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[560] had now assumed the immediate command. A Rebel detachment under Shelby had crossed the Missouri at Arrow Rock and advanced on Glasgow; which they took, after a fight of some hours; capturing part of Col. Harding's 43d Missouri, with small detachments of the 9th Missouri militia, and 17th Illinois cavalry.

This bold stroke ought to have insured the destruction of at least half the Rebel army, which an over-whelming Union force was now moving to inclose and crush. But A. J. Smith was stopped, with our supplies, at the Lamine, where the enemy had burned the railroad bridge; and where Mower joined him: when, taking five days rations, Smith advanced1 to Dunksburg; Pleasanton, with our cavalry, including Mower's, under Winslow, being well advanced, on a line stretching northward from Warrensburg.

The enemy was north-west of this, and seemed disposed to stay there: his advance2 reaching Lexington, driving Gen. Blunt with a force from Kansas, who, after a sharp skirmish retreated on Independence. Rosecrans, learning this by telegraph, directed3 Pleasanton, who had been demonstrating toward Waverly, to move in force on Lexington, ordering Smith to follow; and both, of course, obeyed.

These order. seem to have been mistakes — very natural, perhaps, but not the less unfortunate. It is not easy to overtake an army mainly mounted, which lives off the country, has few guns, and burns every bridge behind it; but our only chance of crushing so nimble an adversary, lay in pressing steadily westward, so as to get between the enemy and his necessary line of retreat, and strike him as he attempted to pass; and it matters not whether lie had been drawn so far northward in quest of food or in order to double on his pursuers. When Pleasanton's advance under McNeil and Sanborn, reached4 Lexington, the enemy had left, moving rapidly westward, and at the Little Blue striking Blunt's Kansas division, of which Gen. Curtis had now assumed command, in such force as compelled him, after a few hours' conflict, being flanked, to fall back to the Big Blue, where took up a strong position. Rosecrans, presuming that Curtis could hold his ground. ordered Pleasanton to send McNeil, with a brigade only on the track of the enemy, and, with his remaining cavalry, move southward, to Lone Jack ; whither Smith, with his infantry, was now hastening from his false move to Lexington.

These orders seem to have been contingent, and, at any rate, were not obeyed. Pleasanton, with all his, cavalry, pressed on the track of the flying enemy; reaching the Little Blue5 at 10 A. M., only to find the bridge destroyed and the enemy's rear-guard rather stubborn beyond it; he driving them steadily till nightfall; when Independence was taken by a brilliant cavalry charge — Cutherwood's regiment capturing two guns — Pleasanton following sharply, after dispatching McNeil, with his brigade, to Little Santa Fe, to intercept the enemy, and telegraphing Rosecrans, “Let Smith come to this place.” Hereupon, Rosecrans--“reluctantly,” as he very naturally says

1 Oct. 18-19.

2 Oct. 18-19.

3 Oct. 20.

4 Oct. 20, 7 P. M.

5 Oct. 22.

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