War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0103 Chapter XXXIV. BATTLE OF PRAIRIE GROVE, ARK.

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the battery horses; but after some hard talking, and my finally shooting one cowardly whelp off his horse, they halted. I at once formed a battery and two regiments of infantry and checked Marmaduke.

Taking one section of artillery, four companies of infantry, and some cavalry, I pushed on, driving them 4 miles, to Illinois Creek, where I found the whole force in position, and the strongest one I had ever seen. I crossed the creek with one of my staff to reconnoiter, keeping every one else out of sight, and, after getting a view of the ground and surrounding country, determined at once to attack. I learned the whole force had slipped past Blunt, and was between us, and knew that by opening the fight I could bring him up. Getting two pieces of Cole's over, I felt their position, they opening on me with twelve pieces from different positions. I then withdrew the section, and ordered Murphy's battery to cut a road through the wood, crossing the creek half a mile below, getting it into a fair position opposite the enemy's center. Colonel Huston's division (the Second) I ordered to the same place, throwing two regiments to the right of the battery and one to its left. I had divided the battery, placing the halves 600 yards apart.

This movement was entirely concealed, and not visible to the enemy until the two half batteries were run out to the edge of the brush by hand. I then ordered Colonel [W. W.] Orme, with the Second Brigade of the Third Division, to cross his battery at the crossing, dividing it and opening fire at once, and to hold his infantry in rear and at the edge of the brush, at the same time ordering Lieutenant-Colonel [H.] Bertram, with the First Brigade, Third Division, to follow up Orme, dividing his battery the same way, and forming his infantry to the right of Orme.

At 10 o'clock all was ready, and Murphy opened. The other batteries crossed under cover of Murphy's fire, getting into shape and opening up magnificently, so that I had in ten minutes eighteen pieces bard at work; or, as they afterward styled it, six full batteries. This brought out the fire all their guns, twenty-two in number, and for the next eight hours it was hot work. About half an hour after the firing commenced, they threw a heavy body of infantry on my left and endeavored to force it back, but I ordered the Nineteenth Iowa and Twentieth Wisconsin to charge them, which they did in gallant style, pushing on for 1,000 yards and capturing a battery of four pieces, but such a mass of the enemy came up them they were compelled to leave it. The infantry fighting was continuous from 11 until 5 o'clock.

At 4 o'clock a battery opened about 1 mile to the right of my right flank, throwing two shells into my line of skirmishers. At first I thought the rebels had worked around me, but, upon making a reconnaissance in person, I discovered it to be Blunt's advance, whereupon I sent him word to change his fire. For two hours Blunt had a severe artillery fight, and at 6.30 o'clock the firing closed. I was then about 1,000 yards in advance of the creek crossed in the morning, with Murphy's battery still in a high position in the rear. We lay on our arms than night, the pickets within 50 yards of each other.

At 3 a. m. I formed my line ready to open, and while doing so saw a flag of truce approaching. It proved to be General Marmaduke and staff, which a communication for General Blunt, in answer, they said, to one he had sent them. I held them, and sent the document to Blunt, whose quarters were 1 mile from me. He returned by my adjutant-general a verbal reply, which they refused to accept, and I visited Blunt in person, telling him that I thought they had left the field. He returned a written reply, with which I started them; but hardly had it dis-