enemy had left that locality. Taking the order as a suggestion I acted on it, though I suspected at the time the colonel's object was more to see if I would submit to his command than for purposes of utility. But I was determined no to have a public quarrel before our troops. This is the only foundation in truth for Colonel Plummer's statement that I obeyed his orders that day.
After the fight was over I informed Colonel Plummer that there must be no further misunderstanding about our rank. He then candidly admitted that I ranked him, but that it was arranged between Colonel Ross, Seventeenth Illinois Volunteers, and himself, that if I assumed command over him (Plummer), Ross would take command over him (Plummer), Ross would take command over me - Ross' commission as colonel being older than mine. By the unceasing importunities of Captain George P. Edgar, acting assistant adjutant-general to Colonel Plummer, some of the colonels under my command were induced to report to him the operations of their regiments, and he even had the effrontery to demand a report from me. The reports of these colonels were all reluctantly given, and some of them not till I had consented to its being done.
Having never been on the battle-field before that dy, I was strongly to favor all Colonel Plummer's pretensions, as he was an older soldier than myself, and had fought with credit on former occasions. But as he has not manifested that sense of justice and delicacy towards me and my command that was demanded by truth, I have left compelled to make this report, which I desire to be filed in the War Department with Colonel Plummer's.
On the 22nd, being exhausted and sick, I again gave Colonel Plummer a large portion of my command, with which to pursue the defeated army of Thompson, expecting that he would go at lest as far as Greenville, 40 miles, where the scattered bands of Thompson's army would concentrate. I had arranged with Colonel Plummer to supply him from Pilot Knob with all the necessary provisions. He returned to Fredericktown on the 23rd, having gone 10 miles in pursuit of Thompson. He wished to turn over his surplus supplies to me,but not needing them, I declined to receive them. If the pursuit had continued to Greenville, half or more of Thompson's command would have been cut off, as they were scattered in every direction, and five days elapsed before they had all joined at Greenville. This report is intended to show, first, why I did not, and why Colonel Plummer did, write an official report as commander of all the United States troops at Fredericktown; second, why Thompson's whole army was not captured by my force, aided perhaps by Colonel Plummer; and, third, why our victory was so barren of results; and, fourth, to correct several misstatements, injurious to myself, continued in the official reports of Colonel Plummer, Colonel C. C. Marsh, and some anonymous publications by officers of Colonel Plummer's command, and apparently sanctioned by him.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. P. CARLIN,
Colonel Thirty-eighth Illinois Volunteers,
Commanding Troops from Pilot Knob at Fredericktown, Mo.
Captain JOHN C. KELTON,
A. A. G., Hdqrs. Dept. of Missouri, Saint Louis, Mo.