FORT PILLOW, January 1, 1863.
GENERAL: On the 27th ultimo, I received orders to destroy public property and remove the
detachment to Fort Pillow. On the 28th this was accomplished. I was much disappointed, and
feared you would be also; but the order was peremptory from General Davies, and General Fisk
informed me that General Davies had authority from you.
The detachment is now here. As far as I can see, we are of no use here. There is no artillery
here, and the works are much extended. With a few pieces the place might be held against a large
force. As it is, an attack from a largely superior force would be fatal. I know, of course, nothing
of the policy that sent me here in such haste. I do know, however, that my regiment is divided,
and that I would be pleased to have it united.
When at New Madrid and Cape Girardeau, I felt that we were in the same neighborhood;
now we are certainly not neighbors, and are embarrassed by being in two departments. It is not
my place to suggest either the when or the where, but only my wish, that, if consistent with the
public welfare, it would be remembered as a kindness could we again be brought together.
Your most obedient servant,
Colonel Thirty-second Iowa Infantry.
Saint Louis, Mo.
HOLLY SPRINGS, MISS, January 8, 1863.
Brig. Gen. J. B. McPHERSON, Holly Springs, Miss.:
As soon as all public stores, sick, &c., are removed from Holly Springs fall back with the
troops now occupying the place to the vicinity of La Grange, Grand Junction, or Davis' Mill.
When you arrive there, examine the railroad to the east and ascertain the practicability of
supplying troops to Pocahontas by rail and teams. If practicable, and you think it advisable,
Denver's division may be moved to that place.
The Twenty-fifth Iowa and Ninetieth Illinois, now doing railroad duty, will be added to
General Denver's division, giving him twelve regiments. By taking two regiments from the old
brigade a new one can be formed.
Corinth, Miss., January 20, 1863.
CAPTAIN: In accordance with orders from division headquarters I have the honor to submit
the following report of the part taken by that portion of my command recently detached from the
division while under General Sullivan's orders:
After 9 o'clock on the evening of December 18, when encamped near Oxford, Miss., I
received orders to proceed immediately with the infantry of my command by rail to Jackson,
Tenn., there to report to Brigadier-General Sullivan. About midnight the Thirty-ninth Ohio,
Colonel Noyes, left Oxford, and at 3 o'clock the following morning the Twenty-seventh Ohio,
Lieutenant-Colonel Spaulding, followed. Leaving instructions for Colonel Sprague to follow as
soon as cars could be obtained for the transportation of his own regiment and the Forty-third
Ohio, I started for Jackson on the train conveying the Twenty-seventh Regiment.
I did not reach Jackson until nearly 4 p.m. of the 19th. Immediately on our arrival Colonel
Spaulding was ordered by General Sullivan to report with his regiment to Colonel Lawler to the
front, and I learned from General Sullivan that Colonel Noyes had been sent with his regiment in
another direction to report to General Brayman. I afterward learned that the Sixty-third and
Forty-third Regiments, upon reaching Bolivar, had been ordered by General Grant to remain
there for the defense of that place.
The following morning a General Order from General Sullivan announced that my command
would consist of the Twenty-seventh and Thirty-ninth Regiments of Ohio Infantry, and would
form the rear of the column. As soon as I could find the regiments I marched in the direction of
Lexington, overtaking the main column about 10 miles east of Jackson. While halting here
cannonading was heard in the direction of Humboldt. After an hour's halt we continued the
march until about 19 miles distant from Jackson, where we bivouacked for the night.
The next morning at 6 o'clock we returned over the same road, my command, which was in
advance, reaching Jackson between 1 and 2 p.m.
On the 27th we went by cars to Trenton, where the Sixty-third Ohio rejoined us. I reported, in
accordance with General Sullivan's order, to General Haynie, but General Sullivan arrived the
same evening and assumed command.
About 5 a.m., December 28, we marched toward Huntingdon and bivouacked near Shady
Grove. The next morning, marching through McLemoresville, we reached Huntingdon about 4
On the 31st I marched at 5 a.m. on the road toward Lexington, leaving behind seven
companies on guard duty, which General Sullivan said would march when he was ready to start,
and would form a rear guard. Between 10 and 11 a.m., while my column was halting near
Clarksburg, Generals Sullivan and Haynie, with their respective staffs and a small escort of
cavalry, overtook us. General Sullivan ordered me to halt for an hour or an hour and a half till
the rear guard could rejoin me, and then passed on toward Clarksburg. Within ten minutes
afterward an orderly rode back at a gallop, saying that the enemy’s cavalry had got between my
command and Generals Sullivan and Haynie, and that these officers with their escort had ridden
on through Clarksburg followed by the enemy.
I moved forward, on a double-quick, instantly, and upon reaching Clarksburg learned from
an officer of the Thirty-ninth Iowa (who had been accidentally left on picket duty where Colonel
Dunham's column had bivouacked the previous night) that the enemy's force consisted of about
50 cavalry. This officer's post was to the east of Clarksburg. The enemy had approached from the
west and took the road leading south, passing before this officer had an opportunity to fire on
them. I learned also that Generals Sullivan and Haynie left the road directly after passing
Clarksburg, taking an easterly direction. The enemy upon reaching the same point probably saw
my advance, as they filed out of the road rapidly through the wood to the west.
After a halt of about ten minutes, learning nothing more, we continued our march. Soon the
sound of artillery in our front advised us that Colonel Dunham's brigade was engaging the
enemy, and we began to march in earnest. The firing was first heard to the right of the point
where the road from McLemoresville crosses that leading from Huntingdon to Lexington; in half
an hour it was directly in our front; half an hour later it was all to the left of the crossing, thereby
rendering it certain that the enemy, who approached from McLemoresville, was rapidly driving
Colonel Dunham's brigade before him. Very soon thereafter the rattle of musketry was distinct,
and thinking the hour a critical one for the small force, who were evidently fighting against odds,
I urged my men to their utmost speed. When within about 2 miles of Parker's house an orderly
galloped to the head of the column, saying, "General Sullivan, who is coming up with the rear
guard about 3 miles behind, orders you to halt until he comes up." I directed Captain Dustan,
assistant adjutant-general of this brigade, to ride back to the general as fast as possible, to explain
the situation, and to ask that the order to halt be countermanded. Immediately after Captain
Dustan started upon this errand one of my orderlies, who had been sent to the front to
communicate with Colonel Dunham, returned. He was unable to get through, as the enemy's
position was between us and that of Colonel Dunham's brigade. From near Parker's house, where
they were in force, the enemy had fired on him. When I learned this I felt assured that General
Sullivan would, if present and in possession of the facts, countermand his order to halt, and I
therefore directed that the men instead of halting should move forward as rapidly as possible.
When the head of our column was within about 200 yards of the hill which commanded a
view of the enemy's position, and where our column was deployed, General Sullivan overtook
me. The Twenty-seventh and Sixty-third Regiments were at once formed on the left and the
Thirty-ninth Regiment on the right of the road, when we advanced upon the rear of the enemy's
artillery, which was feebly supported and abandoned (with but little fighting on his part) when
we approached. Our artillery took a position on the left (east) of the road, and directly after
opening fire two pieces followed the infantry until they occupied ground side by side with the
rebel guns, while the other piece was moved to the west side of the road, where it was effectively
used upon the rebels who were escaping by breaking to the front and right of our lines.
Some hundreds of the enemy, who had dismounted and had been fighting as infantry, had left
their horses in the orchard and yard near Parker's house. These horses were the first trophies
which fell into our hands, and more than 300 of their riders thus rendered unable to get away
surrendered themselves as prisoners. A small train of wagons which the enemy had gained
possession of was captured in the road a short distance south of Parker's house, and one, at least,
of the guns belonging to Colonel Dunham's command was retaken from the enemy in this road.
The dead bodies of our artillerists lying close to this gun attested the fidelity and bravery with
which the men of the Seventh Wisconsin Battery stood at their posts until their last round of
ammunition was expended.
Among the prisoners who surrendered were several officers of prominence. Lieutenant-
Colonel Cox, of Cox's battalion, and Major Strange (Forrest's adjutant-general), who, together
with the captain commanding Forrest's body guard, were unhorsed by a volley from the Twentyseventh
Ohio when riding off the field with their general, and Colonel Black, who afterward
escaped in citizens' clothes, with several others whose names I have forgotten.
Before referring to our subsequent march I deem it a duty I owe to the officers and men of
my command (who had marched 7 miles within an hour and a half to reach the field, and who
after this exertion rushed forward with such enthusiasm as to produce a panic in the enemy's
ranks) to claim for them the honor of capturing what was taken from the enemy at Parker's
Cross-Roads, and also of recapturing prisoners, artillery, baggage wagons, and animals which
before their arrival on the field had fallen into the hands of the enemy. When we reached the
field the enemy who, from the best evidence I could obtain, were about double the number of
Colonel Dunham's force, were in front and on both flanks of that brigade. A flag of truce, which
had not returned to General Forrest when our guns opened, had, as Colonel Dunham informed
me, demanded an unconditional surrender. Firing had ceased for some fifteen minutes prior to
our arrival, nor did the command of Colonel Dunham fire a shot at the enemy as he moved past
their flanks to their rear.
About two hours after the enemy had precipitately fled General Sullivan informed me that he
was returning and was advancing upon our left and front. By the general's direction I formed
two regiments obliquely across the road leading east from Parker's house and sent two
companies (deployed as skirmishers) about 400 yards to the front of this line, where they
remained until daylight of the following morning.
January 1 we marched through Lexington, bivouacking about 1 mile east of that place.
The next morning Generals Sullivan and Haynie, with the brigade of Colonel Dunham,
marched toward Jackson while my command, together with a brigade which came up from
Jackson under Colonel Lawler, marched toward the Tennessee River, I having received orders to
report with my command to that officer. When 5 or 6 miles east of Lexington we met several
men who had escaped from the enemy after roaching the river. From them we learned definitely
that Forrest's command (prisoners and stragglers excepted) had already crossed the river. Taking
these men to Colonel Lawler I respectfully requested that the infantry, worn-out and half starved
as it was and without shelter, be spared so long and trying a march, and suggested that the
reconnaissance be made by the cavalry ; but Colonel Lawler informed me that he had no
discretion in the matter. He had no doubt of the correctness of these statements, he said, but the
entire force must march. That day we proceeded to within 8 or 9 miles of Clifton.
On the 3d my brigade was ordered to move toward Clifton. I was instructed to use my own
judgment as to the movement, to ascertain for myself whether the enemy had all crossed the
river, and, if I found such to be the fact, to return. Upon reaching a point where the road to the
furnace leaves that leading to Clifton I ordered two regiments and my artillery to halt. After
examining the river near the furnace, which was done by a squad of cavalry, and learning that the
last of the enemy had crossed on the night of the 1st, I sent the cavalry in advance on the Clifton
road, and directed Lieutenant-Colonel Spaulding, with the Twenty-seventh Ohio Infantry, to
follow. Directly after, however, Colonel Lawler came up and ordered my entire command to
advance. Upon reaching the river and learning that the road to Clifton ran along the stream for 2
miles, and fearing that the enemy would use his artillery from the opposite bank, I ordered all but
the cavalry and one regiment to halt here. But Colonel Lawler, who I was not then aware had
marched with the column, upon coming up countermanded the order. We found a small picket on
the road (of perhaps 15 men), who, after exchanging shots with our cavalry, rapidly retired,
crossed the river in a small flat-boat, swimming their horses. As soon as our cavalry appeared
opposite the town the enemy began to shell them from batteries on the bluff. No damage was
done, however. Soon after, the enemy placed some rifled guns on the bank farther up the stream
and opened fire on the light field battery which was attached to my command. No harm resulted,
however. The battery, which I thought too light to reply effectively, and the regiments which
were marching with it were rapidly moved back from the river out of range. A wagon loaded
with ammunition was twice struck and so disabled that we were compelled to abandon it. The
animals and ammunition, however, we brought away.
A flag of truce, accompanied by two rebel officers, crossed the river for the purpose, as
Colonel Woodward said, of making arrangements for an exchange of prisoners. They were not
permitted to pass our outposts and probably did not gain much information.
An irregular fire of musketry was kept up for an hour or two with the enemy during the
afternoon, by order of Colonel Lawler, but I did not learn of anything resulting, excepting a
wound received by Colonel Lawler's assistant adjutant-general, who was hit in the leg.
The march of this day was more severe on the men of my command than any I have
witnessed. The road was horrible, and the rain, which fell steadily, made it still more so.
On the 5th we marched toward Bethel, reaching that place on the 7th. The next day we
marched for Corinth, arriving on the afternoon of the 9th. Here, for the first time in twenty-two
days, we found shelter, full rations for the men, and shoes for at least 150, who had thatched
barefooted for 50 miles.
The accompanying reports of commanding officers give a detailed account of the movements
of their respective regiments.
I have the honor to be, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Twenty-seventh Ohio Infantry, Commanding.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Corinth, Miss., January 19, 1863.
COLONEL: In pursuance of your order received this day requiring a report of the part taken
by my command in the recent campaign in Tennessee, I have the honor to state that the Sixtythird
and the Forty-third Ohio Regiments left Oxford, Miss., by cars on December 19, 1862, for
Jackson, Tenn. On arrival the same evening at Bolivar, Tenn., I received an order by telegraph
from Major-General Grant to disembark the two regiments at that place and make the best
disposition in my power to defend the railroad and public stores at and near Bolivar. General
Brayman, the commander of the post, being absent, and finding myself the senior officer, I
assumed command and at once made such disposition as I thought necessary to hold the place,
which was then threatened by cavalry and mounted infantry under Van Dorn and Jackson. For
this purpose I used the cotton found deposited there. The enemy, however, made no further
demonstrations than slight skirmishing with our pickets and vedettes.
On the evening of the 23d General Brayman returned with four pieces of artillery, and still
later Colonel Lee arrived with a large force of cavalry, and the next day easily drove the enemy
from that part of the country.
On December 27 General Brayman ordered me to proceed with the Sixty-third Ohio
Regiment to Jackson and report to Brigadier-General Sullivan. On arriving there by railroad I
was ordered to proceed to Trenton, Tenn., where we arrived the same evening, and were again
brigaded with the Twenty-seventh and Thirty-ninth Ohio Regiments under your command.
December 28 marched to Shady Grove, 16 miles.
December 29 marched to Huntingdon (county seat of Carroll County), distance 16 miles.
On December 31 marched in the direction of Lexington, Tenn. We started at daylight. About
10 o'clock a.m. cannonading was heard in front. Our march now became rapid, as it was
supposed the Second Brigade had intercepted and engaged the enemy. About 12 m. musketry
was plainly heard, and our pace was still increased so that the double-quick was taken at times.
At 1.30 p.m. we arrived at Parker's Cross-Roads, 16 miles from our starting point in the
morning. It was at this point that the Second Brigade, under Colonel Durham (consisting of the
Fiftieth Indiana, Thirty-ninth Iowa, One hundred and twenty-second Illinois, two companies of
the Eighteenth Illinois, and three guns of the Seventh Wisconsin Battery), had engaged the
enemy under General Forrest. Firing had ceased for nearly half an hour before we reached the
scene of the engagement. Emerging from the woods into large open fields the enemy were
discovered by us. Under your orders I formed my regiment in line of battle at double-quick on
the left, or easterly, side of the road and advanced at the same gait for about 200 yards, when I
received an order to move by the right flank to the right, or west, side of the road. I again moved
forward in line of battle at double-quick for a short distance and was then ordered back to the
east side of the road and to advance in line of battle on the enemy, which was done as rapidly as
possible. The ground was soft and miry, but notwithstanding this and the long and rapid march
made by my command the men responded with hearty cheers, and at a double-quick rushed
forward to engage the enemy, who seemed to be panic-stricken, They fled in the utmost
confusion and so rapidly that we could get but a few telling shots at them. In their rout they
passed along the front and near the Second Brigade, but no fire was opened upon them by the
Second Brigade. I have not learned the cause. If the enemy had been vigorously attacked by them
a much larger number of prisoners would, in my opinion, have been taken. As it was, a large
number of the enemy passed along unharmed to our left. I then changed front to the left and
advanced some 500 or 600 yards, taking possession of a brass 8-pounder gun from which the
enemy had fled. From this point Company B, under Lieut. Charles J. McGinnis (Capt. Charles E.
Brown acting as major), and Company A, under Capt. Frank T. Gilmore, were sent to the front as
skirmishers. The latter captured a second brass 8-pounder, and farther on a caisson and some
horses which the enemy were endeavoring to take from the field. After a slight skirmish they
concluded to save themselves and leave the caisson. Captain Gilmore took possession of it,
which with the guns mentioned was brought in and delivered over to you. The enemy being
mounted were soon entirely beyond our reach (except about 300 prisoners captured) and were
safely on the road to cross the Tennessee River. Next morning we were ordered to march in
pursuit and reached a point about 2 miles south of Lexington, where we bivouacked.
On January 2 we marched to a point near Bath Springs, and again bivouacked. That night a
very heavy rain visited us, and all were thoroughly soaked.
On the morning of January 3 we again commenced the pursuit of the flying horsemen, but
scores of witnesses told us the enemy had safely crossed the river; but to see for ourselves we
marched on, under orders, to a point on the river opposite Clifton, exchanged a few shots with
the enemy across the river, and marched back again.
This day's march (18 miles) was one of the hardest I have ever witnessed. The rains had
made the roads deep with mud, in which were hidden bowlders, making the footing so uncertain
that men could be seen every moment falling on their faces in the mud and water. We arrived at
Bath Springs on our return the same evening.
On the morning of the 5th our march for Bethel was commenced. We made 16 miles and
Next morning (the 6th) resumed march, making 16 miles, and bivouacked near Robinson's
On the 7th we again marched 17 miles and bivouacked at Bethel.
On the 8th marched for Corinth, through Purdy, making about 16 miles, and on the 9th
arrived at Corinth, and encamped about 1 mile south of the town, where I presume it is proper to
state our campaign in Tennessee ended.
It is proper to state that from the time we left Oxford, on December 19, until January 9, we
were without a particle of camp equipage or baggage, and from the time we left Trenton,
December 28, our only subsistence was such as could be gathered along the road, which was a
very scanty supply of corn-meal and meat, and these had to be prepared without cooking utensils
and a part of the time without salt.
The hardships, privations, exposures, and fatigues of the campaign told fearfully on the
officers and men of my command, but good order and discipline were preserved through the
efficiency of company officers and the high soldierly qualities of the men.
Lieut. J. S. Antrim was taken prisoner December 31 by the enemy, while acting as regimental
quartermaster and foraging for the regiment.
Private James Orr, Company C, was missing on the evening of January 3, and has not since
been heard from.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Col. J. W. FULLER,
Commanding Brigade.
Saulsbury, Tenn., August 25, 1863.
COLONEL: In compliance with the request contained in your circular letter of August 20,
1863, from Memphis, Tenn., I submit as a response thereto, by way of certified statement, the
following report of the part taken by the One hundred and twenty-second Illinois Volunteer
Infantry in the little battle of Parker's Cross-Roads, east of Jackson, Tenn., and 10 miles north of
Lexington, Henderson County, Tenn., on the 31st day of December, 1862. I have perhaps
indulged in more particularity of statement than is consistent with the plan you have adopted,
even contemplated, or the subject of the statement deserves, but have, though hurriedly done,
endeavored to do so with reasonable clearness:
On the night of the 27th of December, 1862, at 11.30 o'clock, nine companies of the regiment
under my command (One hundred and twenty-second), numbering 527 men, including officers
and men, with the Fiftieth Indiana, Colonel Dunham; Thirty-ninth Iowa, Colonel Cummings, and
Seventh Tennessee Infantry, Colonel Rogers, and three pieces of artillery of Seventh Wisconsin
Battery, with 50 men from Eighteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry (mounted), numbering in all
1,800 men, constituting what was called the Third Brigade, and commanded by Col. Cyrus
Dunham, Fiftieth Indiana, moved from Trenton. Next day the Ohio brigade, Colonel Fuller
commanding, with the remainder of the Seventh Wisconsin Battery, followed us, it numbering
near 2,000 men.
We marched to Huntingdon, Carroll County, where we arrived on the evening of the 29th of
December, 1862. We marched with the brigade from Huntingdon at noon on the 30th and
reached Clarksburg on the night of the same day. Here the advance of our brigade had a slight
skirmish with the flankers of Forrest's forces, he (Forrest) having gone from a point north of
Huntingdon via McLemoresville to the south and then the west, toward Parker's, on the
Huntingdon and Lexington road, during the night of the 29th and the day of the 30th, and was
then with his main force 6 miles west of us.
On the morning of the 31st day of December we moved forward about sunrise at quick-time
south toward Lexington, Henderson County, for about 6 miles, to Parker's Cross-Roads, where
the advance of our brigade met the advance of the rebels and skirmishing immediately began, the
rebels being driven back into the woods west of the Lexington road, on the road leading from
McLemoresville to Clarksville, on the Tennessee River--Clarksville, a small crossing merely.
The mounted infantry of the Eighteenth Illinois were sent forward through the woods and
drew the fire of the rebel artillery, they then using six pieces. At this time the Ohio brigade had
not started from Huntingdon, about 12 miles distant. The three regiments--the Seventh
Tennessee, having about 300 men, remained at Huntingdon--were moved forward to Parker's
house, at the cross-roads, and thence west in front of the rebels. The enemy's guns were masked
and in position, commanding the road. One of our guns was put in position and fired at random,
we then not being able to see the enemy. To that shot the rebels responded with several pieces, at
once dismounting our gun. At this point it was determined to form our line a half mile to the
southeast, in a wood facing the west and north, with an open field between us and the enemy.
The movement was executed without casualty. The wagons were placed in our rear, and the two
remaining guns with our brigade placed in position, my regiment occupying the center of the line
and supporting the guns, which then had less than 20 rounds of ammunition; the Fiftieth Indiana
on the right, well advanced and deployed as skirmishers; Thirty-ninth Iowa on my left and in
line. At this time the rebels, over 6,000 strong, advanced against our position in two columns; the
smaller one, about 2,000 strong, advanced toward our front; they being mounted were thrown
into confusion by our shells, without suffering much punishment, and were then driven by our
skirmishers on to their main force, which was advancing across the field on our right flank, and
had so far advanced as to flank us, compelling us to change our front to the north, so that our
next line was along the north side of the wood, pasture, or field in which we were, facing the
north and the open field. By this time our artillery was out of ammunition and the guns were
soon from loss of horses rendered useless and were run into a ravine and temporarily abandoned.
The change of front was made under a severe fire of small-arms, from which 15 or 20 men of
my regiment (One hundred and twenty-second Illinois) were wounded, among them the captain
of Company A. Pending this move on our part the rebels had obtained a ridge in the field in our
new front, in shape of an arc of a great circle, behind the crest of which they had placed ten
pieces of artillery at distances varying from 300 to 600 yards, and as we came into line, facing
the north and in front of the rebels' guns, they opened upon us most furiously with grape,
canister, shell, and solid shot.
This artillery was supported by over 2,000 dismounted infantry, their whole force having
been mounted.
Our guns were of no service to us at this time, our ammunition being all gone. The One
hundred and twenty-second Illinois was then advanced close up to the north fence and
commenced to return the rebels' compliments. This lasted one hour and fifteen minutes, the
rebels all the time firing their artillery with great rapidity and considerable accuracy; also
keeping up a heavy fire from their infantry supports. During this time the One hundred and
twenty-second Illinois---that is, the companies present---held their places and responded rapidly
and with accuracy, considering the character of guns they had, and yet have--altered Harper's
Ferry muskets.
In the mean time about six companies of the Thirty-ninth Iowa had been moved away,
leaving our left exposed and enabling the enemy to concentrate their fire on our front, and
leaving it in the power of the rebels to flank us on the left and get into our rear in a hollow
running nearly parallel to our line and covered from their own artillery, and within 150 yards of
the rear of our line. At this moment I was struck just below the right knee, severing the artery,
and soon so reducing me that I was unable to take any active part in the fray. Then I directed my
lieutenant-colonel to give attention to the enemy in our rear, as they had opened upon us from
that direction, while he was tying a compress upon my leg to stop the loss of blood. He
immediately about-faced the regiment, fixed bayonets, and charged the enemy, three times our
number, and put them to utter, hopeless flight. This move threw the whole rebel force into
confusion on that side, and those who were north of us, in what had been our front, supposing
themselves cut off, fled, leaving several pieces of their artillery, from which the horses had been
shot during the hour and fifteen minutes' fight preceding the charge. At the end of the bayonet
charge, which was made under the direction and control of Lieutenant-Colonel Drish of my
regiment, the One hundred and twenty-second Illinois found itself in possession of several
hundred prisoners, and at this time the Fiftieth Indiana, which had occupied a position somewhat
retired in the last line and at an angle of twenty-five degrees to our line, making the extreme right
considerably retired, now being faced about, also pressed the rebels, the Indianians' line serving
to flank the enemy (and I may say here the Indianians did well), and the portion of the Thirtyninth
Iowa, having just a moment previously occupied a position far to our rear and left, also
closed up and pressed upon the opposite flank of the rebels, making the rout of Forrest's men
Forrest was unable to rally his men again, and was in full retreat when the Second Brigade
came in sight, the appearance of which greatly added to the celerity of the rebels' flight and
afforded our gallant Ohio friends no opportunity to participate in the rout of a force we could
have destroyed had the Second Brigade arrived in time, which they would have done but for the
genius for tardiness exhibited by General Sullivan, who moved and traveled with and controlled
the movements of the Ohioans, and was in command of the expedition from Jackson, whence the
movement was made.
The rebels left a large number of killed and wounded on the field, a large quantity of smallarms,
a great many horses, Colonel Dunham says 7 pieces of his artillery, and above 500
My regiment lost 1 commissioned officer killed, Lieutenant Bristow, of Company H; 2
wounded, the colonel, and Capt. William B. Dugger, Company A; and 70 men killed and
wounded, 16 of whom were killed dead on the field and 8 or 10 stragglers were taken prisoners.
The officers present were the colonel, lieutenant-colonel, all the captains except of Company I
and Company G, Captain Sawyer and Captain Cowen; all of the lieutenants except those of
Company I and Second Lieutenant Halderman, Company A, First Lieutenant McKnight,
Company H, and First Lieutenant Holt, of Company D, who were absent by proper authority.
None of my officers present failed to do their whole duty. This was the first battle the
regiment was ever in. The men behaved like old soldiers, and after the first fire their shots told
and were very effective. The fight commenced about 9 a.m. and lasted, including the time
occupied in maneuvering after the first firing, till about 3 p.m., when firing entirely ceased.
Colonel Dunham commanded the brigade and is a gallant soldier. His regiment was on our right
while in line and was engaged some time before my regiment was, it having fought for a time, as
skirmishers. While my regiment was in line it fired between 20 and 30 rounds. The regiment
reached its quarters on the return after the battle at Trenton, Tenn., at midnight on the 5th of
January, 1863.
The regiment was at a skirmish at Town Creek in the last of April, 1863, but suffered no loss.
I was not present.
I have the honor to be, colonel, your obedient servant,
Col. One hundred and twenty-second Illinois Infty. Regt.
I certify on honor the foregoing written papers contain a true and correct statement of the
facts as they transpired at the times and places therein mentioned, according to my best
recollection and belief.
Col. One hundred and twenty-second Illinois Infty. Regt.
President of Board, &c.
January 3, 1863.
MAJOR: I have the honor to report the operations of my division from our base on the
My command debarked at Johnson's plantation on the afternoon of December 26. Pursuant
to instructions Blair's brigade moved forward on the Johnson road, drove in the enemy's pickets,
and bivouacked for the night about 2 miles from the landing.
On the morning of the 27th Blair's brigade was detached and I embarked with the other two
brigades, with orders to land above the mouth of the Chickasaw Bayou and advance between
Chickasaw Bayou and Thompson's Lake. While we were cutting the roads through the timber to
the levee Admiral Porter called for troops to cross the river and disperse about 400 sharpshooters
that were concealed on the west side of the river and impeding the progress of the gunboats
toward Haines' Bluff. I sent the Seventeenth Missouri Infantry.
After having accomplished the work they returned and I proceeded with the whole command,
directed by the negro guide whom the general sent to conduct me, to the bluffs. Our progress was
considerably retarded by the timber felled across the levee, on either side of which the ground
was impracticable for artillery. We soon came to deep water on the right side of the levee, which
turned out to be Thompson's Lake instead of Chickasaw Bayou. About sunset General Hovey,
whose brigade was on the advance, came upon an outpost of the enemy. After a short
engagement the enemy retired. It was now dark and we bivouacked for the night without campfires.
The march had scarcely been resumed early next morning when our skirmishers became
engaged with the enemy's sharpshooters, concealed in rifle-pits behind the levee. At this point
the levee turned to the left and continued in a curve for about 800 yards, the Chickasaw Creek on
our right and a timbered marsh on the left. The pioneers were sent forward to clear some
obstructions on the levee, covered by Landgraeber's battery. They were immediately fired upon
by a battery of the enemy established on the bluff about 800 yards distant, our skirmishers being
at the same time hotly engaged with the enemy's sharpshooters. Both the battery and the pioneers
were subjected to a murderous fire and the pioneers either killed or wounded, as also were some
men of the battery. The axle of one of the pieces was broken; still Captain Landgraeber, nothing
daunted in his exposed position, continued to reply to the heavier guns of the enemy. At the same
time Colonel Hassendeubel, of the Seventeenth Missouri, was trying to drive the sharpshooters
from the rifle-pits to clear the way for our advance. General Hovey exposed himself with our
advance in reconnoitering the enemy's position, which was so well chosen that it soon became
apparent that we could neither dislodge them nor force our way along the levee without a
frightful destruction of life and a probability that no considerable portion could reach the
opposite end untouched.
The First Iowa Battery, Captain Griffiths, was brought forward and also opened upon the
enemy's battery. After a severe cannonading from our two batteries the enemy deserted theirs. It
was then discovered that there was another battery to our left which enfiladed the farther end of
the causeway and had a cross-fire on the end toward us. Tim first battery had a cross-fire on the
farther end of the causeway. These batteries were supported by sharpshooters in rifle pits.
At 4 p.m. I received the general's orders to send him a regiment of infantry if I could not
reach the bluffs and follow with the rest with dispatch. My command was occupied all night in
re-embarking for Johnson's farm and getting supplies.
Early on the morning of the 29th I moved forward with Thayer's brigade, leaving orders for
Hovey to come up as soon as possible. At the white house I met General Morgan, who told me
that he was building a bridge across the bayou, which would occupy two hours; that within
thirty minutes thereafter he would have possession of the heights, to a moral certainty.
I received orders from the general commanding to halt the brigade, and, subsequently, to
render General Morgan any assistance that he might ask for. General Morgan finally told me that
he was going to storm the heights without waiting for the brigade to be completed. He requested
me to support the storming party with what force I had. On being informed that Thayer's brigade
was at hand and that Hovey's would soon be up, he gave some orders to Thayer in regard to the
route which his brigade should take and sent a guide to lead him. After Thayer had passed with
the Fourth Iowa Infantry, Colonel Williamson, General Morgan asked me how many troops I
had. I told him Thayer's brigade; one of his regiments, however, the Twenty-sixth Iowa, was
detached to cut a road, but that I did not know whether any of Hovey's had arrived or not. He
then asked me to turn part of the troops a little farther to the right. I therefore directed Col.
Charles H. Abbott, of the Thirtieth Iowa Infantry, a little to the right, supposing the object of this
was to facilitate the crossing of the troops over the bayou by preventing them from all huddling
into the same place. At the time I did not know that there was any dry crossing and I presume
General Morgan was not aware of the fact. The troops that I directed to the right it seems did not
get across the bayou, but General Thayer went gallantly on with the Fourth Iowa, and, instead of
being a support to the storming party, was soon in the advance, and entered the enemy's second
line of rifle-pits nearly as soon as any. I gave no orders on the field that day except at the
suggestion of General Morgan, save that I followed up the movement, encouraging the men
while they were advancing and endeavoring to check them when they fell back.
General Hovey's brigade did not get up to the front in time to take part in the assault, but was
up very soon after it was over and took position to the left of the bayou, which had been
occupied by Blair's brigade previous to the assault, awaiting orders to storm the enemy's
position, which his whole command, I am told, was anxious to do.
Although Blair was detached from my command, it would perhaps not be improper for me to
report in regard to the part taken by his brigade in the assault. Two of his regiments, Manter's
and Schadt's, Thirty-second and Thirtieth Missouri, were detached to support Morgan's batteries.
His line was formed in the woods between Thompson's Lake and Chickasaw Bayou, a short
distance behind the bayou that connects these two. Between his line and this bayou was an
entanglement formed by cutting down small cotton trees, leaving the trees en-twined among the
stumps. The bed of the bayou was about 100 yards wide, quicksand, and about 15 feet wide
water 3 feet deep. The bank on the opposite side was steep and obstructed by abatis, crowned by
a line of rifle-pits. On the slope above this was still another line of rifle-pits, and above this on
the plateau was the county road, the earth being thrown on the lower side, forming a parapet
which covered batteries and sharpshooters. Batteries were also placed on the heights to the right
and left, which enfiladed the rifle-pits and the road.
General Blair led his brigade with intrepidity in the face of all these obstacles; leaving his
horse floundering in the quicksands of the bayou, and passing over the two lines of rifle-pits,
nearly reached the foot of the parapet. Here he turned and saw the storming party from the center
of General Morgan's division coming over the first line of rifle-pits. His troops fell fast around
him, and among others was Lieut. Col. P. Dister, of the Fifty-eighth Ohio, whose gallantry had
been conspicuous. Col. T. C. Fletcher, of the Thirty-first Missouri, was wounded and fell into the
hands of the enemy. Major Jaensch, of the Thirty-first Missouri, was killed. Lieutenant-Colonel
Simpson, of the same regiment, was wounded. Colonel Cavender, of the Twenty-ninth Missouri,
and Lieutenant-Colonel Gorgas, of the Thirteenth Illinois, are also mentioned for conspicuous
daring in the assault. Col. J. B. Wyman, of the Thirteenth Illinois Infantry, was killed the day
before while bravely leading his men against the enemy.
Perhaps it would not be inappropriate for me to remark that I saw a part of the assaulting
party turn their flank to the enemy in front of the second line of rifle-pits and move off to the left
behind the bank over which Blair's brigade had passed, and there remain until our troops
commenced retreating.
