as soon as the roads, which were then very heavy, should be in good condition.
The next afternoon I moved the wagons to the top of the hill south of Madison, on the Marianna road, and detailed Squadron B as train guard. I also sent Lieutenant Jones, with 26 men, to Brushy Lake Township, to capture a force of conscripts, reported to be 20 or 25 strong, in the woods, under Captain Bowns. Lieutenant Jones, hearing of a fight at the ferry, struck off for Memphis, and reported her with his command day before yesterday.
Saturday morning, August 2, I moved my command forward toward Marianna. After proceeding about 2 miles I met a courier, with orders from the lieutenant-colonel "Not to cross my command over the L'Anguille Ferry without the most positive orders from the colonel, as we would possibly be sent back up the ridge." I accordingly decided to camp on the north bank of the L'Anguille and await further orders, as my orders from the colonel were somewhat indefinite as to time.
I arrived at the ferry at 2 p. m., having a train of 27 wagons, 130 men (sick and well), and about 100 contraband horses and mules, and it is very questionable whether I would have had time to cross by daylight, as the boat was quite small. We camped about one-half mile from the river, and detailed 24 men for pickets and camp guards, besides the horse guard.
About daylight the next morning, Sunday, August 3, we were attacked by 600 Texan Rangers, under command of Colonel W. H. Parsons, and, after a severe fight of about thirty minutes, were obliged (the few of us remaining) to fall back into the woods and leave the camp in possession of the enemy. They took 7 wagons, all the horses and mules, and burned and destroyed everything of value not taken. We had 11 killed (3 have since died, making 14 in all), 40 wounded, and about 25 taken prisoners. The few who escaped came in; some at the old camp near the ferry; some at Marianna, and a few struck across to the Mississippi and reported to us here at Helena. As soon as the dead could be buried and the wounded cared for I commenced moving across the ferry, and by noon of the next day had the wounded and the balance of the force (what little remained) in camp at Marianna. Here the wounded were put on board the Milton Belle, together with a part of the sick then in camp, and taken to Helena under my charge, the effective men of my command having been temporarily assigned to the First the Third Battalions.
Lieutenant-Colonel La Grange, accompanied by Major Torrey, with about 200 men, came promptly to our relief as soon as news reached him of the attack, but the enemy had fled.
I should be doing injustice to the brave boys under my command were I to close this report without making special mention of their gallant conduct during this severe and unequal engagement. Although exposed on all sides for half an hour to a most murderous fire from six times their own number, not a single muscle quivered with fear, nor a single one of that little command ever thought there was such a word as "surrender" in the English language. With no probable prospect of escape, being entirely surrounded by such an immensely superior force, yet I discovered upon all sides, as I moved around among the boys, that firm compression of lips and determination of expression that assured me that their comrades who had fallen would be gloriously avenged. History has failed to record an instance where cool, resolute,