enemy's artillery posted on our right. Thus overwhelmed, the only hope from annihilation was the bayonet or retreat. The bayonet could not be used; directly in front of us was a rail fence, and it could not have been passed and we reformed before the enemy would have been upon us; so, reluctantly, I ordered a retreat. Not a man had moved from his post till that order. Falling back some 300 yards, they reformed in the rear of the batteries.
In this charge and retreat, Captain [G. R.] Bell,of Company G, was wounded, doing splendid duty with his men. Lieutenant [F. J.] Abbey, Company I, and Lieutenant [N. B.] Hicks, Company K, were taken prisoners, they not receiving the order to retreat until too late to execute it. I was too seriously wounded to retain the command, and so, turning it over to Major [H. N.] Frisbie, I left the field; not, however, until the regiment was reformed and had again commenced its fire. I refer you to Major Frisbie for a continuation of this report.
To Major Frisbie and Adjutant Bandy my thanks are due for the calm, fearless manner in which they conveyed and executed my commands.
All officers and men stood nobly at their posts. The hand of death has snatched a brave, true man from our midst-Lieutenant Johnson, Company D, who fell, mortally wounded, at a subsequent movement of the fight. I sorrow for his gallant death. All who fell, fell nobly. Those who serve on, many envy their late.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully,
[JOHN] CHAS. BLACK,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Thirty-seventh Illinois.
Colonel W. McE. DYE,
20th Iowa Vols., Commanding 2nd Brigadier, 2nd Div., Army of the Frontier.
Numbers 22. Report of Lieutenant Frederick J. Abbey, Thirty-seventh Illinois Infantry.
BATTLE-FIELD, PRAIRIE GROVE, ARK., December 10, 1862.
MAJOR: In compliance with your direction, I have to report that on the advance of the regiment to the foot of the hill, which we stormed, and the throwing out of Company I as skirmishers, I took my position on the left of the line, when the regiment fell back. As we reached the fence, and at the same time heard the cry to halt, I lay where I was, supposing the regiment had fallen still farther back, I saw it was impossible for me to follow. I then emptied my revolver at them and loaded again. At that time I was surrounded, and, presenting my pistol, demanded protection, which was guaranteed me, and then I surrendered. I was hurried to the rear and paroled the camp for the night. I was paroled the next morning until exchanged. Pledged secrecy as to all I saw and learned of their strength and position.
FRED. J. ABBEY,
First Lieutenant, Company I, Thirty-seventh Regiment.
Major H. N. FRISBIE,
Commanding Thirty-seventh Illinois Infantry.
P. S.-I surrendered my sword, belt, and revolver, which they did not return.