The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union And Confederate Armies. Series 1, Volume 41, In Four Parts. Part 1, Reports. Page: 650
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650 ' LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISS1SSIPPI.
My operations in the rear of General Steele up to, this time. had so
much annoyed him that he sent a very large force up by Searcy with the
avowed purpose of driving me from the country. The odds were heavy
against me in a pitched battle, for so many of my recruits were unarmed
and ineffective, but 1 determined to try the issue at all hazards. Sending
all the sick, wounded, and unarmed men one day's march to the rear, I
concentrated the largest portion of my effective men on the east side
of Black River and waited for the coming storm. Before doing this,
however, I sent Gordon and Dobbin to operate on both flanks of the
enemy and annoy them as much as possible, while Major McDaniel
with 200 men played boldly in their front. For three days they marched
and threatened, but made no direct attack. McDaniel gradually
worked around to their rear and charged it three times, killing and
wounding many. Gordon had a severe fight on their right flank and
worsted them, while Dobbin, from Augusta, held and preserved a men-
acing attitude. Either from these causes, or something unknown to
me, they hastily retreated one night, leaving a strong rear guard at
Searcy, which was almost immediately driven out and our old lines
I now determined to make a direct attack upon the railroad, having
received communications from General Price to the effect that he
would probably cross it on August 24. So on the 20th I started with
2,000 armed men and Collins' battery and traveled rapidly in that
direction. Big Cypress Creek was running out bank full, which caused
me to march almost due south to Austin, forty miles from Little Rock,
anrd then back north again. Leaving Colonel Dobbin at Austin to cover
the crossing with his command, I reached the railroad, six miles from
Devall's Bluff. Marching quietly along in column, with no flags flying,
'and everything well closed up, the appearance presented was that of a
returning Federal expedition. The entire prairie was dotted with little
knots and groups of the enemy, some cutting hay, some on guard, some
drilling, and some lolling listlessly in the sun. Williams, with his ad-
vance, broke their noonday sleep with the ring of revolvers, and the
surprised and frightened' enemy ran away to cover. Sending Colonel
Hunter and Major McDaniel down the road to watch Devall's Bluff,
and forming Colonel McCray as a reserve, I opened fire on Redoubt
No. 1, which, after a few well-directed shots, surrendered. No. 2 and
No. 3 re-eqforced No. 4 and made a vigorous stand. Dismounting
Colonel Shanks' brigade and bringing up Collins' battery, I opened
with artillery and moved up with the infantry at the charge. The gar-
risons did not wait, however, until the test came, but surrendered un-
conditionally. No. 5, seeing the result, re-enforced No. 6, which was
held by Colonel Mitchell and the veteran Fifty-fourth Illinois Infan-
try. They held out well under the splendid and pitiless practice of
Collins' artillery, and I again dismounted Shanks' brigade and moved
forward to the attack.' Time was pressing. A very large force of infan-
try and cavalry came hurrying down from Devall's Bluff, driving back
Hunter and McDaniel slowly and painfully. Another force' of similar
.size came from the direction of Little Rock, and these two columns, like
dark clouds, united with a somber, sullen glare. Out from the doomed
fort now the garrison rushed for hope and help and made a' beautiful
run for their friends. I had anticipated this, and held in reserve a
sufficient force of cavalry, which now dashed away after the figitives.
In ten minutes they were overtaken, ridden over, and double-quicked
to the rear, the bullets from the enemy plowing in among their ranks.
While the fight lasted, and before it commenced, large details were
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United States. War Department. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union And Confederate Armies. Series 1, Volume 41, In Four Parts. Part 1, Reports., book, 1893; Washington D.C.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth145053/m1/667/?q=McCray: accessed October 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.