It was in the after part of the day when Major-General Curtis ordered me to cross the river with my brigade and proceeded to where the road to Cotton Plant intercepts the Des Arc road, and make a demonstration on the latter to protect Colonel Hovey's flank, who was supposed to be engaging the enemy on the former road. Arriving at the point designated I found Colonel Hovey, with a part of the Second Brigade, driving the enemy along the Des Arc road. After ordering forward the Eighth Indiana Regiment, of the First Brigade, pressing forward I found Colonel Hovey with the major part of the forces arranged in line of battle. Reporting to me for further orders, I directed him to deploy three companies of the Thirty-third Illinois as skirmishers.
After some firing by our skirmishers in the woods in front and on our left flank I went forward to find Colonel Hovey for the purpose of giving further orders, and, much to my admiration and astonishment for their bravery, I found Colonel Hovey and staff, and Lieutenant-Colonel Lippincott, of the Third-third Illinois, in the extreme front of the line of skirmishers, throwing shell into the enemy's camp. The result was the work so gloriously begun in the morning by the Second Brigade of your division was closed in the evening just as the sun went down by a complete rout of the enemy, with a loss of 30 killed and 3 prisoners for him. I have no means of knowing the number of his wounded. Nobody was hurt on our side.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. P. BENTON,
Brigadier General Commanding First Brigadier, First Div., Army of the Southwest.
Captain J. W. PADDOCK,
Asst. Adjt. General, First Division, Army of the Southwest.
Numbers 4. Report of Colonel Charles E. Hovey, Thirty-third Illinois Infantry, commanding Second Brigade.
HDQRS. 2nd Brigadier, 1ST DIV., ARMY OF THE SOUTHWEST,
On the Cache, July 7, 1`862.
CAPTAIN: Pursuant to orders I directed Colonel Harris, with parts of four companies of his regiment, the Eleventh Wisconsin Infantry, and parts of four companies of the Thirty-third Illinois Infantry, and one small steel gun of the First Indiana Cavalry (in all a little less than 400 men), to make a reconnaissance in advance of our lines.
He fell in with the rebel pickets at Hill's plantation and fired on them. Passing the forks of the road at this place toward Bayou. De View, he had proceeded but a short distance when I overtook and turned him back, with instructions to hasten down the Des Cars road, and, if possible, rescue a prisoner just captured. He marched rapidly for half a mile and fell into an ambush. The woods swarmed with rebels and the firing was sharp. I have since learned the over 2,000 Texas troops were here drawn up in line of battle. Captain Miller led our advance, and was immediately followed by First Lieutenant Chesebro, both of whose companies were deployed as skirmishers. These companies began the fight. The little cannon was planted a short distance at the left of the road and opened fire. The enemy's advance fell back on the main line, which was concealed by the thick