south of Sedalia), and that the enemy were advancing toward Sedalia. I immediately sent a detachment toward Warsaw and other detachments on the several roads leading southeast and southwest from Sedalia, to ascertain the movements of the enemy. I also ordered the quartermaster and commissary at Sedalia to ship by railroad the public stores in their possession to Jefferson City. I also had breastworks made of railroad ties and bales of hay, and barricaded the streets, and had the citizens called out. The constant scouting necessary to watch the enemy at so great a distance was very laborious. Major William Gentry, with about 60 men of the Fifth Provisional Regiment of Enrolled Missouri Militia, was very active, and did al that his small force could do.
At noon of the 9th instant, I ascertained that the enemy were on the march and going toward Cole Camp from Warsaw. At 1 p. m. I learned that the enemy had passed Cole Camp, on the road leading to Syracuse, at noon, and at 3 p. m. I learned from my scouts that the enemy were, at 1 p. m., 5 miles beyond Cole Camp, on the road to Syracuse. All the commanding officers of co-operating forces were kept advised of the movements of the enemy by telegrams and by messengers, so far as I could learn their positions. At 5 p. m. Major Foster, with about 80 men, came to Sedalia from General Brown's forces, bringing 4 prisoners captured by him, and confirming the news already sent off by me. The forces were kept in readiness to march on the enemy at a moment's warning.
On the morning of the 10th instant, at daybreak (General Brown having arrived at Sedalia), Major Kelly, with four squadrons Fourth Missouri State Militia Cavalry, with Major Gentry and the men of the Fifth Provisional Regiment Enrolled Missouri Militia, heretofore mentioned, marched east after the enemy. At about 3 p. m. Major Kelly struck the enemy. His report is herewith filed as a part of my own.
On the morning of the 11th instant, I was again left in command of the post of Sedalia.
On the morning of the 15th instant, I received orders to take what men were at Sedalia on the 14th instant that were mounted, and ascertain where a portion of the enemy were that had gone in a southeast direction from Marshall on the 13th instant. I marched first to Cole Camp. Not hearing anything definite, I continued east from Cole Camp till nightfall.
On the morning of the 16th instant, I struck the trail of the enemy near Buffalo Mills. The enemy were going toward Duroc, and were twenty four hours ahead of me. I continued on their trail, and, after traveling on the road from Duroc to Linn Creek about 5 miles, their trail gave out. I ascertained that about 40 Federal soldiers had met their advance at that point, had had a skirmish with the enemy, and that the enemy had then left the road in a westerly direction. It was near night before I could find their trail. I would have to wait till morning before I could follow it, which would give the enemy thirty-six hours the start of me. The Federal forces south of the Osage River had come in contact with the enemy. The enemy were traveling rapidly, and using every effort to get south. I therefore abandoned farther pursuit, and returned to Sedalia, thence to Marshall, Mo.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
GEORGE H. HALL,
Colonel Fourth Missouri State Militia Cavalry.
Major HENRY SUESS,
Chief of Cavalry, Central District of Missouri, Jefferson City, Mo.