War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0279 Chapter XXV. SKIRMISH WITH INDIANS AT WOOD LAKE.

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advance, by whom the savages were gallantly met and, after a conflict of a serious nature, repulsed. Meantime another portion of the Indian force passed down a ravine, with a view to outflank the Third Regiment, and I ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Marshall, with five companies of the Seventh Regiment, who was ably seconded by major Bradley, to advance to its support with one 6-pounder, under the command of Captain Hendricks, and I also ordered two companies of the Sixth Regiment to re-enforce him. Lieutenant-Colonel Marshall advanced at a double-quick amid a shower of balls from the enemy, which fortunately did little damage to his command, and after a few volleys he led his men to a charge and cleared the ravine of the savages. Major McLaren, with Captain Wilson's company, took position on the extreme left of the camp, where he kept at bay a party of the enemy who were endeavoring to gain the rear of the camp and finally drove them back. The battle raged for about two hours, the 6-pounder and the mountain howitzer being used with great effect, when the Indians, repulsed at all points with great loss, retired with precipitation.

I regret to state that many casualties occurred on our side. The gallant Major Welch was badly wounded in the leg, and Captain Wilson, of the Sixth, was severely bruised by a nearly spent ball int he shoulder. Four of our men were killed, and between 35 and 40 were wounded, most of them, I rejoice to hear, not seriously. The loss of the enemy, according to the statement of a half-breed named Joseph Campbell, who visited the camp under a flag of truce, was 30 killed and a large number wounded. We found and buried 14 of the bodies, and, as the habit of the Indians is to carry off the bodies of their slain, it is not probable that the sum total as given by Campbell was exaggerated.

The severe chastisement inflicted upon them has so far subdued their ardor that they sent a flag of truce into my camp to express the sentiments of the Wahpetons, a part of the attacking force, and to state that they were not strong enough to fight us; that they desired peace, with the permission to take away their dead and wounded. To this I replied that when the prisoners held by them were delivered up there would be time enough to talk of peace, and that I would not give them permission either to take their dead or wounded. I am assured by Campbell that there is serious dissension in the Indian camp, many having been opposed to the war, but driven into the field by the more violent. He further states that 800 men were assembled at the Yellow Medicine, with 2 miles of my camp, but that the greater part took no share in the fight. The intention of Little Crow was to attack us last night, but he was overruled by others, who told him if he was a brave man he ought to fight the white men by daylight. I am fully prepared against a night attacks should it be attempted, although I think the lesson received by them to-day will make them very cautious in the future.

I have already adverted to the courage and skill of Lieutenant-Colonel Marshall and majors Welch and Bradley, to which I beg leave to add those of the officers and men of their respective commands. Lieutenant-Colonel Averill and Major McLaren were equally prompt in their movements in preparing the Sixth Regiment for action, and were both under fire for some time. Captain Grant and Bromley shared the dangers of the field with Lieutenant-Colonel Marshall's command, while Captain Wilson, with his company, rendered essential service. The other companies of the Sixth Regiment wee not engaged, having been held in position to defend the rear of the camp, but it was difficult to restrain their ardor, so anxious were officers and men to share with