For further particulars I refer you to the subordinate reports. I will also inclose herewith a list
of casualties.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Fourth Division.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
P. S.--I should have mentioned that the officers of my staff--First Lieuts. G. O. Sokalski, W.
D. Green, and C. T. Scammon--were on the field and rendered efficient services.
Steamer Empress, January 3, 1863.
SIR: On the 1st instant, while pressed by many arduous duties, I was requested to report to
the commanding general the operations of my division during the affair of the 27th, the action of
the 28th, and the battle of the 29th ultimo. I had not received the reports of subordinate
commanders nor had I time to review the report I had the honor to submit. Herewith I have the
honor to forward those reports, connected with which I will submit a few remarks.
Brigadier-General Blair speaks of having discovered while on his retreat from the enemy's
works a broad and easy road running from the left of my position to the enemy's lines. The road
is neither broad nor easy, and was advanced over by De Courcy when leading his brigade to the
charge. The road General Blair speaks of is the one running from Lake's Landing and
intersecting with the Vicksburg road on the Chickasaw Bluffs. Its existence was known to me on
the 28th ultimo, but it was left open intentionally by the enemy, and was commanded by a direct
and cross-fire from batteries and rifle-pits. The withdrawal of his brigade from the assault by
Colonel De Courcy was justified by the failure of the corps of A. J. Smith and the command of
Colonel Lindsey to advance simultaneously to the assault. Both had the same difficulties to
encounter--impassable bayous.
The enemy's line of battle was concave, and De Courcy advanced against his center; hence
he sustained a concentric fire; and the withdrawal of Steele from the front of the enemy's right,
on the 28th ultimo, enabled the enemy on the following day to concentrate his right upon his
I regret to find from the report of Brigadier-General Thayer some one regiment skulked. This
I did not observe, nor is it mentioned by General Blair, though his were the troops which
occupied that portion of the field. As far as my observation extended the troops bore themselves
nobly; but the Sixteenth Ohio Infantry was peerless on the field, as it ever has been in the camp
or on the march. Lieutenant-Colonel Kershner, commanding, was wounded and taken prisoner.
He is an officer of rare merit and deserves to command a brigade. Lieutenant-Colonel Dister,
commanding the Fifty-eighth Ohio, was killed within the enemy's works, and Lieutenant-Colonel
Monroe, Twenty-second Kentucky, was struck down at the head of his regiment.
I again express my profound acknowledgments to Brigadier-Generals Blair and Thayer, and
Colonels De Courcy, Lindsey, and Sheldon, brigade commanders; also to, Maj. M. C. Garber,
assistant quartermaster; Capt. S. S. Lyon, acting topographical engineer; Lieutenant Burdick,
acting ordnance officer; Lieutenant Hutchins, acting commissary of subsistence; Lieuts. H. G.
Fisher and Smith, of the Signal Corps; Lieut. E. D. Saunders, my acting assistant adjutantgeneral,
and Lieutenants English and Montgomery, acting aides-de-camp, for the efficient
services rendered me. Nor can I close this report without speaking in terms of high praise of the
meritorious and gallant services of Captains Foster and Lanphere. Their batteries silenced several
of the enemy's works and throughout the operations rendered good service. My sincere
acknowledgments are also due to Captain Griffiths, commanding First Iowa Battery, and Captain
Hoffmann, commanding Fourth Ohio Battery.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers.
Chief of Staff
HDQRS. 30TH IOWA INFTY., 3D BRIG., 4th DIV., 13TH A. C.,
Arkansas Post, Ark. January 12, 1863.
GENERAL: Agreeably to your order of the 9th inst. I have the honor to submit my report of
the part my regiment took in the action of the 28th and 29th of December, 1862, at Haines' Bluff,
near Vicksburg, Miss.:
On the morning of the 28th ultimo, by your order, I moved my regiment forward toward the
point of attack and took position immediately in the rear of the Fourth Iowa Infantry, supporting
the battery in our front, where we remained until about 4 o'clock p.m., when we were by your
order remanded to the river, with orders to embark on transport Stephen Decatur and drop down
to Johnson's plantation.
On the morning of the 29th ultimo we were ordered to disembark and by you placed in
position in rear of the Fourth Iowa Infantry, with orders to keep close up and follow them. When
we had advanced to within range of the enemy's guns and they, having discovered our position
commenced shelling us we were ordered by your aide, Captain Richardson, to lie down and
make ourselves as secure as possible under the levee, the Fourth Iowa Infantry being in a like
position in our front on the opposite side of the levee, in which position we remained until
ordered by your aide-de-camp to fix bayonets and advance, following the Fourth Iowa Infantry,
which had got 10 or 12 rods in advance.
I immediately put my regiment under a double-quick, and had advanced but a few rods when
I was met by Brigadier-General Steele, who checked us and ordered me to leave My horse, cross
the next bayou in any way we could get across, and take my regiment to the right into the woods
and deploy as skirmishers. I put my regiment again under a double-quick and advanced to the
extreme right of the Fourth Division. I then advanced my regiment in line of battle to within a
few rods of the fallen timber, in which was heavy firing of musketry. I then ordered them to lie
down; ordered the right and left flanking companies forward as skirmishers into the fallen
timber. They went in and soon reported that the Thirteenth U.S. Infantry already occupied the
ground and were engaged with the enemy, who were posted in rifle-pits. I then ordered those
companies back to their position in the regiment. The Third [First?] Wisconsin Battery,
immediately upon our right, was supported by a part of the Thirteenth U.S. Infantry, while the
skirmishers of the Thirteenth Infantry on our front were unsupported. I sent my orderly to
General Steele for further orders, who returned with orders to remain where we were. While my
orderly was absent to see General Steele a captain, representing himself as the aide-de-camp of
General Smith, came to us and inquired what regiment we were and told me the position of my
regiment was all right, lying upon the ground in front of the enemy. We had 3 men severely and
1 slightly wounded.
We remained under fire from about noon until 4 o'clock p.m., when we were ordered to
return. I accordingly marched My regiment near the position occupied by General Steele and
reported to him and then to you, who came up soon after. I was ordered by you into camp to the
With sentiments of high regard, I remain, general, your most obedient servant,
Colonel Thirtieth Iowa Infantry.
Brig. Gen. JOHN M. THAYER,
3d Brig. 4th Div., 13th A. C.
Steamer Tigress, Mississippi River, January 20, 1863.
I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the forces of which, in
pursuance of the order of Major-General Grant commanding Department of the Tennessee, I
assumed command on the 4th instant, at Milliken's Bend, La., resulting in the reduction of Fort
Hindman, more generally known as Post Arkansas:
These forces, styled by me for convenience and propriety of description the Army of the
Mississippi, consisted of parts of two corps d'armee, viz, the Thirteenth, my own, and the
Fifteenth, Major-General Sherman's. Desiring to give my undivided attention to matters affecting
the general command, I immediately assigned Brig. Gen. George W. Morgan, a tried and
meritorious officer, to the command of the Thirteenth Corps d'Armee, in which he was the senior
division commander.
The Fifteenth Corps, temporarily constituted by me the right wing, was composed of the
following troops:
First Division--Brig. Gen. F. Steele commanding.
First Brigade---Brig. Gen. Frank P. Blair commanding.
The Thirteenth Illinois, Twenty-ninth Missouri, Thirty-first Missouri, Thirty-second
Missouri, Fifty-eighth Ohio, and Thirtieth Missouri.
Second Brigade--Brig. Gen. C. E. Hovey commanding.
The Seventeenth Missouri, Twenty-fifth Iowa, Third Missouri, Seventy-sixth Ohio, Thirtyfirst
Iowa, and Twelfth Missouri.
Third Brigade---Brig. Gen. John M. Thayer commanding.
The Fourth Iowa, Thirty-fourth Iowa, Thirtieth Iowa, Twenty-sixth Iowa, and Ninth Iowa
Artillery--The First Iowa, Captain Griffiths; Fourth Ohio, Captain Hoffmann, and First
Missouri Horse Artillery.
Cavalry--The Third Illinois and Company --, Fifteenth Illinois.
Second Division--Brig. Gen. D. Stuart commanding.
First Brigade---Col. G. A. Smith commanding.
The Eighth Missouri, Sixth Missouri, One hundred and thirteenth Illinois, One hundred and
sixteenth Illinois, and Thirteenth United States.
Second Brigade-Col. T. Kilby Smith commanding.
The Fifty-fifth Illinois, One hundred and twenty-seventh Illinois, Fifty-fourth Ohio, Eightythird
Indiana, and Fifty-seventh Ohio Infantry.
Artillery--Companies A and B, First Illinois Light Artillery, and Eighth Ohio Battery.
Cavalry--Two companies of Thielemann's Illinois Battalion and Company C, Tenth
The Thirteenth Corps, forming the left wing, was composed of the following forces:
First Division--Brig. Gen. A. J. Smith commanding.
First Brigade---Brig. Gen. S. G. Burbridge commanding.
The Sixtieth Indiana, Sixteenth Indiana, Twenty-third Wisconsin, Eighty-third Ohio, Sixtyseventh
Indiana, and Ninety-sixth Ohio.
Second Brigade--Col. W. J. Landram commanding.
The Nineteenth Kentucky, Seventy-seventh Illinois, Forty-eighth Ohio, Ninety-seventh
Illinois, One hundred and eighth Illinois, One hundred and thirty-first Illinois, and Eighty-ninth
Indiana Infantry.
Artillery--The Seventeenth Ohio Battery, Captain Blount, and Illinois Mercantile Battery,
Captain Cooley.
Cavalry--Company--, Fourth Indiana.
Second Division--Brig. Gen. P. J. Osterhaus commanding.
First Brigade--Col. L. A. Sheldon commanding.
The Sixty-ninth Indiana, One hundred and eighteenth Illinois, and One hundred and twentieth
Second Brigade-Col. D. W. Lindsey commanding.
The Third Kentucky, Forty-ninth Indiana, and One hundred and fourteenth Ohio.
Third Brigade---Col. J. F. De Courcy commanding.
The Sixteenth Ohio, Twenty-second Kentucky, Forty-second Ohio, and Fifty-fourth Indiana
Artillery--The First Wisconsin, Captain Foster, and Seventh Michigan, Captain Lanphere.
Having, as already mentioned, assumed command of these forces on the 4th instant after they
had retired from the neighborhood of Vicksburg, I sailed with them the same day in execution of
a purpose, the importance of which I had suggested to General Gorman at Helena, December 30,
on my way down the river. That purpose was the reduction of Fort Hindman, which had been
laboriously and skillfully enlarged and strengthened since the commencement of the rebellion,
which formed the key to Little Rock, the capital of the State of Arkansas, and the extensive and
valuable country drained by the Arkansas River, and from which hostile detachments were
constantly sent forth to obstruct the navigation of the Mississippi River and thereby our
A government transport, the Blue Wing, laden with valuable military stores, only a few days
before fell prey to one of these detachments, and ammunition taken from her was used against us
in the engagement of which I am giving an account. Without turning my arms in this direction
my forces must have continued comparatively idle at Milliken's Bend until you should have
altered your plan for the reduction of Vicksburg or recalled them.
Landing at intervals to supply my transports with fuel cut from the forest, or already cut and
found upon the bank, the army safely arrived at the mouth of the White River on the 8th instant.
Henceforth its operations were controlled by and but fulfilled the following instructions
previously communicated by me to army corps commanders:
1st. Having arrived at the mouth of the White River, the commanders of army corps of the
Army of the Mississippi will lose no time in moving their commands upon their transports up
that river to the cut-off, and through it into and up the Arkansas River to a suitable point on the
left bank of the river near and below Post Arkansas, for disembarkation.
2d. The army will move from the mouth of the White River in the following order: The
Fifteenth Corps, Major-General Sherman commanding, forming the right wing, right in front,
first, and the Thirteenth Corps, Brigadier-General Morgan commanding, forming the left wing in
the same order, next.
3d. Arrived at the proposed point for debarkation the two corps will immediately disembark,
being careful to preserve their distinction and to protect their landing by skirmishers and
advanced detachments, and rapidly march as follows: The Fifteenth Corps, Major-General
Sherman commanding, by the rear of the Post until the right of the corps has reached the river
above the Post, being careful to guard against the surprise of rear attack, and to keep his
command clear of the range of our gunboats' fire. The Thirteenth Corps, Brigadier-General
Morgan commanding, will follow the Fifteenth and form on its left.
4th. Each corps should extend its lines so as to complete the investment of the enemy's
works; and if, in order to do so, the left wing has to move so far to the right as to leave too great
a space between its left and the river, the same will be secured by a detachment of infantry and
artillery from the Thirteenth Corps, posted in a commanding position for that purpose.
5th. Notwithstanding what precedes, the commander of the Thirteenth Corps will debark two
regiments of infantry, one company of cavalry, and three pieces of artillery at a suitable point on
the right bank of the river and near and below the Post, under instructions to ascend the right
bank, beyond the reach of the enemy's guns on the opposite shore to a point on the river above
the Post giving control of the river.
6th. Skirmishers should in all instances precede the movements herein ordered. Cavalry
detachments should be sent out in different directions to reconnoiter the country. Reserves
should be kept to the rear of the investing lines ready to be moved to any point in case the enemy
should venture to make a sortie; and to every battery of light artillery a company of infantry
should be detailed, for the purpose of protecting it and assisting its advance.
7th. Having completed the investment according to the plan indicated the energy will be
equally cut off from re-enforcements and escape, and must, together with his works and all his
munitions, become a capture to our arms.
Ascending to Notrib's farm, 3 miles from the fort, by way of White River, the cut-off, and the
Arkansas, my object was to deceive the enemy to the latest moment as to my destination and the
point upon which the suspended blow would Call; and I have reason to believe that I succeeded
in so doing until I had approached within 30 miles of the fort.
Landing on the left bank of the river, at Notrib's farm, at 5 p.m. on the 9th, the work of
disembarking was busily continued until noon next day, when it was completed.
In the mean time, accompanied by Lieutenant Colonel Schwartz, of my staff, by 8 a.m. on
the 10th instant, I had reconnoitered the river road and a portion of the levee extending at right
angles from it, within 1 miles of the fort, and discovered that the enemy was abandoning a line
of rifle-pits, about half a mile above the levee, under stress of the fire of one of the gunboats.
Communicating with General Sherman, I suggested to him the eligibility of the river road, from
which he might diverge at or near the levee, in making a detour for the purpose of investing the
upper side of the fort. His column was put in motion at 11 a.m., but diverging below that point
the head of it, consisting of General Hovey's brigade of General Steele's division, after meeting
and dispersing a strong picket of the enemy, soon encountered a swamp, about one-fourth of a
mile wide. Passing this swamp with much difficulty the brigade rested upon an open space called
Little Prairie.
Riding up to the point where the brigade had entered the swamp and witnessing its
embarrassment, I sent Colonel Stewart, of my staff and chief of cavalry, with my escort, to the
left and front to ascertain whether the embrasures, now discovered in that portion of the levee
farthest from the river, were occupied by cannon, and to verify the practicability of the river
road. He soon reported that there was no cannon in the embrasures; that the levee had been held
the night before as a line of defense by infantry., which had retired upon the fort; that he had
discovered one braes piece beyond the next line of defense limbered up for removal, and that the
river road was not only practicable but good.
Accordingly I directed General Sherman to move the Second Division of his corps,
commanded by General Stuart, by that road, which was rapidly and successfully done. After the
rear of General Steele's division, consisting of General Blair's brigade, had crossed the swamp,
Major Hammond, assistant adjutant-general of General Sherman's corps, brought information
from him that he had learned from a farmer that the upper side of the fort could not be gained by
any practicable route on that side of the swamp short, of 7 miles in length, and without crossing a
bayou on a narrow bridge.
I immediately crossed the swamp; informed myself of the situation by personal interrogation
of the farmer and by personal observation. Seeing at once that for General Steele's division to go
forward on a line so extended and remote from the enemy’s works would be virtually to retire it
from the pending fight, to separate it by a wide and miry swamp from the rest of my command,
to expose it to rear attack by any hostile re-enforcement that might be approaching, to weaken
my assaulting columns on the left and center and the cover afforded by them to my transports,
and to leave it no other way to rejoin the advanced forces except by crossing the bayou on a
narrow bridge, in the power of the enemy to destroy or obstruct by three, I instantly decided that
the division ought to return, and so ordered.
Recrossing the swamp with me, General Sherman, in pursuance of my instructions, hastened
up the river to General Stuart's division of his corps, the head of which he found resting within
half a mile of the ford I also hastened to the same spot, and finding General Morgan already
there learned that his corps, guided by a member of my staff, was advancing in the same
direction, and within a few minutes the head of General A. J. Smith's division appeared to the
right and rear of General Stuart's.
Indicating to General Morgan the ground I wished his corps to occupy, I ordered General
Sherman to move General Stuart;s division to the right, and General Steele's, when it should
come up, still farther to the right--across a bayou on the upper side of the enemy's works--to the
river, in order to let in General Smith's and General Osterhaus' divisions of General Morgan's
corps, on the left and next to the river, so as to complete the investment of the enemy, according
to my original plan.
Dispatching Colonel Stewart, chief of cavalry, with my escort, to explore the ground to the
bayou on the right, I hastened back and requested Rear-Admiral Porter, commanding the
Mississippi Squadron, to advance the gunboats and open fire on the enemy's works for the
purpose of diverting his attention while the land forces should gain the positions assigned to
them. Promptly complying, the admiral advanced his boats and opened a terrific cannonade upon
the fort, which was continued an hour or more and until after night-fall.
At 10 p.m. Colonel Stewart, chief of cavalry, rejoined me and reported that he had pushed his
reconnaissance westerly quite to the enemy's cantonment of log huts and even beyond to the
bayou, and that there was nothing in the way of an advance to that point, or, so far as he could
judge, beyond. He also brought with him about 100 prisoners, whom, still lingering about the
cantonment, he had captured. As General Sherman had not yet advanced to the bayou I hastened
Colonel Stewart back to communicate the information he had brought and with an order to
General Sherman to lose no time in gaining the bayou. Meanwhile General Steele's division had
recrossed the swamp, except a detachment of it left under General Sherman's order to make a
feint in the direction of the bridge mentioned.
During the night General Osterhaus bivouacked his division near the landing in a position
commanding the neighboring approaches across the swamp and covering our transports against
possible attack from the opposite side of the river.
On the night of the 9th Colonel Lindsey's brigade had disembarked 9 miles below Notrib's
farm, at Fletcher's Landing, on the right bank of the river, in pursuance of General Morgan's
order, and marching across a bight of the river had taken position and planted a battery on the
bank above the fort, equally cutting off the escape or re-enforcement of the enemy by water. This
was accomplished early on the 10th instant and formed an important part of my original plan, for
the prompt and skillful execution of which I accord Colonel Lindsey great credit.
Passing a cold night without fires and tents, our chilled but faithful men were greeted by a
bright and genial sun on the morning of the 11th.
By 10.30 a.m. the two corps were in position and were ready to commence the attack.
General Steele's division formed the extreme right of the line of battle, reaching near the bayou.
General Stuart's and A. J. Smith's divisions were formed on its left. One brigade of General
Osterhaus' division, Colonel Sheldon commanding, formed the extreme left of the line, resting
upon the river, in full view of the fort. Another brigade of the same division, Colonel De Courcy
commanding, was held in reserve near the transports, while the remaining brigade of the same
division, Colonel Lindsey commanding, was disposed on the opposite side of the river, as
already explained. Company A, First Regiment Illinois Light Artillery, Captain Wood
commanding, was posted to the left of General Stuart's division, on the road leading into the
post. Company B, of the same regiment, Captain Barrett commanding, was posted in the center
of the same division; the Fourth Ohio Battery, Captain Hoffmann commanding, in the interval
between Generals Stuart's and Steele's divisions, and the First Iowa Battery, Captain Griffiths
commanding, between Thayer's and Hovey's brigades, of General Steele's division. The First
Missouri Horse Artillery, Captain Landgraeber commanding, was in reserve with General Blair's
brigade, and the Eighth Ohio Battery was posted in the rear of the center of the general line.
Three pieces of the Seventeenth Ohio Battery, Captain Blount commanding, were advanced to an
intrenched position in front of Colonel Landram's brigade of General Smith's division, and were
supported by the Ninety-sixth Ohio. A section of 20-pounder Parrott guns, Lieutenant Webster
commanding, was posted by General Osterhaus near the river bank, within 800 yards of the fort,
concealed by fallen trees from the view of the enemy, while two sections of the Illinois
Mercantile Battery were masked and held by the same officer in reserve. The Seventh Michigan
Battery, Captain Lanphere commanding, remained with Colonel De Courcy. Two 20-pounder
Parrotts, of the First Wisconsin Battery, Captain Foster commanding, and a section of the Illinois
Mercantile Battery, under Lieutenant Wilson, were with Colonel Lindsey. The cavalry were
disposed in the rear, under orders to force stragglers to return to their ranks.
Such was the disposition of the forces under my command on the eve of the battle of the
Arkansas. On the other hand, the position of the enemy, naturally strong, was one of his own
Post Arkansas, a small village, the capital of Arkansas County, is situated on elevated
ground, above the reach of floods, and defining for some miles the left bank of the river. It was
settled by the French in 1685; is 50 miles above the mouth of the river, 117 miles below Little
Rock, and is surrounded by a fruitful country, abounding in cattle, corn, and cotton.
Fort Hindman, a square, full-bastioned fort, was erected within this village, upon the bank of
the river, at the head of a bend resembling a horseshoe. The exterior sides of the fort, between
the salient angles, were each 300 feet in length; the faces of the bastions two-sevenths of an
exterior side and the perpendiculars one-eighth. The parapet was 18 feet wide on the top, the
ditch 20 feet wide on the ground level, and 8 feet deep, with a slope of 4 feet base. A banquette
for infantry was constructed around the interior slope of the parapet; also three platforms for
artillery in each bastion and one in the curtain facing north. On the southern face of the
northeastern bastion was a casemate 18 by 15 feet wide and 7 feet high in the clear, the walls of
which were constructed of three thicknesses of oak timber 16 inches square, and so the roof with
an additional revetment of iron bars. One of the shorter sides of the casemate was inserted in the
parapet and was pierced by an embrasure 3 feet 8 inches on the inside and 4 feet 6 inches on the
outside, the entrance being in the opposite wall. This casemate contained a 9-inch columbiad. A
similar casemate was constructed in the curtain facing the river, containing an 8-inch columbiad,
and still another 9 inch columbiad was mounted in the salient angle of the southeastern bastion
on a center-pintle barbette carriage. All of these guns commanded the river below the fort.
Beside these there were four 3-inch Parrott guns and four 6-pounder iron smooth-bore guns
mounted on field carriages on the platforms in the fort which also contained a well-stored
magazine, several frame buildings, and a well. The entrance to the fort, secured by a traverse,
was on its northwestern side, and from the salient angle of the northwestern bastion extended a
broken line of rifle-pits westerly for 720 yards toward the bayou, intersected by wooden
traverses. Along the line of rifle-pits six field pieces were mounted, of which three were rifled.
Although the neighboring bridge across the bayou had been partially destroyed, yet the latter
was passable at several points. Below the fort, occur the rifle-pits and levee before mentioned.
The levee exposed a convex line to our advance; was pierced for ten guns and lined on the inside
by rifle-pits. The second line of rifle-pits, with intervals left for six guns, extended across the
high land from the river to the swamp, its near approach being obstructed by an abatis of fallen
timber; and still nearer the fort was a deep ravine entering the river at right angles and extending
inland in different arms in front of the left of our line. In front of the center of the line was an
open field. This strip of high land afforded the only available approach from our landing to the
enemy's defenses; and above the second line of rifle-pits expanded into a dry plateau extending
to the swamp on the east and northeast and to the bayou and river on the west and south. This
plateau, crossed by the Brownsville and Little Rock road, embraced the enemy's cantonment, his
principal defenses, and the field of action of this day, which covered a space of about 1,000 yards
Having placed in battery, at the request of Admiral Porter, two 20 pounder Parrotts, as
already explained, for the purpose of dismounting the gun in the lower casemate, which had
seriously annoyed the gunboats on the previous evening, and all my forces being ready for
action, I sent word to the admiral accordingly, and notified him that as soon as he had opened
fire I would advance to the attack of the enemy's works; and at 12 m. repeated the same
At 1 p.m. the gunboats opened fire, immediately followed by the fire of artillery along the
right wing of my line, and soon after by the fire of artillery along the left wing. At the expiration
of thirty minutes the infantry were to advance to the charge, and when our men were heard
shouting, the gunboats, in order to avoid inflicting injury upon them, were to cease firing.
By 1.30 o'clock Hovey's and Thayer's brigades and Giles A. Smith's and T. K. Smith's
brigades, of General Shermans' corps, had crossed in double-quick time a narrow space of
cleared ground in their front and gained position in a belt of woods extending irregularly by
some 300 yards quite to the enemy's riflepits. Checked here for a time by a sudden and severe
fire of musketry and artillery from cover of the enemy's works, they boldly resumed and
continued their' advance, supported by Blair's brigade as a reserve until they had approached
within short musket-range of the enemy's lines and found shelter in some ravines lined by
underbrush and fallen timber.
In executing this movement General Hovey was wounded by a fragment of a shell, but
continued upon the field in the gallant discharge of duty; General Thayer lost his horse, which
was shot under him, and Cols. G. A. Smith and T. K. Smith led their commands in a manner
challenging the commendation of their superior officers; Wood's and Barrett's batteries also
performed valuable service. Hoffmann's battery was advanced within 200 yards of the enemy's
intrenchments and poured in a rapid and effective fire from three successive positions. It was
now 3 p.m.
The artillery of General Morgan's corps having opened fire about 1 o'clock, as already
mentioned, kept it up with telling effect for some time. Lieutenant Webster's 20 pounder Parrotts
on the river bank completely enfiladed the two faces of the northeastern bastion, some of their
shots penetrating the embrasure of the casemate and contributing, with others from the gunboats,
to silence the gun inside of it, also the lighter gun in the northern curtain and the gun en barbette
in the southeastern bastion, which appealed to be above the elevation of the gun boats' fire.
These results are not only recounted by General Osterhaus as important in themselves, but as
bearing honorable testimony to the skill and efficiency of Lieutenant Webster. Blount's three 10-
pounder Parrotts continued to pour a well-directed fire into the enemy's lines until General A. J.
Smith's division had passed to the front and neared the enemy's works. It was probably the fire of
these guns that exploded a caisson within the enemy's intrenchments, killing several men and all
its horses.
When the enemy and his works had been visibly damaged by the fire of artillery General A.
J. Smith deployed nine regiments of Burbridge's and Landram's brigades, supported by three
regiments in reserve, and steadily moving forward, drove the enemy's advance toward the open
ground in front, of the right of his defenses. Seeking shelter behind a cluster of cabins, Colonel
Guppey, with the Twenty-third Wisconsin, was ordered to charge and dislodge him, which he
promptly did, forcing him to flee to his intrenchments; after which the same regiments, led by
their tried and gallant brigade commanders, under the personal direction of General Smith,
continued their advance until they had approached within 200 yards of the fort, when General
Smith sent back word that he could almost shake hands with the enemy.
Meanwhile Colonel Sheldon, under General Osterhaus' opportune direction, had ordered up
Cooley's battery within 200 yards of the right of the enemy's defenses, and deployed the One
hundred and eighteenth Illinois on its right, and massed the One hundred and twentieth Ohio on
its left, holding the Sixty-ninth Indiana in reserve. Both infantry and artillery replied to the
galling fire of the enemy until the rifle-pits of the latter in front were nearly cleared. Seizing the
opportunity the One hundred and twentieth Ohio dashed forward to carry the east face of the fort,
and only failed because superadded to the fosse there was an impassable ravine in their way.
Colonel De Courcy's brigades which with General Blair's had borne the brunt of the repulse
near Vicksburg, was left near the transports to protect them and to guard the approach across the
swamp by which General Steele had countermarched, and remained there until about 3 o'clock,
when it was ordered up. Having re-enforce General Sherman, at his request, at 3.15 o'clock, by
sending the Twenty-third Wisconsin, Nineteenth Kentucky, and Ninety-seventh Illinois from
General Smith's division, to take position farther to the right, and the engagement,
notwithstanding the guns of the fort had been silenced by the combined fire of my artillery and
the gunboats, being sharp and general on both sides, I ordered an assault.
Burbridge's brigade, with the two regiments of Landram's which had been sent to its right,
and the One hundred and twentieth Ohio, of Colonel Sheldon's brigade, bearing the brunt, dashed
forward under a deadly fire quite to the enemy's intrenchments; the Sixteenth Indiana, Lieut. Col.
John M. Orr, with the Eighty-third Ohio, Lieutenant-Colonel Baldwin, of Burbridge's brigade,
and the One hundred and twentieth Ohio, Col. D. French, of Colonel Sheldon's brigade being the
first to enter the fort. Presenting himself at the entrance of the fort General Burbridge was halted
by the guard, who denied that they had surrendered until he called their attention to the white
flag and ordered them to ground arms. Immediately after, meeting General Churchill,
commandant of the post, and Colonel Dunnington, of the rebel navy, commanding the fort, he
referred the former to me, from whom I received the formal surrender of the post, its armament,
garrison, and all its stores.
Farther to the enemy's left his intrenchments were stormed by General Sherman's command,
who immediately ordered General Steele, whose zeal and daring added to his previous renown,
to push forward one of his brigades along to the bayou and cut off the enemy's escape in that
Colonel Lindsey, as soon as a gunboat had passed above the fort, hastened with his brigade
down the opposite shore and opened an oblique fire from Foster's two 20 and Lieutenant
Wilson's two 10 pounder Parrotts into the enemy's line of rifle-pits, carrying away his battle-flag
and killing a number of his men. Eager to do still more, he embarked the Third Kentucky on
board of one of the gunboats to cross the river to the fort; but before it got over the enemy had
Thus, at 4.30 o'clock, after three and a half hours' hard fighting, our forces entered and took
possession of all the enemy's defenses.
To General Morgan I assigned the command of the fort, who, as a token of the conspicuous
merit of General Smith throughout the action, assigned it to that officer. To General Sherman I
gave in charge all the other defenses and the prisoners outside the fort who, in like manner,
honored General Stuart by giving them into his charge.
Seven stand of colors were captured, including the garrison flag, which was captured by
Captain Ennis, one of General Smith's aides-de-camp. General Burbridge planted the American
flag upon the fort, which had been placed in his hands, as a tribute to his gallantry, by General
Smith for that purpose. Besides these, 5,000 prisoners; 17 pieces of cannon, large and small; 10
gun carriages and 11 limbers; 3,000 stand of small-arms, exclusive of many lost or destroyed;
130 swords; 50 Colt's pistols; 40 cans of powder; 1,650 rounds of shot, shell, and canister for 10
and 20 pounder Parrott guns; 375 shells, grape-stands, and canister; 46,000 rounds of
ammunition for small-arms; 563 animals, together with a considerable quantity of
quartermaster's and commissary stores, fell into our hands. Of these captures, seven pieces of
cannon had been destroyed by the fire of our artillery and the gun-boats, besides 170 wagons and
a large portion of the stores, which were destroyed for want of means to bring them away.
Our loss in killed was 129; in wounded, 831; missing, 17; in all, killed, wounded, and
missing, 977; while that of the enemy, notwithstanding the protection afforded by his defenses,
proportionately to his numbers was much larger.
The prisoners of war I forwarded to the commissioner for the exchange of prisoners at Saint
Louis; and utterly destroying all of the enemy's defenses, together with all buildings used by him
for military purposes, I re-embarked my command and sailed for Milliken's Bend on the 17th
instant in obedience to Major-General Grant's order.
Noticing the conduct of the officers and men who took part in the battle of the Arkansas, I
must refer to the reports of corps, division, brigade, and regimental commanders for particular
mention of those who specially signalized their merit; but in doing so I cannot forbear, in justice,
to add my tribute to the general zeal and capability of the former and valor and constancy of the
General Sherman exhibited his usual activity and enterprise; General Morgan proved his
tactical skill and strategic talent, while Generals Steele, Smith, Osterhaus, and Stuart, and the
several brigade commanders displayed the fitting qualities of brave and successful officers.
The members of my staff present--Colonel Stewart, chief of cavalry; Lieutenant-Colonel
Schwartz, inspector-general; Lieutenant-Colonel Dunlap, assistant quartermaster; Major
McMillan, medical director; Major Ramsay, Captain Freeman, and Lieutenants Jones, Caldwell,
and Jayne, aides-de-camp--all rendered valuable assistance. Lieutenant Caldwell, who ascended
into the top of a lofty tree, in full view of the enemy and within range of his fire, and gave me
momentary information of the operations both of our land and naval forces and of the enemy,
particularly challenges my commendation and thanks.
To Colonel Parsons, assistant quartermaster and master of transports, I also offer my
acknowledgments, not only for the successful discharge of arduous duty in his department, but
for important services as volunteer aide in bearing orders in the face of danger on the field; and
to Major Williams, surgeon of the Second Illinois Light Artillery, I am also indebted for
professional usefulness.
The maps and drawings herewith submitted will illustrate the disposition of the land forces,
the position of the gunboats, the defenses of the enemy, the field of operations, and the
surrounding country.
While mourning the loss of the dead and sympathizing with the bereavement of their kindred
and friends and the suffering of the wounded, we should offer our heartfelt gratitude to Almighty
God for the complete success vouchsafed to our arms in so just a cause.
Major-General, Commanding.
Lieut. Col. JOHN A. RAWLINS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the Tennessee.
Post Arkansas, Ark., January 13, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report the operations of this corps during the recent events which
resulted in the capture of the Arkansas Post with its entire garrison and its materiel of war:
The fleet of gunboats under Admiral Porter and transports carrying the two corps composing
this army, having rendezvoused in the Mississippi River at the mouth of White River, on the
morning of the 9th instant entered White River, gunboats leading, followed by General
McClernand in person, my corps, and then General Morgan's. Our route was up White River to
the cut-off, through it to the Arkansas, and up that river to the Arkansas Post; whole distance
estimated at 50 miles.
It was about dark when the advance of the fleet reached the place of debarkation, about 3
miles below the point of attack, and darkness set in, so that it was impracticable to place the
boats at suitable points for landing. During the night it rained hard, but cleared away at 4 a.m.
when I proceeded to arrange the boats of my corps and begin the work of disembarkation. This
was not advanced far enough to put the troops in motion till 11 a.m., when General Steele's
division led off, followed by General Stuart's.
