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[449] thenceforth safe; retreating into Arkansas with as many prisoners as we had taken from him; but his losses in killed and wounded were far the heavier.

The next blow in this department was struck1 by the Rebels, perhaps 3,000 strong, under Col. Coffey, at Fort Blunt,2 in the Cherokee Nation, which was held by Col. Wm. A. Phillips, with some 800 mounted men and a regiment of Creek Indians. Phillips's Indian scouts proved untrustworthy, letting the enemy approach him unannounced; still, lie had works which they did not care to attack, but, crossing the Arkansas, pounced upon his cattle, that were grazing on his left, and took the whole; only a part being recovered by a charge of his mounted men. “The Creek regiment refused to charge, or they would all have been saved,” the Colonel dolefully reports.

The enemy posted themselves in a strong position five miles from his fort; and there Col. Phillips attacked them with spirit — he driving them (or they escaping with their booty) over the Arkansas, with a loss of 50 or 60 on each side. Phillips seems to have conducted his part of the affair with judgment and energy.

A train of 300 wagons, conveying supplies from Kansas to Fort Blunt, and guarded by ten companies of Western cavalry, with the 1st Kansas colored, 800 strong, Col. J. M. Williams, and 500 Indians, Maj. Form an, had a fight3 at the crossing of Cabin creek, Indian Territory, with a force of Texans and Indians under Standwatie, the Cherokee Rebel chief. The Texans fought well; but they were only 700; while the Rebel Indians proved of no account. Standwatie was driven off, with a total loss of 23 on our side, including Maj. Forman, wounded. The Rebels left 40 dead on the field and 9 prisoners.

Gen. Blunt, learning that Fort Blunt, his advanced post, was in peril, rode thither from Fort Scott--175 miles--in five days, arriving just in time.4 Learning that the Rebel Gen. Cooper was at Honey Springs, on Elk creek, 25 miles south, waiting, with 6,000 men, for a reenforcement of three regiments from Texas, which he expected on the 17th, and purposed then to advance and fight, Blunt could not perceive the wisdom of waiting, but resolved to bring the matter to issue forthwith. So, setting out at midnight,5 with 250 cavalry and 4 guns, and, moving 13 miles up the Arkansas, he crossed and came down the other side, driving back the Rebel outpost and beginning forthwith to cross in boats his entire force--3,000 men, with 12 light guns. Advancing five miles, he caine upon the enemy, posted behind Elk creek: their numbers and position concealed by a growth of bushes. At 10 A. M.,6 Blunt advanced in two columns, under Cols. Judson and Phillips; deploying rapidly to right and left when within 400 yards of the enemy's line, with cavalry dismounted on either flank, armed with carbines and fighting as infantry. In two hours, the Rebels were driven, and, in two or three more, hunted through two or tree miles of timber to the open prairie, when they fled in disorder, leaving behind them 150 dead and 77 prisoners, with one dismounted gun and 200 small arms. Blunt estimates

1 May 20.

2 Near Fort gibson, Creek Nation.

3 July 1.

4 July 10.

5 July 15-16.

6 July 17.

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