The War.The details of the great battle in Arkansas have not yet come to hand; still everything in connection with it will interest the reader, and we therefore copy the following from the Little Rock (Ark.) True Democrat, of March 18th: The battle ground extends over ten miles, and on every mile of the route are a thousand dead men. The battle was the most desperately contested of any fought during the war. Our loss in officers is reported as terrible. McCulloch, McIntosh, McRas, Slack, and others, have fallen. Braver and nobler men never died for freedom. Our forces at Boston Mountain were supposed to be in the neighborhood of thirty thousand, opposed to 34,000 Federals. The latter were western men and regulars. Among the forces of the enemy was one regiment of cavalry armed with revolving rifles and with two extra cylinders, so that they could fire 18,000 shot without re-loading. They also had Sturgis's battery manned by regulars, and said to be the best drilled and disciplined body on the continent. If, as we are led to suppose, the Federals were reinforced by the column from Kansas, the odds against us were as two to one. Our troops fought for three days and nights and more desperate fighting was never seen.
Gen. Price's retreat from Springfield.We have already published the Yankee accounts of Gen. Price's retreat from Springfield into Arkansas, previous to the battle of Pea Ridge, as well as the General's official report of the affair, exposing the mendacity of the Federal commander. We now copy from a Louisiana paper a portion of a letter written by one who shared the perils and sufferings of the retreat. The allusion to the brave McCulloch has additional interest from the fact that he has since perished gloriously on the field of battle: All day Monday we fell back slowly, but in good order. In the afternoon the advance guard of the enemy made a rush upon our rear, and for nearly an hour a desperate conflict ensued, in which artillery was freely used on both sides. We succeeded in driving them back, the Confederates losing three killed and seventeen wounded, the enemy 120 killed and wounded. The dash of the Federal cavalry was so impetuous that they became mingled with our troops, and there was a free use of sabres and small arms. They could not stand, however, the deadly fire of the Missourians' shot guns. Monday our forces reached their winter quarters to spend the night, while Price's army occupied Cross. Hollows, distant two and a half miles. Young's Texas regiment camped with us. The next morning we marched to Cross Hollows and encamped in an open field. This day Rector's and Mitchell's regiments joined us. The latter regiment had marched 45 miles without halting in twenty-four hours. Ben McCulloch arrived and was met with such a storm of enthusiasm as seldom greets any man. It made his men almost wild to see him once more, and that, too, when placed in such a perilous position without their General. Such a deafening cheer as the Louisiana regiment gave him has seldom been heard. Baring his head, while his eagle eye lighted up with an unwonted fire, he remarked, "Men, I am glad to see you; " a greeting which was responded to with interest. A line of battle, under McCulloch's energetic direction, was formed, and soon every hillside glistened with bayonets and batteries frowned upon every avenue of approach.--During all this time the weather was bitter cold. The men, on account of the suddenness of the demand for their services, were without tents, blankets, or provisions. That night we laid down upon the frozen ground, around huge fires, to snatch, if possible, a short sleep, while expecting the enemy. To add to the hardships and trials which we had encountered, it commenced a cold, freezing rain, which continued nearly all night. Some few slept through it all; but the majority of the troops gathered in shivering groups around their camp fires.--While thus waiting for the enemy's approach, they suddenly appeared in Bentonville, on our extreme left flank, taking possession of the quarters of Rector's regiment. Two of their scouts were also captured on While river, on our extreme right, indicating an attempt to flank our position. Of course they destroyed the greater portion of the clothing, etc., of Rector's men, besides killing one or two citizens, and committing other outrages too diabolical to mention. Early on Tuesday morning we once more abandoned our position, and commenced retreating in the midst of a bitter storm of sleet and snow.--The road was a solid mass of ice, slippery and as hard as a rock. All day long the weary march continued, while the beards of the men became white with their frozen breath the water even became ice in their canteens. Weary, foot-sore, hungry and cold, we arrived here last night, only to find nearly every house deserted of women and children, while every man had shouldered his rifle for the deadly strife. Last night the Northern heavens were reddened with the glare of our winter quarters given to destruction to prevent their falling into the hands of the Hessians. Naught remains of those fine and comfortable buildings now except heaps of smouldering-ashes. Price has conducted a masterly retreat, covering, as he has, a train of 8,500 wagons, loaded with his army supplies, and moving fifty pieces of artillery. Our forces are nearly all in the field. We have about eighty pieces of artillery. We expect to make a stand on Boston Mountain, and have only retreated thus far on account of the scarcity of for age for the immense number of horses, and also to prevent the enemy cutting off our supplies, which they are attempting. It is impossible to estimate the numbers of the enemy. They have a very large, as well as the best organized and equipped army which the Northern Government have ever sent into the field.
Latest news.From exchanges received last night we make up the following summary.
