order of Lieutenant-Colonel [Thomas T.] Crittenden, commanding post, in command of 94 men of the Seventh Missouri State Militia Cavalry, and 100 of my own battalion. After proceeding 9 miles, Captain Squire Ballew, Seventh Cavalry, with 50 men, was detached, with orders to proceed down Shoal Creek about 15 miles; thence pass over on to Turkey Creek, avoiding roads as much as possible, and driving the brush thoroughly, and to encamp that night in vicinity of Turkey Creek Mines; thence he was directed to pass down the creek to a point 3 miles below Sherwood; thence to move up Centre, while, with the remainder, I moved down from a point above, and to meet me at French Point some time next day, 14th instant, with the additional caution that I probably would not arrive until late in the afternoon. I moved with the balance of the command through the brush on to Jones' and Jenkin's Creeks, and divided the scout again so as to scour them both. No sign was discovered, and the command encamped that night on Centre Creek, 5 miles from Carthage. Captain Ballew encamped as directed.
On the morning of the 14th instant, I again divided the portion of the command with me, sending Captain Cassairt, of the Eighth Cavalry, with 40 men, down the south side of the creek; Captain [M. x.] Henslee, Seventh Cavalry, with 35 on the north side, while, with e remainder, I passed down the Centre. By this disposition I hoped, as the result proved, either to engage and surround the guerrillas with the three sub-divisions of my own immediate command, or to drive them to French Point, where Captain Ballew should have been ready to engage them, while I advanced on their rear and either flank, in which event the capture or destruction of the entire gang was inevitable. About 3 p. m., Captain Henslee drove in their pickets on the north, and Captain Cassairt on the south, side of the creek. Captain Henslee followed the trail hotly, crossed the creek, and joined Captain Cassairt on the other side; thence both pushed on, found the guerrillas, about 100 strong, commanded by Livingston, strongly posed under cover of a log-house and dense brush. A severe fight ensued of some fifteen minutes'; duration, when our men were obliged to fall back. This, I am confident, would not have occurred had not Captain Henslee been cut off from his command. At the first fine his horse became unmanageable and dashed clean through the rebel lines, leaving his men without a commander. Many of the guerrillas were dressed in Federal uniforms. Captain Cassairt's detachment mistook them for our men, and before discovering their mistake were right among them, had received a galling fire, and were fighting hand-to-hand.
Captain Henslee, who had been carried far beyond the ground, as soon as his horse could be checked, dashed back, and with the greatest coolness and daring approached within close pistol-shot of the rebels, fired, and killed 1 before wheeling to make his escape. Captain Cassairt exerted himself to the utmost to rally his men, and finally succeeded in gaining the front on the edge of the prairie; threatened to shot the first man who dared to move another step in retreat; immediately formed, and commenced firing upon the enemy, who, in turn, retreated, carrying off his dead and wounded. When the firing commence, the detachment with me was 2 miles distant up the creek. I immediately until all was over. This was 4 1/2 miles east of Sherwood and 1/2 miles from French Point.
I pushed on immediately in pursuit, pressing them so hard as to compel them to leave their prisoners, whom I recaptured, and expecting every moment to hear Captain Ballew's guns attacking the enemy in