enemy from Cole Camp. I sent Major Kelly, with 300 men, at day-light this morning down the railroad, with orders to act against the enemy, in conjunction with Colonel Lazear, or toward Brownsville, if he found the enemy had crossed the railroad. He has reported that a force of 200 men passed through Otterville, toward Syracuse, burning the bridge and block-houses at the La Mine. The guard abandoned it without firing a gun. They could have protected the bridge and defended themselves if they had made the effort.
I have just received dispatches from the west. Colonel Weer was at Clinton yesterday with 500 men. There were about 400 there before. General Ewing will be at Warrensburg to-day with 500 men. I have dispatched to them the situation of the enemy.
There appears, from the information I have, a breaking up of the enemy's forces. They are in small bodies to the southeast of this point.
I have sent small scouting parties out to obtain information of the
movements of the rebels. I have failed in getting a telegram to you by Kansas City.
I am, very truly, your obedient servant,
E. B. BROWN,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding.
Major General JOHN M. SCHOFIELD,
Commanding Department of the Missouri.
MARSHALL, MO., October 13, 1863-3 p. m.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that the troops under my command attacked the enemy's forces, commanded by Brigadier General Joseph Shelby, at this place this morning, and, after five hours' hard fighting defeated him, capturing his artillery and a large number of small-arms and part of his train. The list of casualties is large on the part of the enemy. Ours quite severe. The enemy is being pursued in every direction. They may concentrate again.
I am, very truly, yours,
E. B. BROWN,
HEADQUARTERS IN THE FIELD,
Marshall, Mo., October 13, 1863-6 p. m.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that, after following the enemy through Cole Camp, Syracuse, and Boonville, skirmishing with his rear all the distance, he was forced to make a stand at Merrill's Crossing of the Salt Fork River, a point 8 miles southwest of Arrow Rock and about the same distance from Marshall, and commenced a skirmishing fight at 6 o'clock on the evening of the 12th, in the midst of a cold, driving rain. We fought him as long as we could see, and lay down on our arms in the rain during the night. At 3 o'clock this morning, I detached Lieutenant-Colonel Lazear, with about 900 men, with orders to move to the south, avoiding the route of the enemy, and intercept him, if possible, at Marshall, and bring on an engagement, while I followed him (the enemy) with the balance of my command. The result was as I had hoped. Lieutenant-Colonel Lazear moved on in advance of the enemy, and an engagement commenced at 8 a. m.