Brown again charged my rear furiously, and I saw he must be checked then and there. At the crossing of the La Mine the banks on either side are rugged and precipitous; so stationing Major [G. P.] Gordon with his regiment on the western side, I had him to dismount and ambush them, leaving two companies on the eastern side to fire and then retreat in apparent confusion. The bait took completely, and the yelling, shouting Federals dashed into the stream and up the farther side to within 10 feet of the ambushed Confederates. A hot, close, deadly fire from rifles and revolvers left 50 dead on the spot, many wounded, and the rest routed and demoralized. Among those killed was a Federal colonel, supposed to be Colonel Thomas [T.] Crittenden. This modified General Brown's desires somewhat from a vigorous pursuit, but toward night he came on again with a heavy force of cavalry and artillery. Near Jonesborough, at the crossing of Blackwater, I took up my position and waited for developments. Very soon the enemy made a furious attack. In twenty minutes I silenced their batteries, charged and drove them 3 miles, they leaving the ground covered with their killed and wounded. After this my rear was left unmolested, and I halted for the night within 6 miles of Marshall, sending a scout to Arrow Rock, which returned about 10 o'clock, reporting all quiet there.
On the morning of October 13, I broke camp early and started for Marshall. When within a mile of the town my advance sent word that a heavy body of Federals were formed in my front, too strong to be attacked by them. I immediately galloped to the advance, and found, sure enough, General Ewing drawn up with 4,000 Federals, of all arms, ready to receive me. The force in the rear would be on me in an hour, I knew; so I determined, if possible, to defeat Ewing before Brown came up. Dismounting Major Shanks' regiment, and forming it at the bridge over which we had just crossed, I ordered him to destroy it and hold Brown in check to the last extremity. In the attack upon Ewing, Hooper held the left, Hunter and Coffee the right, the artillery and the battalion, with Gordon, in the center, the cavalry all dismounted. Ewing had admirably chosen his position, which was a high ridge, with a deep ravine in his front between his lines and mine. The men were eager for the fight, and when the order was given to advance, went at the Federals right gallantly. For two hours the fight raged evenly along the entire line, and the sun came out and looked down upon the dying and the dead, and the green fields of Missouri drank the blood of her best and bravest. On the left Hooker held his ground against overwhelming numbers, and Gordon and the rest fought manfully. I ordered a charge along the whole line. Hunter and Coffee doubled Ewing's left wing back upon his right, and gained the town of Marshall, my artillery sweeping the crowded streets with fearful slaughter. Just as their rout was inevitable, the roar of artillery in the rear warned me that Brown was hurling his strong columns upon the heroic and devoted Shanks, and must bear him back. For two mortal hours Shanks, with his 200 men, held Brown's 4,000 in check, although he brought to bear upon him the whole weigh of his six pieces of artillery. The fight had now continued four hours furiously, and my ammunition was getting low.
In the mean time General Brown, unable to drive Shanks from his position, had crossed the creek above and below him, and was coming up on either flank rapidly. Shanks, true to this trust, fell back a short distance, and formed again to dispute his passage. Brown soon formed a junction, however, with Ewing, and their combined forces, outnum-