Captain Howland, to reconnoiter in that vicinity. Captain Howland proceeded to Hallsville, but found no rebels. After proceeding about 2 miles beyond his advance guard encountered the rebels in force, commanded by Colonel Dorsey. Captain Howland endeavored to draw off his company, having taken 9 prisoners, but was overpowered. Being wounded and having lost his horse,he was taken prisoner, with 1 private of his company. The remainder of his men made good their retreat, arriving at Sturgeon at 6 o'clock p.m. Having learned the position of the enemy, I immediately ordered five troops of cavalry, Colonel John M. Glover commanding,and five companies of Sharpshooters, Colonel Birge commanding,numbering in all 470, to march at 2 o'clock a.m., at which hour I started, and after marching a distance of 16 miles, at 8 o'clock a.m. of the 28th instant found one company of rebels, commanded by Captain Johnson, in position to the left of the road leading from Hallsville to Mount Ziop. I ordered two companies of Sharpshooters to pass to the rear of the enemy and one of cavalry to dismount and engage them in front. It being difficult for the Sharpshooters to attain their position unperceived, the enemy manifesting a disposition to retire, Colonel Glover opened fire and succeeded in killing 5 and capturing 7 prisoners, from whom I learned the number and position of the main force. The enemy being posted at a church and place known as Mount Zion, in Boone County, and one mile and a half in advance, numbering near 900 men, I ordered the cavalry under Colonel Glover forward, accompanied by two companies of Birge's Sharpshooters, Colonel Birge with them.
Arriving near the encampment, one troops of the cavalry were ordered to dismount and engage the enemy. The Sharpshooters were afterwards ordered through a field on our right to skirmish with the enemy's left, and, if possible, drive them from the woods. The firing being heavy, these three companies not being able to drive the enemy from his cover, Colonel Glover, with his available force,moved in double-quick to the aid of the three companies engaged, and for half and hour longer the battle raged and became a hand-to-hand fight. Captain Boyd's company of Sharpshooters were in the midst of the rebel camp, also Major Carrick, with Company C, Third Missouri Cavalry, when Colonel Glover arrived. The rebels could not stand the fire of our rifles and retreated, leaving in our hands 90 horses and 105 stand of arms. The battle was brought to a close about 11 a.m.
The reserve of two companies coming into action at the moment the enemy gave way, our victory was complete. After collecting our own wounded we proceeded to collect that of the enemy, placed them in the church, and sent for farmers and friends in the vicinity to render assistance. I collected wagons, made our own wounded as comfortable as possible, and at 4 p.m. started for Sturgeon, where we arrived at 9 p.m.
Our loss in the battle of Mount Zion and in the engagement of the evening previous is as follows: Killed, 3; severely wounded,17; slightly wounded, 46. Rebel loss: Killed, 25; wounded, 150.
I have not been able to get a correct report of rebels missing, but, having taken 30 prisoners from them, learn that their punishment is a severe one. Sixty of the rebels, with Captain Howland and 4 of our men as prisoners, arrived at the camp at night, 20 miles distant from the field of battle.
Permit me to mention that our entire force behaved gallantly. I make special mention of the following officers: Colonel John M. Glover, Major Carrick, Lieutenant Yates, and Lieutenant Kirkpatrick, of the