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[603] Frohock, of the Forty-fifth Illinois infantry. At three P. M., of August thirty-first, the enemy attacked the defences at Medon in force, estimated to be one thousand five hundred strong, but were gallantly held at bay by about one hundred and fifty men of the Forty-fifth Illinois. Being informed of the attack on Medon, I immediately sent six companies of the Seventh Missouri infantry, under Major W. S. Oliver, by railroad, with instructions to reenforce our men at that place. On the arrival of the train at Medon the Seventh immediately formed into line and charged the enemy, driving him from the town and inflicting considerable loss upon him, also taking a number of prisoners.

As soon as I was informed of the demonstration on Bolivar, I ordered the force stationed at Estaualya, under command of Col. Dennis, of the Thirtieth Illinois, to this post. Colonel Dennis's command consisted of the Thirtieth Illinois, commanded by Major Warren Shedd; Twentieth Illinois, commanded by Capt. Frisbie; a section of two pieces of gunboat artillery, and two companies of cavalry commanded by Captain Foster. Colonel Dennis struck tents on the morning of August thirty-first, destroying such stores and baggage as he was unable to carry, and marched to within twelve miles of this post, when he was met by an order from me directing him to march for Medon Station, to intercept the enemy near that point. Colonel Dennis countermarched his command, arriving in the vicinity of Denmark that night. About ten o'clock A. M., on the first of September, his advance-guard reported the enemy in stong force at Britton's lane, near the junction of the Denmark and Medon roads. The enemy's force consisted of seven regiments of cavalry, namely, Barstow's, Adams's, Stevens's, Jackson's, Forrest's, Wheeler's, and Parson's, amounting in the aggregate to five thousand men, under the command of Brig.-Gen. Armstrong. The aggregate of Col. Dennis's force was but eight hundred. Discovering that he was outnumbered, Col. Dennis immediately selected the best position the ground would admit, and formed in line of battle. The position was in a large grove surrounded by farms, the fields all being in corn — the wood and some broken ground being in the rear and the corn-fields in front — the line being on a ridge. The greatly superior force of the enemy enabled him to entirely surround the command of Colonel Dennis, and early in the engagement to capture the transportation-train, taking with it the teamsters and sick as prisoners. They also captured the two pieces of artillery, but were unable to get possession of the caissons and ammunition. During the engagement the artillery and train were recaptured by Col. Dennis--the enemy having destroyed four of the wagons by fire. The enemy made many determined charges; dividing their force and dismounting a part, they attacked both as infantry and cavalry, the latter charging so close as to fall from their horses almost within the ranks of our men. The battle was of four hours duration, at the end of which time the enemy left Colonel Dennis in possession of the field, leaving a hundred and seventy-nine of his dead on the field, and also a large number of his wounded. The total loss of the enemy in killed and wounded is over four hundred. The loss of Col. Dennis is five, buried on the field immediately after the action. The wounded numbered about fifty-five, who were brought to the general hospital at this post the day after the battle.

Great praise should be given to the admirable generalship and ability displayed by Col. Dennis, and in fact every officer acted with the greatest bravery. When all did so nobly, it would perhaps be invidious to particularize. Great credit is due Capt. Frisbie, commanding the Twentieth Illinois, and to Major Shedd, commanding the Thirtieth Illinois; also to Adjutant Peyton, of the Thirtieth, who, severely wounded, refused to leave the field. Major Shedd was also wounded. Great praise is due Capt. Foster, commanding the cavalry, he rendering Col. Dennis important aid on every part of the field. The men acted with the most veteran courage. Surgeon Goodbrake, of the Twentieth Illinois, was untiring in his attention to the wounded, and for skill is deserving of great praise. Accompanying this report I send a list of the killed and wounded, as furnished by him.

I have the honor to be, respectfully,

M. K. Lawler, Colonel Commanding Post.

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