have recruited some few hundred, but not as many as I expected, although I hear of many more coming. I will not wait longer for them.
Yours, most respectfully,
M. JEFF. THOMPSON,
Major General LEONIDAS POLK, C. S. A., Columbus, Ky.
HDQRS. FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT MO. S. G.,
Camp at Carter's, Mo., October 22, 1861 - 8.30 a. m.
DEAR SIR: Having learned on Sunday that the enemy was advancing from the east and west on my position at Fredericton for the purpose of cutting off my retreat, I fell back southward 12 miles, and leaving my train in a condition to move, I marched back at 1 a. m. Monday, for the purpose of occupying the town with my troops alone, and fighting either party that made its appearance first. The enemy had heard of my marching the evening before, and, by a forced march, occupied the town before I reached it. I could not possible learn their number, and wasted the whole morning in endeavoring to find out their number and position by spies, but could not succeed. At 12 o'clock I placed my men in position, nd then drove in their pickets. They came, and in more than double our numbers, and deployed immediately in our front, and opened with their rifled cannon. We returned their fire with one 12-pounder and one of our sixes. This we kept up for thirty minutes, when their line, having advanced within musket range of Lowe's regiment (which I had places in ambush, a considerable distance from our main line), a galling fire was opened upon it, which was only returned when Lowe's men could get dead aim. The object for which Lowe was placed having been accomplished, he should have fallen back; but, with unparalleled courage, he remained until he was shot thought the head and immediately killed, when his men fell back behind my main line. About this time their rifled cannon had found the range of my guns and the main line, and their percussion shells were bursting in quick succession among us. One of them knocked off the two drivers of the limber of the 12-pounder, and the horsed ran entirely away, leaving the gun without ammunition or power of motion. It being a double trailed gun, and all the others being stock-trailed, it was impossible to remove it, and therefore I left it on the field.
Too much praise cannot be awarded to Lieutenant Sam. Harris, who served this gun, with but one assistant (the other having gone in pursuit of the limber) until the ammunition in the trail-chest was exhausted. About this time one of the shells, just passing the top of the hill, behind which the Second Regiment was lying down, struck Captain Flourney in the left breast, and, exploding, instantly killed him and Captain Neveille, who was leaning on his shoulder. Captain Flourney was transferred to my command from the Bluff City Grays, of Memphis, and was a gallant young gentleman. Captain Neveille was from Stoddard County, Missouri.
Finding now that the enemy were being re-enforced with a regiment of cavalry from Iron Mountain, I ordered a retreat by the right wing, placing each battalion in ambush, to check a pursuit by their cavalry. I had scarcely placed Brown's battalion when a charge was made by their cavalry pst the fence behind which they lay. When at twenty yards a fire was poured into them, which emptied nearly every saddle. A running fight was continued for nearly 6 miles, my men keeping perfect