replied: “Colonel Clayton never surrenders, but is always anxious for you to come and take him, and you must get back to your command immediately, or I will order my men to fire on you.” He fell back, and they commenced skirmishing again. Meantime the whole command was ordered out, and skirmishers sent in every direction; also three hundred negroes set to work rolling cotton-bales out of the warehouses. In less than half an hour I had all the streets leading into Court Square completely and very formidably fortified with cotton-bales, and my artillery--six mountain howitzers, and three small steel rifled guns — planted so as to command every street leading into the square; my sharp-shooters posted in all of the houses and other buildings on the square, so that the enemy could in no way approach the works only through the open spaces. I then had about two hundred negroes commence carrying water from the river up to the square, and fill all the barrels they could find, so that, if necessary, I could hold out two days, even though cut off from the river. The enemy succeeded in driving in my skirmishers about nine o'clock, and approached the works in three columns, as follows — on my right, centre, and left, the main one being in the centre — and opened on me with their artillery, twelve pieces, a part of which were twelve-pound rifle guns, throwing both the Hotchkiss and the James projectiles. The firing from both sides, from the artillery and the sharp-shooters, continued with great rapidity until two o'clock. Between twelve o'clock M. and one o'clock P. M., the enemy set fire to the buildings on my right, expecting thereby to rout me; but I put some two hundred negroes to carrying water and throwing it on the buildings immediately joining the square, and thus prevented the fire from doing me any damage. The enemy seeing that he failed in his efforts to drive me by fire as well as by force, planted another battery on my centre and kept up a heavy cannonading for a short time, then retreated, (about two o'clock P. M.,) leaving a great portion of his wounded and dead on the field. I followed him for about one mile, then returned and stationed my pickets as usual. My loss was eleven killed, twenty-seven wounded, and one missing. There were also five negroes killed, and twelve wounded. The enemy's loss in killed and wounded, so far as ascertained, is about one hundred and thirty, and will probably reach one hundred and fifty. I have also three Lieutenants and thirty men prisoners, fifteen of whom are wounded. The buildings that were burned by the enemy were occupied by the Fifth Kansas cavalry as quarters, consequently their camp and garrison equipage, and their books and papers, were all burned. The train was also corraled in sheds in rear of the buildings that were burned. When the fire was raging the mules were cut loose to keep them from burning, and sixty-two of them are missing. The enemy also burned one warehouse, containing over two hundred bales of cotton. In setting fire to these buildings, General Marmaduke committed the gross and barbarous deed of burning some of his own wounded. Several of his own men who were wounded were burned to death, and almost entirely consumed by the flames that he kindled. The court-house General James's, General Yell's, and John Bloom's houses, were all nearly destroyed by the enemy's artillery. There is scarcely a house in town that does not show the effects of the battle. The enemy plundered every house he could get to, and stole every horse and mule from the citizens that he could lay his hands on. The prisoners that I captured reported General Marmaduke's force from two to three thousand men, and twelve pieces of artillery. I think he had some two thousand five hundred men, and twelve pieces of artillery. My force consisted of the Fifth Kansas cavalry, commanded by Major Thomas W. Scudder, and the First Indiana cavalry, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas N. Pace, and one company of State militia, commanded by Captain Murphy, amounting in all to some five hundred and fifty men. Captain Murphy's company behaved like veterans. The officers and men both of the Fifth Kansas cavalry and of the First Indiana cavalry behaved most admirably. The fact that so small a force kept four times their number at bay for five hours, and finally drove them from the field, bespeaks for the whole command greater efficiency and gallantry than words can do; every officer and soldier in the whole command seemed determined to fight as long as there was a round of ammunition left. The negroes also did me excellent service, and deserve much praise therefor. I am, General, very respectfully, Your obedient servant,
Congratulatory order of General Steele.
headquarters army of Arkansas, little Rock, Ark., Nov. 7, 1863.General orders, no. 41: It is fit that the conduct of troops on the battle-field, especially gallant and heroic, should be publicly approbated by the commanding officer, and officially published for the emulation of the whole command. Therefore, the Major-General commanding the army of Arkansas publishes to his command these facts: On the twenty-fifth day of October last, the cavalry brigade, consisting of the Fifth Kansas and First Indiana cavalry, commanded by Colonel Powell Clayton, and numbering less than six hundred men, was attacked at Pine Bluff, Arkansas, by an army of rebels, twenty-five hundred in number, with twelve pieces of artillery. Unawed by this overwhelming force, they fought them for five hours, and drove them, discomfited and with heavy loss, from the field. Retreat and surrender were words unknown to these brave men, and their determined heroism