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[181] different columns should form a junction at Fredericktown at a given time. Shelby had the exposed side—that toward the interior of the State—and took the liberty of going as he pleased. He captured Patterson and forty of Leper's band of marauders without firing a gun. He also reached Fredericktown two days ahead of time, and, finding neither of the other columns there, took Mineral Point and tore up miles of railroad track between Potosi and Iron Mountain. When Fagan and Marmaduke reached Fredericktown Shelby was there, loaded with supplies, which he shared with the other less fortunate commands.

General Price took Ironton, that is to say, the Federals evacuated the town and Fort Curtis, September 27th, and retired to Fort Davidson at Pilot Knob. This was a strong, irregular fortification, surrounded by a deep and wide ditch, partially filled with water, and difficult under any circumstances to cross. Price determined to assault the fort, though the opinions of his division commanders were opposed to it. Marmaduke's division was ordered up from the east of Fredericktown and he was ordered to attack the fort from Shepherd mountain, while Cabell attacked from the plain. Marmaduke was assured there was no ditch around the fort. Cabell made an attack upon the plain and was repulsed, because there was no way of getting into the fort after he reached it. Clark's brigade dismounted, advanced down the side of Shepherd mountain through a heavy growth of scrub-oak, and attacked, just after Cabell had failed, and failed as he had because the men could not cross the ditch. Some of them got so close to the fort as to be under the enemy's guns, and remained there till night.

That night General Ewing, who was in command of the garrison, blew up his magazines, left his dead and wounded behind, evacuated the fort and retreated in the direction of the southwest branch of the Pacific railroad. No pursuit was attempted until nearly noon the next day,

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John Sappington Marmaduke (3)
W. L. Cabell (3)
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Fredericktown Shelby (1)
Carthage Shelby (1)
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