War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0083 Chapter XXXIV. BATTLE OF PRAIRIE GROVE, ARK.

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[Inclosure Numbers 8.] HEADQUARTERS First CORPS, TRANS-MISSISSIPPI ARMY, In the Field, December 4, 1862.

SOLDIERS: From the commencement to the end of the battle, bear constantly in mind what I now urge upon you:

First. Never fire because your comrades do; nor because the enemy does; nor because you happen to see the enemy; nor for the sake of firing rapidly. Always wait till you are certainly within the range of your gun, then single out your man, take deliberate aim, as low down as the knee, and fire.

Second. When occasion offers, be certain to pick off the enemy's officers, especially the mounted ones, and to kill his artillery horses.

Third. Do not shout, except when you charge the enemy. A general thing, keep silent, that orders may he heard. Obey the orders of your officers, but pay no attention to idle rumors or the words of unauthorized persons.

Fourth. Do not stop with your wounded comrades; the surgeons and infirmary corps will take care of them; do you go forward and avenge them.

Fifth. Do not break ranks to plunder. If we whip the enemy, all he has will be ours; if not, the spoil will be of on no benefit to us. Plunderers and stragglers will be put to death upon the spot. File-closers are especially charged with this duty. The cavalry in rear will likewise attend to it.

Remember that the enemy you engage has no feeling of mercy or kindness toward you. His ranks are made up of Pin Indians, free negroes, Southern tories, Kansas jayhawkers, and hired Dutch cut-throats. These bloody ruffians have invaded your country; stolen and destroyed your property; murdered your neighbors; outraged your women; driven your children from their homes, and defiled the graves of your kindred. If each man of you will do what I have here urged upon you, we will utterly destroy them. We can do this; we mist do it; our country will be ruined if we fail. A just God will strengthen our arms and give us a glorious victory.


Major-General, Commanding.


In the Field, Rhea's Mills, Ark., December 12, 1862.

GENERAL: The enemy's loss in killed and wounded at the battle of Prairie Grove, on the 7th instant, was much greater than was at first supposed. It will not fall short of 3,000, and not less than 1,000 killed. Dead bodies in great numbers were found scattered through the woods for three days after the battle; some of them 10 miles from the scene of conflict, who had been carried to the rear comrades, and there left to die. Their wounded are badly mangled, and many of them must die. My artillery was worked upon them with terrible effect. They were left entirely of subsistence, and would have starved had I not provided for them. For our kind treatment they appear very grateful.

My last advises from Hindman's command is that it was near Van Buren. Their flight across the mountains was precipitate and without