At daylight on the morning of the 5th, I sent Lieutenant [B. B.] Mitchell with Company K to re-enforce the pickets at Price's old headquarters, desiring him if necessary to support Captain Russell, and about 8 a. m., but your order, started with the remainder of my men to re-enforce Captain Russell. Having proceeded about 7 miles, I met him upon the mountain, returning, when he hasted to me the substance of his report. Considering it unnecessary at that time to proceed any farther, I sent Captain [A. W.] Matthews to re-enforce the pickets and sent 20 men from Company E to report to Lieutenant Mitchell, ordering him to scout eastwardly on the Write road, and returned with the rest of my men to where you had the Third Brigade drawn up in line of battle.
About 12 m. I ordered Captain [J.] Gardner to take Company C, under command of Lieutenant [W. M.] Hook, and post a picket east of Price's old headquarters, on the Wire road.
About sunset of that day, I received word from Captain Gardner that he found it impracticable to station a picket on the Wire road, from the fact that the enemy were occupied it with their scouting parties, and had accordingly re-enforce Captain Matthews and sent in the old picket of the night before.
At 9 p. m. of the same day, Lieutenant Mitchell returned to camp, reporting that he had been on the Wire road; met the enemy's scouting parties, and remainder at Hawkeye until dark.
About 6 a. m. next morning, the enemy attacked the picket under Captain Gardner, and the following in his report to me:
CAMP OF THE SECOND REGIMENT KANSAS VOLUNTEERS,
Boonsborough, Ark., December 6, 1862.
Lieutenant S. K. CROSS,
Acting Regimental Adjutant:
I have the honor to report that on the afternoon of the 5th instant I re-enforced Captain Matthews, who commanded the picket at Price's old headquarters, at the junction of the Cover Creek and Cane Hill roads. Having sent in the old pickets, my force consisted of Company G, commanded by Captain Matthews, and Company C, by Lieutenant Hook.
About 6 a. m. this morning, the enemy advanced with considerable force, attacking me in front and on both flanks, bringing my men under a very heavy fire. I retired slowly, keeping up a skirmishing fire for 2 miles, when I formed line and drove the enemy back. I maintained this position for half an hour or more, and then retired to the foot of the mountain, and awaited the arrival of re-enforcements.
Captain Matthews lost 1 man, Corpl. John Dower, killed, and Private Thomas Martin, of Company C, received a severe wound in the arm.
Captain, Commanding Pickets.
At 6 a. m., in obedience to your instructions, I sent Captain [H.] Cameron and Lieutenant [S. K.] Cross, with 50 men, and Lieutenant [E. S.] Stover, with his howitzers, to re-enforce the pickets, and they joined Captain Gardner soon after he had retired to the foot of the mountain, and started with the rest of my mounted force about sunrise for the same purpose.
Arriving within half a mile of the foot of the mountain, I formed the First Battalion, under command of Captains [S. J.] Crawford, in line of battle, and formed the Second Battalion in line half a mile to the rear, and remained in this position until 11 a. m., awaiting the approach of the enemy, who was occupying the about three-quarters of a mile in advance of Captain Crawford. The road up the mountain side is very steep, and near the summit runs a ledge of rocks.
Having received re-enforcements of about 100 Indians, under command of Lieutenant [A. F.] Bicking, I sent him to reconnoiter on my left