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Official Records
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Brigadier General William Vandever
U. S. Army, commanding Second Division,
Army of the Frontier

MARMADUKE'S EXPEDITION INTO MISSOURI

Page 271 Chapter XXXIV

Reports of Brigadier General William Vandever, U. S. Army, commanding Second Division, Army of the Frontier, of the pursuit of Marmaduke.

PILOT KNOB, MO.,
April 23, 1863.

GENERAL: Just arrived with advance of 2,000 men. Main body will be in soon after noon. Hear nothing of an enemy toward Centerville or in that direction. Have parties out who will report to-day.

WM. VANDEVER,
Brigadier-General.

Major-Generals CURTIS and HERRON.

PILOT KNOB,
April 23, 1863.

GENERAL: I have temporarily assumed command of the forces, and continue to head my orders as of the Second Division, Army of the Frontier. I have no additional news from the enemy. He was reported to be at Fredericktown last evening, 3,000 or 4,000 strong. No intelligence from there to-day.

WM. VANDEVER,
Brigadier-General.

Major General FRANCIS J. HERRON, Rolla.

Page 272

PILOT KNOB, MO.,
April 24, 1863.

GENERAL: Colonel Smart communicates that the enemy broke up their encampment in Fredericktown before his approach, and moved 3 miles out on Cape Girardeau road, where they formed, but had not encamped.
Smart then retired to the Saint Francis bridge, and awaits orders. He believes this is the same force he encountered at Patterson, and that it does not exceed, at the utmost, 10,000. I have now available 2,500 cavalry and twelve pieces of artillery. Shall I move against the enemy at Fredericktown or nor? The flag or truce is just leaving. I can move to-night, and attack in the morning, if your order it, giving the truce party the night to return here in.

WM. VANDEVER,
Brigadier-General.

Major-General CURTIS, Saint Louis, Mo.

HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION, ARMY OF THE FRONTIER,

Pilot Knob, Mo.,
April 24, 1863.

GENERAL: My latest intelligence from the enemy is up to 8 o'clock this morning at Fredericktown. Colonel Smart had approached within sight of the town, and found his pickets drawn in to the east side of the town, on the Cape Girardeau road. The colonel was reconnoitering the town, and I am in momentary expectation of further news from him.
From my examination of the approaches to this place, and from the best information I can get, I do not think an enemy would venture to attack us by the direct Fredericktown road, as a very small force, with one section of artillery, at the shut-in, 4 miles from here, can prevent the approach of almost any force.
If this locality is to be attacked from the direction of Fredericktown, the attack will come by the road from Farmington, which can be intersected about 10 miles from here by a route from Fredericktown, or the enemy, if he seeks the best road for travel, might even come round by Farmington. Nine miles from here we strike a point on the Farmington road, which is only 6 miles Iron Mountain, over a good road. I infer from your dispatch of last night that infantry are on the way down, to be left at Iron Mountain, which is, I think, the best point to post them, for, should I ascertain that the enemy was advancing in force, I would not hesitate to move to meet him at the intersection of the road from here the road from Iron Mountain to Farmington. Before this reaches you I shall probably have communicated other intelligence by telegraph.
I inclose a rough sketch of the country,* which I think more accurate than the maps as to roads. If further information from Colonel Smart is satisfactory, I will move on the enemy rapidly with my cavalry and artillery, but I would like the infantry you speak of sent to Iron Mountain quickly.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. VANDEVER,
Brigadier-General.

Brigadier General J. W. DAVIDSON, Saint Louis, Mo.
---------------
* Not found.

Page 273

PILOT KNOB, MO.,
April 24, 1863.

GENERAL: Your dispatch of last night, * directing movement when I found the Iron Mountain road destroyed, &c., was received, bit did not order a movement under present circumstances.
There is no force coming from Black River. The only force there is a few hundred, under Reves, in the vicinity of Patterson, jayhawking and robbing.
At 12.30 Colonel Smart had returned with one battalion to Saint Francis Bridge, leaving one battalion 6 miles beyond. He went within 1 mile of Fredericktown, and reports the enemy broke up their encampment in town, and withdrew 3 miles toward Cape Girardeau, where they halted and formed, but had not encamped. From all the information Colonel Smart can gather, he believes this to be the same force that was at Patterson, and does not exceed, at the utmost, 10,000.
I sent Lieutenant-Colonel Chandler, with two battalions of the Seventh Missouri Volunteer Cavalry, after the party threatening the bridges. He left at 10 this morning, moving via Farmington. Have not yet heard from him.
I telegraphed General Curtis my information from Colonel Smart, and asking if I should attack at Fredericktown to-morrow morning. Can there not be concert with McNeil? See dispatch to General Curtis and direct me. Flag of truce sent to Fredericktown to-day may delay the movement.

