bivouacked the night previous), cross at the lower pontoon, and move down the river at a double-quick to meet the enemy, who had early in the morning effected a crossing at Terry's Ferry. Arriving at Bayou Fourche (4 miles south of Little Rock), the enemy were discovered drawn up in battle line, their right resting on the river, and their extending parallel to our front. According to orders, I dismounted the men, and made the following disposition of the forces under my command: Colonel [Colton] Greene's regiment, commanded by Major [L. A.] Campbell, on the right; my regiment, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel [S. J.] Ward, and Lieutenant Colonel [W. J.] Preston, commanding Colonel [J. Q.] Burbridge's regiment, in the center, and Lieutenant-Colonel [M. L.] Young's battalion on the left. Two companies of Lieutenant-Colonel Ward's regiment were deployed as skirmishers. After some slight skirmishing, the enemy, with a body of cavalry and a section of howitzers, attempted to flank us on the left from the river bank. Here a severe engagement took place, which lasted nearly half an hour, and we succeeded in driving the enemy from his position, completely routing him, and forcing him to leave his artillery (two 12-pounder mountain howitzers), which we captured, on the field. I was then ordered to withdraw the brigade (leaving Lieutenant-Colonel Ward with his regiment, supported by General Marmaduke's escort, to cover our retreat), and form about one half mile from the bayou, in an open field, as the enemy was making a flank movement on our right. Lieutenant-Colonel Ward remained in position about two hours, skirmishing heavily with the enemy, when, finding that there was imminent danger of being surrounded on both flanks, he was compelled to withdraw from the bayou, and retreat to the main body. As the enemy, with vastly superior force, attempted to flank us on the right, and kept up an incessant and harassing fire from their batteries planted on the river bank, I, according to orders, fell back slowly, in line of battle, to Little Rock, skirmishing all the while.* Here Colonel Kitchen, who had been ordered to burn the pontoon bridges and protect the removal of the public stores from the fort, joined the brigade, and I was ordered to march 10 miles on the Benton road, where I bivouacked for the night.
On the morning of the 11th, I was ordered to continue the march, Major Campbell's regiment acting as rear guard. At 10 a. m. the enemy drove in his vedettes. Retiring slowly by company, making successive formations, Major Campbell fought the enemy for 7 miles, drew them into an ambuscade, and completely checked them for the time. At noon the brigade halted, fed, and [Major] Colonel Campbell was relieved by Lieutenant-Colonel Preston, who skirmished with the enemy until late in the evening, when they ceased their pursuit.
I encamped that night 6 miles west of the Saline. Left camp at 12 m. the next day, traveled 7 miles, and encamped for the night.
At 8 o'clock the following morning moved forward, and reached Rockport on the evening of the same day.
During the engagement at Bayou Fourche and the subsequent skirmishes the officers and soldiers of this brigade all fought with the coolness and intrepidity of veterans, and did their duty nobly. Lieutenant [T. J.] Williams, commanding the prairie gun battery, did special execution on the retreat, and deserves honorable mention.
WM. L. JEFFERS,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
*For casualties, see p. 523.