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Evacuation of Bloomfield.


September 1864

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, September 26, 1864.




[From our Saturday Evening Edition.]

The interruption of telegraphic communication left us this morning without the looked-for intelligence of further movements incident to the rebel incursion in Southeast Missouri; but from a merchant who arrived this morning from Cape Girardeau, and other sources, we learn the following:

The gentleman referred to reached Bloomfield on Saturday morning, in company with Captain Noell, the Union nominee for Congress. Captain N. spoke at Bloomfield Monday and left on Tuesday, his companion remaining. At 5 1-2 P. M., Wednesday, Captain Smith, of the 2d Missouri, returned from a scout and reported that the pickets had been fired upon at the Shoals, in St. Francis, some eighteen miles from Bloomfield. Also, that a large body of rebels was moving upon Bloomfield, estimated at from eight to fifteen thousand.
The evacuation of Bloomfield took place at about midnight of Wednesday, all the troops, some two hundred, under Captain Sells, of the 2d Missouri, moving towards Cape Girardeau. All the adult male residents of Bloomfield also left with the exception of one man, Mr. Picket Owens, formerly county clerk, who was sick in bed and compelled to remain.

Our informant was among the last to leave and remained in Bloomfield till about half past two o’clock Thursday morning. Fighting had then begun, as was inferred from the sound of musketry and cannon from the direction the troops had taken. No rebel force had then appeared in Bloomfield, but it was known that the region was infested with guerrilla bands, who would not long delay robbing the unprotected stores and residences.

Captain Sells and his men reached Cape Girardeau, and reported having been pursued by a large body of rebels and attacked near Whitewater. The rebels were repulsed in two attacks, and Captain Sells then renewed the retreat, soon after which the enemy again came up and attacked, but was again driven off. Captain S. had two field pieces. After the third repulse the rebels permitted him to go on without further molestation. To Lieutenant Hiller at the Cape, Captain S. reports a loss of five killed, seven wounded and ten missing, and that at least twenty of the rebels were killed.

Telegraphic communication was interrupted between New Madrid and the Cape.

Lieutenant Colonel Hiller had [illegible] to pull his outpost forces to aid in the defense of Cape Girardeau, if necessary.

Though the precise strength of the enemy is not learned, there is no doubt that his invading forces together number from ten to fifteen thousand, who will probably concentrate or so operate with a view to success in some direction. News is hourly expected to disclose further as to his movements.