Thirty-sixth Illinois Cavalry, and nearly the whole Second Division, comprising the Second and Fifteenth Missouri, Carlin's battery, and two companies of the Benton Hussars.
It was about 2 o'clock in the afternoon when the cannonading and musket firing became more vehement, and when your ordered me to re-enforce Colonel Carr at Elkhorn Tavern, and Colonel Davis and Colonel Osterhaus near Leesville, as both forces, especially those at Leesville, were, according to your reports, pressed hard and losing ground. I therefore sent General Asboth, with four companies of the Second Missouri, under Colonel Schaeferr, and four pieces of the Second Ohio Battery, under Lieutenant Chapman, to assist Colonel Carr. Major Poten, with the Seventeenth Missouri, one company of the Third Missouri, two companies of the Fifteenth Missouri, two pieces of the flying artillery, under Captain Elbert, and two companies of the Benton Hussars, under Major Heinrichs, I ordered to advance on the Sugar Creek road towards Bentonville, to demonstrate against the rear of the enemy. Two pieces of the Second Ohio Battery, with six companies of the Second Missouri, remained in their position to guard the camp, and two companies of the Forty-fourth Illinois, with 20 men of the Thirty-sixth Illinois Cavalry, under Captain Russell, were sent forward in a northwestern direction, to remain there as a picket between Leesville and the Sugar Creek road. With all other troops-the Fifteenth Missouri, the Twenty-fifth and Forty-fourth Illinois, and the two pieces of Captain Welfley's battery-I marched to Leesville, to re-enforce Colonels Davis and Osterhaus. My intention was to throw back the enemy from Leesville into the mountains and towards Bentonville, and then, by a change of direction to the right to assist General Asboth and Colonel Carr by deploying on their left.
On my march to Leesville, I heard Major Poten's firing on the Bentonville road. Arrived at Leesville, the firing in front had ceased, whilst it commenced with new vehemence on the right, at Elkhorn Tavern. At this moment Captain McKenny, acting assistant adjutant-general, requested me, by order of General Curtis, to send some more re-enforcements to the right, which I did, by detaching five companies of the Twenty-fifth Illinois and four pieces of Captain Hoffman's battery, stationed in reserve at Leesville, to Elkhorn Tavern. I then proceeded beyond the town to the battle-field, which I found in full possession of Colonels Davis and Osterhaus. As no enemy could be seen except a small detachment on a distant hill, I requested Colonel Davis to protect my left flank, by sending his skirmishers and one regiment of infantry forward through the woods, whilst I proceeded with the Twenty-fifth Illinois and four pieces of Welfley's and Hoffman's batteries on the road to the northeast, which was already opened by the Forty-fourth Illinois and Fifteenth Missouri. After making 1 mile and passing two hospitals of the enemy I ordered Colonel Osterhaus to follow me with the Twelfth Missouri and Thirty-sixth Illinois and a section of artillery, which troops came up promptly, except the two pieces, 12-pounders, that remained with Colonel Davis. We advanced slowly, and after making half a mile more we reached an open field, where we took our position, and from which we could easily discern the camp-fires of our friends and those of our enemies near Elkhorn Tavern. I sent immediately to General Curtis to apprise him of my position and that I was ready to co-operate with him. Meanwhile night had fallen in, and although the cannonading was renewed on the right, I did not believe the after a hard day's work the enemy would make a final and decisive attack. In order, therefore, to disguise our position from