to overtake the enemy before he crossed Grand River. We had now gained 4 miles on the enemy since morning, and were only about a mile behind him. When within a quarters of a mile from the river a portion of the enemy could be seen on this side. I here dismounted my men and formed them in line of battle, which was executed in haste, and deployed Companies B and I as skirmishers on either side of the road through the brush and corn fields. This disposition being made, we marched in double-quick to the river just in time to see the enemy's rear guard make good their escape, and was informed by the citizens that the main body had crossed only fifteen minutes before; and on their haste to cross some 10 or 15 were drowned. Here a halt was called, our horses being completely jaded and the men weary, hungry, and thirsty, after a march of 65 miles in twenty consecutive hours.
About one hour after halting the 3 men who were taken prisoners appeared on the opposite bank and were brought over. They reported that the enemy, after crossing the river, fled in the utmost consternation for 4 miles, and called a halt. Captain Ballou made a hasty speech to his men, ordering them to throw down their arms, disband, and every man take care of himself, which order they obeyed, giving our men they held as prisoners their choice to be shot or take an oath not to take up arms against the Souther Confederacy. They took the oath, Captain Ballou administering it while sitting sidelong on his horse. At the last word, "Confederacy," he put spurs to his horses and observed the order communicated to his men. After a short rest I sent a force of 100 men over the river to ascertain of the reports I had heard were true. Late in the evening the party returned, reporting the rout of the enemy complete, and that they left and threw away everything that would in the least retard their flight. Early next morning, August 2, I ordered Captain David, with 200 men, up the river to scour the country as far as Livingston County for the rebel deserters, and, with the remaining 200, under my immediate command, crossed the river by swimming our horses. We came up to the place where the rebels disbanded, and found wagons, arms, ammunition, provisions, camp equipage, &c., which we took timber to linn County, occasionally finding guns, saddles, &c., and crossed over into Livingston County by swimming Grand River. We there waiter until Captain David came up with his forces, and then, with the entire command, took up the line of march to return, Lieutenant Doyle, with his command, leaving for Breckinridge. We camped at Carrollton that night and left Captain David there to await further orders.
The 3rd instant, with 100 enrolled militia of this county, started for Richmond, and reached this place on the morning of the 4th instant, just before Colonel Penick arrived with his re-enforcements from Liberty.
In conclusion I will say, but for the assistance of the loyal and patriotic men from Ray and Carroll Counties and the timely re-enforcements under Lieutenant Doyle our situation would have been anything but desirable; also let me testify to the courage, enthusiasm, and endurance of both officers and men, who marched day and night, without anything to eat, for from twenty-four to thirty-six hours without a murmur.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THOS. B. BIGGERS,
Major Fifth Regiment Missouri State Militia.
Major JAMES RAINSFORD, Assistant Adjutant-General.