The battle in Arkansas.A dispatch dated Fort Smith, Ark., March 16, says: ‘ Official intelligence has been received that Col. Robert, of Lomstans, is a prisoners, injured, and will be exchanged in a few days. The water courses being so high, and such stormy weather, has prevented the reception of late intelligence from the enemy, who is reported to be retreating. He is, it is said, now at Bentonville, and still falling back on Caseville. Our army is in fine spirit and ready for another fight. ’ Our total loss in killed, wounded and prisoners was less than 800. The enemy's loss was between 2,000 and 3,000. We took six guns and caissons'; 8 guns were afterwards recaptured. Gens. Siegel and Curtis are said to be killed. We have two hundred and fifty prisoners, among them Lieut. Col. Chardle, of the 80th Illinois, and Howling, of the 9th Iowa, and about 80 other officers. Our army fell back, having parted from the trains. We captured a large amount of commissary supplies, upon which the whole army subsisted one night. Next morning before we fell back we destroyed 300 acres of flour and a large quantity of bacon and other stores. The cause of Arkansas is to be fought over.
Affairs on the Mississippi.The Memphis Appeal, of March 20th, furnishes the following: We learn that a skirmish occurred Tuesday morning between our gunboats and a shore battery of the enemy, erected during the preceding night, nearly opposite to Tiptonville. On discovering that the enemy had been at work on the west bank, our gunboats got up steam early in the morning and went out to attack them. The enemy had placed three twenty-four- pounder rifle guns in position, for the purpose of cutting off our communication at Tiptonville, where the land transit across to Island to begins. The gunboats (wooden) engaged were the McRae, Lady Polk, Ivy, Pontchartrain, Livingston, and Marapas. The fight continued some two hours. The fore and aft chains of the Marapas were out by the enemy's shot. They also sent one shot clear through the Gen. Polk, which struck her, or came out, below the water line, but which we have not been able to ascertain. She immediately withdrew, and at last accounts it was found necessary to resort to her pumps to keep the water down. The other boats continued their fire a short time longer, and then withdrew to their anchorage. They sustained more or less damage, but were in no respect disabled. No one was killed on our side; only one person being slightly bruised by a splinter. We have no means of learning the loss of the enemy. The Federal force on the other side of the river was estimated at one thousand men.--They were engaged in throwing up entrenchments and strengthening their position. On Monday, six of the enemy's ironclad gunboats came down within three-quarters of a mile of Island 10 and shelled the place through the day. They fired slowly, and seemed to direct their shot, not at our batteries, which returned their fire, but beyond, towards an open plantation, where our troops were supposed to be encamped. Our guns struck the gunboats repeatedly, but none of the shot seemed to take effect. The gunboats retired beyond range towards night. In their rear the river seemed to be white with their transports. Our loss was three killed and eight wounded. Loss of the enemy not known. Lates.--We learn from a gentleman who left Island 10 at half past 2 o'clock Tuesday afternoon, and arrived here last evening, that the enemy renewed the attack on the Island Tuesday morning with eight gunboats and three mortar-boats. The fire was kept up at intervals until the hour of his departure. One of the gunboats having ventured within good range; our big gun, the "Lady Polk, " was turned loose at her. The first shot was a miss; the second took effect, and cleared its way through the boat from side to side Assistance was sent her, and she was downed a short distance back, when she sunk. At a later hour a second boat renewed the attack on the battery of the Lady Polk, which fired seven shot in return. Four missed their mark, two struck and glanced, and the one, which was the seventh, passed through the boat, tearing off a piece of the iron sheeting, which could be seen from the island. This boat was also towed back, evidently disabled, but to what extent our informant was unable to say. It may not be improper to add that our officers felt confident of their ability to hold the island. They have no idea of abandoning the position. By passengers on the Republic, who left Tiptonville yesterday morning, we have a confirmation of the fight between the gunboats and the enemy's battery. The damage to the Gen. Polk was not so serious as at first supposed. One shot passed through the pilot house of the Marapas.
Gen. Tilgeman Official report of the Bat the of Fort Henry.The Atlanta Confederacy. produces General Tilghman's report of the attack upon Fort Henry, which had not before been published: Brig-Gen. U. S. Grant, commanding Federal forces, I am permitted to communicate with you in relation to the result of the action between the fort under my command, at this place, and the Federal gunboats, on yesterday. At 11 o'clock, and 40 minutes on yesterday morning, the enemy engaged the fort with seven gunboats, mounting 54 guns. I promptly returned their fire with the 11 guns from Fort Henry, bearing on the river. The action was maintained with great bravery by the force under my command, until 10 minutes before 2 P. M., at which time I had but four guns fit for service. At five minutes before 3, finding it impossible to maintain the fort, and wishing to spare the lives of the gallant men under my command, and on consultation with my officers, I surrendered the fort. Our casualties are small. The effect of our shot was severally felt by the enemy, whose superior and overwhelming force alone gave them the advantage. The surrender of Fort Henry involves that of Capt. Taylor, Lieut. Watts, Lieut. Weller and one other officer of artillery; Capts. Hayden and Miller, of the Engineers, Capts. H. L. Jones and McLaughlin, Quartermaster's Department; A. A. A. Gen. McConnice, and myself, with some fifty privates and twenty sick, together with all the munitions of war in and about the fort. I communicate this result with deep regret, but feel that I performed my whole duty in the defence of my post. I take occasion to bear testimony to the gallantry of the officers and men under my command. They maintained their position with consummate bravery as long as there was any hope of success. I also take great pleasure in acknowledging the courtesies and consideration shown by Brig. Gen. U. S. Grant and Commander Foots, and the officers under their command. I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obd't serv't.
Brig. Gen. O. S. A.