supported by a battery immediately on our front. Our brave men at once rushed through the field, charged the enemy in the face of a murderous fire, drove him back, pursued him until, and with Colonel now held.
This ground we held by order of Major-General Van Dorn and stood to our arms the greater part of the night expecting an attack. The fight at this point was renewed in the morning with heavy artillery firing and continued for over an hour, when our batteries were ordered off. We held our position, and I was ordered to keep the enemy in check and fall back with Colonel Rives. He had now advance within easy range, and we opened a brisk fire upon him, falling back slowly. Three times we formed and fought him, when, perceiving his intention to flank us, we fell back on the hill to the left of Elkhorn Tavern, and were ordered by Colonel Little to follow the main body of the army, which had already been withdrawn.
I cannot close this report without bearing testimony to the gallantry of Lieutenant-Colonel Shaler, of your staff, Major Franklin, Major Johnson, and Captain Campbell, who rendered me invaluable service during the action. The two last named officers were both wounded.
I wish also to record my praise for the endurance displayed by men and officers on the march and for their courage in action. They were without food for twenty-four hours before the engagement and received but one meal of flour and bacon during the two days following. Their conduct on the charge near Elkhorn Tavern is particularly deserving of your notice, as well as the good order in which they retired from the field and which was preserved on the whole march.
The killed and wounded of my command during the action, as far as known, was 65; for the particulars of which I refer you to the accompanying paper, marked A.*
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier General D. M. FROST,
Commanding Artillery Brigade, Seventh Division, &c.
Numbers 54. Report of Brigadier General James S. Rains, commanding Eighth Division, Missouri State Guard.
HDQRS. EIGHTH DIVISION, MISSOURI STATE GUARD,
March 20, 1862.
SIR: In reporting the action of the Eighth Division in the recent engagement at Elkhorn I need not refer to the details of the march from Cove Creek or while in pursuit of the enemy, save to thank you for placing it in front of the other divisions at Fayetteville and retaining it there until we met and engaged the enemy on the morning of the 7th instant.
Our numbers were much reduced by the expiration of the term of service of our men, the numbers left sick in camp, and still further by a detail of Major [H. W.] King's battalion to escort some Federal prisoners to the rear.
* Nominal list omitted. It shows 6 killed and 59 wounded.