War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0410 MO., ARK., KANS., IND. T., AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXXIV.

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3rd. Brigadier-General Fagan will proceed by the best route, assume position, and take the battery on Hindman Hill at daylight.

4th. Brigadier-General Marmaduke will proceed with his command by the best route, assume position, and take Rightor Hill at daylight.

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This plan of attack was fully concurred in by all my general officers, and the part assigned to each accepted with alacrity.

Between 11 and 12 o'clock at night, the troops began to move to their respective positions, whence to assault in the morning. General Fagan detached a regiment from his brigade and sent it forward to the right on the lower Little Rock road, to occupy the attention of the enemy in the rifle-pits below the city, and to protect his flank in case of an attack from that quarter. Three detached companies of cavalry, under Captain [W. B.] Denson, were ordered to act as vedettes in the plain south of the city, and to transmit to General Fagan rapid information of any attempt to flank him. His artillery was also sent forward on this the only practicable road, with the hope that it might assist in creating a diversion and thereby aid the general movement. I took position a little after daylight on the graveyard ridge, one-half mile from the fortifications (a central point), there to await the development of the attack.

Soon after daylight, Brigadier-General Marmaduke drove in the pickets of the enemy in his front and assaulted Rightor Fort. It is believed that a strong, vigorous, and sudden attack on this fort would have been successful, but some delay occurring, a heavy force of the enemy appeared on his left flank and rear, and held him perfectly in check during the whole day. It was the peculiar duty of Brigadier-General Walker to have prevented this movement on the part of the enemy, and, as represented by General Marmaduke, the same could have been easily accomplished. No satisfactory reason has been given by General Walker why this service was not rendered. This attack, being most remote, was not under my personal supervision, and was too distant for me to give specific orders.

The assault on the first line of rifle-pits in front of Hindman Hill was made a few minutes after daylight. General Fagan, at the head of his brigade, charged gallantry over four lines under a deadly fire from the rifle-pits and guns on his front, and a most disastrous enfilading fire from Graveyard Hill, on the left, previous to the attack by General Price. Having driven the enemy from and carried the fifth and last line of rifle-pits, the brave men who had followed him thus far, overcome by sheer exhaustion, resulting from the inordinate exertion of their difficult charge and the intense heat of the day, were unable to proceed farther. A charge upon the fort was, nevertheless, attempted, and failed. The brigade thereupon took shelter behind the inner line of breastworks, anxiously awaiting assistance. This assistance never arrived. Major-General Price did not make his attack till after sunrise, and more than an hour after the time named in the order. As an explanation of this delay, his report states that, finding when he had gotten within 1 1/2 miles of the position he had been ordered to take, his division would arrive upon the ground prematurely, he ordered a halt, and resumed his march at dawn of day. His troops, when brought into position and ordered forward, behaved magnificently, charging rifle-pits and breastworks without a falter, and taking the hill without a halt.

As soon as the works were carried, I rode rapidly into them. Finding the guns in the fort had been rendered useless by the enemy before being abandoned, I at once dispatched one of my staff to the rear to