General Benton, having been ordered forward by the major-general commanding, joined his forces with those of Colonel Hovey, and pursued the flying enemy to within a mile of where the Des Arc road crosses Cache River. I refer you to General Benton's report for details.
I arrived myself at Hill's plantation about an hour before sunset. I waited there for some time for the Fifth Illinois Cavalry, which had been ordered up, in order to re-enforce General Benton and continue the pursuit. For some reason, unknown to me, this regiment, which came part way on the road, returned to Cache River. As there was but one regiment there with long-range guns to guard two batteries and the remaining sections of Manter's battery, I deemed it inexpedient to take that regiment away from these batteries, and proceeded toward the scene of action with my escort. After having proceeded about 2 miles on the Des Arc road I met General Benton's command returning, night having put a stop to the pursuit.
I inclose herewith reports of subordinate commanders; also a list of killed and wounded in the action. I wish particularly to call the attention of the major-general commanding to the coolness and gallant conduct of Colonel C. E. Hovey, of the Thirty-third Illinois Infantry. I think he should be recommend to a promotion, not simply on account of the way in which he managed this affair, but on account of his superior ability as an officer and his untiring energy in the discharge of his duties. He superintended the cutting away of all the blockade and scoured the country with his skirmishers on the whole line of march. The discipline and instruction of his regiment are highly creditable to him as a commander. His private character is above reproach. He is well known as the president of the Normal School of his State.
Other officer, who are entitled to great credit for gallant conduct on the field, have been particularly mentioned in the subordinate reports.
I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major H. Z. CURTIS, A. A. G., Hdqrs. Army of the Southwest.
AUGUSTA 17, 1862.
Respectfully forwarded to the Secretary of War, with the recommendation that Colonel C. E. Hovey be made a brigadier-general of volunteers for his successful achievement near Cache River, Ark.
H. W. HALLECK,
Approved and appointment ordered.
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
Numbers 3. Report of Brigadier General William P. Benton, U. S. Army, commanding First Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE, FIRST DIVISION,
Camp at Helena, Ark., July 18, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report the part taken by the First Brigade, First Division, Army of the Southwest, in the engagement near Cache River, Ark., on July 7, 1862.