My orders were to make a circuit to the right so as to approach the Post from the north and
west, reaching the Arkansas River if possible at a point above the Post. Acting on the best
information we could obtain, and guided by negroes, the head of General Steele's column entered
the woods back of Notrib's farm, which soon became a deep, ugly swamp, but wading through it
for about 2 miles in an easterly direction the head of the column reached a field and cabin on
hard ground. There, upon questioning closely the occupants of the cabin and some prisoners who
gave themselves up, we ascertained that in crossing the swamp we were on the south side of a
bayou which in a northeasterly direction extended to Bayou La Cruz, a tributary of the White
River, and that to reach the Little Prairie, behind the Arkansas Post, we would have to march a
circuit of 7 miles, although in an air-line the distance did not exceed 2.
Satisfied that this route would not fulfill the conditions of General McClernand's plan of
attack I sent my chief of staff, Major Hammond, back to him to explain the state of facts and the
conclusion to which I had arrived.
Having also learned that the enemy had abandoned his first line of rifle-pits on the river bank
about a mile above our landing, I had previously ordered General Stuart to march his division
directly by that route, following the bank of the river. General McClernand soon overtook us
and, confirming my conclusion, ordered me to countermarch Steele's division and hasten to lead
Stuart's. Sending orders immediately to General Steele, who was some distance in advance, to
make a feint on that road with his cavalry and one regiment of infantry and with the balance of
his division retrace his steps, I rode back and over took Stuart's column, which had reached
within half a mile of the Post. I hastily made an examination of' the grounds and directed Captain
Pitzman, of the Topographical Engineers, to make a reconnaissance to the right, while l gave
orders to dispose of the troops coming from the rear. Night closed in before these preparations
were complete and the troops, already in position, bivouacked without fires through that bitter
cold night.
The moon rose about I a.m., when I rode forward and examined the position of the enemy as
well as possible and gave General Stuart some general instructions about throwing up an
epaulement to a battery of field guns. General Steele’s division was at the time passing to his
position on the right, so that when day broke Steele was on the extreme right and Stuart next to
him; Morgan's corps was on the left, resting on the river. We could hear the enemy all night busy
at work chopping and felling trees, and became convinced he was resolved on a determined
resistance. His position was: His right in a strong earth fort, with four bastion fronts, inclosing a
space of about 100 yards square, and a line of hastily-constructed rifle-pits or parapet extending
across a neck of level ground to a bayou west and north of this fort; the length of this line was
about three-quarters of a mile. In the fort were mounted three heavy iron guns, two in embrasure
and one en barbette, with four small rifled 3-inch guns and four smoothbore 6-pounders
distributed at the salients and flanks. Along the rifle-pits were also six other field pieces--12-
pounder howitzers and 3-inch rifled guns.
Late in the evening of the 10th Admiral Porter's fleet made a furious attack upon the fort,
continuing the cannonading till after it was dark: but although I had pushed one brigade of
Stuart's division, commanded by Col. Giles A. Smith, close up to the enemy's line, our forces
were not then in position to make an assault.
Early the next morning, however, I moved all my corps into an easy position for assault,
looking south across ground encumbered by fallen trees and covered with low bushes. The
enemy could be seen moving back and forth along his lines, occasionally noticing our presence
by some ill-directed shots, which did us little harm and accustomed our men to the Sound of
rifled cannon.
By l0 a.m. I reported to General McClernand in person that I was all ready for the assault,
and only waited the simultaneous movement of the gunboats. They were to silence the fort and
save us from the enfilading fire of its artillery along the only possible line of attack. About 12.30
I received notice from General McClernand that the gunboats were in motion.
The four 20 pounder rifled guns, under command of Lieutenants Hart and Putnam, were then
in position to my left in the thick woods and brush and their men had been cutting the trees away
to open a field of fire, but as Burbridge's brigade of Morgan's corps occupied ground to their
front, these guns could not be used during the engagement. Wood's battery, Company A,
Chicago Light Artillery, was posted on the road which led directly into the post; Barrett's battery,
Company B, First Illinois Artillery, was in the open space in the interval between Stuart's and
Steele's divisions, and General Steele had two of his batteries disposed in his front.
My orders were that as soon as the gunboats opened their fire all our batteries in position
should commence firing, and continue until I ordered "Cease firing," when after three minutes'
cessation the infantry columns of Steele and Stuart were to assault the enemy's line of rifle-pits
and defenses.
The gunboats opened about 1 p.m., and our field batteries at once commenced firing,
directing their shots at the enemy's guns, his line of defenses, and more especially enfilading the
road which led directly into the fort, and which road separated General Morgan's line of attack
from mine. I could not see the gunboats, and had to judge of their progress by the sound of their
fire. This was at first slow and steady, but rapidly approached the fort and enveloped it with a
complete hailstorm of shot and shell. Our field batteries continued their fire rapidly for about
fifteen minutes; the enemy not replying, I ordered the firing to cease and the infantry columns to
advance to the assault. The line of skirmishers had been withdrawn and the infantry sprang
forward with a cheer. About 100 yards of clear space was to our immediate front, and then a belt
of ground about 300 yards wide separated us from the enemy's parapet. This belt of ground was
slightly cut up by gullies and depressions and covered with standing trees and brush, with a good
deal of fallen timber and tree tops. Into this the attacking columns dashed rapidly, and there
encountered the fire of the enemy's artillery and infantry, well directed from their perfect cover,
which checked the speed of our advance, which afterward became more cautious and prudent.
By 3 p.m. our lines were within 100 yard of the enemy's trenches, outflanking him on our
right and completely enveloping his position. The gunboats could be seen close up to the fort,
and I saw the admiral's flag directly under it. All artillery fire from the fort had ceased, and only
occasionally could be seen a few of the enemy's infantry firing from its parapets; but the
strongest resistance continued in our immediate front, where the enemy's infantry was massed,
comparatively safe from the gunboats, whose fire was properly directed well to the front lest it
should reach our men, whose colors they could plainly distinguish. A brisk fire of musketry was
kept up along our whole front, with an occasional discharge of artillery through the intervals of
the infantry lines, until about 4 p.m., when reports reached me at the same instant that the white
flag had been shown all along the enemy's lines. I myself saw a large, conspicuous white flag
displayed at the point where the main road intersected the parapet, and sent, forward my aide,
Captain Dayton, to communicate with the commander.
Sending orders as fast as possible along the line to the right to cease firing, I followed
Captain Dayton and found the place surrendered. Colonel and Acting Brigadier Garland
commanded at the point where 1 entered the lines. I immediately sent orders to General Steele to
push one of his brigades along the bayou to his extreme right, to prevent escape in that direction,
and dispatched every mounted man near me, under charge of my aide, Captain Taylor, in the
same direction, to secure all squads of men who had attempted, or might attempt, to escape. I
soon however became convinced that the surrender was perfect and in good faith, and that we
had gained the enemy's position, with his fort, guns, men, and all the materiel of war.
The enemy resisted well and manfully to our trout, but his resistance was idle after the
reduction of the fort, in the face of our greatly superior numbers. Of course immediately on the
display of the white flag our lines and columns poured into the works with cheers and halloing. I
halted Steele's division at the lines and gave orders to General Stuart to secure the prisoners in
our front. These embraced the brigades of Garland and Deshler, with a battery of artillery, some
cavalry, and detachments. Their arms were stacked and the prisoners marched to the landing
back of the Post. Night overtook us in that position.
The 12th instant was mostly consumed in collecting captured property, of which Capt. J.
Condit Smith was ordered to take charge, and in enrolling and embarking the prisoners.. This
was done under direction of Major Sanger, my inspector-general, who has been named by
General McClernand to conduct them to Cairo. Major Sanger reports to me that he has put on
board the steamboats designated for the purpose 4,791 prisoners of war, which number embraces
all who were in the cantonments, fort, and along the lines of the rifle-pits. Among the captured
property I was rejoiced to find the ammunition shipped for me from Memphis for Vicksburg,
which had been captured by the enemy on the Blue Wing.
With reference to the conduct of my troops I am fully satisfied. There was far less straggling
than I have noticed in former battles and engagements.
Col. Giles A. Smith, who commanded a brigade of Stuart's division, manifested all the
qualities of a good soldier, and without hesitation 1 recommend him for promotion as a
brigadier-general, the command of which he already exercises. Col. T. Kilby Smith commanded
the other brigade of the division, and did it bravely and well, and deserves special notice.
I must leave to General Stuart to notice the conduct of others in his division, and for General
Steele to make mention of the conduct of his troops, with which he is better acquainted than I
am, they having recently been assigned to my command. Generals Steele and Stuart commanded
the two divisions of my corps. They led them in person, gave direction to their troops, provided
for all their wants, and left me the comparatively easy task of watching their movements, which
were all skillful and correct.
I now inclose the reports of General Steele's brigadiers (Blair, Thayer, and Hovey). The
former (Blair) having borne the brunt of our unsuccessful assault at Vicksburg was properly held
in reserve on this occasion and suffered but little loss.
Only a small part of Thayer's brigade could come forward to the first line on account of the
narrow front allowed by the character of the ground, but these suffered a heavy loss, as will be
seen by the general's report. He in person was much exposed, lost his horse in battle, and did his
appropriate part.
General Hovey had, on the day of battle, the lead of Steele's division, charged with attacking
and turning the enemy's left. Here was doubtless the most stubborn fighting. It was held by
Deshler's brigade and a section of well-handled 10-pounder Parrott rifles. General Hovey's
description leaves me nothing to add, except that the difficulties were increased by the blind
character of the ground, every foot of which he had to study as he advanced under a galling fire.
The dark cypress swamp on his right completely covered the movements of the enemy in that
direction, while the low bushes to his front concealed from him every obstacle, till developed by
a close discharge of the enemy's musketry from his well-concealed rifle-pits.
General Hovey was wounded in his arm by a shell, but continued and still continues to
command his brigade; and the loss in his brigade was the heaviest in my corps, as will be seen by
his list of killed and wounded herewith.
I most cordially indorse his favorable mention of the Seventy-sixth Ohio, Colonel Woods;
the Third Missouri, Colonel Shepard; the Seventeenth Missouri, Colonel Hassendeubel, and
Colonel Stone of the Twenty-fifth Iowa. I myself witnessed, and on the spot bore willing and
open testimony to, the compact ranks and handsome soldierly bearing of the two first-named
regiments, of Colonels Woods and Shepard, and have no hesitation in saying that officers who
thus, by their personal labor and close attention, have made good regiments should be advanced
to higher command.
At the same time I must call attention to General Hovey's report as to the behavior of the
major of the Twenty-fifth Iowa, whose name is not given. I trust he will forthwith be ordered to
quit this army, and not be allowed another hour to taint it with his presence. Our young and
inexperienced soldiers have a right and must have brave and confident leaders.
It will be observed our loss is small compared with the great results of the victory. Indeed, I
must attribute our success to the display of an adequate force on the true lines of attack, rather
than to the actual fighting. When we entered the lines of the enemy, although all their artillery
horses lay dead in their traces by the side of their shattered carriages, I saw but few of the
enemy's dead, not over 40; but subsequently burial parties detailed to inter the dead reported as
many as 100. Their wounded, however, were more numerous, and still remain in their hospitals.
Still, their aggregate loss in killed and wounded cannot exceed ours.
I also append to this a well-prepared sketch of Arkansas Post, made by Captain Jenney, of
my staff; the memoranda of the effects of the bombardment are very interesting. Also a
topographical sketch of the country over which we passed from the Notrib farm to and
embracing the nameless bayou west of the Post. This sketch, made by Captain Pitzmann is very
accurate for the time allowed in making the survey, and illustrates the correctness of our
movements over ground then absolutely unknown to us.
As usual my staff performed their various duties cheerfully and well and all escaped without
loss, save Captain McCoy, who had shot under him a favorite horse.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
Major-General, Commanding.
Lieut. Col. A. SCHWARTZ,
Assistant Adjutant-General to General McClernand.
JANUARY 15, 1863---8 a.m.
Reports of General Stuart and of Cols. Giles A. Smith and T. Kilby Smith, commanding his
two brigades, are this moment received and inclosed herewith, completing my report.
W. T. S.
On board steamer Continental, January 13, 1863.
CAPTAIN: Pursuant to orders from General Steele the Second Brigade debarked on the
morning of the 10th instant at Notrib's plantation, about 1 mile below Arkansas Post, and
marched in a northwesterly course, with the view of passing to the rear of the fort and gaining
the river above.
The brigade consists of the Seventeenth, Twelfth, and Third Regiments of Missouri Infantry;
the Twenty-fifth and Thirty-first Regiments of Iowa Infantry: the Seventy-sixth Regiment of
Ohio Infantry, and the First Missouri Horse Artillery.
Having proceeded half a mile, to near the woods, the enemy's pickets were discovered in
force, and Captain Landgraeber was ordered forward and dispersed them with a few shell from
his howitzers. Bearing to the right and following an old wood road the brigade soon reached an
apparently impassable bayou, but a crossing was at last effected and the route pursued for several
miles. Small squads of the enemy's cavalry hovered in our advance, and several were captured.
About 2 o'clock the column was ordered to return to the landing, where it arrived just before
dark and bivouacked for the night. Hardly had the camp-fires been lighted when orders were
received to move immediately by another route and by a night march to our original destination.
Over marshy ground thickly covered with wood, without a guide, and with the only direction "to
take a northwesterly course," we set out. Fortunately the North Star was in full view, and by its
aid we were enabled to reach the point indicated after a fatiguing march of more than eight
hours. It was after 2 o'clock in the morning when we reached the deserted camp of the enemy.
At daybreak General Steele and staff came up and ordered the brigade to form parallel with
the bayou, on which its right then rested, move toward the river, and complete the investment of
the enemy's works. Having moved scarcely more than half a mile we met the enemy in force,
their works being in full view. The brigade halted, and skirmishers from the Seventeenth
Missouri were sent forward to feel for the enemy. They soon became hotly engaged, and the
Third Missouri was ordered forward to their support.
Here a brave man, Captain Greene, of the Third Missouri, together with two color-bearers,
were instantly killed by the bursting of a shell, and a large number wounded. The enemy having
now been unmasked and their position, partially at least, ascertained, a halt was ordered, and
nothing further was done until the final dispositions for reducing the post were made.
I had forgotten to state that the Twelfth Missouri was left behind at the landing as a guard for
the transports, and that Captain Landgraeber's battery, finding it impossible to follow the brigade
in its night march through the swamps and woods, was also left behind.
This brigade occupied the extreme right, and was disposed for the assault as follows: The
Seventeenth Missouri, under Colonel Hassendeubel, were deployed as skirmishers in the
advance, and were also instructed to watch the right bank of the bayou, to guard against, or at
least to give notice of, a flank attack. Colonel Shepard, of the Third Missouri, followed him,
supported by the Thirty-first Iowa, under Colonel Smyth. Next, to the left, and in continuation of
the line of battle was the Seventy-sixth Ohio, under Colonel Woods, supported by the Twentyfifth
Iowa, under Colonel Stone.
At a given signal Colonel Hassendeubel advanced with his skirmishers through the woods
along the bayou and became hotly engaged. He was attacked on the flank much more violently
than was anticipated, and was compelled to divert his whole regiment from its original course to
repel this assault, leaving Colonel Shepard in the advance on the original line. The Seventy-sixth
Ohio, under Colonel Woods, moved off on the double-quick in gallant style, closely followed by
the Twenty-fifth Iowa. This column, moving over open ground and in advance of all others, drew
the concentrated fire of the enemy's artillery and rifle-pits; but on they moved, nor stopped until
within easy rifle-range of the enemy's works. Colonel Woods' sharpshooters immediately
silenced two of the enemy's Parrott guns, and not another shot was fired from them during the
action. I wish to call especial attention to the good conduct of this regiment. Though leading the
advance, exposed to a concentrated and galling fire, and holding, as I believe, during the entire
action, a position considerably in advance of any other regiment, not a man fell out of the ranks;
there was no confusion--very man did his duty. By silencing the Parrott guns in front, the
advance of the brigade next on the left, Colonel Smyth's, was rendered comparatively safe.
The complications on my extreme right, where the rebels had stationed their cavalry to fire
from across the bayou on our rear, and two regiments of infantry to fire on our flank, early
attracted my attention. Here I ordered a charge on the enemy's works by the Third Missouri,
under Colonel Shepard, supported by the Thirty-first Iowa, commanded by Colonel Smyth. They
moved forward vigorously, and for a time I confidently expected they would enter the works, but
the galling cross-fire of infantry and artillery bearing (directly in their front and flanks, and
coming from a quarter unexpected and therefore not guarded by Colonel Hassendeubel's
sharpshooters, checked the charge and at length compelled Colonels Shepard and Smyth to
resume their original line of battle. Colonel Hassendeubel with his regiment of sharpshooters
continued to do excellent service until his ammunition was exhausted. They were then ordered to
the rear to resupply themselves. Finding the enemy had massed a strong force to protect this the
weakest part of their works, I brought forward two 12-pounder howitzers, with a view of shelling
back the enemy beyond rifle-range. Two shots only had been fired when the fort surrendered.
I have already spoken of the gallant conduct of the Seventy-sixth Ohio and its colonel, of the
Third Missouri and its colonel, who captured two stand of rebel colors, and of the good service
done by the Seventeenth Missouri, under Colonel Hassendeubel, and I will now add that Colonel
Stone, of the Twenty-fifth Iowa, and the majority of his regiment acted like veterans; but the
cowardly conduct of his major in leaving the field in the face of the enemy, thereby giving
countenance to straggling and skulking, cannot be too severely censured. The Thirty-first Iowa
lost much of its effectiveness through lack of discipline. This and the Twenty-fifth Iowa are new
I should not do full justice did I close this report without making honorable mention of my
staff officers, Capt. F. M. Crandal Lieuts. J. E. Bryant and F. H. Wilson, and Sergt. Sidney O.
Inclosed are lists of casualties in the several regiments.
I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Second Brigade,
First Division, Fifteenth Army Corps.
Capt. J. W. PADDOCK,
A. A. G., First Division, Fifteenth Army Corps.
Camp at Arkansas Post, Ark., January 12, 1863.
GENERAL: In obedience to your orders, yesterday I formed my regiment in rear of the
Seventy-sixth Ohio, Colonel Woods, and followed that regiment in the charge on the enemy's
fortifications, and was the second regiment in their works.
As reported to you this morning, my casualties were 9 killed, 45 wounded, and 7 missing.
The fire was very terrific and galling, especially in our position, exposed as we were to an
enfilade fire from the enemy's 6-pounders, charged with grape and canister.
As soon as the rebels had surrendered I had the roll called, and found some 65 men not
accounted for. These I am much afraid shirked and went to the rear, but eventually returned to
the field, but did not rejoin the regiment till after the engagement. With this exception the men
acted gallantly, maintaining the position in rear of the Seventy-sixth Ohio during the entire fight
and bivouacking in the enemy's fortifications.
Very respectfully, general,
Colonel, Commanding.
JANUARY 12, 1863.
CAPTAIN: My command disembarked from transports on the morning of the 10th. At dark,
according to orders from General Steele, I moved around through an almost impassable swamp
to a position o,! the right and above the fort, which we reached at 5 o'clock on the morning of the
11th. It was found impossible to get the wagons and artillery through in the night and I was
compelled to leave them.
About noon my infantry moved forward into line of battle, the right, resting on General
Hovey's left. About this time my battery, the First Iowa, which had got through the swamp with
great difficulty, came up and was placed in position on the right of my brigade. The action soon
became general, the lines advancing. Owing to the thick underbrush and the want of space for a
front of the brigade, I at first advanced in column of regiments, deploying them into line as fast
as we could get a front. The Twenty-sixth Iowa, Colonel Smith, being on the left, gained an
advanced position and did good execution. This regiment had 2 commissioned officers and 16
men killed, and 99 wounded, including Colonel Smith, who had to leave the field. The Thirtieth
Iowa, Lieutenant-Colonel Terrence (Colonel Abbott being sick), also occupied an advanced
position and was warmly engaged, supported by the Thirty-fourth Iowa, Colonel Clark. The
Fourth and Ninth Iowa, together with the Thirteenth Illinois and another regiment of General
Blair's brigade, were held as a reserve, though exposed to the enemy's fire.
The infantry and the battery fought well. Having my horse killed early in the engagement I
requested General Vandever, who arrived two days previous and took temporary command of his
old regiment, the Ninth Iowa, to assist me, and I am pleased to make my acknowledgments to
him for very valuable services. His conduct was gallant and soldierly throughout the action, and
he was constantly exposed to danger. I have also to acknowledge the efficient aid rendered me
by the members of my staff, Capt. Allen Blacker, assistant adjutant general; Capt. Lyman
Richardson, Lieuts. William S. Whitten and Albert T. Higbee.
Lists of killed and wounded have been forwarded.
I am, very respectfully, yours,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Third Brigade,
First Division, Fifteenth Army Corps.
Capt. J. W. PADDOCK,
Assistant Adjutant-General, First Division.
Post Arkansas, Ark., January 13, 1863.
COLONEL: Agreeably to order I have the honor to report to you the part the regiment, while
acting under my command, took in the late battle of January 11, 1863:
After disengaging my troops of everything in the way of luggage which might be disposed
of, by order of General Thayer I gave direction to follow close up by the right flank the first
battalion, Third Brigade, Fifteenth Army Corps; to form line of battle on its left, at a designated
point if practicable, and, if not, to form line of battle in its rear, and advance as it advanced and
halt as it halted, and in every move to act in conjunction with it. But after striking the doublequick
I very soon found it impossible to form either on its left or rear, and 1 halted my command
and allowed the first battalion to file by. This being done, I instantly formed line of battle and
moved forward through the timber, over logs and brush, as best I could, until within 150 or 175
yards of the enemy's breastworks, forming his extreme left, when I came to an open space of
ground. Here I halted, giving instructions to fire, lie down and load, and fire lying down, which
they did for the space of about three hours, during which time they did but little more than
silence and keep silent some small artillery pieces planted by the enemy at that part of the
breastworks, together with the musketry in the hands of the enemy in the rifle-pits. During said
time no change of position was made save one, when by a flank movement I shifted farther to the
right. This secured me a more strong hold of the enemy's left. Here we remained until the order
was given all along the lines to cease firing, as the enemy had hoisted a white flag. After firing
ceased on the right the enemy rose up in great numbers from their rifle pits full view. I was about
moving my command forward, when, to my great astonishment and mortification, two of my
best line officers were wounded by the enemy, viz, Capt. Uley Burk, Company I, in hand, and
Lieutenant Alexander, of same company, in left arm (neither of which is considered dangerous),
and was thus engaged when General Thayer in person directed my color-guard to advance and
plant our colors upon the enemy's works, which was promptly done. At the same time General
Thayer gave orders for the regiment to come inside the breastworks and prevent straggling
parties retreating by their left, rear. Soon after, the entire regiment was detailed to conduct the
prisoners up to and inside of the fortifications, where General Sherman had them taken up to his
headquarters. This latter duty proved more arduous than it should have been but for the tardiness
of the regiments detailed by order of the general commanding to be placed under Colonel Grier,
of the Seventy-seventh Regiment Illinois Volunteers, who had orders to take charge of the
prisoners for the night. It was after midnight before the regiment was relieved. There is nothing
further which I deem my duty to mention save that both officers and men generally acted well
for new troops. I might mention with great propriety to you a few striking instances of cool and
commendable courage displayed by some of my men, they having fallen under my immediate
notice during the action; but I forbear mentioning and save one, and that is the case of James M.
Smith, private of Company C, a single young man, not yet arrived at his majority, who has been
doing the duties of adjutant for some time past, owing to the indisposition of the adjutant. I have
been familiarly conversant with him for the last two months, and find him to be a young man of
irreproachable moral character and one altogether deserving of public confidence. His conduct
on the battle-field in the late engagement was such as to secure implicit confidence in his
courage and ability, and to justify the belief that he is entirely capable of filling a more important
position than he now does.
Hoping this will meet with your approval, I remain, colonel, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel Thirtieth Iowa Volunteers.
Saint Louis, Mo., December 10, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit a general summary of military operations in this
department since the 24th of May, 1863, when I assumed this command.
At that time active operations against the organized force of the enemy in Arkansas had been
suspended until the opening of the Mississippi should give us a new base and a new line of
operations, by which it would be practicable to operate in the interior of Arkansas. There was no
immediate employment for the troops of this department except the ordinary police duties in
Missouri, Kansas, and among the Indian tribes in the Western Territories.
The effective troops in the department at that time consisted of 14,248 infantry, 15,509
cavalry, and thirteen batteries of artillery, distributed as follows, viz: The Army of the Frontier
distributed along the southern border of Missouri and Kansas, and in the Indian Territory as far
south as Fort Gibson, 5,011 infantry, 3,826 cavalry, and four batteries of artillery. Troops doing
police duty in Missouri, 5,657 infantry, 9,200 cavalry, and six batteries. In Kansas, 3,506
infantry, 1,343 cavalry, and two batteries. In Nebraska, 392 cavalry. In Colorado, 74 infantry,
748 cavalry, and one battery.
In addition to the above, the Governor of Missouri had commenced the organization of nine
regiments of militia, styled "provisional regiments," intended for continuous active service. A
portion of this militia had been in active service for a considerable length of time, but not under
the orders of the department commander, and not acting in concert with the United States troops.
At my suggestion, the Governor placed these nine regiments under my command; whereupon the
War Department gave me authority to supply them with everything necessary to their efficiency,
and they became a real addition to the effective force in the department, making my entire force
36,816 men effective.
With a view to the commencement of active operations as soon as practicable, I reorganized
the Army of the Frontier, uniting all the cavalry and adding to it, forming a division of cavalry
6,000 strong, with a proper proportion of artillery, under Brig. Gen. J. W. Davidson, and forming
the infantry into a single division, with three batteries, under Maj. Gen. F. J. Herron, intending to
send the infantry and artillery by water to a new base on the river, and let the cavalry march
overland, as soon as General Grant's operations should enable me to commence an aggressive
This reorganization had but commenced, when, on the 2d day of June, I received a dispatch
from the General-in-Chief, directing me to send all the force I could spare to the aid of General
Grant at Vicksburg. Accordingly I immediately dispatched eight regiments of infantry and three
batteries, under Major-General Herron, and subsequently sent in the same direction three more
regiments of infantry, in all 8,000 men Also to enable Brig. Gen.[A.] Asboth, commanding at
Columbus, to meet an expected attack, I sent him from New Madrid, on the 30th of July, 1,300
men, and to Major-General Rosecrans, commanding Department of the Cumberland, a regimentof
cavalry and two regiments of infantry, 2,400 men, making a total of forces transferred from
my department of 11,700 men and three batteries.
This great reduction of the force before considered necessary for defensive purposes, left me
very weak in Missouri and Kansas, and, occurring at the season favorable for guerrilla
operations, exposed these States to the depredations of guerrillas, from which they continued to
suffer more or less until the success of my main force in Arkansas, and that of the detachments
operating in Missouri and Kansas, rendered it impossible for them to longer exist in these States.
The capture of Vicksburg and Port Hudson by the forces under Generals Grant and Banks on
the 4th and 8th of July, respectively, opened the way for active operations in Arkansas, and
enabled General Grant to return to me the troops I had sent him. I inclose herewith copies of
correspondence with General Grant on that subject, which, together with orders from the General
in-Chief, resulted in his sending (including the force already at Helena) a force of about 8,000
infantry and five batteries, to form, with troops to be sent from Missouri, an expedition against
the enemy in Arkansas. At my request, Maj. Gen. Frederick Steele was sent to command this
force. At the same time I sent the cavalry division, under Brigadier-General Davidson, with
orders to move south, through the eastern part of Arkansas, and effect a junction with the force at
Helena. Copy of instructions to General Davidson is inclosed herewith, marked A; also copy of
instructions for General Steele, marked B.
General Davidson reached Wittsburg, on the Saint Francis River, on the 28th day of July,
without encountering any considerable force of the enemy, and opened communication with
General [L. F.] Ross, then commanding at Helena, General Steele not having arrived at that time.
On the 10th day of August, General Steele had completed the organization of his forces, and
commenced his advance, via Clarendon, on White River; thence up that river to Devall's Bluff,
where he established his base of operations. Considerable time was consumed here in fortifying,
establishing depot for supplies, hospital for the sick, who had become frightfully numerous, and
in making other necessary preparations for a further advance. These preparations were completed
on the 1st day of September.
The enemy, under Sterling Price, occupied an intrenched position 3 miles east of Little Rock,
covered by cavalry outposts at Bayou Mete and Ashley's Mills. His force was estimated at about
16,000 men, with thirty-eight pieces of artillery. General Steele's effective force was about
13,000 men, with fifty-three pieces of artillery.
Steele advanced, with the main body of his infantry, against the enemy's position, while the
cavalry, under Davidson, crossed the Arkansas River 7 miles below Little Rock, encountering
the rebel cavalry, under Marmaduke, defeated him after a sharp engagement, and marched upon
the town. Price, finding his position turned, hastily abandoned his intrenchments, retreated across
the river, destroying his bridges, and escaped from the town before the arrival of our cavalry.
Davidson's division entered Little Rock at dark in the evening of the 10th of September.
The enemy retired toward Arkadelphia, pursued the next day about 20 miles by a
considerable force of cavalry and artillery, under command of Col. Lewis Merrill, U.S.
Volunteers, but with no very important results.
For the details of these operations, resulting in the capture of Little Rock, and subsequent
pursuit of the enemy, I respectfully refer to reports heretofore forwarded.
Since the capture of Little Rock, the time has been chiefly employed in perfecting
communications, including repair of the railroad to Devall's Bluff, the fortification of Little
Rock, and the occupation of points necessary to the security of the Arkansas River as a line of
defense, and in preparation for an advance to Red River as soon as General Banks' operations
should justify. The cavalry of General Steele's command has been actively employed during the
time against the enemy's cavalry, and with considerable success in the capture of prisoners, arms,
and other property.
On the 25th day of October. Marmaduke, with about 2,500 cavalry and twelve pieces of
artillery, attacked a force of about 800 cavalry of the Fifth Kansas and the First Indiana Cavalry,
and nine pieces of artillery, under Colonel [P.] Clayton, of the Fifth Kansas Cavalry, at Pine
Bluff. The fight was sharp, lasted five hours, and resulted in a decisive victory to our troops.
Some cavalry, sent from Little Rock and Camden, under Lieutenant-Colonel [H. O.]
Caldwell, Third Iowa Cavalry, pursued the rebel cavalry to Arkadelphia, captured that place,
with a number of prisoners and some property. Colonel Clayton's and Lieutenant-Colonel
Caldwell's reports were forwarded on the 19th instant.
On the 9th of June, I made a division of the former District of Kansas, the one embracing the
northern portion of Kansas and the border counties of Missouri, the other the southern portion of
Kansas, the Indian Territory, and Western Arkansas. Major-General [J. G.] Blunt was placed in
command of the latter district, and Brigadier-General [Thomas] Ewing, [jr.,] of the former, with
his headquarters at Kansas City, as near as possible to the center of the disturbed portion of his
The troops placed under General Ewing's command were selected with reference to their
fitness for that special service, as far as practicable at that time. On the 11th day of June, General
Blunt assumed command at Fort Gibson, Ind. T., at that time occupied by a small force, mostly
Indians, under command of Col. William A. Phillips. All troops had been withdrawn from
Western Arkansas some time before. On the 20th of July, General Blunt reported that he was
threatened by a force about 15,000 strong, under Cabell and [D. H.] Cooper, and asked for reenforcements.
His force at that time amounted to about 3,000 men, of whom about one-half were
Indians. I sent him about 1,500 men from Southwest Missouri, under Colonel [W. F.] Cloud, of
the Second Kansas Cavalry, which force reached Fort Gibson on the 22d of August. General
Blunt crossed the Arkansas River to attack the enemy, but they retreated without a general
engagement. On the 1st of September, Colonel Cloud's brigade came up with the enemy's rear,
about 16 miles southeast of Fort Smith, and, after a short skirmish, routed them, with a loss of 8
killed and wounded on our side and 20 to 30 on that of the enemy, and capturing 40 prisoners.
General Blunt, with the First Arkansas Infantry, occupied Fort Smith on the same day
without opposition--ten days before the capture of Little Rock. Since that time we have held,
without difficulty, the line of the Arkansas River, and our cavalry have operated as far south as
The border of Kansas and Missouri has been the scene of the most revolting hostilities during
the past two years. The summer just ended has been no exception to this rule. A band of outlaws,
numbering sometimes as high as 500 men, have infested the thickly wooded fastnesses in the
western counties of Missouri, from which to prey upon the unarmed people. These brigands were
aided in every way, whether willingly or unwillingly, by the large majority of the inhabitants of
those counties, making it impossible, with any reasonable force, to drive them out or capture
On the 19th of August, the brigands secretly assembled to the number of about 300, near the
border of Kansas, marched rapidly upon the town of Lawrence, and attacked it at dawn of day,
when the people were least prepared for defense. No resistance whatever was offered. The town
was robbed and burned, and the unarmed people murdered in the most fiendish manner. Probably
no act of the war has been so barbarous in its whole details as this. I refer you to the report of
Brigadier-General Ewing, forwarded to Washington on the 4th of September, for full details of
the operations of his troops in pursuit of the murderers. The excitement among the people of
Kansas, resulting from the massacre at Lawrence, was necessarily intense. For a time it
threatened a serious difficulty, from the desire of a large portion of the people to enter Missouri
to avenge the crime that had been perpetrated upon one of their fairest towns. Wiser counsels,
however, prevailed, and the excitement passed off without further trouble. To guard against the
probability of the recurrence of such a calamity, I recommended to His Excellency the Governor
of Kansas to adopt the system which had been established in Missouri a year before, of
organizing and arming all the militia of the State, thus placing every town, at least, in condition
to defend itself from any guerrilla attack This suggestion was as promptly adopted, and the State
soon made secure.
For some time previous to the Lawrence massacre, the necessity of adopting some measures
more vigorous than any before adopted to rid the border counties of the brigands who had so
long infested them had been discussed, and I had directed General Ewing to remove the families
of all guerrillas and all those who were known to aid them, and also the slaves of all disloyal
persons living in those counties, it having been shown satisfactorily that a main object of the
guerrilla bands was to protect their disloyal friends in the possession of their slaves, and that they
were encouraged and supported for this purpose. After the massacre at Lawrence, General Ewing
deemed this measure not adequate, and ordered a total depopulation of the district which was
then the chief haunt of the guerrillas. After a protracted visit to the border, and as full an
examination of the case as I could make, I modified General Ewing's order so far as to preserve,
as far as possible, all property in the depopulated district, and approved the order. The measure,
though very severe, seemed necessary at the time, and I believe the result has proved the wisdom
of it. The guerrillas soon found it impossible to live where before they had roamed almost at will.
