About 9 p. m. of the 6th, I received a note from Colonel [M. La Rue] Harrison, of the First Arkansas Cavalry, who had been ordered down from Elkhorn at the same time that General Herron started from Wilson's Creek, informing me that he had arrived at Illinois Creek, 8 miles north of Cane Hill, with 500 men, and that his horses and men were so tired that he did not think he could move farther until Monday, the 8th. Whether his regard for the Sabbath or the fear of getting into a fight prompted him to make such a report to me, I am unable to say; but, judging from his movements that he was not a man upon whom to place much reliance on the battle-field, I ordered him to proceed by daybreak to Rhea's Mills, to guard the transportation and supply trains at that point, the First Brigade having been ordered to join me at Cane Hill. Had he, instead of making unnecessary delay, promptly obeyed that ordered, he would not have had a portion of his command and transportation captured by General Marmaduke's advance, as occurred on the morning of the 7th.
At about 10 p. m. of the 6th, Colonel [D.] Wickersham, with about 1,600 cavalry, of the Second Wisconsin, First Iowa, Tenth Illinois, and Eighth Missouri Regiments, who, at my request, had been sent forward by General Herron, arrive at Cane Hill. I had, as I have before remarked, considerable apprehension that a flank movement would be attempted on my during the night. I therefore determined to send a cavalry force across on a road called the Hog-eye road, running from the north part of Cane Hill east to the Telegraph road, and crossing the Cover Creek and Fayetteville road about 4 miles north of the junction of the latter with running from Cane Hill to Van Buren, already referred to, and from which my outpost had been driven in the morning.
A Colonel [J. M.] Richardson, of the Fourteenth Missouri State Militia, who had arrived during the day with about 150 men, importuned me to be detailed for this service, recommending himself as a brave man, eager for a fight. Committing the folly of taking him upon his own recommendation, I furnished him 100 additional men, making his force 250. Endeavoring to impress upon his the importance of the trust with which he was confined, and stating that I expected the enemy would advance up the Cove Creek road during the night, I directed him to proceed east on the Hog-eye road to the crossing of the Cove Creek and Fayetteville road, to select the best position for defense, sending his pickets down the road toward the enemy, and, if their column approached in that direction, to resist their advance to the last extremity, and notify me promptly of their movements. How I was deceiving in sending the wrong man on so important a service, the sequel will slow.
At daylight on Sunday morning, I had the transportation of the Second and Third Brigades, of the First Division, hitched up, ready to move to Rhea's Mills, should circumstances render it necessary, and the Second Brigade was ordered to the front, south of the town, where the Third Brigade had bivouacked during the night, the First Brigade and Colonel Wickersham's brigade of cavalry being stationed about 1/2 miles in the rear, on the north side of the town, where the Hog-eye road intersects that between Cane Hill and Fayetteville, and where it was possible the enemy might attempt to come in upon my rear.
About 7 o'clock, with my staff, I proceeded to the front. On arriving there, I learned that the enemy were still in considerable force upon the mountain, and so soon as it became sufficiently light they threw several shots from their artillery at my advance outpost, which was replied to