Doc. 141.-battle of village Creek, Ark.
Colonel Brackett's report.
headquarters Ninth regiment Illinois cavalry, camp on village Creek, Jackson County, Ark., June 28, 1862.Captain: Yesterday afternoon I received orders from General Steele to send a force down White River to reinforce the Third battalion of my regiment, which I had sent out under Major Wallis on a foraging expedition, the train of the Post Quartermaster having been attacked by the enemy. Accordingly I started with the Second battalion of my regiment, and shortly after overtook my train, which was returning without corn. I caused the train to go back, and joined both of my battalions together. At Stewart's plantation I learned that the enemy was near by, and I determined to attack him. When a mile beyond Stewart's plantation, which is about six miles from this place, my advance-guard, under Capt. Knight, came suddenly upon the enemy, and the fight commenced in earnest. I sent my companies forward, one after another, amid a continuous blaze of fire from the enemy, who were strongly posted among the trees and on the edge of a swamp. I tried several times to charge them, but they were so well posted, and the underbrush was so thick, that I was unable to do so, notwithstanding my men were close upon them, some of them being within fifty yards. I fought them in this way for at least half an hour, when seeing that I could not force them from their position, as they outnumbered me greatly, and it being dark, I gave orders to move back to a large corn-field, where I knew if they followed me I could cripple them, as they would not then have the advantage of their cover. I got my men out in fine order, and upon reaching the turn in the main road halted, but the enemy had been so severely handled that they made no attempt to follow. It was now quite dark, when, seeing nothing further could be done, I returned to this camp. As I left the woods the enemy retreated, leaving their dead men lying in the road, and to-day they have sent in a flag of truce to obtain permission to bury them. On my way in, I met an artillery and infantry force going out under Brig.-Gen. Benton, but it was too dark for him to travel, and he halted. My officers and men are entitled to great praise, and fought with the most perfect coolness and determination. I had with me Majors Humphrey and Wallis, (wounded,) Captains Gifford, Chidister, Knight, (wounded;) Cameron, Blake, more, and Booth; Adjutant Stevenson; Battalion Adjutant Blackburn, (wounded,) Lieuts. Harrington, Shear, Ellsworth, Bayley, and Shattuck, all of the Ninth Illinois cavalry. My guide, William McCulloch, Sergeant-Major Price, Battalion Sergeant-Majors Knight and Roberts, and Chief Bugler Fritson also behaved admirably. I was struck with a rifle-ball in the breast, which sickened me for a time, but I soon recovered from its effects sufficiently to give orders. My wounded men were well cared for by Surgeon James W. Brackett and Assistant Surgeon Charles Brackett, for which they have my thanks. My loss was thirty-three officers and men killed and wounded. Seven horses killed and twenty-four wounded. The loss to the enemy, under Colonel Matlock, was severe. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient serv ant,