as to hold the lake, the advance was ordered. The men went boldly forward and worked splendidly Lieutenant-Colonel Averill displaying much judgment in an oblique formation to cover a threatened movement on my right by the Indians in great force, who, whooping and yelling, charged our lines. The consequences must have proven destructive in the extreme had the lake and flanks not been stiffly held. The savages were driven back, reeling under their repulse, and the general commanding coolly and determinedly formed his column of march in face of the attack, the object of which was manifold: First, to destroy our transportation, and, second, to delay our advance, allowing their families more time to escape.
No time was lost; the column moved on, and by 9 a. m. our advance saw the masses of the retreating foe. The pursuit was continued until late, when we camped on Apple River. Men and horses were not in a condition to pursue that night, but early on the morning of the 29th, with the regiment in the advance, pursuit was commenced, and, after marching 6 miles and overcoming a rise of ground, our eyes first beheld the timber on the Missouri River, distant 9 miles.
General Sibley had, with much forethought, early that morning dispatched Colonel McPhaill and his regiment, with Captain Jones and his field pieces, to the front, with the view of intercepting the savages ere they crossed the river. Rapidly McPhaill pushed forward, but the Indians's rear was covered by a dense forest and a tangle of prickly ash and thorn bushes, almost impenetrable. Our advance was soon up, and by order of the general, the Sixth Regiment was ordered to scout the woods to the river, and ascertain the exact position of the enemy. I deployed Companies D, I, and K, commanded by Captains [J. C.] Whitney, Slaughter, and Braden, as skirmishers, under the command of Major McLaren, while the five other companies, under Colonel Averill, were held as a reserve. Captain Jones accompanied me, with Whipple's and Western's sections of his battery. We advanced slowly but surely, shelling the woods in my advance, and we reached the river to find the enemy just crossed, after abandoning all their transportation, and losing many of their women and children, drowned in their hasty flight. Lieutenant-Colonel Averill, with the reserve, received the fire of an enemy in large numbers, concealed in the tall rushes across the river, and returned it with spirit; but an order having reached me to return, a retrograde movement was made.
Just prior to the fire of Colonel Averill's reserve, Lieutenant F. J. H. Beaver, an English gentleman, of qualities worthy of the best, a fellow of Oxford University, and a volunteer aide to the general, rode up alone and delivered the order to return. I wrote a short dispatch, and directed him to return at once, as my communication might prove of much value to the general. All being accomplished that was desire, the regiment returned, and joined the camp near the mouth of Apple River, with the loss of N. Miller, of Company K. On my return to camp, I learned that Beaver had never reported, and we had just grounds to believe him lost. Guns were fired and rockets sent up, but on friend did not return.
At noon on the 30th of July, a detachment, consisting of Companies A, I, and K, of the Sixth Regiment, commanded by Captains [Hiram P.] Grant, Slaughter, and Braden; A, B, and H, of the Seventh, commanded by Captains [J. K.] Arnold, James] Gilfillan, and [A. H.] Stevens, and B, F, and K, of the Tenth Infantry, commanded by Captains [A. J.] Edgerton, [G. T.] White, and [M. J.] O'Connor, and Companies L and M of the cavalry, commanded by Captain [P. B.] Davy and Lieutenant [D. B.] Johnson, Lieutenants Whipple's and Dwelle's sections of the battery,