whatever the result, hoping at least to ‘round up’ the prowlers who had too long been suffered to perpetrate their enormities with impunity.
Col. John F. Hill
's battalion was practically unarmed, with horses not shod to stand the stony roads, and was left out of the movement.
's and Carroll
's regiments (the latter commanded by Lieut.-Col. L. L. Thompson
's squadron, commanded by Col. John Scott
, and Capt. W. M. Hughey
's artillery, consisting of two formerly discarded 6-pounders—900 of all arms—General Cabell
at 3 o'clock a. m. on April 16, 1863.
Moving with all possible dispatch by the Mulberry and Frog bayou
road in the direction of Fayetteville
, he opened his attack upon the rifle-pits and fortifications of the place at 5 o'clock a. m. on the 18th.
The enemy had full knowledge of his march and were prepared to resist his attack, not only with the entire garrison which was retained, but with such additional troops as had been summoned from adjacent stations.
's force charged the rifle-pits along the edge of the hill south and east of the town, drove in the men defending them, and entered the streets of the town, aided by Hughey
's guns; but on gaining the town they could not use artillery without injury to houses and their occupants, some of whom were families of men in the Confederate armies.
In the streets Cabell
's men met with effectual resistance from the windows, doorways and corners of the houses, and after three hours spent in a vain effort to draw out the forces so protected, they fell back to the artillery.
The enemy was armed with Springfield
and Whitney rifles; had a force numbering about 2,000, and had the advantage of a position forbidding the destruction or shelling of the defenses.
The attacking party awaited and invited an attack from the garrison outside the works, but none was offered.