Him. Colonel Beveridge, of the Seventeenth Illinois cavalry, hearing through citizen refugees of General Ewing's critical situation, started promptly from Rolla, with five hundred men, and arrived in the very nick of time. The cavalry soon cleared the lines, except immediately in front of the camp where the enemy's main force was massed, and at a distance of three miles to the northeast. This left the southwest clear, and on Sunday night Ewing pushed out a heavy picket force on each road and drove the rebel pickets in. While this was being done, the garrison struck out at midnight, and before the enemy discovered the real intent, the command was nigh Rolla, and nearer safety than it had been for many weary days. They marched thirty miles that night, and reached St. James' station, whence they took the cars for Rolla, where the light of Monday morning's sun found them as we must leave them, rejoicing in their success, while we brush away a tear for the poor fellows who were left behind, hushed in the silence of death. The garrison at Rolla was relieved and immediately started for Jefferson City with Generals McNeil and Sanborn at its head. They have no doubt reached that point in safety ere this; if not, they have given Price a touch of their quality, which he will not forget, more than he will forget Rosecrans at Corinth, or Ewing in Arcadia Valley. General Ewing saved the stores at Pilot Knob, and sent them to St. Louis in safety; he saved the stores at Leesburg, and all his artillery, and reached Rolla with a total loss of only about three hundred men. His entire command, as before stated, was little over a thousand, and when all the facts are gathered, it will be found that his killed and wounded will not exceed two hundred. His glory and his danger were shared with Colonel Tom Fletcher, whom the rebels would have given anything almost, to hang, and both are entitled to the warmest gratitude, not only of this State but of the country. Indeed, too much praise cannot be given the officers and men alike, of that brave thousand who resisted the repeated assaults of five times their number, and by throwing themselves into the desperate gap, which, gained by the rebels, would have lost St. Louis to us, successfully held them at bay until other operations, under the more immediate direction of the General Commanding, rendered this city safe, and foiled the purposes of Price to pillage and destroy it.
General Rosecrans' order.
headquarters Department of the Missouri, St. Louis, Missouri, October 6, 1864.With pride and pleasure the Commanding General notices the gallant conduct of Brigadier-General Thomas Ewing, Jr., and his command in the defence of Pilot Knob, and in the subsequent retreat to Rolla. With scarcely one thousand effective men they repulsed the attacks of Price's invading army, and successfully retreated with their battery a distance of one hundred miles, in the face of a pursuing and assailing cavalry force of five times their number. Such conduct deserves imitation, particularly when contrasted with the cowardly conduct of the troops at Osage Bridge. The General Commanding presents his hearty thanks and congratulations to Colonel Thomas C. Fletcher, Forty-seventh Missouri volunteers. Major James Wilson, Third cavalry, Missouri State Militia. Captain Robert L. Lindsay, Fiftieth Missouri volunteers. Captain William J. Campbell, company K, Fourteenth Iowa volunteers. Captain W. C. Montgomery, Second Missouri artillery. Captain A. P. Wright, Second cavalry, Missouri State Militia. Lieutenant John Fessler, First infantry, Missouri State Militia. And the officers and men under their command. They have deserved well of their country. The General Commanding desires, also, publicly to recognize the courage and efficiency of Lieutenant-Colonel John W. Maupin, Forty-seventh Missouri volunteers; Major H. H. Williams, Tenth Kansas volunteers; Captain Charles S. Hills, Tenth Kansas volunteers; Captain H. B. Milks, Third cavalry, Missouri State Militia; Captain P. F. Lonergan, First infantry, Missouri State Militia; and First Lieutenant David Murphy, Adjutant Forty-seventh Missouri volunteers. Under such commanders Federal troops should always march to victory. By command of Major-General Rosecrans.
Frank Eno, Assistant Adjutant-General