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 cavalry in the Federal service were stationed in these counties, where they alone protected the Union flag, since the regular armies of both parties had passed beyond the western boundary of the vast horizon which is visible from the summit of the Pea Ridge hills. Colonel Philipps, with twelve hundred mounted men and two field-pieces, was detached from this force to attack and disperse the Indians of the other party, assembled near the Neosho. These Indians also consisted of three mounted regiments, under Colonel Taylor. They occupied, conjointly with a white company, the village of Gibson and a post called Creek Agency, on the Verdigris River. Philipps divided his forces into two columns, hoping thus to surprise the enemy in the village. Major Forman was ordered to cross the Neosho and descend the right bank of the river, with six hundred men and two guns, whilst Philipps proceeded with the remainder of his forces toward Gibson through Park Hill and Tah-le-Quah. The attack was fixed for the morning of July 24th. Taylor, having been apprised in time, tried to prevent it. On the 28th he sent three hundred and fifty mounted men to meet Forman, who succeeded in delaying his march. In the mean while, he proceeded to meet Philipps with seven or eight hundred men. On the 28th, toward two o'clock in the afternoon, he suddenly attacked this vanguard with three hundred men between Gibson and Tah-le-Quah, and routed them. But the Unionists fell back upon the principal column, which had had time to deploy, dismount and occupy a strong position along the edge of a wood. Just as Taylor's Indians were advancing in perfect security, they were received by a murderous fire; the Federals, uttering a savage yell, rushed upon them and drove them back in disorder. Their chief, however, succeeded in rallying them upon a ridge commanding the little valley of Bayou Barnard; but they did not long defend this position; at the first fire they abandoned it and dispersed. This double combat had cost them one hundred and twenty-five men disabled. The dead bodies of Taylor and two Choctaw captains were found near Bayou Barnard. Philipps, crossing the Neosho, rejoined Forman, but was unable to cut off the retreat of the enemy's detachment which had been sent against the latter, and which succeeded in making its way to the
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