War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0293 Chapter XVIII. PEA RIDGE, OR ELKHORN TAVERN, ARK.

Search Civil War Official Records

No. 37. Report of Colonel E. Greer, Third Texas Cavalry, commanding division.

HEADQUARTERS FIRST CAVALRY BRIGADE,

March 19, 1862.

I have the honor of submitting to you the following report of the action of the forces under my command in the battle of the 7th and 8th instant:

Early in the engagement my command had been assigned a position by General McCulloch on the field to be held at all hazards. Repeatedly during the day I sent messengers for orders to Generals McCulloch and McIntosh. Not being able to find them, and growing impatient from long delay, I ordered my regiment to horse and moved them in the center of the field, and then went in search of the generals myself. Meeting with the staff of the two generals, I was then for the first time informed that they were dead, and that I was senior officer on the field.

My first inquiry was for Brigadier-General Pike. I was informed that he had left the field, and, as I afterward learned, with a great portion of the division. I at once assumed command of all the forces remaining on the field, sending Captain Dotson to the rear to halt and bring back the different commands that were moving, with the determination, as I understood, of going around and joining General Price's division. About this time I received a note from the commanding general, addressed to General McCulloch, containing information that the enemy had been driven back on the left.

Later some one came from the commanding general and stated that he desired we should hold our position. Being unexpectedly placed in command and having had no intimation of the general plan of attack, seeing but few troops on the field, and not knowing the whereabouts of the remainder, I took a view of the field and its surroundings.

I discovered Captain Hart's battery of four pieces on a hill in close proximity to the enemy, unsupported by any of our troops. Soon after this order was given Captain Bradfute suggested, as we were not prepared to remove the battery which had been captured from the enemy in the early part of the engagement, that a detail be at once sent back to disable or destroy it. I dispatched two companies for this purpose. Large heaps of rails were piled around and upon the guns, fire set to them, and in this manner these cannot were effectually disabled.

My force at this time, as reported to me, consisted of the Third Louisiana Regiment of Infantry, Colonels McNair's, McRae's, and Mitchell's regiments of Arkansas infantry, Colonel Young's regiment of cavalry, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Dimond; Colonel Sims' regiment,