While on the march to said height we met the enemy, commanded by Colonel Childs and the guerrilla Quantrill, their force numbering (according to Colonel Childs' statement) 130 men. They fired upon us, and, as usual, then fled to the brush. I dismounted my men and took to the brush in like manner. Then almost a hand-to-hand fight ensued, which lasted about forty minutes, and not any of the time more than 40 yards apart, during which time we drove the rebels from the field, capturing Colonel Childs (supposed to be mortally wounded), 3 horses and equipments, and 1 cavalry saber.
I ordered my men to mount, which they did, on a double-quick. Being mounted, we started in pursuit, though cautiously as we passed through the brush. When we approached the prairie I thought pursuit useless, and I then returned to the battle ground to ascertain our loss.
On our arrival I found 1 killed and 1 mortally wounded, both of Company A; 1 of Company B, slightly wounded, and many others with holes shot through their clothes and hats, which shows that they were standing close up to their work.
My little band, both officers and men (with the exception of two), conducted themselves like heroes, some of them brave even to desperation. Such gallantry I have never witnessed in my life, and I must say that I never expected to. Both officers and men obeyed my commands with as much coolness and promptitude as though they were upon their daily parade ground.
I regret very much (yes, it mortifies me) to report Sergeant Sheperson, of Company D, and Private Harrison Thompson, of Company B, for deserting the field in the beginning of the fight.
The entire loss of the enemy not known; but while we were making preparations to move our dead and wounded I learned from ladies who had come up to learn the result of the fight that Quantrill was pressing buggies and carriages to convey his wounded. From Colonel Childs' own statement and the blood on the ground they must have suffered severely. They also stated that Quantrill was retreating in the direction of Lone Jack.
Our loss of property heavy. Company A lost in killed, wounded, and missing 5 horses and horse equipments and 1 contraband horse and equipments; Company D lost in killed, wounded, and missing 3 horses and horse equipments; Company K lost in killed and missing 2 horses and horse equipments; Company B lost in missing 1 horse and horse equipments, and lost 1 gun, caused by a shot from the rebels.
In order to mount the dismounted and convey the dead and wounded to this place I pressed from William Hughes 1 buggy, 1 rockaway, and harness for each; from Mrs. Willis, 1 horse; from Mrs. Garrison, 1 horse and buggy; from Mr. Mellin, 1 horse. All this completed, I took up my line of march for this place. After I had proceeded some 5 miles I met your re-enforcements, under command of Captain Vanzant. I then ordered the killed and wounded to be taken, with a sufficient force for safety, to camp. I then counter-marched with the command and scoured the country during the night in the neighborhood of Big Hill and Pink Hill, not finding the enemy.
Early the following morning we struck their trail, and followed in pursuit until about 8 a. m., when we came upon their pickets, giving them a round of musketry, and Captain Johnson, every ready with his battery, turned his little gun upon them and gave them a few canister, which sent them off on a double-quick. We captured 3 horses and Government horse equipments, 1 Savage revolver, cartridge box and belt.