War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0263 Chapter XVIII. PEA RIDGE, OR ELKHORN TAVERN, ARK.

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No. 22. Report of Colonel Grenville M. Dodge, Fourth Iowa Infantry, commanding First Brigade.


Pea Ridge Battle-field, Ark., March 10, 1862.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the First Brigade of the Fourth Division in the battle on the 7th and 8th instant; also of the killed, wounded, and missing:

On the morning of the 7th I was ordered to take position with my brigade near Elkhorn Tavern, on the Springfield road. On my arrival I discovered the enemy in the timber about half a mile to the right, and brought up one section of the First Iowa Battery, which opened the battle, doing considerable execution. The enemy fled to the hollow, when I deployed my line, covering as much ground as possible, placing Major McConnell, commanding one battalion of the Third Illinois Cavalry, on the center sending forward a company of skirmishers from the Fourth Iowa, who soon became sharply engaged, causing the enemy to open on us with shell, solid and grape shot. Four pieces of the First Iowa Battery were planted on the Springfield road near the tavern, which opened on the enemy's batteries to the right. Captain J. A. Jones and Lieutenant Gambell were wounded here. Soon after this the Thirty-fifth Illinois Infantry became engaged in the attack made in the morning on the left, and fought with great bravery. Colonel Smith fell wounded and the regiment lost severely.

As soon as the engagement had fairly begun I closed up my line to the left and awaited the attack, keeping the section of the battery at work with my skirmishers until near 2 o'clock, when the enemy ceased firing and drew back. I soon discovered that the enemy were preparing for a general attack, and changed front to the right, covering my men with a rail fence, forcing the enemy to cross an open field to reach me. I formed my line and opened fire with one section of my battery, the other four pieces having left the field for want of ammunition. The enemy answered with eight pieces of artillery, and advanced on my right, left, and front. I brought up the skirmishers and placed them on the left, and held the position for more than two hours with at least 6,000 infantry and eight pieces of artillery against me, the artillery playing upon us at short range with canister. My section of the battery left the field early, having exhausted all their ammunition.

Near the last of the engagement three rifled pieces of German battery were sent to me and took position on my left, which after firing three or four rounds, was compelled to retire from the field, being flanked by a regiment of the enemy. I then ceased firing, to discover the position of the enemy's forces on my right, when they immediately advanced to within 100 feet of my lines, when I ordered my men to fire, which they did so effectually that the enemy fled along the whole line in confusion. Fresh regiments immediately filled their places. Finding that the enemy were outflanking me on the right and that my forces were insufficient to extend my lines, I sent for re-enforcements, and obtained five companies of the Eighth Indiana Infantry, which I placed on my right. The firing becoming more terrific, the enemy having placed a battery on my left that enfiladed my line, the ammunition of the Fourth Iowa beginning to fail, the Thirty-fifth Illinois