WM. VANDEVER,
Brigadier-General.

Brigadier-General DAVIDSON, Saint Louis, Mo.

FREDERICKTOWN, MO.,
April 25, 1863-7 p. m.

GENERAL: Just arrived. Marmaduke left yesterday in direction of Cape Girardeau. Camped last night 8 miles east of this. I am after him. Cannot McNeil co-operate? Remain here till morning.

Respectfully,

WM. VANDEVER,
Brigadier-General.

Brigadier-General DAVIDSON, Saint Louis, Mo.

NEAR FREDERICKTOWN, Mo.,
April 25, 1863-11. 20 p. m.

GENERAL; Yours received, The party attacked bridges yesterday afternoon, and were repulsed with some loss. They are now trying to effect their retreat, and Chandler and Lisenby ought and I trust will annihilate them. Colonel Clark's regiment is on the bridges, I understand. All pursuing Marmaduke toward Cape Girardeau.

WM. VANDEVER,
Brigadier-General.

Major-General HERRON.
---------------
* See Addenda, p. 279.
+ Not found.
---------------
18 R-VOL XXII, PT I

Page 274

HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION, ARMY OF THE FRONTIER,
Near White Water, Mo.
April 27, 1863.

GENERAL: Came upon the enemy last evening at 9 o'clock, near Jackson, to which place they had fallen back after attacking Cape Girardeau. With the First Iowa Cavalry, I charged the enemy's camp, driving him beyond the town.
The enemy suffered in killed and wounded, and we captured a large number of horses and other property. I lost no men.
At 6 o'clock in the morning I entered the town and found the enemy posted in force 1 mile out on the Bloomington road. Opened upon him with artillery. He made no reply, but moved off, and I pursued. The enemy moved with baggage trains and artillery in front, defending his rear by strong bodies of cavalry. Fiver miles out on the Bloomington road he destroyed a bridge, which delayed me one hour. I crossed and came up with him again within 3 miles of the bridge over White Water, the enemy from 6,000 to 7,000 strong. The Third Iowa Cavalry were in advance, and had a severe skirmish with the enemy before the main body came up. The enemy here rallied in considerable force, but we drove him back, and pushed on to bridge over White Water, which we could not reach in time to prevent him from crossing. After passing this bridge the enemy destroyed it. In the last encounter we had 1 man killed and 4 men wounded, one captain and 16 privates missing, probably captured, and 4 horses killed and 10 wounded. Our rations being entirely exhausted, I am obliged to pause a few hours for supplies to come up. There is a ford not far above, over which I will attempt to pass, unless I can repair the bridge within the course of the day.
General McNeil joined me with his force of cavalry. I feel justified in pressing the enemy until he is punished and driven out of the State.

WM. VANDEVER,
Brigadier-General.

Brigadier-General DAVIDSON, Saint Louis, Mo.

HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION, ARMY OF THE FRONTIER,

Camp, Six Miles from Bloomfield, Mo.,
April 29, 1863.

GENERAL: I am now at the Castor, 6 miles from Bloomfield. The enemy still retiring. I have made a temporary halt order for the purpose of closing up the column. I will advance to Bloomfield this evening, and advise you further. We have had smart skirmishing this morning at the crossing of Castor, with some few casualties. In his retreat the enemy destroyed the bridges in his rear, which we have had to repair and rebuild. I think we have run him harder than he was ever run before.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. VANDEVER,
Brigadier-General.
Brigadier-General DAVIDSON, Saint Louis, Mo.

P. S.-It is very important that the bridge across White Water should be will guarded. I respectfully suggest that the forces at Cape Girardeau attend to that, as it is within supporting distance from there. Would it not be well also to push down toward us from Pilot Knob a strong reconnoitering party? I would like to open my line of communication in that direction.

