War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0047 Chapter XXXIV. ENGAGEMENT AT CANE HILL, ARK.

Search Civil War Official Records

Numbers 3. Report of Colonel William F. Cloud, Second Kansas Cavalry, commanding brigade.


Cane Hill, Ark., December 15, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the part which the Third Brigade took in the action at this place and at the Boston Mountains on the 28th ultimo:

Moving, by your order, in the advance, I came upon the enemy's grand guard about 10 a. m., taking him by surprise. The first intimation he had of our proximity was a shell from Lieutenant Stover's Second Kansas (howitzers) Battery. Upon the dispersing of their guard, I saw their camp, which was upon a brushy hill, about one-half mile to our right and a little in advance.

Lieutenant Stover was immediately sent to the front, and with his battery did good work until the retreat of the rebels. Captain Rabb, with his Second Indiana Battery, took position upon the point of a hill in fair view of, but much lower than, the enemy's batteries, where he did good execution, and after nearly an hour's artillery duel the enemy moved his guns and joined the retreat, which had been commenced soon after the beginning of the engagement. I supported the batteries with four companies of the Second Kansas Cavalry (dismounted), under Major Fisk. The infantry had unfortunately halted about 2 miles to the rear without orders, and with it the whole column in its rear, else the guns of the enemy could have been taken, and also many prisoners. As it was, i was compelled to see the long files of the enemy (who were all mounted) retreat, and could not charge them.

At this time the remaining companies of the Second Kansas Cavalry came up, having passed the infantry upon hearing the firing, and soon after Captain Hopkins' Second Kansas (Trophy) Battery and the infantry made their appearance and reported.

The enemy having taken another position, with his artillery to protect his retreat, I ordered Captain Hopkins to drive him, which he did, assisted by a section of Rabb's Second Indiana Battery, under Sergeant Whicher. I then moved the column, for the purpose of getting an advantageous position upon the enemy's flank and rear, but was much retarded by hills, ravines, and brush. Soon, however, gaining the main road, the Third Brigade commenced the pursuit in earnest, taking position after position upon the hills overlooking and commanding the road through which the enemy were feeing, thus keeping them lively until we reached the Boston Mountains, about 4 miles from the place of the first fight. Here, with battery placed upon a commanding hill, and well supported by a heavy force of cavalry in the wood, behind a cornfield and fence, the rebels made a determined stand, and seemed to have a hold from which they could not be driven.

A again dismounted the Second Kansas, and, assisted by Colonel [W. A.] Phillips, of the Second Brigade, and his Cherokees, together with Rabb's battery, the enemy were compelled to run, taking the road directly up the steep mountain side. Still he would place his guns and thrown out heavy flanks of supporters, and still the Second Kansas, assisted by others and our mountain howitzers, would drive him.

While thus steadily forcing our way forward and the enemy back, the Eleventh Kansas Infantry made its appearance, and under the direc-