back from an overwhelming force, that was afraid to follow us). They attempted to advance, but we ambushed them at every thicket and corn field, and have killed three of their men to every man I lost. I have all the roads for 10 miles north of here thoroughly picketed, and if a few hundred of your dragoons were thrown forward, you would be better posted. My men are in fine spirits. except the loss of Colonel Lowe and of my 12-pounder, I have been a gainer in everything by the fight.
M. JEFF. THOMPSON,
No. 17. Report of J. R. Purvis, Assistant Adjutant-General (Confederate), of operations October 12-28.
HDQRS. FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT, MO. S. G.,
Camp Allen, Mo., October 28, 1861.
SIR: I am instructed by the general commanding this brigade to forward you a detailed account of our movements subsequent to the 12th instant, when we broke camp at Spring Hill, Stoddard County:
On the above date, about 10 a. m., the general, accompanied by 500 mounted riflemen, started in a direct course towards the Iron Mountain Railroad, designing to strike it about 40 miles south of Saint Louis, at Big River Bridge. In the absence of the general, Colonel Aden Lowe, of the Third Regiment Infantry, commanded the remaining forces, which consisted mostly of infantry. He was ordered to make his line of march on a direct route from Spring Hill to Fredericktown, moving only short distances each day, so as to keep the men in good condition, either for a fight or a hasty move, and to halt at that place and await further orders; when he arrived there to use every exertion to collect all the lead possible, and make preparations for its instant shipment. I might state here that we procured 18,000 pounds, and have it safe 10 miles scout of New Madrid. In the mean while the general, with the cavalry, pushed ahead at a rapid rate, arriving at the bridge about daylight on the 15th, succeeding in surprising, and, after a short struggle, capturing 58 of the enemy, belonging to the so-called Normal Regiment of Illinois, including 1 captain (Elliott) and 3 lieutenants, who had scarce time enough to run into a low stone fort, which they had established, when our men, at a full run, broke un upon them, with the before detailed results. We here had 2 killed and 2 wounded, and the enemy lost 4 dead and 7 wounded. The bridge was at once fired, and was soon a complete wreck. Our men at once went to work collecting all the stores of the enemy, preparing them for transportation.
About this time a new foe appeared on the field. Some 80 men from one of the posts above, having heard the firing, came in double haste to the succor of their comrades, and caught our forces in a somewhat scattered condition. For a time the battle was evenly waged, but our men soon collected together and pushed home on them, when they fled in confusion. We here had 3 killed and 6 wounded, and killed 6 or the enemy and wounded quite a number.
We captured, among other things, 50 muskets, 15 overcoats, and a number of blankets. The prisoners were all liberated on taking the