The Battle at Belmont.
We take the following from the Cairo correspondence of the St. Louis Republican:
CAIRO, November 8, 12 M. — Nothing was heard of the steamer Memphis, which took the flag of truce to Columbus, until to-night.
The party that went down from Fort Holt, being the 7th Illinois and a portion of the 28th, returned yesterday, getting back with considerable difficulty, but not being near the enemy. The troops that left Paducah have returned without meeting anything, in obedience to orders.
It is stated, by persons competent to know, that our loss, in killed, wounded and missing, will reach one thousand. The rebel prisoners here state that they had not more than seven regiments engaged in all, including reinforcements from Columbus.
In Fouke's regiment, considerable loss was sustained. It is said that Colonel Dougherty was wounded and taken prisoner, his leg was amputated, and he is doing well. The rebel prisoners say that Pillow was in command at Belmont. Most of the prisoners are from west Tennessee and Arkansas.
The river has been blockaded below Fort Henry, by sinking boats loaded with stones.
The rebel prisoners say that nearly 1,200 men were in camp at Belmont when our landing was made, and that afterwards they crossed over parts of three regiments, the 12th, 21st and 22d Tennessee, some 1,200 or 1,500 men; this was exclusive of Watson's battery. Men from Walker's and Wright's regiments crossed half a mile above Belmont, and joined in the fight. This must be taken with due allowance. All accounts agree in giving the highest praise to Gen. McClernand and Colonels Logan, Buford, Fouke and Dougherty, for bravery and coolness.
General McClernand was in the front rank most of the time, and his horse was wounded. Colonel Logan went ahead of his men and led them to the attack.
The Memphis with the flag of truce arrived up at 11 o'clock last night, bringing all our wounded, the enemy having 134 prisoners. They admit a loss of 300 killed and wounded, but it is doubtless much greater. A number of the rebels ran down the river and were charged and routed by Dolin's cavalry. The rebels have 140 of our men prisoners. They say that our attack was the most daring thing during the rebellion, and, as they expressed it, the crack battle of the war. They consider themselves whipped, but supposed our force much larger than it was. General McClernand and Captain Schwartz captured three pieces of the enemy's artillery.
CAIRO, November 9 — Our forces at the Belmont fight numbered only 2,850, of whom 500 were left to guard the road. This includes cavalry and artillery. Two companies from each regiment were sent ahead with skirmishers, and met the enemy three quarters of a mile below Hunters. McClernand's brigade led the attack, when the fight soon became general, and all our men were brought up except 500. Taylor's battery had two pieces in action.
The enemy fought from behind every tree, and the 7th Iowa and 22d Illinois suffered more than any other regiments. The enemy's battery was charged by the 7th Iowa and 22d Illinois, with two pieces of Taylor's battery. Colonel Lauman, of the 7th Iowa, was then wounded in the thigh.
General McClernand was in front of his men leading them, and General Grant was all over the field directing their movements. After capturing the Belmont camp, we remained three fourths of an hour; the order to retire was given half an hour before the enemy's reinforcements came over from Columbus, and the head of our columns was then 300 yards from Belmont. Before they came over General Grant said we were surrounded, and ordered us to fight our way through. Logan's and Fouke's regiments took the lead. There was a severe fight of musketry, and Taylor's battery played heavily on the enemy, driving them back. We then marched along the road, the 22d Illinois and 7th Iowa behind, returning a heavy fire from a corn field. There was no more firing except from behind trees until our men reached their boats. We were at our boats in good order half an hour before the enemy came up, but the boats were not ready for us.
Buford's regiment was below Belmont, and had orders to return. Perceiving the firing, they took the Charleston road, and lost no men in returning. General McClernand waited the Chancellor half an hour for them, and took them on board. The Columbus batteries shelled our men, but not one of them was hurt.
Colonel Lauman was wounded early in the action, and put in an ambulance, but when the troops retired, he mounted his horse, took command of his regiment, and led them to the boats.
All the field officers of the 7th Iowa were killed or wounded. The lieutenant colonel and adjutant were killed, and the major was wounded and taken prisoner.
Under the flag of truce we buried sixty-eight of our men on the field and brought up thirteen wounded.
The enemy report that they have one hundred and eighty three prisoners. Fifty-four and wounded — of whom forty-seven belong to the 22d Illinois and 7th Iowa.
Captain Trevis, of the 20th Illinois; Captain Crabb, of the 7th Iowa; and Lieutenant Smith, of the 22d Illinois, are in their hands. Also Captain Challoner, of the 22d Illinois, and Lieutenant Gates, or the 7th Iowa, both wounded. Colonel Dougherty is at Columbus, and doing well.
The 7th Iowa acted nobly and were badly cut up.