The next day Captain Swoyer, of Company B, left camp at Holden and searched the country of the Blackwater as far north as Chapel Hill,and learned that Colonel Elliott had reached a point within 10 miles of Lexington. Captain Swoyer returned next day to camp at Holden.
Captain Merriman, on the day of the attack on him, burned the town of Columbus, having learned it was the rendezvous of Colonel Elliott, and the people of the town having decoyed him into the ambush. Major Herrick remained at Holden until the 12th, and then returned to Camp Johnson. Fifty or sixty Union families availed themselves of the opportunity to move out with him. Major Herrick also captured 60 head of horses, mules, and cattle, and young stock belonging to men who fired upon Major Hough and those who were with Colonel Elliott, and brought them to camp.
D. R. ANTHONY,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding First Kansas Cavalry.
Major General D. HUNTER,
Commanding Department of Kansas.
JANUARY 8, 1862.-Skirmish at Charleston, Mo.
Report of Colonel Nicholas Perczel, Tenth Iowa Infantry.
HDQRS. TENTH REGIMENT IOWA VOLUNTEERS, Bird's Point, Mo., January 8, 1862.
SIR: In pursuance of your orders, on the 7th instant I took the cars with my command at 9 o'clock p.m. We left the cars at 11 p.m., joined the cavalry attached to my command, and proceeded towards Prairie road, on which, at one Swank's house, a body of Tennessee cavalry,numbering about 1,000 men, were supposed to be encamped. I formed my line as follows: Guide and two troops at the head of the column; Company A, Tenth Regiment Iowa Volunteers, as advance guards; the formed the detachment of the same regiment and that of the Twentieth Illinois, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Small, of the Tenth Iowa, the cavalry in the center in the center; then the detachment from the Eleventh and Twenty-second Illinois Regiments, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Ransom, the Twenty-second bringing up the rear. We proceeded in the greatest and perfect stillness, my instructions being to surprise and fight the rebel forces. The night was cloudy and rainy. Our guide several times lost his way, which delayed our progress considerably. At last, at 4 o'clock in the morning, we heard the distant and faint sound of a bugle. Marching on, we emerged into a more open country and a better-beaten road, but our guide having lost all calculation he did not know which side to take, and was obliged to awake the inmates of a farm-house and led us in the direction indicated by them. We passed seven farm-houses without molestation.
Towards 5 o'clock we found ourselves on the back track to Charleston. Here only was I informed by the guide that we had passed the pretended camp of the rebels. I think he did not know it himself. We marched a short distance in this direction, till we reached a farm-house