his front as he approached French Point, which place he was obliged to pass in his retreat. The trail, as I anticipated, led directly through French Point, and the bank was still wet with the water carried out in Livingston's crossing, but Captain Ballew was not there. I regret to have to report that he had arrived, was waiting for me, his advance had fired upon Livingston's advance as the latter approached, when an escaped prisoners, frightened and bewildered, reported to him the fight a short time previous, and that the rebels were not far off, and Captain Ballew disobeyed my orders, retreated with his 50 men without waiting to see the enemy or engage him, never halting until night, thus leaving the path open for Livingston's retreat. Had Captain Ballew obeyed orders and stood his ground, there can be no question but Livingston and his fiendish gang would have been completely annihilated.
The command bivouacked the night of the 14th instant 3 miles above Sherwood. Captain Ballew encamped 12 miles from French Point, near Grove Creek.
On the morning of the 15th, his rear was fired on by a squad of bushwhackers, when he retreated back on to Centre Creek, passed round by Bower's Mills, 25 miles out of his way, and arrived at Newtonia at 9 o'clock the same night, having lost 2 men prisoners, who fell into the hands of the men that fired on him, and who report that the bushwhackers numbered 8.
On the morning of the 15th, I sent Captain Cassairt, with 30 men, to bury the dead and convey the wounded to Newtonia. With the remainder of the command I passed over on to Spring River, following Livingston's trail over the prairie, but, at distance of 2 miles, the trail divided, and finally diverged in every direction, not more than 4 men having gone together. I passed down Spring River 5 miles, thence across again on to Centre Creek, when, for the next ten days, the command was kept moving slowly through the brush and over by-roads, crossing and recrossing the creek, and from the time of the first skirmish, on the 14th, until leaving the creek, on the 18th instant, we were almost continually fighting them, starting up scattered squads of from 4 to 10, chasing and firing on the, when they invariably dashed into the brush and concealed themselves, rendering it impossible-except in two instances, when men were overtaken and shot down-to ascertain whether they were hurt or not.
Our total loss on the scout is 4 killed and 2 wounded. The enemy's loss, reported by parties present at the burial, is 15 killed, a captain wounded, and 15 or 20 wounded, 1 mortally, at different points on the creek.
The following is a correct list of the killed and wounded of both battalions: Killed-Charles Crude, sergeant Company M, Seventh Missouri State Militia Cavalry, shot and stripped naked after having surrendered; Winster C. Donely, corporal Company M, Seventh Missouri State Militia Cavalry; Henry C. Maxey, sergeant Company L; and Horace Palmer, private Company F, Eighth Missouri State Militia Cavalry, killed after being taken. Wounded-John T. Anderson, corporal Company L, Seventh Missouri State Militia Cavalry; Samuel Beach, private Company F, Eighth Missouri State Militia Cavalry.
In justice to the memory of Private Palmer, I cannot forbear mentioning that when the retreat from the first skirmish commenced he exclaimed, "I didn't volunteer to run; right here I'll die;" dismounted, deliberately tied his horse to a tree, and fired eighteen shots before he could be taken.