Number 40. Report of Colonel Robert R. Garland, Sixth Texas Infantry, with application for Court of Inquiry.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the First Brigade, Army of the Lower Arkansas and White Rivers, under my command in the action at Arkansas Post, on the 10th and 11th of January, 1863:
The following corps troops constituted the brigade, viz:
Commissioned Enlisted men Aggregate
6th Texas Infantry, 27 515 542
T. S. Anderson
24th Texas Cavalry 41 546 587
Colonel F. C. Wilkes,
25th Texas Cavalry 33 519 552
C. C. Gilespie,
Hart's battery [six 4 79 83
Denson's cavalry, 2 31 33
Total present on 107 1,690 1,797
Friday evening, the
Late in the afternoon of the 9th I received orders to hold my command in readiness to meet the enemy at a moment's notice. Within an hour after, I received instructions to proceed with my command to the rifle-pits, about 1 1/4 miles below the fort. We arrived there a little after dark, and the following disposition was made of the brigade:
Five companies of infantry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Swearingen, Twenty-fourth Texas Cavalry [dismounted], and Major Phillips, Sixth Texas infantry, were ordered to take position several hundred yards in front of the intrenchments as skirmishers. The rest of the infantry were held in reserve and posted some distance in rear of the first line, occupying the rifle-pits, the right flank resting near the river, the left on the bayou. Hart's battery was posted on the right of the rifle-pits; Denson's cavalry were detached throughout the action. This position was maintained with slight exception during the night and the next day, until we were ordered to fall back to the fort.
Saturday morning, the 10th, about 8 o'clock, the enemy's gunboats commenced shelling our position and continued to do so until we retired, fortunately with but little execution; but one man of the brigade was wounded severely. Between 1 and 2 o'clock in the afternoon 1 received orders to fall back to the fort. The command retired in good order, but was delayed some time in assisting to bring up the artillery and ammunition wagons, the route being exceedingly boggy. On arriving at the fort, agreeably to instructions, the brigade took position on the left of Dawson's Nineteenth Arkansas Regiment, of Dunnington's brigade; Hart's battery on the right; Sixth Texas Infantry, Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth Texas Cavalry [dismounted] in succession from right to left. The line was on a prolongation with the north front of the fort, nearly at a right angle with the river, extending westward toward the bayou. The five companies of skirmishers under Lieutenant-Colonel Swearingen having rejoined the command I directed a company from each regiment to be thrown well to the front as pickets and skirmishers, and that each regiment proceed immediately to throw up defenses by intrenching and collecting brush, timber, and such material as could be found.