had twenty or more pieces, as was subsequently ascertained; and their infantry were well armed — all of as well as our own — with Enfield rifles and muskets. There has been heretofore, unquestionably, much misapprehension upon the subject of the arming of the rebel forces. The great body of Hindman's army has been furnished, from some source or other, with arms of an excellent quality. About that there can be no further doubt. On arriving upon the field, Gen. Blunt at once placed his batteries in the most available positions in the prairie — considerably depressed, however, below the woods occupied by the enemy — and the action soon became general along the whole line. The booming from some seventy pieces of cannon, at the same time, was indeed a “thunder of artillery” that was most sublime. Never was there a more charming day for such a scene. The sun shone out brightly, and the air was as warm as in early summer. The morning had been lovely beyond belief for so late a day in the season as the seventh of December; but such is the character of the climate of this region. For ten days past, while the nights have been cold, every day here has been all that the most fastidious could desire. But to return to the battle — it was not one confined solely to the artillery, by any means, though that arm played a prominent part in it, and did, perhaps, most damage to the enemy. His infantry force was more than double, if not treble ours, yet the latter met them face to face, for hour after hour, in a most desperate conflict, during all of which time the discharge of musketry was one incessant roar. On the morning after the battle. in quite a small orchard by the side of a house, over forty of our dead were counted, while close at hand, in a corner of the lot, some sixty of the enemy lay gathered up in a rail-pen, and all around the orchard, as far as the eye could reach, dead bodies might be seen. The woods, indeed, were strewn with them for a distance of two and a half or three miles one way, by perhaps one and a half the other. The trees themselves are torn and scarred, by both cannon and musket-balls, within those limits, to a far greater extent than they were at Pea Ridge. Such is the statement of Gen. Herron himself; and it was at Pea Ridge, as will be remembered, that, wounded and taken a prisoner, he won the laurels that made him a brigadier. A most gallant soldier, and a true gentleman, he is worthy of every honor. Allusion is made above to the many dead found in and around a small orchard in Herron's front. It was there that the Twentieth Wisconsin regiment, having charged into the woods, encountered the enemy, and fought them hand to hand. Beside this regiment, Herron had with him four others that participated actively in the battle, and all, I believe, suffered severely, to wit, the Nineteenth and Twentieth Iowa, the Twenty-sixth Indiana, and the Thirty-seventh Illinois. Of the Twentieth Wisconsin, forty-nine, I learn, were killed, and of the Nineteenth Iowa, one hundred and ninety-seven killed and wounded. What the casualties may have been in the other regiments named, I am not informed. The reports soon to be made will give the facts. Among the killed in Gen. Herron's command is Lieut.-Col. McFarland, of the Nineteenth Iowa, and Major Bredett, of the Seventh Missouri; and among the badly wounded, Col. Black, of the Thirty-seventh Illinois, Major Thompson, of the Twentieth Iowa, and Lieut. De la Hunt, of the Twenty-sixth Indiana. Some thirty of the line-officers of that division are said to have been wounded. Coming upon the field later in the day, the casualties in the right wing or First division of the army, are, perhaps, less than in the other — but still very numerous. Three only of the infantry regiments, the Tenth, Eleventh, and Thirteenth Kansas, and one of cavalry (dismounted and acting as infantry) the Second Kansas, of the First division, were involved in the conflict upon the field of battle proper; and all fought with the most determined bravery until night came on, though their comrades were constantly falling around them. Of the Tenth Kansas, which went into the action less than three hundred and fifty strong — several of its companies being absent on other duties--seven, I learn, are killed, sixty-six wounded, and eleven missing. The gallant Major Williams, who commanded this regiment, had his horse shot under him. The chivalric Capt. A. P. Russell, of the Second Kansas--who had passed through a dozen hard fights before — received a very bad wound in the breast, of which he has since died. The Eleventh and Thirteenth Kansas both have long lists of casualties, though what they are precisely I have not learned. I hear the conduct of Colonel Ewing and Lieut.-Col. Moonlight, of the former, and Col. Bowen, of the latter, spoken of in high terms for their gallantry in the engagement. All four of the Kansas regiments above named, under the head of their brigade commanders, Colonels Weer and Cloud--both soldiers of the true stamp — penetrated the woods where the enemy lay concealed, and fought them there for two hours or more, upon the ground of their own choosing. Against those four regiments, as has since been satisfactorily ascertained from some of their own wounded, were arrayed three brigades of the enemy. When our men entered the woods they rose, apparently by myriads, from every hollow and ravine, but only to be met by the most obstinate resistance. The musketry fire there, as already stated, was a continuous roar, for at least two hours, like the rattling of thunder in a terrible storm — the bellowing of the cannon, even, being drowned by it, to those who were nearer to the former than the latter. In regard to the conduct of the commanding officer of the Federal army in this hard-fought battle, (Gen. Blunt,) it need hardly be said, of course, that he was, where he always is, in the very thickest of the fight, when his presence is at all needed. His first act, as previously stated, on reaching the field, was to place his artillery, passing a long distance in front of the enemy, nearly up to Herron's command, to do so at the
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Rebel reports and Narratives.
Doc . 91 .- General Sherman 's expedition.
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