several days the command returned and reported having burned the extensive bridge over Mill Creek after a spirited fight, in which the frightened enemy were scattered in wild confusion. Our loss during this expedition was I killed and several wounded; that of the enemy several killed and many wounded. This I consider a most daring adventure, reflecting great credit upon both officers and men.
While encamped here and in the vicinity, quite a number of men were recruited for the service, and our scouts continued to bring in squads of the tory militia, who were generally paroled and set at liberty. On the evening of the 25th, we again took up the line of march, which was continued throughout the entire night, and, as red-eyed morning peeped out of the cloud-curtained window of the east, our advance, under Major Shanks, entered the sleeping village of Old Jackson. Pushing on to a point 4 miles from town, the command was halted, where both men and horses partook of a hasty meal, during which time a heavy fall of rain drenched to the skin my weary men.
At about 8 o'clock, I received orders from Colonel Shelby to move my command, which was immediately executed, and, when arriving within 3 miles of Cape Girardeau, my advance, yet under command of Major Shanks, encountered and drove in, at a rapid force, the enemy's pickets, nor gave up the chase until the enemy opened upon them with shot and shell from the commanding heights encircling and overlooking the town. At the base of this chain of hills, the sloping sides of which were open fields, over which ran the main road, I formed my command in line of battle in the following order, viz: Forming Major Shanks' battalion to the left of the road, and on the extreme left of the line, with his left resting upon the woods; upon his right rested my own regiment, while Captain Collins' battery wheeled into line, with one gun in the road and with his regiment dismounted, formed in the woods, with his left resting upon the battery, while Colonel Gordon, with his regiment also dismounted, formed the extreme right of my lines. Captain Collins' battery, although greatly exposed to a cross-fire from the enemy's heavy guns, gallantly maintained its position and thundered forth a reply searchingly inquisitive. The roar of artillery now became constant. The enemy's heavy guns from the forts on the apex of the hill overlooking our extreme left hurled their heavy shot and screaming shell furiously at our little battery, but with no other effect than slightly wounding 3 men and killing 3 battery horses. The enemy's skirmishers, occupying the woods in front of Colonels Jeans' and Gordon's regiments, opened upon them a brisk fire, but were almost instantly dislodged by the two regiments advancing at a charge, driving them, in wild disorder, across the open field and behind the crest of the hill. Here we captured several prisoners. My own regiment, having been dismounted, I now ordered around into position on Colonel Gordon's right, and moved the battery to a position in the corner of the woods and to the right of my regiment, it being supported on the right by Colonel [J. Q.] Burbridge's brigade. Again the firing became constant and terrific, as if the momentary lull only gave strength and vigor to the contest. The enemy's forts and batteries continued to play upon our battery for more than one hour without intermission, and now and then swept the woods with shell and shot, canister and grape, while the Minie balls came hissing a treble to the music of the roar.
During this severe contest, Major [Y. H.] Blackwell, Adjutant [John N.] Edwards, and Lieutenant [William H.] Ferrell, of Colonel Gordon's regiment, and Captain [H. M] Woodsmall, of Colonel Jeans' regiment,