was prepared to leave the camp, I received new from Colonel Schaefer, at Osage Mills, that his pickets posted in the direction of Elm Springs were fired upon by the enemy. This, in addition to your own dispatches reporting the enemy's force at Fayetteville and a strong party of cavalry advancing towards Middletown, and, besides this, your order to march to Sugar Creek, made me at once aware of the dangerous position of my command. I therefore ordered Colonel Schaefer to break up his camp immediately, to send the cavalry company to Osage Springs to cover his right flank, and to march with his regiment to Bentonville, leaving Osage Springs to the right and McKisick's farm to the left. All other troops I ordered to be prepared to march at 2 o'clock in the morning. In regard to the expedition to Pineville, it was too late to countermand the movement under Captain von Kielmansegge, and I therefore ordered Major Meszaros to begin his march and to accomplish his task with his own detachment and that of Captain von Kielmansegge, but to return to Sugar Creek as quickly as possible, without ruining his horses, so that they could be of some use in the ensuing battle. Major Conrad was made aware of our situation, and instructed to join us at Sugar Creek by some circuitous road leading northeast. The result of the expedition was not very great, but satisfactory.
The attack was made according to the instructions given and at the precise time, but only 1 captain, 1 lieutenant, and 15 men of Price's army were found in the town and made prisoners; the others had left some days previous. The commands of Major Meszaros and Captain von Kielmansegge arrived safely on the 6th in our camp at Sugar Creek, bringing with them their prisoners. Unfortunately they had to leave behind and to destroy a printing press and types taken at Pineville, as the roads they took too bad to bring this important material along.
Major Conrad, with his detachment, found his way to Keetsville and Cassville, which place he left on the 9th, and arrived at the former place, with Colonel Wright, some time after, I had opened the road to Cassville on the pursuit of Price's force, which retired from Keetsville to Berryville.
II.-Retreat from McKisick's farm by Bentonville, to Camp Halleck, on Sugar Creek.
At 2 o'clock in the morning of the 6th the troops encamped at McKisick's farm moved forward towards Bentonville in the following order:
Advance guard, under Asboth: One company of Fourth Missouri Cavalry (Fremont Hussars); Second Ohio Battery, under command of Lieutenant Chapman; Fifteenth Missouri Volunteers, under command of Colonel Joliat. Train of First and Second Divisions, escorted and guarded by detachments of the respective regiments. The First Division, under Colonel Osterhaus. The flying battery, the Fifth Missouri Cavalry (Benton Hussars) and the squadron of the Thirty-sixth Illinois Cavalry, Captain Jenks.
Before leaving camp I detached Lieutenant Schipper, of Company A, Benton Hussars, with 20 men, to Osage Springs, to communicate with Colonel Schaeferr, and to bring news to Bentonville as soon as the enemy would approach that place.
The advance guard of General Asboth arrived at Bentonville at 4 o'clock, when I directed him to halt until the train had come up more close. He then proceeded to Sugar Creek, followed by the train.
14 R R-VOL VIII