War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0366 MO., ARK., KANS., IND., AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXXIV.

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the dust up about us, and more rarely whistling past us, were the most sensible evidences of our being under fire.

The Indians were in far greater numbers than I had seen them before, certainly three times the number encountered at the relief of Birch Coolie, afterward ascertained to be 350, and more than double the number seen at Wood Lake. I judged there were from 1,000 to 1,500. Their numbers were more apparent after we had combed them out of the hills into the plain below.

After uniting the battalion at the southern termination of the great hills, I received orders to follow on, in support of the cavalry and artillery. The men were suffering greatly for water, and I marched them to a lake on the right, which proved to be salty. I then followed on after the cavalry. We passed one or more lakes that were alkaline. It was the experience of the ancient mariner:

Water, water everywhere,

Nor any drop to drink.

We continued the march until 9 o'clock at night, reaching a point 12 or 15 miles from camp. The men had been on their feet since 4 o'clock m the morning; had double-quicked it 5 miles during the engagement; had been without food since morning, and without water since noon. They were completely exhausted, and I ordered a bivouac.

The trail was strewed with buffalo skins, dried meat, and other effects abandoned by the Indians in their wild flight. The men gathered meat and ate it for supper, and the skins for beds and covering. At this point, Captain Edgerton's company, of the Tenth Regiment, joined us, and shared the night's hardships. We had posted guard and lain an hour, when Colonel McPhaill returned from pursuing the Indians. He urged that I should return with him to camp.

The men were somewhat rested, and their thirst stimulated them to the effort. We joined him, and started to return to camp. About midnight we got a little dirty water from the marshy lake where the Indians had been encamped. We reached camp at daylight, having marched nearly twenty-four hours, and over a distance estimated at from 40 to 45 miles.

My thanks are due to Major Bradley and the line officers for steady coolness and the faithful discharge of every duty, and to every man of the rank and file for good conduct throughout. The patient endurance of the long privation of water, and the fatigue of the weary night march, in returning to camp, after such a day, abundantly prove them to be such stuff as true soldiers are made of.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. R. MARSHALL,

Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding Seventh Regiment Minnesota, Vols.

Captain R. C. OLIN,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HDQRS. SEVENTH REGIMENT MINNESOTA VOLUNTEERS,

Camp Williston, on Missouri Coteau, August 5, 1863.

CAPTAIN: I respectfully submit the following report of the part taken by the Seventh Regiment in the pursuit of, and engagements with, the Indians subsequent to the battle of the Big Mound, on the 24th ultimo:

In my report of the 25th of July, I detailed the movements of this regiment in that engagement. On Sunday, the 26th of July, when the