War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0190 MO., ARK., KANS., IND. T., AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXV.

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JULY 27-AUGUST 4, 1862.- Operations in Carroll, Ray, and Livingston Counties, Mo.

Report of Major Thomas B. Biggers, Fifth Missouri Cavalry (Militia).


Richmond, Ray County, Mo., August 8, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to submit to you the following report:

On the 27th ultimo I sent a squad of 12 men to the western portion of Carroll County to distribute General Orders, Numbers 19, and a call to the militia to report themselves to these headquarters for enrollment. All returned the next day, July 28, with the exception of 4, who were attacked by an armed band of guerrillas, 2 of the men being wounded, namely, William Anderson and Joseph Berry, the former mortally, since died; the latter received a severe wound in the right arm, and was taken prisoner with the remaining 2, William Knapp and George Hubbard. About this time it was reported that there was a rebel camp in Carroll County, a distance of 25 miles from this post, in a southeasterly direction. On the evening of the 29th ultimo I sent all of my available force not on duty, 70 in all, under command of Captain David and Lieutenant Coughlan, to the vicinity from whence these reports came, to ascertain, if possible, the facts in the case. On the evening of the 30th ultimo Captain David returned with the command and reported having had a skirmish with an armed force, supposed to be the pickets of the rebel camp, killing 6 and taking 8 prisoners; also reporting that the guerrilla force he encountered was the same that reporting that the guerrilla force he encountered was the same that had fired into and plundered the steamer War Eagle, and, as near as could be learned from reliable sources, there were not less than 300 guerrillas collected together in the vicinity, and that they contemplated an attack on my command, which at that time numbered only 100 effective men present. I immediately called upon the enrolled militia for assistance, and nobly did they rally around me. On the following morning, 31st, I ordered all of the available mounted men of Companies B and I, in all 80 men, and 88 of the Enrolled Militia, under command of Captain David, to the vicinity where the rebel camp was forming.

During the day I pressed about 100 shot-guns and rifles and a small supply of ammunition and armed 100 Enrolled Militia, and started at 4 p. m. with them to join Captain David. After a march of 35 miles, on the morning of the 1st instant I was joined, 1 mile east of Carrollton, by Lieutenant Doyle with a force of 10 State Militia and 100 Enrolled Militia. Four miles farther on we came up with Captain David, who report having had a severe skirmish with the enemy, in which he killed 10, one of which was Major Merrick (so stated by prisoners since taken), and took 3 prisoners., with no loss. The men under my command now numbered about 400, a large portion of whom were very ineffectively armed and with but a small quantity of ammunition. Placing Captain David and Lieutenant Coughlan, with Companies B and I, in advance to act as skirmished, we moved forward as fast as our jaded horses would go. The enemy, being now aware that we were in earnest, beat a hasty retreat. During this exciting chase we were constantly gaining on the enemy. Shots were frequently exchanged between our pickets and the enemy's rear guard, killing and wounding several; also capturing the Government stores taken by them from the steamer War Eagle.

When within 6 miles of Grand River I order all of the jaded horses that could not move faster than a walk to fall in the rear, and selected 200 of the best mounted men and pushed forward in a gallop, hoping