rons, which I then ordered to advance and attack the enemy, believing at the time that the enemy's skirmishers was all I had to cope with at that point; and being informed by you that the First Iowa Cavalry would move on the left-hand road along the bayou, and attack the enemy on the center, while the First Brigade would move on the extreme left flank, and attack them there, I moved my command up rapidly and opened the attack, the enemy keeping up a sharp fire from their mounted skirmishers, whom we drove into a line of dismounted men in ambush, who opened with such a murderous fire on my two squadrons as to cause them to fall back, and, through some error, the balance of the regiment was deployed right front into line instead of left into line, as I directed, and which would have brought them under the shelter of the river bank, and enabled me to protect the other two companies in falling back. The consequence was that they were exposed to a severe fire from the enemy, and fell into some confusion. At that time I ordered Captain Stange to withdraw his howitzers. He said he could not move them without orders from you. He then galloped to the rear, leaving them. I then ordered the men to run them out by hand, but they all got under the gun carriages and did not obey. I then rallied and brought up Companies B and H to their support, and while in the act bringing up Company E, I received a slight contusion by a rifle ball on the head, and before I recovered from the effect of it, the enemy had possession of the two howitzers. I then reformed my regiment, and dismounted them by your order; formed them into line of battle, and again attacked the enemy, driving them several miles, and completely routing them.
I would likewise beg to state that, being left entirely without support, and the attack on the left not having been made, as you gave me to understand would be, simultaneous with mine, the enemy was enabled to concentrate all his forces against me; consequently the disorder in my ranks and the loss of the howitzers. Had Captain Stange moved the two howitzers to the rear when I directed it, or had the howitzers in the rear been placed in position to command the river bank between the woods and the howitzers in advance, which could have been done without any danger to them, and fired a few charges of canister, the enemy could not have taken the guns; but instead of that, they galloped off the field, until I brought them up with a cocked pistol at the drivers' heads, to compel them to bring their pieces to the front, but too late to save the other howitzers.*
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Regiment.
Numbers 12. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Anderson, First Iowa Cavalry, of skirmish and action at Bayou Meto.
CAMP NEAR BROWNSVILLE, ARK., August 28, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the First Regiment Cavalry Iowa Volunteers in the operations of the 26th and 27th instant:
On the evening of the 25th, I received an order from Colonel Glover, commanding Second Brigade, cavalry division, to report at daylight on the morning of the 26th, with my entire effective force, to General
*Nominal list of casualties omitted. See p. 482.