possible under the circumstances. The enemy proved to be in strong force in the hollow near which the road they were traveling ran. My regiment was formed by fours at the time, and in this manner went into the charge. Considering the ambuscade they had prepared for us an the number of shots fired by them, it seems almost like a miracle that more of my men and horses were not either killed or wounded.
The force charged by us must have been 4,000 or 5,000 strong, composed of infantry, cavalry, and artillery. After making two attempts to charge them I discovered at the rear of the column that Colonel Young's regiment had obliqued to the right on the mountain. I at once ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Dimond, with a portion of his command, to oblique to the left, form, and charge the enemy, which was promptly done.
It was evident that the enemy were in a strong position in the rough and rocky gorges near the road, and about this time considerable bodies of infantry, which had already passed, were seen returning with several pieces of artillery, thus increasing their force several thousand. Owing to the unevenness of the ground and the strong position held by them we were forced to retire to the right. We formed on the next ridge. At this time General McIntosh rode up and ordered us to fall back in the direction of Bentonville.
The loss of the enemy in this affair must have been greater than ours. The army, soon after this, coming up, engaged the enemy for several miles, principally with artillery. We reached Camp Stephens late in the evening, the men and horses considerably fatigued form exertion and extreme cold. Before our wagons had all arrived we were ordered to take up the line of march, the men not having had time to prepare anything to eat. We moved only a few miles during the night, the regiments, however, keeping their position in line.
Next morning we moved slowly, giving General Price, with his division, time to reach the Telegraph road, in rear of the enemy, and commence the attack. Early in the morning we heard some skirmishing of small-arms. Soon both sides opened fire with their cannon. At this time General McCulloch gave orders that the infantry be moved forward to the left, and that the different cavalry regiments be moved up in parallel lines to the right of the infantry, the head of the different columns leading towards the Telegraph road or Elkhorn Tavern. We were at this time in an open field. West of it the country was inclined to be a level ridge, known as Pea Ridge; northeast of it was a high mountain, and beyond this mountain was the Telegraph road. Nearly east of us, about 1/2 miles, was the Elkhorn Tavern; south of the field the country was hilly and broken and densely covered with heavy underbrush and large timber. Here the enemy opened fire upon us with a masked battery of three pieces in a southwesterly direction from us. This battery was supported by the heavy bodies of infantry and cavalry.
General McIntosh at once ordered the different cavalry regiments to charge them. The head of my command, which was near General McCulloch and his staff at this time, wheeled to the right, commencing the charge, when General McCulloch in person ordered me to halt my command, remain, and cover his position. The charge was gallantly made by the rest of the cavalry, the cannon were captured, and the cavalry and infantry supporting them completely routed and dispersed. Lieutenant-Colonel Lane, of my command, joined in the charge, and afterwards performed good service in aiding and assisting in dismounting and forming the cavalry. At this time General McCulloch ordered