Large numbers of them were killed, and the remainder driven beyond the Arkansas River. Since
the rebels have all been driven out, I have directed that all the loyal people of those counties be
permitted to return to their homes, and that they be armed and organized into companies. I
believe there will be no difficulty hereafter in preserving peace in that district. In the retreat of
the enemy from Little Rock and Fort Smith, several small bands of guerrillas were left in the
northern part of Arkansas, and two or three still remained in Missouri.
About the last of September, a detachment of rebel cavalry, from 600 to 800 strong, under
command of Shelby, left Prices army, near Arkadelphia, in Arkansas, moved north, and crossed
the Arkansas River a short distance below Fort Smith. After Crossing, Shelby moved rapidly
toward Huntsville, which place he reached September 30, and moved thence via Bentonville,
Ark., cutting the telegraph line as he passed; thence through Pineville to Neosho, Mo., where he
attacked and captured two companies of Missouri militia.
Shelby was joined in Arkansas by Brooks and other guerrilla leaders, and in Missouri by
Quantrill, Jackman, and others, with all the guerrillas in Western Missouri. These increased his
force to about 2,000 men. Passing rapidly through Greenfield and Warsaw, he succeeded in
destroying the La Mine Bridge, on the Pacific Railroad, and reached the town of Boonville, on
the Missouri River. Up to this time he succeeded in entirely eluding the troops sent to intercept
him, and passed north of them. At Boonville he was overtaken by Brig. Gen. E. B. Brown, with
about 1,500 men, and pursued to Marshall, skirmishing continually. At Marshall, Shelby made a
stand, and a sharp fight ensued, lasting five hours, and resulting in a total defeat of the rebels.
They scattered in all directions and fled toward Arkansas, hotly pursued by General Brown's
troops. Subsequently, the chase was taken up by Colonel Weer, then by General Ewing, and
finally by General McNeil who continued the pursuit until the remnant of Shelby's force had
crossed the Arkansas River. The pursuit was attended with numerous skirmishes, always
favorable to our troops, and resulted in a loss to the enemy of more than half his force, two
pieces of artillery (all he had), all his ammunition, baggage, and plunder.
Quantrill, Jackman, and other guerrilla leaders, who have been the curse of Missouri and
Kansas during the past two years, were driven out with Shelby, or about the same time, leaving
behind them a state of peace and security to which the people have long been strangers.
I respectfully refer to accompanying reports for details of these operations. They exhibit a
degree of energy and endurance on the part of our troops worthy of all commendation.
Military operations in the Territories of Nebraska and Colorado have not been of special
importance. The Indians in those Territories, although occasionally manifesting a hostile
disposition, have thus far remained quiet, and the troops on the frontier have proven amply
sufficient to protect the people and important public interests. Several of the tribes have recently
manifested an unusual hostile feeling, and have given evidence of a combination for war upon
the white settlers. Timely measures have been instituted to prevent actual hostilities, if possible,
and to meet them with an adequate force, if necessary.
Of the numerous skirmishes and engagements within the last five months, twenty-eight have
been reported, showing a loss on our side of 159 killed, 311 wounded, and 200 prisoners; and on
that of the enemy 643 killed, 697 wounded, and 856 prisoners. To the enemy's loss must also be
added the large number of desertions, consequent upon his defeat.
Measures have been taken to secure prompt and accurate reports hereafter of all engagements
and skirmishes, and in future reports details will be given more explicitly. The total effective
force now in the department is about 36,800 men, including troops returned to me by General
Grant, re-enforcements received from Major-General Pope's department, and new organizations
of white and colored troops recruited since the 31st of May. It does not exceed that of the 24th of
May, when the honor of the command was conferred upon me. Yet it has repossessed, and now
securely holds, over 60,000 square miles more of territory.
I have not deemed it necessary in this report to refer to matters not of a purely military
character. The perplexing subjects, of a semi-political character, which are inseparably connected
with this command, have been the subject of correspondence from time to time with the Generalin-
Chief and the War Department, and the Government is fully informed of all that has
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.
Columbus, Ky., September 1, 1863.
COLONEL: A Military Commission, of which Brig. Gen. W. K. Strong was president, was
convened in Saint Louis in February last, by order of Major-General Halleck, to investigate as to
the evacuation of New Madrid and destruction of property there and at Island No. 10.
Grave charges were preferred against me, as commanding officer, for the evacuation of New
Madrid, under alleged "pretended orders," and I was in arrest for two months. On the finding of
that Commission, I was ordered to duty by General Curtis, but the finding was not made public,
nor has been to this time, to my knowledge.
Feeling that my arrest was an outrage, and that the Commission fully justified my action, I
deem myself entitled to a copy of the finding. I have applied for it heretofore in vain.
I respectfully ask that the major-general commanding the department will secure me a copy
of the finding of said Commission.
Your most obedient servant,
Colonel Thirty-second Iowa Infantry, Commanding Post.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
SPRINGFIELD, MO., January 8, 1863--11.50 p.m.
GENERAL: The firing at this post has just ceased. The attack was made at 10.10 this
morning. The fight lasted thirteen hours, under the command of General Marmaduke, C. S.
Army, with 5,000 picked mounted infantry and two pieces rifled field artillery, drawn by ten
horses each.
The expedition was fitted in this manner on the Arkansas River for the special service of the
capture of Springfield, with its forts and large depots of stores. They moved with great rapidity,
marching the last 50 miles in twenty-four hours, skirmishing with my scouting parties almost the
entire distance. He moved right up, and immediately commenced the fight by cannonading the
town without having given a moment's time to move the sick and the helpless women and
children. Our artillery consisted of two old iron 12-pounder howitzers: one iron 6-pounder gun
(rudely mounted, one of them on old wagon wheels and without the ordinary equipments for
artillery, hand-spikes and wedges having to take the place of elevating screws), and two 6-
pounder brass guns at Fort No. 1. The balance of our force consisted of the following-named
commands and detachments of commands: Third Missouri State Militia Cavalry, commanded by
Col. W. King (453); Fourth Missouri State Militia Cavalry, commanded by Col. George H. Hall
(289); Eighteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, commanded by Lieut. Col. Thomas Z. Cook (378);
Second Battalion Fourteenth Missouri State Militia, Cavalry, commanded by Lieut. Col. John
Pound (223); Seventy-fourth Regiment Enrolled Missouri Militia, commanded by Capt. Green B.
Phillips 48 convalescents, organized by Dr. S. H. Melcher, and stragglers commanded by Col. B.
Crabb and Captain McAfee (447). Total force, 2,099.
General, these troops acted like heroes. I am too weak from the loss of blood to dictate more.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Commanding Department of the Missouri.
I will add to the general's dispatch that he was treacherously shot from a secesh residence,
while leading a charge of his body guard when the day seemed to be lost.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
February 26, 1863---11 a.m.
Commission met pursuant to adjournment. Present, all the members. The proceedings of
yesterday were then read by the recorder.
The Commission, after mature deliberation, find the following facts: That on the 28th day of
December, A.D. 1862, six iron siege guns were spiked at New Madrid, Mo.; six gun carriages
and platforms were burned, and a quantity of ammunition destroyed. The loss to the
Government, aside from the loss of the ammunition, the value of which is not ascertained, was
about $350 or $450. A set of barracks were on the same day burned at New Madrid, but this was
purely the result of an accident. No other Government property was destroyed.
The ordnance and ordnance stores above mentioned were destroyed by men of the garrison of
New Madrid, under command of Col. John Scott, of the Thirty-second Regiment Iowa Volunteer
Infantry, commanding post. This was done by virtue of an order which Colonel Scott received
from Brig. Gen. Thomas A. Davies, commanding District of Columbus; and although Colonel
Scott was not under the direct command of Brigadier-General Davies, he did right, under the
circumstances in obeying Brigadier-General Davies' order, and not only did his duty, but is
honorably acquitted of all blame.
Brig. Gen. Thomas A. Davies, U.S. Volunteers, commanding at that time the District of
Columbus, gave Col. John Scott the order, and is responsible for it. The post at Columbus, he
had good reason to suppose, was in imminent danger of capture by the rebel forces, and he acted
the part of a prudent and faithful officer in crippling the armament at New Madrid, Mo., and
removing the United States troops from that place to Fort Pillow. He is not only free from
culpability, but is honorably acquitted of all blame.
Neither Brig. Gen. Thomas A. Davies, U.S. Volunteers, nor Col. John Scott, Thirty-second
Regiment of Iowa Volunteers, should be dismissed the service of the United States.
There being no further business to transact, the Special Commission adjourned sine die.
Brigadier-General U.S. Volunteers, President.
Colonel Ninth Illinois Cavalry, Recorder.
Findings approved.
SPRINGFIELD, MO., January 8, 1863--11.50 p.m.
GENERAL: The firing at this post has just ceased. The attack was made at 10.10 this
morning. The fight lasted thirteen hours, under the command of General Marmaduke, C. S.
Army, with 5,000 picked mounted infantry and two pieces rifled field artillery, drawn by ten
horses each.
The expedition was fitted in this manner on the Arkansas River for the special service of the
capture of Springfield, with its forts and large depots of stores. They moved with great rapidity,
marching the last 50 miles in twenty-four hours, skirmishing with my scouting parties almost the
entire distance. He moved right up, and immediately commenced the fight by cannonading the
town without having given a moment's time to move the sick and the helpless women and
children. Our artillery consisted of two old iron 12-pounder howitzers: one iron 6-pounder gun
(rudely mounted, one of them on old wagon wheels and without the ordinary equipments for
artillery, hand-spikes and wedges having to take the place of elevating screws), and two 6-
pounder brass guns at Fort No. 1. The balance of our force consisted of the following-named
commands and detachments of commands: Third Missouri State Militia Cavalry, commanded by
Col. W. King (453); Fourth Missouri State Militia Cavalry, commanded by Col. George H. Hall
(289); Eighteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, commanded by Lieut. Col. Thomas Z. Cook (378);
Second Battalion Fourteenth Missouri State Militia, Cavalry, commanded by Lieut. Col. John
Pound (223); Seventy-fourth Regiment Enrolled Missouri Militia, commanded by Capt. Green B.
Phillips 48 convalescents, organized by Dr. S. H. Melcher, and stragglers commanded by Col. B.
Crabb and Captain McAfee (447). Total force, 2,099.
General, these troops acted like heroes. I am too weak from the loss of blood to dictate more.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Commanding Department of the Missouri.
I will add to the general's dispatch that he was treacherously shot from a secesh residence,
while leading a charge of his body guard when the day seemed to be lost.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Springfield, January 11, 1863.
COLONEL : I have the honor to submit the following report:
On the evening of the 7th instant, Brig. Gen. E. B. Brown, commanding Southwestern
District of Missouri, received intelligence from a scouting party, composed of detachments of the
Fourteenth Missouri State Militia and Seventy-third Regiment Enrolled Missouri Militia, under
command of Captain [M.] Burch, that a large force of the enemy, said to be 6,000 strong, under
command of General Marmaduke, were moving on Lawrence's Mill, Taney County, from
Dubuque, Ark., with the intention of attacking this place, to capture the depot of arms and stores,
and to destroy all communication with the Army of the Frontier and Saint Louis.
Immediately orders were dispatched by me to Colonel [J. W.] Johnson, Twenty-sixth
Regiment; Colonel [Henry] Shoppard, Seventy-second Regiment; Colonel [Marcus] Boyd,
Seventy-fourth Regiment Enrolled Missouri Militia, to call in all their furloughed men and
concentrate them immediately at this post; also to detached companies in Dade and Lawrence
In the course of the night information was received confirming the report of the enemy's
advance. At daylight on the 8th, the troops stationed at Ozark arrived, reporting the enemy had
arrived and burned their post, and by 10 a.m. our pickets were attacked, and he appeared on the
edge of the prairie southeast of town.
The enemy at once planted his battery and commenced firing upon the town and Fort No. 4,
commanding the approach from the south, while the cavalry, consisting of detachments of the
Third, Fourth, and Fourteenth Missouri State Militia, were formed on the left of the fort, and
charged on the enemy's right.
General Brown formed his line of battle, with detachments of cavalry on the left, southeast of
town, a detachment of the Eighteenth Iowa Infantry on their right, Fort No. 4, mounting two
guns, garrisoned with Company C, Colonel Boyd's Seventy-fourth Regiment Enrolled Missouri
Militia, Captain [G. B.] Phillips, and convalescent soldiers, commanded by Lieutenant [J.]
Hoffman, of the First Missouri Artillery, connected with the Army of the Frontier, and a brick
college, inclosed on three sides with palisades, used for a military prison, being the center;
Colonel Sheppard’s regiment Enrolled Missouri Militia Infantry to the right of the college,
flanked on his right by detachments of car-airy, with Fort No. 1 about one half mile to the rear,
being the extreme right, which was garrisoned by the Eighteenth Iowa and citizens.
The skirmishing with cavalry on our left, with artillery firing, continued with but trifling loss
until 2 p.m., when the enemy extended his left, and advanced his right and whole line toward
Fort No. 4. After some sharp fighting, he was repulsed from the fort, but succeeded in capturing
one piece of artillery, which, in charge of a small detachment of the Eighteenth Iowa, was
advanced too far to the front, the horses being killed and the men compelled to retire with heavy
loss. Upon the repulse from Fort No. 4, the enemy combined his attack upon our right wing,
composed of Colonel Sheppard's regiment, when the hardest and most decisive fighting of the
day took place. This regiment maintained its ground for more than an hour against
overwhelming numbers of the enemy's whole infantry, assisted by three pieces of artillery. The
two guns from Fort No. 4 played upon the enemy during the latter part of the time with
considerable effect.
Colonel Sheppard was compelled to fall back in the direction of Fort No. 1, taking advantage
of the scattered houses to continue the fight as they retired After falling back some 300 yards,
they were rallied, and made a spirited charge upon the enemy, driving them back south of the
Fayetteville road, being assisted on their left by a detachment of Iowa troops, under Col. B.
The enemy succeeded in gaining possession of the college building, a strong position,
enabling their sharpshooters to check our farther advance until night closed the contest.
Late in the day, Maj. A. C. Graves, of my staff, brigade commissary, who was acting as aidede-
camp, was mortally wounded, shot by a musket ball in left breast; Lieut. D. J. McCrosky,
Company A, Seventy second Regiment Enrolled Missouri Militia, killed; Maj. John Hornbeak
wounded in arm; Lieut. W. F. Lane, Company E, Seventy-second Regiment, leg broken;
Sergeants Burling and Campbell killed, and Sergeant Rainey mortally wounded.
Annexed in hand is a statement of killed, wounded, and missing of my command.
I take pleasure in reporting the valuable aid afforded me by members of my staff on the field,
Majors Sheppard, Bishop, Graves, and Clarke; also volunteer aide, Lieutenant Matthews, of
Eighth Missouri Cavalry Volunteers.
I am proud to report the bravery of my command, being raw troops, who have been greatly
maligned by enemies of the Union and some politicians of the State, and can assure the
Commander-in-Chief of their readiness to defend the Constitution and support the Government
of the United States and this State, not only with words, but by the sacrifice of their lives, as they
have so abundantly proved by their conduct on the now still more memorable day--the 8th of
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brig. Gen., Comdg. Fourth Dist., Enrolled Missouri Militia.
Acting Adjutant-General, Missouri.
Springfield, Mo., January 10, 1863.
GENERAL: Owing to the illness of General Brown, and by his request, I have the honor to
submit the following report of an engagement at this place, on the 8th instant, between the
Federal forces, commanded by Brigadier-General Brown, and a rebel force, under the command
of General Marmaduke:
On Wednesday, the 7th instant, about 3 p.m., General Brown received the first information
that the enemy, estimated from 4,000 to 6,000 strong, had forced our troops to abandon
Lawrence's Mill; that they had burned the mill and block-house there, and were rapidly
approaching this place by the way of Ozark.
Not having a force sufficient at that place to contend with the enemy, they were ordered to
fall back on this place, with instructions to destroy what Government property they could not
carry with them, which order was promptly executed.
The enemy entered Ozark a few minutes after our forces had evacuated it. They destroyed the
block-house, and then continued their march on this place. Messengers were dispatched to the
various stations around Springfield to send in re-enforcements, and the Enrolled Missouri Militia
was ordered into service.
The night of the 7th was spent in making preparations to meet the enemy. Under the
supervision of Lieutenant [J.] Hoffman, of Backof's First Missouri Light Artillery, two 12-
pounder iron howitzers and one 6-pounder piece were mounted on wheels, as temporary
carriages, taken to the blacksmith shop, repaired, and rolled into the fort, No. 4, by daylight of
the 8th instant.
Dr. S. H. Melcher mustered some 300 convalescents from the various hospitals, who were
armed and equipped; also near 100 soldiers, who had recently been discharged from the same,
under command of Captain McAfee, were armed, and many loyal citizens turned out willingly,
and were armed, to fight in the defense of their homes.
At an early hour on the morning of the 8th, about 200 or 300 of the Enrolled Missouri Militia
reported for duty. Scouting parties were sent to the south and southeast, for the purpose of
ascertaining the whereabouts of the enemy and report their movements. At 10 a.m. of the 8th, the
scouts and pickets on the south of the town were fired upon, and driven in by the advance of the
enemy. They were soon discovered, some 2 or 3 miles off, formed in line of battle, and
advancing slowly across the prairie from the direction of Ozark. About one-half of their
command was dismounted, acted as infantry, supporting a battery of some three pieces of
artillery (one piece rifled), which formed their center, while their right and left wings were
formed of heavy bodies of cavalry.
In this manner, with skirmishers and sharpshooters thrown forward, they advanced steadily
and slowly, occasionally halting and firing shot from their rifled piece, apparently trying the
range and feeling their way. The cavalry, under the command of Colonel [W.] King, Third
Missouri State Militia, and Colonel [G. H.] Hall, Fourth Missouri State Militia, were ordered
forward to meet the advancing foe. By order, several houses were burned south of the fort, to
prevent the enemy from occupying them, and that the artillerymen and riflemen in the fort could
have an unobstructed view of their approach. As the enemy continued to advance, the firing
became more frequent. Our artillery opened fire upon them as soon as they came within range of
our guns. Our cavalry gradually retired within supporting distance of the fort. The artillery and
riflemen in the fort drove back the enemy's sharpshooters. The firing gradually increased until
about 1 p.m., when the forces on both sides were fiercely engaged.
Colonel King was ordered to charge with his regiment the enemy's right. He drove them
back, when they turned their artillery and sharpshooters upon him. At this time Colonel Hall,
with the Fourth Missouri State Militia Cavalry, by order, moved forward and engaged their
center, fighting with coolness and bravery, entitling them to high honor.
The cavalry being exposed in the open field to the fire of the enemy's artillery and infantry,
and fearful they would be cut to pieces, they were ordered to retire under protection of the fort,
which order was executed promptly and in good order, bringing with them their wounded. The
enemy threw forward a regiment of cavalry on our left, which was promptly checked by the
Second Battalion Fourteenth Missouri State Militia Cavalry, under command of Lieutenant-
Colonel Pound. Meantime the enemy were busy with their artillery throwing shot and shell at the
fort and into the houses occupied by our troops. Our artillery, before mentioned, under command
of Lieutenant Hoffman, and one field piece, under command of Captain Landis, Eighteenth Iowa
Infantry, were driving back the enemy's center; but the firing from the guns inside the fort,
though well aimed, was not sufficiently rapid, owing to their being manned by volunteers, with
only 5 artillery soldiers at the three pieces.
The enemy about 2 p.m. massed their forces and advanced on our center and right. Captain
[J. A.] Landis, with his piece of artillery, was ordered to advance to the front and right of the fort,
which order he promptly executed. He was supported by parts of three companies of the
Eighteenth Iowa, under their respective commanders, Captains [W. R.] Blue, [J.] Van Meter, and
[W.] Stonaker. This piece of artillery, owing to some mistake in the delivery of the order, was
placed in a very exposed position. The enemy, perceiving this, made a desperate charge upon it
with overwhelming numbers, killing the horses and driving back the support; captured it after a
hard and bloody contest. Captains Blue and Van Meter fell, mortally wounded, and Captain
Landis and many of their brave comrades fell, severely wounded, while some were killed.
It was now between 2 and 3 p.m. The enemy had captured one piece of artillery; at the same
time had taken possession of an unfinished stockade fort that had been used as a prison, and were
pressing hard on our center and right. The "Quinine Brigade," which was placed under my
command, and which up to this time was stationed in various brick buildings in and around the
center of town, was ordered to move to the front and attack the enemy. I had the honor to lead
them in person, assisted by Lieutenants JaRhid Root, of the Nineteenth Iowa; [S. A.] Wilson,
Eighteenth Iowa, [W. F.] Bodenhammer, Twenty-fourth Missouri Volunteers.
We advanced to the front and west of the fort, and took a position behind a fence and about
50 to 75 yards from the rebels, who were likewise posted behind fences and in and around a
house to our front. After fighting for nearly one hour, the enemy gave way and fled precipitately
from this part of the field.
In the mean time they were making strong efforts to turn our right, and, after being driven
from our center, threw their main force forward for that purpose, when they were met by the
Seventy-second Regiment Enrolled Missouri Militia, under the command of Colonel Sheppard;
the "Quinine Brigade," under the command of' Lieutenants Root, Wilson, and Bodenhammer and
Captain [C. B.] McAfee, who repulsed them. There were also engaged at this time the Third and
Fourth Missouri State Militia Cavalry and the Second Battalion Fourteenth Missouri State
Militia, and five companies of the Eighteenth Iowa, two of which had recently come to our
support, under the command of Captain [W. H.] Evans. The enemy had gained possession of
several houses, and were pouring into our ranks volley after volley of musketry while they were
endeavoring to dislodge them. The cause became desperate; the enemy were pressing hard upon
our brave men, and they were yielding before the overwhelming numbers brought against them,
when General Brown and staff rode forward to encourage them, when he was treacherously shot
from a house by some hidden foe, and fell from his horse. He immediately remounted, but was
unable to remain in his saddle, and was carried off the field.
This was about 4 p.m., when I received all order from the general to take command, which I
immediately complied with. The fighting at this time was hard. It was one continual roar of
musketry and artillery. The enemy had advanced to a point beyond the range of the small-arms
of the fort; but the artillery continued to pour a heavy fire of shot and shell into their midst,
which would cause them to falter, but they would again and again rally. The stockade fort, which
they had previously taken possession of, gave them great protection, and in and around which
they would mass their forces, and from which they would make their charges. They would drive
our men, and then in turn be driven back.
A little after 5 o'clock they made the most desperate effort that they had made during the day
to drive back our forces by throwing their whole force upon our center and right wing, but
mainly upon the center. A part of the Seventy-second Enrolled Missouri Militia, Fourth Missouri
State Militia Cavalry (dismounted), the Second Battalion Fourteenth Missouri State Militia
Cavalry (dismounted), part of five companies of the Eighteenth Iowa Infantry, and the "Quinine
Brigade," amounting, in all, to about 800 men, had to oppose the major part of the rebel army,
amounting to three or four times their own number; but our troops met them promptly, and
fought them most gallantly for nearly one-half hour, when a part of our lines began to give back.
At this critical time, an officer commanding a company in the Second Battalion Fourteenth
Missouri State Militia, ordered his men to horse (as I was afterward informed, and the whole
battalion came running in great confusion to the rear, and took to home. I tried in vain to rally
them; they seemed panic-stricken. This caused a partial giving way among the other troops. I had
no difficulty in rallying them, and they went again into the fight.
It was now near dark, and the enemy were making an additional demonstration on our left.
By this time Lieutenant-Colonel Pound, commanding, had succeeded in reforming the Second
Battalion Fourteenth Missouri State Militia. I ordered him to advance on the enemy's right,
which order he promptly executed. The enemy fired but a few rounds, and again retired, leaving
us in full possession of this part of the field.
Five additional companies of the Eighteenth Iowa, under the command of Lieut. Col. Thomas
Z. Cook, came to the rescue, whooping and cheering, which gave fresh courage to our brave
men, who immediately drove the enemy before them and back into the stockade fort. Colonel
Cook's troops arrived too late to take an active l)art in the engagement. Darkness coming on, the
firing gradually ceased, after which all was quiet, save an occasional firing from the artillery.
The enemy, under cover of the darkness, withdrew from the field, carrying away part of their
dead and wounded. I expected them to renew the attack on the following morning.
On the morning of the 9th, they appeared in full force to the east, and about 1 mile from
town. Preparations were made to receive them. A cavalry force was sent forward to engage them
and check their advance; but they declined another engagement and retired in haste. We did not
have a sufficient force to pursue them. We did not have at any one time during the day more than
900 to 1,000 men engaged. The enemy had some 4,000 men, under the command of General
Marmaduke, [Colonels] Shelby, Gordon, Gilkey, Elliott, MacDonald, and others, with three
pieces of artillery, who came with the full expectation of an easy conquest. They had invited
their friends in the country to come and bring their wagons, promising them all the booty they
could carry; but, thanks to a kind Providence, brave hearts, and strong arms, they were most
signally defeated in their designs of plunder.
The Seventy-second Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia, under the command of Col. Henry
Sheppard, fought well and faithfully during the entire contest. Companies A, C, F, G, and H, of
the Eighteenth Iowa, numbering 156 men, fought as Iowa boys know how to tight. Their heavy
loss and bloody record is proof of their valor. The "Quinine Brigade," made up of men from
Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, and other States, fought like heroes, Spartans, and veterans, as their
respective commanders report. All the troops, with but few exceptions, did their duty.
I cannot forbear to say that to the vigilance of General Brown, his promptness in preparing to
meet the enemy, and to his coolness, courage, and personal supervision of the troops in battle,
while under his command, we are in a great measure indebted for our success. He has by his
conduct endeared himself to those under his command.
Lieut. Richard Root, Company K, Nineteenth Iowa, who arrived during the fight; Lieut. S. A.
Wilson, Company I, Eighteenth Iowa; Captain McAfee and Lieutenant Bodenhammer, who were
in command of the "Quinine Brigade ;" Capt. W. H. Evans, of Company F, Eighteenth Iowa; Dr.
Whitney, of the Fourth Missouri State Militia Cavalry, who took a gun and fought and the Rev.
Mr. Wynes, post chaplain, who, in the face of the enemy, assisted in removing the wounded from
the battle-field, deserve great praise for their gallant conduct during the engagement.
I am under many obligations, to Major Steger and Lieutenants Campion and Blodgett,
members of General Brown's staff, for the efficient service they rendered me. There are many
other officers and men deserving of honorable mention.
We lost 14 killed, 144 wounded, and 4 missing, making a total of killed, wounded, and
missing of 162. The enemy's loss cannot be definitely ascertained. Their own estimates of their
losses range from 200 to 300 killed and wounded. Among their slain is a major.
We captured several prisoners, and among them are 2 commissioned officers. We buried a
part of their dead, and have some 60 to 80 of their wounded to take care of.
I send herewith attached a detailed report of the killed, &c.
I have the honor to remain, your most obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding.
Commanding Department of the Missouri.
Houston, Mo., January 12, 1863.--5 a.m.
My force of 1,000 men attacked Marmaduke's column, 1,500 strong, 7 miles west of
Hartville, toward Springfield (2 a.m., January 11) The enemy were repulsed, and retreated upon
Hartville, where the rebels were re-enforced by Porter, Burbridge, and Greene, 3,500 strong,
with five pieces of artillery. They had a most obstinate fight, until sunset, when our force fell
back toward Lebanon in perfect order. Our losses are heavy, but the enemy's much greater.
Captain [G. D.] Bradway, of Company E, Third Missouri Cavalry, is the only officer reported
killed. I move toward Hartville at 6 o'clock this morning, with 500 men and two pieces of
artillery, although barely able to keep my saddle. The infantry in wagons. Our artillery, under
Lieutenant [William] Waidschmidt, did fine execution, while the enemy's was badly served, and
did us but little damage. Colonel Merrill, of the Twenty-first Iowa, was wounded. I can give no
further particulars of casualties.
Saint Louis, Mo.
Houston, Mo., January 14, 1863.
The battle at Hartville is developed into a brilliant victory. Lieutenant-Colonel [C. W]
Dunlap, with a portion of the Twenty-first Iowa, held the field two hours after the enemy
retreated, and Lieutenant [F.] Dale, of same regiment, with 17 men, bivouacked on the fightingground,
and received the flags of truce in the morning. [J. C.] Porter is reported dead of his
wounds. Colonels Hinkle [?] and [G. W.] Thompson. Major [George R.] Kirtley, Captain [C. M.]
Turpin, and 2 lieutenants are killed, and Captain [L. J.] Crocker and 2 other captains wounded.
We captured 2 surgeons, 1 lieutenant, and 38 privates. Lieutenant-Colonel Dunlap and
Lieutenant [J. H.] Alexander, of the Twenty-first Iowa, are wounded, in addition to those already
reported. Colonel [S.] Merrill and command are within l0 miles of camp. The whole force will be
concentrated to-day.
General Marmaduke sends this message by a citizen prisoner: "Tell General Warren his men
fought like tigers "--a generous tribute to as brave soldiers as ever bore muskets.
Saint Louis, Mo.
Houston, Mo., January 16, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report the operations of my force against the combined
troops of General Marmaduke and [Colonel] MacDonald and Colonel Porter.
Immediately on the receipt of a copy of the telegram from Brigadier-General Brown,
commanding at Springfield, January 9, informing Major-General Curtis of the advance of a
column of 6,000 rebels toward Springfield, I ordered Colonel [S.] Merrill, of the Twenty-first
Iowa, senior officer, to move with 700 men--infantry, cavalry, and one section of artillery--by a
forced march to Springfield, to report to the commanding officer there. My own health
incapacitated me from the fatigue of the expedition. For greater speed and progress, I sent with
them a heavy transportation train for use of the infantry.
They reached Hartville at 6 a m. Saturday, and learned that Porter's column had passed
through, taking the Marshfield road. Here Colonel Merrill was re-enforced by 180 men of the
Third Iowa and Third Missouri Cavalry, under command of Captain [T. G.] Black, Third
Missouri Cavalry, sent by me to overtake and join them. The command pushed on some miles
toward Springfield, and halted for supper and rest on Wood's Fork.
No indications of the enemy were observed until reveille was sounded at 2 o'clock Sunday
morning, when our scouts reported the advance of a heavy column in the direction of
Springfield. Our position was a most unfavorable one, being an open space on the margin of the
river, with high swells of ground, covered with timber and brush, surrounding. The command
was thrown into line of battle, and skirmishers sent out to dispute the advance.
Brisk firing was kept up for an hour, during which Captain [G. D.] Bradway, Company E,
Third Missouri Cavalry, was killed, when the enemy fell back in a southerly direction. This was
a most favorable movement for us. Had they made a stand with their combined forces, they
would have completely enveloped the command and cut them to pieces.
Sending out a pursuing force of cavalry, Colonel [S.] Merrill resumed his march on the
Hartville road, and soon discovered that the rebel force was swinging round and moving on
Hartville by the old Springfield road. The cavalry were promptly ordered to a trot and the
artillery thrown to the front, while the infantry came up on double-quick in gallant style. Colonel
Merrill's dispositions were made with great judgment and coolness. The artillery took position on
a favorable elevation west of the court-house the Ninety-ninth Illinois formed the right, flanked
on the left by the Twenty-first Iowa, both in a cover of low brush, while the left, composed of
detachments of the Third Iowa and Third Missouri Cavalry, dismounted, extended in an
attenuated line on the Lebanon road, also screened by a sparse undergrowth.
Our artillery opened fire at 11 o'clock. The position of their troops was, 1,000 thrown out 3
miles on the Houston road; 1,000 held the lower approach from Springfield; 1,000 rested on the
Gasconade, south of town, covered by a high bluff, while 2,500 to 3,000 were in the open field in
front of our lines, and occupying the court-house and the dwellings of the town. Their artillery
(five pieces) was in battery on a high bluff east of town, and to occupy it they used a road cut out
by my order for the same purpose during my former occupancy of Hartville. The officers in
command were General Marmaduke and [Colonel] MacDonald, and Colonels Porter,
Thompson, Burbridge, Shelby, Hinkle [?], Jeffers, and Campbell.
The battle opened after the fire of artillery by a charge of Jeffers' cavalry, 700 strong, on our
whole line. The infantry, lying flat, held themselves with great coolness until the line was in easy
range, when they fired with great accuracy and threw the whole force into utter confusion.
From this time until 4.30 o'clock the firing was incessant; but smaller bodies of men were
brought out, and although at times both flank and the center were heavily pressed, no large
columns were moved up Our men held their cover and did fine execution, while the artillery
shelled the enemy from the court and other houses.
At this time, 3 p.m., had we had a reserve of 500 men we could have broken their line and
compelled their retreat in disorder; but every man was required to hold our only avenue of
retreat, the Lebanon road, where our communication was constantly threatened. The enemy
commenced falling back, as I am informed by Lieutenant [J. D.] Brown, Third Iowa Cavalry
(taken prisoner while reconnoitering at Wood's Fork during the first fight), at 3 o'clock, and the
retreat became general at twilight.
In the mean time, our artillery ammunition being nearly spent, Colonel Merrill, ignorant of
their movement, ordered the detachments to fall back on the Lebanon road, which they did in
perfect order with their whole transportation, losing not even a musket or a cartridge-box.
Our loss, as by statement appended herewith, is 7 killed, 64 wounded, 5 prisoners, and 2
missing. Theirs is larger in men and officers. From subsequent details, I am satisfied it will
exceed 300 in killed and wounded, besides 2 lieutenants and 27 privates prisoners. Among the
killed, whose bodies were recognized at Hartville, are Brig. Gen. [Colonel] Emmett MacDonald,
Colonels Thompson and Hinkle [?], Major Kirtley, Captain Turpin, and two lieutenants (names
not known), Colonel Porter, mortally wounded (since dead), Captain Crocker, well known in
Western Missouri, and two other captains severely wounded. One piece of their artillery was
dismounted and abandoned. They retreated toward Houston, but on Monday changed their
direction and moved rapidly south to the North Fork of White River, at the mouth of Indian
Creek, where they paroled and released Lieutenant Brown and other prisoners.
