War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0242 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter XVIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

duct of Colonel Schaefer, Lieutenant-Colonel Laibold, and the commander of the Second Ohio Battery, Lieutenant Chapman. They united coolness to energy and daring.

The First Flying Battery, of my division, ordered in the morning to join the Leesville expedition, suffered very severely. Three of its pieces, under command of Lieutenant Gassen and Schneider, followed by the First Missouri and Third Iowa Cavalry, with the larger portion of the Benton and Fremont Hussars, under command of Colonel Bussey, were engaged when the first attack was made upon the enemy's cavalry. The fire of the battery forced the rebels to retreat. Being, however, attacked from all directions and not supported by the cavalry, the three pieces were lost, but afterwards found burned, and recovered. Six men of the Flying Battery were killed on this occasion, 3 wounded, and 8 missing. The rest of the battery, under command of Captain Elbert, with a part of the Seventeenth and Fifteenth Missouri Volunteers and two companies of the Benton Hussars, under command of Major Heinrichs, were guarding the rear of the engaged army, and encountered the enemy about 4 miles from Sugar Creek, on the Bentonville road. They opened and exchanged fire with them with shall and spherical case shot until dark, when they retired towards their camps. The Benton Hussars, who were also, as stated, with the command of Colonel Bussey, report that on arriving at the field of contest, at 9.30 o'clock a.m., they participated in a momentarily unsuccessful encounter with the enemy, but that, forming again in the first open field, they held it during the remainder of the day, guarding Welfley's battery.

At 5.30 o'clock p.m., when the rest of the cavalry were withdrawn from the field, the Benton with two companies of the Fremont Hussars were left to maintain it during the night. Half the battalion of Fremont Hussars, under command of Lieutenant Howe, were with the four companies of Benton Hussars, under command of Colonel Nemett, and in the affair just mentioned Lieutenant Clowes and 4 men were killed, 8 wounded, and 3 missing. The other half of the battalion, under command of Major Meszaros, charged, as he reports, near the town of Leesville, upon a regiment of the enemy's infantry. After the enemy had retreated on the left wing Major Meszaros was ordered by General Curtis to take his command to the support of General Carr, but not finding him, was ordered by the commanding officer to return to camp.

Saturday, March 8.-On this day the battle was resumed at 7 o'clock a.m., our center and right having first opened fire (I may say to soon), with a sharp and continuous return from the enemy. So severe was their fire as to imperil our camp before the First and Second Divisions had taken position on the left. Arriving there, however, the hottest artillery fire was opened, and the whole force moved from position to position like an immense machine, perfectly irresistible in its progress, under your command. The enemy, severely pressed upon every side, finally fled in wild disorder, leaving large numbers of his dead and wounded upon the ground-the Union army taking unmolested possession of his position, and the First and Second Divisions pursuing till night-fall to Keetsville, taking many prisoners, arms, and ammunition, and returning the next day to our common camp.

On that day of triumph to our arms the whole of the First and Second Divisions were united upon the open field in the full view of friend and foe, except four pieces of the Ohio battery, with four companies of the Second Missouri Volunteers, of my division, left as guard at our position in the Sugar Valley. The two remaining pieces of the Flying Battery, with the Fremont and Benton Hussars and the Fifteenth