I marched directly for Lone Jack. About noon I reported to Colonel Huston, commanding at Lexington, that the enemy, 1,600 strong, were at Lone Jack, under Coffee, and that I would fight that evening.
We surprised the camp about 9 o'clock that evening and completely routed the enemy. Lieutenant Develin, being drunk, acted very badly, and was arrested, and the artillery placed in charge of Sergeant [James M.] Scott.
The men then slept in line in Lone Jack. About daylight the pickets came in and reported that the enemy were advancing, about 3,000 strong. Several scouts had reported, and no word from Warren, who should have been in supporting distance. Two parties were still out, leaving us about 740 men.
Knowing the instructions you had given Colonel Warren, and believing him to be in hearing of my artillery, I awaited the enemy.
The attack was made about forty minutes after the pickets came in. The enemy attempted to turn both my right and left, but were unable to do so by reason of a thick hedge, which protected us on each flank and afforded some protection to our front, our rear being protected by a small, deep stream, the crossing of which we held. The enemy's cavalry being thrown into confusion by the hedge and annoyed by sharpshooters placed behind it fled in confusion, rejoining the main body, which then attacked us in front.
After a desperate fight of four hours' duration the enemy began to fall back. At this time Lieutenant Develin came onto the field, and rushing among his men ordered them to fall back, which they did, leaving the guns.
Seeing this, the enemy rallied and made an attempt to capture the artillery, but were repulsed with terrible slaughter. Of 60 men led by me in this charge only 11 reached the guns, and they were all wounded. In the act of dragging the cannon out of the enemy's reach I was shot down.
Captain Brawner was then in command. After a severe hand-to-hand fight, which lasted about a half hour, the enemy gave way and retreated, leaving us the field and the guns.
At this time Coffee came in sight with about 1,500 men, having collected his forces, which were scattered the night before. Captain Brawner fell back, leaving the guns. About an hour after the enemy came up and took possession of the field.
The fact that 740 men fought five hours against such odds and whipped them is sufficient evidence of the stuff of which they were made. They need no praise from me. Where all fought so well it is impossible to designate those most worthy of mention. Braver men never fought.
Had your orders been obeyed the whole force of the enemy would have been captured or terribly routed and destroyed.
Colonel Warren came up the next morning after the fight and was in sight of the enemy all day. I was told by officers on the ground that General Blunt came up during the day, but no engagement took place. The enemy retreated south as soon as night came. I was told by Cockrell, who commanded the rebels in the fight, that very were completely out of ammunition, which fact I stated to Colonel Warren. I can give no list of casualties, as the company commanders have not reported to me.
I am, general, your obedient servant,
EMORY S. FOSTER,
Major Seventh Cavalry, Missouri State Militia.
Brigadier General JAMES TOTTEN.