War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0251 Chapter XVIII. PEA RIDGE, OR ELKHORN TAVERN, ARK.

Search Civil War Official Records

I deemed it advisable to bring them to the rear, which order was executed without loss and in good order. I now reformed the Twenty-second and Eighth, and directed my line of battle parallel with and about 300 yards from my first position in the woods, but on receiving orders from you I changed my line by throwing the right back a little, in which position we cautiously advanced until my right rested on the clear and adjoining our first position. Here I received a message that the masked battery had retired; that I had to change position to get out of the line of fire of our batteries, which were then moving forward, the enemy having given way. Here we passed to the front by file from the right until we were on the ground pointed out for us near the brush concealing the enemy's batteries, when to my surprise I found that there had been a mistake in supposing them withdrawn, as a perfect shower of canister belched forth from the thick brush in front, which, fortunately, was aimed too high. Lieutenant-Colonel Washburn, being forwarded, promptly gave orders to change front forward and form line along the fence, which was rapidly executed, our own batteries and that of the enemy in the mean time playing over us. An order to charge and take the battery was now given, which was received with cheers, the line advancing steadily with fixed bayonets, increasing the speed to a double-quick. Our men cheered with undaunted spirit, which caused the rebels to hastily withdraw their battery, and a general stampede ensued. We now deployed to the right, the Eighteenth being in advance, the Eighth and Twenty-second being separated by Colonel White's brigade, which, in the excitement consequent on the unexpected attack from and subsequent charge on the battery, had formed on its left. In this position the two brigades pushed on the enemy, in full retreat, frequently giving them a heavy fire from muskets and rifles, the chase being kept up through heavy fallen timber, passing which we go into open timber and moved rapidly forward. The enemy now having passed out of slight and the men being exhausted I gave up the chase, but advanced steadily up to the Huntsville road, when I halted the Eighteenth and awaited the arrival of the rest of the brigade, which came up in a short time. Colonel Benton now arrived with the right wing of the Eighth and the balance of Klauss' battery, which had bee left to hold the crossing at Sugar Creek, no doubt thinking their lot a hard one at not being permitted to take a more active part in the achievement of so glorious a victory. This was the first time my command god all together since the engagement first commenced.

During the engagement of the 7th and 8th Captain Klauss rendered the most efficient service, being several times the first day unsupported by infantry, consequently in great danger of being cut off by the enemy.

I cannot close this report without noticing the promptitude with which nearly all the officers executed the commands given, but more particularly would I return thanks for the efficient aid rendered by Lieutenant-Colonel Washburn, Major Thomas, and Captain Short, acting major of the Eighteenth; to Colonel Benton and Lieutenant-Colonel Shunk, of the Eighth; also to my acting assistant adjutant-general, Lieutenant George S. Marshall, and Lieutenant William F. Davis, aide-de-camp, who both rendered prompt and efficient service in delivering orders on the field. The officers of the line tried to emulate each other in forwarding the good cause in which we are engaged, and the men deserve the praise and congratulations of the whole country for their courage and efficiency exhibited on all occasions in the face of a desperate and unscrupulous foe.

In consideration of the galling fire to which my command was frequently