Respectfully, &c.,

WM. VANDEVER,
Brigadier-General.

Page 275

HEADQUARTERS IN THE FIELD,
SECOND DIVISION, ARMY OF THE FRONTIER,

Bloomfield,
April 30, 1863.

GENERAL: I crossed the Castor yesterday afternoon, in face of the enemy, with a large part of my command. The stream was considerably swollen, and fording was difficult. The enemy had destroyed all conveniences for crossing.
General McNeil, in command of the advance, pushed forward to within 1\2 miles of this place, which was occupied by the enemy in force. The skirmishing in the evening was spirited, and the enemy retired beyond the town and assumed a position as if he intended to fight. This morning I crossed the balance of my forces, and upon moving forward the enemy again retreated.
The demonstration in front appear to be merely for the purpose of protecting his rear while in retreat, and to drawn us on. The enemy is retiring in the direction of Chalk Bluff, on the Saint Francis River, where he undoubtedly intends to cross. His trains and most of his artillery are ahead. I shall follow him up. This afternoon I again send General McNeil forward with a strong force. All accounts agree in the statement that the enemy is 7,000 or 8,000 strong, with ten pieces of artillery, but he seems to be much demoralized. The indications are that a portion of the enemy went west from here, toward Greenville; probably one brigade.
Not having received any communication from your since leaving Fredericktown, I am somewhat in doubt as to what wishes and designs may be regarding operations in this district. I take the liberty of remarking that, if supported, an effectual advance can be speedily made into Arkansas. Forage is plenty in this direction.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. VANDEVER,
Brigadier-General.

Brigadier-General DAVIDSON,
Saint Louis, Mo.
[Indorsement.]
MAY 2, 1863.

Respectfully inclosed for the general's reading.
Vandevers' remark that, if supported, an effectual advance might he made into Arkansas, makes me think of my own situation last winter. With 9,000 splendid troops at my back, two gunboats and a boat-load of provisions on the White River would have enabled us to make an "effectual advance" also. I will at once send out from Pilot Knob to look out for the brigade which crossed toward Greenville. There is no apprehension for the Knob, even if part of the enemy should wheel that way, thinking we had robbed it of its troops.

Respectfully, submitted.

J. W. DAVIDSON.

HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION, ARMY OF THE FRONTIER,

Chalk Bluff,
May 2, 1863.

GENERAL: One hour ago I received your dispatch of the 30th ultimo, * per hands of Captain [R. H.] Brown, Twenty-third Missouri Volunteers.
I was at the moment actively shelling the enemy across the river. I had
---------------
* See p. 281.

Page 276

hoped to intercept him and capture his guns before crossing the Saint Francis, but his retreat was too precipitate. I have punished the enemy severely. A large number wounded strew the road. His rear guard fought us stubbornly all along the road from Jackson to this point, destroying bridges in their rear and adopting every means to retard our progress. Brigadier-General McNeil has greatly distinguished himself. Throughout the arduous pursuit, on account of his personal knowledge of the country, I assigned him the advance. This morning he had a horse shot from under him. Colonel [J. M.] Glover, commanding troops from Ironton, also deserves special mention for his undoubted bravery and skill. I would also call your special attention to the skill and bravery displayed by Colonel [O. H.] La Grange, of the First Wisconsin Cavalry, who commanded a brigade. Colonel [John C.] Black, Thirty-seventh Illinois Volunteers brought a portion of his brigade gallantly into action this morning, and deserves special mention for his services. I regret to announce the loss to-day of Lieutenant [Joseph] Eaton, of the Thirty-seventh Illinois Volunteers, killed by the premature explosion of one of our own shells. Lieutenant-Colonel [Robert] Carrick, Third Missouri Volunteer Cavalry, slightly wounded. Captain Meisner, Second Missouri Artillery, chief of artillery, wounded in foot. Our whole loss in killed, wounded and missing will not exceed 50. In obedience to your order, I am now moving to Bloomfield, from which place I will communicate further. I write this from the field almost before the sound of our artillery has ceased to echo along the valley of the Saint Francis, on the line between Arkansas and Missouri.
The officers and men of my command deserve the highest praise for courage and endurance displayed on the most arduous pursuit of an enemy which has characterized this war.

