350 of the 1st Indiana Cavalry, one company of Missouri Cavalry, and six pieces of artillery (including two old iron guns which he had managed to make available in addition to the four from St. Louis
). His total force was about 3000 men. The enemy's strength was supposed to be about the same, but it turned out that he had only four old iron guns, so we had the advantage of him in artillery at least.
The head of our column reached the vicinity of Fredericktown
some time before daylight, and the troops lay upon their arms until dawn.
Upon entering the town in the morning, no enemy was found, and citizens reported that he had marched south the day before.
The troops were ordered to rest in the village, and Colonel Carlin
, who was not well, went to bed in the hotel.
Some hours later, I think near noon, Colonel J. B. Plummer
, with a brigade of infantry and two pieces of artillery from Cape Girardeau
, arrived at Fredericktown
I am not aware whether this junction was expected by the respective commanders, or what orders they had received from department headquarters.
Soon after Colonel Plummer
arrived I was summoned to the presence of the two commanders and requested to decide a question of rank between them.
It appeared that Colonel Carlin
had the older date as colonel of volunteers, while Colonel Plummer
was commanding, by special assignment of General Fremont
, a brigade in which at least one of the colonels was senior, not only to him, but also to Colonel Carlin
It was clear enough that according to the Articles
of War this senior colonel of the Cape Girardeau
brigade should command the combined forces; but that would be in plain disregard of General Fremont
's order, the authority for which nobody knew, but in comparison with which the Articles
of War or the Army Regulations
were at that time regarded as practically of trifling consequence.
The question was settled, or rather avoided