War of the Rebellion: Serial 086 Page 0165 Chapter LIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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CAMP ON BIG BLUE, October 21, 1864-6 p. m.

Major General J. G. BLUNT,

Commander in the Field:

GENERAL: Don't exhaust our troops, but fall back to this place with the least further effort. A small picket or two along the road, to let us have certain knowledge of the enemy's approach, is all we need. Let Price have Independence. It is easily flanked, and his force, it is said, large. I have all day been fearing that he would send a whole division to get in our rear. Indeed, we have to fear a flank movement to-night, but here we have extensive lines fortified, and we must save our resources of men and blood.

Yours, truly,



HDQRS. FIRST Brigadier, FIRST DIV., ARMY OF THE BORDER, Westport, Mo., October 21 [22?], 1864.

Major General JAMES G. BLUNT,


SIR: We engaged the enemy this a. m., 9.30 o'clock, at Byram's Ford, on the Big Blue. We engaged with our cavalry and artillery, he using only his cavalry. The cavalry dismounted, fighting on foot. Being pressed, and the enemy exhibiting a disposition to outflank us, I fought and fell back to the open prairie, where, being re-enforced by Colonel Moonlight, we engaged him, repulsed, and drove him from the field, charging him four miles across the prairie. Our killed and wounded is inconsiderable; the enemy's will not fall short of 200. The enemy appears to be falling back and moving in a southwesterly direction with his dead left on the field. We are out of rations and forage, but my command is elated and in high spirits. They fight was a handsome one, and the officers and men behaved most manfully. I beg leave to suggest that a large cavalry force with mountain howitzers be sent forthwith down the border. We need ammunition for Sharps rifles and for howitzers. We need a good supply, as we have principally exhausted our supplies of both.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,



P. S.-The Colorado and the Kansas Sixteenth Cavalry are fresh, and could be sent immediately.

C. R. J.

HDQRS. THIRD Brigadier, FIRST DIV., ARMY OF THE BORDER, Camp Willetts, October 21, 1864.

[Major General S. R. CURTIS,

Commanding Department of Kansas:]

GENERAL: We are making the axes fly and strengthening this line as much as possible. We will soon be ready to make a splendid fight here, and, what is better, the men have a stomach for the fight. General Fishback reported to me as I predicted, and has been serving