Walker's division and for me to assume command of Dobbin's brigade. Dobbin's regiment (which with my regiment composed that brigades) was encamped on south bank of river, at Buck's Ford, some 4 or 5 miles distant from where my own regiment was. Brigade headquarters had been established by Colonel Dobbin at Terry's house, intermediate between the two regiments.
The next morning (September 7) went to the brigade headquarters, leaving Major Bull in command of my regiment. About 8.30 a. m. Major Bull reported the enemy rapidly advancing upon him from Shallow Ford, and that skirmishing was going on at Ashley's Bayou, in front of his camp. I immediately sent him an order to resist his advance with all possible obstinacy, and retire, when forced, on the Little Rock road to the Arkansas River at Mrs. Adamson's plantation, and there cross by the ford at that place; but only to retire as he was driven, and contest every inch of ground. I at the same time sent directions to Major [S.] Corley, commanding Dobbin's regiment, to have his command well in hand to resist the enemy should he (by moving directly from Ashley's Mills to Terry's Ferry, as he could do, and thence to Buck's) attempt to force a crossing at that place. I then went by a cross-path to the road upon which Bull was engaging the enemy, and found him, in obedience to the orders sent him, making a most gallant resistance against overwhelming odds, and causing the enemy to pay dearly for every inch of ground he gained upon him. Detaching Lieutenant [J. T.] Lawler with Company L from Major Bull, I ordered him to move rapidly to the road which leads directly from Ashley's Mills to Terry's Ferry, and move up it as far as possible, to ascertain if the enemy were moving there, and, in case he should be forced back, to retire down the river and cross at Buck's. Returning to Terry's, I learned that the enemy were driving Lawler before them, and would soon be at the ferry as well as upon the river at Adamson's, toward which point they were forcing Bull, notwithstanding his stubborn resistance. Repeating the instruction to Lawler as to his point for crossing the river, I forded the stream just below Terry's, and ordering Major Corley to be in readiness to move to Bull's assistance should the enemy attempt to follow him across, I went up the river to the point where Bull was to cross, and found him effecting the crossing in safety and without molestation from the enemy, who ceased the pursuit as soon as they reached the river just below Adamson's. By direction of Colonel Dobbin, commanding division, I encamped Bull's regiment just below Temple's, on the Arkansas River, opposite Adamson's, to guard the ford there, leaving Corley with his regiment at the ford at Badgett's, just above Buck's Ford, and between there and Terry's Ferry, keeping a strong picket at Terry's Ferry.
On next day (September 8) matters remained in about same condition, considerable firing going on all day between enemy's pickets and mine at Terry's Ferry; but as they were firing across the river, no damage of consequence was done. Etter's Arkansas battery was put in position at ford at Bull's camp and placed under my orders. All quiet during that night.
On the next day (September 9) considerable activity observable among the enemy. Bodies of cavalry moved up the river and returned. About dark my pickets reported that enemy was hauling lumber to near the ford in the point of the bend, half mile above Terry's Ferry, and putting batteries in position. Heavy knocking heard during the night; enemy evidently preparing to construct bridge across the river. Reported all this information, sent me by my pickets, to division headquarters.