The brigade . . marched from bivouac at Elm Springs early on the morning of March 6th, and proceeded on the road to Bentonville. In compliance with orders issued from headquarters on the previous evening, Colonel Gates' regiment of cavalry led the advance of the whole army. On reaching Bentonville the smoke of burning stores and dwellings indicated the presence of the enemy (Sigel and his Germans), whose rear guard abandoned the town as Colonel Gates' cavalry entered. From information subsequently received, it is believed that this body of troops was General Sigel's division, numbering from 5,000 to 7,000 men. Colonel Gates, pressing upon the retreating enemy, engaged his rear guard a short distance beyond the town on the Springfield road. Here, besides the capture of prisoners and a baggage-wagon laden with arms and ammunition, our cavalry killed and wounded several of the enemy and compelled the main body to continue its retreat, pursuing it until dark. The other regiments of the brigade, occupying their respective positions in the line, came into camp late in the afternoon and proceeded to prepare supper, having received orders to resume the line of march at 8 o'clock on the same evening. Colonel Gates' cavalry having rejoined the brigade, the Second regiment under Colonel Burbridge was detailed for the advance. At 8 o'clock our line of march was resumed, and continued
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