War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0695 Chapter XXXIV. ACTION AT BAXTER SPRINGS, KANS.

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and about 8 more turned and ignominiously fled, which the enemy perceiving, the charge was ordered, and the whole line advanced with a shout, at which the remainder of Company A broke, and despite the efforts of General Blunt, Major Curtis, Lieutenant Tappan and Pierce, could not be rallied. At this time a full volley was fired by Company I, Third Wisconsin Cavalry, which so staggered the right of the enemy that I began to have hopes again; but as their left continued to advance their right rallied, but were checked so much that their line, as seen by me, was crooked, their right being behind. The firing then became indiscriminate, and I saw that Company I stood firing their revolvers until the enemy were within 20 feet, and then turned, but before any distance could be made the enemy were in their midst, and out of 40 of the company 23 were killed and 6 wounded and left for dead upon the field. At this time my attention was attracted to my own danger, the enemy having advanced so fast as to cut me off from the rest, and, after trying a couple of dodges, I succeeded in getting into camp at Baxter Springs, all the while closely pursued, and found Lieutenant Pond, who was in command, busily engaged in firing a mounted howitzer outside of his breastworks. The garrison at Baxter Springs consisted of parts of two companies of Third Wisconsin Cavalry and one company of the Second Kansas Colorado Regiment,* the whole under the command of Lieutenant J. B. Pond, Company C, Third Wisconsin Cavalry. The camp had only been established a few days, and in that time the lieutenant caused to be built a breastwork like a log fence on three sides of a square, in which were his tents and quarters. The attack on the camp had been a partial surprise, but the troops acted splendidly, and Lieutenant Pond, taking the exposed position outside the breastworks, loaded and fired the howitzer three times without any assistance, and the engagement was so close that during this time some of the rebels had entered the breastworks, and at the time I entered the defenses and got where Lieutenant Pond was the bullets were pelting against the logs near by an all around him. As the fight with the force of General Blunt was out of sight of the camp, Lieutenant Pond had been unable to tell what it meant, and was very much surprised to see me, and in answer to my order for his cavalry (with which I hoped to be of some use to our scattered troops), told me that he had that morning started out a forage train of 8 wagons and an escort of 60 men, who had gone in the direction from which the enemy had come, and he supposed they were gobbled up, and in response to his order only 7 men reported to me. With these I returned to the brow of the hill in the direction of the first attack, and plainly saw the enemy engaged in sacking the wagons, and while there saw the band brutally murdered. At the time of the attack the band-wagon, containing 14 members of the brigade band, James O'Neal, special artist for Frank Leslie's pictorial newspaper, one young lad twelve years old (servant of the leader of the band), Henry Pellage, of Madison, Wis., and the driver, had undertaken to escape in a direction a little to the south of west, and made about half a mile when one of the wheels of the wagon ran off, and the wagon stopped on the brow of the hill in plain sight of where I stood. As the direction of the wagon was different from that in which most of the troops fled, it had not attracted such speedy attention,m and the enemy had just got to it as I returned, giving me an opportunity to see every member of the band, Mr. O'Neal, the boy, and the driver shot, and their bodies thrown in or under the wagon and it fired, so that when