I, myself, took command of 49 men of the Third Missouri State Militia, under Lieutenant Kelly, and 32 men from the Thirteenth Illinois Cavalry, under command of Captain [G. Allen] May. I intended to march in a western direction to Carter's Mill, on Black River; from there to Doniphan, and arrive on the 2nd of June, at 3 p. m., at the junction of the different roads south of Reves' camp, and act in conjunction with Captain Erskine.
I arrived at Carter's Mill at 12 m., and, as I had received information that small rebel band was in the vicinity, I scouted the country around thoroughly, without finding any signs of an enemy. From this place I proceeded, the same afternoon, 14 miles farther on the Doniphan road. At 6 p. m. I left the main road, and went to a farm about 1 1/2 miles in an eastern direction, for the purpose of obtaining forage. This farm consisted of about 16 acres of cleared ground, making a regular square, with a creek, lined on each side by small brushes, running from east to west through the center of the clearing. The field was surrounded by very steep hills on all sides, covered with the heavy timber and thick underbrush. On the west side of the field was a large log barn, with a small fenced yard surrounding three sides. At arriving at the place, I ordered Lieutenant Kelly to camp his command in and around this barn-yard. I also ordered Captain May to camp his command on the north side of the creek, behind the undergrowth on its bank.
After the pickets had been stationed on the hills around the camp, the horses were fed and the men prepared their supper. When this was done, I ordered the whole command to saddle and bridle again, and sleep on their arms, close to their horses. Captain May received instructions from me to remain, in case of an attack, at the place on which he was encamped, as a reserve, and await my orders. Lieutenant Kelly was instructed, in case of an attack, to take half of his command and form a line of skirmishers behind the fence on the south side of the field, and the other half of his command was ordered to hold the barn-yard, and, in case the enemy came in overwhelming numbers, the whole of his command should fall back to the barn and hold it.
On the morning of June 1, at about 3.45, I heard two shots fired in the direction of the picket on the east side of my camp. I immediately ordered the troops to the positions before designated. I told Captain May to hold his command in readiness, either to charge on the enemy, if he should attempt to come into the field, or to be prepared to fall in his rear, with dismounted men, but, under all circumstances, to await my orders. After this I went back to the Third Missouri State Militia, and saw Lieutenant Kelly leaving his place behind the fence, already, in double-quick. I asked him his reasons for such doings, and received an answer that the enemy could be heard coming through the woods. I then ordered him back behind the fence, but before he arrived there a tremendous fire was opened from the woods opposite the fence. This was sufficient to frighten his men so completely that all efforts on the barn. I further noticed that these men ran away without taking their saddled horses along, which, in order to save, I gave the men orders to mount a at four different times, which was obeyed by but 7 or 8 men who remained on the ground. After this I proceeded to Captain May, and found him with his men in line of battle, awaiting my orders. In the mean time the enemy had crossed the fence and taken possession of the barn and surrounding yard, and secured the horses of the Third Missouri State Militia. The same moment I also saw a mounted force