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Official Records

Colonel R. R. Livingston
First Nebraska Infantry


Report of Colonel R. R. Livingston, First Nebraska Infantry, of the pursuit of Marmaduke.

Page 266 Chapter XXXIV.

April 30., 1863.

CAPTAIN: Having been instructed, on the night of the 25th instant, by order (copy of which I inclose, marked A.), to take charge of the Thirty-seventh Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Captain Brown's company (G), Twenty-third Regiments Missouri Volunteer Infantry, and 20 men, under Lieutenant Ewing, Twenty-third Iowa, to see them shipped without delay to re-enforce the post of Cape Girardeau, then return to this post immediately after the attack had ceased, I have the honor to reports as follows;
We arrived at Cape Girardeau on Sunday, 26th instant, at 2.50 p. m., just as the firing on both sides ceased for that day. I turned over my and was ordered by him to move with the companies of the Thirty-seventh Illinois Infantry, under Captain [Charles W.] Hawes, to report to Lieutenant-Colonel [William] Baumer, at Fort B, as the enemy were attempting to flank our right. Shortly afterward I received an order to take change of my own regiment; but, finding the conduct of Lieutenant-Colonel Baumer, of the First Nebraska, all that could be desired, I, in the spirit of a soldier, permitted him to retain the command he had fought so gallantly previous to my arrival. Fearing a night attack, I went with General McNeil, and arranged a system of signals with two gunboats, then lying in the Mississippi River, opposite the town, by which they could direct their fire where it would be most effective. General McNeil, at my suggestion, also sent for re-enforcements to General Asboth, commanding at Columbus, Ky., whose promptness in forwarding the troops is deserving of all praise.
When daylight broke, the enemy had not appeared before our pickets, and two detachments of cavalry were sent out to feel them; but it was not before 11.30 a. m., the 27th instant, that the retrograde movement of the enemy toward Bloomfield was definitely ascertained; and at 2 p. m. two regiments of cavalry (First Wisconsin and Second Missouri), four guns of Welfley's battery, two mountain howitzers, and two companies of Colonel McLane's Missouri Militia moved out in pursuit, on the Bloomfield road. Arriving near Black Creek, the advance under Major [William H.] Torrey, First Wisconsin, drove a small force of the enemy from the bridge, which they had commenced to destroy, by tearing up plank and piling dry stakes in the bridges, preparatory to firing it. The bridge was speedily repaired, and we pushed on to the junction of the Jackson and Bloomfield roads, where was met the advance of Gen-

Page 267 Chapter XXXIV

eral Vandever's column. There the column halted. Myself and a small party pushed forward to the bridge across White Water, about 1 1\2 miles distant, and found the last span destroyed, the stringers being cut, the plank thrown in the river, and the up-stream post on the last bent cut in such a manner as to render it useless. To my great surprise, no further progress was made that day, our forces being ordered into camp at 6 p. m., with a demoralized and flying enemy only one hour ahead of us.
I left camp the next morning at 7.10 o'clock, at which time our forces had not yet pushed forward; and feeling convinced that so tardy a pursuit would certainly be a vain one, I returned to this post with all dispatch, knowing my services were needed here.
I would respectfully state that the enemy were confident of carrying and holding Cape Girardeau; that their battle cry was, "Hurrah now for McNeil!" and that, in their conversations with the peaceful citizens, they asked if Fayetteville had been attacked, stating that place and the Cape were to be struck the same time, and that on Sunday, 3rd of May next, Price, with 30,000 men, would attack Jefferson City, after which the forces at the Cape and that place were to make a combined attack on Saint Louis.
I refrain from giving you the particulars of the battle or the losses on either side, as competent authority will soon furnish the official report either side, as competent authority will soon furnish the official report.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Colonel 1st Regiment Nebraska Vol. Infty., Commanding Post, Saint Louis, Mo.

Assistant Adjutant-General, District of Saint Louis, Mo.
[Inclosure A.]

Saint Louis, Mo.,
April 25, 1863.
* * * *
XVIII. Colonel R. R. Livingston, First Nebraska Infantry Volunteers, will proceed to Cape Girardeau, Mo. He will take command of all troops going down to that point. Upon his arrival he will turn over the troops to the command of Brigadier General John McNeil.

By order of Brigadier-General Davidson;

Assistant Adjutant-General.

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