On the morning of the 21st, I received orders to proceed with my column and attack the enemy in the vicinity of Bloomfield. High water in the Saint Francis and Mingo retarded my march, so that I did not reach Bloomfield with the command until the evening of the 23rd.
In the meanwhile Lieutenant-Colonel [W. J.] Preston, of Burbridge's command, moved on Bloomfield, capturing a considerable amount of commissary stores and corn.
The enemy under General [John] McNeil, had left Bloomfield and gone toward Jackson on the evening of the 21st, leaving a strong picket with block-house fortification at White Bridge, on the Cape Girardeau road.
At 12 o'clock on the night of the 23rd, the column was moved toward Cape Girardeau. I moved, with my escort, 10 miles in advance of the column, intending to surprise the picket, distant some 35 miles from Bloomfield. When within 3 miles of the brigade, a detachment, consisting of Reves' company (under Lieutenant [B. A.] Johnson) and Texas brigade (under Captain [John S.] Carrington, assistant adjutant-general of Carter's brigade), was ordered to proceed by William's Ferry to intercept the retreat of the enemy and attack them in the rear. The enemy's forces consisted of Company G. (Captain [S. V.] Shipman), First Wisconsin Cavalry. They fought bravely; were 57 strong. Of this number wounded and captured was Captain Shipman. We captured also the train, tents, and 25 horses. My loss was 4 wounded, including Lieutenant [H. C.] Sloan, of Reves' company.
The column reached White Water Bridge at 4 o'clock. Mcneil, was reported at Jackson, 10 miles from Cape Girardeau. Hoping to cut off his return from Jackson and force an engagement, Colonel Greene was ordered to move his brigade on the morning of the 24th, at 3 o'clock, toward Cape Girardeau. From some cause the order was not promptly obeyed, and my column did not reach the point contemplated until 4 o'clock on the 25th.
In the mean time the enemy had retreated from Jackson and taken refuge behind him fortifications at Cape Girardeau.
On the morning of the 26th, the first column, under, Colonel Shelby, formed a junction me near Cape Girardeau and attack the fortification, when I was ordered to take position on his rear as support and to prevent a flank movement by the enemy. My command was not brought into action during the day, except for a few moments when a section of Pratt's battery engaged the Federal skirmishes. At 4 o'clock, by order of the general commanding, I was relieved of the command of the column and assumed command of my brigade, moving toward Jackson.
The marching, in view of the difficulty of forage and subsistence and the condition of the roads and teams, was creditable. The officers and men bore their privations with honorable cheerfulness.
I would here particularly commend Sergeant [Henry M.] Leary, of Captain [John B] Williams' company, Nineteenth texas Cavalry, for his gallantry at White Water Bridge.
G. W. CARTER,
Colonel, Commanding Second Column, Marmaduke's Division.
Major [HENRY] EWING,