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[225] that day exceeded 20,000 well-armed men, whilst I did not have 8,000 armed men.

On the evening of the 24th I moved with the command on the Fort Scott road to the Marais du Cygnus, where I encamped, having marched thirty-three miles--no enemy appearing. During the night I received information from General Marmaduke, who was placed in charge of the approaches in front, that the. enemy was threatening his pickets; and upon consultation with General Marmaduke, we were both of the opinion that the enemy was marching upon our right by Mound City, on a road parallel to the one on which we were. We were. strengthened in that belief by a dispatch which had been captured from the commanding officer (Federal) at that place to his scouts stationed near our then encampments, stating “that he would be largely reinforced that night, and he wanted a sharp lookout for my army, and he wanted the earliest information of the route on which I traveled and the direction.” I also learned at a late hour that night, from some recruits who joined me and had traveled fifteen miles on the route I had come, that no enemy was in my rear.

On the morning of the 25th I resumed my march in the same direction as before, and thinking from the information received the night before that if I should encounter the enemy, it would be in my front or on my right flank.

General Shelby's division composed the advance; Generals Fagan and Marmaduke brought up the rear; Colonel Tyler's brigade to the right of the centre of the train, four hundred yards; Shelby's old brigade to the right of the front of the train, four hundred yards; and Colonel Jackman's brigade to the immediate front. On reaching Little Osage river I sent forward a direction to General Shelby to fall back to my position in rear of Jackman's brigade, for the purpose of attacking Fort Scott, where I learned there were one thousand negroes under arms. At the moment of his reaching me, I received a dispatch from General Marmaduke in the rear, informing me that the enemy, 3,000 strong, were in sight with lines extending, and on the note General Fagan had endorsed he would sustain General Marmaduke. I immediately ordered General Shelby to take his old brigade, then on my immediate right, and return to the rear as rapidly as possible to support Generals Fagan and Marmaduke. I mounted my horse and rode back at a gallop, and after passing the rear of the train I met the divisions of Generals Fagan and Marmaduke retreating in utter and indescribable

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J. S. Marmaduke (7)
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