War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0038 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter XVIII.

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No. 2. Report of Brigadier General John Pope, U. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT CENTRAL MISSOURI, Otterville, December 23, 1861.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that, having replaced by troops from La Mine the garrison of Sedalia, I marched from that place of Sunday, the 15th inst., which a column of infantry, cavalry, and manded by Colonel J. C. Davis, Indiana Volunteers; the second by Colonel F. Steele, Eighth Iowa Regiment. The object of the movement was to interpose between Price's army, on the Osage, and the recruits, escorts,and supplies on their way south from the Missouri River. This body of the enemy was represented to be between 4,000 and 6,000 strong, with a large train of supplies.

I encamped on the 15th 11 miles southwest of Sedalia. That the enemy might be thoroughly misled as to the destination of the expedition, it was given out that the movement was upon Warsaw, and the troops pursued the road to that place, several miles beyond Sedalia. I threw forward on Clinton four companies of the First Missouri Cavalry, under Major Hubbard, with orders to watch any movements from Osceola, to prevent any reconnaissance of our main column,and to intercept any messengers to the enemy at Osceola.

On the 16th I pushed forward by forced marches 27 miles,and with my whole force occupied at sunset a position between the direct road from Warrensburg to Clinton and the road by Chilhowee, which latter is the route heretofore pursued by returning soldiers and by recruits. Shortly after sunset the advance, consisting of four companies of Iowa cavalry, under Major Torrence, captured the enemy's pickets at Chilhowee, and learned that he was encamped in force (about 2,200) 6 miles north of that town. After resting the horses and men for a couple of hours I threw forward ten companies of cavalry and a section of artillery, under Lieutenant-Colonel Brown, Seventh Missouri Regiment, in pursuit, and followed with my whole force, posting the main body between Warrensburg and Rose Hill to support the pursuing column. I at the same time re-enforced Major Hubbard with two companies of Merrill's Horse, and directed him, in order to secure our flank in the pursuit, to push forward as far as possible towards Osceola. This officer executed his duty with distinguished ability and vigor, driving back and capturing the pickets and one entire company of the enemy's cavalry, with tents, baggage, and wagons. One of the pickets and two wagons were captured within the lines of Rains' division, encamped north of Osage River.

The column under Lieutenant-Colonel Brown continued the pursuit vigorously all night of the 16th,all day of the 17th,and part of the night of the same day,his advance guard, consisting of Foster's company of Ohio cavalry and a detachment of 30 men of the Fourth Regular Cavalry occupying Johnstown in the course of the night. The enemy began to scatter as soon as the pursuit grew close, disappearing in every direction in the bushes and by every by-path, driving their wagons into farm-yards remote from the road and throwing out the loads. As these wagons were all two-horse wagons of the country, and had been in fact taken by force from the farm-horses, it was impossible to identify them.

When our pursuit reached Johnstown, about midnight on the 17th,