The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union And Confederate Armies. Series 1, Volume 53. Reports, Correspondence, etc. Page: 459
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CHAP. LXVI.] BATTLE OF PRAIRIE GROVE, ARK. 459
at Morrow's, by 3 o'clock the next morning. For two days my brigade
had been very scantily furnished with subsistence, it having occupied
the advance and the subsistence trains having been compelled to remain
in the rear. After receiving the order I delayed a short time, hoping
that something might reach me in time for the relief of my command;
but this hope having failed me, I took up the line of march indicated in
the general's orders, and in passing down the mountain I met the com-
missary in charge of some hard biscuit. I did not allow the column to
halt, but my commissary, Major Ruthven, with his accustomed energy,
caused the biscuit to be shuffled out to the men as they marched by in
column. Fifteen minutes after 3 a. m. found me in at the head of my
column in front of Brigadier-General Frost's headquarters at the foot
of the mountain, where I reported for orders. He directed me to move
up the Cove Creek road to the rear of Cane Hill. Continuing the march,
about 4.30 a. m. I fell upon the rear of Colonel Shelby's command, and
there was then a halt of about half an hour to allow him to move to the
front. The march continued without further intermission during the
remainder of the night, and about 7.30 o'clock a. m. the firing of
the musketry in front told us that Shelby had engaged the enemy.
Moving steadily up to the scene of action under the guidance of the
commanding general of this division, we soon reached the road leading
from Fayetteville to Cane Hill. I was then ordered by him to occupy
a position commanding the road in the direction of Cane Hill, form-
ing my brigade in the rear of a fence, its right extending beyond the
field to the west, and the left resting upon the main road, defended by
Tilden's battery, White's regiment (Lieutenant-Colonel Ponder's) being
held in reserve. After occupying this line for an hour I received an
order from Major-General Hindman through his adjutant, Colonel New-
ton, directing me to hold this position at any cost, and prevent the
enemy, then supposed to be marching on the road from Cane Hill, from
forming a junction with his troops moving from Fayetteville. Feeling
mindful of the responsibility that the major-general had been pleased
to put upon me, I rode with a portion of my staff a mile in front of
my line in the direction of Cane Hill for the purpose of reconnoi-
tering for a stronger position. I found one about half a mile to my
front and immediately advanced my line to it. While this was being
done Colonel Thompson's cavalry had engaged the enemy's scouts in
front. There was, however, no determined resistance to my cavalry in
that direction. I must also state that a section of Reid's battery
reported to me, and I assigned it a position on the left, supported by
my sharpshooters and Lieutenant-Colonel Ponder's regiment of infantry.
In a short time after this formation was completed I received an
order from the major-general commanding to change my front from the
direction of Cane Hill to the east to meet the enemy, then supposed to
be advancing from that direction. Having effected this movement, I
their received another from the major-general to connect, if possible,
with Brigadier-General Roane, who occupied a position half a mile to
my left. It was represented to me that the enemy in heavy force was
marching directly through a thick grove of heavy timber down upon
my front. At the same time a few shell were thrown upon my lines. At
this point I deem it proper to state that the medical director of the
major-general commanding came to me and reported that the enemy
were firing upon the surgeons and inmates of our hospital immediately
in my front. Upon investigation, I ascertained that this force con-
sisted of 200 of the enemy's cavalry who had followed in our rear, anid
that after my demonstration they retired, doing no serious injury to
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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 53. Reports, Correspondence, etc., book, 1898; Washington D.C.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth154642/m1/461/?q=Reid: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.