General Marmaduke several times on the march expressed his wonder at the bravery of our
troops, repeating, "Why, lieutenant, your boys fought like devils!" I cannot sufficiently express
my admiration of their conduct. The Twenty-first Iowa and Ninety-ninth Illinois were never
before under fire, yet not a single man or officer flinched. Nothing could have been finer than
their steadiness and discipline. The Third Iowa and Third Missouri Cavalry are equally cool and
determined, but they have before seen dangerous service. Where all were so brave, I am
embarrassed to distribute commendation. To Colonel Merrill, in command of the force, I am
under high obligations for his prudent firmness and good disposition. Lieutenant-Colonel
Dunlap, Twenty-first Iowa, was conspicuous, much exposed, and wounded. He is worthy of high
praise. Lieutenant-Colonel [L.] Parke, commanding Ninety-ninth Illinois, and Major [E. A.]
Crandall, of the same corps, won honor and did their whole duty. Major [G.] Duffield,
commanding the cavalry force, is also to be mentioned in warm terms; but Captain [T. G.] Black,
in command of the Third Missouri Cavalry, made himself a most enviable reputation. Thirteen
shot-holes in his coat sufficiently indicate where he was -in the hottest of the fire. I respectfully
commend him to your attention and that of Governor Gamble, for one of the vacant field
commissions in his regiment, which he has so nobly earned. I should be unjust did I omit to
name Captain [J. A.] Lennon, of the same regiment, who, at the head of his company, held a
most exposed post, and had several narrow escapes from sharpshooters concealed in the brush.
But the artillery saved the battle. Lieutenant [W.] Waldschmidt's gunnery was superb and his
coolness astonishing. The enemy's Parrott gun got his range, and fired with great precision,
compelling him to change the position of his pieces constantly.
A courier reached Houston, giving me the information of the engagement at 3 o'clock
Monday morning. I at once moved with 500 men to Hartville, supposing the enemy still in force.
Arriving within 7 miles at 4 p.m., my reconnoitering parties brought me intelligence that they
were retreating in the direction of Houston. Sending back a courier with orders to Lieutenant-
Colonel Caldwell, in command, to hold the place until I could re-enforce him, I countermarched
in all haste, through mud and rain, and reached Houston that evening, finding all quiet.
Colonel Merrill's force rejoined me Thursday, and I am now once more concentrated.
Hoping that our conduct will meet the approbation of the general commanding, I am, colonel,
very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Chief of Staff, Saint Louis, Mo.
LEBANON, MO., January 22, 1863.
GENERAL: In obedience to your order of to-day, I send you a full report of the battle of
Hartville, on the 11th instant:
With 800 men and two pieces of artillery, under Colonel Merrill, we left Houston Friday
noon to re-enforce Springfield.
Sunday morning about 4 o'clock we encountered the rebel army, under General Marmaduke,
9 miles beyond Hartville, on the Springfield road. A brisk fire of artillery and some skirmishing
among the cavalry ensued, and continued until about 8 o'clock, when the enemy withdrew, and,
as we soon learned, took a circuitous route toward Hartville. Our forces immediately started for
the same point. We took 30 or 40 prisoners in this engagement, from whom we learned that
Marmaduke had with him something over 5,000 men, having been joined by Porter and Greene
since his attack on Springfield.
Both armies arrived at Hartville at the same time (a little before 11 a.m.), and took positions
on opposite sides of the town. Our line formed the arc of' a circle, close to the place, on the brow
of a row of hills, sheltered by underbrush and small trees. The Twenty-first Iowa Infantry
occupied the center, and Ninety-ninth Illinois the right, and dismounted Third Iowa Cavalry and
Third Missouri Cavalry the left. Our artillery, Lieutenant Waidschmidt commanding, opened on
the enemy immediately with shell. When he had fired a few rounds, the rebels commenced
replying briskly. In a few moments their cavalry dismounted and charged upon us along our
whole line, but, receiving repeated and heavy volleys from our forces, they gave way and fled to
the other side of the town, leaving many dead and wounded behind them. Fresh troops came to
their aid, and they again charged upon us in force, and were each time handsomely repulsed with
great loss on their part. In one instance they charged upon our artillery, in heavy force, with
mounted cavalry, but were driven back in confusion by the cross-fire of the Ninety-ninth Illinois
and Twenty-first Iowa Infantry. Charges were repeatedly made, and as often repulsed, and a
heavy and destructive fire of artillery and musketry maintained until about the middle of the
afternoon, our troops having manifestly the best of the fight.
Finding that the town was full of rebel sharpshooters, who were very annoying to us, I sent a
request to Colonel Merrill to have the artillery turned upon them. Not being able to find him, I
ordered Lieutenant Waidschmidt to shell the town, and clear the court-house and other places of
rebels. He immediately turned his pieces upon the town with good effect, but, after firing a few
shots, retired from his position. About the same time firing ceased on both my right and left, and,
supposing that a strategic movement was going on, I increased the force of my fire, in order to
attract the attention of the rebels while the other commands changed their positions. In about half
an hour, not hearing anything from our troops, I sent men out to look for them, who soon
returned and reported that our forces had all left the field. In what direction they had gone I could
not ascertain.
Finding myself deserted and without orders (I had received no orders and seen no
commanding officer since I got into position in the forenoon), I determined to hold my position,
at least until dark, in order to conceal from the enemy the absence of most of our forces and keep
him ignorant of my own weakness. I had only 250 men of the Twenty-first Iowa. I threw squads
of men to the right and left, with orders to maintain rapid firing. After this they charged upon our
front three times, in one instance coming up in four ranks, and were every time repulsed, thrice at
the point of the bayonet. A continued running fire was carried on between the charges.
Half an hour before sundown, much to our satisfaction, the enemy commenced falling back
and retreating over the opposite hills in a southerly direction. They were so near that we could
distinctly hear the orders of their officers and see every movement. They began to move off
rapidly; seeing which I increased my fire, in order, as much as possible, to hurry their retreat. By
sundown their whole army was in full retreat, and their rear guard followed, leaving us in full
possession of the field. Paroled prisoners report that Marmaduke did not halt a moment from this
time until noon of the next day, and then only for a few moments.
My men all acted finely, and were cool and active when they learned that they were left alone
in front of a rebel horde of 5,000 men. I remained on the field about three-quarters of an hour,
and gathered up what things we could. It was a cold night, and my men had been forty hours
with but a few moments' sleep and nothing to eat. Our rations, blankets, and overcoats were with
the train, and I sent in pursuit of it, supposing we should find it a few miles from the place. My
horse was shot in the early part of the fight, and no horse was left with us by which I could send
out a messenger to ascertain the whereabouts of the train.
I found our train and the forces next morning encamped on the Lebanon road. The colonel
commanding having gone on with most of the cavalry the night before, I took command of the
brigade, and put it in motion for Lebanon, the nearest point then to us.
The rebels sent in a flag of truce the next morning, with a party to take care of their wounded
and bury their dead, the number of which I think will amount to 200 killed, among whom are
Colonel Emmett MacDonald, Colonel Porter, and other important officers, and about 300
The number of our killed and wounded is comparatively small, owing to our sheltered
position and the height of the enemy's fire.
Our troops all behaved nobly, and did fine execution while they were left on the field, and
were surprised at being withdrawn.
The battle of Hartville began about 10.45 a.m. and lasted until nearly sundown. The firing
was continuous and rapid on both sides during the whole time. The last half of the battle was
fought by the Twenty-first Iowa alone, and resulted in a signal victory to our arms and in driving
Marmaduke with thinned ranks back into Arkansas.
Having with pleasure obeyed your orders to report the particulars of this battle, I remain,
general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Comdg. Twenty-.first Iowa Volunteers.
Major-General CURTIS.
Helena, Ark., January 3, 1863.
GENERAL: On January 1, the Texas Rangers, with 25 or 30 men, about sunrise made a dash
upon my pickets again, where 26 men and 1 commissioned officer were on duty, and, without
the least resistance or the firing of a gun, disgracefully surrendered and were taken off. They
belonged to the Twenty-eighth Iowa, a new regiment, but a short time in the service. The officer
must be disgracefully dismissed from the service, and I trust you will order that the men, when
they return under parole, as they probably will in a few days, shall be ordered on duty again and
put in the front of the first fight, and if ever captured again let them be hung, as they deserve.
There are strong suspicions that they surrendered to be paroled, that they might get home. They
were all sitting down and lying around, shamefully neglecting their duty.
About four days previous to this they attacked our cavalry pickets from an ambuscade in the
dense woods; killed 2 and wounded 16. These belonged to the Sixth Missouri Cavalry, and
behaved handsomely. None were captured. I am still occupying Friar's Point with the Twentyninth
Wisconsin Regiment, 100 cavalry, and two pieces of artillery.
General Sherman's troops, on the way down the Mississippi, wantonly burned much
property, The general arrested the guilty parties, had them tried promptly, and seven of them
shot. I am not advised to what regiment or command they belonged. This is the first execution
for plundering, marauding, or burning property that has occurred in our army during the war. I
regret to say that this army has acquired an unenviable reputation for plundering, robbing, and
burning property. The discipline is improving. When I took command it seemed to me the most
undisciplined mob I ever came in contact with. The materiel is splendid, but the political
demagogues among the line officers are enough to damn the best army on God's footstool. I
found colonels giving leaves of absence, men and officers slipping off home on boats, and all
manner of breaches of discipline and order. I have had thorough inspections of infantry, artillery,
and cavalry, commissary and quartermaster's departments, transportation, and all public
property. I have had drills and reviews of every arm of the service. If I had thirty days' pretty
weather, I would set up this army in as fine style as need be.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Major-General CURTIS,
Commanding Department of the Missouri, Saint Louis, Mo.
NEW MADRID, Mo., January 3, 1863.
GENERAL: I occupied this post with my regiment yesterday. We found the guns spiked, gun
carriages burned, and magazine blown up, filling the works with debris. The defenses proper are
but little injured. No opposition was made to my landing, the few guerrillas in the place
scattering to the country. From the best intelligence I hear, there is no large body of the enemy
within 30 miles, but several bands of from 100 to 250, which, united, would make considerable
force. I would suggest, general, that we need a company or two of cavalry to scour the country
and pick up information, capture chiefs of guerrilla bands, &c. We also need a battery of light
artillery. If it is a possible thing, I would like to have them furnished immediately.
I am, general, your obedient servant,
Colonel Commanding Thirty-eighth Iowa Infantry.
Brigadier-General FISK
Camp at Carrollton, Ark., January 13, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that, in compliance with instructions received from
you, I left at Huntsville, Ark., on the morning of the 9th instant, at 8 o'clock, with a detachment
of the First Regiment Iowa Cavalry, numbering 300 officers and men, and proceeded toward
Kingston, Ark., where I arrived at 2 p.m. of said day, when I received important information of
the movements of the enemy, which I immediately conveyed to you by dispatch.
The guides who accompanied me not being acquainted with the region of country beyond
Kingston, where your instructions required that I should go, I procured new guides at the abovenamed
place, and proceeded on the road 4 miles beyond Kingston. It being 4 p.m., and learning
that the road before me were a winding one, through wild mountains, utterly devoid of
habitations, I bivouacked for the night, and threw out on all the roads in the vicinity strong
Early in the evening the picket guard on the eastern road captured 3 men and 14 head of
horses and mules, owned by an individual called Parson Rodgers, who confessed to me that he
was engaged in buying horses and mules and selling them to the army of the so-called
Confederate States, this being the third lot he had purchased.
During the night Capt. J. D. Jenks and Corporal Ramsey, of Company D, First Iowa Cavalry,
having in charge 3 prisoners, captured while on picket, and being on their way to camp with
them, were halted on the road by some unknown person or persons, who demanded that they
surrender, which was promptly refused; whereupon the party was fired upon, without injury,
however, to any one, and the fire instantly returned by Captain Jenks, killing 1 man, whose name
was ascertained to be Allen Bernham. Captain Jenks and Corporal Ramsey succeeded in reach
big camp safely with 2 of the 3 prisoners, l of the prisoners escaping during the encounter.
At 4 o'clock on the following morning I had the column in motion, and by daylight reached
the salpeter works on Buffalo River, 14 miles from Kingston, where I completely surprised the
small force there employed, and captured 17 out of 20; the lieutenant in charge and 2 men being
engaged at work in the timber a short distance from the buildings, succeeded in making good
their escape.
The buildings, fourteen in number, very extensive, entirely new and of good workmanship,
together with two steam-engines, three boilers, seven large iron kettles, weighing, according to
the bill for the same, found on the premises, 800 pounds each, besides half a ton of saltpeter, a
large fire-proof iron safe (Hall's patent), three Concord wagons, two carts, and all the
appurtenances of a first-class establishment of this character, were completely destroyed by fire
and otherwise.
After remaining at this place about six hours, I moved my command to a point 4 miles below,
on Buffalo River, and sent a detachment of 100 men, under the command of Captains [Alexander
G.] McQueen and [David C.] Dinsmore, of the First Iowa Cavalry, to destroy an establishment of
similar character. The working party, having a lookout posted on an elevated point on the
mountains, escaped, but the detachment took possession of the works, which consisted of several
frame buildings, entirely new, with four large iron kettles, in full operation, all of which were
In the mean time I captured, in the valley and mountains skirting the Buffalo River, some 20
prisoners, all notorious outlaws, and a like number of horses.
Having been entirely successful in accomplishing all that was assigned to me, without
casualty to any of my command, I started on my return, and recrossed the mountains in the nighttime,
arriving in camp, at Carrollton, Ark., on the evening of January 12, delivering my
prisoners, to the number of 39, and 39 horses and mules, to Lieutenant-Colonel [Elias B.]
Baldwin, of the Eighth Missouri Cavalry, provost-marshal of the Third Division, Army of the
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major First Iowa Cavalry
Brig. Gen. F. J. HERRON,
Commanding. Third Division, Army of the Frontier.
Camp Vandever, March 13, 1863.
COLONEL: In accordance with Special Orders, No. 60, brigade headquarters, and
subsequent orders from Brigadier-General [B. M.] Prentiss, I proceeded with my command,
composed of 50 infantry (Twenty-fourth Indiana Volunteers), 25 cavalry (Third Iowa
Volunteers), and one section of the Second Ohio Battery (6-pounders), on board the steamer
Hamilton Belle, up the Saint Francis River, starting on Friday, March 5, at 9 a.m. Nothing of
interest occurred until we arrived at Madison, a small country town situated at a point where the
Memphis and Little Rock Railroad crosses the Saint Francis River. We arrived at this point a
little after daylight, and, from the nature of the river, we were entirely concealed from
observation from the town until we arrived within a few hundred yards of it. Here we completely
surprised a rebel force of about 75 strong, who fled in great confusion as the boat touched the
landing, leaving behind everything except the clothing they had upon their persons. My infantry
and cavalry landed with the greatest possible celerity, and pursued them in every direction,
capturing and bringing to the boat 27 of their number. Of course, everything they left behind fell
into our hands, consisting of arms, horses, horse equipments, blankets, &c.
Having instructions from General Prentiss to capture, if possible, the steamer Miller, which
was said to be somewhere in Little River near its mouth, I therefore continued up the Saint
Francis until I came to the mouth of that river; thence up the same for about 25 miles, when I
reached the Miller, which, to my disappointment, I found in a sunken condition. The point where
the Miller lay was about 250 miles from Helena, and believing that before I could return the
rebels would probably collect all available troops together at some favorable point to dispute my
passage, I seized, at different points and from different persons, sixty-four bales of cotton, out of
which I had constructed very efficient breastworks, not only for the protection of the men, but for
the protection of the boat in case they should bring artillery to bear upon us.
Upon my return, I captured, near the mouth of Little River, 3 men engaged in contraband
trade. I found in their possession 13 barrels of salt, 2 barrels of flour, 80 ounces of quinine, and a
large amount of percussion-caps. At Wittsburg I captured 15 hogsheads of sugar, and received
information that the enemy had collected in considerable force at Madison, and had blockaded
the river. Arriving within about 2 miles of Madison, I discovered a loss of cotton placed upon a
conspicuous point on a high, sloping bank. Believing it to be a trap, I ordered the artillerymen to
drop a few shells into the thick underbrush a short distance back of the cotton bales. I soon
discovered, farther up on the slope, a large number of saddled horses, which convinced me that
my suspicions were well founded.
I continued the shelling process, and, coming within nearer range, I swept the underbrush
with canister. I then landed as rapidly as possible my entire force, leaving about one-half on the
river bank by the boat as a reserve. The balance deployed as skirmishers and soon came upon the
enemy, who had been previously scattered by our artillery. A running fight ensued, which
resulted in the enemy retreating to the hills, leaving 4 of their dead upon the field.
In this skirmish Lieutenant [William C.] Niblack, of the Third Iowa Cavalry, received a
severe buck-shot wound in the left breast while gallantly leading his cavalry. No other one on
our side sustained any injury.
After securing the cotton used as a bait and some horses captured upon the field, I proceeded
to Madison, where I found the river blockaded by means of a chain drawn between the piers of
the railroad bridge. I landed above the bridge and sent out skirmishers to reconnoiter and cover
the operations of a working party sent to remove the blockade. A little skirmishing' ensued, and
we captured 1 prisoner. My working party soon reported a safe passage through the blockade. I
called in my skirmishers and without much difficulty cleared the bridge, which was no sooner
accomplished than a heavy volley saluted us from a cane-break on the right, where the enemy
were posted behind log breastworks. After about 25 rounds from our field pieces, the enemy
retreated in great confusion, and we experienced no further interruption between that point and
Helena, where we arrived on the morning of the 12th, it being the seventh day out.
I cannot but speak in the highest terms of the manner in which the officers and men of the
different detachments conducted themselves throughout. It was truly gratifying and well worthy
of imitation.
We captured in all 46 prisoners, 10 of whom I paroled on account of being short of
subsistence. The balance I have turned over to the provost-marshal general.
The following is a list of captured property (contraband) and property seized for military
Cotton bales. 4
Sugar hogsheads. 15
Salt barrels. 13
Flour 2
Bacon pounds. 500
Horses 23
Mules 3
Quinine ounces. 80
Shot-guns, rifles, &c., about 30
Percussion-caps 500
Sixty bales of cotton seized for military purposes, claimants of which were permitted to
return with the expedition to represent their claims.
Having nothing further to report, I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding
Helena, Ark., March 11, 1863.
GENERAL: On the morning of the 6th instant I dispatched Major [Samuel] Walker, of the
Fifth Kansas Cavalry, with about 500 men of different regiments, in search of a camp of rebels
said to be between Big and Lick Creeks, and he reports to me that he arrived at Lick Creek on
the 8th instant, and after hunting in vain for an enemy, he sent Major Winslow to one crossing of
Big Creek and went himself to the other, at both of which he encountered small parties of rebels,
killing 1, taking I prisoner, and destroying their ferry-boats. One man of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry
was shot from his horse while on picket, and Lieutenant [Joseph] McCarty and Sergeant Orcutt,
Fifth Kansas, were taken prisoners. He reports Lieutenant. Cleaveland, of Parsons' rebel
regiment, killed; also 2 of Wetherby's men, and says he took 4 prisoners, and that, having
scoured the country well between Big and Lick Creeks, is satisfied that there is no large party
there. A force of rebels is reported to be at Cotton Plant. The major speaks in high terms of the
conduct of his officers and men.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully,
Major-General MCCLERNAND,
Commanding Thirteenth Army Corps.
Cape Girardeau, Mo., May 12, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor herewith to submit to you my report of the pursuit of General
Marmaduke's forces from Cape Girardeau to Chalk Bluff, and also accompany it with the several
reports of the brigade and regimental commanders.
On Monday, April 27, at 2 p.m., notwithstanding my men were worn out by their recent
severe marches, and two days and nights of constant duty in preparing for the enemy, and finally
defeating him on Sunday, I started in pursuit.
My force was composed of the First Wisconsin Cavalry, Colonel [O. H.] La Grange; Second
Missouri State Militia, Lieutenant-Colonel [John F./Benjamin; Welfley's battery, Lieutenant
[Lawrence] Jacoby, and two detachments of Enrolled Missouri Militia, under Colonel [William
H.] McLane and Lieutenant-Colonel Lee. The Enrolled Missouri Militia, however, were sent in
the direction of Perry County, with instructions to move through the country, and, in case of my
engaging at White Water, to pick up straggling detachments.
I left as garrison in the Cape the Thirty-seventh Illinois Infantry, the Thirty-second Iowa
Infantry, and the First Nebraska Infantry. My men were in fine spirits, although but one day's
rations and no equipage encumbered their movements or added to their comforts.
That afternoon we made 16 miles, reaching White Water. I had expected that General
Vandever, by a forced march from Jackson, would have cut the enemy out from the bridge and
placed him between our two columns, forcing him to general action, when our great superiority
in artillery and better quality of troops must have given us a decided victory. I found the White
Water Bridge had been thoroughly destroyed by the fleeing foe, just two hours in advance of me.
Learning that General Vandever was encamped about 4 miles to the north of the bridge, and
higher up the river, I there reported to him, and learned from him that the jaded condition of his
horses had prevented his farther pursuit that day.
By 10 o'clock next morning, owing to the indefatigable exertions of the First Wisconsin,
Colonel [O. H.] La Grange and Major [William H.] Torrey, the bridge was rebuilt, and General
Vandever having assigned to me the advance, I hurried on and encamped after dark about 3
miles from the Castor River, having marched, over very bad roads, 32 miles.
At this point Lieut. F. R. Poole, my acting assistant adjutant-general, who was urging the
advance, made a dashing charge upon a part of the enemy's rear with only 6 men, killing 2 of the
Texans and capturing Lieutenant [William] Bast, of Thompson's regiment. I learned from a
farmer near, whom I know to be loyal, that the main body of the enemy was at the Castor, and he
supposed, from the recent rain, they would be unable to cross. Colonel [John M.] Glover, with
the Third Missouri Cavalry and Welfley's battery, was pushed on to within 1 miles of the river
crossing, and I made every arrangement for an attack by early dawn, but received orders from the
rear to halt until they had come up. I sent Colonel La Grange, with the First Wisconsin, to feel
his way, and learned that the river was fordable and the enemy had been crossing all night,
drowning several of their men, and were posted in the woods on the opposite bank and prepared
to dispute our crossing. Captain [Perry D.] McClanahan's section of the Second Missouri State
Militia advanced, afterward strengthened by Cole's section of long-range guns, under Lieutenant
[Joseph B.] Atwater, and Colonel La Grange, First Wisconsin Cavalry, who soon drove the
enemy from their position, the First Wisconsin doing excellent service as sharpshooters. I then
fell back, and in the afternoon crossed the river, as per order received April 29, a copy of which
is transmitted. The river in the mean time having risen, I am indebted to the exertions of Captain
[William] Dawson and his company, Second Missouri State Militia, for being enabled to cross
my artillery and ammunition with the necessary dispatch.
I pushed on toward Bloomfield, as far as obedience to the order would allow, when Colonel
La Grange, who was leading an advance party, commenced skirmishing with the enemy's rear,
driving them to within three-fourths of a mile of Bloomfield, where the enemy had taken position
in some force. I at once hurried up to the support of La Grange, and posted the artillery on
Walker's hill, within 1,000 yards of the enemy; recalled the skirmishers and opened fire. By dark
the enemy was silenced, and I was in hopes the report of their being in strong position at
Bloomfield and determined to make a stand would prove correct.
The men lay down that night in line of battle, and at 4 a.m. the First Wisconsin advanced and
engaged the enemy, whose rear occupied the position of the night before. Opened on them with
artillery at 5 a.m., and also on the town, forcing the enemy to a precipitate retreated my advance
entering the town at 10 a.m. from the north as they retired by the south, on Chalk Bluff road. My
whole column was in full occupancy of the town before 11 o'clock. Here I was compelled to wait
further orders.
In the afternoon there was assigned to me, by Brigadier-General Vandever, two brigades:
The First Brigade--Third Missouri Cavalry, Third Missouri State Militia Cavalry, Third Iowa
Cavalry, Thirteenth Illinois, Stange's section, Hauck's battery, Lindsay's section of Enrolled
Missouri Militia, and the First Iowa Cavalry, Col. J. M. Glover commanding. The Second
Brigade--First Nebraska Infantry, Second Missouri State Militia Cavalry, First Wisconsin
Cavalry, and Welfley's battery, Colonel La Grange commanding.
I found the enemy had sent fatigue parties in advance, to construct a floating bridge with
which to expedite their crossing the Saint Francis. The delays which had occurred satisfied me
that it would be nearly impossible to bring the rebels to an engagement, the nature of the country
between Bloomfield and Chalk Bluff being such that a strong rear guard could retard a heavy
column with ease and almost impunity. Hoping that I could make the river in time to injure them,
however, I notified the various corps of the change in order of assignment, with orders to march
at 7 p.m., the Second Brigade, under Colonel La Grange, in the advance. We marched all night
and came up with the enemy; attacked them at 5 a.m. on May 1; engaged them in constant
succession, they taking position after position for 20 miles. Night found me in position 2 miles
from Chalk Bluff.
Next morning, May 2, I advanced the artillery on the bluff--north side of river--the enemy
having crossed; bridge being destroyed, and being posted on Chalk Bluff, south side of the river,
advanced skirmishers to find their position. The enemy immediately opened with artillery and
small-arms, which was as promptly replied to. Our artillery was admirably served, and our fire
soon became terrific. The First Nebraska, the Thirty-seventh Illinois, part of the First Wisconsin,
and Second Missouri State Militia performed admirably as skirmishers and sharpshooters, and
finally drove the enemy, with heavy loss to them, from the bluff, when I received orders to fall
I deeply regret that despite the excellent quality of the force in pursuit, and the splendid and
effective artillery placed at our disposition, Marmaduke was allowed to make a successful retreat
into Arkansas, saving his guns and baggage, but trust that an examination of the reports made by
the various brigade and regimental commanders will exonerate me from blame in the premises.
The loss I suffered will be seen from the report of Maj. William McClellan, surgeon of the
general hospital at Cape Girardeau, also inclosed. I must make honorable mention of Colonel
Glover and the Third Missouri Cavalry, who on all occasions conducted themselves as gallant
soldiers, and particularly during our 20-mile engagement, when, with Lieutenant-Colonel
[Robert] Carrick and the Third Missouri, they made a clashing charge on the enemy on May 1,
for the purpose of taking their artillery, which would have been a complete success had the First
Iowa, which was ordered to support the charge, got up in time. Welfley's battery, Lieutenant
Jacoby, and Captain McClanahan's section, Second Missouri State Militia, deserve special
mention for good conduct and execution done the enemy. The First Wisconsin, always zealous
to be first in the fight, did admirable service in every position in which it was placed. The First
Nebraska, as you will see by the brigade report, again sustained its well-earned reputation.
Captain [Charles P.] Meisner, up to the time of his wound, acting as chief of artillery, discharged
his duties fully up to the mark as a brave and good soldier.
I would also mention the volunteer members of my staff, who were ready at all times to
discharge any and every duty assigned them, Col. W. R. Strachan, Lieutenant-Colonel Lee,
Lieut. F. R. Poole, and Lieutenant [Tolbert C.] Ankeny.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, U.S. Volunteers.
Brig. Gen. J. W. DAVIDSON,
Commanding District of Saint Louis.
ROLLA, Mo., May 15, 1863.
MAJOR: My attention has been called to an article in the Missouri Democrat of the --
instant, in which the correspondent does great injustice to General Vandever and to the First
Iowa Cavalry.
It is true, as stated, that General Vandever gave General McNeil two brigades. The first
consisted, mainly, of the First Iowa Cavalry, 500 men, well armed and mounted, and not inferior
to any equal number of men in the service in skill and bravery, and the Third Missouri Volunteer
Cavalry, about 400 men, I think, not quite so well armed as the First Iowa, but, in other respects,
as good soldiers. These last were commanded by Colonel [John M.] Glover, who, being the
senior officer of the brigade, was placed in command of it. There were some other commands in
the brigade, but the regiments above designated were the only ones engaged during the fight on
May 1 until 2 or 3 p.m., with the exception of the artillery, which did good service. The First
Iowa Cavalry was placed in advance.
On the evening of Thursday, 30th of April, when about 8 miles south of Bloomfield, being
then in the night, we were halted, and remained until 2 a.m. Two squadrons of the First Iowa,
under the command of Lieutenants [Thomas H.] Barnes and [David C.] McIntyre, both deserving
the highest praise for their skill and bravery, were placed in the advance, and the column
marched on. Between 3 and 4 a.m. the advance was fired on by the rear guard of Marmaduke. I
sent word back to General McNeil, and received orders to halt the column until daylight.
At daylight the column moved on, until about sunrise, when the advance received the fire of
Marmaduke's artillery and small-arms. The regiment dismounted, deployed as skirmishers, and
drove the enemy before them. In the mean time the battery came up and shelled them, while
After the First Iowa had proceeded about 3 miles, it was relieved by the Third Missouri, who
dismounted and drove the enemy in a similar manner, for about the same distance, during which
the First Iowa was rallied, mounted, and led under full speed to relieve them again. Thus the two
regiments alternated until 2 or 3 p.m.
On two or three occasions, when Colonel Glover was present with the First Iowa, he asserted
that he intended to charge the scoundrels and take their artillery, and that he would do it with the
Third Missouri, his own regiment, as they had good sabers, and he wanted them to have an
opportunity of trying them. From the pertinacity with which he insisted that his regiment should
make the charge, when it was no better armed than the First Iowa in any respect, induced the
belief that he desired his command should monopolize the glory of the charge and the capture of
the battery, and this belief was strengthened when I learned that the charge had been made at a
time when, and a place where, it was utterly impossible for the First Iowa to reach the conflict in
time to participate as supporters. The First Iowa had been deployed as skirmishers, with a line
extending a half mile on either side of the road, with their horses some distance in the rear, and
the enemy retreating under full speed to a favorable point for further resistance, entirely out of
sight, when Colonel Glover's command charged by the line of skirmishers. The rally was at once
sounded, the men drawn in from both sides of the road with all possible speed, mounted, and led
on to the scene of the charge; but before they could possibly arrive (and they traveled as
expeditiously as any troops could have done) the conflict was over, and the rebels again
retreating at full speed.
There was no order whatever given, save there was a general conversational direction to push
forward, and, when the charge should be made, to be ready to render any necessary support; but
at the time the charge was made there was nothing from Colonel Glover to me indicating that he
intended making the charge at that particular time. He had charged by us in the same manner
These facts are well known by Captain Thompson, who was aiding me in command of the
regiment, Adjutant Donnell, and other officers of the regiment.
Will you be kind enough to set this matter right?
Truly, yours,
Major, Commanding Detachment First Iowa Cavalry.
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO., May 9, 1863.
GENERAL: In compliance with orders, the following report is respectfully submitted:
At 4 p.m., the Second Brigade was ordered to advance, and, if possible, engage the enemy
north of the Saint. Francis. After marching 6 miles, Lieutenant [Thomas] Bateman, Company L,
First Wisconsin Cavalry, charged and drove the enemy's pickets within 3 miles of the river, and
the Second Missouri State Militia Cavalry, [Lieutenant]-Colonel [John F.] Benjamin, dismounted
and deployed as skirmishers, driving the front line of the enemy rapidly up the hill. General
McNeil, Captain [Charles P.] Meisner, Chief of artillery, and the colonel commanding were with
our line of skirmishers, selecting a position for our artillery, when the enemy opened with grape
and canister from a masked battery planted within 150 yards. Captain Meisner was severely
wounded in the foot; but, owing to the wretched gunnery of the enemy and the peculiarities of
the ground, no other injury was sustained. Lieutenant Bateman also received two heavy volleys
of musketry at very short range without injury to a single man. At this time, Adjutant [Edward
D.] Town, First Wisconsin Cavalry, displayed coolness worthy of a veteran. Our artillery, which
had been ordered to advance, was thrown into confusion, but by his order fell back to a suitable
position, and was well supported by the Third Iowa Cavalry, Lieutenant-Colonel [Henry C.]
Caldwell. By order of the general commanding, the recall was sounded for our skirmishers, and
had to be twice repeated before it was reluctantly obeyed. The cavalry was now formed for the
support of the artillery, and welcomed by the cheers of all the troops. The gallant First Nebraska
came to the front. Before dark their advance occupied the ground where Captain Meisner was
wounded. During the night they discovered the enemy's picket posts, and early on the morning of
the 2d, in connection with the First Iowa Cavalry, formed the advance of the movement that
drove the remnant of the enemy across the Saint Francis, and even away from the shelter of its
right bank. When it is remembered that the regiment had marched 90 miles in three days, we are
at a loss whether to admire most its bravery in battle or its power of endurance.
Welfley's battery, which was admirably handled during this engagement, as usual, made
terrible havoc among the rebels.
By order of the general commanding, the brigade marched for Cape Girardeau on the
morning of the 3d, and, notwithstanding the wretched state of the roads, arrived in good
condition at noon on the 7th.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel First Wisconsin Cavalry, Commanding Brigade.
Commanding U.S. Forces, Cape Girardeau, Mo.
SAINT Louis, April 30, 1863.
CAPTAIN: Having been instructed, on the night of the 25th instant, by order (copy of which
I inclose, marked A), to take charge of the Thirty-seventh Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry,
Captain Brown's company (G), Twenty-third Regiment Missouri Volunteer Infantry, and 20
men, under Lieutenant Ewing, Twenty-third Iowa, to see them shipped without delay to reenforce
the post of Cape Girardeau, then return to this post immediately after the attack had
ceased, I have the honor to report as follows:
We arrived at Cape Girardeau on Sunday, 26th instant, at 2.50 p.m., just as the firing on both
sides ceased for that day. I turned over my command to Brig. Gen. John McNeil, commanding
forces at Girardeau, and was ordered by him to move with two companies of the Thirty-seventh
Illinois Infantry, under Captain [Charles W.] Hawes, to report to Lieutenant-Colonel [William]
Baumer, at Fort B, as the enemy were attempting to flank our right. Shortly afterward I received
an order to take charge of my own regiment; but, finding the conduct of Lieutenant-Colonel
Baumer, of the First Nebraska, all that could be desired, I, in the spirit of a soldier, permitted him
to retain the command he had fought so gallantly previous to my arrival Fearing a night attack, I
went with General McNeil, and arranged a system of signals with two gunboats, then lying in the
Mississippi River, opposite the town, by which they could direct their fire where it would be
most effective. General McNeil, at my suggestion, also sent for re-enforcements to General
Asboth, commanding at Columbus, Ky., whose promptness in forwarding the troops is deserving
of all praise.
