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[277] already won, and wait further developments, as our force was getting too far from succor, in a country with which we were perfectly ignorant. The woods were thick — the force of the enemy unknown. We had driven the enemy three miles. After halting there two hours, and no enemy making his appearance, Lieutenant-Colonel Wood returned to the Clarendon road and went to the Bayou du View to carry out his original intention. General Benton came up with his brigade and took command. In camp it was supposed that the fight took place on another road, and consequently General Benton's orders were to make a rapid reconnoissance down the Des Arc road. Bowen's howitzers were pushed forward down one road after the enemy. A shot was fired on the rebels and three men killed. Four kegs of powder were found concealed. The houses along the road were filled with rebel wounded, and the porches and door-steps were besmeared with blood from those which they carried away. They abandoned their camp and fled across the Cache River, destroying a bridge they had constructed with boats. The bank on the opposite side was also cut out very steep so as to prevent pursuit from our cavalry. It has been subsequently ascertained that six thousand Texans, under Rust, crossed at Des Arc on Sunday, the sixth, for the purpose of fighting us near the blockade, and annoy and obstruct our advance in every possible way. But the whipping they received has entirely knocked the conceit out of them.

The tact, fertility of resource, and military qualities displayed by Colonel Hovey has won the admiration of all. He is cool and brave in the trying hour of danger. I was present on the evening of the fight, when General Steele congratulated the Colonel on the successful issue of the day. Among the heroes of the day who behaved with distinguished gallantry, the names of Colonel Harris, of the Eleventh Wisconsin, Captain Petter, of the Thirty-third Illinois, Major Clendenning, of the First Indiana cavalry, stand conspicuous.

The enemy's killed has been placed at one hundred and ten, and by the Arkansas people, in sympathy with the rebels, still higher. They think two hundred were killed. We buried ninety-seven of their dead, and I think this will be the number that Colonel Hovey will adopt in his report. The number of rebel wounded will not probably amount to the usual proportion with the killed, as our Minie balls hit to kill.

Our killed amounted to five, and wounded forty-seven. The enemy's shots flew too high to take effect. One of our messengers, taken prisoner by the enemy, was found riddled with balls in the side. His wrists were pricked raw, and the report was current that he was tied to a tree and dispatched, but this is doubted. Corporal Medley, of company F, Eleventh Wisconsin, was wounded in the arm, and brought away a wounded comrade, and then went back into the fight. Our wounded were taken to the house, and every care was taken of the sufferers which the circumstances of the case demanded, by Doctor F. N. Burke, Brigade-Surgeon of the First division, assisted by Dr. Isaac Casselbury, First Indiana cavalry, Dr. Strong, Eleventh Wisconsin, and Dr. N. T. Abbott, of the Thirty-third Illinois regiment.

July 8.--The army marched to Bayou Du View. Reconnoitring parties were thrown out on all the different roads. Halting about four miles out, with General Curtis to see everything on the march in good order, we heard what we supposed was the distant report of howitzers. The deception arose from the dropping of a bucket into a well on a neighboring plantation.

We encamped for the night on the side toward Clarendon. Major Bowen dashed down eight miles before dark and reported the road clear.

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