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[218] of sharpshooters to support Etter. A little after daylight Etter opened upon the bridge. His second shot took effect, clearing the bridge of workmen. Immediately the enemy opened with three batteries, so posted as to pour a murdering cross-fire upon Etter, which soon silenced him and drove him out. The sharpshooters kept up a desultory fire without much, if any, effect. About o a. m., the enemy having completed his bridge, threw forward two regiments of infantry, and crossed them over onto the bar, on this side, his batteries keeping up a continuous and well-directed fire upon the road leading up the river on the south side, and upon the woods in front of his bridge, and above it. I withdrew Major Corley to a point above the bridge, and sent Etter up the river with instructions to halt at Fourche, whither I also sent Corley with his regiment in a few minutes. The enemy now commenced pouring their troops across the bridge in large numbers.

By Colonel Dobbin's directions, I left Bull with his regiment to resist the enemy's advance and retard him as much as possible, and went in person to put the other troops in position at Fourche. Brigadier-General Marmaduke arrived with orders to assume command of all the cavalry. Colonel Dobbin being placed in arrest by General Marmaduke's directions, I assumed command of all of Dobbin's forces, which included my own brigade, W. B. Denson's Louisiana cavalry company, C. L. Morgan's Texas squadron, and J. H. Pratt's and C. B. Etter's batteries. Major Corley's regiment, being dismounted, was sent (with Etter's battery) to where the road leading to the mouth of old Fourche and the road leading across the dam diverge at the corer of Vaughn's field. Pratt's battery was placed in Vaughn's field, opposite the dam, and Bull's regiment, Denson's company and Morgan's squadron along the bayou on the right and left of the battery in such manner as to support it, and at the same time to be used to our right, should the enemy attempt to cross the bayou above us. The battle opened on our left. The enemy, in small parties, came up in my front so as to be distinctly visible between my position and Fletcher's house, but I directed Pratt to reserve his fire until they advanced in some force and came within easy range, when he was to ply them vigorously with grape and canister. It was not until after their repulse by Jeffers' brigade,

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Fourche (Arkansas, United States) (3)
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C. B. Etter (6)
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John S. Marmaduke (2)
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