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[558] miles in 39 hours, though badly encumbered by fugitives. Here his weary men were sharply assailed by a column under Shelby, which had been pursuing therm; but, though short of ammunition, Ewing held his ground firmly some 30 hours, until relieved by Col. Beveridge, 17th Illinois cavalry, sent from Rolla by Gen. McNeil to his assistance. Shelby then drew off, and Ewing proceeded at his leisure to Rolla.

Rosecrans remained at St. Louis — the point of greatest consequence, if not of greatest danger — working night and day to collect a force able to cope in a fair field with Price's veterans and the “ Sons of Liberty,” who were pledged to join him — a pledge which they but partially redeemed. For a week or so, the Rebels seemed to have the upper land; and this created a violent eruption of treasonable guerrilla raids and burnings in the pro-Slavery strongholds of central Missouri.1 As tle Rebel army was mainly mounted, it not only moved with greater celerity than the most of its antagonists could, but was able to mask its intentions, and threaten at once our depots at St. Louis, Rolla, and Jefferson City. But time was on our side; as Gen. Mower was on his way from Little Rock, with 5,000 veterans; five regiments of hundred-day men (who had already served out their term) were coming from Illinois to garrison St. Louis; and the militia of eastern Missouri was coming out, to the number of perhaps 5,000 more. Unless Price could strike at once some decisive, damaging blow, which would cripple Rosecrans, paralyze his efforts to raise militia, and call every latent Secessionist into the saddle, he must inevitably decamp and flee for his life.

1 Roseerans, in his official report, says:

While Ewing's fight was going on. Shelby advanced to Potosi, and thence to Big river bridge, threatening Gen. Smith's advance; which withdrew from that point to within safer supporting distance of his main position at De Soto. Previous to and pending these events, the guerrilla warfare in north Missouri had been waging with redoubled fury. Rebel agents, amnesty-oath-takers, recruits, “sympathizers,” O A. K. s, and traitors of every hue and stripe, had warmed into life at the approach of the great invasion. Women's fingers were busy making clothes for Rebel soldiers out of goods plundered by the guerrillas; women's tongues were busy telling Union neighbors “ their time was now coming.” Gen. Fisk, with all his force, had been scouring the bush for weeks in the river counties, in pursuit of hostile bands, composed largely of recruits from among that class of inhabitants who claim protection, yet decline to perform the full duties of citizens, on the ground that they “never tuck no sides.” A few facts will convey some idea of this warfare, carried on by Confederate agents here, while the agents abroad of their bloody and hypocritical despotism — Mason, Slidell, and Mann, in Europe — have the effrontery to tell the nations of Christendom that our government “carries on the war with increasing ferocity, regardless of the laws of civilized warfare.” These gangs of Rebels, whose families had been living in peace among their loyal neighbors, committed the most cold blooded and diabolical murders, such as riding up to a farm-house, asking for water, and, while receiving it, shooting down the giver — an aged, inoffensive farmer-because he was a radical “ Union man.” In the single sub-district of Mexico, the commanding officer furnished a list of near one hundred Union men who, in the course of six weeks, had been killed, maimed, or “run off,” became they were “radical Union men,” or Abolitionists. About the 1st of September, Anderson's gang attacked a railroad train on the North Missouri road, took from it 22 unarmed soldiers, many on sick leave, and, after robbing, placed them in a row and shot them in cold blood; some of the bodies they scalped. and put others across the track and run the engine over them. On the 27th, this gang, with numbers swollen to 300 or 400 men, attacked Major Johnson, with about 120 of the 39th Missouri volunteer infantry, raw recruits, and, after stampeding their horses, shot every man, most of them in cold blood. Anderson, a few days later, was recognized by Gen. Price, at Booneville. as a Confederate captain, and, with a verbal admonition to behave himself, ordered by Colonel Maclane, chief of Price's staff, to proceed to north Missouri and destroy the railroads; which orders were found on the miscreant when killed by Lt.-Col. Cox, about the 27th of October.

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