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Doc. 162.-the battle of Bayou Barnard.


New-York Tribune narrative.

camp on Grand River, C. N., August 14, 1862.
while the three Indian regiments (First, Second, and Third) lay in camp at Wolf Creek, under directions of Colonel Furness, the ranking commander, Col. Phillips, of the Third, selected one thousand two hundred men picked from the three regiments, and a section of Captain Allen's battery, under Lieut. Baldwin. Col. Phillips sent Major Forman down the west side of Grand River with one half of the force and the two pieces of artillery, (Parrott guns.) The other six hundred men went down with him through Talequa and Park Hill. Talequa is the capital of the Cherokee Nation, and is a small decayed town. Park Hill is the residence of John Ross, whose mansion is a beautiful one, handsomely furnished, with a lawn and shrubbery, and a great deal of comfort and beauty clustered around it.

The design of the expedition was, first, to check the inroads of the enemy from Fort Davis, who were expected to devastate the country ; secondly, to cut off the three rebel regiments, Col. Winter's, Taylor's, (Folsom's,) and McIntosh's, all of whom had moved to the north side of the Arkansas. It had been arranged that one part of the force should enter Gibson from the west side of Grand River at daylight on the morning of the twenty-ninth ult., while the other at the same moment entered from Park Hill.

Col. Folsom's regiment, under Col. Taylor, together with part of Col. Winter's regiment, and a company of whites, were in Gibson. The remainder of Col. Winter's regiment, some three hundred and fifty men, had gone up Grand River on the morning of the twenty-eighth, and that night reached a spot twenty miles from Gibson, on Grand River, and made a demonstration just at dusk on Major Forman's rear. At noon, Col. Taylor, with his command as enumerated, started up the Park Hill road, and met Colonel Phillips about two o'clock.

The loyal Indians had been sent forward in three columns, converging to a point a few miles from Gibson. An advance-guard, under Lieut. Hanway, had been sent forward to the forks of the road to reconnoitre. It was at this moment that some three hundred of Taylor's force charged up a slope on the advance-guard. Lieutenant Hanway vainly attempted to hold them in check. The advance guard was scattered, and fled through the woods. Fired with the hope of cutting them off, the rebels hurried on, and in about a mile ran into the advance-guard of the centre, which held them in check a few moments on the Talequa road. The heaviest part of the Union force was on this road, and as these Indians have the first lieutenants and sergeants of white officers, selected from the non-commissioned officers of white regiments, they were thrown in line of battle, and waited on the slope, in timber, on the edge of the brush prairie, for the attack of the enemy. One [565] company was stationed as a reserve to guard the wagons, and two companies were sent round the back of the hill to flank the advancing enemy.

The rebel force came on, shouting and yelling, until they reached within fifty yards of the timber, when, after a volley, the Unionists charged. As they charged, the loyal Indians gave a shout that might have been heard for miles. Dismayed, the rebels wheeled and fled. They had fallen back in confusion more than a mile, and their forces, scattered somewhat by their headlong charge, had massed, when Col. Taylor endeavored to make a stand on a steep backbone ridge that looks over the Bayou Barnard. Here they were sharply assailed, and before long part of the flanking force came in their rear, when they broke in all directions in the wildest dismay. Between thirty and forty prisoners were taken. The fragments of their force, hotly pursued, fled to the crossing of the Arkansas and the Frozen Rock, falling all the way from the rifles of the Unionists. On the little backbone ridge alone twenty-two rebels lay dead. Col. Taylor, Capt. Hicks of Winter's regiment, and two Choctaw captains were killed in the battle. The rebels, two days after, report their loss at one hundred and twenty-five men. The Union loss was four killed and two wounded.

Having had his despatches and messengers cut off, and being unable to learn any thing of Major Forman, or the artillery, and being unwilling to enter Gibson without having his forces united, Col. Phillips crossed the Grand River, and proceeded up that stream to find the rest of his force. The three hundred and fifty men of Col. Winter's regiment, of whose whereabout the Unionists had learned little, took advantage of this movement to slip out through the thick timber and cross the Arkansas to Fort Davis. Having rejoined Major Forman on Grand River, and learing that Col. McIntosh had his regiment between the Verdigris and the Arkansas, the Unionists crossed to the Creek agency ford to cut him off. Fearing this, Col. Cooper had ordered them over the river, and they thus got away. Major Forman drove the remnant of their force out of an earthwork near the river. Major Wright of the Second Indian, who joined the force at this time, made a demonstration in the direction of the enemy's force.

For two days longer did this little army, now reduced, and numbering but few over one thousand men, a guard having been sent with the prisoners and wounded, hold the left bank of the river and march backward and forward in the teeth of Fort Davis, where the enemy had seven thousand men, but they could not tempt them to cross the river. An attempt was made to shell the rebels from this side, but the distance and timber near the river rendered it impracticable.

One thousand head of cattle were taken from the enemy for the use of the army, and thus encumbered the command marched back sixty miles, and in three and a half days rejoined the rest of the command, the enemy not attempting to follow them.


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Bedford (Missouri, United States) (5)
Park Hill (Oklahoma, United States) (4)
Muskogee (Oklahoma, United States) (3)
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J. R. Taylor (6)
Winter (5)
Christopher Gibson (5)
Forman (5)
Owen Phillips (4)
T. S. McIntosh (2)
Hanway (2)
Folsom (2)
George B. Wright (1)
John Ross (1)
E. G. Parrott (1)
G. A. Hicks (1)
Furness (1)
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S. Cooper (1)
Choctaw (1)
Barnard (1)
O. L. Baldwin (1)
Charles Allen (1)
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August 14th, 1862 AD (1)
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