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[422] commanding the expedition as good and faithful soldiers.

Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

M. T. Thomas, Colonel, Eighth Minnesota Volunteers, Commanding Second Brigade. Captain J. H. pell, A. A. G.

headquarters Sixth Iowa Volunteer cavalry, camp No. 34, July 29, 1864.
sir: I have the honor to report the operations of eleven companies of the Sixth Iowa volunteer cavalry on the twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth of July, 1864 (company K having been left in garrison at Fort Randall, D. T.), in connection with the battle with the Indians at Tah-kah-o-kuty. On the morning of the twenty-eighth instant, the two brigades took up the line of march from their camp (number thirty-four) and Big Knife river, in a direction west of north. The First brigade, consisting of the Sixth Iowa volunteer cavalry, three companies of the Seventh Iowa volunteer cavalry, Brackett's battalion of Minnesota cavalry, two companies of Dakota cavalry, the Prairie battery, and one company of Indian scouts, being in advance. About eleven o'clock, A. M., the guides announced that they had discovered Indians in large numbers at a place called Tah-kah-o-kuty, directly in our front, and at a distance of but a few miles, as reported by them, but which eventually proved to be at least ten miles away.

The position occupied by the Indians consisted of a ridge of buttes, varying from four hundred to eight hundred feet in height, the sides of which were covered with timber and large rocks. Deep wooded ravines, almost inaccessible to cavalry, protected nearly the whole front of these buttes. South of this position were lower ranges of buttes, over which it was necessary to pass to reach the almost impregnable position occupied by the enemy. These lower ranges were broken, uneven, and stony.

Upon the announcement of the presence of Indians in our front, the line of battle was immediately formed by the General commanding: the Seventh Iowa volunteer cavalry being in the center, the Sixth Iowa cavalry on the right, and the Eighth Minnesota infantry on the left, the Prairie battery, supported by company M, Sixth Iowa cavalry, and the Indian scouts advancing in the interval between the Sixth and Seventh Iowa cavalry. One battalion, composed of companies A, G, L, and D, of the Sixth Iowa volunteer cavalry, was commanded by Captain John Galligan, company A; one battalion (companies B, E, and F), by Captain D. C. Cram, company B; and one battalion (companies C, H, and I) by Major House, company G, were thrown in advance of the line of skirmishers. Strong parties of Indians came out well mounted (some of them on American horses), and attacked us from eight to ten miles from their position in the Bluff. Six companies, viz: A, C, D, H, I, and L were dismounted and deployed as skirmishers on the right, company G dismounted and skirmishing in the advance, three companies (B, E, and F) remaining mounted, and used as a reserve, under command of Captain D. C. Cram. After advancing and skirmishing about three miles, the Indians gathered in large numbers on and near a high butte in front of our left. The Prairie battery took position, and after firing a few rounds dislodged and scattered them. We continued to advance for about two miles further, constantly skirmishing and driving the enemy before us, when they again massed in large numbers on our right front. A part of the Minnesota battery, supported by company E, Sixth Iowa cavalry, was placed in position on our right, and after a few rounds scattered them, they moving still further to our right, near the high bluffs, which extended some distance in that direction. A charge was here made upon them by Brackett's battalion of Minnesota cavalry, and they were again driven more to our front, gradually falling back to their strongest position in the range of bluffs before indicated. Our line continued to advance, but by direction of the General commanding was not to move in advance of the Seventh Iowa cavalry on our left, but was to present a connected and continuous line. We were delayed for an hour or more awaiting the advance of the Seventh Iowa cavalry.

The artillery and cavalry were thrown forward, on the right and left, driving the enemy up in the bluffs. Our line again advanced, and reached and took possession of the bluffs about sunset, the artillery having shelled the enemy from their shelter in the woods and behind the rocks on the sides of the bluffs in our front. But one casualty occurred in the regiment: one man in company M, Sixth Iowa cavalry was severely but not dangerously wounded. The day was excessively hot. The men were dismounted and carrying their arms and ammunition (weighing about twenty-five pounds), and the Indians, being well mounted, were able, generally to move out of the range of our rifles. It is impossible to give, with any degree of certainty, the number of Indians killed; many, however, were seen to fall from their horses, and several were known to have been killed. We encamped about two miles north of the battle-field, and the next morning started in pursuit of the Indians toward the Little Missouri river; but, after marching about two hours, were obliged to turn back, having found it impossible to move any further with wagons in that direction. Upon returning to the battle-field, four companies were detailed to destroy property, consisting of lodges, poles, and dried meat. Both officers and men behaved well throughout.

I have the honor to remain, sir,

Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

S. M. Pollock, Lieutenant-Colonel Sixth Iowa Cavalry, Commanding Begiment. Captain John H. pell, A. A. G., First Brigade North-western Indian Expedition.

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