wagon, but was pained to find that it broke down 2 miles back on the road. The battle had lasted over an hour. I immediately ordered a wagon back for ammunition and another to collect our dead and wounded; which done, I ordered the men to fall back to an open space, with a small field between us and the swamp.
Soon after the enemy were re-enforced by 250 men from Salem, Ark., and the enemy again made their appearances in the swamp. Our ammunition came, but one box (1,000), marked "Hall's carbine," proved to be musket cartridges, and entirely useless. I then held a hasty consultation with my officers, all of whom agreed that an effort to clear the swamp against such dearful odds and the consequent loss of life on our side was not expedient, especially as half of our men had not arms that could be sused to advantage. I ten formed both battalions in the field for battle. Every fourth man of my battalions was detailed to hold the horses. I took their carbines and those of the dead and wounded and armed all of the Iowa men possible and ordered them forward, also the howitzer, supported by about 50 of the Iowa Cavalry. I then ordered the quartermaster to lad the dead and wounded and start our wagons back. Our boys made a brilliant charge, Iowa and Missouri viewing with each other in bravery. The enemy had advanced to and were sheltered by the fence and our men had to advance through an open field, but our men advanced through a terrible fire, drove them from the fence and back into the swamp, Sergeant Moody throwing shell and canister by turns with terrible effect. The enemy having again disappeared I ordered the men to retire, which they did in good order, when we commenced our march back to Missouri.
Our loss was 3 killed and 12 (1 mortally) wounded, all of whom we brought with us. The enemy's loss we could not ascertain, but know it to be very large. Prisoners taken report among the dead Colonel Woodside. They also say that one shell killed and wounded over thirty. The grape told with terrible effect; besides, scores dropped before our carbines as our boys advanced from tree to tree, whose dead bodies lay in the swamp. I am satisfied their loss is not less than 100. This I regard as a small estimate. As to their numbers, they reported 600 when below Thomasville. In their retreat for 35 miles everybody had joined them. They certainly had 100 men at the Simmons place, where they camped the night before the fight, and were re-enforced 250 during the fight, making near 1,000 men according to their own estimate.
Had it not been for the causes set forth above I am satisfied, in a swamp as it was where no human being would go to fight, it would have been a complete rout. As it was I regard it as a signal victory, and feel confident Southern Missouri is now cleared of the traitors. The Union prisoners we released were taken within a few miles of Rolla - one of them within 7. I am very strongly impressed with the importance of keeping a force here for the time being to watch the south. At least I shall be compelled to do so at present to provide for the sick and wounded, who cannot be moved. A squad of cavalry has been to Mountain Grove, 25 miles southeast, and the country is certainly clear of rebels west. Yet if I get no counter orders I will send a scout in that direction Monday.
I cannot close this communication without testifying to the gallantry and bravery of both officers and men in our late fight. Where all did so well to make distinction is invidious, yet I must mention Adjutant Cutler, of the Third Iowa Battalion, who bravely stood by my side; also Major Drake and Lieutenants McDannal and Horton, of Company I, and Lieutenant Cherrie, of Company K, Third Iowa Battalion, who