War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0349 Chapter XXXIV. OPERATIONS ABOUT FORT GIBSON, IND. T.

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Grand River was up. Captain [Hugh] Tinnin, and, I suspect, Livingston, with several hundred men, were on the west side of Grand River. Watie and Bell attempted to cross, but failed, drowning 2 of their men and some horses in the attempt.

The rebels retreated down the river to Grand Saline, where they again attempted to cross, but failed. Here Major Foreman overtook their rear, and in the attack 3 rebels were killed and some of their provisions taken.

The rebels retreated rapidly southeast, toward Tahlequah, pursued by Major Foreman. I had scouts in Tahlequah (20 miles from Fort blunt), and learned that Watie had gone through Tahlequah about 2 or 3 o'clock on Monday [15th]. I got the news two hours afterward. I immediately sent orders to Foreman to press the enemy hard, so as to harass him; and I raised immediately a force of 400 men, half infantry, half cavalry, and one howitzer, and sent it with Colonel [Stephen H.] Wattles and a number of good captains, Indian and white, to assist him, and cut off the retreat of the enemy. I directed him to proceed on the road parallel to the river, down the river, and sent orders to have Foreman's party post him as to the movements of the enemy, and watched the enemy myself.

Learning of the harassed condition of Watie and Bell, the rebels moved down some Texans and Choctaws, under Cols. Tandy Walker and Bass, and undertook to cross a force in the night. At the same time, the main rebel army, camped over the river, 4 miles from Fort Blunt, made a demonstration on my right to hold me in check.

Colonel Wattles in the night passed close to where the rebels were crossing the river without discovering them; but two scouts, who were watching Greenleaf Prairie, notified him at daylight that the rebels were forming in his rear. His force returned 6 miles, a d engaged the enemy on Greenleaf Prairie, 18 miles distant from the fort. The rebels were first repulsed, but owing to pushing the retreating enemy with a ragged [force], the rebels turned on the pursuers and drove them back until they reached the infantry and the battery, which latter they attempted to take, but were repulsed and again driven toward the river, our force still being south of the rebels.

Unfortunately the stock under the command of Major Foreman was completely exhausted, and instead of pursuing the enemy, as I expected, so as to crush him with both commands, he abandoned the pursuit at Tahlequah and returned to Fort Blunt. Learning of his approach, and seeing that such co-operations would fail, I mounted everything, on mules, horses, &c., and sent our Colonel Schaurte with 500 men and one piece of artillery (part of his force with the gun was infantry), and pushed him forward to aid Colonel Wattles. i ordered the latter to stay and hold his position. He, although his command had repulsed and driven the enemy, deemed it advisable to fall back as soon as he learned that Foreman would not re-enforce him. He therefore made a march up, leaving the enemy on his left flank in the timber toward the river (defeated and beaten, but not destroyed). Learning that he was still falling back to Fort Blunt, I relieved him of command, and ordered Colonel Schaurte to pursue and destroy the enemy.

Meantime the rebels over the river opened their artillery on me, directly in front, and made a feint as if they were going to attack me in force directly at Fort Blunt. This they did in very lively style, sending their men into the river at different fords, as if they were crossing. Keeping everything in good style, I still sent out everything I could move rapidly to the Greenleaf Prairie.