back to Allen Polk's, 6 mils in the rear. We retired from the field and fell back slowly to that point.
It was in the last assault upon the fort that Major [John B.] Cocke, of Hawthorn's regiment, received a severe would in the shoulder. I would make special mention of this brave and accomplished officer. His daring was conspicuous throughout the engagement.
Here also the much-beloved Captain Walton Watkins, while most gallantry leading his company over the enemy's works, fell. It has never been my lot to witness more gallantry and more determined courage than displayed by this young officer on that day. We mourn the loss of other brave and true officers who fell during the engagement.
Of the conduct of my colonels too much praise cannot be said. Brooks, King, Hawthorn, and Bell each and every one did his whole duty. Brooks' command, being on the lower road, was not immediately under my eye, but of the part taken by him I respectfully refer you to his report. He succeeded entirely in carrying out the orders he received to the letter. His report will show the number of prisoners captured by him, as well as the amount of property taken and brought from the field or destroyed. The position assigned to Colonel King threw him, perhaps, on that ground most difficult of all to get over. Had it not been for the determined character of this brave young colonel, his regiment, perhaps, would not have been advanced over all the difficulties he met with. Major [John J.] Dillard and Adjutant [W. T.] Bourne, of same regiment (King's), deserve much praise for the assistance they rendered Colonel King. Colonel Hawthorn was constantly to the front, cheering his men on from one success to another. When orders came from Lieutenant-General Holmes to abandon the field, Colonel Hawthorn remained with a small number of his men engaging the enemy until the last of the army had left the field and retired beyond the high hills which lay between them and danger. Colonel Bell and Lieutenant-Colonel [J. C.] Johnson, same regiment, with a large number of his officers and over 100 men, were captured by the enemy in an attempt to enter the fort from the south side. The loss of Colonel Bell is a serious one to us. It affords me pleasure to bear testimony to his distinguished gallantry and daring.
Major [T. H.] Blacknall (Bell's regiment) was instructed by me with an important part on the field, and is entitled to my thanks for the successful manner in which he performed it.
Major B. T. Du Val, quartermaster on my staff, is entitled to my thanks for his constant attention to every duty on the march from Little Rock. He was with me on the field, and by his coolness and good judgment was enabled to render me important assistance up to the time of the withdrawal of my troops from the field.
Captain Wyatt C. Thomas, assistant adjutant-general of the brigade, was, as usual, at his post. The conduct of this young officer has often before won for him honorable mention. On this field he was constantly with and cheering the troops forward. His bravery and gallantry justify especial mention.
My aide-de-camp, Captain Albert Belding, always eager to discharge every duty, was sent by me at daylight with important orders to Colonel Brooks, some distance from me on my right. I was consequently deprived of the valuable assistance his quickness and daring so well qualify him to render on the field.
Captain John B. Howell, my ordnance officer, was ordered to remain constantly with his ammunition train, which, as above stated, had to be left in the rear. This deprived me of the immediate services of this gallant officer.