War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0501 Chapter XXXIV. ADVANCE UPON LITTLE ROCK, ARK., ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

Numbers 10. Reports of Colonel John M. Glover, Third Missouri Cavalry, commanding Second Brigade, of skirmish and action at Bayou Meto, and engagement at Bayou Fourche.


Camp near Brownsville, Ark., August 28, 1863.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report that, on the 26th of August, 1863, two regiments of my brigade (the First Iowa and the Third Missouri Cavalry Volunteers) and one section each of [G. F.] Lovejoy's and [T. S.] Clarkson's batteries were ordered on reconnaissance, and to push the enemy as far as possible toward the Bayou Meto without bringing on a general engagement. The First Iowa Cavalry being in advance, a heavy line of skirmishers, in command of Captain [J. D.] Jenks, was thrown to the front, some 6 miles from Brownsville; struck his pickets and drove them about 4 miles back to their main body, some 2 miles east of the bayou, killing 1 rebel captain (Powell, of Platte City, Mo.), 2 privates, and capturing 1 prisoner. Here the enemy opened artillery upon us, to which ours soon replied. After a considerable artillery duel, I ordered Lieutenant Lovejoy to advance his section, in the doing of which he had one cannoneer pierced through with a solid shot and killed instantly, so well did the enemy have the range of the road. I then advance in person, reconnoitered hastily the enemy's position, and determined to feel him further, and so ordered up Lovejoy's section, well supported with cavalry. In this position we stood face to face. After a more thorough review of the enemy's position and my own, perceiving his great advantage in this respect, and knowing his great superiority in numerical strength, and being satisfied a further offensive demonstration would result in a general engagement, in which all the advantages were against me, I deployed quite an amount of cavalry in front of my artillery, masking the same, while it was rapidly taken from the field, and retired with my command to a safe distance. This done, I called off the force covering my rear, and withdrew the whole in good order, and without further loss, to my former encampment near Brownsville.

On the morning of the 27th, at sunrise, the division moved out upon the road leading to the Bayou Meto Bridge, my brigade taking the advance, protected by a battalion of the Tenth Illinois, deployed as skirmishers, supported by two other squadrons, all under the immediate command of Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart. At some 5 miles from the bridge, our advance skirmishers met those of the enemy. A brisk fire ensued, the enemy falling back. At some 3 miles from the bayou he made another stand, where he was again sharply encountered by the Tenth Illinois. At this place Lieutenant [J. P.] Kavanaugh was killed. Here the commanding general ordered my whole brigade formed for action, in obedience to which I made the following dispositions, viz: Placed two battalions Third Missouri Cavalry Volunteers (dismounted) to fight on foot on the right of the road in order of battle; on the left of the road, placed in order of

battle one battalion of the Thirty-second Iowa Infantry, as it was ordered to report to me during the day; on the left of this, placed the Third Battalion of the Third Missouri (dismounted), the artillery being in the center. As a reserve, the First Iowa Cavalry and four squadrons of the Tenth Illinois Cavalry (mounted) were formed in the rear, and six squadrons of the Tenth Illinois were placed on the right flank. In this order, with a heavy line