While I was thus occupied, Major Bradley, with the left wing (Captains Banks', Williston's Hall's, and Arnold's companies), advanced out upon my left so as to cover the portion of the train still in camp from the threatened attack from the rear. There was a battalion of cavalry also protecting the rear to the left of Major Bradley. We thus formed a line from the left flank of the train around to the rear that effectually protected it. The Indians galloped back and forth just outside the range of the howitzers and our rifles of almost equal range, the rear of the train passed the lake, I took the right wing to the right flank of the train, near the rear, marched left in front, and so deployed as to well cover that portion of the train. Major Bradley, with the left wing, did similarly on the left flank. As the column moved forward the Indians withdrew out of sight.
On the 29th instant, when the column arrived at the Missouri River, the Seventh Regiment was the second in order of march, and was held on the flanks of the train, while the Sixth Regiment, which was in the advance, penetrated the woods to the river. By order of the general, Companies B and H were advanced as skirmishers, obliquely to the right of the head of train, to explore for water. They had entered the woods but a little way when recalled by an aide of the general.
On the 30th instant, Companies A, B, and H, Captains Arnold, Stevens, and Gilfillan, were detailed, under Major Bradley, to form part of the force under command of Colonel Crooks to again penetrate to the river, to destroy the wagons and other property of the Indians on the bank, and to search for the bodies of Lieutenant Beaver and Private Miller, of the Sixth Regiment. (I prepared to accompany the detachments, but the general objected to both the field officers of the regiment leaving camp at the same time.) Major Bradley, with the companies named, participated in the successful execution of the duty assigned Colonel Crooks.
On the night of the 31st of July, at our camp on the Missouri, I was at expedition headquarters, when the general was advised of hostile Indians having been heard signaling to one another around the camp. I returned to my regiment, and had two companies placed in the trenches. Subsequently, while I was lying down, Major Bradley received instructions to place the entire regiment along the front and flank of our part of the camp. This was done. Major Bradley remained up the entire night. I slept a part of the night; I was up, however, about 2 o'clock, occupied by the Tenth Regiment. The volley was evidently aimed too high for effect in the tents or on the men in the trenches. That side of the corral was open for passing the animals in and out, and some of the shots must have struck the cattle, in addition to the horses and mule killed. The cattle dashed out of the corral. It was providential that the camp was so encircled by the lines of the several regiments. But for the living wall that confronted them, the animals would have escaped or stampeded the mules and horses, with great destruction of life in the camp. I think it was the only time I have felt alarmed or startled. The prompt return of the fire of the Indians by the companies of the Tenth, on my left, discouraged any further attempt on the camp.