The rebels then scattered in the woods on Jack's Fork, where all traces of them were lost, as also the whereabouts of the three Union men they had as prisoners. In the country through which the scout passed, Sergeant [T. J.] McDowell notified the citizens that they would be held responsible for the safe return of these three Union men, and upon this startling intelligence a number of citizens started to try to effect the release of the prisoners.
Sergeant McDowell now finding pursuit to be useless, returned to this post, where he arrived on the 16th of August, with horses very much fatigued from the heat of the sum, want of forage, and traveling a distance of 130 miles.
Hoping, general, the means we use for preserving the peace and upholding our national flag in this vicinity will meet with your approval, I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain, Commanding Detachment.
Brigadier General THOMAS A. DAVIES,
Commanding Rolla District, Rolla, Mo.
Write a letter commending the energy, &c., displayed by Captain Murphy, Sergeant McDowell, and the latter's party in protecting Union men and order, and direct them to preserve in their duties.
AUGUST 17-26, 1863.- Expeditions from Cape Girardeau and Pilot Knob, Mo., to Pocahontas, Ark.
Numbers 1.- Colonel Richard G. Woodson, Third Missouri State Militia Cavalry.
Numbers 2.- Captain C. Gentry, Second Missouri State Militia Cavalry.
Numbers 1. Report of Colonel Richard G. Woodson, Third Missouri State Militia Cavalry.
PILOT KNOB, Mo., August 27, 1863.
SIR: In obedience to orders from Colonel Livingston, of the 17th instant (he then commanding the post of Pilot Knob), I moved with a detachment of my regiment from this point on the 18th instant for Greenville, to form a junction with a battalion from Cape Girardeau. I arrived at Greenville at noon on the 20th, and had to remain there till the evening of the 21st for the troops from the Cape, when they joined me on the marching on Thursday, the 22nd. I moved with the whole force, about 600 strong, for Pocahontas, by as rapid marches as the extreme heat of the weather and the condition of my stock would permit, and arrived at Pocahontas, Ark., on Saturday evening, the 24th instant. When I was within 4 miles of Pocahontas, I ascertained that Brigadier General Jeff. Thompson was there with little or no force. My column was then scattered over several miles, from the extreme rapidity of my march. Being very desirous to capture him, and knowing that I had to act with