This was accomplished by Shelby attacking the fortifications and giving McNeil all he could do to defend himself.
In the attack Shelby lost forty-five men killed and wounded, and was compelled to leave under the care of a surgeon a number of officers and men who were too badly hurt to be removed.
Marmaduke got back to Jackson on the night of the next day, having lost four days by Carter's escapade—Shelby reached Fredericktown on the morning of the 22d and Marmaduke returned to Jackson on the evening, 26th—and given the enemy time to mass a heavy force in his front.
Before daylight, on the morning of the 27th, he commenced his retreat, with General Vandiver and a larger force than his own close on his rear.
McNeil was ordered, as soon as Carter was rescued, to throw his command south of Marmaduke and block his way, while Vandiver closed on him from the north.
It would not have been difficult for McNeil to do this.
He would have had the shorter road and a day the star