Doc. 146.-the battle of Grand prairie, Ark.
Official report of Colonel Fitch.
Col. Spicely, followed, at an interval of half an hour, by the same number of the Forty-third, under Lieut.-Col. Farrow, and again, after a like interval, by another detachment of the same number, jointly, from the Thirty-fourth and Forty-sixth, with a Dahlgren boat-howitzer, which last detachment I accompanied. The remainder of the command, under Lieut.-Col. Cameron, was ordered to hold themselves in readiness, if required, for support. Col. Spicely was directed to proceed upon the road on which the enemy had been discovered the evening previous, and attack him whenever and wherever he met him, and in whatever number. He followed the Duvall Bluff road four miles to an open woods, immediately upon the border of Grand Prairie, where his skirmishers discovered and drove in the enemy's pickets. Their main body, all mounted, made an attack upon his front, which was quickly repulsed; but, availing themselves of a point of thick timber, which concealed their movements, they very soon after attacked simultaneously his front, flank, and rear, charging up to within twenty paces of the ranks, but were repulsed with loss, and fled in every direction, the main body following the Duvall Bluff road. Soon after a note — a copy of which accompanies this — was received by me, I having joined the advance, asking permission to bury their dead, and an answer, of which I send you a copy, was returned. At the end of thirty minutes, our troops were advanced in pursuit. The wagons conveying the enemy's dead were but a short distance beyond our front, with an escort, but, of course, were not molested. We took a parallel road, inclining more to the right, with a view of again engaging, if possible, the main body, who were seen retreating in such a direction as would take them across our road, some four miles in the prairie. The intense heat of the day, and the uselessness of the pursuit of mounted men by infantry, induced me to recall the troops after they had advanced three miles. Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon Col. Spicely and the men and officers of his regiment engaged. The enemy's force, as shown by their muster-rolls, which fell into our possession, was four hundred and fifty. Our own engaged was two hundred. Their loss, as admitted by prisoners and sympathizers in the vicinity, was eighty-four in killed, wounded, and missing. But few prisoners were taken, from the facility afforded them to escape by being mounted. Our loss is one man killed and twenty-one wounded, according to the accompanying list. Very respectfully, yours,
G. N. Fitch, Colonel Commanding White River Expedition.