War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0087 Chapter XXXIV. BATTLE OF PRAIRIE GROVE, ARK.

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me to proceed immediately with all the available force at Cassville and report to Brigadier-General Blunt, commanding Army of the Frontier. The order was received at 8 p. m., and at 9 o'clock the troops marched, traveling without tents or camp equipage. I had with me 100 men of the First Battalion of my regiment and 28 men from the First Arkansas Cavalry.

At 9 p. m. of the 5th, I reported to General Blunt, having traveled 73 miles in three days.

On the morning of the 6th, General Blunt ordered me to proceed with my troops from Cane Hill down the Cove Creek road to ascertain of the enemy were approaching. On reaching the divide between the water of White River and Cove Creek, I ordered Captain [S. H.] Julian, with his company, to proceed in advance, to fire in an approaching enemy, and then retreat in haste to the rear of the main column. The captain had not proceeded far before he commenced sending back prisoners, a strong indication we were in close proximity to the rebel forces. He directed the guard bringing in the third prisoner to inform me that he had driven in the rebel picket, and had, 300 yards in his front, a rebel camp, the part he could see containing not less than 2,000 men, and that he was awaiting orders. Upon interrogating the prisoner, I was informed that my command was in less than a mile of a rebel camp containing 18,000 men; that it contained six brigades and six brigade generals, among whom were Parsons, Steen, Marmaduke, Shelby, &c., and that Hindman was to be up that night; that the enemy were moving up the mountain, taking the Chute, the direct road to Cane Hill. My force not being strong enough to harass the camp, after consulting Majors [J.] Sullivan and Fitch, Captain Julian was ordered to return. Contrary to my expectation, the rebel cavalry did not follow, and I returned to report to General Blunt a large rebel force within 6 miles of his headquarters. The reason we were not followed, the enemy supposed us to be a reconnaissance in force, not less than three regiments of cavalry.

On the 7th, General Blunt directed me to take my own battalion (100 strong) Captain [T.] Conkey, of the Third Wisconsin Cavalry, and proceed on the same road as the day previous. Before reaching the Hog-eye Junction, on the Cover Creek road, I met Captain Coleman, of the Ninth Kansas, with 30 men, who reported that the enemy had driven him from the junction, and were marching up the Cove Creek road in great force. A messenger was immediately dispatched to General Blunt to report the fact. The enemy being in possession of the junction, and my position being unfavorable, my force od numbering 166 men, and having good reason to believe the enemy were marching on Cane Hill, I fell back a mile, took a strong position, intending to check and delay their advance as long as possible. The enemy not coming up, Captain Julian was sent forward to ascertain their movements. That prompt and efficient officer soon reported to me the enemy were not marching on Cane Hill, but were moving on the road in the direction of Fayetteville. That fact I immediately reported to General Blunt. The general ordered Colonel [W. R.] Judson to report to me with three squadrons of the Sixth Kansas Cavalry, two howitzers,a nd to direct me to proceed to the junction and attack the enemy. Colonel Judson requested me to take charge of the howitzers, as my men were suitably armed to defend them. Not knowing which ranked, we agreed to jointly command the detachment. We proceeded to the junction, drove in the enemy's pickets just as their rear was passing. Taking into consideration the reason of General Blunt's order, we followed up and harassed the enemy for 5 miles, firing on them and taking several prisoners. About 3 miles from