which I intended to advance in the morning I kept the troops in the strictest silence and did not allow the building of camp-fires or any movement farther than 200 to 300 paces distance. So we remained until 1 o'clock in the morning, when I found it necessary to remove the troops by a short and convenient road into our common camp, to give them some food, sleep, and a good fire, and to prepare them for battle.
To show the whole position of the First and Second Divisions on the evening of the 7th, allow me, general, to make the following statement:
Be ginning on the left, Major Poten, with the Seventeenth Missouri, one company of the Third Missouri, two companies of the Fifteenth Missouri, two pieces of the flying artillery, and two companies of the Benton Hussars were stationed on the Sugar Creek and Bentonville road, 3 miles from the camp. The entrance of the road from this side was guarded by two pieces of the Second Ohio Battery and six companies of the Second Missouri. Towards the north (Leesville) two companies of the Forty-fourth Illinois and 20 men of the Thirty-sixth Illinois Cavalry remained on picket. On the right, near Elkhorn Tavern, were the following troops: Four companies of the Second Missouri, five companies of the Twenty-fifth Illinois, four pieces of the Second Ohio Battery, and four pieces of Captain Hoffmann's battery. In the field to the left of General Asboth and Colonel Carr, under my immediate command, were the Twelfth Missouri, the Fifteenth Missouri, the Twenty-fifth, Thirty-sixth, and Forty-fourth Illinois, two pieces of Captain Welfley's and two pieces of Captain Hoffmann's batteries. The Fremont and Benton Hussars and one section of Captain Welfley's battery returned to camp with Colonel Davis.
The detachment of Major Conrad, consisting of six companies of infantry detailed from the Third, Fifteenth and Seventeenth Missouri and Thirty-sixth Illinois, and one piece of Captain Welfley's battery, was encamped a few miles west of Keetsville.
One piece of Captain Welfley's battery was spiked and then taken by the enemy, but retaken and unspiked. Three pieces of Captain Elbert's flying battery had been lost near Leesville, the trails burned by the enemy, and the guns left on the battle-field. Another piece of this battery had broken down on the retreat from Bentonville to Sugar Creek, but the gun was recovered and brought into camp.
IV.-Battle of the 8th, near Elkhorn Tavern.
The different combats of the 7th had fully developed the plans of the enemy. It was evident that his main forces were stationed near and at Elkhorn Tavern, and that he would make all efforts to break through our lines on the Fayetteville road, and thereby complete his apparent victory. I therefore resolved to recall all troops and different detachments of the First and Second Divisions from wherever they were stationed (with the exception of four companies of the Second Missouri and four pieces of artillery from the Second Ohio Battery sent to their original position on Sugar Creek), and to fall upon the right flank of the enemy should he attack or advance from Elkhorn Tavern. At daybreak of the 8th the following troops were assembled near and around my headquarters awaiting orders:
First Division, Colonel Osterhaus: Two companies Third Missouri Volunteers; Twelfth and Seventeenth Missouri; Twenty-fifth, Thirty-sixth, and Forty-fourth Illinois; Welfley's battery, five pieces; Hoffmann's battery, six pieces; Captain Jenks' squadron of the Thirty-sixth Illinois.