JULY 17, 1863.--Engagement at Elk Creek, near Honey Springs, Indian Territory.
Report of Lieut. Col. Frederick W. Schaurte, Second Indian Home Guards.
FORT BLUNT, C. N., July 20, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to forward to you the following report of the battle
on Elk Creek, Creek Nation, July 17, 1863, in which my regiment was engaged:
I was ordered to get all my available force in readiness to march on
Thursday, July 16, 1863. My command consisted of field and staff officers,
Major [M. B. C.J Wright, Surg. A. J. Ritchie, Adjutant [Ezra W.] Robinson,
Chaplain J. B. Jones, and Sergt. Maj. Ed. Baldrige; of line officers, 4
captains, 9 first lieutenants, and 5 second lieutenants; of enlisted men,
345, 10 of whom were mounted. Total, 368.
My command crossed the Arkansas River, below the mouth of Grand River, at
11 p.m. on the 16th instant. Three privates of Company F, Second Regiment
Indian Brigade, were drowned while attempting to swim the river--Privates
Huston Mayfield, Key Dougherty, and To-cah-le-ges-kie. We moved forward on
the Texas road (course west of south), and arrived at camp, to the north of
and near Elk Creek timber, at 8.45 o'clock, July 17, 1863. About an hour
afterward I received orders to get my command in readiness, and take
position in close column of companies in rear of the First Kansas Colored
Regiment. The First Brigade, of which my regiment formed a part, moved
forward in close column of companies, on the right of the Texas road, and
formed in line of battle near and in front of Elk Creek timber. About 10.20
a.m. Blair's battery, consisting of four pieces, commanded by Capt. E. A.
Smith, commenced firing. Soon afterward the right section changed position
from the right to the left of the brigade, supported by the First Kansas
Colored Regiment. As soon as the artillery ceased firing I was ordered to
deploy my command as skirmishers, and enter the timber. My command
continued to act as skirmishers during the entire engagement, which lasted
about four hours. The enemy were repulsed from the field, and pursued till
pursuing became useless, they being well mounted and our men worn down with
fatigue. A little after 2 o'clock my command was ordered back to camp on
Elk Creek, where it remained until 5 p.m., July 18, 1863, when we were
ordered to march for Fort Blunt, on the same route pursued in going to the
scene of action. We camped about 12 p.m., on the prairie 2 miles south of
the Arkansas River. My command left camp soon after sunrise, and arrived at
Fort Blunt at 11 a.m., July 19, 1863.
A stand of colors was captured by my men; also a quantity of arms; the
number I could not ascertain, as the men threw them in a pile whenever they
The casualties in my command are as follows: Private Huston May-field,
Company F, drowned in the Arkansas; Private Key Dougherty, Company F,
drowned in the Arkansas; Private Tocah-le-ges-kie, Company F, drowned in
the Arkansas; Private Grass, Company B, wounded in left side, severely;
Private Backwater, Company A, right thigh broken, wound mortal; Private
Leach Rice, Company I, right hand wounded slightly.
I feel it my duty to state that the officers and men of my command behaved
nobly and gallantly. They were the first who charged through Elk Creek and
took position in the farther edge of the timber, opposite to where the
enemy had massed their forces for the time.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
FRED. W. SCHAURTE,
Lieut. Col. Second Regiment Indian Brigade, Comdg. Regiment.
ACTING ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL,
First Brigade, Army of the Frontier.
SOURCE: United States War Department. THE WAR OF THE REBELLION: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. 128 Volumes. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1880-1901.
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