War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0640 MO., ARK., KANS., IND. T., AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXXIV.

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mile above, and soon followed him with the balance of my command, and one section of the artillery, the other section having been sent to Major Houts, who was now struggling hard to pass over the bridge, which, despite the resistance, he crossed, and for one hour fought the enemy in force, compelling him to retire toward the west, where the main force was contending for the mastery of the town. In the man time I had succeeded, with indescribable difficulty, through dense underbrush, over ravines and rugged hills, in gaining position on the enemy's left flank. No sooner than he discovered me, did he open on us a most furious cannonading, throwing round shot and shell into our ranks, with more of terror than of danger. The distance was yet too great to make rifles effective, and the intermediate ground being so broken and brushy as to render the movement of cavalry in that direction impracticable, I at once dismounted the men and moved them in line directly toward the enemy. He took fright at this movement, and at once put his force in motion, evidently endeavoring to escape to the north. I therefore mounted the men and conducted them at the gallop three-quarters of a mile to the northwest of town, and in rear of the enemy's right, giving the battery a position. I left squadrons to support it, and, dismounting the others, threw them rapidity into action on the left of the battalions of the Fourth Missouri State Militia and the Fifth Provisional Enrolled Missouri Militia, commanded, respectively, by Majors Kelly and Gentry. Here the fighting was severe for nearly an hour, when the enemy's center was broken by a charge from the battalion just named, and the enemy's right being closely pressed and seriously punished by my command, gave way, and precipitately retreated to the northwest, under the lead of General Shelby. I at once mounted the men, and with nine companies of my regiment (the other three yet being with Major Houts in the enemy's rear), also the battalions of Majors Kelly and Gentry, making about 750 men, and the section of Thurber's battery, I pursued the enemy hotly in the direction of Waverly. He made an attempt to tear up the bridge across Salt Fork, but was so closely pursued by the advance that he failed. We then had a chase at the gallop, and a running fight for 10 miles, over prairie land. At 5 p. m. his rear was so vigorously assailed as to bring his entire column to a halt and into line of battle. I pressed forward with the artillery and cavalry, and opened on him with the guns at half-mile range, with considerable effect. The cavalry charged; the enemy fell back at a run, losing 1 man killed and several wounded. At this point, he struck the road to Miami, and turned the head of his column directly north, running a right angles with my command. Anticipating our designs on his transportation, he took the precaution to place it far to the front. As soon as I discovered his movement to the north, I determined to cut him off or perish in the attempt. Accordingly, I led off three squadrons across the prairie to engage the head of his column, while Majors Foster and Kelly should charge his rear and center, if possible. At one-half mile, I discovered myself mired in a wretched swamp, almost beyond extrication. I was here detained five minutes in recovering my horse, and found that I had to describe a semi-circle in passing this swamp, which threw me so far back as to completely thwart my plans. The enemy, likewise, discovering my object, abandoned the Miami road, and turned abruptly westward, through Van Meter's farm, on a dim and unfrequented path. He was going at full run, and, while we shouted and shot at him, he used his hats on his jaded horses, throwing overboard every weight (not the arms) that beset him and retarded his movements. It was quite evident that he was