sin Volunteer Infantry, advancing across the creek. After playing the battery for about thirty minutes, doing good execution, I observed the enemy's fire to slacken. I then ordered the Twentieth Regiment Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry to move cautiously forward. They advanced about 500 yards across an open field; here I ordered them to lie down under cover.
Receiving information that a heavy force of the enemy was threatening my left flank, I immediately changed front to the left. The Nineteenth Iowa and Ninety-fourth Illinois Infantry following up the movement, brought us en echelon, the Twentieth Regiment leading on the right. After the execution of this movement, I observed a battery of the enemy, supported by infantry, trying to get into position in my front. I immediately ordered the Twentieth Wisconsin to charge the battery, which was done in gallant style, Major [H. A.] Starr leading. After taking the battery, the regiment advanced under a heavy, fire to the brow of the hill, where they met a heavy force of the enemy's infantry, some four or five regiments, advancing, which poured a terrific fire into the Twentieth Regiment Wisconsin Infantry, and obliged them to fall back, which they did in good order, destroying what they could while falling back of the battery taken before. The Twentieth fell back in good style across an open field to a fence, where they reformed and remained until the firing ceased for the day.
Officers and men behaved nobly, and stood fire like veterans.
I regret the loss of the Twentieth Wisconsin is heavy. As far as I have been able to ascertain, it amounts to 49 killed, 148 wounded, and 8 missing.*
In conclusion, I cannot help but bring to your favorable notice the gallant behavior of Major Starr, in immediate command of the Twentieth Wisconsin, and also Adjutant [H. V.] Morris, of the Twentieth,for the cool and prompt manner in which they executed my orders. Captain Backof's battery (L) behaved nobly, and did good execution, although exposed for a time to a heavy fire of the enemy's infantry.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant Colonel 20th Wisconsin Vols., Commanding Portion of 1st Brigade.
Commanding Second and Third Division, Army of the Frontier.
Numbers 30. Report of Captain Frank Backof, Battery L, First Missouri Light Artillery.
CAMP AT ILLINOIS CREEK, ARK., December 9, 1862.
COLONEL: The undersigned would respectfully report to you the part his command took in the battle of December 7.
About 8 a. m., December 7, I took position a few miles from Fayetteville, Ark., in a corn-field, at the same time that two companies of your command drove the enemy back. After waiting for some time for an attack, I was ordered to move position 2 miles, to Illinois Creek; crossed the creek, and took position to the right of the road, at the farm, by
*But see revised statement, p. 85.