and, as I supposed, Colonel Stone's regiment in the rear, we gained the Bentonville road, and marched on it in perfect order to the Telegraph road.
The order sent to the Cherokees to join us had not, by some accident, reached Colonel Drew, and his regiment remained in the woods, and after a time retreated towards Camp Stephens, where, he informs me, he found Colonel Stone's regiment arrived before him. This regiment understanding, I have learned, that part of the enemy's force was marching to attack the train, took that direction.
The infantry had in the three days marched 60 miles, had been on foot all the preceding night, and fought that day without water, and Colonel Churchill begged me to leave them where they could procure it. When we reached the Telegraph road I was about to conduct them to headquarters; but unable to learn the position of the two armies or how the road came upon the field, and learning that where our forces were there was no water and that there was a running stream on the Pineville road about a mile and a half from the point where the Bentonville road descends into the valley, I led them to and on the Pineville road, intending to halt at the eat, to join the main army early in the morning. Orders from General Van Dorn caused us to retrace our steps and march to his headquarters, which we reached long after dark.
On Saturday morning I was directed by General Van Dorn to post part of Colonel Watie's men, who were my whole command, except Captain Welch's squadron, on the high ridge to our right and the residue on another ridge on the left, to observe the enemy and give him information if any attempt was made by them in force to turn left flank. I accompanied those sent on the ridge to the right, and sent Captain Fayette Hewitt, of my staff, to post the others. To Captain Welch I gave permission to join any Texan regiment he chose; and he joined that of Colonel Greer and remained with it until the action ended.
After remaining for some two hours near the foot of the ridge, on the south side, observing the enemy's infantry, heavy columns of which were in the fields beyond and the fire of their batteries in full view of me and seeing no movement of the infantry to the left, I recrossed the ridge, descended it, and went towards General Van Dorn's headquarters. Being told that he and General Price were in the field to the left of his headquarters, I took the road that led there and halted on the first hill bellow headquarters, where a battery was posted, facing the Telegraph road, and which I was told had been sent to the rear for ammunition. Here I heard that orders had been given for the army to fall back and take a new position. Another battery came up and the captain asked me for orders. I told him he had better place his battery in position in line with the others to play upon the road, and then send to General Van Dorn for orders. In the mean time I sent two officers to the general to deliver him a message and myself remained with the batteries.
We now heard long-continued cheering in front. Bodies of our troops had come across the ridge on the right and down the Hospital Hollow, in good order apparently, and I suppose they were marching to the left to repel perhaps the attempt upon our left flank, apprehended by General Van Dorn in the morning. Seeing no fugitives on the Telegraph road we supposed the cheering to proceed from our own troops and that the day was ours, when an officer rode down and informed me that the field was occupied by Federal troops; and soon