road running up the river to Little Rock in the following order of march:
The First Iowa Cavalry leading, with a line of skirmishers of three squadrons (A, L, and M), in command of the intrepid Captain [J. D.] Jenks; an advance guard of same regiment, followed by one section of Stange's battery, Second Missouri Artillery. In rear of the First Iowa came the remainder of said battery; then the Tenth Illinois Cavalry, and in rear of the Tenth came the Third Cavalry Missouri Volunteers. In this order my brigade had not moved more than 1 1/2 miles on the river road, when the enemy opened a heavy volley of musketry, soon repeated, accompanied with artillery. The firing commenced precisely at 12 m.
In obedience to the orders of the commanding general of the division (and a habit of the Second Brigade), we forced our way rapidly to the mouth of one branch of the Fourche Bayou, which empties into the Arkansas River at this point, some 6 miles below the city. Here the road forks, the right-hand road running up the river through a dense forest of heavy standing and fallen timber. The left-hand road turns, at a right angle, to the left of the Fourche Bayou. Corn-fields on both sides for the distance of nearly a mile, where it again forks, the right prong turning across the Fourche and what is call d the levee, and in 600 or 800 yards again intersects the river road. Having been previously informed of the character of the country and the direction of these roads, and having discovered from the head of my column dense lines of dust rising on the levee road, and having received information from negroes to the same effect, I at once concluded that the heavier forces of the enemy had gone on the road. In view of these things, and the further reason that my left flank was entirely open, with no natural defenses, and the supporting brigade not being at hand, and fearing if I should move with my whole brigade on the direct right-hand road, having the impassable Fourche on my left and the Arkansas River on my right, the enemy would rush between me and Colonel Merrill, dividing our forces-in view of these facts and surroundings, I made the following disposition of my forces: Sent the First Iowa Cavalry on the levee road, with one section of howitzers, and a caution about our left flank; the Tenth Illinois on the direct road to the right of the bayou, with Lovejoy's section of howitzers, intending to support the First Iowa with the Third Missouri Cavalry. Lieutenant-Colonel [J.] Stuart, commanding Tenth Illinois Cavalry, had not moved but a short distance into the dense woods when he met the enemy's mounted skirmishers. He at once assailed and drove them back with the two advance squadrons of his regiment (Companies B and H), to a point where a deadly fire was poured in upon him from an overwhelming force of the enemy, dismounted and in ambush. This caused these squadrons to fall back upon the balance of the regiment advancing to his support, which necessarily fell into some disorder; the enemy pursuing and pouring in a terrible fire. When the enemy first opened on the Tenth, I ordered Lovejoy's section to take position and operate against him by the right flank of the two squadrons engaged in the woods, while the balance of the Tenth was moving up to give sure support to the artillery, as I thought, for at this time I did not suppose the enemy was strong there. I soon discovered, however, that he was in force, and that the cavalry of the Tenth alone could not successfully resist him, as they were necessarily becoming more confused where the leaden hail filled the air. Seeing the howitzers would soon be in danger, I repeatedly ordered them back, and, by the assistance of Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart, who here received a severe contusion on the top of the head by a bullet, held the cavalry as long as