The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union And Confederate Armies. Series 1, Volume 22, In Two Parts. Part 1, Reports. Page: 607
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HiAP. XXXIV.] ACTION AT DEVIL'S BACKBONE, ARK.
running carried all the prisoners off with them. Thomson's and Hill's
regiments acted in the most disgraceful manner. The eight companies
of Morgan's regiment acted but little better. There was nothing to
make these regiments run, except the sound of the cannon. Had they
fought as troops fighting for liberty should, I would have captured the
whole of the enemy's command, and gone back to Fort Smith, and driven
the remainder of the enemy's force off, and retaken the place. As it
was, I was forced, on account of the smallness of my force, to content
myself with repulsing the enemy and protecting the public property.
Leaving a party to bury the dead and take off the wounded, I, after
posting a heavy picket on the battle-field, withdrew in good order, and
marched to Waldron, Scott County, arriving there on the 2d of Sep-
After reaching that place, resting my command, and hearing nothing
from General Steele, knowing nothing of any re-enforcements that were
coming, and also hearing that the enemy were investing Little Rock
with a heavy force, I concluded that I could do nothing more than look to
the protection of the public property under my charge, and take the
most direct route on which supplies could be had, and join General
Steele as soon as possible with all the men I could.
After reaching Waldron, and remaining one day for the stragglers to
come in, I could not raise more than 900 men, and from that number
deserters were continually leaving. I therefore moved from Waldron,
taking the Caddo Gap road to Centre Point, in Sevier County, intending
to go from there to Doaksville, in the Choctaw Nation, and thence join
General Steele at Boggy Depot, where I supposed I would meet him.
I had previously sent stores to Lewis' old store, on the Fort Towson
road, intending to take that road and then to cross over to Riddle's Sta-
tion; but I found, as I have already stated, that I was compelled to take
roads that would keep my men from deserting, and not to take roads
that I knew I should take to carry out my instructions, and would have
been proper under the circumstances. Nothing could prevent the men
from deserting; the officers had no control over them, and both officers
and men were impressed with the idea that the proper way to defend
the country was for each man to go home and defend his own home.
When the general commanding will consider the kind of troops I had,
the kind of men which composed my command, men a larger part of
whom were either deserters from other regiments or conscripts and
jayhawkers forced into the service, he will see at once the difficulties I
labored under, and how unreliable troops composed of such men are,
and how worthless as troops to defend a country they are.
By comparing my military operations in Northwestern Arkansas (with
this bad material) with that performed by other commanders in the Dis-
trict of Arkansas, I feel confident that it will be found that I have done
as much toward the defense of the country as any other commander.
After reaching Centre Point, while en route to General Steele, on the
10th, I received an order from General Price, commanding District of
Arkansas, to move as rapidly as possible with my whole command to
Little Rock. I obeyed this order, and met the army falling back from
Little Rock at Arkadelphia.
I must mention the gallantry of Captain [W. M.] Hughey, command-
ing the battery, and his two lieutenants, [W. A.] Miller and Henley, as
well as all his men. Captain Hughey and Lieutenant Miller particularly
distinguished themselves with their old iron battery. Monroe's regi-
ment, under Lieutenant-Colonel [J. M.] O'Neil and Major [A. V.] Reiff
(Colonel Monroe being sick), Captain rW. T.] Barry, with his company
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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 22, In Two Parts. Part 1, Reports., book, 1888; Washington D.C.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth154600/m1/610/?q=Hughey: accessed November 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.