(Fourth Arkansas) and other troops under my command in the battle of Sugar Creek, or Elkhorn, on March 7:
At about 10.30 a.m. my regiment, constituting the extreme right of Colonel Hebert's brigade, composed of McIntosh's, Hebert's (Third Louisiana), Fourth and Fourteenth Arkansas Regiments, and McRae's battalion, was ordered, with the rest of the brigade, to take a battery which was directly in front, but at some distance, and in the rear of an open field and a strip of woods of dense undergrowth and filled with fallen timber, intervening between us and the field and extending around on the left of the field. Ordering a charge, my men obeyed with alacrity and cheerfulness; but after advancing some 200 yards they were, owing to the nature of the ground and obstacles in the way, thrown into disorder and were halted, and reformed as well as the ground would permit. The enemy discovering us, immediately opened upon us a heavy fire of shell and grape. In a few moments the order was given to renew the charge. I accordingly moved my regiment forward, obliquing, however, to the left, keeping in the skirt of woods that extended around the field, in order to protect my men from the enemy's fire. This I succeeded in doing in a great degree.
While marking this movement, however, another portion of the brigade, moving by the flank, cut off two companies and a half on the left from the main body of my regiment, which did not rejoin it during the day, but, connecting themselves with other troops of the brigade, as I am credibly informed, fought most gallantly through the day. Continuing to move forward, we came upon a body of the enemy's infantry in ambuscade; attacked and drove them back until they were reformed on a second body in the rear. We attacked the whole body and repulsed them again; but, rallying upon their reserves, they made a stand, but were soon driven back again by our brave troops. In this last charge one of the enemy's batteries, at a distance of 200 yards, opened upon us, but we charged and took it in a very short time. In this charge the loss of the enemy was very great.
The enemy, receiving heavy re-enforcements, made a simultaneous attack with cavalry on the left and infantry on the right of our brigade in numbers far superior to our own. After a fierce conflict the enemy were for the fourth time repulsed and with heavy loss. Generals McCulloch and McIntosh having fallen and Colonel Hebert being taken prisoner and there being no other field officers present, I assumed command of the brigade, with did not at that time number more than 1,000 men, our ranks having been much broken and thinned by casualties and men being much fatigued and disordered.
Perceiving the enemy advancing heavily re-enforced, preparatory to making an attack upon my right wing, I ordered Captain Harris, who was then in command of the right of the Third Louisiana, to resist them. He did so with great gallantry and success, again repulsing the enemy. The enemy's cavalry, at the same time attacking my right, were defeated with actual slaughter.
Shortly afterwards the enemy were seen advancing in several columns towards us, numbering at least 5,000. My command being then greatly exhausted and seeing no advantage likely to accrue from retaining the position then occupied, after consulting with the officers under my command, all agreeing, I determined to fall back on our reserve, which I did in good order and without haste, the enemy not offering to pursue us.
Having occupied the new position selected by me, I was ordered by the general commanding to hold the same until further orders. I did