Thanking you most sincerely for kind expressions contained in your dispatch, I am, general, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. VANDEVER,
Brigadier-General.

Major General SAMUEL R. CURTIS,
Commanding Department.

HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION, ARMY OF THE FRONTIER,

Bloomfield, Mo.,
May 4, 1863.

GENERAL: I am thus far back from the pursuit of Marmaduke. I followed him to the Saint Francis River, at Chalk Bluff, which is a little beyond the Arkansas line, and drove him across, with heavy loss of men, though he contrived to save his guns. I fought him each day for a week, and kept him moving. It is two weeks to-day since I left you, and have marched in that time 275 miles, and fought the enemy wherever 1 could get at him. The roads have been in very bad condition, and, as the enemy destroyed bridges in his rear, we had to rebuild them as we went. I think I can challenge the events of the war to show a more earnest and persistent pursuit of an enemy. Of course, men and horses have suffered from fatigue, but the men are in the best of spirits, and feel to-day as though this little army could whip the whole Southern Confederacy. I am going to Cape Girardeau, and will there telegraph Genera Curtis for leave to come to Saint Louis, where I shall hope to meet you, for I think I can communicate some things which it appears to me have been overlooked.
This region of country is rich, and full of corn and cattle. An army

Page 277

passing this way need not suffer. If we give up this route to the enemy, it will enable him to approach Saint Louis nearer by land than he can by any other route, and subsist himself. A number of reasons occur to me which I could urge upon the general, verbally, better than I can in a communication, and I am anxious to see him with you.
From here the route is open to Pocahontas, Jacksonport, Batesville, or any point below on the White River. We are within reach of Crowley's Ridge, where there are abundance of supplies, and for operations against Little Rock it is the direct route. If Price is attempting to go to Missouri, we can turn his flank get in his rear. A pontoon train, however, is necessary to operations down this way.
My orders upon the post at Girardeau about keeping us supplied with rations have not been complied with, and we are short. I am subsisting my men wholly on corn-meal and beef. I gather the corn in the country and grind it. I find plenty of beef. I shall be obliged to go to the Cape to refit. Dragging the artillery over heavy roads has pulled down the horses, and I must have some fresh ones; otherwise we are in good condition, except that our rations are not of the regular kind. I have regretted every step of the way that you were not along with the rest of the Army of the Frontier, as I believe it was the opportune moment for driving the enemy south of the Arkansas River.
Pardon this hurried and ill-written communication, as I am much pressed at this time.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. VANDEVER,
Brigadier-General.

Major General FRANCIS J. HERRON,
Commanding Army of Frontier.

HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION, ARMY OF THE FRONTIER,

Bloomfield,
May 4, 1863.

GENERAL: In obedience to order from department headquarters, I have fallen back to this point, after driving the enemy from the limits of the State.
I have already sent forward one brigade toward Cape Girardeau, and will follow with the rest as soon as practicable, except Colonel Glover's command, which I will dispatch direct from this point to Pilot Knob, instructing him to keep strong reconnoitering parties in the direction of Greenville and Patterson, which places will be on his left flank. Colonel Glover will start in the morning. [G.] Hauck's battery, which for the time being to General [J.] McNeil, who will take it to the Cape. I was induced to do this for the reason that I desire Colonel Glover to move with celerity. He will have Captain [G.] Stange, with one section and Colonel Lindsay, with two small pieces, along. Supplies have not been sent forward to me from Cape Girardeau, as I have ordered them. They are understood to be on the way, and I am compelled to go forward and meet them. My men are now subsisting on corn-meal and beef alone.
General McNeil will remain at Bloomfield until the morning of the 6th, when he will also move back to the Cape.
The portion of my command belonging to the Army of the Frontier proper I take with me to Cape Girardeau, that being the nearest point at which I can refit.

