War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0450 MO., ARK., KANS., IND. T., AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXXIV.

Search Civil War Official Records

his place, advancing in good order until within 40 paces of the concealed foe, when we halted on the right of the Second Colorado. Colonel Williams then gave the command, "Ready, aim, fire," and immediately there went forth two long lines of smoke and flame, the one from the enemy putting forth at the same instant, as if mistaking the command as intended for themselves, or as a demonstration of their willingness to meet us promptly.

At this juncture Colonel Williams fell, he and his horse at the same instant; Colonel Williams badly wounded in the right breast, face, and hands. Being on the right, and partly shut out from view of the left by the thick brush, I was, therefore, ignorant of the fact that Colonel Williams had fallen, and could not inform myself until it was too late to give the command "charge bayonet," for which every man seemed so anxiously awaiting. Int he mean time the firing was incessant along the line, except on the extreme right, where some of our Indians had ridden in the brush between us and the enemy. I immediately ordered them to fall back, and to the right. The enemy, which has since proven to have been the Twenty-ninth Texas Regiment, commanded by Colonel De Morse in person, who was badly wounded in the right arm, supposed from the command that we were giving way in front, and, like true solders, commenced to press, as they supposed, a retreating foe. They advanced to within 25 paces, when they were met by a volley of musketry that sent them back in great confusion and disorder. Their color-bearer fell, but the colors were immediately raised, and again promptly shot down. A second time they were raised, and again I caused a volley to be fired upon them, when they were left by the enemy as a trophy to our well-directed musketry.

As soon as I learned of Colonel Williams having been severely wounded and having left the field, I assumed command, our right pressing the enemy back to a corn-field, where he broke and fled in confusion. Further pursuit being impossible on account of the nature of the ground, I ordered the right back to our original line of battle. At this time Lieutenant-Colonel [F. W.] Schaurte, of the Second Indian, sent an orderly informing me of the near approach of his command, and that he wished to pass to the front, and I would please inform my command of the fact, to prevent accident. Some of his command passed to our front and carried off the colors we had three times shot down and driven the enemy from in defeat and loss. Some of my officers and men shouted out in remonstrance, and asked permission to break ranks and get them. I refused permission, and told them the matter could be righted hereafter.

Lieutenant-Colonel Moonlight, chief of staff, ordered us to the front. We advanced in line for a distance of 3 miles, skirmishing occasionally with the enemy from the high bluffs in front and to the left. The enemy being completely routed and defeated, we were ordered to fall back to the Springs, rest the men, and cook supper.

At 7 p. m. we were ordered to take position on the battle-field, near the ford, on Elk Creek, and bivouac for the night.

Our total on entering the battle was 500 men, including the commissioned officers. Our total in killed and wounded was 2 killed and 30 wounded.*

* * * * *

In conclusion, I fell it but justice and my duty to state that the officers and men throughout the entire regiment behaved nobly, and with the


*But see revised statement, p. 449.