plete. Five men of Company I fell into the enemy's hands, and were paroled, and also 3 of Company E. This company retreated to Calhoun, where it joined the forces under Lieutenant-Colonel Lazear, of the First Missouri State Militia.
On the 11th instant, at 3 a. m., I moved with eleven companies of my regiment and four pieces of Thurber's First Missouri State Militia Light Artillery in direction of Otterville; form Otterville, via Lebanon, toward Boonville, camping that night at McGruder's, 10 miles southwest of Boonville. At dawn next morning, in obedience to your orders, I moved eastward to the south of Boonville 8 miles, where we learned the enemy had passed through Boonville, going west. Here we countermarched, and 4 miles west of our last camping ground struck the enemy's left flank, and 6 miles farther, near Dug Ford, on Blackwater, passed in advance of Colonel Lazear's command,and came up with the enemy's rear, rapidly moving to the west. Our advance, under Major Suess, soon began skirmishing with them, killing 1, capturing horse, equipments, &c. Here the advance, composed of Companies A, C, D, and F, was given in charge of Major Foster, who pressed forward with so much energy as to bring the enemy to a stand at Salt Fork. He crossed the creek, leaving a line of skirmishers on the south side, and throwing forward, in line, a whole regiment, dismounted and strongly posted behind a fence and in thick brush, completely covering the ford, which was a narrow defile, with abrupt banks. The major threw forward his entire force, stretching along the summit of a high woodland, most favorably situated, when a most fierce fire of musketry ensued. Two pieces of Thurber's artillery were ordered forward into action. A sharp cannonading between our and the rebel guns took place. The infantry pressing hard on the ford, the enemy fell back in haste. We had several horses wounded here, and 2 or 3 men struck with musket balls and 1 with a piece of shell. One man belonging to the battery was killed with a cannon ball. We killed 1 of the enemy and wounded a number.
The evening was cloudy, dark, and rainy, and night approaching with such intense darkness, we halted, the men lying all night in line on their arms, impatiently awaiting the morning to renew the struggle or the chase. Here I was joined by Captain Darst, Company E, of my regiment, with about 45 men of his command. This company had been through the day the advanced guard of Lieutenant-Colonel Lazear's force, and had several brilliant encounters with the enemy, killing- of them, and capturing several horses and much persona property from them. Two men of Company E were killed through the day, one with musketry and the other supposed to have fallen from his horse in the charge, as there was no evidence on his person of gunshot wounds.
As soon as it was light enough to discover our way on the morning of the 13th instant, we moved out the advance under Major Foster, quickly followed by the column, Colonel Lazear's force having been sent by your order direct to Marshall, to head off the enemy. At 8 a. m. Major Houts was sent forward with Companies H, I, and K, to relieve Major Foster and take the advance. This the major did with characteristic promptness and eagerness for the fray. Near Marshall, he came up with the enemy's rear and attacked him vigorously. It was soon ascertained that Colonel Lazear had reached Marshall in advance of the enemy and had engaged him there. Between us and town and the enemy was a creek difficult to cross, the enemy occupying on his side high ground completely overlooking the crossing, which was spanned by a mean bridge, already partly torn up by the enemy. Under your direction, I dispatch Captain Foster with his company to occupy a ford one-half