fell, severely wounded, while gallantly leading and encouraging their men upon the field. My loss here was 3 killed and 35 wounded, the engagement lasting about two and one-half hours, when I received orders from Colonel Shelby to withdraw my forces, which was done quietly and in perfect order. I may be permitted to remark here, in my judgment it would have been impossible to have the place charging it in force and to have done this, under circumstances, would have been wanton butchery and slaughter. And here would I say, with a few exceptions, no body of men ever acted with more coolness or bravery than did the officers and men on this occasion. Every movement was skillfully executed and order promptly obeyed.
Falling back without annoyance, my command encamped for the night near Old Jackson, and on the following morning resumed our march, taking the Bloomfield road.
On the evening of the 28th, my command, forming the rear guard, crossed the Castor River by fording, it being very deep and rising from the heavy rains of the day. Here we found a large new bridge being constructed and an old pontoon floating moored to the bank, both of which we completely destroyed; and leaving Captains [D. A.] Williams and [W. P.] Norman, of my regiment, and Captain [G. B.] Webb, of Jeans' regiment, with their companies, under command of Major [M. W.] Smith, of my regiment, to guard the crossing, we encamped for the night 2 miles beyond.
Early the next morning, learning the enemy were following in force, I determined to contest their passage at the ford, and therefore took with me, to re-enforce the guards, the companies of my regiment commanded by Captains [John C.] Toney, [Isham J.] West, and [John T.] Crisp, and placed them at such points as I deemed the most advantageous. Before reaching the river, however, the advance of the enemy had approached and opened a brisk fire upon the guards, which was promptly returned, when heavy skirmishing became general along the lines, which continued about one hour, when the enemy opened upon us with two pieces of artillery, which was soon increased to four, and with which the woods skirting the bank of the stream in which my men lay concealed were raked by showers of grape and canister. Major [M. W.] Smith, having formed Captain Toney's company up the river and above the upper ford, and Captain [D. A.] Williams at the lower ford, with Captain [G. B.] Webb in the center, held Captain [W. P.] Norman's company mounted as a reserve, yet warmly engaged during most of the time. In this position we continued to hold our ground under a most galling fire, repeatedly driving the enemy beyond the range of our murderous fire during the time. The enemy, seemingly in a fit of desperation, ran their battery upon the high bank overlooking the stream, when a well-directed fire from Captain Toney's sharpshooters drove them in dismay out of sight, leaving several of their battery horses dead upon the ground. For three hours the contest continued, the chivalrous Major Smith, with the gallant officers and men under him, continuing to hold the fords, when I received an order from General Marmaduke to withdraw my forces and abandon it, which was done, losing only 1 man, dangerously wounded in the engagement. Loss of the enemy not known.
Moving quietly on, I continued with the rear until we crossed the bridge near Bloomfield, which I caused to be torn down and destroyed. On my arrival at Bloomfield, it having been determined to give them battle, a line was accordingly formed, my brigade dismounted and occu-