to any special duty, numbering about 70 men, and with them took position in front of and to the left of the batteries on the summit of the hill, extending my line of skirmishers for nearly three-quarters of a mile in a half circle and at nearly a right angle from the road occupied by our train of 100 wagons. This position commanded the valley in part, and the irregularities of the surface afforded excellent protection for the men from the fire of the enemy. Remained here for about four hours. Occasionally small parties of the enemy would attempt to ascend the hill toward my line, but were driven back as often as they made their appearance.
Before the batteries had fallen back to their third position I noticed 200 or 300 of the enemy nearly a mile off assembling. Apprehending that they were preparing to charge our batteries, I descended to the valley and communicated my apprehensions to Colonel Slough. Soon after, returning to the position assigned me on the hill, I received information from Colonel Slough that the enemy evidently intended to charge my skirmishers to get my position, from which they could assault our battery and train; was ordered to hold it at all hazards, for all depended upon it; also to be in readiness to advance and attack the enemy's flank when he should charge him in front, which he designed doing as soon as Major Chivington should attack him in rear, which he expended every moment. About half an hour afterward a party approached my line, dressed in the uniform of the Colorado volunteers, requesting us not to shoot, as they were our own men. They were allowed to come within a few paces of us, when, not giving satisfactory answers to interrogations in reference to their commanders and recognizing them as Texans, my men were ordered to fire. The enemy suddenly disappeared, leaving several dead and wounded. Apprehending at this time the arrival of Major Chivington with his command to attack the enemy's rear and that some of his men might get in our front while deployed as skirmishers, I was therefore extremely cautious not to give the order to fire on parties approaching until they were near enough to be recognized.
At the time the enemy charged our battery a battalion of the enemy made its appearance among the trees before us, approaching the center of my line, Major Shropshire and Captain Shannon at head of column. When they had arrived to within a few paces of my skirmishers, Private Pierce, of Company F, Colorado Volunteers, approached them, killing and disarming the major and taking the captain prisoner. He returned to our main body and delivered over his prisoner to Captain Chapin, U. S. Army. The fire of my skirmishers was directed against the head of the still advancing column with such rapidity and effectiveness that the enemy were compelled to retire, with the loss of several killed and wounded. They once again appeared in the valley, but were repulsed and driven back. Our column had fallen back from the valley to my right a considerable distance. The enemy occupied the place we had left. Considering it extremely hazardous to remain longer, and thereby enable the enemy to get in my rear and cut me off from support of our battery and protection of our train, I ordered my men to fall back and close in the rear of the retiring column, which they did in good order at a point nearly 2 miles back, and then returned to the camp we left in the morning.
Not having at my command at this time the several reports of commanders of companies engaged in the battle I am consequently unable to particularize individual acts of heroism, and the exact number of killed, wounded, and missing. Therefore my report must necessarily