Numbers 7. Report of Colonel Thomas Ewing, jr., Eleventh Kansas Infantry.
CAMP CANE HILL, Benton Co., Ark., December 1, 1862.
COLONEL: In compliance with your order of this date, I submit the following report of the part taken by the Eleventh Regiment of Kansas Volunteers in the engagements of the 28th ultimo, commonly called in camp the battles of Cane Hill and Boston Mountains:
At 5 o'clock on the morning of that day we left bivouac, about 15 miles north of the scene of the first engagement. We marched rapidly until about 10 o'clock, halting then about fifteen minutes to rest, and to enable many who had fallen out of the ranks from fatigue to come up. Here we heard the booming of cannon, indicating that Rabb's battery (which, with four companies of the Second Kansas Cavalry, had hurried forward 4 or 5 miles in advance of us) was engaged with the enemy. We hastened on at quick step and double-quick, alternately - the left wing, under Major Plumb, passing down the hill to the battery, and the right forward to the hill north of and overlooking the town of Boonsborough; to which latter place Rabb's and Hopkins' batteries, accompanied by the left wing of my regiment, presently came. Here we remained in supporting distance of the batteries while they were engaged on the right, and Colonel [William] Weer's brigade on the left, in driving the enemy from the town and the hills adjacent to and south of it; thence, by order, we accompanied Rabb's battery through the fields and woods to Kidd's Mills, and thence, by the Fayetteville and Fort Smith road, to the foot of the east range of the Boston Mountains, about 5 miles from the point where the fight began. Here the battery was delayed in ascending the mountain, and we left it, and hurried to the summit, where a large part of the Third Indian and some of the Second Kansas were engaged with the enemy in a fire of musketry and howitzers. Forming there with the Indians a line of battle, varying from a quarter to a half a mile in extent, we advanced through the woods, joined by a part of a company of the Sixth Kansas, engaging in an irregular musketry fight with the enemy, who slowly retreated along the hill-sides and ravines upon and on both sides of the road. Here were killed Colonel [J. C.] Monroe, commanding Fagan's Texas [Arkansas] Cavalry, Captain Martin, of the Arkansas [Missouri] Cavalry, and others.
The engagement here lasted about an hour, when, the enemy drawing off out of sight and range, I collected and formed my regiment in a clearing on the left of the road, and was at once again ordered forward. Taking the road, we pushed on about 4 miles, to within supporting distance of the batteries and near the scene of the last engagement, where we were halted by order of General Blunt, and whence, after nightfall, we returned 6 miles to get our blankets, and bivouacked.
I take pleasure in saying that, although the regiment was never before under fire, there was no lack of spirit or courage evinced by any officer or private belonging to it. The march had been severe up to 11 o'clock, when we reached the field, and, being almost uninterrupted from that until 9 o'clock at night, it taxed beyond their power of endurance the strength of about one-third of the men, who fell out from time to time utterly exhausted. The entire march of my regiment that day wa not less than 34 miles. We had no man killed; 4 were wounded.
I am, colonel, your obedient servant,
THOMAS EWING, JR.,
Colonel Eleventh Regiment Kansas Volunteers, Commanding.
Colonel WILLIAM F. CLOUD, Commanding 3rd Brigadier, 1st Div., Army Frontier.