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[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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