assumed command of Brigadier-General Walker's division, consisting of Dobbin's brigade Arkansas cavalry and [George W.] Carter's brigade Texas cavalry, to which was also attached [Alf.] Johnson's spy company and [W. B.] Denson's company. At that time one regiment of Dobbin's brigade was encamped on north side Arkansas River, at Ashley's Mills. The remainder was on south side river, near Buck's Ford. Carter's brigade, except about 100 men and one section of [J. H.] Pratt's battery, were engaged in picketing from Buck's Ford, on Arkansas River, to Gaines' Landing, on Mississippi River.
On the morning of the 7th, the enemy advanced on the regiment encamped at Ashley's Mills, driving the same back to the river. Colonel [Robert C.] Newton, then commanding the brigade, was present in command. The regiment lost 1 killed, 3 wounded, and 2 captured, including Captain[Edward H.] Cowley, adjutant of the brigade. The enemy advanced in greatly superior force, and Colonel Newton crossed the river about 8 miles below Little Rock with that portion of his command, fording the same. This was about 10 o'clock in the morning. That night the enemy encamped at Ashley's Mills and Terry's Ferry. From that time until the evening of the 9th, there continual skirmishing between my scouts and the enemy, and also constant firing across the river, with no loss in my command and with some damage to the enemy, they reporting to have had 3 killed at Terry's Ferry.
On the evening of the 9th, the enemy moved down in considerable force of cavalry and artillery to Buck's Ford, [and] built up camp-fires within sight of the ford. About 10 o'clock on that night, Colonel Newton reported to me that the enemy were moving their artillery to Terry's Ferry, and were throwing out lumber as if they intended building a bridge at that place. I had previously, as soon as I discovered them at Buck's Ford, moved to that point about 200 bales of cotton, and planted my artillery so as to resist their crossing. I at the same time reported to Major-General Price, commanding the District of Arkansas, that the enemy were in front of me in heavy force in infantry, cavalry, and artillery, reported by a citizen named Calvin Pemberton, who had that day seen Generals Steele and Davidson, to be 30,000 strong, and that I would be unable to prevent their crossing, my command being very much scattered, and there being twelve fords between Little Rock and Buck's Ford, a distance of 12 miles.
On the morning of the 10th, about 3 o'clock, I left my camp near Buck's Ford and rode up the bank of the river to ascertain, if possible, what movement the enemy was making, the reports from scouts having been very unsatisfactory and conflicting. When about 4 miles above Buck's Ford, and about 2 miles above Terry's Ferry, I discovered the enemy digging down the bank and making preparations to cross the river. This was just at daylight. The river here made a bend in the shape of a horseshoe, the enemy being about the center of the bend. I immediately ordered a section of [C. B.] Etter's battery, which had previously been attached to my command, to occupy the point opposite to where the enemy were engaged in cutting down the bank, and to open fire on them, which it did. The enemy immediately opened on Etter's battery from five batteries placed on the opposite bank, and from the nature of the bend and the position of the batteries, being planted on each side of the horseshoe, swept the entire point on which Etter's battery was placed. At the same time the section of [J. H.] Pratt's battery was also hotly engaged with the enemy at Buck's Ford, they having made a demonstration of crossing there. Finding that Etter's battery was unable to prevent the enemy from throwing a bridge across the river, I ordered one