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[385] the Big Hills. Some time having been consumed in collecting our wounded and providing transportation for them, we attempted to return, and only succeeded in reaching camp at five A. M., on the morning of the twenty-fifth, having in the darkness been unable to preserve our course, and having been in the saddle twenty-four hours, without guide, provisions, or water. The number of Indians engaged could not have been less than one thousand, and would doubtless reach one thousand five hundred warriors. The losses of my regiment, including a skirmish on Sunday evening the twenty-sixth, at Dead Buffalo Lake, are as follows:

Killed--Private Gustaff A. Starke, of company B; private John Murphy, of company B; and (at Buffalo Lake) Corporal John Platt, of company L.

Wounded--Private Andrew Moore, of company B, mortally; Corporal William B. Hazlep, of company B, in shoulder, doing well; Sergeant James Grady, of company L, in leg slightly; private Henry Stntz, of company B, slightly.

Murdered by the Indians-Doctor J. S. Weiser, Surgeon, and Lieutenant A. Freeman, of company D.

The number of Indians known to have been killed by the Mounted Rangers is thirty-one, all found with the peculiar mark of cavalry upon them. Doubtless many more were killed by the Rangers, as the wounded concealed themselves in the marshes, where it was impossible to follow them with cavalry.

In this report I esteem it a duty, and it affords me great pleasure, to say of the officers and men under my command, who were engaged in this series of fights and hand-to-hand encounters, that without exception the utmost coolness and bravery were displayed, the only difficulty I encountered being that of restraining the wild enthusiasm of the troops during the succession of cavalry charges; and I can only say of them further, that they have won for themselves a reputation of which veteran troops might well be proud.

It is also a duty and a gratification to mention favorably the name of First Lieutenant E. A. Goodell, Acting Adjutant, whose aid, in the hottest of the fight, rendered me great service; also the name of John Martin, of company F, who bore despatches with “certainty, celerity, and security.”

I am, General, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Samuel M. Mcphail, Colonel Commanding Mounted Rangers,

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