the 12th instant, on the arrival of the train, I put my entire command on the cars, composed as follows: One company of the Second Regiment Missouri Artillery, for companies of convalescents, and four companies of the First Regiment Missouri State Militia, as well as a detachment of 100 men belonging to the Thirty-fifth Regiment Enrolled Missouri Militia, with whom I relieved a company of the Second Regiment Missouri Artillery at Tipton, and, taking 12 mounted men to act as scouts, I proceeded to La Mine Bridge, with an aggregate of 550 men, 12 horses, and 70,000 rations. At Syracuse I found one company of the First Missouri State Militia Cavalry, guarding a train of wagons belonging to the force under Lieutenant-Colonel Lazear, then supposed to be in pursuit of the enemy near Boonville. Ten of these men I had detailed for the purpose of carrying a message to the commanding officer at Sedalia, in accordance with instructions received from Brigadier-General Totten. On arriving at La Mine Bridge at 12 p. m. of the 12th, I started parties of mounted men out in all directions to obtain information of the movements of the rebels, and to carry information to the commanding officers of our forces in the field of my arrival at La Mine Bridge with 60,000 rations, under the charge of Captain [E.] Harding, commissary of subsistence.
At 10 a. m. of the next day, 10 six-horse wagons arrived from Sedalia, under the charge of Captain [J. E.] Howard, commissary of subsistence at that post. These wagons I had loaded and ready to move toward Sedalia by 4.10 p. m., but just as they were going to start, a report was brought into camp that the rebels were at Lebanon, 1,000 strong, and one piece of artillery, robbing the citizens of horses and all property that they could carry off. I immediately sent out a party of 10 mounted men, belonging to Captain Howard's escort, to watch the movement of the rebels, and see as to the truth of the citizen's statement, sending him along as a guide. I also sent a message to Tipton by the locomotive, under the charge of Captain Curran, of the First Regiment Nebraska Volunteers, to be forwarded by telegraph to Brigadier-General Totten, at Jefferson City, informing him of the position of the enemy. I also placed my men in what I considered the best position for successfully defending the large amount of public property in my charge. My encampment was on a piece of cleared land, nearly the shape of a horseshoe; this was caused by the La Mine River running in a crescent-like shape in my rear. In my front was an almost perpendicular bluff, with two ravines, by which infantry could gain the top, immediately under the bluff and sheltered from all fire. In front was the train of railroad cars, with 60,000 rations aboard; in the rear of the railroad, and completely hid from the sight of the enemy, yet covered and under the protection of my own men, was Captain Howard's train of 10 wagons and 10,000 rations. I immediately detailed one company, to be divided into squads, and placed so as to command all approaches to the camp; and as a report came into camp that the enemy was approaching, I ordered one company of the First Missouri State Militia to deploy as skirmishers in the timber on the east side of my camp, and one on the west side. I also ordered three companies of convalescents to deploy as skirmishers on the top of the bluff, and one company to be held as a reserve; one company I placed behind the railroad track, so as to defend the railroad train and Captain Howard's wagon train; two companies of the Second Regiment Missouri Artillery I kept in line, to move anywhere they might be needed, and the camp guard watching the river in my rear.
At 4.20 p.m ., a company of the First Missouri State Militia Cavalry came with a train of 30 wagons, driving furiously toward my camp.