War of the Rebellion: Serial 107 Page 0593 Chapter LXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, eTC.- UNION.

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momentary delay of the column, and am perhaps blamable for sending to you anything so imperfect as to lead to such misapprehension. I was however, compelled to write such an account or none at all. I trusted to your favorable judgment of what was done, rather than to the fullness and accuracy of what I was writing. I thought that a most meritorious thing in all respects had been done, and did not imagine that it could be so stated as to give you such a view of it as you have taken. You seem to think that the expedition was an improper one and that Lieutenant Botsford or his men must have been guilty of great negligence. I think the expedition was strictly according to the spirit and letter of instruction given by both you and General Fremont, and that no blame ought to attach to any one for the manner of it any particular. I knew by reliable information, which turned out to be perfectly true, that Captain Foley and his notorious gang of bushwhackers were camped within sixteen or eighteen miles of the camp at Shady Springs where I was stationed; that Foley's force was from thirty to sixty men, and that the only way of catching him was by surprising his camp at night or early daylight. I sent Lieutenant Botsford with about seventy-five men of Company C, aided by Sergeant Abbott and his scouts, six in number, to do this service. I was satisfied that the enemy had no force worth naming nearer than Princeton, and at Princeton their force was small - probably not over 200 or 300. All this information has turned out to be correct. Lieutenant Botsofrd left camp at 9 a. M. April 29 and reached Foley's about daylight. He found the nest warm, but the bird had flown. I can find no blame int his. He was compelled to move slowly in a strange country at night. A scout could easily give the required warning without fault on our part. On the 30th Lieutenant Botsford scouted the country for the bushwhackers; camped in a house defensible, within from four to six miles of where he know I was to camp with the regiment. In the meantime Colonel Fitz Hugh or Fitzhugh had marched with the whole force at Princeton, fourteen companies of Jenifer's cavalry, dismounted, numbering over 200, to aid Foley. This was done on the morning of the 30th, and on that evening Foley, with bushwhackers and militia to the number of 75 or 100, joined Fitzhugh. During the night they got as near as they could to Lieutenant Botsford without alarming his pickets - not near enough to do any mischief. In the morning Lieutenant Botsford prepared to return to camp. He drew in his pickets, formed his line, and then for first time the enemy came within gunshot. Botsford's men in line of battle in front of a log-house saw the enemy approaching; a volley was fired on each side, when Lieutenant Botsford, finding the strength of the attack, took shelter in the house and fired with such spirit and accuracy as to drive the enemy out of gunshot his dead and four of his wounded on the field, all of whom were taken possession of by Lieutenant Botsford's men immediately, besides four wounded prisoners who did not run far enough before hiding. This attack in no blamable sense "a surprise." It found Lieutenant Botsford perfectly prepared for it. You seem to think there was nothing gained by this affair; that it is a "disaster," and "we lost twenty men." Surely I could have said nothing to warrant this. Of the twenty wounded, over two-thirds were able and desired to march to Princeton with us. Our loss was 1 killed and 2 dangerously wounded, perhaps mortally, and 2, possibly 3, others disabled - perhaps not more than 1. The enemy's loss was thirteen dead and disabled that "we got." Captain Foley was disabled,