War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0053 Chapter XXXIV. ENGAGEMENT AT CANE HILL, ARK.

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Numbers 8. Report of Colonel Charles A. Carroll, C. S. Army, commanding Arkansas Cavalry Brigade.


Camp near Dripping Springs, Ark., November 29, 1862.

CAPTAIN: In compliance with General Orders, No.-, of even date, I have the honor to make the following report of the conduct of the forces of my command in the engagement of the 28th instant; but in justice to my command beg leave to state that, having inspected the brigade on the 27th instant, I had only 200 effective men for duty and 317 non-effective men. The non-effective men were composed of the sick and men whose horses were in bad condition. Of the non-effective force, 60 men were on duty as pickets, picketing the roads from our encampment to the Line road west of us, and 100 men were detailed as escort for the trains of the division, which were ordered to the rear on the 27th instant, leaving me 389 men to prevent my brigade, while the muster-rolls call for 1,700. With but few sick, the brigade is thus diminished by the condition of the horses, which are worn down, having been constantly on the move for six weeks, and for the want of forage and shoeing. Of the mountain howitzer battery attached to my brigade, and commanded by First Hughey, only one section was serviceable.

After being notified of the approach of the enemy, at 8 p. m. on the 27th instant, the men were kept under arms and the horses saddled until the opening of the enemy's artillery north of us, in the direction of Colonel Shelby's camp, on the morning of the 28th instant, at about 9 o'clock, when orders were received to move my command rapidly to the front. After moving about 1 mile, I received orders to place the battery on an eminence to the right, commanding the road leading north, with the two regiments in line of battle perpendicular to the road, supporting the battery, my own regiment on the right, under Lieutenant-Colonel Johnson, and Colonel [J. C.] Monroe's regiment on the left of the road. The eminence occupied by my battery was commanded by the heights north and northwest of us, from which points the artillery of the enemy were firing; and although they had the range of my battery, they were at too great a distance to be affected by our light metal. I was then ordered to the rear. After moving 1 mile, I was directed to move rapidly to the rear and select some good position. In a few minutes, however, further orders were received to continue moving to the rear until otherwise ordered. Having moved half a mile beyond the summit of the mountain on the Cane Hill and Cover Creek road, I received orders to halt and occupy a position. I countermarched the command beyond the summit of the mountain, and took position commanding the Cane Hill road, with the regiment under Lieutenant-Colonel Johnson supporting the battery, and Colonel Monroe's regiment 20 0 yards to the right of Lieutenant-Colonel Johnson's regiment. The fire of the enemy's artillery at this time was continuous and incessant on the rear of Colonel Shelby's command. I was ordered to throw out Colonel Monroe's regiment as skirmishers, but before the order could be obeyed I was ordered to move my command to the rear, and soon thereafter ordered to take command of all the forces in my advance, which separated me to some extent from my own brigade. Soon after passing the pinnacle of the mountain, Colonel Monroe, who was marching in rear of my regiment received the enemy at short range, and retired, as previously directed