force (25,000 men), intending to cut off my command. I had sent forward to Blunt all my cavalry, having left six regiments of infantry, three batteries, and about 500 cavalry.
General Marmaduke opened on my advance at 7 a. m. with a heavy cavalry force, but I forced them back to Illinois Creek, 8 miles from Cane Hill. At this point they took a strong position with infantry and artillery, and tried to prevent my crossing; but, by cutting roads through the woods, I got the batteries into position, and at 9.30 o'clock opened on them with eighteen guns, bringing forward my infantry, crossing the creek, and getting them into position under cover of my artillery. From this hour until 7 o'clock in the evening the fighting was furious.
General Blunt arrived within 1 mile of my right at 4 p. m., opening on the enemy's left. Learning definitely that he was on the ground, I ordered the infantry to charge the enemy's batteries. The Nineteenth Iowa and Twentieth Wisconsin did it gallantry, taking a whole battery, but were afterward overwhelmed and forced to leave it. Colonel Huston, commanding Second Division, then charged the same battery with the Thirty-seventh Illinois and Twenty-sixth Indiana, retaking it a second time, but, after holding if half an hour, were compelled to give way. The fighting was constant and furious throughout the entire day.
I met General Blunt late in the evening, and we arranged the attack for morning; but daylight found the rebels gone.
Their loss is from 600 to 700 killed and 2, 5000 wounded. Ours is probably 250 killed and 700 wounded in the Second and Third Divisions.* Lieutenant-Colonel [S.] McFarland, Nineteenth Iowa, is killed, and Colonel [J. C.] Black, Thirty-seventh, Illinois, Major [W. G.] Thompson, Twentieth Iowa, and a large number of line officers wounded. The prisoners state that General Steen and 5 colonels were killed. We captured four caissons full of ammunition and a large number of small-arms. Their artillery was knocked to pieces by our batteries, and Major [J. M.] Hubbard, who was a prisoner with them, reports seeing piece after piece sent off entirely disabled. The working of Murphy's and Foust's batteries excelled anything I ever witnessed.
General Blunt and myself had an interview with Hindman and Marmaduke, and I consider the former just what you stated of him. We are camped on the battle-field. General Blunt moves to-morrow to Cane Hill, while I occupy this ground.
F. J. HERRON,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Second and Third Divisions.
Major General SAMUEL R. CURTIS,
Saint Louis, Mo.
PRAIRIE GROVE, ARK., December 11, 1862.
One of any spies, who come to the battle-field with Hindman's troops, and retreated with them to Dripping Springs, has just come in. He reports the rebel loss at 2,500 killed and wounded, including a very large number of officers. Brigadier-General Steen, of Missouri, was killed, and some 6 or 7 field officers are in the hospital within our lines. Two batteries were so much damaged by the firing from Foust's and Murphy's guns as to be entirely worthless, and several guns were hauled off
*See revised statement, p. 86.