HEADQUARTERS FIFTH DIVISION,
Camp Shiloh, Tenn., April 5, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report that yesterday about 3 p.m. it was reported to me that the lieutenant commanding and 7 men of the advance pickets had imprudently advanced from their posts and were captured. I ordered Major Ricker, of the Fifth Ohio Cavalry, to proceed rapidly to the picket station, ascertain the truth, and act according to circumstances. He reached the station, found the pickets had been captured as reported, and that a company of infantry sent by the brigade commander had gone forward in pursuit of some cavalry. He rapidly advanced some 2 miles and found them engaged; charged the enemy, and drove them along the ridge road until he met and received three discharges of artillery, when he very properly wheeled under cover and returned till he met me. As soon as I heard artillery I advanced with two regiments of infantry and took position and remained until the scattered companies of infantry and cavalry returned. This was after night.
I infer that the enemy is in some considerable force at Pea Ridge; that yesterday morning they crossed a brigade of two regiments of infantry, one regiment of cavalry, and one battery of field artillery to the ridge on which the Corinth road lays. They halted the infantry and artillery at a point about 5 miles in my front, and sent a detachment to the lane of General Meeks, on the north of Owl Creek, and the cavalry down towards our camp. This cavalry captured a part of our advance pickets and afterwards engaged the two companies of Colonel Buckland's regiment, as described by him in his report, herewith inclosed. Our cavalry drove them back upon their artillery and infantry, killing many and bringing off 10 prisoners (all of the First Alabama Cavalry), whom I send to you.
We lost of the picket: 1 first lieutenant and 7 men of the Seventieth Ohio Infantry, taken prisoners; 1 major, 1 lieutenant, and 1 private of the Seventy-second Ohio taken prisoners, and 8 privates wounded. Names of all embraced in report of Colonel Buckland, inclosed herewith. We took 10 prisoners, and left 2 wounded and many killed on the field.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
W. T. SHERMAN,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
Capt. JOHN A. RAWLINS,
A. A. G., District of West Tennessee.
SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 10, Part 1 (Serial No. 10), p. 89-90