The enemy, advancing by Potosi
across the Meramec
, seemed to threaten St. Louis
, only 40 miles distant; but this was a feint only, or was seen, on closer observation, to be too hazardous: so, burning the railroad bridge over the Meramec
, at Moselle
, he turned northwestward:1 Gen. A. J. Smith
, with 4,500 infantry a and 1,500 cavalry, following him vigilantly but cautiously.
--an intensely “ Radical” German settlement on the Missouri
— and the rail-road bridge over the Gasconade
; fording the Gasconade
and the Osage
at Castle Rock
burning the railroad bridge here, lie appeared before Jefferson City
; which Gens. McNeil
, with all the men they could mount, had just reached by forced marches from Rolla
: and these, added to the force under Gens. Fisk
, already there, made a garrison of 4,100 cavalry and 2,600 infantry — generally twelve-months' men of little experience in the field, but capable of good service behind intrenchments.
decided — the other Generals
concurring — to oppose a moderate resistance to the foe at the crossing of the Moreau, 4 or 5 miles east of the city, and then fall back within the rude defenses which he, with the volunteered help of citizens, had been for some days preparing.
crossed the Moreau after a sharp but brief skirmish, and advanced4
on the capital; developing a line of battle 3 or 4 miles long, which enveloped the city on all sides save that of the river; but, on a full survey of the defenses, and a partial glimpse of the men behind them, with the lesson of Pilot Knob
fresh in his mind, lie concluded not to attack, but, after giving time for his train to move around the city and ret a start on the road westward, he drew off and followed it.
now arrived, 5
and assumed command ; dispatching Gen. Sanborn
with the cavalry to follow and harass the enemy, so as to delay him, if possible, until Gen. A. J. Smith
could overtake him. Sanborn
attacked the Rebel
rear-guard at Versailles
, and drove it into line of battle; thus ascertaining that the enemy were heading for Booneville
but, being nearly surrounded by them, he fell back to California
; where Col. Cutherwood
, with A. J. Smith
's cavalry and some much-needed supplies, joined him on the 14th.
, by coming from Arkansas
, following nearly in the track of the Rebel
irruption, had struck the Mississippi
at Cape Girardeau
; having marched 300 miles, over bad roads, in 18 days. His men were weary, his provisions exhausted, his teams worn down; part of his cavalry dismounted, with the horses of many more lacking shoes: so Rosecrans
dispatched steamboats from St. Louis
to bring them to that city; whence the infantry were sent up the Missouri
by water, while the cavalry, under Col. Winslow
by land to reenforce A. J. Smith
; reaching7 Jefferson City
-by reason of tlhe low stage of water in the river--one day in advance of the infantry.
had, of course, seriously widened the gap between him and our cavalry, of whom Pleasanton