War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0104 MO.,ARK., KANS.,IND. T., AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXXIV.

Search Civil War Official Records

appeared beyond their pickets until another flag came, asking a personal interview with Blunt. This the general granted, and at 7 o'clock called for me to accompany him. I saw what was up, and, before starting, ordered two regiments to advance through the brush on my left and occupy the hill where the enemy were posted. This they did, the rebel pickets retiring before them. During the interview, Hindman was informed of it, and asked Blunt to withdraw them. He referred the matter to me, and I refused.

At 10 o'clock the interview ended, Blunt having given Hindman until 5 p. m. to bury his dead. They immediately sent forward two regiments of cavalry for that purpose, but instead of doing it they commenced gathering up arms, &c. I went then in person and notified both colonels that any of their men found gathering or carrying off arms, or at anything else than burying the dead, I would hold them as prisoners of war. This had the desired effect, and we thus secured the arms on the field in spite of the flag of truce.

My two divisions, the Second and Third, fought splendidly, while the artillery firing of Murphy's, Foust's, and Backof's batteries was the finest thing I ever witnessed. The artillery horses of the enemy lie dead, four and six in a heap, wherever their batteries were placed. On less than two acres of ground laid 300 of our own and the rebel dead. It was terrible--terrific in the extreme.

The loss in my own immediate division (Third) is 483 killed and wounded; in the Second, Colonel Huston commanding, 350 killed and wounded, making a total, in my two division, of almost 850.* The loss in General Blunt's division is about 150 killed and wounded.* I have established a post hospital at Fayetteville, and removed all my wounded to that point, as has General Blunt.

We want sanitary goods badly. Lieutenant-Colonel McFarland, of the Nineteenth Iowa, was killed in the first charge, with 5 captains and a large number of lieutenants of the Nineteenth Iowa and Twentieth Wisconsin Regiments. In the second charge, made by the Twenty-sixth Indiana and Thirty-seventh Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel Black, of the Thirty-seventh, and his adjutant, were both badly wounded, and the adjutant, with several captains and lieutenants of the Twenty-sixth Indiana, killed. Major Thompson, Twentieth Iowa, was also badly wounded. Five of my body guard were wounded and 12 horses killed.

At one time, while passing from the right to the left through an open field, they opened two pieces on me from a distance of 300 yards, killing 2 horses of my body guard and wounding 1 man. The head was shot off the horse immediately in rear of me. I can assure you it was hot work.

The rebel loss in killed and wounded is not less than 2,500 men, while by desertion it will be from 5,000 to 8,000. They are fleeing in every direction. Of over 60 prisoners taken during the flag, not over 12 will go back, as they positively refuse to be exchanged.

I am now occupying the battle-field, while General Blunt is at Rhea's Mills, 5 miles west. Two of his brigades are at Cane Hill. We have assisted the rebels in moving all their wounded to Cane Hill, and have furnished them five days' rations. Had it not been for us they would have starved to death.

We have as trophies, captured during the fight, four caissons, filled with good ammunition and everything in good style. We have also about 400 stand of good arms, gathered on the field; this is clear gain.


*See revised statement, p. 86.