tributing my command at farm-houses for subsistence and forage, some of the details having marched without rations.
Captain Kehoe marched without my knowledge in the morning, and in direct disregard of his orders, meeting Quantrill and his band 3 miles west of Pleasant Hill, at Sears' farm, Cass County, Missouri, about 10 o'clock a. m. 11th instant, and was repulsed, with loss of 6 men killed and 9 wounded. His entire advance guard was killed, except Lieutenant White, commanding, and himself (Captain Kehoe), wounded in the engagement. Captain Kehoe not being able to hold his position at Sears' farm, it was impossible to ascertain Quantrill's loss, but it is reported heavy. Had it not been for this attack by Captain Kehoe I feel confident that we would have secured Quantrill and his entire band.
On crossing the road from Pleasant Hill to Independence I sent Lieutenant McIntyre, of Company L, First Iowa Cavalry, with 50 men, through the timber, on the Independence road, with instructions to march up on the open ground on the west of the timber. Pressing forward with the rest of my command on their trail, passing where they had encamped at night, reaching the farm of Mr. Sears (where Captain Kehoe was repulsed) at 11 o'clock a. m. 11th instant, I found a portion of Quantrill's band, who fled down a wood road into the Big Creek timber. My advance guard, under command of Lieutenant John McDermott, of Company G, First Iowa Cavalry, Pressing them closely, and the head of column close upon them, case upon Quantrill's main force, lying in the cliffs of the ravines, about half a mile from Sears' house. Their position was very strong indeed, but the vigorous and determined attack on the part of both officers and men routed them completely and punished them severely. Under the great disadvantage of position our loss was much less than could be expected, being but 3 men killed and 10 men wounded. The loss of the enemy known in this skirmish alone was 14 killed and 15 to 20 wounded, and in the three skirmishes Quantrill's loss could not have been less than 18 killed and 25 or 30 wounded. Quantrill himself is reported wounded in the thigh. Quantrill's men were completely routed and disbanded, fleeing in small squads in all directions. Out of the 4 commissioned officers in the command with me from this post 3 were wounded, and the action of the men was highly commendable and entirely satisfactory. The details from Butler and Harrisonville, though not suffering so much on account of their position, did their duty with honor to the Government and themselves. Especial mention is due to the following officers and non-commissioned officers wounded in the last skirmish: First Lieutenant David A. Kerr, adjutant, Post Clinton; First Lieutenant R. M. Reynolds, Company A. First Iowa Cavalry; Second Lieutenant E. S. Foster, Company G. First Iowa Cavalry; First Lieutenant John Mcdermott, commanding advance guard and leading it with much credit to himself, not wounded; Joseph T. Foster, sergeant-major, Post Clinton; Quartermaster-Sergeant H. L. Dashiel, provost-marshal. I have as yet no report of skirmish near Lotspeich farm on the 9th instant, as also none of skirmish at Sears' house on the 11th instant, but am informed that Captain Kehoe and his men, First Missouri Cavalry, met them with commendable resolution. Particular mention is due to Dr. C. H. Lothrop, additional assistant surgeon First Iowa Cavalry, for very prompt and efficient services rendered on the ground, paying attention to and relieving the wounded in the thickest of the conflict. Not having as yet received accounts from detachments or companies of the