War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0459 Chapter XXXIV. ENGAGEMENT NEAR HONEY SPRINGS, IND. T.

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tion north of Elk Creek, where Captain Lee's light howitzer battery had been posted, and found it supported by Colonel Bass' regiment (Twentieth Texas dismounted cavalry), by a position of the Second Cherokee Regiment, and a body of skirmishers on the right, under command of Captain Hugh Tinnin, of the First Cherokee Regiment, the remainder of the Cherokee regiments being near the creek.

A movement on my right was discovered, and Captain Tinnin report that the skirmishers would soon be engaged. One-half of Colonel Bass' regiment, under Captain [J. R.] Johnson, was then ordered to the right to support Captain Tinnin, and I rode over to their position and found, by movements of officers, that there was a body of troops on my extreme right. A part of Second Cherokee Regiment, Just returned from a scout to Prairie Springs, who were getting breakfast at camp, were then ordered up and conducted by myself to the right, and a messenger sent for half of the Choctaw regiment, which soon arrived and were placed also on the right along the edge of the prairie. Upon reconnoitering the enemy from the high prairie, where I had a full view of them, then advancing upon the Gibson road, I found their force larger than reported by Lieutenant Heiston, and larger than I supposed they would bring from Gibson; and, seeing a heavy force wheeling off to their right and taking the road up the creek to the second crossing above the bridge-our weakest point, and from which the road continues up to the third crossing, were the Creek were posted- I rode back to the main road, sent orders to the Creeks to move down and support Colonels [Charles] De Morse and [L. M.] Martin, who were directed to support Colonel Bass, and, if possible, flank the enemy on our left. I then rode to where I expected to find the Choctaws, in order to bring them to the support of Colonel Bass' command and the battery, which was engaged with that the enemy. Colonel Walker, mistaking the order, had moved off on the mountain several miles with his whole force, instead of sending a picket. Messengers were sent after him and he returned promptly, but too late for the defense of the bridge. Riding back near the creek, I discovered our men in small parties giving way. These increased until the retreat became general. Colonel Bass' regiment and Captain Lee's battery, after a most gallant defence of their position, were compelled to fall back; Colonel De Morse's regiment and Colonel Martin's on the left, also retiring, except a few who were cut off from the main body.

We have to mourn the loss of many brave officers and men who fell here, sacrificing their lives in opposition to an overwhelming force to save our little battery, all of which was brought off, except one howitzer, dismounted by the heavy ordnance of the enemy.

Colonel Martin, who retired in good order across the creek when the line along the prairie near the battery gave way, was directed to hold the ford

above the bridge; but seeing the whole right wing falling back from the bridge and below it, Colonel Martin was withdrawn and ordered to fall back to honey springs. Our forces were now in full retreat and the enemy pressing them closely. The Texans, under Scanland's and Gillett's command, were ordered to join me at Honey Springs, and the Creeks to withdraw from the extreme left and also concentrate at the same place. Colonel Bass' and Colonel De Morse's regiments, a part of which (under Major [J. A.] Carroll) had reached their horses, were directed also to rally at the same place. The remainder of this regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel[O. G.] Welch, who bravely maintained his position on the north side of the creek too long to rejoin his [regiment], were cut off and compelled to make a circuit via North Fork