The entire march has been arduous in the extreme, taxing the energy, endurance, and bravery of officers, and men to the fullest extent. Every duty has been performed with readiness and alacrity, and I feel it incumbent on me to move back with moderation, so as not to impair the efficiency of the heroic little army which I have the honor to command.
From the Cape I will endeavor to make a more detailed report. Herewith I send a full list of casualties.
In regard to the enemy's loss, I can only say that it must have been large. In one place, after a gallant charge made by Colonel Glover, with the Third Missouri Volunteer Cavalry, there were 19 of the enemy's dead piled together.
The engagement at Chalk Bluff, on the morning of the 2nd, was also disastrous to the enemy, as at one time I played upon him with ten pieces of artillery, before he could get out of the bottom of the opposite side of the river.
On Sunday, the 26th ultimo, in the evening, I first struck the enemy, the First Iowa Cavalry charging his camp by moonlight, and, every day thereafter until the 2nd instant, we fought him as he ran.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. VANDEVER,
Brigadier-General.

Brigadier-General DAVIDSON,
Saint Louis, Mo.
ADDENDA.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE FRONTIER,

Rolla,
April 20, 1863.

General VANDEVER: [?]

GENERAL: Marmaduke is pushing on toward Pilot Knob, and at 9.30 this evening was within 16 miles of that place, with 4,000 men and six pieces of artillery.
General Curtis directs me to throw forward the cavalry to Centerville, and I have concluded to send you with the expedition. You will take all of your own cavalry, and I have ordered all of the cavalry in Third Division to report to you. Major Townsley's battalion, of First Missouri, will also join you in the morning. General Davidson is preparing to give them fight at Pilot Knob, and probably we can attack on the flank by way of Centreville.
Should you find anything like forage at Salem or beyond that place, I will move forward the remainder of both divisions at once to support you. You will take Foust's battery along. Let me know by return messenger how soon the cavalry can move. They should take fifteen days' rations, or as near it as possible. You had, probably, better see me before starting yourself.

Respectfully,

F. J. HERRON,
Major-General, Commanding.

[SAINT LOUIS, MO.,]
April 23, 1863.

General VANDEVER, Pilot Knob:
Dispatch received.* You have made a gallant march. Have your
---------------
* Of same date. See p. 271.
Page 279

men and horses ready for further efforts. The rebels must have no rest in Missouri. I am anxious about McNeil, who left Bloomfield when you left Rolla.

[SAML. R. CURTIS.]
Major-General.



SAINT LOUIS, MO.,
April 23, 1863.

Brigadier-General VANDEVER;

Your message received.* I wish you would have the Iron Mountain Railroad patrolled by cavalry on a side road as far as Irondale, 12 miles above the Knob, for the present, as the ground at the Knob is contracted. I want Tyler to go on with his defensive arrangements, as the cavalry will move as soon as the infantry arrive. Let me know if you are supplied with everything you want; if not, send up a staff officer for what you need. Even the short time you are there have drills twice a day by the troops that are not working, that the officers may be kept with their companies. I have ordered fifteen days's subsistence for 5,000 men; seven day's forage for 5,000 animals on hand. I think the enemy's aim is to get possession of some point of the river. Smart should get intelligence of McNeil, if possible. He certainly can test the enemy at Fredericktown, and he owes to it to himself and his regiment to do it.

J. W. DAVIDSON,
Brigadier-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,

Saint Louis, Mo.,
April 24, 1863.

Brigadier-General VANDEVER:

Major McConnel has been exchanged, and gives his account of the rebel force. Marmaduke has 5,000 or 6,000 and ten pieces of artillery, with no baggage. I think this is more than he has, and, no doubt, the troops are exhausted and weakened by marching. It seems to me they can be whipped badly by your forces anywhere. General McNeil is at Cape Girardeau; is also pretty strong in cavalry.

SAML. R. CURTIS,
Major-General.



[DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,]
April 24, 1863.

General McNEIL, Cape Girardeau:

Major McConnel, who was taken prisoner by Marmaduke, is released, and he tells me Marmaduke has some 6,000. Such reports should always be taken as extravagant. If you and Vandever could unite in a chase, you could soon drive him out of the State. I have so said to Vandever, who is still at Pilot Knob. Marmaduke acted as though he was moving on Saint Louis, but he expected to gobble you up, which shows a different direction.

[SAML. R. CURTIS,]
Major-General.
---------------
* Not found.

Page 280




SAINT LOUIS, MO.,
April 25, 1863.

