shown themselves worthier to defend a great cause than on this day of the 6th of March.
III.-Battle of the 7th, near Leesville [Leetown] and on Pea Ridge.
In the night of the 6th the two divisions were encamped on the plateau of the hills near Sugar Creek and in the adjoining valley separating the two ridges extending along the creek. The Second Division held the right, the First the left of the position, fronting towards the west and southwest, in order to receive the enemy should he advanced from the Bentonville and Fayetteville road. Colonel Davis' division, forming the center, was on our left, and Colonel Carr covered the ground on the extreme left of our whole line.
Early in the morning report came in that troops and trains of the enemy were moving the whole night on the Bentonville road around our rear towards Cross Timber, thereby endangering our line of retreat and communication to Keetsville, and separating us from our re-enforcements and provision trains. This report was corroborated by two of my guides, Mr. Pope and Mr. Brown, who had gone out to reconnoiter the country. I immediately ordered Lieutenant Schramm, of my staff, to ascertain the facts, and to see in what direction the troops were moving. On his return he reported that there was no doubt in regard to the movement of a large force of the enemy in the aforesaid direction. You then ordered me to detach three pieces of the flying battery to join Colonel Bussey's cavalry in an attack against the enemy in the direction of Leesville. Colonel Osterhaus was directed to follow him with three regiments of infantry and two batteries.
At about 11 o'clock the firing began near Elkhorn Tavern, and Leesville. To see how matters stood, I went out to Colonel Carr's division, and found him a short distance beyond the tavern, engaged in a brisk cannonade. Several pieces, partly disabled and partly without ammunition, were returning, whilst another advanced from the camp. As the enemy's fire was directed to the place where I halted, I ordered two pieces of the battery which came up to take position on an elevated ground to the left and to shell the enemy. After a few shots the fire of the enemy opposite our position became weaker, and I sent the two pieces forward to join their battery. I then returned to look after my own troops, and passing along the road met the Third Iowa Cavalry, which had been sent in advance of Colonel Osterhaus, and which now escorted their lieutenant-colonel, who was severely wounded, back into the camp. I immediately sent to you to order the regiment back to Leesville, which order was given, and the regiment returned. I met Lieutenant Gassen, of the flying battery, who reported to me that our cavalry had been driven back by an overwhelming force, and our three pieces taken by the enemy, as there was no infantry to support them. I now ordered Major Meszaros and the two other pieces of the flying battery to re-enforce Colonel Osterhaus, but during their march I learned that Colonel Davis had been directed to advance with his whole division to Leesville, which induced me to send only Major Meszaros to that point, and directed the two pieces of the flying battery to act as reserve, and to join the troops left in their encampment. Proceeding to the camp to see what was going on there and whether we were safe in our rear (towards Bentonville), I found the following troops assembled in their respective positions: The Seventeenth Missouri and a detachment of 60 men of the Third Missouri; the Twenty-fifth and the Forty-fourth Illinois; two pieces of Welfley's battery (12-pounders); two companies