War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0292 MO., ARK., KANS., IND. T, AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXXIV.

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pying the central and front positions on the sloping ridge adjacent to the house of Mr. -, in the suburbs of the town, and commanding the main road, or entrance thereto. After putting out flankers to the right and left, and skirmishers and sharpshooters well to the front under the command of Captain [John] Thraikill, of the First Missouri Cavalry, First Brigade, and near the bridge just destroyed, we patiently awaited the approach of the enemy, determined to win a victory upon the grounds so recently deserted by the criminal outlaw and tory leaded, General McNeil. Thus we remained until late in the evening, when a body of the enemy's advance cavalry, reconnoitering, received a well-directed fire from our sharpshooters, emptying several saddles and sending off their horses riderless. A recall from their bugles relieved our lines from further annoyance during the night. My command lay in line of battle and upon their arms during the night, and until 10 o'clock the next day, when, the enemy studiously avoiding any further demonstration, and in obedience to orders, I directed my brigade to mount their horses, and once more took up the line of march. After withdrawing my skirmishers and sharpshooters, the enemy furiously shelled the woods recently occupied by them, but made no further demonstrations until the morning of May 2, when a courier brought the intelligence that the enemy was annoying the rear guard of the army. Coming to a broken section of country, it was determined once more to offer them battle, but therefore the line of battle was completed it was determined to move on to a more eligible position, as being nearer and more convenient to the crossing of the Saint Francis River. My command having moved out, and just as the rear of Colonel Gordon's regiment was passing into the road, a body of the enemy's cavalry dashed into Colonel Carter's command, driving his rear guard before them and firing recklessly as they came. This created some confusion, which was soon allayed, and the enemy, with considerable loss, driven back by Carter's command. Halting the three rear companies of Colonel Gordon's regiment, commanded, respectively, by Captains [W. S.] Bullard and [W. R.] Edwards, and Lieutenant Bledsoe, I formed and held them as a reserve until the entire army had passed, when the enemy again advanced, and after exchanging a heavy fire the enemy fell back; nor did they attempt the experiment again. My loss here was 3 wounded, 2 severely.

Continuing our march to within 3 miles of the river, I again received orders to form my command in line of battle, which was promptly done, they being dismounted and the horses sent to the river by the unarmed men, to be crossed over, the ordnance and baggage wagons having gone on in front of the army. Placing out skirmishers and sharpshooters, we again awaited their coming. Noon passed and the evening wore on to near its wane, when a few random shots in the distance told of their cautious approach. Soon, however, the firing increased in the advance of my center, and as it advanced became more constantly and determined, until within about 300 yards of my lines, when it became severe and obstinate. Masking Captain Collins' battery being a small body of cavalry formed across the road, I anxiously awaited a dash of their cavalry; but finding the enemy more tender-footed than in the morning, gave up the hope of a charge by them. Here Captain Collins opened a scathing fire upon heavy body of skirmishers and sharpshooters, completely routing and scattering them. They now opened upon as with a few pieces of artillery, but none of my command being in the tree-tops no damage was done. Captain Collins sending a few whistling shots from his rifled guns and shells from his iron a brass 6s in close proximity