Brigadier-General VANDEVER, Fredericktown:

Will move toward you in the morning. Gunboats will reach you, from Cairo, to-night. Be ready, with your cavalry and light artillery, haversacks filled, to fight or pursue, as occasion may offer. My chief of artillery says you can, with your troops and guns, resist 15,000. Instruct your gunners always to try to hit enemy's guns cool and steady.
General, the God of battles be with you.

SAML. R. CURTIS,
Major-General.
(Same to General McNeil, Cape Girardeau.)



SAINT LOUIS, MO.,
April 25, 1863.

General VANDEVER, Fredericktown:

General McNeil expect to be attacked at daylight to-morrow on both Jackson and Bloomfield roads, by two columns. I am sending him troops by water. If you can cut your way into Girardeau, to help, I think it would be well.

SAML. R. CURTIS,
Major-General.

SAINT LOUIS, MO.,
April 25, 1863.

General VANDEVER:
I would not, under the last information you have, leave Pilot Knob, for I have reports just in from McNeil. He says the enemy is moving on him from the southwest, 4,000 strong, and have driven in his outposts on the Frederickstown road and on the White Water.

J. W. DAVIDSON,
Brigadier-General.


SAINT LOUIS, MO.,
April 25, 1863-9 a. m.

General VANDEVER, Pilot Knob, Mo.:

Have you moved against the enemy? Official report from a reconnaissance sent by boat to the Cape shows the enemy at three points on the river: Neeley's Landing, 20 miles above the Cape; at Saint Mary's and near Saint Genevieve. The idea seems to be that they want to seize boats for their stores, while they get off the lead at Fredericktown. It is left to your judgment whether you had better move on them with your cavalry and artillery, via Fredericktown.

J. W. DAVIDSON,
Brigadier-General.


HEADQUARTERS,

Saint Louis, Mo.,
April 25, 1863.

Brigadier-General VANDEVER, Commanding:

From what you can learn below, do you suspect the existence of co-operation in this city with Marmaduke by a plan to rise here coincident with his approach? I have warning of such, and have taken precaution.

J. W. DAVIDSON,
Brigadier-General.

Page 281

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE FRONTIER,

Rolla, Mo.,
April 25, 1863.

General VANDEVER;

I sent the infantry regiments of your division to Pilot Knob yesterday, to operate as Second Division, Army of the Frontier. I have scouts out to watch the bridges on Southwest Branch, Pacific road. Keep me posted. The probability is that I will move from there to Pilot Knob with balance of command, and take your transportation with me. We are reducing baggage and issuing shelter tents. Nothing new from Southwest.

F. J. HERRON,
Major-General, Commanding.



HEADQUARTERS,

Saint Louis, Mo.,
April 25, 1863.

General VANDEVER;
Dispatch* received. Exercise your own discretion. Bleed the enemy, if you can, and punish his impudence.

N. P. CHIPMAN,
Colonel and Chief of Staff.



HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION, ARMY OF THE FRONTIER,

Jackson, Mo.,
April 27, 1863.

Brigadier General JOHN MCNEIL:

General Vandever directs me to inform you that he is in pursuit of the fleeing enemy on the Bloomfield road, under the belief that they were escaping, via Dallas. Last night he attacked a camp of them 2 1\2 miles west of here, ordering the First Iowa, under Major [Joseph W.] Caldwell, to charge them with saber and pistol. This was gallantly done by moonlight, and was entirely successful. Our prisoners number some 40 already, and more are being brought in. A large quantity of horses, saddles, and arms were secured.
The cannonading at the Cape yesterday was heard by our advance about noon yesterday, and under its influence we traveled yesterday 40 miles. Can you, by moving out on Bloomfield road, cut retreat?

Very respectfully,

LUCIEN J. BARNES,
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.




HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,

Saint Louis, Mo.,
April 30, 1863.

Brigadier General WILLIAM VANDEVER,

Bloomfield, Mo.:

GENERAL: I have just seen yours of the 28th to General Davidson, asking for your transportation and saying you will occupy Bloomfield. There is nothing to be gained by an occupation of Bloomfield. If the rebels have got out of your reach, you will immediately fall back to Pilot Knob or Gape Girardeau, whichever is most convenient. I would rather you would be at Pilot Knob, where you can report to General Herron, and immediately to this place, with a view to completely repairing all damage arising from your recent hard and very successful campaign.
---------------
* Of April 24. See p. 272.

