less than 500, and at no time during the conflict here did our force equal one-half that number. The combat now as at close quarters, and raged with great fury on both sides for some half hour, the enemy alternately yielding and advancing and pouring upon our troops a galling fire. While thus engaged the horses of our men were menaced in rear, and the alarm being given, caused a movement in that direction. The horses being secured, the troops formed again in line at some distance in front of the house.
I would particularly notice here the conspicuous conduct of Asst. Adjt. General R. W. Lee, who fought on foot with the men, cheering and encouraging them during the conflict at this point, and who here received a contusion, his life probably being saved by his pistol-belt turning the ball.
A few minutes afterwards a detachment of Creek, under Colonel D. N. McIntosh, opportunely came up to the relief of the exhausted men of the Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment, and, throwing themselves upon the enemy, closed the battle.
The firing now entirely silenced, the enemy disappeared from our entire front, and the sun having set, troops were withdrawn and marched to camp. The battle lasted over four hours.
On the next morning the Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment, the Creek regiment, Colonel Drew and his Cherokees, and a portion of the Texas regiment returned to the battle ground. The enemy had retreated to the mountains.
After burying our dead we followed the train, which had been sent with the wounded, under Colonel Sims, to Van's, and encamped again for the night within a few miles of the battle-field.
The force of the enemy in the engagement at Chusto-Talasah was certainly over 2,500. Several Cherokee prisoners stated it at 4,000. This was also Major Pegg's estimate after his visits to Hopoeithleyohola's camp. Their loss, as admitted by prisoners taken in our last scout, was 412. It probably was 500 in killed and wounded.
The force on our side actually engaged did not exceed 1,100, a strong guard being necessary at the Cherokee train. Our loss was 15 killed and 37 wounded.
The officers and men under my command behaved throughout the engagement at Chusto-Talasah on the 9th of December in such manner as to meet unqualified approbation, and coming under my personal observation I would mention as worthy of especial notice and commendation the conduct of the following:
Colonel D. N. McIntosh, Creek regiment; Lieutenant Colonel William Quayle, Texas regiment; Actg. Asst. Adjt. General R. W. Lee; Major Mitchell Laflore, Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment Mounted Rifles; Actg. Adjt. Joseph A. Carroll, Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment Mounted Rifles; Capts. R. A. Young, Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment Mounted Rifles; Lem. M. Reynolds, Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment Mounted Rifles; Joseph R. Hall, Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment Mounted Rifles; Willis Jones, Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment Mounted Rifles; Jackson McCurtain, Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment Mounted Rifles; W. B. Pitchlynn, Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment Mounted Rifles; Lieuts. J. W. Wells, Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment Mounted Rifles; James F. Baker, Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment Mounted Rifles.
First Serg. Samuel P. C. Patten particularly distinguished; Captain Alfred wade, Choctaw battalion,and my young bugler, Nathaniel J. O. Quine.
The actual loss of the enemy in this engagement far exceeded our first