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9 Series I Volume VIII- Serial 8 - Pea Ridge

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Page 9 Chapter XVIII. OPERATIONS IN INDIAN TERRITORY.

ravine in the prairie were driven by the Choctaws and Texans across the open ground intervening between it and timber on the creek. The position them taken up by the enemy at Chust-Talasah, or the Caving Banks (the Creeks call the place Fontan-hulwache, Little Hight Shoals), presented almost insurmountable obstacles to our troops.

The creek made up to the prairie on the side of our approach in an abrupt, precipitous bank, some 30 feet in height, at places cut into steps, reaching near the top and forming a complete parapet, while the creek, being deep, was fordable but at certain points known only to the enemy. The opposite side, which was occupied by the hostile forces, was densely covered with heavy timber, matted undergrowth, and thickets, and fortified additionally by prostrate logs. Near the center of the enemy's line was a dwelling-house, a small corn-crib, and rail fence, situated in a recess of the prairie, at the gorge of a bend of the creek, of horseshoe form, about 400 or 500 yards in length. This bend was thickly wooded, and covered in front, near the house, with large interwoven weeds and grass, extending to a bench, behind which the enemy could lie and pour upon the advancing line his deadly fire in comparative safety, while the creek banks on either side covered the house by flank and reverse.

The Creeks, commanded by Colonel D. N. McItosh, on the left cam soon into action, and, charging the enemy with great impetuosity, met them in hand-to-hand encounter, drove them from the timber, and dispersed them in every direction. On the right the Choctaws and Chickasaws boldly charged on horse to the bank of a ravine near the creek under a heavy fire, and, dismounting, drove back the enemy, who disputed every step of their advance with the greatest obstinacy and bravery. Major Laflore, Captains Jones, McCurtain, and Reynolds were particularly conspicuous in this part of the engagement; also Colonel Drew and his men, who acted with the Choctaws and Texans. Almost simultaneously with these movements on the right and left a detachment of the Texas cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Quayle, made a charge to the left of the Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment and routed the enemy in that quarter; then, changing position to the right of the line, warmly engaged the Indians concealed about the creek and ravines. Another detachment of the Texas cavalry, under Colonel Sims, after making a demonstration to the right of the Creek regiment, moved up the creek about 1 mile, joined Lieutenant-Colonel Quayle, and assisted him in completing the rout of the enemy in that direction. In the mean time the enemy appeared in large force about the house at the bend, and Captain Young, of the Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment, was ordered with his squadron, about 100 strong, to attack them. The charge of the squadron was made in gallant style to the timber below the house, and, there dismounting, moved up under cover of the fence.

The enemy were driven from their stronghold and perused far into the bend, where, receiving on the flank an unexpected fire, the squadron took position at the house. Being then re-enforced by some men from Captains Reynolds', McCurtain's, and Hall's companies, of the Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment, the conflict with the persistent foe was renewed with increased vigor, and after a fierce struggle the enemy was forced, with heavy loss, through the bend and across the creek.

Out troops, changing position at this juncture to meet a flank fire again on the right, the enemy in front rallied, and by their direct firing from the creek and on the right and rear compelled a retreat again to the house. At this time the force of the enemy at this point was not


Page 9 Chapter XVIII. OPERATIONS IN INDIAN TERRITORY.

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