War of the Rebellion: Serial 003 Page 0351 Chapter X. ENGAGEMENT AT BELMONT, MO., ETC.

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the brink and the dense fallen timber on the right. At the mouth of this defile, about a quarter of a mile below the battle field, we met the Federal cavalry in full force, outnumbering us two ot three to one. My men were thrown on the right into line and the fight began. Seeing our desperate position, with the enemy sweeping the field in our rear, the heavy fallen timber on our right, and the Federal cavalry in front, I felt that a desperate move alone could extricate my noble little band. I knew they were equal to the emergency, and in desperation I ordered "Charge," and "charge" rang from a hundred voices; the enemy fled in wild confusion, and we were safe.

We followed until I learned that a regiment of infantry were in reserve below, and then ordered a halt. My men were then brought into line, and soon afterward Lieutenant-Colonel Logwood came up with Captain Taylor's company of Tennessee cavalry and took his position on my left. Here we remain an hour and a half in agonizing suspense, learning the the enemy had swept everything before them to the river above us, and having the regiment of infantry and the force of cavalry between us and battle-field. At one time they brought their force up in full view, but dared not make the attack. At last they withdrew, and feeling our way cautiously with advance guards and reconnoitering parties, we made our way back to the battle-field, and then learned for the first time that the enemy had retreated. The squadron immediately dashed off in pursuit, overtook the rear of our forces about 1 mile from the battle-field, and came upon the enemy just as they entered their boats, but it was too late. We took our position above their boats, and for a half four hour poured a destructive fire from our "Maynard rifles." Thus ended the terrible rout of our enemy, and a glorious victory was achieved by our forces. We had 1 man wounded, and 9 horses killed and a number wounded. My men demeaned themselves as became Mississippians, evincing cool courage and daring intrepidity.

My special commendation is due Adjutant L. Lobdel for the aid given me and the courage he displayed.


Lieutenant-Colonel Battalion Mississippi Cavalry.


Assistant Adjutant-General.

No. 30. Report of Captain A. J. Bowles, First Mississippi Cavalry Battalion.

COLUMBUS, November 8, 1861.

SIR: In obedience to the command of Colonel Tappan, of the Thirteenth Arkansas Regiment, with whom we have been acting as skirmishers for some weeks past, I proceeded up the river with the two companies under my command. The Bolivar Troop, under the command of Lieutenant L. Jones, and the Thompson Cavalry, under my command, belonging to the First Battalion of Mississippi Cavalry, to make a reconnaissance and find the position of the enemy, who were reported to be landing from boats and marching upon us in large numbers. I advanced cautiously, sending forward an advance guard, and had proceeded about 2 miles when we met their skirmishers, which we drove back, and kept our position until their main force came up. I