tions to move through the country, and, in case of my engaging at White Water, to pick up straggling detachments.
I left as garrison in the Cape the Thirty-seventh Illinois Infantry, the Thirty-second Iowa Infantry, and the First Nebraska Infantry. My men were in fine spirits, although but one day's regiments and no equipage encumbered their movements or added to their comforts. That afternoon we made 16 miles, reaching White River. I had expected that General Vandever, by a forced march from Jackson, would have cut the enemy out from the bridge and placed him between our two columns, forcing him to general action, when our great superiority in artillery and better quality of troops must have given us a decided victory. I found the Whiter Water Bridge had been thoroughly destroyed by the fleeing foe, just two hours in advance of me. Learning that General Vandever was encamped about 4 miles to the north of the bridge, and higher up the river, I there reported to him, and learned from him that the jaded condition of his horses had prevented his farther pursuit that day. By 10 o'clock next morning, owing to the indefatigable exertions of the First Wisconsin, Colonel [O. H.] La Grande and Major [William H.] Torrey, the bridge was rebuilt, and General Vandever having assigned to me the advance, I hurried on and encamped after about 3 miles from the Castor River, having marched, over very bad roads, 32 miles. At this point Lieutenant F. R. Poole, my acting assistant adjutant-general, who was urging the advance, made a dashing over charge upon a part of the enemy's rear with only 6 men, killing 2 of the Texans and capturing Lieutenant [William] Bast, of Thompson's regiment. I learned from a farmer near, whom I know to be loyal, that the main body of the enemy was at the Castor, and he supposed, from the recent rain, they would be unable to cross. Colonel [John M.] Glover, with the Third Missouri Cavalry and Welfey's battery, was pushed on the within 1\2 miles of the river crossing, and I made every arrangement for an attack by early dawn, but received orders from the rear to halt until they had come up. I sent Colonel La Grange, with the First Wisconsin, to feel his way, and learned that the river was fordable and the enemy had been crossing all night, drowning several of their men, and were posted in the woods on the opposite bank and prepared to dispute our crossing. Captain [Perry D.] McClanahan's section of the Second Missouri State Militia advanced, afterward strengthened by Cole's section of long-range, guns, under Lieutenant [Joseph B.] Atwater, and Colonel La Grange, First Wisconsin Cavalry, who soon drove the enemy from their position, the First Wisconsin doing excellent service as sharpshooters. I then fell back, and in the afternoon crossed the river, as per order received April 29, a copy of which is transmitted. The river in the mean time having risen, I am indebted to the exertions of Captain [William] Dawson and his company, Second Missouri State Militia, for being enabled to cross my artillery and ammunition with the necessary dispatch.
I pushed on toward Bloomfield, as far as obedience to the order would allow, when Colonel La Grange, who was leading an advance party, commenced skirmishing with the enemy's rear, driving them to within three-fourths of a mile of Bloomfield, where the enemy had taken position in some force. I at once hurried up to the support of La Grange, and posted the artillery on Walker's hill, within 1,000 yards of the enemy; recalled the skirmishers and opened fire. By dark the enemy was silenced, and I was in hopes the report of their being in strong position at Bloomfield and determined to make a stand would prove correct.