I immediately pressed every water-holding vessel within reach, and formed a chain of negroes with buckets from the top of the bank to the water's edge. At this time a galling fire that opened on them from the enemy killed 1, wounded 3, and for a moment threw them all into confusion, but they were soon rallied, and resumed their work with the most astonishing rapidity. About this time the danger was imminent of the enemy making a charge down the river under cover of the bank. Agreeably to your orders, a breastwork was immediately formed under the bank, and while engaged at this work another was wounded. Fifteen of them had arms, and were ordered to hold the point along the river, which they did throughout the action, some of them firing as many as 30 rounds, and one actually ventured out and captured a prisoner. None of them had ever before seen a battle, and the facility with which they labored and the manly efforts put forth to aid in holding the place excelled my highest expectations, and deserves the applause of their country and the gratitude of the soldiers. Their total loss is 5 killed and 12 wounded. All their clothing left in camp was burned, their cooking utensils carried off, and near 100 tents were either carried off, or destroyed; also 2 negroes and 8 mules, belonging to the contraband camp taken.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES B. TALBOT,
Captain and Superintendent of Contrabands.
Return of Casualties in the Union forces engaged at Pine Bluff, Ark., October 25, 1863.
[Compiled from nominal list of casualties, returns, &c.]
Killed Wounded Captured
Comman Office Enlist Office Enlist Office Enlist Aggre
d rs ed men rs ed men rs ed men gate
1st -- 3 -- 9 -- -- 12
5th -- 8 -- 17 -- 1 26
Murphy -- -- -- 1 -- -- 1
Freedm -- 5 -- 12 -- -- 17
Total -- 16 -- 39 -- 1 56
Numbers 3. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas N. Pace, First Indiana Cavalry.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST INDIANA CAVALRY, Pine Bluff, Ark., October 27, 1863.
SIR: I would respectfully tender the following report of the part enacted by the First Regiment Indiana Cavalry in the engagement at this place on the 25th instant:
It was about 9 o'clock in the morning, whilst the regiment was under-going inspection of arms, that a courier form the pickets gave the first intimation of the approach of the enemy. "Boots and saddles" was sounded without delay, and the horses were corralled inside the court-