel Ross, whose gallantry during the action, as well as his promptness at its commencement, are indicative of the true soldier.
I would remark that Colonel Carlin, though exhausted by along night's march, and claiming to rank me, came upon the field during the engagement and reported to me in person for orders, remarking that as I had commenced the battle he would not interfere, and he obeyed my instructions during the remainder of the day.
It is with pleasure that I bear testimony to the good conduct of all the troops under my command and to the promptness with which every order my command and to the promptness with which every order was obeyed. Captain George P. Edgar, who was my assistant adjutant-general, deserves special notice for the valuable service he rendered throughout the day, as also Captain Taggart, commissary of subsistence, Lieutenant L. B. Mitchell, of Campbell's battery of light artillery, and Lieutenant Henry, of the Eleventh Missouri Volunteers, who acted as my aides.
On the following morning, with the greater portion of the forces, I pursued the enemy for 10 miles on the Greenville road, and sent forward a reconnoitering party of cavalry 12 miles beyond. Finding further pursuit would be useless, and having but four days' rations for my command, I returned to Fredericktown the next day, and on the morning of the 24th instant commenced my march for this place, where I arrived the following evening.
There were taken upon the field 80 prisoners, of whom 38 were wounded, and left at Fredericktown. Our loss consisted of 6 killed and 60 wounded. The enemy's force was about 4,000 men, though some of their wounded stated it was 6,000. Their loss was very great. One hundred and fifty-eight of their dead were buried by our troops before my departure from Fredericktown, and many other bodies had been found.
I herewith append the reports of Colonels Ross, Marsh, Hovey, Baker, Lieutenant-Colonel Panabaker, Major Schofield, Captain Stewart, and Lieutenant White, to which I would respectfully refer you for the operations of their respective commands.
Before closing this report I feel it but proper to revert to some events which followed the victory, for the purpose of correcting many mispresentations in regard to them. I learned from Drs. Gaulding and Lamden, who came into Fredericktown after the battle, with a flag of truce, for the purpose of obtaining the body of Colonel Lowe and burying their dead, that Thompson left the town with his forces the evening previous, and marched about 10 miles towards Greenville, where he left