boldly claimed in print by an officer of Brooks' battalion. That is false, too. They were taken by a charge right in front upon them by the Indians, Welch's squadron of Texans, belonging to the First Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment, and about two companies of Sims' regiment, led by Lieutenant-Colonel Quayle. The rest of that regiment were left at the fence we charged from. Brooks' command came up from the left, ten or fifteen minutes after the battery was taken, and when asked to aid in taking the other battery in front of us, the commanding officer said he would "be damned if he was going to take his men into any such damned trap;" the ground had not been reconnoitered, and so he made off with his men. As to their losing men there, there was not a gun fired in the direction they came from, and there was not a dead body left on the ground they came over. Ask Dr. [E. L.] Massie, my medical director.
The second day I had no command. Van Dorn did not see fit to give me the command of the troops I brought him the night before. He ran away, ahead of his army, at 10 o'clock in the morning. He says so himself. He left near half his army behind, without notice of his retreat. I left a point within 150 yards of the field, where he had been at 12 o'clock, and it was still an hour after that before I finally made my retreat. As to the actions themselves, General Van Dorn's report is, as another officer has said, "true until you get to the forks of the road, and all false afterward."
I only allude to this that you may understand the position I have occupied since. There has been a regular deluge of lies poured out about me in Arkansas and Texas; and the men of the regiments of Darnell and Dawson, who owe me nothing but favors and kindnesses, have sown them broadcast over these two States, to such an extent that I should be very obtuse not to know the immense disadvantage under which I labor, in endeavoring to effect anything. The poison is in the minds of the men of my own command, and I should be sincerely rejoiced to have the opportunity of retiring to private life.
When I returned from Elkhorn, I had a regiment of Texas troops, which had not long before reached North Fork. I had no artillery, and none of my supplies had left Fort Smith. Western Arkansas was in consternation and abandoned, and an immediate advance of the enemy on Fort Smith was looked for. It seemed certain; and it was quite as certain that the rabble of Price and Van Dorn (they were all a rabble but two or three regiments) would not stand an instant. The Creek regiment had disbanded and half of Drew's Cherokee regiment; and I feared our defeat would discourage them all.
I hoped to receive the regiments that Adams and Gallagher had raised for me, and was looking for Woodruff's artillery. I could get no supplies at Gibson; and at the only good position south of the Canadian there was no good water. Besides, the roads from Fort Smith to Washita and Texas would be open behind me there. If Ho-po-eith-le-yo-ho-la came down, his aim would be the country he lived in, west of the North Fork. I came here because it was the first point south of the Canadian, on the road to Fort Smith, where there is always running water. It is 30 miles from Texas, on the road that diverges 11 miles from here, and runs to three points-- Sherman, Bonham, and Preston. Here I could get supplies. We had no money, but I had Indian moneys and moneys of my own, and I used them all. I directed the quartermaster to issue small notes, and we soon had abundant credit. Here I hoped to organize a force of 5,000 or 6,000 white men, with thirty pieces of artillery, and then I meant, leaving strong works here, to march north-