the wood. At the same time a fire from the two mountain howitzers, attached to the Third Wisconsin Cavalry, was directed upon them, farther on my right, with good effect. It was here that the rebel General Steen fell. A few minutes after this last repulse of the enemy by Lieutenant Tenney, a rebel battery of ten guns, supported by a heavy body of infantry, opened from their extreme left, when, bringing his guns to bear in that direction, he, in less than ten minutes, silenced their battery, dismounting two of their guns and driving them from the position with a severe loss. While this attempt was being made to charge my artillery on the right, the same demonstration was made upon Rabb's and Hopkins' batteries, the enemy following up my infantry as they retired from the wood, and with a wild shout rushed out from under cover of the trees, when the two batteries, supported by the infantry of the Eleventh Regiment, belched forth a perfect storm of canister, procuring immense slaughter in their ranks and compelling them again to retire. As darkness approached, the fire, which from both artillery and musketry had been terrific and uninterrupted for over three hours, gradually ceased along the whole line, and my command bivouacked upon their arms, ready to renew the conflict at early dawn.
I could not tell with any certainly the extent of the damage done the enemy, but knowing that they had a force greatly superior to mine in numbers, I felt assured that they would give us battle again in the morning, and made my arrangements accordingly.
My wounded were all cared for during the night, the transportation and supply trains of the whole army sent to Fayetteville, and General Salomon's brigade, which had left been left at Rhea's Mills, ordered to the field; ammunition was brought up and distributed, some refreshments obtained for the men, and everything was in readiness to renew the battle at the first dawn of day; but daylight revealed the fact that the enemy had availed themselves of the night to retreat across the Boston Mountains. Their transportation had been left south of the mountains, and their retreat thereby made unincumbered and stealthily. I am assured by my men who were prisoners with them, as well as by deserters from their ranks, that they tore up the blankets of their men to muffle the wheels of their artillery.
Just before daylight I received a note from General Hindman, under a flag of truce, requesting a personal interview, to make provision for caring for his dead and wounded. On meeting him, I soon became satisfied that no other force was there, except his staff and escort and a party left to take care of the wounded, and that his forces had commenced retreating early the previous night.
On looking over the battle-field in the morning, it soon became evident that the enemy had been most roughly handled, and that our artillery had made fearful slaughter in their ranks. Though many had ben already carried away, their dead lay strewn over its whole extent.
The entire Federal loss is: Killed, 167; wounded, 798; missing, 183; total, 1,148.* Of the missing, the greater portion were taken prisoners, and have been since exchanged. The enemy's loss in killed and wounded cannot fall short of 3,000, and will probably much exceed that number, as many of them, not severely wounded, were taken to Van Buren. Their loss in killed upon the ground will reach 1,000, the greater number of whom have been buried by my command. The entire force of Federal troops engaged did not exceed 7,000, about 3,000 cavalry not
* But revised statement, p. 86.