The enemy came forward in column and line, attacking desperately, but, after a severe fight of fifteen minutes, they were repulsed and followed 2 miles, leaving 3 dead on the ground, besides having quite a number wounded. Returned after dark and encamped 1 mile from the town.
On 16th instant, moved toward Clinton, finding the enemy in force about 4 miles from B[rownsville] with cannon. The brigade of General Maltby being brought forward, they were forced to abandon their position after an hour's severe cannonading, and were again found 1 mile farther toward Clinton by the cavalry.
In obedience to orders, I left the Tenth Missouri Cavalry, Major Benteen, with General Maltby, and with four regiments moved to Treadwell's, near Clinton and Vernon Cross-Roads, again finding enemy with cannon securely posted in a splendid position, with the infantry. My command was encamped for the night, and the Fifth Illinois Cavalry, Major Farnan, posted on road to the left, where he captured 1 lieutenant and 11 men of Texas cavalry doing picket duty.
At daylight 17th instant, with three regiments, I moved to the left and, going within 3 miles of Vernon, passed again toward the right, taking the advance of General Leggett's brigade and the army to Robinson's Mills, 3 1/2 miles from Livingston, where we again met the enemy in force and with two pieces of cannon. They retreated before the firing of three guns from General Leggett's command and the advance of the cavalry. The mill and wagon shop being burned by Colonel Coolbaugh, we encamped for the night near by, and next morning I moved forward 1 1/2 miles, finding enemy with three pieces of cannon and a large force of cavalry well posted.
Pursuant to orders, I remained in position until noon, and then commenced moving slowly after the infantry, which had meantime gone toward Clinton. Before leaving the mills, the enemy had appeared in large force in front and on my left flank, having in plain view, at 10.30 a. m., more cavalry than was under my command, this at a distance from their artillery and evidently well supported. The enemy in force followed my column to a point 3 miles from Clinton, continually attacking my rear guard, and appearing in large numbers on both flanks. Reached Clinton at 6.30 p. m., having marched 17 miles during continued volleys. Having the rear of the column into camp on the 19th, we were occasionally annoyed but lost no men on this day.
The command lost during the reconnaissance as follows:
Fourth Iowa Cavalry, 2 men killed, 1 man missing.
Fourth Illinois Cavalry, 4 men wounded.
Fifth Illinois Cavalry, 2 men wounded, 1 man missing.
Tenth Missouri Cavalry lost 2 men wounded, while 50 horses were killed or wounded.
Total: Killed, 2; missing, 2; wounded, 8.
During the skirmish near Brownsville, 15th instant, the Fifth Illinois Cavalry, though well commanded by Major Farnan, was put in much confusion by the severe volleys of the enemy, and I believe but for the efforts of myself, Lieutenant Hodge, and Major Mumford would have been driven from the ground with much loss. For ten minutes the enemy and our troops contested the same spot of ground. The command was under fire of the enemy's cannon on the expedition for more than two hours, all the time in good range.
The command expended 70 rounds howitzer ammunition, and about 60,000 rounds ammunition for small-arms.