Lieutenant McLaren, of the section of steel battery, gave them "grape" in good style; and Sergeant West did good execution with he howitzer until the axle broke, rendering it useless for the rest of the day. Captains Leonard and Garth, of the Ninth Missouri, and Captains McClanahan and Edwards, of the Second, and Lieutenant Donahoo, of the Eleventh Regiment, came under my immediate notice as acting with soldierly bearing and gallantry, as did Lieutenant Piper, of the Merrill Horse, who led the first attack to seize the houses under a deadly fire, and did the work like a true soldier.
I might be deemed partial or extravagant if I were to attempt the expression of the admiration I feel for my young friend Lieutenant Cowdrey, of the Merrill Horse, for his gallant dash into the town to discover the enemy. It well entitles him to official notice, and when promotion comes to him it will fall on a capable officer--one proud of the service and devoted to duty. There were other instances of individual bravery that came under my notice which I would be glad to mention, but the limits of this report deprive me of the privilege.
The full effect and importance of our action in this pursuit and engagement will be better estimated by those who shall hereafter chronicle the events of the time than by the actors. But I think events will prove that it will have broken up recruiting for the rebel Government in Northern Missouri under the guerrilla flag, and if vigorously followed up by a prompt application of force, with unrelenting and prompt execution of military justice, Northeast Missouri will hereafter refer to that day as a point in her history.
Justice to those who did their whole duty would not be done should I omit to mention Dr. Lyon, surgeon of the Second Regiment, and Dr. Trader, assistant surgeon of the First Missouri. I inclose herewith Surgeon Lyon's report of killed and wounded.*
This report has long been delayed, in consequence of my continued occupation in the field since the date of the action, rendering it impossible for me to attend to any clerical duty.
I have the honor to be, your very obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Expedition.
GEORGE M. HOUSTON,
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
Numbers 2. Report of Lieutenant Colonel William F. Shaffer, Second Missouri Cavalry.
LIEUTENANT: It having been my good fortune to form part of the forces under command of Colonel John McNeil at the recent battle of Kirksville, I have the honor to report that on the 6th instant we came upon the enemy, 3,000 strong, under command of Porter, McCulloch, and Franklin. They had taken possession of the town, the corn fields on both sides of the town, and the brush in the rear. I was assigned to the command of the right wing, which included Major Clopper, with 300 of Merrill's Horse; Major Benjamin, with part of the Second and Eleventh Missouri State Militia, and a section of the Third Indiana Battery, Lieutenant Armington commanding.