The wagons I ordered to be parked in the open space of ground in the rear of the railroad, and under the cover of my men on the bluff, with each driver holding the team well in hand. I then took the company of cavalry and divided it into two squads, and sent them out on the main roads leading toward Lebanon, to watch the approach of the rebels. At 4.30 o'clock, a squad of cavalry brought me intelligence that the enemy was crossing the railroad 2 miles east of my camp; but as the locomotive was then absent with dispatches to Tipton, I could not send infantry to hold them in check and I had but about 30 mounted men at hand; these I sent after them to pick up stragglers and harass their rear. I also sent one entire company of infantry on foot to watch the crossing of the railroad, and another to stay in ambush for any small squad of rebels that might be following the main body. I also sent as soon as possible 10 mounted men with a dispatch to Brigadier-General Brown (whom I naturally supposed would be on the heels of the rebels), informing him at what point the rebels crossed the railroad, and that I could furnish him with a wagon train ready loaded with provisions, so that there need be no delay in the pursuit of the enemy. I also telegraphed General Totten, at Jefferson City, the direction the rebels had taken, so that a force might get between them and Warsaw on the way to the Osage River, and it would be well, perhaps, to state that there was a rumor among the people around Otterville that General Price was expected to come through the country with 3,000 men and some artillery. What gave tone to this rumor was the fact that a number of men from that section of country known to belong to General Price's body guard was with Shelby, and I do believe that Shelby's raid was merely a feeler to find out what kind of a reception a larger force would receive. This belief is strengthened by the fact that the rebels tried to conciliate as much as possible the people in the country through which they passed.
In reviewing the conduct of the commissioned officers and enlisted men during the expected attack of the enemy, it is but justice to them to state that, with a few exceptions, they behaved admirably; the enlisted men going as steadily to their positions as if it was an every day occurrence; especially was this the case with the four companies of stragglers, although some of them had barely sufficient clothing to over their nakedness-without a murmur, they bivouacked all night without fire, some to them not having a blanket or covering of any kind-and I would also respectfully state that I consider the enlisted men of the detachment of the First Missouri State Militia well calculated to do good service in the field if placed under the charge of commissioned officers who will fearlessly enforce their orders.
The detachment of the Second Regiment Missouri Artillery were well behaved, and I had no trouble with them during the time they were under my command, and to Lieutenant Henry Troll, of that regiment, I am under great obligations for the efficient manner in which he did his duty as officer of the day, enforcing my orders and keeping the camp in good order; also to Captain Edward Harding, commissary of subsistence, for providing for the wants of the men during our stay at La Mine Bridge. It would be well, perhaps, to state that when the four companies of the First Regiment Missouri state Militia joined my command there was considerable disorder among the reenlisted men of that regiment and a continuous hurrahing for Jim Lane and cursing of General Totten; also a considerable disposition shown among the men to appropriate other people's property in the shape of sheep, chickens, &c., to their own use, thereby setting a pernicious example to the balance of the command, and, as some of the commissioned officers did not appear to interest themselves