War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0785 Chapter XXIX. ARKANSAS POST

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it in front, flank, and rear at the same time, literally raking our entire position. It was during this terrific cross-fire, about 4.30 o'clock p.m., that my attention was attracted by the cry of "Raise the white flag, by order of General Churchill; pass the order up the line," and on looking to the left, to my great astonishment, I saw quite a number of white flags displayed in Wilkes' regiment [Twenty-fourth Texas Cavalry, dismounted], from the right company extending as far as I could see toward the left. At this time I was near the left company of the Sixth Texas Infantry. This regiment refused to raise the white flag or to pass the word up the line; but being deceived by the sudden and simultaneous display of white flags [for I could not conceive it possible that a white flag could be thus treacherously displayed in any part of our line with impunity], as well as by the cessation of firing on the left and the repeated and emphatic manner in which the words came coupled with the name of the commanding officer, I was convinced at the time that the order had originated from the proper source though not conveyed through the ordinary channel-as at this time the enemy's fire of artillery and small-arms was so intensely hot that no one could have passed from the general's position to mine without being struck-and directed the words to be passed to the fort as they had come to me. As the order did not reach me through the ordinary channel I did not feel authorized to give any order on the subject, and particularly as no order could have been of any avail, the act having already been consummated before it came to my knowledge. As the white flags were not displayed on the line from the right of Wilkes' regiment to the fort the enemy's batteries kept up fire on this part of the line for some minutes after the firing had ceased on the left and until they had taken possession of the fort. From all the information I can obtain on this subject the white flag which thus treacherously deceived the rest of the command was raised in Wilkes' Twenty-fourth Regiment Texas Cavalry [dismounted], and the interest of the service, as well as justice to the rest of the brigade, demands a thorough and immediate investigation.

Throughout the engagement, with but few exceptions, both officers and men of the brigade exhibited commendable coolness and unflinching courage. Much credit is due to Lieutenant-Colonels Swearingen and Neyland and Major Phillips for the prompt and gallant manner in which they led the re-enforcements from their respective regiments, ordered from the right to re-enforce the extreme left of the line, under a most galling fire.

My staff generally did effective service in their respective departments. Lieutenant Marsh, Sixth Texas Infantry, acting assistant adjutant-general, and Lieutenant Hunter, Twenty-fourth Texas Cavalry [dismounted], acting aide-de-camp, afforded me much assistance in the prompt transmission of orders to different parts of the line under the hottest fire.

CASUALTIES.

Killed Wounded Missing

6th Texas 8 24 21

Infantry

24th Texas 12 17 25

Cavalry

[dismounted]

25th Texas 2 8 -

Cavalry

[dismounted]

Hart's battery 3 13 22

Denson's cavalry - 2 -

Total 25 64 68

50 R R-VOL XVII