When daylight broke, the enemy had not appeared before our pickets, and two detachments
of cavalry were sent out to feel them; but it was not before 11.30 a.m., the 27th instant, that the
retrograde movement of the enemy toward Bloomfield was definitely ascertained: and at 2 p.m.
two regiments of cavalry (First Wisconsin and Second Missouri), four guns of Welfley's battery,
two mountain howitzers, and two companies of Colonel McLane's Missouri Militia moved out in
pursuit, on the Bloomfield road. Arriving near Black Creek, the advance under Major [William
H.] Torrey, First Wisconsin, drove a small force of the enemy from the bridge, which they had
commenced to destroy, by tearing up plank and piling dry stakes in the bridge, preparatory to
firing it. The bridge was speedily repaired, and we pushed on to the junction of the Jackson and
Bloomfield roads, where we met the advance of General Vandever's column. There the column
baited. Myself and a small party pushed forward to the bridge across White Water, about I miles
distant, and found the last span destroyed, the stringers being cut, the plank thrown in the river,
and the up-stream post on the last bent cut in such a manner as to render it useless. To my great
surprise, no further progress was made that day, our forces being ordered into camp at 6 p.m.,
with a demoralized and flying enemy only one hour ahead of us.
I left camp the next morning at 7.10 o'clock, at which time our forces had not yet pushed
forward; and feeling convinced that so tardy a pursuit would certainly be a vain one, I returned to
this post with all dispatch, knowing my services were needed here.
I would respectfully state that the enemy were confident of carrying and holding Cape
Girardeau ; that their battle cry was, "Hurrah now for McNeil!" and that, in their conversations
with the peaceful citizens, they asked if Fayetteville had been attacked, stating that place and the
Cape were to be struck at the same time, and that on Sunday, 3d of May next, Price, with 30,000
men, would attack Jefferson City, after which the forces at the Cape and that place were to make
a combined attack on Saint Louis.
I refrain from giving you the particulars of the battle or the losses on either side, as
competent authority will soon furnish the official report.
1 am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Col. 1st Regt. Nebraska Vol. Infty., Comdg. Post, Saint Louis, Mo.
Assistant Adjutant-General, District of Saint Louis, Mo.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, April 28, 1863.
SIR: The undersigned respectfully submits to you the special description of the party under
his command performed when attacked by the enemy on Cape Girardeau.
On the morning of the 24th of April, news came in from the scouts that the enemy was
approaching this place with a force of about 8,000 men. The garrison of this place consisted then
of about 350 men of the First Nebraska Infantry, two field pieces of Welfley's battery, one
company of First Wisconsin Cavalry, Captain [George O.] Clinton, and Captain Meisner's
artillery, Battery D, Second Missouri Artillery.
My idea was then to meet the enemy outside of the fortifications, and, by being overpowered,
to fall back to Fort B, and from thence to Fort A, which place could be held against any force of
the enemy.
The position selected by me (Captain [Thomas J.] Majors, First Nebraska, and Lieutenant
[Adolphus] Stauber, Welfley's battery) was west of Cape Girardeau, about three-quarters of a
mile from Fort B. The small number of the defending force allowed only to protect the
northwestern part of the town, which commands all other places in and around town. The troops
had made up their mind to defend the place to the last man, and never to surrender to the rebels.
On the evening of the 24th, General McNeil arrived and took command of the place. The
general approved of my plan of defense, and ordered, on the 25th, Welfley's battery, consisting
of six pieced, and part of the Thirty-second Iowa for the protection of the north and west side of
the town. The position north, on the Perryville road, was very important, and the force of defense
was two companies (F and G), First Nebraska, two field [pieces] of Welfley's battery, and three
companies of the Thirty-second Iowa, all under the charge of Captain [Thomas J.] Weatherwax,
First Nebraska. The central position was between the Bloomfield and Jackson roads, on a hill,
which commands all approaches from the west, on which was placed four pieces of Welfley's
battery, under Lieutenant [Lawrence] Jacoby, and five companies of the First Nebraska,
commanded by Captain Majors. The first division of the First Nebraska Infantry (Companies B
and D) were placed as skirmishers in advance, and, after twenty-four hours on duty, they were
relieved by Companies I and C, of First Nebraska. Captain [H. H.] Ribble, Company I, was on
the right of the skirmish line, on the Jackson road, where the attack of the enemy was first made
on the morning of the 26th, at 10 a.m. The rebels were stopped by the fire of the pickets, who
had orders to fall back on the battalion. Companies B and D were sent as a detachment on a hill,
near the Jackson road, to act as skirmishers, and could do good service. The main attack was
made northwest of the Jackson road. The guns of our position on the Perryville road fired first.
Then, from the central position, and in the rear of the two outside positions, the guns of Fort B
opened fire. The cross-fire of the artillery was so well directed, and the artillerists so much
skilled and intrepid, that the enemy could not advance from the ambush. The five companies (C,
I, K, E, and A) of First Nebraska did not give up one inch of ground in the face of the enemy,
who were about ten to their one, and fired all their ammunition away. Never can soldiers perform
their duty on the battle field better or braver than did this small band of heroes. The enemy tried
then to attack our right flank, on the Perryville road, when I moved two pieces of artillery on the
hill, on the Jackson road, protected by Companies B and D, and their position was very
destructive to the enemy. The left flank, on the Bloomfield road, was protected by the First
Wisconsin Cavalry, Colonel [O. H.] La Grange, Lieutenant-Colonel [Henry] Pomeroy. Three of
their companies dismounted and fought the enemy on foot with their carbines. Two mountain
howitzers did also excellent service in dislodging a battery of the enemy. The position on
Perryville road was strengthened by taking two more field pieces to the place; also the five
companies of the First Nebraska, which were supplied with new ammunition. The firing against
the enemy was still kept up from the position on the Jackson road and Fort B, until about 3 p.m.,
when the enemy tell back. Only small detachments were sent out to ascertain where the enemy
had gone. Some of them went out as far as 3 miles. The artillery and infantry were under arms all
night, ready to engage the enemy at any time. Meantime re-enforcements came up, and the rebels
fell back faster than they came up. Every officer and man under my command behaved as
soldiers, and displayed great courage and bravery. Every order was executed promptly, each
officer and soldier discharging his duty; otherwise it would have been impossible for so small
number of men to repulse an enemy with such great odds. In the first place, we had possession of
a ground with the facility to assist one party through the other, and then the men had the
determination not to give up the place, and would have died in fulfilling their duties before
surrendering. Specially I would mention the name of Captain Majors, whose horse was shot from
under him, whilst in command of the five companies in the central position; then Captain Ribble,
who was first engaged with his company as skirmishers, and showed great bravery; also Captain
Weatherwax, who had position on the Perryville road, from where the first shot was fired; also
Lieutenant Francis A. [McDonald, acting adjutant; quartermaster, Lieutenant Charles]
Thompson, Lieutenant Moore, and Sergeant Gillespie, who assisted me greatly in carrying orders
and reports to the most dangerous places of the field. The battery (Welfley's), commanded by
Lieutenant Jacoby, assisted by Lieutenant Stauber, deserve great praise for their skill and
coolness in firing and rapidity in their movements.
List of killed and wounded: Killed, 3; wounded, 7.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding First Nebraska Infantry.
Chief of Staff, Cape Girardeau, Mo.
Near White Water, Mo., April 27, 1863.
GENERAL: Came upon the enemy last evening at 9 o'clock, near Jackson, to which place
they had fallen back after attacking Cape Girardeau. With the First Iowa Cavalry, I charged the
enemy's camp, driving him beyond the town.
The enemy suffered in killed and wounded, and we captured a large number of horses and
other property. I lost no men.
At 6 o'clock in the morning I entered the town and found the enemy posted in force 1 mile
out on the Bloomington road. Opened upon him with artillery. He made no reply, but moved off,
and I pursued. The enemy moved with baggage trains and artillery in front, defending his rear by
strong bodies of cavalry. Five miles out on the Bloomington road he destroyed a bridge, which
delayed me one hour. I crossed and came up with him again within 3 miles of the bridge over
White Water, the enemy from 6,000 to 7,000 strong. The Third Iowa Cavalry were in advance,
and had a severe skirmish with the enemy before the main body came up. The enemy here rallied
in considerable force, but we drove him back, and pushed on to the bridge over White Water,
which we could not reach in time to prevent him from crossing. After passing this bridge the
enemy destroyed it. In the last encounter we had 1 man killed and 4 men wounded, one captain
and 16 privates missing, probably captured, and 4 horses killed and 10 wounded. Our rations
being entirely exhausted, I am obliged to pause a few hours for supplies to come up. There is a
ford not far above, over which I will attempt to pass, unless I can repair the bridge within the
course of the day.
General McNeil joined me with his force of cavalry. I feel justified in pressing the enemy
until he is punished and driven out of the State.
Brigadier-General DAVIDSON,
Saint Louis, Mo.
Bloomfield, May 4, 1863.
GENERAL: In obedience to orders from department headquarters, I have fallen back to this
point, after driving the enemy from the limits of the State.
I have already sent forward one brigade toward Cape Girardeau, and will follow with the rest
as soon as practicable, except Colonel Glover's command, which I will dispatch direct from this
point to Pilot Knob, instructing him to keep out strong reconnoitering parties in the direction of
Greenville and Patterson, which places will be on his left flank.
Colonel Glover will start in the morning. [G.] Hauck's battery, which accompanied Colonel
Glover from Pilot Knob, I have ordered to report for the time being to General [J.] McNeil, who
will take it to the Cape. I was induced to do this for t reason that I desire Colonel Glover to move
with celerity. He will have Captain [G.] Stange, with one section, and Colonel Lindsay, with two
small pieces, along. Supplies have not been sent forward to me from Cape Girardeau, as I have
ordered them. They are understood to be on the way, and I am compelled to go forward and meet
them. My men are now subsisting on corn-meal and beef alone.
General McNeil will remain at Bloomfield until the morning of the 6th, when he will also
move back to the Cape.
The portion of my command belonging to the Army of the Frontier proper I take with me to
Cape Girardeau, that being the nearest point at which I can refit.
The entire march has been arduous in the extreme, taxing the energy, endurance, and bravery
of officers and men to the fullest extent. Every duty has been performed with readiness and
alacrity, and feel it incumbent on me to move back with moderation, so as not to impair the
efficiency of the heroic little army which I have the honor to command.
From the Cape I will endeavor to make a more detailed report. Herewith I send a full list of
In regard to the enemy's loss, I can only say that it must have been large, In one place, after a
gallant charge made by Colonel Glover, with the Third Missouri Volunteer Cavalry, there were
19 of the enemy's dead piled together.
The engagement at Chalk Bluff, on the morning of the 2d, was also disastrous to the enemy,
as at one time I played upon him with ten pieces of artillery, before he could get out of the
bottom on the opposite side of the river.
On Sunday, the 26th ultimo, in the evening, I first struck the enemy, the First Iowa Cavalry
charging his camp by moonlight, and, every day thereafter until the 2d instant, we fought him as
he ran.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General DAVlDSON,
Saint Louis, Mo.
Jackson, Mo., April 27, 1863.
General Vandever directs me to inform you that he is in pursuit of the fleeing enemy on the
Bloomfield road, under the belief that they were escaping, via Dallas. Last night he attacked a
camp of them 2 miles west of here, ordering the First Iowa, under Major [Joseph W.] Caldwell,
to charge them with saber and pistol. This was gallantly done by moonlight, and was entirely
successful. Our prisoners number some 40 already, and more are being brought in. A large
quantity of horses, saddles, and arms were secured.
The cannonading at the Cape yesterday was heard by our advance about noon yesterday, and
under its influence we traveled yesterday 40 miles. Can you, by moving out on Bloomfield road,
cut retreat?
Very respectfully,
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
Itinerary of the Second Division, Army of the Frontier, April 4-May 2, 1863.
April 4-6. --Marched from Elk Creek to Camp Totten, 10 miles southwest of Rolla, 55 miles.
April 9.--Brig. Gen. William Vandever arrived and assumed command.
April 21-23.--Brigadier-General Vandever, with all the cavalry of the division and Battery E,
First Missouri Artillery, marched to Pilot Knob to meet a cavalry raid under General
April 26.--Moved on toward Cape Girardeau in pursuit of the enemy. Marched 40 miles, over
bad roads considerable of the way. Within 5 miles of Jackson captured a few straggling rebels.
Within 2 miles of Jackson, at 9 p.m., found the enemy in some force. Sent the First Iowa
Volunteer Cavalry, Major [Joseph W.] Caldwell, in with the saber by moonlight, and scattered a
brigade of the enemy, making considerable captures of prisoners and horses; used artillery that
the garrison at Cape Girardeau, General McNeil commanding, might be apprised of our presence
and act accordingly. If they had moved out properly, Marmaduke would have been captured.
April 27.--The enemy, finding us in possession of his desired line of retreat via the Dallas
pike, from which the First Iowa Cavalry had driven a brigade, was compelled to take the road
due south from Jackson, which he did, destroying all bridges in his rear. We pursued him
vigorously, skirmishing several times, killing a few and capturing some prisoners. Marched 15
miles; found the enemy had escaped over the White Water (not fordable), and destroyed one
span of the bridge. Before leaving Jackson, a messenger was sent to Cape Girardeau, ordering
General McNeil to move out rapidly on the Bloomfield road and get the road near White Water
ahead of the enemy and cut off his retreat. Although General McNeil had but 9 miles to march,
over a macadamized road, to do this, he did not reach the intersection until after the enemy had
all passed and our troops arrived at the river. This was unfortunate, and guaranteed to the enemy
his escape, unless perchance the Castor River should not be fordable, and we could compel him
to fight before crossing that stream. The bridge over White Water was therefore ordered to be
repaired, which was done early on the morning of the 28th, in the face of the enemy's rear guard.
April 28.--The command crossed the White Water and pushed through the desperate swamps
for 5 miles to higher ground, and, on General McNeil having been recently stationed at
Bloomfield, and his command knowing the country, was given the advance, with instructions to
pursue as rapidly as possible to the Castor. However, the enemy made good his escape over that
river. Marched 26 miles.
April 29.--The crossing of Castor was successfully effected in the face of a strong rear guard
of the enemy, and the advance of the command moved a few miles toward Bloomfield,
skirmishing nearly all the way with the enemy and occasionally taking a few prisoners. The
command did not all pass the river during the day, as it rose so as to be unfordable and one
floating bridge had been swept away. Marched 8 miles, and captured Marmaduke's body-servant,
April 30.--Enough of the command having crossed the Castor, an advance was ordered, and
the enemy was driven out of Bloomfield and the place occupied by our forces about noon. A
command was organized from the most fresh troops to march at 9 p.m., General McNeil, in
pursuit of the enemy, who had taken the road to Chalk Bluff. There was still a faint hope that by
pushing him hard he would be compelled to leave his artillery in our hands. Therefore the pursuit
was continued, and early in May, after a few brilliant charges of his rear guard, Marmaduke was
driven across the Saint Francis at Chalk Bluff and out of Missouri. In this pursuit and the attack
on the enemy's rear, Col. John M. Glover, Third Missouri Volunteer Cavalry, distinguished
himself with his regiment.
HELENA, ARK., May 2, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report to you that yesterday morning, in pursuance of the orders of
my commanding officer, I reported with 160 men of this regiment to General Gorman for
instructions, and by him was directed to proceed to the neighborhood of La Grange and endeavor
to learn the movements, if any, of the enemy. General Gorman himself accompanied my
command beyond the pickets of the new Saint Francis road, as far as Mrs. Turner's plantation. I
left him at about 9.30 a.m., and proceeded toward La Grange, keeping my advance guard in
view, and with flanking parties on either hand. In this manner I had approached within a mile of
the town of La Grange, along the main road, when my advance guard came upon the enemy,
posted, on foot, in the woods on either side of the road, to the number, as I soon learned, of at
least 300. I deployed my columns in squadrons to the right and left, and commenced a vigorous
attack upon the enemy. My men behaved with great coolness, and their fire soon caused their
lines in our front to waver. The fire on my front had been in successive volleys, but was now
perceptibly slacking.
At this juncture,, and at the moment I was about to charge in line, another force of at least
300 of the enemy, mounted, fell upon my rear and right flank, the enemy charging and delivering
their fire by platoons.
This movement threw my force, now so greatly outnumbered, into some confusion, and the
enemy rallied again on my front. My force had expended their revolvers, and most of their
carbine fire, and it became evident that I must retire or be completely overwhelmed. I got my
men into column, and directed them to the left, falling back through the timber a distance of
some 3 miles.
The enemy pursued with vigor, but were kept in fear of too near approach by the firing of the
reloaded carbines of my rear guard. Some of my men were also able to reload their revolvers and
discharge them at the enemy.
Making a circuit, I again came to the La Grange road, to the rear of the place of attack about
4 miles. My men had become somewhat scattered, and on coming into the La Grange road I
retired toward Helena, until re-enforced by the remainder of the regiment and the Fifth Kansas
Cavalry. We then advanced to the place of conflict, and found that the enemy had fled, taking
with them their dead and wounded.
The loss on our side was 3 killed, 8 wounded, and 30 missing, probably taken prisoners;
total, 41.
Among the wounded are Regimental Adjt. Glenn Lowe and Second Lieut. Cornelius A.
Stanton, Company I. A list of the names of the officers and men killed, wounded, and missing
accompanies this report.
My advance guard, 29 men of Company D, under command of Lieutenant [William C.]
Niblack, deserve particular notice for the manly stand they made against the enemy, whose
hottest fire they withstood with the most determined bravery. Lieutenant Stanton was at the head
of the column, and fearlessly assailed the enemy with his command Company I. He was
wounded in his left arm, very severely, early in the engagement, and from the loss of blood was
compelled to retire from the field. Adjt. Glenn Lowe was also at the head of the column, and,
throughout this uneven contest, displayed a heroism of unusual character. His horse was shot
from under him as soon as he came up with the enemy. He at once mounted another, and as the
attack in the rear commenced, he drew his saber and encouraged our men with his voice. At this
time he was shot through the ankle and afterward fell into the hands of the enemy, who treated
him with kindness, and left him at a neighboring house without paroling him.
Sergeant Breeding, Company A, and Corporal Birdsall, Company B, attacked a party of the
enemy who had 5 prisoners, and, killing 2 of them, released our men, who thus escaped.
Many minor skirmishes took place during our retreat, in all of which a continual resistance
was made with fatal effect to the enemy. I do not desire to give particular praise when all did as
well as men could do against such odds, and I have only to regret my force was not greater. With
the valor of my men I am satisfied. The loss inflicted upon the enemy was not less than 40 men
killed and wounded. Many of their dead were seen upon the field.
Captain Company B, Commanding.
Comdg. Second Cavalry Division, Army of the Tennessee.
Helena, Ark., May 27, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that on the 23d instant I sent the steamboat Pike down
the river for the purpose of obtaining recruits for the Second Regiment Arkansas Volunteers, of
African descent, under command of Lieut. Col. George W. De Costa, et that regiment, with
detachments of the First Indiana Cavalry and Thirty-sixth Iowa Infantry, and 25 men of the
Second Arkansas Regiment, with one howitzer.
The expedition proceeded down the river, on the Arkansas side, to a point 1 mile from
Napoleon, and returned on the Mississippi side, making frequent raids into the country, in some
instances to a distance of 6 or 7 miles. The conduct of both white and colored soldiers is
represented by Lieutenant-Colonel De Costa as being of the most creditable character. Near
Island No. 65 the Pike was fired into by a party of about 150 rebels. Brisk firing was kept up for
some time, the enemy having two pieces of artillery, one of which was silenced by the howitzer
on the Pike. Captain Waters, of the Second Arkansas Regiment, was severely wounded in the
leg, and 2 contrabands were mortally wounded. The enemy are thought to have lost from 10 to
15 killed and wounded.
The conduct of the colored soldiers was highly creditable; they rough t with a hearty will,
and did good service. The amount of property captured is as follows: 75 mules, 8 horses, and
subsistence for the whole force. The blacks hailed with joy the appearance of the colored
soldiers. In addition to the above, 125 recruits were obtained. The regiment is rapidly filling up,
and in a few days it is hoped it will be full.
I am, general very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Maj. Gen. John A. MCCLERNAND,
Commanding Thirteenth Army Corps.
Helena, Ark., May 25, 1863.
MAJOR: Pursuant to order, with 50 men of Companies A and B, I this morning reported to
Major [Samuel] Walker, of the Fifth Kansas Cavalry. We were placed in advance of the column,
Company A being thrown forward as advance guard, and in this position were marched out upon
the road known as the Little Rock road, for about 6 miles, when the flankers of the advance
guard encountered the enemy's pickets, and, in the exchange of shots, one of our men was
wounded. We proceeded cautiously forward for a mile, when, acting upon some information
received from a negro, Major Walker ordered me forward with Company B to the end of the line,
and there, turning to the right, to make a circuit of the open field in that direction. I did as
directed, and skirmished carefully through the woods till I encountered the rear company of the
Fifth Kansas, sent out from the rear of the column, to act in conjunction with me. I then
countermarched, and proceeded a short distance upon my return, when I became aware, by the
heavy firing, the column was warmly engaged. Fearful of placing myself in a wrong position if I
returned through the woods, I turned short to the left, and proceeded at full speed to the front, on
reaching which I found that the enemy had broken the ranks of the Fifth Kansas and Company A,
Third Iowa Cavalry, and were driving them back in considerable disorder. I formed my men and
succeeded in checking the enemy for a few moments, and only left the ground when ordered to
by Major Walker, who, finding he could not hold the position, resolved to fall back to a bridge
over a deep ravine, a mile in our rear. I and my men occupied the position of rear guard, and
engaged the enemy in a sort of running fight the entire distance. At one time the action was very
severe, and 2 of the enemy were killed in a hand-to-hand fight, in which we had 2 men severely
wounded. On reaching the bridge, my company rallied promptly; not one man had straggled. We
formed our line and awaited the enemy's attack, but he, finding our position strong, drew off his
forces, and we remained in position until ordered by Major Walker to accompany a flag of truce
the enemy had sent us, and to search the ground of the conflict as carefully as possible, that the
wounded might be relieved and the dead searched out.
I have to report that my entire command behaved in a manner entirely satisfactory to me. I
was separated from Company A before the fight began, but from all the information I can gather
I am satisfied that the honor of the Third Iowa Cavalry did not suffer in their hands, and for my
own immediate company, I challenge the record of any conflict to show greater coolness and
courage. We formed a line in face of a galling fire, and, when ordered to fall back, disputed the
ground for a mile. Finally, when we were ordered to again rally for a determined stand, we
presented every man in his place who has not since been proved to have been incapacitated
through wounds or loss of his horse.
We have suffered a loss of 5 men wounded, and 2 missing.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
First Lieut. Company B, Comdg Detachment Third Iowa Cavalry
Maj. O. H. P. SCOTT,
Commanding Third Iowa Cavalry :
I heartily indorse every line of the above report. Lieutenant McKee, of the Third Iowa
Cavalry, and the men under his command acted with distinguished gallantry during the whole
engagement. The advance guard of the Third Iowa were commanded by Sergeant Wishard and
numbered but about 10 men. In my former report I did not know the name of the lieutenant
commanding the Third Iowa.
The troops composing my command all deserve the credit of having performed their duty,
and I observed no distinction between the men of the two regiments engaged with me.
Major Fifth Kansas Cavalry, Commanding Expedition
Helena, July 4, 1863-10.30 a.m.
GENERAL: We have been hard pressed since daylight by the combined forces of Price,
Holmes, Marmaduke, Parsons, Carter, Dobbin, and company. Thus far we have held our own,
and have captured several hundred prisoners, whom I send to you by Major [Edward] Wright, of
the Twenty-fourth Iowa, on board the steamer Tycoon. The enemy are now evidently preparing
for a renewed attack in force. I wish you, by all means, to send me re-enforcements. The enemy
is in superior force but I shall do my best to hold them in check till re-enforcements arrive. Send
also another gunboat, if possible. The Tyler has done good service to-day, but I need more. I
trust I may have help from you at once, so that we may punish the rebel forces in Arkansas in
In great haste, your obedient servant,
Commanding Sixteenth Army Corps.
P. S.--Please send also ordnance stores as per inclosed memorandum, or as much of them as
possible. Send the shell in particular.
Helena, Ark., July 7, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Second
Brigade in the action of the 4th instant:
The Thirty-third Missouri Infantry were stationed at Fort Curtis and at Batteries A, B, C, and
D, which covered your entire line of defense. At all of these points they manned the artillery, and
also had a reserve who acted as sharpshooters. The Thirty-third Iowa Infantry was ordered to
report to Fort Curtis, opposite the center of your line, at daybreak, so that, in case of an attack,
they might readily be thrown to the support of either wing or the center of your line. At 4 a.m.
the enemy, in heavy force, drove in our pickets, and opened the engagement on Batteries A, C,
and D. The Thirty-third Iowa was promptly, in compliance with your orders, moved into the
rifle-pits in front and flanking Batteries C and D, with a small portion acting as a reserve, who
were posted so as to command the ravine between these batteries. Three companies of the Thirtysixth
Iowa were sent at once to support Battery A, and took possession of the rifle-pits, flanking
it. The Twenty-ninth Iowa, with a reserve from the Thirty-sixth, was ordered to take possession
of the sides of the bluffs, on the east side, and a short distance in front of Battery A, extending
down to the Sterling road, and drive the enemy from the crests of the hills which they already
had occupied. On Batteries C and D the main assault of the enemy was made. They hurled
regiment after regiment in close column against the works, but were gallantly repulsed at Battery
D, and only after a severe and bloody conflict took Battery C, driving our forces before them, but
they promptly rallied and formed at the bottom of the hill. The artillery from Batteries At B, and
D, together with Fort Curtis, commanding Battery C, was opened upon the enemy, and after a
severe cannonading, assisted by a galling fire from our infantry, they were driven back with a
heavy loss, and the battery retaken. The heavy loss sustained by the Thirty-third Missouri and the
Thirty-third Iowa on this portion of the field fully attests their undoubted courage. While the
engagement was thus progressing in the center, the enemy were also concentrating a heavy fire
on the right wing, which had been assigned to my command. They had planted a battery within
400 yards of Battery A, but protected from its fire by a point of the hill. From the concentrated
fire of the First Indiana Battery (light artillery), and a section of the Third Iowa Battery, under
Lieutenant Wright, assisted by our sharpshooters and a severe fire along the entire line, the
enemy were compelled to withdraw their guns with a severe loss. On this portion of our line the
enemy had, besides their artillery, a brigade of four regiments of infantry and a brigade of
cavalry, under General Marmaduke, and at all points outnumbered us at least four to one,
according to their own estimates. The officers and soldiers of the Twenty-ninth Iowa acted with
the utmost coolness and bravery, and steadily gained ground from the first onset. The Thirtysixth
Iowa behaved in a manner worthy of all commendation. They were promptly moved to the
relief of the Twenty-ninth Iowa, and drove by their well-directed fire the enemy before them,
occupying the crests of the hills. The enemy could repeatedly be heard trying to rally their
columns for the purpose of charging on our line, and were only prevented by the continuous fire
of our line, assisted by a heavy and well-directed cross-fire from our artillery and the rifle-pits.
The Thirty-third Missouri, manning the guns in the various batteries along the entire line, was at
all points exposed to the hottest fire of the enemy, and deserve the highest praise for their
bravery and efficiency.
The heavy loss sustained by the enemy fully attests the bravery, the discipline, and the
efficiency of your entire command. There was taken by my command several hundred prisoners.
We have buried 156 of the enemy. There were also taken three stand of colors and several
hundred stand of arms. The rout of the enemy was complete at all points. The loss in my
command was 45 killed, 96 wounded, and 30 missing. A full report of the above from each
regiment I append hereto. As a portion of my brigade, the Thirty-third Iowa and part of the
Thirty-third Missouri, were in another part of the field from that assigned to my command, and
acted more immediately under your own observation, I trust, in case I have not been able to
present fully the part they took in the action, that you will supply the deficiency in your official
A detailed account of the part taken by the various regiments of the brigade would involve
not only what was done by them, but by other brigades, who bore an equally honorable part in
the entire engagement, and especially that of Colonel [P.] Clayton, of the Fifth Kansas, who,
with the First Indiana Battery and his cavalry, bore an important part in the engagement on the
right of the line. Where all did so well, invidious distinction would be out of place. If some bore
more conspicuous parts than others, it was because the position of their own commands placed
them in a more important position.
I take especial pleasure in referring to Colonel [Thomas H.] Benton, [jr.,] of the Twentyninth
Iowa; Colonel [C. W.] Kittredge, of the Thirty-sixth Iowa; Lieutenant-Colonel [W. H.]
Heath, commanding Thirty-third Missouri; Lieutenant-Colonel [C. H.] Mackey, commanding
Thirty-third Iowa; Lieutenant-Colonel [R. F.] Patterson, Twenty-ninth Iowa; Majors [H. D.]
Gibson, [G. W.] Van Beek, and [C. B.] Shoemaker, who, from their coolness, efficiency, and
daring, are worthy of especial mention. They were at all times at the post of danger, cheering
their men. Lieutenant [J. F.] Lacy, my acting assistant adjutant-general, acted as my aide during
the engagement, and rode to whatever part of the field required his presence, and afforded me
assistance of the most valuable character, and I take especial pleasure in referring to him.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Thirty-third Iowa Infantry, Comdg. Second Brigade.
Capt. A. BLOCKI,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
HELENA, ARK., July 6, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken in the
engagement of the 4th instant by my regiment:
My men were drawn up in line of battle at daylight, and at 4.30 a.m., in pursuance of orders
from Col. Samuel A. Rice, commanding Second Brigade, we marched across the bottom at
double-quick to a position on the Sterling road. Upon reaching the point designated, I found that
the enemy occupied the crest of the hills with their skirmishers, north of Battery A, commanding
my position. I immediately sent forward two companies of skirmishers to dislodge and drive
them back; but finding them too strongly posted, I continued to re-enforce the line until eight
companies were deployed. In the mean time the enemy had placed a battery of two guns in
position, with which they opened a brisk fire, and moved rapidly upon us, cheering and exulting
as they advanced, being partially shielded from view by a fog, which covered the hills at that
moment. Our skirmishers met them with a galling and incessant fire, under which they gradually
fell back, resolutely contesting every inch of ground as they retired. Our skirmishers advanced
steadily and cautiously, and, having gained the crest of the hills previously occupied by the
enemy, compelled him to abandon his guns, which, after several ineffectual attempts, he
subsequently recovered, and withdrew, leaving one caisson on the field. My men were under a
severe fire for more than five hours, and it affords me the greatest pleasure to speak of both
officers and men in terms of the highest commendation for their coolness and bravery during the
entire action. I saw no flinching or wavering during the day.
It is proper to add that several of my officers and quite a number of my men, who were
excused from duty in consequence of physical debility, left their quarters and joined their
respective companies when the signal gun was fired.
Any invidious distinctions among the members of my command would not be admissible in
this report, but I would not do justice to an accomplished officer should I fail to acknowledge the
efficient services of Lieut. Col. R. F. Patterson during the action, and the special obligations I am
under for the thorough instruction previously given by him to both officers and men in the
responsible duties and obligations of the soldier, the importance of which was so forcibly
illustrated on the 4th instant.
My regiment was promptly supported by the Thirty-sixth Iowa Infantry, commanded by
Colonel [C. W.] Kittredge, and was relieved by him a short time before the enemy left the field.
The enemy's force in front of our line, so far as I have been able to ascertain from the most
reliable information within my reach, was one brigade of five regiments of infantry, one battery,
and two regiments of cavalry in reserve, under command of Colonel [General] McRae.
I regret to have to report that during the engagement the loss in my regiment was 7 killed and
24 wounded, some of them mortally (2 of whom have since died), and many of them severely
wounded, among the number some of my best and bravest men. The enemy's loss it is not
possible to state definitely, as he succeeded in removing many of them from the field. We buried
14 of his dead, and found the graves of 17 more buried by himself, and brought 1 of his wounded
from the field.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Twenty-ninth Iowa Infantry.
Comdg. Second Brig., Thirteenth Division, Thirteenth Corps.
HELENA, ARK., July 6, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the Thirtythird
Regiment Iowa Infantry in the battle at this post on the 4th instant:
On the morning of the 4th of July, in compliance with orders issued from brigade
headquarters, I formed the regiment in line and marched them to Fort Curtis, arriving there at
2.30 a.m. Shortly after 3 o'clock firing commenced on the part of the picket line occupied by my
regiment, it being to the right and left of the Little Rock road. At 4 a.m. I received orders from
Brigadier-General Salomon to move my regiment to the foot of the hill on the said road, and
from that place to re-enforce Batteries C and D when attacked. I had no sooner arrived at this
point with my regiment, when the enemy, in strong force, attacked Battery D. I immediately
detached Companies B and G, under command of Maj. H. D. Gibson, to the assistance of this
battery. Discovering at the same time that the enemy were making preparations to assault Battery
C, I sent forward Companies A and F to the support of this battery. Finding that the force I had
sent to Battery D was not sufficient to cope with the enemy, I ordered Companies H, E, I, and K
forward, and occupied the rifle-pits on the Little Rock road; at the same time ordered Company
D into the rifle-pits on the left of Battery C. I then occupied the ravine between the batteries with
Company C. The assault on Battery D lasted about thirty minutes, when the enemy was repulsed
and driven back in confusion. By this time the position of the enemy was concealed by a heavy
fog, which did not rise until 8 a.m. During this time the enemy sent forward heavy bodies of
skirmishers and sharpshooters, and once attempted to charge the battery, but did not succeed in
bringing their forces forward.
At 8 a.m. they charged Batteries D and C, bringing forward Generals Fagan's and Parsons'
brigades. They succeeded in carrying Battery C, but not until they had many of their men and
officers killed and wounded; but their superiority in numbers was so great that they completely
overpowered our force at the battery. The three companies from my own regiment and two from
the Thirty-third Missouri constituted the entire force at this battery. The men retired from the
battery in the direction of Fort Curtis, about 250 yards. By this time we had completely routed
the enemy in front of Battery D. They succeeded here only sufficiently to get possession of the
extreme left of the rifle-pits. Our force at this battery consisted of six companies of my own
regiment, six of the Thirty-third Missouri, and two of the Forty-third Indiana. I now withdrew
Companies I and K, and formed a new line with them, and Companies A, F, D, and C, to the rear
of Battery C 250 yards, which succeeded completely in stopping any further progress of the
enemy. Finding themselves repulsed at all points, they commenced to fall back to the timber.
