JULY 17, 1863.- Engagement at Elk Creek, near Honey Springs, Ind. T.
Numbers 1.- Major General James G. Blunt, U. S. Army, commanding District of the Frontier.
Numbers 2.- Lieutenant Colonel John Bowles, First Kansas Colored Infantry, Judson's brigade.
Numbers 3.- Lieutenant Colonel Frederick W. Schaurte, Second Indian Home Guards.
Numbers 4.- Lieutenant Colonel William T. Campbell, Sixth Kansas Cavalry.
Numbers 5.- Captain Edward R. Stevens, Third Wisconsin Cavalry.
Numbers 6.- Captain Edward A. Smith, Second Kansas Battery.
Numbers 7.- Major J. Nelson Smith, Second Colorado Infantry, Phillips' brigade.
Numbers 8.- Colonel Stephen H. Wattles, First Indian Home Guards.
Numbers 9.- Captain Henry Hopkins, Hopkins' Kansas Battery.
Numbers 10.- Brigadier General Douglas H. Cooper, C. S. Army, commanding consolidated forces.
Numbers 1. Report of Major General James G. Blunt, U. S. Army, commanding District of the Frontier.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE FRONTIER,
In the Field, Fort Blunt, C. N., July 26, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that, on my arrival here on the 11th instant, I found the Arkansas River swollen, and at once commenced the construction of boats to cross my troops.
The rebels, under General Cooper (6,000), were posted on Elk Creek, 25 miles south of the Arkansas, on the Texas road, with strong outposts guarding every crossing of the river from behind rifle-pits. General Cabell, with 3,00 men, was expected to join him on the 17th, when they proposed attacking this place. I could not muster 3,000 effective men for a fight, but determined, if I could effected a crossing, to give them battle on the other side of the river.
At midnight of the 15th, I took 250 cavalry and four pieces of light artillery, and marched up the Arkansas about 13 miles, drove their pickets from the opposite bank, and forded the river, taking the ammunition chests over in a flat-boat. I then passed down on the south side, expecting to get in the rear of their pickets at the mouth of Grand River, opposite this post, and capture them, but they had learned of my approach and had fled. I immediately commenced crossing my forces at the mouth of Grand River in boats, and, by 10 p. m. of the 16th, commenced moving south, with less than 3,000 men, mostly Indians and negroes, and twelve pieces of artillery. At daylight I came upon the enemy's advance about 5 miles from Elk Creek, and with my cavalry drove them in rapidly upon their main force, which was formed on the south side of the timber of Elk Creek, their line extending 1 1/2 miles, the main road running through their center.
While the column was closing up, I went forward with a small party to examine the enemy's position, and discovered that they were concealed under cover of the brush awaiting my attack. I could not discover the location of their artillery, as it was masked in the brush. While engaged in this reconnaissance, one of my escort was shot.
As my men came up wearied and exhausted, I directed them halted behind a little ridge, about one half mile from the enemy's line, to rest and eat a lunch from their haversacks. After two hours' rest, and at about 10 a. m., I formed them in two columns, one on the right of the road, under Colonel [William R.[Judson, the other on the left, under Colonel [William A.] Phillips. The infantry was in column by companies, the cavalry by platoons and artillery by sections, and all closed