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[426]

Arrested by Klause's battery on the right, and cooperating with the troops of the Third and Fourth divisions, who advanced with new spirit on the Keitsville road, the enemy was over-whelmed by the deadly power of our artillery, and after about an hour's work, the firing on his side began to slacken, and nearly totally ceased. To profit this favorable moment, I ordered the Twelfth Missouri, the Twenty-fifth and Forty-fourth Illinois to throw forward a strong force of skirmishers, and take the woods in front, where the enemy had planted one of his batteries. At the same time, I ordered the Seventeenth Missouri Volunteers, which had arrived during the battle from the Bentonville road, to climb the hill on our left, and to press forward against the enemy's rear. The Thirty-sixth Illinois was also ordered to assist this movement, and to hold communication between the Twelfth and Seventeenth Missouri Volunteers, whilst Colonels Schaefer and Joliat, with the Second and Fifteenth Missouri, followed slowly, and Colonel Demett with his cavalry guarded the rear.

The rattling of musketry, the volleys, the hurrahs, did prove very soon that our troops were well at work in the woods, and that they were gaining ground rapidly. It was the Twelfth Missouri Volunteers, under Major Wengelin, which at this occasion took Dallas's artillery and their flag, followed close behind and on the right by part of the Third Missouri, the Forty-fourth and Twenty-fifth Illinois, and on the left by the Thirty-sixth Illinois. The Seventeenth Missouri, under Major Paten, had meanwhile arrived on the top of Pea Ridge, forming the extreme left of our line of battle.

The enemy was routed, and fled in terror and confusion in all directions. It was a delightful moment when we all met after twelve o'clock on the eminence where the enemy held position with his batteries a few minutes before, and when you let pass by the columns of your victorious army.

To pursue the enemy, I sent Capt. Von Reilmansegge, with one company of Fremont hussars, forward. The Seventeenth and Third Missouri followed in double-quick time, assisted by two pieces of Elbert's flying artillery. Other troops of the First division, all under Colonel Osterhaus, came up and continued their march toward Keitsville.

At the fork of the Bentonville and Keitsville roads, I detached the Forty-fourth Illinois, Col. Knoblesdorf, two pieces of artillery of the flying battery, and a squad of thirty Fremont hussars, to proceed a short distance on the road to Bentonville, and to guard that road. Arrived at Keitsville with the greatest portion of my command, I found that one part of the enemy had turned to the Roaring River and Bentonville, while others had turned to the left. I also received your order to return to Sugar Creek, which I did, and met the army on Sugar Creek, at four o'clock on the evening of the ninth.

A list of the dead, wounded, and missing of this command has already been transmitted to you, and a special report, mentioning those officers and men of my command who deserve consideration for their conduct in action, together with the reports of the different commanders of regiments and corps, will follow to-day, as some of the reports have not come in yet.

I am, General, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. Sigel, Brig.-Gen. Commanding First and Second Divisions. To Brig.-Gen. S. R. Curtis, Commanding South-Western Army.

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J. C. Fremont (2)
Wengelin (1)
Francis Sigel (1)
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Paten (1)
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Knoblesdorf (1)
Klause (1)
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