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Doc. 172.-battle of Fayetteville, Ark.

Colonel Harrison's report.

Headquarters Post, Fayetteville, Ark., April 19, 1863.
Major-General S. R. Curtis, Commanding Department of the Missouri:
General: The following report of the battle of yesterday at Fayetteville, is respectfully submitted, in addition to the telegraphic despatches of last evening. On Friday, seventeenth instant, a scout under command of Lieutenant Robb, First Arkansas cavalry, returned from the direction of Ozark, and reported no apparent preparations of the enemy to move in this direction. Having no fresh horses, I ordered Lieutenant Robb to take his command to quarters, expecting to be able to send a small scout again on the next day. On Saturday morning, eighteenth instant, at a few minutes after sunrise, the enemy having made a forced march from the Boston Mountain during the night, surprised and captured our dismounted picket on the Frog Bayou road, and approached the town with wild and deafening shouts. Their cavalry charged up a deep ravine on the east side of the city, and attacked my headquarters, (the Colonel Tibbetts place.) The firing of the picket had alarmed the command, and by the time the enemy had reached town the First Arkansas infantry had formed on their parade-ground, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel E. J. Searle, assisted by Major E. D. Hanna, and slowly retired by my orders, toward the cavalry, then formed, dismounted, at their camp. Fearing that, not being informed, they might be mistaken for the enemy, and be fired upon by the cavalry, I ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Searle to post seven companies as a reserve in a sheltered position in our rear, two of which were afterward ordered to support the left wing. The remaining three companies of the First infantry, together with four companies of the First cavalry, formed the centre of our line under my own immediate command. The right wing Was composed of the Third battalion, First cavalry, under command of Major Ezra Fitch; and the left wing, Second battalion, (First Arkansas cavalry,) was commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel A. W. Bishop, assisted by Major T. J. Hunt. Headquarters was made the “bone of contention,” and was repeatedly charged by the rebels, but they were gallantly repulsed by our men. In less than thirty minutes after the first attack, the enemy planted two pieces of artillery-one a twelve-pounder, and one six-pounder — upon the hill-side east of town, near Colonel Guitar's place, and opened a sharp fire of canister and shells upon the camp of the First Arkansas cavalry, doing some damage to tents and horses, but killing no men. At eight A. M. our centre had advanced and occupied the house, yard, out-buildings and hedges at my headquarters; the right wing had advanced to the arsenal, and the left occupied the open field on the north-east of town, while the enemy had possession of the whole hill-side east, the Davis place, opposite to, and the grove south of headquarters. This grove was formerly occupied by the buildings of the Arkansas College. At about nine A. M., or a little before, Colonel Munroe led a gallant and desperate cavalry charge upon our right wing, which was met by a galling cross-fire from our right and centre, piling rebel men and horses in heaps in front of our ordnance office, and causing the enemy to retreat in disorder to the woods. During this charge, Captain Parker and Smith, of the First infantry, while bravely cheering their men, were both wounded in the head, though not dangerously. At about the same time, by my order, two companies of [554] the First cavalry, led by the gallant Lieutenant Robb, advanced within rifle-range of the enemy's artillery, and guided by the blaze of its discharges, fired several volleys into the midst of the artillerists, which effectually silenced their battery and caused its precipitate withdrawal from the field. The enemy's centre, occupying the Davis place, made a desperate resistance for nearly an hour after both wings had partially given way, and skirmishing continued at intervals for some time with pickets, reconnoitring parties and stragglers. At twelve M. their whole force was in full retreat for Ozark. Having only a very few horses, and they already on duty with picketing and reconnoitring parties, I was utterly unable to pursue them. During the whole action the enemy occupied ground covered with timber and brush, while my command were in the streets and open fields.

