SEPTEMBER 13, 1863.-Attack on, and skirmish near, Salem, Mo.
Reports of Captain Levi E. Whybark, Fifth Missouri State Militia Cavalry.
SALEM, MO., September 13, 1863.-8 p. m.
COLONEL: After the dispersion of Colonel Freeman and his band of thieves, [they] attempted to attack this post last night at 3 o'clock; were routed and driven off, with loss of 1 man killed and -mortally wounded, and the loss of some 10 guns and hats, boots, &c., which they left on the ground. Our loss none. Lieutenant Charles Koch just returned and made the following report:
In compliance with orders received from headquarters detachment Fifth Missouri State Militia Cavalry, I started, together with Lieutenant [M. S.] Eddleman and 80 men of Companies C and M, Fifth Missouri State Militia Cavalry, at about 6 a. m., in pursuit of the rebel force which attempted to attack our camp last night. We followed their trail with the utmost possible speed, and ascertained of the inhabitants of houses which we passed that their force was from 200 to 300 strong. They did not keep any road, but went right through the woods and over the mountains, so that we were several times obliged to dismount to get our horses down the cliffs. After three hours' hard ride, making about 20 miles in that time, we had the satisfaction to see the force right before us, on a hill, ready for a fight. While myself, with the men of Company C, attacked in the front, Lieutenant Eddleman, with the men of Company M, made a flank movement on the right flank, charging on the enemy at the same time, as well as my command from the front. The rebels could not stand this combined charge, and, after about twenty minutes' resistance, fled in every direction. Rebel loss, 14 killed,and wounded a good many more, as we found in the pursuit many sings of blood. we captured in all about 24 guns, 5 horses, and 2 mules. Among the killed was Captain Post, whose recruiting commission I herewith inclose. No others were recognized. The rebels were commanded by Colonel Freeman, and had in their company William Orchard and a certain Duckworth, from this place. Our loss was 3 men wounded of Company M, one of them severely in the knee; also one citizen, Mr. Copeland, who voluntarily joined Company C, and was shot in the thigh. We had 1 horse killed and 5 wounded, among them the horse of your reporter. We also have to report killed and 5 wounded, among them the horse of your reporter. We also have to report the supposed capture of a private of Company M, who got wounded, and, being unable to follow any farther, started homeward with other wounded, and supposed is captured, as they were followed by a part of the rebels, and his horse gave out; and nothing has been heard from him since, while the others have arrived in camp.
Closing this my respectful report, I must express my entire satisfaction with the behavior of all men under my command, who charged on the enemy, far superior in numbers, with such great gallantry; and if it had not been for the thick underbrush, which was almost impassable, we would have been more successful.
Transmitting to you the written report, I assure you that I have all necessary steps taken to secure the safety of the camp, and to ascertain all rebel movements going on in this section of the country, as far as my small command is capable. I must say that Lieuts. Charles Koch and Eddleman and men deserve the greatest of praise for their coolness and promptness in pursuing the rebels.
Please refer this report to the general commanding the district.
L. E. WHYBARK,
Captain, Commanding Detachment Fifth Missouri State Militia Cavalry.
Lieutenant Colonel JOSEPH P. EPPSTEIN,
Salem, Mo., September 14, 1863-6 a. m.
COLONEL: All quiet. No rebels around. We have driven them out of the country with our small force. We apprehend no danger at pres-