War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0775 Chapter XXXIV. SKIRMISH AT PRINCETON, ARK., ETC.

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enemy. Driving their outposts rapidly before him, he came upon their main body about 2 miles below Princeton, posted behind a small stream, which was crossed behind a bridge. Here he dismounted the First Iowa and part of the Seventh Missouri, and quickly drove the enemy from their position through their camp and to the second position, which they had assumed behind the crest of a hill about half a mile from their camp. A similar disposition drove them from the hill in confusion, and only one more attempt was made to withstand our troops. This was by some 50 men, under a Captain McMurtee, who rallied in the road and attempted to stand. They were gallantry and vigorously charged by two squadrons of the Seventh Missouri, under Captain [L.] Bunner, who, when he reached them after some miles of hard riding, unhesitatingly dashed into them with only the 6 men who had succeeded in keeping up in the race. They stood for a moment only before Bunner's sabers, and then fled in the wildest disorder, still pursued by the Seventh Missouri. The vigor of the charge and courage and hardihood of Captain Bunner and his men are attested by the killed and wounded, nearly all of whom were killed or wounded with the saber. The rest of the chase was simply a trial of speed between their horses and hours, in which they proved themselves better mounted than we. For some 10 or 12 miles the chase was kept up, resulting, however, only in the capture of a few more prisoners, and the enemy, as chance offered, disappearing through the heavy woods and undergrowth through which the road ran.

The result of the attack was the complete rout of the enemy and disorderly flight toward Camden, and through the woods in every direction. Six of the enemy were reported killed with the saber, 2 by gunshot wounds, and 18 wounded, principally saber cuts; 3 commissioned officers and 25 privates captured, and 1 wagon of their train, loaded with 50 blankets, captured; the mules retained, and the wagon and harness worthless) destroyed. Numerous arms were picked up along track of their flight, and the road for miles was strewn with saddle-bags, blankets, clothing, and arms. The horses belonging to the men captured were nearly all lost, as they dashed off down the road with the flying enemy as soon as their riders were unhorsed.

Major Brawner, of the Seventh Missouri, Captain Jenks, of the Fifth Iowa, but more especially Captain Bunner, of the Seventh Missouri, deserve the highest praise for courage and good conduct. Captain Bunner's gallant charge turned a disorderly retreat into a disgraceful flight, in which, it is said, the commanding officer of the rebels led off, with his troops, completely panic-stricken, clattering along at his heels, "sauve qui peut."

Directing Major Brawner, with part of the troops, to continue the pursuit as far as he deemed fruitful of results, I returned to Princeton with the artillery and Major Peabody's brigade, and sent a reconnaissance toward Arkadelphia, which returned in the course of the day, having seen no signs of the enemy in that direction. Satisfied that the objects sought to be accomplished by the reconnaissance had been obtained, as far as it was possible, I returned, by easy marches, to Little Rock, reaching this place on the eighth day, making an average of 30 miles marching a day, and with the horses improved by having had, during the expedition, plenty of long forage.

The information obtained from various sources is given below, such of it as in my estimation is of doubtful value being noted from the rest.

Kirby Smith is at Shreveport, having recently made a visit to Washington, with no great number of troops at that point. Holmes is said to have been ordered east of the Mississippi. Price is at Woodlawn,