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[152] any Federal force. Hindman's messengers, in response to Blunt's note, under flag of truce, passed entirely over the ground formerly occupied by the enemy, before they reached his headquarters, protected by cavalry only.

General Herron, in a communication to Major-General Curtis, dated Camp Prairie Grove, December 10th, wrote:

The loss in my division is heavy, and will almost reach 1,000 killed and wounded. For four hours the fighting was the most desperate I ever witnessed, and within a space of two acres, 250 of our own and the enemy's dead were found. The victory is more complete and decided than I had imagined. The Iowa regiments fought nobly—the Nineteenth particularly distinguished itself. We mourn the loss of Lieutenant-Colonel McFarland, and several other officers of that regiment, killed.

General Blunt, in his report of December 20th to General Curtis, said:

I could not tell with any certainty the extent of the damage done the enemy, but knowing that they had a force greatly superior to mine, I felt assured that they would give us battle again in the morning, and made my arrangements accordingly . . . Just before daylight I received a note from General Hindman, requesting a personal interview, to make provision for caring for his dead and wounded. [See his own note, supra, first making this request of Hindman.] On meeting him, I soon became satisfied that no other force was there except his staff and escort and a party left to take care of the wounded, and that his forces had commenced retreating early the previous night. [In a paragraph just preceding he had written, ‘I felt assured that they would give us battle again in the morning.’]

It is idle to follow his exaggerated estimate of the Confederate strength and losses. The official return of casualties in the Federal army, by brigades, shows 175 killed, 813 wounded, 263 captured or missing; aggregate, 1,251.

The infantry and artillery of Hindman's corps went into camp near Van Buren. The cavalry division under

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