Things at this battery remained in this condition for some time. Many of them, instead of falling
back to the timber, took refuge in the woods around the battery, and kept up a desultory fire
therefrom. Finding that the enemy was not going to attempt anything more in this direction, I
withdrew the two companies I had brought here, and returned to the Little Rock road, in front of
Battery D; arriving there I ordered the whole force to charge forward on this road. The entire
force advanced with a will that carried everything before them, and in ten minutes I had
complete possession of the entire bat, tie-ground on this road and obtained several hundred
prisoners and two stand of colors. As soon as I had completed this movement, I ordered a flank
movement from this road on the enemy who were in front of Battery C. I selected Companies B
and K for this purpose, and ordered them forward. I then ordered my right wing to attack the
enemy in front, in conjunction with a part of the First Indiana Cavalry, dismounted, under the
command of Lieutenant-Colonel [T. N.] Pace. This movement only partially succeeded, caused,
as I suppose, by misapprehension by Colonel Pace of an order of General Prentiss. We
succeeded so far, however, as to capture about 100 prisoners. This last movement terminated the
battle. It was now 10 a.m. The men were very much exhausted, having been constantly engaged
for six hours. From 80 to 100 rounds of ammunition had been expended to the man. The loss of
my own regiment was---killed on the field, 17; wounded, 52; taken prisoners, 17. (Three men
were taken at Battery C.) Eight of the wounded have since died from their wounds. I went into
the engagement with 500 men. The officers and men of the entire command behaved themselves
splendidly. The force we had to contend with was at least five to one, and I feel perfectly safe in
saying that the regiment took as many prisoners as we had men in action. They all did so well
that it is a difficult matter for me to attempt to particularize who did best. I take particular
pleasure in mentioning the names of Maj. H. D. Gibson, Capt. John P. Yerger, Capt. John
Loftand, Lieut. Cheney Prouty, and Capt. L. W. Whipple. The manner in which these officers
conducted themselves is deserving of the highest praise. I would also call your attention to the
good conduct of Second Lieutenant [C. H.] Shatman, of Company G, who had command of the
picket guard. He succeeded in holding the enemy in check until we were fully prepared to
receive them, brought his guard all off (except a number that were killed and wounded) in good
order, and joined the regiment. He was wounded in the head very severely, but I think not
The foregoing report, hastily written, and not so complete as I should have wished, is most
respectfully submitted.
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Thirty-third Iowa.
Commanding Second Brigade.
HELENA, ARK., July 5, 1863.
SIR: Yesterday morning this regiment was in line at 3.30 a.m.; at 4 a.m. the engagement
commenced, and I have much gratification in saying that every officer and enlisted man did his
duty faithfully and well. We remained upon the field under arms until 11 o'clock to-day, when
we returned, by your order, to camp. 1 am under obligations to the chaplain, Rev. M. H. Hare,
and to Regimental Quartermaster Stevens W. Morrill for their valuable services, they being the
only field and staff officers present, the others being absent on sick leave of absence.
The casualties of the regiment are 1 killed and 4 missing.
Very respectfully,
Colonel Thirty sixth Regiment Iowa Infantry.
Comdg. Second Brig., Thirteenth Div.
HELENA, ARK., July 6, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Thirtythird
Missouri Volunteers in the action of the 4th instant:
Companies D and F manned the heavy guns in Fort Curtis; Company A the guns in Battery
A; Company C the guns in Battery B; Company E the guns in Battery C, supported by Company
H, acting as sharpshooters; Company B the guns in Battery D, supported by Companies G, I, and
K, acting as sharpshooters.
The first assault of the enemy in force was made at 4 a.m. upon Batteries A, C, and D
simultaneously. In front of Batteries A and D, they were handsomely checked before any
advantage had been gained but the entire Missouri brigade of Parsons (said to have been
personally directed by Maj. Gen. Sterling Price), charging furiously upon Battery C, drove the
infantry support (four companies of the Thirty-third Iowa) out of the rifle-pits in great confusion,
and, after killing, wounding, and capturing 30 men of the two companies on duty at the guns,
succeeded in driving them from the battery, but not before they had spiked one of the guns and
brought away all the friction primers and priming wires, thus rendering the pieces useless to the
enemy. The companies in Fort Curtis, with the siege guns, supported by the remnants of
Companies E and H, with numerous stragglers from other commands, acting as sharpshooters,
succeeded in checking the enemy's farther advance, and finally drove his main force back from
Battery C, compelling him, by their steady and increasing fire, to leave the guns of the battery
uninjured and beat a hasty and disastrous retreat, leaving over 350 prisoners, with their officers
and colors, and his dead and wounded, in our hands. The prisoners were mainly of the Seventh
and Tenth Missouri Regiments, and had taken refuge from the fire of our artillery in a deep
ravine opening toward the river, but protected by a ridge from the direct fire of Fort Curtis.
Immediately the Thirty-fifth Missouri was drawn up across the mouth of this ravine, part of the
Thirty-third Iowa moving to attack the enemy's flank, and the siege guns playing shell, grape,
and canister upon the ridge above them, preventing a retreat. They were surrendered by hoisting
a white flag, their own sharpshooters upon the ridge at their rear firing from cover upon and
cursing them as they marched out prisoners of war.
About 9 a.m. a second attack was made upon Battery D by Fagan's brigade of Arkansas
troops, three regiments strong, and said by prisoners to have acted under the personal direction of
Lieutenant-General Holmes. The battery was bravely supported by detachments from the Fortythird
Indiana, under Major [W. W.] Norris, and the Thirty-third Iowa, under Major [H. D.]
Gibson. In spite, however, of the most determined resistance, Bell's regiment, with small
portions of Hawthorn's and Brooks', succeeded in penetrating our outer line of rifle-pits, and
securing a position in a deep ravine to the left of the battery and below the range of its guns. The
remainder of the brigade was broken and scattered by the terrific fire of our artillery in the
works, and compelled to seek shelter in the woods out of range.
Immediately upon their retreating, our riflemen from all three regiments in the pits closed in
upon those of the enemy who were in the ravine, from all sides cutting off retreat. The reserve of
the Forty-third Indiana formed across the mouth of the ravine, and two Parrott guns of the First
Missouri Battery, under Lieutenant [J.] O'Connell, were also brought to rake the enemy's
position. Capt. John G. Hudson, of the Thirty-third Missouri, commanding Battery D, then
demanded the surrender of the entire force. The men at once threw down their arms, and
Lieutenant-Colonel Johnson, of Bell's regiment, made a formal surrender of his command,
mustering 21 officers and between 300 and 400 men, with all their arms and one stand of colors.
At about 10.30 a.m. the main body of the enemy had entirely drawn off from in front of our
batteries and the firing ceased.
Companies E and H returned to Battery C, capturing some 50 of the enemy, and finding both
guns of the battery turned upon Fort Curtis and loaded with shell, but not discharged, for want of
friction primers. The rout of the enemy was materially assisted by flank fires from Batteries A,
B, and D, and 10-inch shell from the gunboat Tyler.
Upward of 300 killed and wounded were left by the enemy in the vicinity of this battery, 70
of these being killed outright, and a great number so wounded that they cannot survive. Nearly
the same number were found in front and on the left flank of Battery D. The immense power of
the batteries supporting each other, and with the guns of the fort affording the most perfect
concentration upon any given point, entirely demoralized the enemy, who broke at the first few
rounds, and could only be coaxed and forced forward after that in a shapeless and disorganized
mob. Considering that the gunners in Fort Curtis had had no target practice, the firing from the
fort, as well as the batteries, was, in the main, remarkably good, and our riflemen and the
infantry supports sent to the batteries behaved with rare courage and steadiness, being iii position
from 2 a.m. until 11 a.m., without food, and fighting steadily for six and a half hours of that time.
I desire especially to mention Majors Norris and Gibson, Captains [E. S.] Schenck and [G.
H.] Tracy, and Lieutenant [M.] Reed for gallantry in leading their men, upon the suggestion of
Captain Hudson, against Bell's regiment. Of the men of the Thirty-third Missouri, who
distinguished themselves by coolness, activity, and determination, may be mentioned Maj.
George W. Van Beck, superintending Batteries A and B; Capts. William J. McKee, commanding
Fort Curtis; Daniel D. Carr, three siege guns; William M. Blake, Battery A; Alexander J.
Campbell, Battery B; Thomas M. Gibson, Battery C; John S. Hudson, Battery G; Stuart Carkner,
Company G (wounded); George H. Tracy, Company I; Elias S. Schenck, Company K; Lieuts.
Henry Cochran, commanding Company H; Stephen J. Burnett (wounded), Adam B. Smith
(killed at his post), Luther P. Eldridge, Isaac S. Coe, Charles L. Draper, F. E. Lombar, Joseph W.
Brooks (killed while gallantly leading a charge), Moses Reed, R. M. Reed, Edgar L. Allen,
Henry H. Knowlton, and James M. Conner; and gunners, Sergt. E. Bates, J. W. Wells, L. D.
Alden, Company F; Sergt. Henry S. Carroll, Corpl. James K. Frier, Private J. S. Martin,
Company D; Private John Driscoll, Kansas Cavalry, all in Fort Curtis. Battery A, Sergts. D. R.
McClammer and George B. Maher; Battery B, Corpl. George W. Coleman; Battery C, Sergt.
James M. Freeman, Privates Thomas W. Wheeler and Joseph W. Phillips; Battery D, Corpl.
Robert McPhate (Dubuque Battery) and Luke P. Maxen. Nathaniel Leavitt, commissary
sergeant, killed at his post; Color Sergt. Patrick Collins, a regular soldier of twenty-six years'
standing, wounded in the face while bravely fighting over the parapet of Battery D. There were
others who did as well as those named, but whose names have not been handed me. The entire
regiment, officers and men, behaved with steadiness and judgment.
Very respectfully,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Regiment
Comdg. Second Brig., Third Div., Thirteenth Army Corps.
Helena, Ark., July 4, 1863.
SIR: I have the pleasure of submitting the names of the following officers of the Confederate
Army who were taken prisoner in the attempt to charge on my battery, with near 400 soldiers:
I have received a few straggling prisoners after the engagement was over. I will give you the
full account at any time you wish. I fired my first gun at 4.25 a.m., and ceased at 10 a.m. My
men behaved finely. I was supported by a battalion of the Forty-third Indiana Volunteers and two
companies of the Thirty-third Iowa Volunteers.
I am, respectfully, yours, &c.,
Captain, Commanding Battery.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
HELENA, ARK., July 5, 1863.
CAPTAIN: In obedience to the order of the general commanding, I have the honor herewith
to submit the following report of the part taken by the Third Iowa Battery in the engagement of
In accordance with previous instructions, at 3.30 a.m. I ordered one section of the battery,
under command of Second Lieut. O. H. Lyon, to a point near Battery D, on the left of our line.
The second section, under command of Sergt. L. S. House, which has for some time been in
park on the right of the line, immediately upon the commencement of the battle pushed forward a
few hundred yards to our extreme right, and took position, supported by a portion of the Second
Infantry Brigade, Colonel [S. A.] Rice commanding, and the cavalry brigade, Colonel [Powell]
Clayton commanding. Immediately after getting into position, this section was joined by a
battery of steel guns, attached to the First Indiana Cavalry, and Colonel Clayton then assumed
command of the whole. This officer then changed the position of his guns to a point on the east
side of the levee, on our right, where he remained during the whole engagement. At 6 a.m. the
12-pounder howitzer, in charge of Sergt. L. S. House, was disabled by the breaking of the
understraps which fasten the cheeks to the axle-tree, the accident being caused by a recoil of the
gun. It was immediately taken to park for repairs, but could not be finished in time to take further
part in the engagement.
At 6.30 a.m. the third section, which until then remained in camp, was dispatched, in charge
of Orderly Sergt. J. J. Dengl, to re-enforce the right wing. On taking position, it immediately
opened, and kept up a constant and effective fire against the guns of the enemy, posted on the
hills on the extreme right, until recalled by order from the general commanding to Fort Curtis,
where it was again effectively employed against the enemy in their last charge on our works.
The section under Lieutenant Lyon was first engaged about 7 a.m., and was after that
constantly in action until the close of the battle, and for a considerable length of time very hotly
pressed. During the charge on Battery C Lieutenant Lyon changed the position of his 6-pounder
gun to command the ravine running from the Catholic Church westward, and, by his fire,
contributed very materially in repulsing the enemy. Separated as the battery was during the
whole engagement, it is impossible to give as complete an account of the part taken in it by the
different sections, and to notice particularly the conduct of my officers and men, as I could wish.
While my entire command did their duty nobly, justice to them compels me to report particularly
with regard to the following officers: Lieutenant Lyon was during the entire engagement with his
section, directing the fire of his guns and encouraging his men by his example to deeds of valor,
which, I am confident, the general commanding will appreciate. The lieutenant had his horse
wounded twice, severely though not fatally.
From Colonel Clayton I learn that Sergeant House, in charge of section, behaved finely,
displaying a great deal of courage and energy, as did also the other non-commissioned officers in
his command.
Of Orderly Sergt. J. J. Dengl, having charge of third section, I can speak from personal
observation. He was on hand, ready and active; with a thorough appreciation of the situation, he
showed himself to be emphatically an artillery officer.
Lieutenant Lyon speaks very highly of the conduct, under the most trying circumstances, of
the non-commissioned officers of his command, particularly of Corpl. Daniel Folsom, gunner.
The loss of the battery is very light, having lost 1 horse killed and 7 horses wounded.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
I am, your most obedient servant,
First Lieutenant Third Iowa Battery, Commanding.
Capt. A. BLOCKI,
Assistant Adjutant-General, U.S. Forces, Helena, Ark.
Congratulatory orders.
Camp at Wittsburg, Ark., July 29, 1863.
The commanding general of the division desires to thank, in General Orders, James D. Jenks,
of the First Iowa Cavalry, and the 50 brave men of that regiment under his command.
Starting from a point 100 miles from Helena, they marched through a country held by the
enemy and infested by guerrillas; dashing upon his outposts wherever he found them; crossing
the L'Anguille River under fire of the enemy's pickets; taking 6 prisoners on his road; wounding
1 officer and 1 private, who fell into our hands; destroying his dispatches and communicating
their contents to the commander at Helena, without losing an item, his whole conduct presents an
example of brilliant cavalry daring worthy of the study and imitation of every officer in this
By order of Brigadier-General Davidson:
Lieutenant and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Little Rock, Ark., September 22, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following, as supplementary to my report of the
12th instant:
Soon after my arrival at Helena, I received a letter from Commander Phelps, of the Navy,
offering the gunboats, under Lieutenant Bache, lying at the mouth of White River, to co-operate
with me. I wrote to Lieutenant Bache, requesting him to make a reconnaissance up White River.
He met General Davidson at Clarendon, and, having received a part of [G. A.] Eberhart's
battalion on board, proceeded up the river, entered Little Red, and, in the face of Marmaduke's
cavalry, destroyed a pontoon bridge and captured two steamers, the Kaskaskia and Sugg.
Subsequently, he made an expedition from Devall's Bluff to Augusta, and captured Colonel
Matlock, C. S. Army, and broke up a recruiting party at that point. Commander Phelps and
Lieutenant Bache have done everything in their power to further the object of the expedition.
It is reported that the rebel force at the fight on Bayou Fourche was composed of the brigades
of Tappan and Fagan and the cavalry division under Marmaduke. At the city the rebels
abandoned five iron guns, including two siege pieces disabled by us at Arkansas Post, and
subsequently patched up by them. At the arsenal we found a small amount of stores. There were
about 3,000 pounds of powder (assorted) in the magazine in good condition. Merrill destroyed a
portion of Price's train and captured some prisoners, but the pursuit was not as vigorous as it
should have been.
I recommend for the favorable consideration of the Government the following-named
officers: Brig. Gen. J. W. Davidson, U.S. Volunteers; Col. F. H. Manter, Thirty-second Missouri
Infantry; Col. J. M. Glover, Third Missouri Cavalry; Col. J. F. Ritter, First Missouri Cavalry, and
Lieut. Col. H. C. Caldwell, Third Iowa Cavalry.
I am under obligations to the following officers for valuable services, viz: First Lieut. G. O.
Sokalski, Second Cavalry, U.S. Army, acting assistant adjutant-general; Capt. Charles Scammon,
Ninth Illinois Cavalry, aide-de camp; Capt. A. H. Ryan, Seventeenth Illinois Infantry, aide-decamp;
First Lieut. F. Summers, acting engineer, and Capt. B. O. Carr, assistant quartermaster.
Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
Commanding Department of the Missouri.
Clarendon, Ark., August 15, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report to you that the expedition which I sent up the river,
consisting of two gunboats, under Captain Bache, U.S. Navy, and a battalion of the Thirtysecond
Iowa Infantry, under Maj. G. A. Eberhart, and of which I advised you by letter of the
11th instant, has returned completely successful. The gunboats captured in the Little Red the two
rebel steamers, Kaskaskia and Tom Sugg, in complete running order, and destroyed the bridge of
flats, or pontoon bridge, over which the ubiquitous Marmaduke had crossed the greater part of
his cavalry to the south side of Little Red. This was near Searcy. Major Eberhart lost 2 men
killed and 5 wounded, and one of the naval officers was wounded slightly. This infantry was
attached to my division as the guard to my batteries.
The information brought by the expedition is of a very positive character. Kirby Smith is at
Little Rock, and the rebels are concentrating and throwing up rifle-pits at Bayou Meto, 12 miles
this side of Little Rock, their left resting upon Brownsville. Marmaduke, who keeps Missouri in
a fright, is positively on the south side of Little Red, where I believed him to be, and on his way,
with part of his cavalry dismounted, to join Price.
I think, my dear general, every hour is precious to us now, and that you should have another
brigade, at least, of infantry. We are rich in artillery. I am endeavoring to gain all needful
information for you. I would be obliged to you to inform Schofield of our success, so that he may
not be apprehensive of a raid into Missouri.
We must have water-kegs sent out; one for each ambulance and wagon, if possible.
Very truly, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Major-General STEELE,
Commanding Army of Arkansas.
Camp near Bayou Meto, Ark., September 1, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to recount to you the operations of this division from August 1,
1863, up to the present date.
On the date above mentioned, August 1, the cavalry division left Wittsburg en route for
Clarendon, Ark.; arrived at the L'Anguille River on the 3d. On the 4th, the supply train was sent
from that point to Helena for the purpose of procuring supplies, while the command continued its
march. On the 6th, the Tenth Illinois and Third Missouri Cavalry were detached, under command
of Colonel [Dudley] Wickersham, of the Tenth Illinois Cavalry, and sent to Cotton Plant to cut
up Walker's brigade, which was reported at that place. It was found this brigade had crossed
White River. On the 8th of August, the division arrived at Clarendon. The next day the gunboats,
sent for by me from Wittsburg, came up White River to Clarendon, under command of Captain
Bache, U.S. Navy.
On the 13th, an expedition, consisting of three gunboats, under Captain Bache, having Major
[G. A.] Eberhart's battalion, of the Thirty-second Iowa Infantry, on board, went up the Little Red
to Searcy. This expedition returned on the 15th, having captured two rebel steamers, in good
running order (the Kaskaskia and Tom Sugg), and having destroyed the bridge of hats over
which Marmaduke crossed his command, and within 3 miles of his (then) headquarters.
Subsequently information has been received that, among others, Colonel Gilkey, C. S. Army,
was killed by the troops of this expedition.
On the 17th, General Steele arrived at Clarendon and assumed command of the Arkansas
expedition, of which the cavalry division now forms a part. The cavalry division crossed White
River, August 18, having been detached to the front by Major-General Steele, to ascertain the
position and intention of the enemy.
On the 23d, the reserve brigade, Colonel [J. F.] Ritter commanding, was detached to hunt up
Walker, said to be camped in observation from 7 to 10 miles on our right front. Walker had
fallen back on Ritter's approach. The whole division marched on the 25th (the baggage train
being left in charge of Lieutenant-Colonel [James] Stuart, with his regiment, the Tenth Illinois
Cavalry, at Bayou Two Prairies), and encountered Marmaduke's and Walker's troops posted at
Brownsville, with two pieces of artillery. The enemy were driven out after a short action by the
First Brigade, under Colonel [W. F.] Geiger, and Hadley's battery, and pursued 9 miles, when,
night coming on, the brigade returned to Brownsville. Among the prisoners captured this day
was Colonel Burbridge, C. S. Army, commanding a brigade. Major Rogers, Merrill's Horse,
commanding line of skirmishers, deserves special mention.
The next morning a reconnaissance, consisting of the First Iowa and Third Missouri Cavalry,
of the Second Brigade, and Clarkson's battery, was pushed out toward Bayou Meto, on the main
Little Rock road. The enemy were found posted in force at a position about 9 miles beyond
Brownsville, estimated by Colonel [J. M.] Glover, commanding, at 6,000 strong, who, after
examining their position, returned. On this day the baggage train, under Lieutenant-Colonel
Stuart, moved up to the command.
The whole division marched again on the 27th, leaving the baggage parked in depot camp at
Brownsville, under charge of Lieutenant-Colonel [J. L.] Chandler, with his regiment (Seventh
Missouri Cavalry) and Lovejoy's battery. The enemy was found posted in the position of the day
before. The ground not admitting of the display of more troops, the Second Brigade was brought
into action, under Colonel Glover, commanding, in the following order: Line of skirmishers--
one battalion Tenth Illinois Cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart; Major Eberhart's battalion,
Thirty-second Iowa Infantry, on the left; the Third Missouri Cavalry (dismounted), armed with
carbines and rifles, on the right; Clarkson's four-gun battery and a section of Hadley's in the
center, supported by two dismounted squadrons of the First Iowa Cavalry, the balance of the
First Iowa and the remaining battalion of the Tenth Illinois forming the second line. The Reserve
and First Brigades were directed to hold themselves in readiness to move up to the support of the
other troops in case an opportunity should occur for employing them. The enemy were driven
from this position and a second one, until finally they were met in their intrenched camp, threequarters
of a mile this side of the bridge, over the Bayou Meto. After a sharp action they were
driven out of their rifle-pits and across the Bayou Meto. A dash of the First Iowa Cavalry, under
my orders, gallantly led by Lieutenant-Colonel [D.] Anderson, commanding, under fire of the
enemy's battery and sharpshooters lining the opposite bank, failed to save the bridge, which had
been set on fire by the enemy, everything having been prepared beforehand for that purpose. Our
batteries engaged those of the enemy, and the skirmishers on both sides were busy for about an
hour and a half, when, finding no further good could be accomplished (the bridge over the bayou
being destroyed and the ground improper for cavalry), the division returned to the camp of its
baggage. Our loss in this action was 7 killed and 35 wounded ; that of the enemy is variously
reported, and is not at this date known. Among their wounded were Brigadier-General
Marmaduke, commanding a division, and Captain Anderson and two other members of Major
General Walke,'s staff.
On the 29th, another reconnaissance was made, on a different road, to the left, consisting of a
battalion of Merrill's Horse, and one battalion of the Eighth Missouri Cavalry, and a section of
Lovejoy's battery, under Colonel Geiger, commanding First Brigade, accompanied by
Lieutenant-Colonel [H. C.] Caldwell, chief of staff, 12 miles beyond Brownsville, without
discovering any force of the enemy.
On the 30th, Ritter's brigade was ordered to follow up this reconnaissance, on the same road,
having with it Stange's battery of mountain howitzers. The enemy were encountered in some
force beyond the Bayou Meto, 8 miles from Brownsville, evidently making a reconnaissance.
They were driven, with sharp skirmishing, by Colonel Ritter, 8 miles, and until the ground
became totally unsuitable for the action of cavalry; the enemy leaving 9 of their killed upon the
field. Ritter's loss was 1 captain and 4 men wounded.
Information obtained from a wounded prisoner shows the enemy to be intrenched about 3
miles this side of Little Rock, with a force of 11,000 infantry and 4,500 cavalry, the infantry
consisting of the brigades of Frost, Fagan, Parsons, McRae, and Tappan, and the cavalry of the
divisions of Marmaduke and Walker. Their artillery is variously estimated from thirty to fifty
guns. All subsequent information from captured citizens, spies, and deserters confirms this
statement in a greater or less degree.
On the 1st of September, the infantry began to arrive, preparatory to the whole army taking
up its line of march. The railroad and the three bridges over the Bayou Meto are preserved
uninjured. The brigade commanders, Colonels Glover, Ritter, and Geiger (Merrill being sick),
especially deserve commendation throughout these operations. All my staff---Lieutenant-Colonel
[H. C.] Caldwell, Third Iowa Cavalry, acting chief of staff; Major [William] Thompson, First
Iowa Cavalry, division inspector; Captain [W. W.] Cantine, subsistence department; Lieut. A. S.
Montgomery, Seventh Missouri Cavalry, acting assistant adjutant general, and Lieutenants [J.
M.] Sprague, [G. K.] McGunnegle, and [J. R.] Gray, aides de-camps, and Capt. Anton Gerster,
chief engineer (Captain [B. O.] Carr, chief quartermaster, was transferred to the staff of Major-
General Steele, August 18, and merited my warmest approval while with me)--have efficiently
aided me, especially Lieutenant-Colonel Caldwell, Third Iowa Cavalry, whose accomplishments
and gallantry as a soldier deserve acknowledgment.
Recapitulation of the actions of Brownsville, Bayou Meto, and Shallow Ford, August 25, 27,
and 30.
Officers killed 1
Officers wounded 2
Enlisted men killed 8
Enlisted men wounded 49
Total 60
I am, sir, your most obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Col. F. H. MANTER,
Chief of Staff, Arkansas Expedition.
(Same to assistant adjutant-general, Department of the Missouri.)
P. S.--The battalion (Thirty-second Iowa Infantry), four companies strong, Major Eberhart
commanding, deserves the greatest praise for having marched 400 miles with this division,
sharing in all its labors and actions. I have to especially thank Colonel Wickersham, Tenth
Illinois Cavalry, who left his sick bed, although too unwell to take command of his regiment, and
accompanied it during the action of the 27th.
Little Rock, Ark., September 12, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report the operations of my division on the 10th instant, the
day of the capture of Little Rock.
The plan agreed upon by General Steele the preceding day was that he, with the whole
infantry force, should move up the north bank of the Arkansas, directly upon the enemy's works,
while my cavalry division should three the passage of the river, move up the south bank, and
assail the city in the rear. All necessary arrangements were made that night. Lieutenant-Colonel
Caldwell, Captains [J. L.] Hadley and [Anton] Gerster, of my staff, worked all night at the
cutting of the steep bank of the river, the location of the batteries, and the laying of the bridge. A
division of infantry, under Colonel Engelmann, was placed temporarily at my disposition, and
was in position above the crossing at daylight. So also were Hadley's and Stange's batteries and
the Fitch and Eleventh Ohio. Merrill's and Glover's brigades were massed out of sight, behind the
crossing, at 8 a.m., and the laying of the pontoon bridge was completed at that hour. Ritter's
brigade, with Clarkson's battery, was ordered to make a demonstration 4 miles below, at Buck's
Ford, then held by the enemy. The passage was effected by 11 a.m., all three brigades crossing at
the same point, the opposition of the enemy not lasting fifteen minutes under the concentrated
fire of our batteries.
No further opposition was met with by my division until we reached Fourche Bayou, 5 miles
from Little Rock. Here we found the enemy, consisting of Marmaduke's cavalry, dismounted,
and Tappan's brigade of infantry, with two batteries, strongly posted.
A sharp fight of Glover's brigade on one road and Merrill's on another, leading into the main
one, during which the Second Brigade lost two howitzers, drove the enemy from this position
toward the city. Every advantageous foot of ground from this point onward was warmly
contested by them, my cavalry dismounting and taking it afoot in the timber and cornfields. I had
previously sent an officer of my escort, Lieutenant Armstrong, with a guidon, to follow along the
bank of the river to mark the progress of my column to General Steele. The fire of his batteries
from the opposite bank, progressively, was of infinite service to us.
My advance was here somewhat slow, from the fact that the enemy, finding themselves
threatened in rear, evacuated their works in front of General Steele, and I did not know at what
moment their whole force might be thrown upon me. I received a message from General Steele
in such event to withdraw my horses under the bluff bank of the river on the bar, and his batteries
would protect my flanks. Finding, however, that the opposition of the enemy was not stubborn
enough to warrant the belief that they were all in front of me, I ordered a vigorous advance of
Glover's brigade, and when they became exhausted within 2 miles of the city, threw Ritter's
brigade and Stange's howitzers, supported by two squadrons of the First Iowa Cavalry, under the
gallant Captain Jenks, into the city and on the heels of the enemy, saber in hand. At 7 p.m. the
capital of Arkansas was formally surrendered by the acting civil authorities, and the United
States arsenal, uninjured, with what stores remained in it, was repossessed.
Later in the evening, General Steele, whose forces had entered the works on the opposite side
of the river, came over, the enemy not being able to entirely destroy their bridge of boats.
A column was organized under Colonels Merrill and Clayton to pursue vigorously the next
My loss does not exceed, as far as known, 60 killed and wounded. That of the enemy is not
known. Among their killed is Colonel [S.] Corley, of Dobbin's former regiment.
My whole staff--Lieutenant-Colonel Caldwell, Captains Hadley and Gerster, Lieutenants
Montgomery and McGunnegle, Gray and Sprague, and Surgeon Smith, Quartermaster Johnston,
and Captain Thompson, commissary of subsistence--served me faithfully throughout the day.
The brigade commanders, especially Colonel Glover, Second Brigade, deserve honorable
mention. Colonel Glover deserves his promotion as a general officer. Lieutenant-Colonel
Caldwell, whose untiring devotion and energy never flag during the night nor day, deserves, for
his gallantry and varied accomplishments as a cavalry officer, promotion to the rank of a general
officer. Beyond these, I must refer to the reports of brigade commanders, herewith inclosed, for
the many cases of individual good judgment and gallantry displayed.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
Col. F. H. MANTER,
Chief of Staff.
LITTLE ROCK, ARK., September 15, 1863.
SIR: In compliance with the order of the general commanding the cavalry division, I have the
honor to make the following report of the part taken by the First Brigade, under my command, in
the engagement with the enemy on the 10th, resulting in the capture of Little Rock:
During the evening of the 9th, in a personal interview with the general commanding the
cavalry division, he explained the general features of the plan of attack, and gave me my orders
for the succeeding day, as far as was then possible to do. These were, to move with my brigade
so as to reach by 8 o'clock of the following morning a point near the pontoon bridge, but masked
from the view of the enemy; to take position upon arriving there upon the left of the Second
Brigade, and be prepared to cross immediately behind it; that, after crossing the river, my brigade
would march in the rear of everything and be held in reserve, except that it was charged with the
protection of the left and rear of the main column.
My brigade was promptly on the ground indicated, and, after some delay tot the completion
of the bridge, I requested and received permission of the general to ford the river above the
bridge. This was accomplished without difficulty, the ford being entirely practicable for
anything. During the succeeding march up the right bank of the Arkansas toward the town (some
8 miles distant), the Second Brigade, in my front, became sharply engaged with the enemy at the
crossing of the Fourche Bayou. Here I was directed to halt my column and send a regiment to
support tour pieces of Hadley's battery, then in position on the sand-bar, and engaged. For this
purpose 1 sent the Seventh Missouri, under Lieutenant-Colonel [J. L.] Chandler, my leading
regiment. From some misconception of orders, the regiment was left in my rear after being
relieved from this duty, and I did not again have a report from them until late in the engagement,
after it was too late to bring them into action. I had meanwhile moved up the rest of my column
on the road near to where I found two of Hadley's pieces in position, and held it there awaiting
orders. In the course of half an hour I received, through Lieutenant-Colonel [H. C.] Caldwell,
chief of staff, an order to take the left-hand or main road across Fourche Bayou, and, making my
own dispositions against the enemy, to push up the road.
I immediately dismounted the Eighth Missouri, under Colonel [W. F.] Geiger, and ordered
him forward on the left-hand road, directing him to push forward a line of skirmishers in the
corn-fields, between which the road ran, and feel the position of the enemy, believed to be upon
that road. I followed him immediately with the section of Hadley's battery, then ordered to report
to me, supported by Merrill's Horse, under Major [G.] Harker, my last remaining regiment. Just
as I was starting, I was informed by the general's chief of staff that he had just that moment
learned that the First Iowa was on the road ahead of me, and directed to be careful and not
mistake them. The information was conveyed to the Eighth at once, and Colonel Geiger
immediately deployed his line, pushing forward to the support of the two squadrons of the First
Iowa, then skirmishing with the enemy in front. The remainder of the First Iowa I found drawn
up in line of battle in the corn-field, on the right of the road. One of their guidons was
incautiously exposed near the road, and a hot fire of shells and spherical case was drawn upon
them from the enemy's battery, posted at the dam across the bayou. I ordered them to move back
into the field farther and conceal their guidons, which was done. Shortly afterward, upon sending
for them to support a battery, I was informed that they had been ordered out and had moved to
the rear, by whose orders I could not learn, as the order was not given through me. Just at this
time a heavy fire of artillery opened from the left of the road, and near my line of skirmishers,
somewhat alarming me at first, from thinking that the enemy had opened a battery on my left
rear. I found immediately, however, upon riding toward where the battery was posted, that it was
a section of Stange's howitzers, of whose presence on my line of attack I now learned for the first
time. The ground, as will be seen by the accompanying sketch, was very difficult to reconnoiter.
It was impossible to see anything in the corn-fields or beyond them except on the road where the
enemy's battery was posted, and only the smoke and flash of their guns could be seen there, as
they were behind the levee, across the bayou. My line of skirmishers was so weak from the
smallness of my force that I could not push it to connect with Glover's left, which I wished to do.
