this force we engaged, as we afterward learned, General Frost's whole division and two Mississippi regiments, &c., and, with the aid of the batteries above named, his final re-enforcements. Our safety even at the commencement of the action must be attributed to the fact that our weakness was concealed from the enemy by our position, and that many of their men were unwilling conscripts. The desperate charge made by him at night by so large a force was evidently intended to cover his retreat.
The damage done the enemy far exceeded our loss. As this was the first time most of the men were under fire, great credit is due them for the pertinacity with which they clung to their position or rallied when broken. There were some disgraceful exceptions, but it is hoped that upon a fresh field they will show themselves soldiers.
I desire to express my grateful acknowledgment to Colonel Ewing, of the Eleventh Kansas; Lieutenant-Colonel Bassett and Captain Crawford, of the Second Kansas; Lieutenant Stover, commanding the two howitzers, and Captain Rabb, commanding battery, their officers and men, for their valuable assistance, courage, and zeal. Due credit will doubtless be given them in reports from the proper commanders.
I cannot be too earnest in my commendations of Colonel Bowen, commanding the Thirteenth Kansas; Major Williams, commanding the Tenth Kansas, and Lieutenant Tenney, commanding the First Kansas Battery; all of my own brigade. Their daring, skill, and active endeavors, in the rallying and management of their men amid storms of bullets, deserve not only honorable mention, but a place upon the record of those who merit promotion.
Though not immediately under my personal supervision, I am credibly informed that Adjutant Gallagher and his handful of Cherokees did noble service in protecting the right flank of the Tenth Kansas, under Captain [M.] Quigg.
The accompany reports from regimental commanders will give the names of those receiving at their hands special mention.
The conduct of Lieutenant Tenney and his battery was under the immediate eye of the general commanding. Their destructive and rapid fire was even extorted high encomiums from the enemy. I desire to officially call the attention of the general to the condition of this battery, and would respectfully state that it is due to the valor, skill, and patient labor of Lieutenant Tenney that the proper steps be taken to place him as its captain (he having for a long time been discharging the functions of that office), and that the meritorious officers under him be promoted.
To my adjutant, Lieutenant J. K. Hudson, of the Tenth Kansas, I cannot award too high praise. He was my solitary aide, and was everywhere at duty's call, carrying orders, cheering and rallying the men. His worthy qualities in camp, as well as upon the field, entitle him to promotion.
I trust that the merits of several non-commissioned officers and privates will not hereafter be overlooked in granting commissions.
We lost 16 killed, 117 wounded, and 5 missing; total, 138.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Chief of Staff.