War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0646 MO., ARK., KANS., IND. T., AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXXIV.

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diery and admiring comrades. We bivouacked in the brush that night, supperless and bedless, save the warm welcome of mother earth. At daylight next morning their strong lines of pickets wee discovered at their usual places. From the hurrying to and fro of those soldiers in sight, I conceived that the main body of the enemy had left the town, which proved to be true. I gave orders for the boats to prepare immediately to cross us. Soon the waving of handkerchiefs by several ladies in Boonville (the purest of all patriots, when loyal) notified me that the enemy was gone, and the Stars and Stripes once more, in more than wonted beauty "full high advanced," borne by gallant men, were waving over that town in which treason received its first mortal wound by him whose name and memory are canonized in the American heart. I crossed over as rapidly as possible with my command, and moved out in pursuit of the enemy on the Georgetown road, as soon as the soldiers were fed from baskets by the generosity of the citizens of that town. I learned from various passing citizens of the county and town that Colonel Lazear, in command of the First Missouri State Militia Cavalry, had engaged the enemy near Choteau Springs, in Cooper County; and being apprised of the fact that the enemy greatly outnumbered him-that his men and horses were exceedingly fatigued-I moved in a trot for 10 miles, fully hoping to render that service to the Government at an hour of need, which the brave troops of the dauntless Guitar was capable of performing. Before reaching the Springs, I overtook Colonels Cole and Brutsche, in command of some provisional troops and one piece of artillery. We soon learned that the rumored battle was only heavy skirmishing between the rear guard of the enemy and the advance guard of the Federal troops.

We moved on over a rugged road until 11 o'clock that night in the trail of Colonel Lazear and the enemy, crossing the La Mine at Dug Ford. It became so densely dark that we encamped at Fisher's, near the Prairie Ridge post-office. Supper and breakfast we made off Irish potatotes. At daylight next morning we moved west toward Blackwater, crossing it near old Dick Marshall's, where we learned you had fed the previous evening. Knowing the number of hours I was behind you, the uncertainty of your whereabouts, and learning at Marshall's that the enemy had divided at or near that place, part passing in toward Jonesborough and some 300 passing on toward Arrow Rock, upon consultation with Colonel Cole, I determined to move with my command after those. Before reaching Arrow Rock, I learned that the enemy had been to that place, plundered it, and left. I then concluded, after having so far transcended my order in what I deemed a good cause, to return to Boonville. Crossed the La Mine at Turley's Ferry, and reached Boonville on Wednesday evening, from which place I immediately reported by telegraph to headquarters at Jefferson City for further orders, a copy of which I herewith transmit you, marked B.

I complied strictly with the above order of General Schofield. I had no casualties of interest in my command. I cheerfully commend the activity of the troops, and the unusual capacity of the officers placed temporarily under my command, to your consideration. I look upon them as an honor to the power that called them into existence and credit to the gallant leader that molded them into soldiers. Hoping, general, that the chastisement, as unexpected to the enemy as it was creditable to yourself and the maligned militia of the State, will hereafter deter other outlaws from violating the quiet and the dignity of the commonwealth, I subscribe myself, your obedient servant,

T. T. CRITTENDED,

Lieutenant-Colonel Seventh Missouri State Militia Cavalry.