west of the hills. While descending the hills, I ordered another charge by Company B, under Captain [Horace] Austin. While in the act of carrying out this order, 1 man was instantly killed by lightning and another seriously injured. This occasioned a momentary confusion; order, however, was soon restored, and we pushed the enemy from their positions on the hills and in the ravines in our front to the plains below. I then ordered a rally. Companies A, B, F, and L assembled, and we pushed forward upon the Indians, who has taken refuge behind a few rude and hastily constructed intrenchments in their encampments, from which they were quickly dislodged, and a running fight commenced. At this juncture, Lieutenant J.[C.] Whipple, Third Minnesota Battery, reached us with one 6-pounder, his horses entirely given out, in consequence of which he could only give the fleeing enemy two shots, which apparently threw them in still greater confusion. I then again ordered the charge, which was kept up until we had reached at least 15 miles from the first point of attack, and during which we drove them from their concealment in the rushes and wild rice of Dead Buffalo Lake by a well-directed volley from the deadly carbines, ran into their lines five times, concealment in the rushes and wild rice of Dead Buffalo Lake by a well-directed volley from the deadly carbines, ran into their lines five times, continuing the fight till nearly dark, when Companies H, D, and G arrived, and I received your order to return to Camp Sibley, at the Big Hills; and some time having been consumed in collecting our wounded and providing transportation for them, we attempted to return, and only succeeded in reaching camp at 5 a. m. on the morning of the 25th, having in the darkness been unable to preserve our course, and having been in the saddle twenty-four hours without guide, provisions, or water. The number of Indians engaged could not have ben less than 1,000, and would doubtless reach 1,500 warriors. The losses of my regiment, including a skirmish on Sunday evening, the 26th, at Dead Buffalo Lake, are as follows:*
Dr. J. S. Weiser, surgeon, and Lieutenant A. Freeman, Company D, were murdered by the Indians.
The number of Indians known to have been killed by the Mounted Rangers is 31, all found with the peculiar mark of cavalry upon them. Doubtless many more were killed by the Rangers, as the wounded concealed themselves in the marshes, where it was impossible to follow them with cavalry.
In this report I esteem in a duty, and it affords me great pleasure, to say of the officers and men under my command who were engaged in this series of fights and hand-to-hand encounters, that, without exception, the utmost coolness and bravery was displayed, the only difficulty I encountered being that of restraining the wild enthusiasm of the troops during the succession of cavalry charges, and I can only say of them further that they have won for themselves a reputation of which veteran troops might well be proud.
It is also a duty and gratification to mention favorably the name of First Lieutenant E. A. Goodell, acting adjutant, whose aid in the hottest of the fight rendered me great service; also the name of John Martin, of Company F, who bore dispatches with certainty, celerity, and security.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Mounted Rangers.
Brigadier General H. H. SIBLEY,
Commanding Expeditionary Force.
*Nominal list shows 3 men killed and 4 wounded.