Considering the strength of my command, as compared with the enemy; considering that my men were destitute of food, their wagons 39 miles in the rear, and not to be brought forward without imminent danger of being lost; that my small supply of ammunition was reduced far below what would be necessary for another day's fighting, and that my battery animals were literally dying of starvation and could not be foraged in the presence of a superior force of the enemy, I determined to retire, and gave the necessary orders for that purpose. Cavalry was extended along both sides of the Cove creek road, distant 2 or 3 miles from it, from near Prairie Grove to the mountains, and scouts were thrown upon all routes leading toward the enemy's position. The prisoners and captured property were removed. At 12 o'clock the rear guard of
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