not exceed 8,000. I had been holding the enemy on the Boston Mountains for two days, skirmishing with their advance and holding them in check until General Herron could come up with re-enforcements.
On the 7th, they drove in my outposts; got possession of the road, by which they commenced a flank movement on my left during the night, while they made a heavy feint in front. Their object was to cut off communications between myself and General Herron, who was to be at Fayetteville at daylight. They attacked General Herron at about 10 a. m., who, by gallant and desperate fighting, held them in check for three hours, until I came up and attacked them in the rear. The fighting was desperate on both sides, and continued until it was terminated by the darkness of the night. My command bivouacked on their arms, ready to renew the conflict at daylight in the morning; but the enemy had availed themselves of the night to retreat across the Boston Mountains. The loss on both sides has been heavy. My loss in killed is small in proportion to the number of wounded. The enemy's loss, compared with ours, is at least four to one. My artillery made terrible destruction in their ranks. They had greatly the advantage in numbers and position, yet Generals Marmaduke and Hindman acknowledged to me, in an interview under a flag of truce, that they had been well whipped. Among the enemy's killed was Colonel Steen, formerly brigadier-general of the Missouri State Guard. The Nineteenth and Twentieth Iowa, Thirty-seventh Illinois, and Twenty-sixth Indiana Regiments, of General Herron's division, suffered severely. General Herron deserves great credit for the promptness with which he re-enforced me by forced marches from near Springfield, as also for his gallantry upon the field.
JAS. G. BLUNT,
Major General SAMUEL R. CURTIS.
PRAIRIE GROVE, ARK.,
December 9, 1862.
The enemy did not stop in their flight until they had crossed the Boston Mountains, and are probably, ere this, across the Arkansas River I shall move my advance to-day to Cane Hill. I shall established a general at Fayetteville. Shall I not extend the telegraph to that place? The enemy's killed and wounded between 1,500 and 2,000; a large proportion of them killed. One hundred of their wounded have died since the battle, and a large proportion of others are wounded mortally, showing the terrible effect of my artillery. My casualties will be about 200 killed and 500 wounded. Most of the wounded will recover. The enemy have left their wounded on my hands, and most of their dead uncared for. They are being buried by my command. Hindman admitted his force to be 28,000. Major Hubbard, who was a prisoner with them all day of the fight, occurred twenty regiments of infantry and twenty pieces of artillery. They had not train with them, and muffled the wheels of their artillery in making their retreat. Four caissons, filed with ammunition, were taken from the enemy. The Twentieth Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers, in addition to those mentioned yesterday, suffered severely in charging one of the enemy's batteries, which they took, but were unable to hold.
JAS. G. BLUNT,
Major T. J. WEED,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Fort Leavenworth.