threw my brigade into disorder, but the men were promptly rallied by their officers, and formed in line ready to resist the approach of the enemy. The enemy was, however, gallantly repulsed by the Texans, under command of Colonel Carter. After my brigade had passed Bloomfield, I received orders to march back to the town and form upon the right of Colonel Shelby, and to resist the farther advance of the enemy. A heavy skirmishing was soon begun in front, and kept up till dark. No firing was heard during the night, though my scouts reported to me continually that the enemy was making a flank movement upon my right, which would have given him possession of a hill that commanded our whole position.
I was ordered next morning to move in the direction of Chalk Bluff. When within 2 miles of that point, I received orders to dismount my men, and to send horses and train across the river, and to march the infantry thus dismounted back a short distance to a position that had been selected for fighting. The position assigned me was on the left of Colonel Shelby's brigade, my left resting on an open field. Not willing to expose the men any more than necessary, I ordered temporary breastworks to be made, which would have effectually protected them from the musketry of the enemy. The enemy soon commenced a vigorous shelling, remarkable for its accuracy, the shells passing directly over my lines, within 2 feet of the ground.
At 2 o'clock at night I received orders to withdraw my forces with the utmost secrecy and dispatch, and to leave my skirmishers in front to resist any night advance of the enemy. The brigade was safely crossed to the south side of the Saint Francis River, and occupied a position above the bluff on the bank of the river, which completely commanded the road leading to the bridge. I here received orders to march the brigade upon the Gainesville road and encamp until further orders, leaving, however, my sharpshooters upon the river, subject to Brigadier-General Marmaduke's order.
Subsequent events would be but a detailed list of short rations, hard marches through swamps, &c., in no way worthy of mention, save for the cheerfulness with which the men under me endured those hardships. In conclusion, major, I would return my sincere thanks to both officers and men of this command for the bravery, which, with but few exceptions, they have displayed upon the battle-field, and for the unflinching fortitude with which they endured every hardship.
I would take this occasion to acknowledge my obligation to Colonels Newton and Preston for the co-operation and assistance they gave me in carrying out all orders received.
I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. Q. BURBRIDGE,
Colonel, Commanding, &c.
Major HENRY EWING,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Jacksonport, Ark.
Numbers 17. Report of Lieutenant Colonel S. G. Kitchen, Missouri Cavalry Battalion (Confederate.)
CAMP SUGAR CREEK, ARK., May 7, 1863.
I have the honor to submit a report of the operations of my battalion since its organization on April 9, 1863, in Greene County, Arkansas, by