possibility of any number of troops on the road doing then much damage.
I cannot close this report without expressing my deep sorrow for the loss of those brave men. But, upon mature reflection, I cannot discover that the country can be scoured for 50 or 60 miles back, as was General Poep's order, in any other way than by passing over this plank road, as I understand the swamp is impassable from below here to near Cape Girardeau, and according to your order to return the same day, a farther advance was impracticable. The entire command behaved with the utmost, cool, deliberate, bravery.
Your most obedient,
Major, Commanding Expedition.
Colonel W. P. KELLOGG.
MARCH 25-28, 1862.- Expedition in moniteau County, Mo., and skirmish en route.
Report of Brigadier General James Totten, U. S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CENTRAL MISSOURI,
Jefferson City, Mo., March 29, 1862.
CAPTAIN: i have the honor to report for the information of the major-general commanding the result of the expedition under Lieutenant-Colonel Blood into the upper part of Moniteau County.
Lieutenant-Colonel Blood, in obedience to orders from these headquarters of March 23, reached Pisgah, with company A, Sixth Missouri Volunteers, on the 25th; was joined at 10 a. m. on the 26th by Captain Adams' company, Sixth Missouri Volunteers; Captain Rice's Ward's companies militia, and a section of the Third Indiana Battery, under Lieutenant Thomas. The column then moved cautiously but rapidly forward. At 2 p. m., having arrived at a point 5 miles from Mount Vernon, the location of the rendezvous was learned and a report heard that there were 300 rebels thereat. Having arrived within a few miles of the school-house reported as the rendezvous, and where the command was to separate to surround the same, they suddenly met a squad of 9 rebels coming directly towards them in twos at shoulder arms. Colonel Blood being in the advance, ordered the advance guard to charge, at which the rebels ran for the brush, and as our men approached, fired. In the melee which ensued 5 were killed, 2 mortally wounded (dying the same night), and 2 taken prisoners, 1 of whom was wounded in the hip. The rebels were all desperate fellows, armed with double-barreled shot-guns, pistols, and knives.
The command was then ordered forward at the double-quick to carry out the plan and surround the school-house, which was situated in the northeast corner of the point of land at the junction of the little Saline and Missouri Rivers. There were, as our prisoners had protected, no rebels there. Watson's gang, they asserted, left there on the 20th instant by unfrequented roads and by-paths for Arkansas. They also stated that Captain Johnson's company from Shelby County and Captain Spencer's company from Boone had previous gone the same way, making night marches and avoiding public roads and towns. The house, which was well calculated for the purpose for which it had been