Finding water scarce, marched the whole command to Shoal Creek, distant 1 1/4 mils. Directed Captain McDonel to take his company and guard the road at the creek which led out of Granby on the left in a northwest direction, with instructions to place pickets beyond. I also placed a company from Bryan's battalion on the same creek on a road leading out of town to the right with like instructions regarding pickets, and left Major Bryan's on the main Sarcoxie road leading out of Granby to the northward with the balance of his battalion, at the same time instructing him to keep his outposts strongly guarded, and in case of an attack to annoy the enemy as much as possible and to fall back in order on the reserve, which I marched back to Granby, and occupied the town as my military headquarters. Having thus arranged everything with regard to safety, officers and soldiers bivouacked for the night, and all seemed promising for a good night's rest. Between 1 and 2 o'clock in the morning, receiving a dispatch from you asking for information, I directed Captain Degen and H. S. Woodward to find a man living near to where Major Bryan was encamped, who, I was led to believe could give the information required. They proceeded to within 300 yards of the camp and heard considerable firing, which they conjectured to be between the enemy and our pickets. They immediately returned and reported to me the facts, upon hearing of which I took such steps as put every man to horse in ten minutes. Had but just completed mounting when a courier from Major Bryan arrived, stating they had encountered the enemy, their advance firing into our pickets and ours returning it. The pickets fell back to their encampment, reporting the enemy to be in force and with artillery; how strong could not be imagined, as the night was intensely dark. Major Bryan at once ordered a retreat, which was orderly and quietly done, falling back upon Granby, as instructed. Captain McDonel hearing the firing also fell back, so that I had all of my command collected again excepting the company of Major Bryan's battalion, which occupied the right-hand road. I immediately got my men into column, with Captain Stone and 6 men as the advance; threw out Captain Miller's company on the right as flankers, and in this position moved down on the main road. Had proceeded about a quarter of a mile from the town when the enemy's advance met ours. Captain Stone halted them, when they immediately retreated about 30 yards, our advance pouring in a volley, which they returned, and the firing became general and rapid on both sides. Captain Stone had his horse killed under him and a ball through his hat, our regimental colors also receiving a ball though its folds. It was impossible for me to form my men into line; the country was so thick with brush and the night so intensely dark that it could not be done. Fell back again to town, but finding by the sound of the enemy's bugle that they were flanking us, fell back half a mile farther to an advantageous place; formed my men just as day was breaking, when it commenced pouring rain; sent out vedettes and stood awaiting events. This was a time that tried the material of which my command was composed, and it is with more than pride that I say a more determined set of officers and soldiers it never was my pleasure to ride before and look upon. Not a soldier in the whole line but exposed himself to shelter his gun from the weather. Determination was stamped upon every face, and it required but a casual glance for me to assure myself they could be trusted and relied upon.
In the mean time the enemy were not idle; they had discovered us at the same time we did them. The order was passed down the line to steady, while the enemy could be seen filing past and flanking us