Page 282

I have ordered a move out from New Madrid to cut off the rebel retreat, and before this reaches you I suppose all our efforts against Marmaduke will be at an end.
Tender my thanks, general, to the officers and soldiers of your command, for the energy, courage, and victories they have won. General McNeil's gallantry will deserve a separate and special notice. You have added to your former well-earned distinctions in the field, and your State and country are proud of such a soldier.
I remain, very truly, your friend and fellow-soldier.

SAML. R. CURTIS,
Major-General.



Itinerary of the Second Division, Army of the Frontier,

April 4 -May 2, 1863.*

April 4-6.-Marched from Elk Creek to Camp Totten, 10 miles southwest of Rolla, 55 miles.

April 9.-Brigadier General William Vandever arrived and assumed command.

April 21-23.-Brigadier-General Vandever, with all the cavalry of the division and Battery E, First Missouri Artillery, marched to Pilot Knob to meet a cavalry raid under General Marmaduke.

April 26.- Moved on toward Cape Girardeau in pursuit of the enemy. Marched 40 miles, over roads considerable of the way. Within 5 miles of Jackson captured a few straggling rebels. Within 2 1\2 miles of Jackson, at 9 p. m., found the enemy in some force. Sent the First Iowa Volunteer Cavalry, Major [Joseph W.] in with the saber by moonlight, and scattered a brigade of the enemy, making considerable captured of prisoners and horses; used artillery that the garrison at Cape Girardeau, General McNeil commanding might be apprised of our presence and act accordingly. If they had moved out properly, Marmaduke would have been captured.

April 27. -The enemy, finding us in possession of his desired line of retreat via the Dallas pike, from which the First Iowa Cavalry had driven a brigade, was compelled to take the road due south from Jackson, which he did, destroying all bridges in his rear. We pursued him vigorously, skirmishing several times, killing a few and capturing some prisoners. Marched 15 miles; found the enemy had escaped over the White Water (not fordable), and destroyed one span of the bridge. Before leaving Jackson, a messenger was sent to Cape Girardeau, ordering General McNeil to move out rapidly on the Bloomfield road and get the road near White Water ahead of the enemy and cut off his retreat. Although General McNeil had but 9 miles to march, over a macadamized road, to do this, he did not reach the intersection until after the enemy had all passed and our troops arrived at the river. This was unfortunate, and guaranteed to the enemy his escape, unless perchance the Castor River should not be fordable, and we could compel him to fight before crossing that stream. The bridge over White Water was therefore ordered to be repaired, which was done early on the morning of the 28th, in the face of the enemy's rear guard.

April 28.- The command crossed the White Water and pushed through the desperate swamps for 5 miles to higher ground, and, on General McNeil having been recently stationed at Bloomfield, and his command knowing the country, was given the advance, with instruc-
---------------
* From "Record of Events," on return for month of April, 1863.

Page 283

tions to pursue as rapidly as possible to the Castor. However, the enemy made good his escape over that river. Marched 26 miles.

April 29.- The crossing of Castor was successfully effected in the face of a strong rear guard of the enemy, and the advance of the command moved a few miles toward Bloomfield, skirmishing nearly all the way with the enemy and occasionally taking a few prisoners. The command did not all pass the river during the day, as it rose so as to be unfordable and one floating bridge had been away. Marched 8-miles, and captured Marmaduke's body-servant, Bill.

April 30.- Enough of the command having crossed the Castor, an advance was ordered, and the enemy was driven out of Bloomfield and the place occupied by our forces about noon. A command was organized from the most fresh troops to march at 9 p. m. under General McNeil, in pursuit of the enemy, who had taken the road to Chalk Bluff. There was still a faint hope that by pushing him hard he would be compelled to leave his artillery in our hands. Therefore the pursuit was continued, and nearly in May, after a way brilliant charges of his rear guard, Marmaduke was driven across the Saint Francis at Chalk Bluff and out of Missouri. In this pursuit and the attack on the enemy's rear, Colonel John M. Glover, Third Missouri Volunteer Cavalry, distinguished himself with his regiment.


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