War of the Rebellion: Serial 011 Page 0542 KY., TENN. N. MISS., N.ALA.,AND SW. VA. Chapter XXII.

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army. The inspector-general and the assistant [inspector] general are especially charged with the execution of this order.

By command of General Beauregard:

GEO. WM. BRENT,

Acting Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS THIRTEENTH ARKANSAS REGIMENT,

May 24, 1862

Brigadier-General STEWART:

SIR: My regiment was ordered on picket duty on last Thursday evening. I was posted on the left of the Purdy road. My line of pickets extended from the left of the Purdy road to the Mobile, and Ohio Railroad, a distance of 1 mile; the right of the line advanced about 200 yards on Friday morning, the center and left still holding the position they first occupied.

About 9 o'clock Friday morning the enemy advanced in heavy force on my left (the left commanded by Captain Harris), causing my whole line of pickets to give way.

The right, commanded by Captain Hoshal, fell back, about 50 yards. The left and center, commanded by Captains Harris and Hunt, fell back about 200 yards from their original position.

The loss in my regiment was 2 privates, from company F, wounded slightly.

J. A. McNEELY,

Colonel, Commanding Thirteenth Arkansas Regiment.

[Indorsement.]

HDQRS. SECOND BRIGADE, FIRST DIVISION, FIRST CORPS,

May 27, 1862

The Thirteenth retired from their posts as pickets on last Friday morning, after first making an advance. The men said some of their officers, ordered them to fall back, but I am unable to learn if this is certainly so, or what officers gave such order. The truth seems to be, from all I can learn, that a body of the enemy were relieving their outposts,and they were seen to move through a hollow, or ravine, with a view, as our men thought, of turning their left flank, and so cutting them off; they therefore fell back, and their new officers were either unable or did not try to control them.

Almost the entire line of pickets was driven back at the same time, but were rallied and pushed forward again, regaining generally their former positions, except those of the Thirteenth Arkansas. I could not specify any one officer of the latter regiment whom I think more reprehensible than another. The company officers are generally new and inexperienced, and the same is true in all my regiments.

Colonel Bradford rallied his men and charged very gallantry upon the enemy's pickets, losing several men wounded and 1 killed. He has not yet furnished me a report.

Respectfully referred.

A. P. STEWART,

Brigadier-General.