War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0764 MO., ARK., KANS., IND. T., AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXXIV.

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use of his tongue, and succeeded in finding out that they expected re-enforcements from McRae, when they would return and take us in.

I then built as strong a barricade as I could with such materials as I could find about the post, encircling the whole court-house square; night for their reappearance, but they failed to show themselves again. At night I caused my men to sleep on their arms, inside their barricade.

At about 11 p. m. I received a dispatch from Major [J.] Robbins, informing me that he was ordered to make inquiries concerning the condition of the post. I immediately informed both [S.] Montgomery and Robbins of what had transpired during the day, when they moved their columns into town. Major Montgomery tendered me the use of his battalion to assist me in pursuing them. I gladly accepted it, placed myself in the saddle, and began the pursuit. Overtaking them this side of Chalk Bluff, engaged them and dispersed them, following them in their flight to Brown's Ferry, below Chalk Bluff, where they became so scattered that I concluded to return, which I did, arriving here at 12 m. December 2, having marched a distance of over 100 miles in two days and a half.

I captured and brought into Bloomfield 5 dirty, hungry-looking scamps, who looked took poor to live, besides having killed several. I also captured 2 horses and returned them to the post. The only firing done by the rebels was upon the pickets.

I am satisfied that their only object was plunder. I also learned from old citizens who were taken and held by Crandall during his stay about the place, that all the notorious horse-thieves, cut-throats, and guerrillas who infest this country were with them.

I am, respectfully,

VALENTINE PREUITT,

Captain, Commanding Post.

Colonel J. B. ROGERS,

Commanding Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Numbers 2. Report of Major Josephus Robbins, Second Missouri State Militia Cavalry.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO., December 6, 1863.

COLONEL: In reply to your inquiry as to the causes which led to the total failure of the expedition sent against the marauders who recently came into the southeast portion of this State, I have the honor to report that, in my opinion, it was because not sufficient force was sent from Bloomfield in pursuit, and want of zeal and energy in the commander of the force which was sent; and for the causes for this opinion I beg leave to submit the following narrative of the whole transaction:

Upon the night of the 29th ultimo, after a hard day's march, I went into camp 13 miles from Bloomfield, not then having heard of any force being in the vicinity of Bloomfield, or of the attack upon that outpost; but, in obedience to the order of Brigadier-General Fisk, to learn if there was any enemy near that place, I sent Lieutenant [E. G.] Rathburn, with 24 men, in the night to Bloomfield, to learn of affairs there.