While these events were occurring on the right, the left of the camp was also threatened by a formidable body of warriors. Colonel [William] Crooks, whose regiment (the Sixth) was posted on that side, was ordered to deploy part of his command as skirmishers, and to dislodge the enemy. This was gallantly done, the colonel, directing in person the movements of one part of his detached force, and Lieutenant-Colonel [John T.] Averill of he other, Major [Robert N.] McLaren remaining in command of that portion of the regiment required as part of the camp ground.
The savages were steadily driven from one strong position after another, under a severe fire, until, feeling their utter inability to contend longer with our soldiers in the open field, they joined their brethren in one common flight. Upon moving forward with my staff to a commanding point which overlooked the field, I discovered the whole body of Indians, numbering from 1,000 to 1,500, retiring in confusion from the combat, while a dark line of moving objects on the distant hills indicated the locality of their families. I immediately dispatched orders to Colonel McPhaill, who had now received an accession of force from the other companies of his mounted regiment, to press on with all expedition and fall upon the rear of the enemy, but not to continue the pursuit after nightfall, and Lieutenant-Colonel Marshall was directed to follow and support him with the company of the Seventh, and Captain Edgerton's company of the Tenth, accompanied by one 6-pounder and one section of mountain howitzers, under Captain Jones. At the same time all of the companies of the Sixth and Tenth Regiments, except two from each, which were left as a camp guard, were ordered to rendezvous and to proceed in the same direction, but they had so far to march from their respective points before arriving at the spot occupied by myself and staff, that I felt convinced of the uselessness of their proceeding farther, the other portions of the pursuing force being some miles in the advance, and I accordingly ordered their return to camp. The cavalry gallantly followed the Indians, and kept up a running fight until nearly dark, killing and wounding many of their warriors, the infantry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Marshall, being kept at a double-quick in the rear. The order to Colonel McPhaill, was improperly delivered, as requiring him to return to camp, instead of bivouacking on the prairie. Consequently he retraced his way with his weary men and horses, followed by the still more wearied infantry, and arrived at camp early the next morning, as I was about to move forward with the main column. Thus ended the battle of the "Big Mound." The severity of the labors of the entire command may be appreciated when it is considered that the engagement only commenced after the day's march was nearly completed, and that the Indians were chased at least 12 miles, making altogether full 40 miles performed without rest.
The march of the cavalry of the Seventh Regiment and of Company B, of the Tenth Regiment, in returning to camp after the tremendous efforts of the day, is almost unparalleled, and it told so fearfully upon men and animals that a forward movement could not take place until the 26th, when I marched at an early hour. Colonel [J. H.] Baker had been left in command of the camp (named by the officers Camp Sibley) during the engagement of the previous days, and all the arrangements for its security were actively and judiciously made, aided as he was by that excellent officer, Lieutenant-Colonel [Samuel P.] Jennison, of the same regiment. Upon arriving at the camp from which the Indians had been driven in such hot haste, vast quantities of dried meat, tallow, and buffalo robes, cooking utensils, and other indispensable articles