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[229] Sibley, from an overlooking height, saw the whole body of the enemy in confused retreat, while their families were described crossing the distant hills towards the Missouri River. Colonel McPhail, with his regiment, was ordered to fall upon their of the retreating foe, supported by Lieutenant-Colonel Marshall with the Seventh, Captain Edgerton's company, and one six-pounder and a section of howitzers, under Captain Jones. The pursuit was continued until dark, the infantry following the mounted men at double-quick. An order from General Sibley to Colonel McPhail, to bivouac at nightfall, was by mistake given as an order to return, so that these wearied men, after marching from five in the morning till one in the afternoon, then fighting and pursuing the enemy for twelve miles, were obliged to spend the whole long night in picking their way through the darkness back to the main column, which they reached just as it was about to move. It consequently became imperatively necessary to rest a day in camp. On the twenty-sixth, the little army was again in motion. Arriving at the place where the Indians had been encamped, there, and for miles beyond, large stores of dried meat, tallow, cooking utensils, buffalo robes, &c., were found and burned. This loss will be severely felt by the Indians. A march of twelve miles brought the column to Dead Buffalo Lake, and there being neither wood nor water for a long distance ahead, it was deemed advisable to give the men and animals rest here. Indians soon began to menace the camp. Captain Chase, with his pioneers, (Company A, Ninth regiment,) and Captain Jones, with a section of his six-pound battery, were thrown forward about six hundred yards to an excellent elevation, and were joined by Colonel Crooks, with two companies of the Sixth, (A and B.) The enemy at that point far outnumbered this force, but maintained a safe distance, and were soon scattered by spherical case. They then crossed for an attack upon the left of the camp, when Captain Taylor, with Company A, of the rangers, was sent to oppose them. He held a largely superior force in check, until reinforced by Lieutenant-Colonel Averill, with two companies of the Sixth. The Indians still concentrating on the left and threatening a flank movement, Major McLaren moved six companies of the Sixth on an extended line, so as to cover that direction effectually, while Captains Wilson and Davy, with their companies of rangers, made a rapid dash, which repulsed the enemy with considerable loss. A precipitate flight followed, the Indians leaving their dead upon the field. Thus ended the second lesson.

The third battle was on the twenty-eighth, the march on the twenty-seventh being only eighteen miles, on account of the utter exhaustion of the animals. The ball was opened by the Tenth regiment, whose turn it was to be in advance. The column was moving out of camp, when the scout came shouting, “They are coming,” closely followed by about two thousand Indians. As the enemy came over the brow of the hills in front, and got a view of “the situation” --the Tenth regiment rapidly deploying to meet them, and two sections of the battery in position for work--one Indian was heard to cry, “We are too late, they are ready for us!” and another to answer, “But remember our children and families ; we must not let them get them.”

They immediately spread out right and left, outflanking the Tenth on both extremes. The firing in front was very spirited and disastrous to the enemy, who were quite busily employed in carrying off their dead and wounded. The train was just at this moment filing out of the corral, and the other regiment not having taken their position, the advance had to be checked, to prevent the exposure and consequent destruction of the teams and supplies. An attempt was made by the Indians to get possession of some broken, rocky ground in the rear and close upon the train, but this movement was checked by Lieutenant-Colonel Marshall, with the Seventh regiment, Lieutenant Western, with a section of the battery, and one battalion of cavalry; and the foe were speedily repulsed and driven from their partially gained cover. The Sixth regiment, with a battalion of cavalry, held the centre of the column, and deploying to the right held the Indians in check in that direction, while the left wing of the same regiment stretched southward towards the lake. The first onset being successfully resisted, the order was given to move forward, and the whole column at once proceeded with a steadiness and valor which completely disconcerted the savages, who speedily retreated, anxious to join their families on the other side of the Missouri. General Sibley reached the woods skirting the shore shortly after noon on the twenty-ninth, the Sixth regiment being in advance. Colonel Crooks was ordered to clear the woods to the river, assisted by the battery, and in a short time our men were upon the bank. The opposite bluff was lined with Indians, who opened a spirited fire, but at too long range to be dangerous at all. Lieutenant-Colonel Averill's detachment replied with more effect. The evidence of crossing in a disastrous haste abounded everywhere. All their transportation had been abandoned, and many women and children were drowned.

Long and rapid marches, want of water and forage, days of fighting and nights of watchings, and the rapidly lessening stock of provisions, compelled General Sibley here to relinquish the further pursuit. The Indians were now upon a river which they could cross and recross with more facility than our soldiers, and which was bordered by almost impenetrable thickets — the prickly ash abounding. The animals, especially, were in a position which precluded any more rapid or sustained marches.

Two days were spent upon the branches of the Missouri, and for three successive evenings cannon were fired and signal rockets sent up, in the vain hope that General Sully might be within answering distance; and on the first instant, after thoroughly destroying the stuff abandoned by the Indians, the camp was broken up, and the expeditionary force again in motion, homeward bound. The point on the Missouri reached by General

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