Since the battle I have ascertained the following particulars: General Cabell and staff, with about two thousand men and two pieces of artillery, left Ozark on Friday morning with three days rations and a full supply of ammunition. They halted at the crossing of the mountains at a little past noon and rested until nearly sunset, afterward marching rapidly toward Fayetteville They were delayed by the darkness of the night and the incumbrance of their artillery so that they did not commence the attack as early by nearly two hours as they had intended. Colonel Munroe recommended a cavalry attack, to be supported by the artillery, but was overruled by Cabell, and a halt was made until the artillery could come up. Their force was made up as follows: Brigadier-General W. L. Cabell, commanding, accompanied by staff and escort; Carroll's First Arkansas cavalry regiment, Colonel Scott, of Virginia, commanding, assisted by Lieutenant-Colonel Thomson. Munroe's Second Arkansas cavalry, Colonel Munroe commanding in person. First battalion Parson's Texas cavalry, Lieutenant-Colonel Noble commanding. One section of artillery, commanding officer not known, four companies bushwhackers, commanded by Mankins, Palmer, Brown, and others. The enemy left all their dead and.wounded which they could not take away on their retreat in our hands, leaving Surgeon Russell and Assistant-Surgeon Holderness to take charge of them. To-day Captain Alexander arrived at our picket with a flag of truce bringing a communication from General Cabell, a copy of which I inclose. The flag was immediately ordered back with my reply, a copy of which is also inclosed. The following is a list of casualties on our side:

First Arkansas Infantry.--Killed: S. Cockerill, Co. A.

First Arkansas Cavalry.--Killed: Privates H. Morris and J. D. Bell, Co. I; R. B. Burrows, Co. A. Wounded: Captain W. S. Johnson, Co. M., right arm, dangerously. Sergeant Frederick Kise, Co. A, slightly. Sergeant John Asbill, Co. D, severely. First Sergeant W. M. Burrows, Co. E, severely. Commissary Sergeant Ben. K. Graham, Co. L, slightly. Corporal Josiah Fears, Co. A, slightly. Corporal Henry C. Lewis, Co. D, slightly. Corporal Geo. A. Morris, Co. G, slightly. Corporal Doctor B. Morris, Co. M, slightly. Farrier Wm. Wooten, Co. C, slightly. John Hays, Co. A, severely. James Jack, Co. A, severely. William J. Quinton, Co. D, slightly. Francis M. Temple, Co. D, slightly. John Grubb, Co. E, slightly. Jordan Taylor, Co. E, severely. Wm. F. Davis, Co. G, slightly. George Davis, Co. H, mortally. William J. York, Co. H, severely. Davis Chyle, Co. M, slightly.

First Arkansas Infantry.--Captain Randall Smith, Co. A, head, slightly. Captain Wm. C. Parker, Co. H, head, slightly. Corporal John Woods, Co. A, slightly. James Shockley, Co. A, mortally. Niles Slater, Co. A, slightly. Daniel Rupe, Co. E, slightly. William Rockdey, Co. F, severely.----Nolin, Co. H, slightly.

Ran away disgracefully to Cassville, Lieut. C. C. Wells, Regimental Quartermaster First Arkansas infantry.

Missing--thirty-five. Mostly stampeded to-ward Cassville during the engagement.

Prisoners: One lieutenant and eight men, First Arkansas cavalry, taken while absent without leave at a dance nine miles from town. Also, one private, First Arkansas infantry, and six privates from other commands, taken in town.

Total killed, four; wounded, twenty-six; prisoners, sixteen; missing, thirty-five.

The enemy's loss is not accurately known. At and about this post are not less than twenty killed and fifty wounded. Citizens report one Colonel and several men as having died on the retreat; also a large number of wounded still moving on with the command. We captured, during the engagement, Major Wilson, General Cabell's commissary, wounded, and Captain Jefferson, of Carroll's regiment; also, four sergeants, three corporals, and forty-six privates, a part of them wounded; also not less than fifty horses and one hundred stand of arms, mostly shot-guns. Among their killed are Captain Hubbard of Carroll's regiment, and a captain of bushwhackers. The enemy admit the loss of over two hundred horses, killed, taken, and stampeded.

Inclosed please find a rough sketch of the position of forces at nine A. M., when the battle culminated.

Every field and line-officer, and nearly every enlisted man fought bravely, and I would not wish to be considered as disparaging any one when I can mention only a few of the many heroic men who sustained so nobly the honor of our flag. Lieutenant-Colonel Searle and Major Ham, in command of the reserve, did good service in keeping their men in position and preventing them from being terrified by the artillery. Lieutenant-Colonel Bishop and Majors Fitch and Hunt, of the First cavalry, led their men coolly up in the face of the enemy's fire, and drove them from their position. Captain W. S. Johnson, company M, First cavalry, had his right arm shattered while leading his men forward under a galling [555] fire. Lieutenant Roseman, Post-Adjutant, and Lieutenant Frank Strong, Acting Adjutant, First cavalry, deserve much praise.

