The movements were well and regularly made, the officers and men displaying those traits of most consequence to soldiers. My advance was checked by an order to draw in my lines to the lines of the skirmishers of the other regiments to my right, and to report in person to the brigadier-general commanding. Having turned the command over to Lieutenant-Colonel Averill, with instructions to draw in his men, I reported to General Sibley, and, in conformity with his orders, I dispatched a messenger to Major McLaren to come forward, with all haste, with five companies, to the support of the Mounted Rangers, who were driving the Indians on toward their camp, at the moment supported by the Seventh Infantry and Captain A. J. Edgerton's company of the Tenth. The major came forward at a double-quick with Companies A, B, D, I, and K, and reported to me some 4 miles in the advance, where General Sibley was awaiting the advance of re-enforcement. I immediately reported to the general the arrival of my men, and soon thereafter was ordered to return to camp.
The next day the camp was moved some 4 miles, in order to recruit the animals, and the command rested until Sunday morning, the 26th of July, when the march was resumed, and, having marched 14 miles, the Sixth Regiment leading, the Indians again assembled for battle. The regiment at once deployed skirmishers, and advanced steadily, driving the Indians, Lieutenant-Colonel Averill, with marked coolness and judgment, commanding the extended line of skirmishers, while the reserve, under McLaren, was but too eager to engage. At 2 p. m., General Sibley coming to the extreme front, and observing the state of affairs, pushed cavalry to our right, with a view to massing the Indians in front; also ordering Captain [John] Jones forward with the field pieces. Major McLaren was now ordered to take the reserve to camp, 1 1/2 miles to the rear, the front being held by three companies of the Sixth and Company A, of the Ninth, the whole supporting Lieutenant [J. C.] Whipple with his section of the battery.
The Indians observing McLaren's movement, having made a feint to the left, made a desperate attack upon the north front, with a view to destroying our transportation; but the major had his men well in hand, and, throwing them rapidly on the enemy, completely foiled this their last move, and the savages, giving a parting volley, typical of their rage and disappointment, left a field where heavy loss and defeat but retold their doom.
Too much praise cannot be awarded Captain Oscar Taylor, of the Mounted Ranges, who chafed for an order to advance, and who bore his part nobly when that order was finally given. His horses being exhausted, this officer dismounted his men, and, as skirmishers, added their strength to that of Company A, Sixth Regiment, where, under the immediate eye of Colonel Averill, they did splendid service. Lieutenant Whipple, in direct charge of the guns, was, as usual, cool and efficient; and Captain Jones had but another opportunity of congratulating himself upon the efficiency of his battery.
The march was resumed on the morning of the 27th, and in the afternoon we camped on Stony Lake, having marched 18 miles. No demonstrations were made by the Indians during the night; but as the column was forming on the morning of the 28th, and the transportation was somewhat scattered, the wily foe saw his opportunity, and, to the number of 2,000 mounted men, at least, made a most daring charge upon us. The Sixth Regiment holding the center of the column, and being upon the north side of the lake, Lieutenant-Colonel Averill commenced deploying the right wing, and having deployed strongly from my left so