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[59] guard, they pushed rapidly forward, and succeeded in surprising the guard at the ferry, which they dispersed by a volley from Lieut. Buzzard's men. Private Richard Lloyd, company F, of the Twenty-fifth Missouri, swam the river, and brought the boat over to this side. When about two miles from the river, at eight o'clock in the morning, I received information that the great object of my anxiety, the ferry-boat, was safe in our possession. When a mile from the river, a messenger brought me word that the enemy was forming line of battle on the other side. I immediately ordered the artillery forward at a gallop; the infantry, regardless of their long and fatiguing march, following at a double-quick. I halted the column about one hundred yards from the river-bank, and formed line of battle on each side of the river. The right wing, consisting of the Twenty-third Iowa, under Lieut.-Col. Kinsman; the centre, consisting of the artillery and two companies of the First Missouri State militia, under Major Jainsch; and the left, consisting of the five companies of the Twenty-fifth Missouri volunteers, under Capt. Newbury. The two companies of the Twenty-fourth Missouri acted as a reserve and guard to the prisoners, under Capt. Vaughn. Riding forward to the front, Lieut. Posar, commanding the artillery, informed me that the enemy were planting a battery on the other side. I ordered him to open upon them immediately, which he promptly did, and after a few rounds the enemy scattered and disappeared.

I then ordered Lieut. Miller, of the Twenty-fifth Missouri, to cross the river with his company and deploy as skirmishers and follow the enemy as far as practicable, and to guard his retreat I ordered Captain Houston, of company A, Twenty-third Iowa, to form his company on the river bank, near the ferry, leaving the rest of the command in line of battle. At twelve o'clock Lieut. Miller returned and reported the enemy retreating. I had been for several hours anxious to learn the whereabouts of Col. Lazare and his command. Every thing depended upon his cooperating with me. I knew that with my small force of infantry, exhausted by a long and fatiguing march, and without food since the previous night, it was folly for me to attempt a pursuit. Lazare's route to join me led him directly across the road by which the enemy had retreated, and I waited in deep suspense for some intelligence from him or for some evidence of his presence. At noon I sent Leper over the river with his eighteen men to scour the country and try to gain intelligence of Lazare. After a fruitless search he returned without any tidings, and I reluctantly ordered the men to camp. They had performed a forced march of sixty-five miles, and had been twenty hours without food without murmuring. They were still ready to go forward if there was any prospect of overtaking the enemy, but without Lazare's cavalry pursuit would be useless. I had hoped that the sound of the cannonading would reach him and convey to him tidings of my presence, but it did not.

The next morning, twenty-eighth October, I sent Captain Houston, with his company, up the river, and Captain Rosenstein with his company down, both on this side, to explore the country and ascertain the position and practicability of the various fords. I also sent Capt. Leper, with such infantry as I could mount, over the river to explore the different roads leading to the ferry, with instructions to find Lazare, if possible. About eleven o'clock I received a despatch from Colonel Lazare directed to you, of which the following is a copy:

October 26, o'clock A. M.
Colonel Boyd: Yours of the seven and ten o'clock, twenty-fourth, reached me at ten last night. I cannot reach Pittman's Ferry and find out what is at Thomasville before twenty-ninth. Will be there. We scattered Boone's men in every direction yesterday, killing six or eight, eighteen prisoners, twenty-five guns and twelve horses. They are all come up but Crow's company, who has gone east of Current River.

B. Lazare, Lieut.-Colonel Commanding.

I immediately recalled the scouting-parties, and crossed my command, with the exception of the artillery and Capt. Aaughn's men, over the river. Late in the evening, I received another despatch from Lazare, by Lieut. Going, informing me verbally, that he was marching from the direction of Thomasville, on the Pocahontas road, and would be ready to cooperate with me at any time after midnight. This road leads directly across the road to Yellville, by which the enemy retreated, and they had already passed the point of intersection at least thirty-six hours before. Of course, pursuit was now useless, and I directed Lieut. Going to rejoin Col. Lazare with orders to join me, as soon as possible, on the Pocahontas road. On the morning of the twenty-ninth, I crossed the artillery over the river, and leaving Captain Vaughn to guard the ferry and the prisoners, I marched toward Pocahontas and formed a junction with Col. Lazare, at Bolingers's Mill, fifteen miles from the ferry. I immediately ordered a detachment of fifty cavalry, under Major Lippert, to march to Pocahontas and search for horses and contraband goods.

Major Jainsch accompanied the detachment. They dispersed a small scouting-party, taking eight or ten horses, and found a number of rebel sick in a hospital, whom Major Jainsch paroled, and a list of whom accompanies this report.

The next morning, October thirtieth, I commenced my march back to Patterson, which point I reached at six o'clock P. M., November second.

Too much praise cannot be awarded to the officers and men under my command in this expedition. They performed a march of sixty-five miles to Pittman's Ferry — the first day, through a severe storm — in less than two days and a half, crossing a wide and deep stream. The last twenty hours, they were on the march or in line of battle without food. On their return they performed a march of eighty miles in four days, crossing two wide and deep streams.


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