I remain, General, your most obedient servant,

M. La Rue Harrison, Colonel First Arkansas Cavalry Commanding.
P. S.--We had actively engaged during the battle between three and four hundred men only. I should not neglect also to mention that S. D. Carpenter, Assistant-Surgeon of volunteers, assisted by Assistant-Surgeons Caffe, Drake, and Pefft, were actively engaged during the contest in carrying the wounded from the field and attending to their wants.

M. La Rue Harrison, Colonel First Arkansas Cavalry, Commanding.

headquarters North-West Arkansas, April 19, 1863.
Sir: The bearer of this letter, Captain Alexander, visits your post under a flag of truce to bury any of my command that may be left dead from the engagement of yesterday. I respectfully request that you will suffer him to get up the dead and wounded, and that you will extend to him such assistance as may be necessary to enable him to carry out his instructions.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obd't serv't,

W. L. Cabell, Brigadier-General Commanding North-West Arkansas. To Colonel M. La Rue Harrison, Commanding Post of Fayetteville.

Headquarters Post, Fayetteville, Ark., April 19, 1863.
Brigadier-General W. L. Cabell, Commanding.
General: In reply to despatches from you by hand of Captain Alexander, bearing flag of truce, I would respectfully state that the dead of your command have all been decently buried in coffins. The wounded are in charge of Surgeons Russell and Holden, having been removed to our general hospital by my order. They are receiving every attention that men can receive, abundance of medicines, surgical instruments and subsistence stores having been placed under the control of your surgeons.

Rest assured, General, that your wounded shall receive the best of care, such as we would hope to have from you were we placed in a like situation.

Under the circumstances, I consider it unnecessary to retain your flag, and therefore return it.

Your prisoners shall be paroled, and as fast as the men whose names are mentioned in your list report to our lines, the exchanges will be made.

I am, General, very truly yours,

M. La Rue Harrison, Colonel Commanding.

General order no. 16: read at Divine service, Fayetteville, Sunday, April 19, 1863.

Headquarters Post, Fayetteville, Ark., April 9, 1863.
comrades in arms: Let the eighteenth of April, 1863, be ever remembered. The battle of Fayetteville has been fought and won. To-day the brave and victorious sons of Arkansas stand proudly upon the soil which their blood and their bravery have rendered sacred to every true-hearted American, but doubly sacred to them. In the light of this holy Sabbath sun we are permitted, through God's mercy, to gather together in his name and in the name of our common country, to offer up our heartfelt thanks to the “Giver of every good and perfect gift,” for the triumphs of our arms and for the blessings which we this day enjoy.

When yesterday's sun rose upon us, the hostile hordes of a bitter and unprincipled foe were pouring their deadly fire among our ranks; the booming of his artillery was reechoing from mountain to mountain, and the clattering hoofs of his cavalry were trampling in our streets.

At meridian, General Cabell with his shattered and panic-stricken cohorts was retreating precipitately through the passes of the Boston Mountains toward the Arkansas River, leaving his dead and wounded in our hands.

Fellow-soldiers: It is to your honor and credit I say it, he could not have left them in better hands. Not one act of barbarity or even unkindness stains the laurels you so proudly wear. Such may your conduct ever be; brave and unflinching in battle; kind and generous to the vanquished. Abstain from all cruelty and excess. Respect the immunities of private property. Never insult or injure women and children, the aged, the sick, or a fallen foe.

Let us show to our enemies that the Federal soldiers of Arkansas are as generous as they are brave and patriotic; let us prove to them the justice of our cause and the purity of our purposes, so that soon we may gather together, under the broad folds of our time-honored and victorious banner every true-hearted son of Arkansas.

Fellow-soldiers: I congratulate you all upon the glorious victory you have won by your cool and determined bravery for that Union which our revolutionary sires established by their valor and sealed with their blood. More than all, do I congratulate you that this battle was fought upon Arkansas soil, and this victory won by Arkansians alone; thereby testifying to our patriot brethren in arms from other States that we are not only willing but anxious to second their efforts in rescuing our State from the dominion of traitors. But in all our rejoicing let us not neglect to shed the tear of regret over the graves of those heroic men who fell beside us, fighting bravely for the nation's honor.

Green be their mossy graves;
     Immortal be their name;
Above, their banner proudly waves,
     While heaven records their fame.

A just cause is ours. The Stars and Stripes float gallantly over us. God is on our side. Who can be against us?

By order of Colonel M. La Rue Harrison, Commanding Post. James Roseman, Lieutenant and Post Adjutant.

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