Colonel Wattles, before being relieved, had unfortunately fallen back to the mountain, 6 miles from Fort Blunt. A rebel force, 300 or 400 strong, was watching his rear, but before the commands I sent could reach the field, the rebels had retreated down the river, and in the night and during next day succeeded in crossing the Arkansas at Webber's Falls, Vine and Sallison [Creeks]. Having once permitted them to escape, the condition of my stock rendered it utterly impossible to follow them.
The engagement on Greenleaf Prairie on the 16th was spirited and sharp, lasting several hours, and once or twice was sharply contested.
Our losses are: First Indian Regiment, 3 killed; Third Indian Regiment, 3 killed; Fourth Indian Regiment, 1 killed; and Second Indian Regiment, Lieutenant Palmer, slightly wounded. Eighth are reported wounded, but all slightly.
Of the Sixth Kansas, 5 are missing, supposed to be prisoners. They are from Company D. A detachment of 30 men, under Sergt. John N. Ewing, got in advance of our force, owing to the retreat of the command under Wattles; and this small detachment having taken a wrong road, they were surrounded by several hundred rebels. Sergeant Ewing gallantly fought his way out with most of his men; but 5 were taken, or are missing.*
* * * * * *
While regretting that the inability to obey orders prevented the total destruction of the enemy's force on this side of the river, I must state that the fight was in the main a gallant one, and the enemy were driven several miles from the field.
Some Choctaw prisoners, taken by Captain Gritts and Lieutenant Thompson, stated that the rebels had crossed ten companies of Choctaws and ten companies of Texans to cover the retreat of Colonel Watie, but I do not believe they had so large a force over.
Amongst the officers exhibiting gallantry worthy of note are Captain [Budd] Gritts and Lieutenant [J. C.] Palmer, of the Second; Captains Smith Christy, [Solomon] Kaufman, and Lieutenant [John E.] Blunt, of the Third; Captain Kinter, of the Fourth; Captain Cox, of the Fifth, and Lieutenants [Robert T.] Thompson and [Fred.] Crafts, of the First; also Sergeant Ewing, of the Sixth Kansas.
The loss of the rebels, although heavier than ours, has been variously stated; but I decline a statement in the absence of positive knowledge.
WM. A. PHILLIPS,
Numbers 2. Report of Colonel Stephen H. Wattles, First Indiana Home Guards, of skirmish on Greenleaf Prairie.
HDQRS. FIRST REGIMENT OF THE INDIAN BRIGADE,
In the Field, Fort Blunt, June 11.- 1863.
COLONEL: In obedience to your orders detailing me to take charge of a scout to intercept the retreat of Stand Watie, I marched from Fort Blunt at 10 o'clock on the evening of the 15th of June, 1863. When
*Nominal list omitted.