War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0257 Chapter XXXIV. MARMADUKE'S EXPEDITION INTO MISSOURI.

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party, say from 500 to 800, on the railroad cut, 4 miles in the rear and east of this road. This I suppose to be the party that went east from Bloomfield, or some other that has ventured down the prairie road. A regimental can take care of them.

I shall keep ahead, being sure than I am within 8 or 10 miles of the main force of our enemy. Hurry up, for victory is sure.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

McNEIL.

Brigadier-General.

General VANDEVER.

HEADQUARTERS SUB-DISTRICT OF CAPE GIRARDEAU,

May 10, 1863.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report my return to this post and to acknowledge receipt of your order to occupy in until further orders. Captain Anton Gerster, Topographical Engineers, is here inspecting the forts. I have already detailed an officer with a working party for his assistance.

The post ordnance officer has made a report of small-ammunition, and the ordnance sergeant of the regular service is directed to do the same. Requisitions for ammunition for the forts go forward by this mail.

I shall, as soon as I get matters arranged, forward my report of proceeding up to the time I reported to and was directed by orders of General Vandever. I am only waiting for reports of the officers of the different commands.

We took no transportation, guns, or stores from the enemy, and but few prisoners. The officers and men displayed on every occasion the most soldierly spirit, marching until both horse and man had to succumb to fatigue and want of rest and food. But our fatal error was in allowing the enemy to cross the Castor.

Please excuse the haste with which this letter is written.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

JOHN McNEIL.

Brigadier-General DAVIDSON,

Commanding District of Saint Louis.

HEADQUARTERS SOUTHWEST DISTRICT,

Cape Girardeau, Mo., May 12, 1863.

GENERAL: I have the honor herewith to submit to you my report of the pursuit of General Marmaduke's forces from Cape Girardeau to Chalk Bluff, and also accompany it with the several reports of the brigade and regimental commanders.

On Monday, April 27, at 2 p. m., notwithstanding my men were worn out by their recent severe marches, and two days and nights of constant duty in preparing for the enemy, and finally defeating him on Sunday, I started in pursuit.

My force was composed of the First Wisconsin Cavalry, Colonel [O. H.] La Grange; Second Missouri State Militia, Lieutenant -Colonel [John F.] Benjamin; Welfley's battery, Lieutenant [Lawrence] Jacoby, and two detachments of Enrolled Missouri Militia, under Colonel [William H.] McLane and Lieutenant -Colonel Lee. The Enrolled Missouri Militia, however, were sent in the direction of Perry County, with instruc-

17 R-VOL XXII, PT 1