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[69] fence east of the house, which I did, crossing part of the ground that was fought over. the day before. I occupied the position until ordered to fall back, so as to let both sides have a chance to collect their dead. I selected an advantageous piece of ground, and occupied it until ordered into camp.

Below is a list of the killed, wounded, and missing of the Nineteenth regiment:

killed.
Commissioned officers,3
Enlisted men,42
wounded.
Commissioned officers,5
Enlisted men,140
Missing,8
 
Total aggregate,198

I remain your obedient servant,

D. Kent, Major Commanding Nineteenth Regiment. To Col. Wm. W. Orme, Com'g Second Brigade Third Division Army of Frontier.


General Herron's letter.

The following letter from General Herron to a gentleman in Dubuque, Iowa, gives a detailed account of the battle:

headquarters Third division army of the frontier, camp Prairie Grove, December 15, 1862.
You have undoubtedly received ere this pretty full particulars of the fight at this place on Sunday last. I left Wilson's Creek to help Blunt as the rebels were pressing him hard, and had marched one hundred and ten miles in three days, with the entire baggage and commissary-train. This you will see at a glance was a tremendous matter; but I told the boys there was a fight on hand, and that we must get there, or break a wheel. On Sunday morning at three o'clock we reached Fayetteville, and after one hour's rest pushed on.

General Blunt had kept up communication with me until Saturday night, at which time the enemy forced his pickets back, and by making a feint in front, withdrew his attention, and threw their whole force, twenty-five thousand, in between us. On the Saturday before, I had sent all my cavalry, three thousand in number, to reenforce Blunt, having nothing therefore with me but infantry and artillery. I had necessarily to leave considerable behind, to keep my line open, and keep a heavy guard on my train of four hundred wagons, so that I had left but four thousand available men. A more beautiful morning or a grander sunrise than that of December seventh I never beheld. We had marched about seven miles south-west of Fayetteville, when musketry was heard in the distance, and in a few minutes the Arkansas cavalry came, dashing back in great disorder. The enemy's advance had attacked them. It took half an hour to get them rallied and form a battery and two regiments of infantry for protection, when I again commenced an advance. For four miles we fought their cavalry, driving them back to Illinois Creek, where I found their whole force strongly posted on a long ridge, with magnificent positions for batteries. For one mile in front it was clear ground, and my road lay right in the centre of their line. From a prisoner taken I learned that Hindman was on the ridge with his whole force, and intended to whip me out before Blunt could get up; in other words, to take us one at a time. The case looked tough, with Blunt ten miles away, and twenty-five thousand men between us; but I saw at a glance there were just two things that could be done, namely, fight them without delay, and depend on the chance of Blunt's hearing me and coming up, or retreat and lose my whole train. It required no time to make a decision; and sending back for the Second division to close up, I took a look over the ground. At the regular crossing of the creek, I ordered two guns over to feel the enemy's position ; but having felt rather too hard, they opened on us with two full batteries. Myself and staff made a very narrow escape here, as we were standing by the side of our pieces when they directed the fire of all their guns on us. For about ten minutes the solid shot and shell flew thick, several passing within a foot of me. I withdrew my pieces from this position, satisfied we couldn't cross at that place. There was a place further down the creek that I found we could cross, but it required a road cut through the timber to get at it. This was quickly done, and getting one fill battery over and divided, posting three pieces in each of two places, so as to make them believe it was two batteries, I sent orders for the other three batteries with the infantry to cross the creek as soon as the first battery opened fire. At ten o'clock all was ready, and I gave the order to open. Of course the enemy directed their firing at the battery in position, and before they could change any of their pieces, I had fourteen guns more across the creek, and hard at work. Under cover of these guns I crossed all the infantry, and thus formed my line of battle in the midst of a terrific artillery-fire. The firing on our side was elegant, both for rapidity and accuracy, and excelled any thing I had ever witnessed. Seeing that all was working well, I commenced advancing the batteries toward the enemy's lines, following up close with the infantry. Our skirmishers soon became engaged with those of the enemy, and indeed in but very few minutes the whole left wing was engaged.

The enemy then commenced moving his troops from right on to my left, to force my position. There was but one thing to do; and sending forward, I ordered the Nineteenth Iowa and Twentieth Wisconsin to charge. It was a glorious sight, and witnessed by me just as plain as I could see a company manuoeuvre in the street, while standing on the sidewalk. They charged up a hill, capturing a battery of four guns on the crest, and driving the rebels a thousand yards, but were unable to hold the ground, and were in turn driven back. These two regiments lost fifty men each killed in this charge. The fighting


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James G. Blunt (6)
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