available forces, which amounted to seventy-four men, and started in pursuit of Thornton's men. The whole was under command of Captain R. D. Johnston, Company A. I had ordered him to proceed to the neighborhood of Doc. Walker's and await the report of the scouts I had sent out through all that part of the county, but directed him upon the receipt of any intelligence of Thornton's whereabouts to move after him at once, and report to me his information and action. Fearing that something might miscarry, I started after him in about an hour after his leaving. About three miles from town I met a messenger, informing me that the guerrillas had the evening before (to the number of about sixty men) taken supper at a Mr. Cain's and Chesnut's, both of whom had met Captain Johnston, and reported the fact to him, and that he (Captain Johnston) had changed his course and started in pursuit. I followed him until I overtook him in the neighborhood of Mr. Cain's. After consulting with him I told him to follow the trail, and sent Lieutenant Downing, of Company G, and Lieutenant Baker, of Company M, back for re-enforcements, and also dispatched an order to Captain Turney, of Clinton County, then on duty at Ridgeley, to report to me for duty at once at Platte City. I then started for my headquarters at Platte City to make such arrangements as I could to support Captain Johnston in the field. On reaching Platte City I found Major Morin awaiting me to report these men as having been at his house that morning for breakfast, and that they numbered about 150 men. I immediately ordered Captain Johnston to return as speedily as possible to headquarters and send the order I left with him to Captain Turney, at Ridgeley, which he did. Major Morin lives on the west side of Platte River; Johnston was scouting on the east side. On that night Captain Davis, with ten men, came into town. I asked him to remain until Captain Turney arrived, and assist me against the bushwhackers, which he consented to do. The next day Captain Turney reported with twenty-eight men.
The bushwhackers being still in the neighborhood of Morin's, and re-enforced by a band of twenty-eight men, who came from the direction of Buchanan County, I felt it unwise to move against them with the force I had at my command, and being informed by Captain Turney that there was great of an attack upon Ridgeley, and feeling that the best course was to hold the different posts until sufficient force could be had to take the field against them, I directed him to return to his quarters, and immediately set about calling together as many of the militia of the county as was possible. That evening I was waited upon by several citizens from the neighborhood of Parkville, who stated they were in great danger, and desired some troops sent down that night to form a nucleus for the citizens of that part of the county to rally to. I sent Lieutenant Nash, with twenty-five men, down at once, and sent Captain Simpson and others out to gather and report all they could for duty by Monday morning. After making such arrangements as I thought would enable me to take the field on Monday, having a very sick child and having been robbed by the bushwhackers the Thursday previous, I started for home, leaving Captain R. D. Johnston in command at Platte City. I started at 4 o'clock in the morning and reached home about 8 o'clock. At 2 p.m. I started back. I was passing Judge Norton's, near town, when he called to me to stop. He then told me Thornton was in town, and I had better send ahead and see what was up before going in. I sent the two young men who were with me to find out and report to me at his house. As soon as they left for town I went through the judge's lot into the field back of his house to wait