on the retreating boats and opened a fire upon them; Lieutenant-Colonel Miller, of the First Battalion Mississippi Cavalry, with a part of his command, joined us here, and having dismounted his command, rendered important service in the attack on the gunboats. Before making the attack on the enemy's boats I detailed Captain Fitzgerald, of Company F, One hundred and fifty-fourth Regiment, with 16 men as skirmishers, who after the attack rejoined the command, having killed 3 of the enemy and captured 8 prisoners; these, with 4 captured by Lieutenant-Colonel Wright's command, were delivered over to the proper authorities. I have no means of ascertaining the amount of injury inflicted on the enemy by this attack on his transports, but conclude from the coolness and deliberation of my men in taking their aim that the slaughter must have been considerable.
On my return from the attack on the gunboats I detailed a force to bring in the wounded and prisoners. I also ordered Captain White, of the Tennessee cavalry, to proceed down the lake and look after a body of the enemy who were supposed to have retired in that direction. He reported on the following morning that he captured 8 prisoners.
In concluding this report I beg leave to return, through the major-general commanding, my thanks to the officers and men under my immediate command for the coolness, courage, and gallantry exhibited in the engagement at Belmont. To the two gentlemen composing my staff, Major Porter and Major McNairy, I am much indebted for their zeal, promptness and gallantry on the field, as I am also to John J. Campbell and Albot L. Robertson, two young gentlemen members of my military family, acting as volunteer aides, both boys in years, yet exhibiting the spirit of veterans. For a detailed report of the operations of my own division of the army I refer you to the copies of reports of Colonel Preston Smith, commanding the First Brigade, Colonel W. H. Stephens, commanding the Second Brigade, and Lieutenant Colonel John H. Miller, commanding First Mississippi Battalion of Cavalry, herewith forwarded.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. F. CHEATHAM
Brigadier-General, Commanding Second Division.
Captain E. D. BLAKE, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Numbers 26. Report of Colonel Preston Smith, One hundred and fifty-fourth Tennessee Infantry, commanding First Brigade, Second Division, and his reply to interrogatories from General Polk.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE,
Columbus, November 10, 1861.
SIR: I have the honor to submit to you the following report of the part taken by my brigade in the engagement with the enemy in Missouri on the 7th instant, under instructions from headquarters.
At about 10 o'clock a.m. I ordered the One hundred and fifty-fourth Senior Regiment, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Wright, and the Blythe Mississippi regiment, under command of Colonel A. K. Blythe, to be put under arms on their respective regimental grounds, and held in readiness to move at a moment's notice, with a full supply of ammunition.