mingled with the enemy. They broke entirely past us and formed again in the same defile that they had so stubbornly defended before. I again charged them in their stronghold and again drove them from it, when they took position on another defile, that gave as strong a position as the first; but again I charged their lines and routed them from their position, which partly broke their ranks, and by this time another detachment had been dismounted and sent into the brush, and, by a succession of charges and repulsed we eventually dispersed them in every direction, every mann seeking safety and without regard to any one else. Thus ended to bloodiest and most sanguinary guerrilla battle that has been fought in State of Missouri, or probably inn the United States, according to numbers engaged. The battle raged one hour and a half, and at no time was my command more than 50 feet from their lines, and probably more than half the time within half of that distance, and making seven charges on their lines, and all this with the loss of only 1 man of my command killed, and 1 of the First Iowa, who had fallen in with me, wounded. The number actually engaged was about equal on either side.
The loss on our side in this engagement was 4 killed and 5 wounded, which with those killed in the skirmish in the morning made 9 killed on our side. While it is impossible to know the exact number of their killed and wounded, as all that fell in the early part of the engagement were removed by them from the field, but from those who were found on the field and those who were seen removed their loss in killed and wounded was from 23 to 25. We took about 30 horses and a vast number of saddles, blankets, coats, guns, and one mail bag and lock, and also their company roll; and with the rest of the horses the horse, equipments, overcoat, and spy-glass that were recognized by one of their wounded as belonging to Quantrill, and reports that he (Quantrill) was wounded in the leg. All the property taken, except 3 guns, 3 horses, and 2 revolvers, was turned over to Major Gower. My loss was 2 guns and 1 revolver.
As other commanders will make their reports and do justice to their commands, I will only say, in general terms, that they acted with the utmost calmness and confidence; and in regard to my company, and those of Company M who were with me, there cannot bee to much said in their praise. I cannot particularize, but each and every one of them did their part bravely and heroically. I was the first that entered the brush, and every one of them was ready to stand by me in the warmest part of the most deadly conflict, according to numbers engaged, that has been fought in Missouri. The brave hand stood by me to a man throughout the conflict, made seven charges upon the enemy's lines, and encountered many hand-to-hand conflicts, in which they displayed the highest degree of endurance and heroism, and eventually, after a struggle of an hour and a half, spent in a series of successive charges, cut down and drove from the field the most daring and desperate band of outlaws that ever infested any part of the United States.
After the engagement I rested an hour, then my company mounted and scoured the country until dark and brought in what loose horses could be found, and ascertained that the greater part of the bushwhackers went northward and said they were going to the Blue; but, as my orders were to report to Major Gower, I did not pursue them. In the jaded condition of the men and horses Major Gower though it inexpedient to attempt to follow them any farther, At 10 o'clock p. m. the different commands left the battle-field of Big Creek for their respective stations. I arrived at this place at 3 o'clock this morning,