went to the left. For a few minutes the fight was well contested on the right, the heavy timber and dense underbrush affording good covering for the enemy. I ordered a saber charge after firing our carbines and pistols, but soon found that the brush was too dense to make it rapid enough. Consequently we returned sabers and fought our way through with carbines. My battalion moved steadily-forward, routing the enemy, driving him beyond the brush into the open ground beyond, at which point I received an order to fall back. I dropped back some 200 yards and formed. Our loss is 1 killed (private, Company C); Captain Switzler, Company A, several wounded; 2 privates, Company C, slightly wounded. Loss of the enemy unknown. My officers and men all acted with great bravery and coolness, and kept in as good order as the circumstances would admit of; and, so far as my observation extended, Colonel Ellis' command, First Missouri, Major McConnell's battalion, Third Illinois, and Major Bowen's battery all deserve credit for their bravery and energy in repulsing and routing the enemy from such an ambush. All acted noble under the circumstances.*
I am, very respectfully, colonel, very most obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Wright's Battalion Cavalry.
Colonel E. A. CARR,
Acting Major-General, Commanding Fourth Division.
FEBRUARY 17, 1862-Action at Sugar Creek, Ark.
Report of Brigadier General Samuel R. Curtis, U. S. Army.
HDQRS. SOUTHWESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI, SUGAR CREEK CROSSING, 6 MILES FROM LINE IN ARKANSAS,
February 18, 1862.
CAPTAIN: The general's dispatch of the 14th is received. We rejoice again at the success of our comrades in the East.
The enemy was re-enforced yesterday by the troops of McCulloch and made another stand at this place. His batteries opened on us and were very soon replied to by mine. After a few rounds of shot and shell I ordered a cavalry charge, which drove them from the high grounds they occupy, with the loss of many killed, wounded, and scattered. My loss is 13 killed and 15 or 20 wounded.* Among the latter are Major Bowen, of my escort, in the wrist; my assistant adjutant-general, Captain McKenny, severely cut, but no dangerously; Captain sWitzler, not dangerously.
My advance encamped on the battle ground. General Sigel's command is 4 miles back and will reach me this morning. Have sent cavalry forward to annoy and explore. Cross Hollow is their next point, 12 miles ahead. I shall also await the arrival of the First and Second Divisions, as this is their great boasted trap for the Federal Army. Hope also the Third Iowa will arrive to-day.
Very respectfully, &c.,
SAML. R. CURTIS,
Captain N. R. MCLEAN,
*See Bowen's report of Pea Ridge, or Elkhorn, Ark.