but on hearing of my approach they immediately commenced a retreat under cover of the night, availing themselves of the shelter of heavy timber for a distance of 6 miles, crossed our trail in the rear, and made a precipitate flight south. They have never halted since they commenced their retreat except long enough to feed their horses, and they crossed the Osage at this point yesterday at 10 a. m. My advance, under Colonel Cloud, skirmished with their rear guard yesterday, killing and wounding several and taking a number of prisoners.
Coffee is talking of forming a junction with Rains at Greenfield and make a stand, which I hope they may do, as my command is much exhausted by forced marches and the stock is badly used up.
Since I left Fort Scott my command has marched over 200 miles, on an average of 40 miles per day, without tents, and the last two days without subsistence, except as we could forage off the enemy; yet the men have borne their fatigue and privations cheerfully in anticipation of meeting the enemy.
I arrived here at 2 o'clock this morning and shall march in an hour for Greenfield.
JAS. G. BLUNT,
Colonel E. C. CATHERWOOD,
Commanding, Sedalia, Mo.
Numbers 2. Report of Major Wyllis C. Ransom, Sixth Kansas Cavalry.
KANSAS CITY, MO., August 17, 1862.
GENERAL: A body of United States troops, some 800 strong, were surprised yesterday morning by the rebel forces of Colonels Coffee, Hindman, and Quantrill, and after a heavy resistance they were obliged to surrender with great loss. Our troops had a battery of two pieces, which is now in possession of the enemy.
From all appearances the enemy are moving on to Lexington. Large forces of our troops are moving toward the latter place from north of the river and from Sedalia.
In order to keep the enemy from retreating back, though, it will be necessary to throw a heavy force in their rear.
I have the honor, general, to be your most obedient servant,
W. C. RANSOM,
Major Sixth Kansas, Commanding Kansas City.
Brigadier General BLUNT,
Commanding Department of Kansas.
Numbers 3. Report of Captain Milton H. Brawner, Seventh Missouri Cavalry.
Lexington, Mo., August 20, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report that the forces sent out by your order, under command of Major Emory S. Foster, Seventh Regiment of