I accordingly ordered it burned, together with a crib of corn, containing about 100 bushels, which they had been feeding from.
I cannot say too much of the zeal and efficiency of Lieutenants [W.] Wise, and [J.] Parsons; they were ready and prompt in the execution of all orders. I must also say a word for my men. This was the first time I had ever seen them under fire, but they went to their work like old hands, and obeyed every order as readily as though on parade.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
L. D. ROUELL,
Captain Company F, Second Regiment Colorado Vols., Commanding Station.
Commanding District of the Border.
SEPTEMBER 1, 1863.-Action at Devil's Backbone, or Backbone Mountain, Ark.
Numbers 1.-Major General James G. Blunt, U. S. Army.
Numbers 2.-Colonel William F. Cloud, Second Kansas Cavalry, including skirmish (September 12) at Dardanelle, Ark.
Numbers 3.-Brigadier General W. L. Cabell, C. S. Army, including operations July 17-September 14 (skirmishes between the San Bois and Scullyville and at Jenny Lind, &c.)
Numbers 1. Report of Major General James G. Blunt, U. S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE FRONTIER,
Fort Smith, September 3, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that, in pursuance of my plans, announced to you in my dispatch dated at Perryville, Choctaw Nation, the 27th ultimo, + I returned from the pursuit of Steele and Cooper, and marched with Colonel Cloud's brigade in the direction of this place.
On the 31st ultimo, I encamped 3 miles west of the ford of the Poteau, 12 miles from its mouth. I there learned that Cabell was strongly posted near the ford, on the right bank of the creek, and had obstructed with fallen three all the other roads leading this way. His force consisted of six regiments of infantry and cavalry and four pieces of artillery, in all numbering about 2,500 effective men.
At daylight the following morning, I advanced to attack his position, but found that he had retreated during the night a short distance to-ward Fort Smith, and that from that point his force had divided, proceeding by various routes southward. I then detached Colonel Cloud, with the Second Kansas and Sixth Missouri Cavalry and two sections of Rabb's battery, in pursuit of the fleeing enemy. He followed them closely 16 miles, when he engaged their rear, killing and wounding from 20 to 30, and capturing 40 prisoners. His advance guard, Captain Edward Lines' company, of the Second Kansas, unfortunately fell into an ambush prepared by the enemy, and suffered a loss of 8 wounded, 2 of them mortally. One of the latter was Captain Lines, a brave and skill-
*See Schofield's report, p. 12.
+See p. 597.