War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0485 Chapter XXXIV. ADVANCE UPON LITTLE ROCK, ARK, ETC.

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right; Clarkson's four-gun battery and a section of Hadley's in the center, supported by two dismounted squadrons of the First Iowa Cavalry, the balance of the First Iowa and the remaining battalion of the Tenth Illinois forming the second line. The Reserve and First Brigades were directed to hold themselves in readiness to move up to the support of the other troops in case an opportunity should occur for employing them. The enemy were driven from this position and a second one, until finally they were met in their intrenched camp, three-quarters of a mile this side of the bridge, over the Bayou Meto. After a sharp action they were driven out of their rifle-pits and across the Bayou Meto. A dash of the First Iowa Cavalry, under my orders, gallantly led by Lieutenant-Colonel [D.

Anderson, commanding, under fire of the enemy's battery and sharpshooters lining the opposite bank, failed to save the bridge, which had been set on fire by the enemy, everything having been prepared beforehand for that purpose. Our batteries engaged those of the enemy, and the skirmishers on both sides were busy for about an hour and a half, when, finding no further good could be accomplished (the bridge over the bayou being destroyed and the ground improper for cavalry), the division returned to the camp of its baggage. Our loss in this action was 7 killed and 35 wounded;* that of the enemy is variously reported, and is not at this date known. Among their wounded were Brigadier-General Marmaduke, commanding a division, and Captain Anderson and two other members of Major General Walker's staff.

On the 29th, another reconnaissance was made, on a different road, to the left, consisting of a battalion of Merrill's Horse, and one battalion of the Eighth Missouri Cavalry, and a section of Lovejoy's battery, under Colonel Geiger, commanding First Brigade, accompanied by Lieutenant-Colonel [H. C.] Caldwell, chief of staff, 12 miles beyond Brownsville, without discovering any force of the enemy.

On the 30th, Ritter's brigade was ordered to follow up this reconnaissance, on the same road, having with it Stange's battery of mountain howitzers. The enemy were encountered in some force beyond the Bayou Meto, 8 miles from Brownsville, evidently making a reconnaissance. They were driven, with sharp skirmishing, by Colonel Ritter, 8 miles, and until the ground became totally unsuitable for the action of cavalry; the enemy leaving 9 of their killed upon the field. Ritter's loss was 1 captain and 4 men wounded.

Information obtained from a wounded prisoner show the enemy to be intrenched about 3 miles this side of Little Rock, with a force of 11,000 infantry and 4,500 cavalry, the infantry consisting of the brigades of Frost, Fagan, Parsons, McRae, and Tappan, and the cavalry of the division of Marmaduke and Walker. Their artillery is variously estimated from thirty to fifty guns. All subsequent information from captured citizens, spies, and deserters confirms this statement in a greater or less degree.

On the 1st of September, the infantry began to arrive, preparatory to the whole army taking up its line of march. The railroad and the three bridges over the Bayou Meto are preserved uninjured. The brigade commanders, Colonels Glover, Ritter, and Geiger (Merrill being sick), especially deserve commendation throughout these operations. All my staff-Lieutenant-Colonel [H. C.] Caldwell, Third Iowa Cavalry, acting chief of staff; Major [William] Thompson, First Iowa Cavalry, division inspector; Captain [W. W.] Cantine, subsistence department; Lieutenant


* But see revise l statement, p. 482.