in the direction of the three guns, and the companies of the First Missouri Cavalry being compelled to give way, I ordered the Benton Hussars to charge which they failed to do, but fell back. The Fremont Hussars being in rear and not in position, were compelled to give way. The guns were thus left unsupported, and were taken by the enemy and burned. These cavalry forces, failing to rally, fell back through the woods to the large open fields through which we had first marched, when they met the infantry and artillery of General Osterhaus in line of battle. Being left on the field of the first action without any force (the cavalry in reserve having failed to obey my orders), I followed to the open field, where I found two companies of the First Missouri Cavalry being formed in line by Major Hubbard. After seeing the cavalry mentioned in line, I sent Adjutant Noble, who had remained with me on the field during the whole time, to bring up the companies of the Third Iowa Cavalry to our new position, they having pursued the enemy through the fields as above stated and not yet made their appearance. He soon returned to the place desired, the companies having returned towards the camping ground, Major Perry being in command (Lieutenant-Colonel Trimble having been wounded early in the engagement, as heretofore mentioned). The enemy immediately advanced to the western edge of the field in which our new position was taken, when a general engagement ensued. At this time I ordered the First Missouri Cavalry to take position on the extreme left in the woods, which was on the east of our main position. A force of the enemy made their appearance here, evidently attempting to turn our left flank. I sent the Third Iowa Cavalry to support Colonel Ellis. When our force appeared the enemy withdrew, were followed by Colonel Ellis about 2 miles, and did not again show themselves in this quarter. The Benton Hussars and Fremont Hussars, having reformed, remained on the field to the left of the batteries until the close of the engagement, having, however, been several times to ascertain the position of the enemy. This duty they performed satisfactorily. The Third Iowa Cavalry were then formed in line of battle immediately in rear of the artillery, and maintained this position until the close of the action, when they were ordered to conduct a battery to re-enforce General Carr, who was still engaged on the right. I went with them, leaving the remainder of the cavalry force under command of General Osterhaus. This was at 5 o'clock p.m.
The accompanying report of the killed, missing, and wounded of the Third Iowa Cavalry is hereby referred to as a part of this report.* The loss of the other forces will be reported to you by their immediate commanders. The three guns, after falling into the hands of the enemy, were not spiked nor taken from the field, and have been recovered, except the carriages, which had been turned, as heretofore mentioned. On reporting to General Carr, in pursuance of the order requiring me to do so, my companies took position on the right in rear of our batteries, where we remained until after the darkness of night closed the action of the 7th.
On the morning of the 8th, pursuant to order, I went with my command, now being the five companies of the Third Iowa Cavalry, into the field on the road leading to the Elkhorn Tavern, and was then ordered to take position on the right flank, where the enemy was expected to attack. This position was held by my command, with other cavalry forces, until the retreat of the enemy after the middle of the day.
In pursuance of your direct order, my command, at 2 o'clock p.m.,
*See p. 206.