command started for Bolivar on horseback. He soon returned with the information that the enemy was approaching. I took a field-glass and went to a prominent point of land near, when I saw them approaching in large force-three brigades of cavalry or mounted infantry. I immediately collected my little band (115 muskets, all told) and ordered out a few skirmishers.
A few minutes before 11 o'clock a flag of truce appeared. I met the bearer a short distance in front of my block-house. He demanded an unconditional and immediate surrender, in the name of Colonel Griffith, commanding Texas brigade. I did not like the manner of the bearer of the flag (he appeared pompous and overbearing, thinking, I suppose, they had a sure thing on us), and I sent my compliments to Colonel Griffith, with the answer that I would surrender when whipped, and that while he was getting a meal we would try and get a mouthful. He wheeled and put spurs to his horse, and I doubled-quicked it to the block-house. Had scarcely entered it ere the bullets flew about me.
The engagement lasted about two and one-quarter hours, when the enemy retired, leaving a part of their dead and wounded on the field. About half an hour after the enemy had disappeared part of a company of the Fourth Illinois Cavalry rode into town.
Casualties in my command: Wounded, 6, 1 since dead, and prisoners, 13. Eleven guns and equipments were taken with our pickets, &c.
Company H (in Bolivar at the time of the action) had been quartered some 2 1/2 miles above here, and a few (3) disabled men were left to guard their property. The rebels took nine days' rations, which they had on hand; also 27 knapsacks, 6 haversacks, 20 canteens, 30 blankets, 10 overcoats, 40 shirts, 4 pairs of shoes, 18 pairs of pants, 7 dress-coats, and 50 pairs of socks, besides their camp equipage, &c. They also took a valuable horse, belonging to the subscriber; also my overcoat, dresscoat, &c. But so far as I am concerned they are welcome to all they can get the start of me.
Casualties among the enemy: Nine of their dead and 11 wounded were left on the field, and I am reliably informed that they buried 4 of their dead and carried off quite a number of their wounded. One of my men, who was taken prisoner and paroled, says one of the rebel cavalry hold him they buried 15 and took off a large number of wounded. He (the prisoner) saw 4 of their wounded, who were taken away. We captured 15 prisoners, 2 of whom were lieutenants. Fourteen were sent to Bolivar and 1 was retained to assist in taken care of his wounded comrades. One of their lieutenants was wounded and died in our hospital. These 15 prisoners are not included with the wounded. A rebel surgeon came into our lines after the enemy withdrew, and is rendering valuable assistance to our surgeons.
I am satisfied in my own mind that the rebel loss, in killed, wounded, and prisoners, exceeds 100 men, all of whom were Texans. Their loss would have been much greater had it not been for some half a dozen houses that afforded them shelter.
We found 45 stand of arms, of all kinds and calibers, scattered about the field.
The detachment at the trestle, 2 miles below, was not disturbed.
I do not belie myself when I say I am pound of my officers and men. They came up to the work nobly.
Very respectfully submitted.
WILLIAM H. GRAVES,
Captain JOHN PERTZ,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.