Prairie Grover we found the enemy drawn up in line to resist our advance. They had, to oppose our progress, ten regiments of infantry, two batteries of artillery, and about 1,500 cavalry. Our force, numbering 316 men, was drawn up within 300 yards of the enemy's line. We commenced the attack with the howitzers, the enemy returning our fire with a volley of musketry and one small piece of artillery. Their aim was too high, the balls passing harmlessly our heads. Being unable to maintain our position, we fell back with our force. Colonel Judson, at my request, consented I should command the rear. We were greatly astonished that the enemy did not follow. They, however, believing we were the advance of General Blunt's whole force, declining accepting our invitation to leave their strong position. We kept this half of the enemy's force in line until they heard General Blunt's guns on their left, thereby preventing them from throwing their whole force (28,000 strong) upon the retired troops of Brigadier-General Herron.
General Hindman, who commanded the Confederate force, as a military man has been underrated by our side. Being unwilling to contend with our force united, his feint, marching up the mountain on the Chute road, as if intending to attack General Blunt in front at Cane Hill, and then marching down during the night, taking the road to Fayetteville, intending to fall on the fatigued troops of General Herron (who were on a forced march to re-enforce General Blunt), crush them out, and then turn, and, with his immense army, work on General Blunt at his leisure, indicates military genius of a high order. The movement was executed with that promptness which generally insures success, but General Blunt deceived the enemy. With the force of Colonel Judson and myself, only 316 strong, he caused them to believe he was coming up on their rear, held a large part of their army off General Herron, and made his attack at a point not extended by the enemy.
I feel it my duty to bear testimony to the ability soldierly conduct of Colonel Judson and his officers, and of Captains Coleman and Conkey; also to the Kansas troops for great kindness toward us; they received us as brothers and fought with us as true soldiers. The conduct of my own officers and men affords me great pleasure. They were willing to undergo any hardship and fatigue to aid their brethren in arms and advance the interest of the country.
The courage and discipline of the men, the promptness and ability of the officers, justified me, when we were about to retreat before so large a force, in asking of Colonel The post of honor for them and myself.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN M. RICHARDSON,
Colonel Fourteenth Cavalry, Missouri State Militia.
Colonel WILLIAM D. WOOD,
Numbers 5. Report of Colonel William Weer, Tenth Kansas Infantry, commanding Second Brigade, First Division.
HDQRS. 2nd Brigadier, 1ST DIV., ARMY OF THE FRONTIER,
Camp at Cane Hill, Ark., December 12, 1862.
SIR: Having just received the reports of the subordinate commanders, I hasten to submit to the general commanding an account of the