FEBRUARY 18, 1862.-Action at Bentonville, Ark.
Numbers 1.-Brigadier General Samuel R. Curtis, U. S. Army.
Numbers 2.-Major C. Schaeffer Boernstein, Chief of Staff.
Numbers 3.-Brigadier-General A. Asboth, U. S. Army.
Numbers 1. Report of Brigadier General Samuel R. Curtis, U. S. Army.
[Received SAINT LOUIS, February 21, 1862.]
I sent a cavalry force under Brigadier-General Asboth yesterday to take Bentonville. A small force was routed; their equipments taken; a large flag, arms, and teams were brought in. It is difficult to procure information of the topography of the country. Cross Hollow is a deep ravine, in thick brush, flanked by the White River Mountains.
General Sigel's force and five companies of the Third Iowahave arrived, so my force is again united. I want to take Cross Hollow and Fayetteville, but see nothing else this side of the Arkansas River worth going after, and I have no means of crossing that river. Forage and meat are found in abundance, but the taking of it is attended with considerable labor, and tends to demoralize my troops and draw after me a horde of camp followers, who commit many outrages.
The scattered blankets and coats on the filed show that the enemy had made a more extensive arrangement for battle than I supposed. Their rout was complete, but they keep their artillery so far back in defiles I have not yet been able to secure it. I shall make a reconnaissance in force to-day, and have private scouts also busy feeling the enemy in his brushy cavern.
SAML. R. CURTIS,
Captain N. H. McLEAN,
Numbers 2. Report of Major C. Schaeffer, Boernstein, Chief of Staff.
SAINT LOUIS, March 4, 1862.
CAPTAIN: The rebel flag which I had the honor to deliver to headquarters by order of Brigadier General S. R. Curtis, commanding Southwestern District, Western Department, was taken at Bentonville, Ark., the 19th [18th] of February.
The day after the engagement at Sugar Creek Brigadier-General Asboth was ordered by the commanding general to march towards Bentonville. His force consisted of parts of the Benton and Fremont hussars and one battery commanded by Captain Elbert. Bentonville was occupied by a part of Colonel Rector's regiment of Arkansas infantry. After a short engagement the rebels were driven to flight, leaving behind a large amount of provisions, arms, wagons, and horses. Besides that our forces captured a number of prisoners, and took pos-