War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0329 Chapter XXV. ACTION AT OLD FORT WAYNE, ETC.

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Numbers 3. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Owen A. Bassett, Second Kansas Cavalry.


Camp, Fort Wayne, Ark., October 24, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report that, in compliance with orders, I left camp at Bentonville, Ark., at 4 p. m. on the 21st instant, and marched on the road leading to Maysville. My regiment was placed in the advance of the column. I detailed Captain Russell, with his company, as an advance guard, and Lieutenants Johnston and Ballard, with their companies, as rear guard for the column formed by Colonel Cloud's brigade.

At 2 o'clock on the morning of the 22nd, at about 8 miles from Maysville, the columns was halted. About an hour afterward General Blunt came up and ordered the column forward. About half an hour before daylight the advance reached a point 2 miles east of Maysville, supposed to be in the neighborhood of the enemy's pickets, where General Blunt ordered a halt, and under his instructions I sent Company B and part of Company I, under command of Captain Hopkins, to take position on the road leading from Maysville to the enemy's camp to some cause I had but three companies with me. I account for this from the fact that my regiment had been on a scout for six days, and the men, tired out, failed to arouse and move forward from where they were halted, 8 miles back. I immediately sent Major Fisk back to have them move rapidly forward, and in a few minutes after daylight I proceeded into Maysville with Captain Russell's company, accompanied by General Blunt and body guard, where I ascertained that the pickets had been alarmed by our first approach and fled before Captain Hopkins could intercept them. The remainder of my regiment came up to Nashville about 7 a. m., and I started on the gallop on the road leading to the enemy's camp, and about 3 miles out from town, on the prairie, I met the enemy's advance pickets, where I formed line of battle to the left front in the following order from right to left: Companies I, numbering 60 men, commanded by Captain Ayers; F, numbering 42 men, by Lieutenant Lee; K, numbering 49 men, by Captain Gardner; D, numbering 47 men, by Lieutenant Moore; C, numbering 38 men, by Lieutenant Hook. Lieutenant Stover's battery, of two mountain howitzers, numbering 24 men, was formed immediately in rear of Company G. In this order I marched forward about half a mile, over an undulating prairie, to a heavy body of timber. This prairie is called Beattie Prairie, and the timber projects into it in the shape of an equilateral triangle, the side which we approached running north and south.

At this point I dismounted the men and sent them into the timber as skirmishers, the left wing commanded by Captain Crawford and the right by Captain Ayers, and proceeded into the timber about three-quarters of a mile. The prairie on the northwest side of the timber extends southwest about 1 1/2 miles, gradually declining to the south and west. The northern side of this prairie is bounded by fields, and the whole by a heavy body of timber, extending back tot he right and rear as far as Maysville. At the lower or south end of this prairie