being unloaded on the opposite side. The first notice the enemy had of our presence was a shell from one of the howitzers in their midst, quickly followed by another and another. They took the hint and speedily left, taking shelter in a large mill near the bank. Several shells were thrown into this, and soon not a living soul was to be seen. The large ferry-boat laid quietly moored to the other shore, and, thinking it important to obtain possessio of that, a call was made for two men to swim the river and bring the flat over to our side. Lieutenant Hackney and Sergeant Wilson, of Company E, Sixth Missouri, promptly volunteered and gallantly executed the duty. The flat was found to be loaded with iron taken from the sunken gunboat lying in the river below. The flat was destroyed and sunk. I did not deem it prudent to attempt a crossing of any portion of my command. During the whole time we were performing this service the rain was falling in torrents. The day was waring to a close, and I withdrew from the river, moving back on the road by which I came to the Lambert Plantation, some 6 miles distant, where I encamped for the night. About the time of our arrival at camp the sound of artillery was heard in the direction of Saint Charles, which I encamped for the night. About the time of our arrival at camp the sound of artillery was heard in the direction of Saint Charles, which I supposed to be an effort of the enemy to shell us out of the woods, but we had left some time before. About 11 o'clock at night several other shots were heard from their guns. Information obtained from negroes and others in the vicinity satisfies me that a large number of laborers have been employed there in the erection of fortifications and that a force of some sort is encamped not far off. The latter fact is evident from the arrival of artillery so soon after our attack upon the place. Owing to an impassable bayou making in from the river, nearly opposite Saint Charles, I could not extend my observations down the river far enough to detect any fortifications. From the Lambert farm this morning I set out on my return, and arrived all safe, without the loss of a man. Several prisoners were taken on my route, mostly soldiers on leave, who will be sent to the provost-marshal.
I beg leave to mention the valuable services on this expedition of Lieutenant-Colonel Wood, of the Sixth Missouri Cavalry. Adjutant Glenn Lowe, of the Third Iowa Cavalry, rendered me very essential service as acting adjutant of the expedition. The officers and troops all behaved in the most admirable manner, enduring the hard marches and privations with the utmost alacrity and good-will.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain J. W. PADDOCK,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Southwest.
SEPTEMBER 13, 1862.-Skirmish near Bragg's Farm, near Whaley's Mill, Mo.
Report of Brigadier General John McNeil.
HDQRS. MCNEIL'S COLUMN, ON THE MARCH,
Bragg's Farm, near Whaley's Mill, September 14, 1862.
General MERRILL: After a pursuit of 34 miles we came upon Porter's camp at 5 o'clock p. m. He was from 400 to 500 strong. We