No. 39. Report of Colonel E. Greer, Third Texas Cavalry.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD TEXAS CAVALRY,
Cantonment Wigfall, Ark., March -, 1862.
I would respectfully submit the following report of my command:
On the 3rd instant we were ordered to take up the line of march early the next morning toward the enemy, General McIntosh' brigade to take the advance.
At 7 o'clock on the morning of the 4th we left our encampment on Boston Mountains, my regiment going in advance.
That night we encamped near Faeytteville. The day had been very cold, with quite a snow-storm during the morning. After leaving Fayetteville General McIntosh's brigade, which was composed exclusively of cavalry, marched up the Telegraph or Springfield road for 4 miles, while General Price's division, with the rest of our army, was ordered up the Elm Springs road. Four miles from Fayetteville Colonel Stone was ordered with his regiment to proceed a few miles farther up the Telegraph road, where he would remain during the night and rejoin our forces the next day. The rest of General McIntosh's brigade turned to the left, and after carefully reconnoitering the country and getting all the information we could of the enemy, joined the main body of our army at Elm Springs. Considerable snow fell again that night.
At 3 a.m. on the 6th instant we left Elm Springs, this regiment still in advance. When we had gone 2 miles that morning we were informed that our pickets during the night had fired upon the pickets of the enemy.
We arrived at Smith's Mill about sunrise, and here learned that 1,000 Federal infantry had left that place at 1 a.m., and had gone in the direction of Bentonville. On approaching Bentonville, from the smoke it was evident that the enemy had fired a portion of the town and were destroying some of their supplies, &c. The cavalry were halted in the prairie, 2 1/2 miles south of Bentonville, in view of the town, a short time, for consultation, thus affording the rest of our army time to close up. It was agreed that Colonel Gates, with his command, should move around to the east of the town, and that General McIntosh, with his command, should go to the left. Our advance guard in the mean time had approached near the town. When we had got immediately west of the town several men were sent up to reconnoiter the enemy. They soon returned, and reported a considerable force of the enemy formed on the public square. General McIntosh, feeling confident that the enemy would take what is known as the Camp Stephens road, determined to get in rear of them. Owing to the broken, rocky, and mountainous character of the country north of the town and the absence of a road leading from where we were across to the Camp Stephens road, we found it impossible to reach that road nearer than 4 miles from Bentonville, and then only by traveling a very circuitous route. When we did reach it, it was in a rough, mountainous country. The Camp Stephens road passed to the east of this mountain. Lieutenant J. S. Boggess, with 20 men, was ahead as an advance picket. Near the Camp Stephens road they came suddenly on a small picket of the enemy, and at once gave General McIntosh notice of it. About this time the pickets fired at each other. General McIntosh rode forward and ordered the advance to charge. This was as effectually as