On Wednesday, the 6th instant, at 7 a. m., I marched with he entire command by a more northerly route back to Platte city, a distance of 30 miles. On my arrival at the latter point, on the same evening, I learned of the existence of a camp of guerrillas at Rocky Bluff, on the south side of the Platte River, 5 miles above the city, and was also informed that abridge, 12 miles distant,was the nearest point above the city at which the river could be crossed. I accordingly, at 11 o'clock that night, started Adjutant Welch, of the third Wisconsin Cavalry, with 40 men from that regiment and 10 of the Missouri State Militia, up the north side of the river, to take possession of the bridge, and thereby cut off the enemy's retreat; and at 3 a. m. on Thursday, the 7th instant, I marched with my main force up the south side of the river and came upon the enemy soon after sunrise, when, after a sharp fire, which lasted only for a few minutes, the guerrillas were driven rom their position and fled in confusion, leaving some of their horses and arm and all of their camp equipage behind.
The only casualties on our side were 2 men wounded, 1 severely. The enemy's could not be definitely determined. Three of their number are known to have been killed, several wounded, and 6 were taken prisoners. It is believed that others were killed, both in the brush and river, as they attempted to swim it.
Captain Abernathy's company (A) was the first to reach the enemy's fortification, and the firing from our side was mainly from that and Lieutenant Todd's company (D). Owing to the nature of the ground and the dense forest in which their camp was situated our artillery could not be brought to bear upon them; but Lieutenant Bowman, assisted by Captain Offley and Lieutenant Laing, promptly pushed forward and placed in position each piece, as near as it was possible to get for the trees and logs. For the same reasons it was almost impossible for the cavalry to operate effectively, but the battalion of the Third Wisconsin, under Majors Calkins, Schroeling, and Blair, charged furiously after the feeling rebels among trees, logs, and rocks, until they were lost sight of in the almost impenetrable forest above the camp.
It was impossible to form a definite idea as to the force of the enemy, but they were reported to be two companies, commanded respectively by Jones and Patten. They had but few tents, which were dirty and ragged, and but little other camp equipage, and that almost worthless.
There were three horses in the vicinity, which were evidently being used as quarters for the enemy, all of which were vacated as we approached, their occupants fleeing with arms in their hands to the rebel fortification. These houses, together with all their tents and camp equipage, we burned; their provisions found at the camp we appropriated, and their breakfast, which was already prepared, we ate. Having started on the expedition without transportation or subsistence, we were obliged to seize and use such property as was found necessary to transport and subsist the command.
The duties of acting quartermaster and commissary were ably and satisfactorily performed by Captain Stockton, assisted by Lieutenants Loring and Hill. Major Quidor, medical director, rendered efficient service in taking care of the few wounded and sick. Lieutenant Sachs, my adjutant, was constant and faithful in his attendance and energetic in the discharge of his duties, and the entire command, both officers and soldiers, are entitled to credit for their prompt and uniform obedience to orders, their general good conduct and soldier-like bearing, and for the faithful discharge of all the duties devolving upon them.
I marched from Rocky Bluff, via Camden Point and Weston, to this