This left me in great doubt as to his position. I had found that in my front, commanding the road,
and very well served, was a battery of two 12-pounder howitzers, well sheltered behind the
levee, across the bayou, on my right front, and where I afterward learned the bayou makes a
sharp curve to the east was a single 12-pounder howitzer. These guns were supported by a strong
line of skirmishers on the west side of the bayou, and a weak line in the same cornfield in which
my line was advancing. On my right was the Bayou Fourche, between [J. M.] Glover and myself,
as it proved afterward, entirely impracticable, though all the guides with whom I conversed
stated that it was entirely dry and passable anywhere below the dam. I supposed at first that
Glover's line extended to the bayou, and that it was moving up pari passu with mine and on its
prolongation. It proved afterward that at first his left did not extend to the bayou, and that the
direction of his line formed a sharp angle with mine, bending more to the front, and lying in my
right rear. Simultaneous with the movement of Geiger's line of skirmishers, Hadley's section,
notified of the position in front, was ordered to move to the left of the road, supported by two
squadrons of Merrill's Horse, into the corn-field, and move forward parallel with the road, and,
when the enemy's skirmishers were driven from the cornfield, to push to the front until the
enemy's battery could be seen, and open on it. This order, for some reason not as yet
satisfactorily explained to me, was not obeyed; and when the battery was about midway of the
corn-field it was withdrawn by Captain Hadley, the general's chief of artillery, and taken, under
his direction, to the road leading to the left of the main road, and afterward to the right of the
main road, where he received my reluctant permission to fire at the enemy's battery at a long
range. No apparent effect was produced by his fire, except to explode one shell among our own
skirmishers, and I ordered his firing to cease and his section to be taken to the rear out of any
possible danger, and where I could use it in case what seemed to be an effort to turn my right
flank should prove successful.
Being under the impression that the bayou below the dam was perfectly dry and practicable
at every point, my inability to connect with Glover's left gave me some apprehensions as to my
right, which I feared might be turned, as I knew, from the character of Glover's first attack, that
the enemy occupied the woods beyond the bayou on my right in force. All that I could spare of
Merrill's Horse were dismounted and sent in on the right, in the endeavor to find out where
Glover's left extended. Just as they got into position, and still not reaching to the bayou, the
whole line of skirmishers being then advanced to the position marked in the accompanying
sketch, I heard a heavy infantry fire on my right rear, and, riding toward the right to observe, if
possible, what it was, was met by a message from Major [J. B.] Rogers, commanding the right of
the line of skirmishers, to the effect that he was flanked by the enemy on the right, and that they
were pouring in a heavy discharge of grape and canister from the gun on his right front and of
musketry from his right rear. At the same time Colonel Geiger, commanding the center of the
line, informed me that the two guns on the road had gotten the range of his line of skirmishers,
and had them under a heavy fire of grape and canister. Major Harker, with the remaining three
squadrons of Merrill's Horse, was now disposed behind the right of the line to foil any attempt to
turn it. Already a staff officer and then an orderly, having no staff left, had been sent to find
where the left of Glover's line was, and, hearing nothing from them, I gave Colonel Geiger
orders to hold everything as it was, and went myself to examine the bayou on the other side, and
find, if possible, what Glover's position was with reference to mine. On reaching the bayou, I
found to my surprise that it was full of water, except just at the mouth, and apparently
impassable. Riding a little farther, I found that the left of Glover's line of skirmishers was very
considerably in rear of my right, and was overshooting the enemy into my line. I immediately
sent an order to the whole of my line to move forward and drive the enemy from his position,
informing Major Rogers that his right was protected by the bayou. Shortly after, on my way
back, I was overtaken by the general, and informed him of the state of the case, and asked to
have the left of Glover's line notified. The line moved forward as directed, driving the enemy
from the corn-field and across the bayou; at the same time Glover had upon his side, as I was
informed by the general, pushed back the right of their line, and they at once limbered up their
guns and retired their whole line together. I pushed up to and over the bayou, and reconnoitered
the corn-field in front, without finding anything.
The road here makes a sharp turn to the right, and runs along the bayou until, reaching the
turn of the bayou, it intersects the right-hand road, upon which Glover was marching. While
reconnoitering the ground in my front and right, I received a message from the general, saying
that Glover passed the intersection of the two roads, and directing me to bring up my brigade in
column in rear of Glover's (Second) brigade and Ritter's (Third) brigade, protecting the rear and
left flank. I had meanwhile informed the general of the disposition I had made of my force--the
Eighth behind the bayou, with Stange's section of howitzers, to prevent any attempt of the enemy
to recross the bayou, and Merrill's Horse, on Glover's left flank, protecting his left. This latter
movement was not well executed, from ignorance of the topography of the country and the
direction of the main road. The Eighth was now withdrawn, and the brigade reformed and
marched in column in the place indicated by the order, with occasional exceptions, rendered
necessary to secure the left flank of the main column. In this place it was marched, without being
again engaged, into Little Rock.
The misfortune of having only a vague idea of the topography of the battle-ground prevented
me from using my position in the right rear of the line of the enemy opposed to Glover to greater
advantage in giving them a flank fire, and the weakness of my force prevented me from learning
earlier in the action that the bayou was impracticable below as well as above the dam, a
knowledge that would have freed me from apprehension in regard to the heavy firing on my right
rear, and left me free to push the right of the line boldly instead of with the caution with which it
was advanced. The negro guide whom I had with me disappeared with the first shell that
exploded near me, and was not to be found again during the action. It is due to Colonel Glover's
line of skirmishers to say that they could not see my line of skirmishers, and that it was their
overshooting of the enemy which made the fire fall among my men.
The loss in my brigade was 12 wounded (1 mortally, and since dead), all belonging to the
Eighth Missouri. I have understood, unofficially, that the part of the First Iowa on my line lost
several men, though 1 have no authenticated report.
Of the conduct of the Eighth and Merrill's Horse during the whole action, I cannot speak too
highly. They moved forward through the corn-field under a heavy cross-fire of grape, canister,
and spherical case from the guns in front and right front, and at one time a sharp fire from
Glover's left upon their right rear, steadily driving the enemy's skirmishers before them, until
they drove them across the bayou.
Colonel Geiger, of the Eighth Missouri, deserves especial mention for the ability with which
he handled his part of the line; and the coolness and courage with which the field officers of both
the Eighth and Merrill's Horse held their men steady, and pushed forward under a galling fire, is
worthy of praise.
The officers of my staff-Lieutenant [H. A.] Gleim, Second Missouri Artillery, and
Lieutenants [D. O.] Crane and [A. S.] Phelps, Merrill's Horse--bore themselves throughout like
soldiers; especially at one time while I was changing horses, and happened to be in range of the
two-gun battery of the enemy while it was shelling Stange's section (the first time under fire for
two of them), they brought and carried their messages and orders with as much coolness as
veterans of many battles.
This report has been delayed from the fact that the 11th and 12th were occupied in the pursuit
of the enemy, and the report of the different regimental commanders could not be made out in
time to have made up this report any sooner.
Congratulating the general and his command upon the brilliant finale of our long and tedious
march, I have the honor to remain, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding First Brigade.
Lieutenant [A. S.] MONTGOMERY,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Camp near Brownsville, Ark., August 28, 1863.
LIEUTENANT: 1 have the honor to report that, on the 26th of August, 1863, two regiments
of my brigade (the First Iowa and the Third Missouri Cavalry Volunteers) and one section each
of [G. F.] Lovejoy's and [T. S.] Clarkson's batteries were ordered on a reconnaissance, and to
push the enemy as far as possible toward the Bayou Meto without bringing on a general
engagement. The First Iowa Cavalry being in advance, a heavy line of skirmishers, in command
of Captain [J. D.] Jenks, was thrown to the front, some 6 miles from Brownsville; struck his
pickets and drove them about 4 miles back to their main body, some 2 miles east of the bayou,
killing 1 rebel captain (Powell, of Platte City, Mo.), 2 privates, and capturing 1 prisoner. Here the
enemy opened artillery upon us, to which ours soon replied. After a considerable artillery duel, I
ordered Lieutenant Lovejoy to advance his section, in the doing of which he had one cannoneer
pierced through with a solid shot and killed instantly, so well did the enemy have the range of the
road. I then advanced in person, reconnoitered hastily the enemy's position, and determined to
feel him further, and so ordered up Lovejoy's section, well supported with cavalry. In this
position we stood face to face. After a more thorough review of the enemy's position and my
own, perceiving his great advantage in this respect, and knowing his great superiority in
numerical strength, and being satisfied a further offensive demonstration would result in a
general engagement, in which all the advantages were against me, I deployed quite an amount of
cavalry in front of my artillery, masking the same, while it was rapidly taken from the field, and
retired with my command to a safe distance. This done, I called off the force covering my rear,
and withdrew the whole in good order, and without further loss, to my former encampment near
On the morning of the 27th, at sunrise, the division moved out upon the road leading to the
Bayou Meto Bridge, my brigade taking the advance, protected by a battalion of the Tenth
Illinois, deployed as skirmishers, supported by two other squadrons, all under the immediate
command of Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart. At some 5 miles from the bridge, our advance
skirmishers met those of the enemy. A brisk fire ensued, the enemy falling back. At some 3 miles
from the bayou he made another stand, where he was again sharply encountered by the Tenth
Illinois. At this place Lieutenant [J. P.] Kavanaugh was killed. Here the commanding general
ordered my whole brigade formed for action, in obedience to which I made the following
dispositions, viz: Placed two battalions Third Missouri Cavalry Volunteers (dismounted) to fight
on foot on the right of the road in order of battle; on the left of the road, placed in order of battle
one battalion of the Thirty-second Iowa Infantry, as it was ordered to report to me during the
day; on the left of this, placed the Third Battalion of the Third Missouri (dismounted), the
artillery being in the center. As a reserve, the First Iowa Cavalry and four squadrons of the Tenth
Illinois Cavalry (mounted) were formed in the rear, and six squadrons of the Tenth Illinois were
placed on the right flank. In this order, with a heavy line of skirmishers covering my whole
front, the brigade moved forward. It soon met opposition from the enemy's small-arms and
artillery, but he was steadily driven from ridge to ridge through the thick brush on either side of
the road by the firm and resolute advance of my brigade, assisted by the timely use of the
artillery, back to a very strong and elevated position, covered by extended rifle-pits on the left,
where he made a more obstinate stand, holding my command in check for a brief period, when
the Third Missouri Cavalry, on the right, charged and drove back the enemy in their front, thus
flanking his rifle-pits, and compelling him to abandon them under a simultaneous charge upon
the left of the line, when the whole force of the enemy gave way, and fled in the greatest disorder
and confusion toward the Bayou Meto. The artillery was now ordered up, and poured a terrible
bombardment on their fleeing columns for twenty-five or thirty minutes, when the bridge was
seen to be on fire. The general commanding then directed that the First Iowa Cavalry should
charge and save the bridge, if possible. Lieutenant-Colonel [Daniel] Anderson, at the head of his
regiment, led a gallant charge in the face of a terrible fire of artillery and small-arms, having his
own horse shot under him, his command suffering considerably. From the intensity of the fire in
the direction of the First Iowa Cavalry, it was evident they needed support. I suggested that a
new position be selected for our batteries to cover and relieve the First Iowa Cavalry, now
dismounted, and sharply engaged with the enemy. Receiving permission, I hastened to the front
amidst a heavy fire of the enemy's artillery, reconnoitered, and selected an excellent position
overlooking and commanding his. Our artillery was instantly ordered up, with supports, and
placed in position under a continued fire from that of the enemy. Our batteries, in position,
opened a tremendous fire, soon silencing the enemy's guns and driving them from their position.
The Third Missouri Cavalry and Thirty-second Iowa Infantry had now boldly forced their way to
the bank of the bayou on the left, pushing the enemy across it, it now being evident that there
was a strong force of the enemy on this side the' bayou, on the right of our line. After taking
proper precaution for the safety of my right flank, I ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart, of the
Tenth Illinois, with a portion of his regiment, to drive them back, which this excellent officer
promptly executed, putting them across the bayou, after a very hot contest. The purpose of the
commanding general now having been consummated, and the evening far advanced, I was
ordered to retire with my brigade to my former camp, near Brownsville, as there were no
comforts for man or beast short of that point.
I now desire to speak in the highest terms of Lieutenant-Colonel [T. G.] Black, of the Third
Missouri, Stuart, of the Tenth Illinois, and Anderson, of the First Iowa, my regimental
commanders, for coolness, daring, and good judgment, cheerful and prompt in obedience to
orders. The efficiency of our dismounted cavalry was to-day thoroughly tested. Of the Third
Missouri and Tenth Illinois I must say they fought with the confidence of veteran infantry. I
desire to bear testimony to the universal good conduct of officers and men. It is due to Major [G.
A.] Eberhart and his battalion, of the Thirty-second Iowa Infantry, to say they gave a hearty and
efficient co-operation.
Although the artillery was not formally under my command, yet circumstances sometimes
placed it there. I am gratified to acknowledge the cheerful obedience to orders and the fearless
conduct of the officers in charge, especially in the case of Lieutenant Clarkson, whose battery
was in the advance during the day. The earnest but honorable competition between the three
regiments of my brigade resulted, as it is likely to do in the future, in the complete rout and
defeat of the foe.
I must express my admiration for the coolness, bravery, and efficiency of my staff officers.
Captains Freeman and Snelling and Lieutenants Haines and Johnson, who were exposed to the
hottest of the fire and thickest of the danger, have my sincere thanks for their cordial support.
Casualties, 43 killed and wounded in my brigade proper.
I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Second Brigade, Cavalry Division.
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Cavalry Division.
Timm's House, near Little Rock, Ark., September 14, 1863.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to make the following report of the operations of the troops
under my command on the 10th instant, by which Little Rock fell into our hands:
Late in the evening of the 9th instant, I was summoned to the headquarters of General
Davidson, at Ashley's Mills, with other brigade commanders of our division. There it was
announced by him that early the next morning the whole available force of the army would
move; the infantry, under General Steele, to assault the enemy's strong works on the north side of
the river, while our cavalry division was to cross the Arkansas River 8 miles below, and move to
the capture of Little Rock. He stated that no ordinary obstacle was to be allowed to defeat the
purpose of the division; that we were to make a dash upon the city and capture it, and either hold
or destroy the enemy's bridges, though it cost us one of our regiments. I was pleased with the
announcement that it was my turn to lead the division in this honorable but hazardous enterprise,
unless Colonel [J. F.] Ritter, who was to effect a crossing with his cavalry three below, should
reach a certain point on the main road before I did, which he did not do.
At 6.30 a.m. on the 10th instant, my brigade moved up the river some 3 miles, Colonel
Merrill's following, and was masked in a thick woods adjacent to the pontoon bridge then being
thrown across the river. As soon as the bridge was done, General Davidson ordered over a
brigade of infantry to take possession of a levee in the opposite woods, to cover and protect my
brigade while crossing and forming, as the enemy had opened artillery upon us. At about 9 a.m.
my brigade began to cross the river. When two squadrons of the First Iowa Cavalry were over,
they were ordered to the woods in front, where I found the infantry. I requested the officer
commanding infantry brigade, as per his orders, to move out and cover my front until my troops
were over. This he refused to do, when I promptly ordered up two squadrons of the First Iowa (to
cover and protect his front, deeming he felt in need of it) to move forward, take, and hold the
levee, which was done at the word. As soon as my command was fairly over, it moved out to the
road running up the river to Little Rock in the following order of march: The First Iowa Cavalry
leading, with a line of skirmishers of three squadrons (A, L, and M), in command of the intrepid
Captain [J. D.] Jenks; an advance guard of same regiment, followed by one section of Stange's
battery, Second Missouri Artillery. In rear of the First Iowa came the remainder of said battery;
then the Tenth Illinois Cavalry, and in rear of the Tenth came the Third Cavalry Missouri
Volunteers. In this order my brigade had not moved more than 1 miles on the river road, when
the enemy opened a heavy volley of musketry, soon repeated, accompanied with artillery. The
firing commenced precisely at 12 m.
In obedience to the orders of the commanding general of the division (and a habit of the
Second Brigade), we forced our way rapidly to the mouth of one branch of the Fourche Bayou,
which empties into the Arkansas River at this point, some 6 miles below the city. Here the road
forks, the right-hand road running up the river through a dense forest of heavy standing and
fallen timber. The left-hand road turns, at a right angle, to the left of the Fourche Bayou. Cornfields
on both sides for the distance of nearly a mile, where it again forks, the right prong turning
across the Fourche and what is call d the levee, and in 600 or 800 yards again intersects the river
road. Having been previously informed of the character of the country and the direction of these
roads, and having discovered from the head of my column dense lines of dust rising on the levee
road, and having received information from negroes to the same effect, I at once concluded that
the heavier forces of the enemy had gone on that road. In view of these things, and the further
reason that my left flank was entirely open, with no natural defenses, and the supporting brigade
not being at hand, and fearing if I should move with my whole brigade on the direct right-hand
road, having the impassable Fourche on my left and the Arkansas River on my right, the enemy
would rush between me and Colonel Merrill, dividing our forces----in view of these facts and
surroundings, I made the following disposition of my forces: Sent the First Iowa Cavalry on the
levee road, with one section of howitzers, and a caution about our left flank; the Tenth Illinois on
the direct road to the right of the bayou, with Lovejoy's section of howitzers, intending to support
the First Iowa with the Third Missouri Cavalry. Lieutenant-Colonel [J.] Stuart, commanding
Tenth Illinois Cavalry, had not moved but a short distance into the dense woods when he met the
enemy's mounted skirmishers. He at once assailed and drove them back with the two advance
squadrons of his regiment (Companies B and H), to a point where a deadly fire was poured in
upon him from an overwhelming force of the enemy, dismounted and in ambush. This caused
these squadrons to fall back upon the balance of the regiment advancing to his support, which
necessarily fell into some disorder; the enemy pursuing and pouring in a terrible fire. When the
enemy first opened on the Tenth, I ordered Lovejoy's section to take position and operate against
him by the right flank of the two squadrons engaged in the woods, while the balance of the Tenth
was moving up to give sure support to the artillery, as I thought, for at this time I did not suppose
the enemy was strong there. I soon discovered, however, that he was in force, and that the
cavalry of the Tenth alone could not successfully resist him, as they were necessarily becoming
more confused where the leaden hail filled the air. Seeing the howitzers would soon be in danger,
I repeatedly ordered them back, and, by the assistance of Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart, who here
received a severe contusion on the top of the head by a bullet, held the cavalry as long as
possible to save the section, but in vain, as no one at the howitzers would obey orders. I then
ordered Captain Stange to put another section of his that had arrived in battery, and open upon
the enemy, which, had he done, the other section of howitzers could have been saved; but,
instead of obeying orders, he fell back, and even failed to fire from where he was, which was an
excellent range for grape and canister. I can assure the commanding general the loss of these two
guns is attributable to the officers in charge, and the unavoidable confusion in the cavalry,
having to contend with a dismounted enemy, covered by a thick forest. I believe the
commanding general will do me the justice to say, as he was himself on the field and saw part of
my efforts, that I exhausted every means in my power, save that of life, to rescue these guns. I
remained on the ground until my horse was shot three times under me, and then retired only to
bring up my own regiment. These demonstrations proved that the enemy had massed his heavy
threes between the Bayou Fourche and the Arkansas River. I now determined to fight him in his
own way, and brought up the Tenth Illinois and Third Missouri, and dismounted them to fight on
foot, in three lines. The first, a line of skirmishers; the second, the line of battle; the third, a
reserve; my right resting on the beach of the Arkansas River; my left on the Bayou Fourche. It
now became necessary to combine all my forces to vanquish a vaunting and defiant foe. I
therefore ordered the First Iowa Cavalry to countermarch and follow, mounted, at a supporting
distance, our dismounted lines. Before withdrawing the First Iowa, I explained to Colonel Merrill
the nature and connections of the roads, and suggested to him to send up his brigade as a
substitute, and fall on the rear of the enemy by way of the levee, and I would drive back and
capture his whole force. This result seemed to me inevitable, if this movement on the left should
be made. I now returned to my command, gave the order to advance, and in a few moments a
terrific and deadly fire prevailed along the whole line from friend and foe. Inch by inch did the
Tenth Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart commanding, and the Third Missouri, Capt. J. [H.]
Reed commanding, drive back the stubborn and sullen enemy. When, by the advance of my lines
upon the lost ground of the enemy, and by the divergence of the Fourche to the left, the front
became so expanded that our scanty troops could not occupy the ground, I ordered portions of
the First Iowa to both flanks and center, where they did heroic service, giving a general impetus
to our whole line. When our advance had reached that point at which the two roads intersect on
our left, and not finding Colonel Merrill's brigade co-operating, as I expected, I immediately
ordered Major Caldwell to move to the left, in a corn-field, two or three squadrons, who at once
unmasked the front of Colonel Merrill's brigade by driving the enemy in disorder, and capturing
a caisson filled with ammunition, and 6 mules. We failed of any co-operation from Colonel
Merrill's brigade on the north side of the bayou. With small-arms alone did we contend with an
enemy four times our number, supported and encouraged by a battery of artillery, which sent a
steady hail of solid shot, grape, and canister among our ranks. Such was the determination and
impetuosity of the officers and men of the Second Brigade, that the enemy had no time or place
to rest until he had been driven 3 miles, through the woods into the open fields, where they broke
and fled in the utmost disorder and confusion in the direction of Little Rock.
The Second Brigade, without any relief, having fought on foot some three hours, and traveled
some 3 miles, being perfectly exhausted, and their horses being behind, ceased the pursuit in 2
miles of Little Rock, while other portions of the division rode into the city.
The enemy left many of their dead upon the field, some of whom were devoured by hogs
before we could inter them.
If the commanding general will pardon the suggestion, I would say he was risking too much
in riding in front of and leading our lines during the battle.
It is with deep melancholy that I mention the death of First Lieut. Herbert Reed, of Company
E, Third Missouri Cavalry Volunteers. He was one of the noblest men of our army. He fell on the
left of our line by a solid shot from the enemy's battery, while he was dislodging it with smallarms.
I regret there is not time and space to mention by name all those that merit the highest
commendation. I cannot omit to mention the names of the following regimental and battalion
commanders, to wit: Major Caldwell, Major [L.] Chase, and Captain Jenks, of the First Iowa
Cavalry; Major [E. P.] Shaw, Captains [S. N.] Hitt and [W. A.] Chapin, of the Tenth Illinois
Cavalry; Captain [J. H.] Reed, commanding Third Missouri Cavalry, and his battalion
commanders, Captains [J. A.] Lennon and [J.] Crabtree, all for coolness, daring, and good
judgment. It is due especially to speak of the general good conduct and gallantry of the men and
officers of the Second Brigade. On this as on all other occasions they are strangers to defeat.
I now desire to speak in the most especial manner in commendation of Lieutenant-Colonel
Stuart, commanding Tenth Illinois Cavalry, as one of the most accomplished, brave, and selfsacrificing
officers in the cavalry service. I do not overrate his merits when I say to-day he
should wear a star for his long, able, and faithful services to his country. My staff officers,
Captains Freeman and Snelling and Lieutenants White and Haines, are worthy the most
honorable mention for their devotion, daring, and energy, going wherever my orders directed
them, regardless of every danger.
Accompanying, I submit a list of killed and wounded, which is very light, considering the
length of time and the obstinacy of the contest. It is to be attributed only to my injunctions that
the men should shelter themselves as much as possible.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Second Brigade, Cavalry Division.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Cavalry Division.
LITTLE ROCK, ARK., September 14, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to make the following report of the operations of the Tenth
Illinois Volunteers, under my command, during the engagement near Little Rock, Ark.,
September 10, 1863:
I was ordered by you to move my regiment to the front, at the point of woods, and to deploy
one squadron as skirmishers in front, with a support. I immediately deployed B squadron as
skirmishers, and placed H squadron as a support for it. I then ordered Major [E. P.] Shaw, whom
I left in command of the balance of the regiment, to march it in column of platoons close along
the bank of the river. My motive for directing the latter movement was to guard against a repulse
of B and H squadrons, which I then ordered to advance and attack the enemy, believing at the
time that the enemy's skirmishers was all I had to cope with at that point; and being informed by
you that the First Iowa Cavalry would move on the left-hand road along the bayou, and attack the
enemy on the center, while the First Brigade would move on the extreme left flank, and attack
them there, I moved my command up rapidly and opened the attack, the enemy keeping up a
sharp fire from their mounted skirmishers, whom we drove into a line of dismounted men in
ambush, who opened with such a murderous fire on my two squadrons as to cause them to fall
back, and, through some error, the balance of the regiment was deployed right front into line
instead of left into line, as I directed, and which would have brought them under the shelter of
the river bank, and enabled me to protect the other two companies in falling back. The
consequence was that they were exposed to a severe fire from the enemy, and fell into some
confusion. At that time I ordered Captain Stange to withdraw his howitzers. He said he could not
move them without orders from you. He then galloped to the rear, leaving them. I then ordered
the men to run them out by hand, but they all got under the gun carriages and did not obey. I then
rallied and brought up Companies B and H to their support, and while in the act of bringing up
Company E, I received a slight contusion by a rifle ball on the head, and before I recovered from
the effect of it, the enemy had possession of the two howitzers. I then reformed my regiment, and
dismounted them by your order; formed them into line of battle, and again attacked the enemy,
driving them several miles, and completely routing them.
I would likewise beg to state that, being left entirely without support, and the attack on the
left not having been made, as you gave me to understand would be, simultaneous with mine, the
enemy was enabled to concentrate all his forces against me; consequently the disorder in my
ranks and the loss of the howitzers. Had Captain Stange moved the two howitzers to the rear
when I directed it, or had the howitzers in the rear been placed in position to command the river
bank between the woods and the howitzers in advance, which could have been done without any
danger to them, and fired a few charges of canister, the enemy could not have taken the guns; but
Instead of that, they galloped off the field, until I brought them up with a cocked pistol at the
drivers' heads, to compel them to bring their pieces to the front, but too late to save the other
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Regiment.
GENERAL: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the First
Regiment Cavalry Iowa Volunteers in the operations of the 26th and 27th instant:
On the evening of the 25th, I received an order from Colonel Glover, commanding Second
Brigade, cavalry division, to report at daylight on the morning of the 26th, with my entire
effective force, to General Davidson, commanding cavalry division. At daylight on the morning
of the 26th, I reported with my regiment, and was assigned the advance on the road leading from
Brownsville to Bayou Meto.
Squadrons D, E, F, and G, under the immediate command of Captain [J. D.] Jenks, were sent
forward as advance line of skirmishers, and came upon the enemy's pickets soon after passing
our own outposts, to which place they had been driven on the evening of the 25th.
The regiment, supported by the Third Missouri Cavalry and a section of artillery, advanced
steadily, driving the enemy back toward their rifle-pits, a distance of 6 miles. No casualties
occurred during the day. The enemy's loss is not known. Captain [B. S.] Powell, of Marmaduke's
regiment [division], was left mortally wounded on the field.
In the afternoon we returned and bivouacked for the night on the road, 3 miles from
On the morning of the 27th, the regiment moved forward in rear of' the Third Missouri
Cavalry. Squadron E, having the advance, was deployed as skirmishers. Squadrons D and F were
sent to reconnoiter on the left of the main road leading to Bayou Meto. Squadrons G and It
supported the advance battery. When our advance had driven the enemy out of his camp and
rifle-pits, and he was retreating across the bayou at the bridge: the bridge was discovered on fire,
and the regiment was ordered by General Davidson, commanding division, to charge with drawn
sabers, and save the bridge, if possible. In making this charge, the regiment was exposed to a
terrible fire from the enemy's artillery and sharpshooters. We reached the bridge, but not in time
to save it; it was already enveloped in flames. The enemy were strongly posted in rifle-pits
beyond, and their batteries, having good range, were well directed. I then dismounted the
command and went forward on foot. Never have I seen greater coolness or courage displayed.
Not a man flinched from performing his whole duty as a brave and loyal soldier. When I had
ascertained the position of the enemy by severe skirmishing half an hour, I withdrew under cover
of the hill and out of range of their guns. In the charge my own horse was shot five times, and
many of my men were dismounted.
The following is a correct list of the killed, wounded, and missing of the regiment: Squadron
A, killed, 1; wounded, 3. Squadron B, wounded, 5. Squadron C, wounded and missing, 1;
wounded 6. Squadron E, wounded, 5. Squadron K, wounded and missing, 1; wounded 3.
Squadron L, wounded, 1. Squadron M, wounded, since dead, 1; wounded, 1.
Respectfully submitted.
Lieutenant-Colonel First Iowa Cavalry, Commanding.
Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C
LITTLE ROCK, ARK., September 13, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to make the following report of the action of the First Cavalry
Iowa Volunteers in the battle of the 10th instant:
On the evening of the 9th instant, I received orders to be in readiness to move early on the
morning of the 10th, with the effective force of the regiment, the transportation to remain
behind, under the direction of the regimental quartermaster.
On the morning of the 10th, the regiment marched from camp, at Ashley's Mills, at 6 o'clock,
and crossed the Arkansas River on a pontoon bridge, 8 miles below Little Rock. We were at once
assigned the advance, with orders to attack and drive the enemy, who was well posted on the
direct road to Little Rock. Squadrons A, L, and M, under the immediate command of Capt. [J.
D.] Jenks, were deployed as skirmishers. In this manner we moved forward 2 miles, through
cornfields and timber, successfully driving the enemy from every position, exposed most of the
time to a heavy fire of artillery and musketry. At this point, the Tenth Illinois, which followed in
supporting distance, became engaged on the right, and lost two small howitzers. The First Iowa
was then withdrawn from their position on the left, and moved to the right. The regiment was
here dismounted and moved forward. In a corn-field to the left of the road we captured 6 mules
and a caisson filled with ammunition. When we had driven the enemy, in vastly superior
numbers, beyond the house now occupied by Colonel Glover as his headquarters, having fought
on foot 3 miles, facing a tempest of lead and iron hail unflinchingly, almost exhausted, and the
enemy routed, we were relieved by the Third Brigade. After resting a short time, we were again
ordered forward, and moved into Little Rock. We bivouacked for the night in a grove in the
south part of the city.
I cannot speak too well of the officers and men of the regiment. Their conduct was
unexceptionable, and characteristic of the First Iowa Cavalry.
The following is a correct list of casualties: Nominal list reports 1 man killed and 1 officer
and 3 men wounded. We captured a few prisoners and lost some horses.
Respectfully submitted.
Major, Commanding First Regiment Cavalry Iowa Volunteers.
General E. D. TOWNSEND,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Little Rock, Ark., September 17, 1863.
SIR: In compliance with your request of September 12, I have the honor to submit the
following report of the operations of this brigade during the engagement of the 10th instant:
On the arrival of my brigade at Ashley's Mills, on the evening of the 9th, I was informed by
General Davidson that this brigade would attempt the crossing of the Arkansas at Buck's Ford.
About sunset I made a personal examination of the ford, and found the enemy posted on the
opposite side, apparently in force. Early next morning, by General Davidson's order, I marched
toward the ford with my cavalry, an(l sent Clarkson's battery into a corn-field to a position which
would cover the crossing. It was found that the enemy had thrown up a considerable fortification
of cotton bales, two deep, so as to have a raking fire on the ford. Not knowing where their
batteries might be posted, or whether this fort was manned by infantry, I sent Captain [I. W.]
Fuller's company (E), First Missouri Cavalry, to draw the fire, which he succeeded in doing, with
a loss of 3 wounded horses. Clarkson's battery then opened upon the fort, and, after a sharp fire,
he succeeded in setting the cotton on fire and driving the enemy from the place. In the mean time
orders were received from General Davidson to proceed on that side of the river and cross at the
pontoon bridge, 2 miles above, which was effected at about I p.m., the cavalry fording above the
bridge. The men of Clarkson's battery were exposed to a broiling sun, and 4 or 5, also Lieutenant
Clarkson himself, were attacked with sunstroke. One man wounded and 2 horses killed.
A short time after joining General Davidson, the brigade was ordered forward to relieve the
First and Second Brigades, which was done within a few miles of Little Rock. After proceeding
some distance without any particular skirmishing, the Third Iowa Cavalry and Thirteenth Illinois
Cavalry, Majors [G.] Duffield and [L.] Lippert commanding, were ordered to charge into the
city, which they did, driving the enemy before them, the First Missouri Cavalry following. After
this there was no firing until the First Missouri Cavalry reached the upper end of town, near the
arsenal, when a sharp fire was opened from the enemy's batteries in the timber, doing no damage,
however, except the killing of I horse. The brigade then went into camp, pushing forward pickets
on the Pine Bluff and Arkadelphia roads. This brigade was the first to enter the city, under the
orders of General Davidson, and occupied the west end of the city during the night.
In conclusion, I wish to state that the conduct of officers and men throughout the entire day
was such as to elicit the highest praise, and I cannot forbear mentioning the following officers by
name as worthy of the highest encomiums: Capt. J. M. Adams, First Missouri Cavalry, brigade
inspector; First Lieut. W. T. Hamilton, acting assistant adjutant-general; Capt. I W. Fuller, First
Missouri Cavalry; Maj. L. Lippert, Thirteenth Illinois Cavalry, Maj. George Duffield, Third Iowa
Cavalry, and First Lieut. T. S. Clarkson, battery. The battery was particularly exposed, and was
well handled.
I am, sir, very respectfully,
Colonel First Missouri Cavalry, Commanding Reserve Brigade.
Acting Assistant Adjutant General, Cavalry Division.
Eight miles below Clarendon, August 18, 1863.
DEAR COLONEL: I wrote you last at Wittsburg, about the 30th ultimo.
On the 1st instant, received orders to march. Started at noon; reached the L'Anguille River at
noon on the 3d, 33 miles from Wittsburg. Captain [T.] De Tar informed you of the number
shipped under Lieutenant [A.] Greer to Helena. With great difficulty they rode on the boat; that
hardly any one was well enough to bear the motion of the boat, although the day previous
nothing appeared to be the matter with them.
Left the L'Anguille on the 5th. Reached Clarendon, after a march of 53 miles, on the 8th.
On the 9th, gunboats 2, 3, 6, and 10 came up. While we were there our detachment was kept
busy going out with forage trains.
On the 12th, received orders to take the detachment on board gunboats Cricket (6) and
Marmora (2). Embarked at dark Companies A and D, under Captain De Tar, on board the
Cricket; Companies F and G, myself in command, on the Marmora.
At 3 a.m., 13th instant, we moved up the river, accompanied by the gunboat Lexington.
Captain Bache was in command of the fleet. At Des Arc we took some citizens, and burned a
large warehouse containing a quantity of Confederate States Army property. While there, by
request of Captain Bache, I went on board the Lexington during the rest of the trip. Anchored at
the mouth of Little Red that night.
Next morning the Cricket went up Little Red River in search of two Confederate steamers.
We continued up White River until 12 m., at which time we arrived at Augusta. Threw out
skirmishers around the town, but found no soldiers. After remaining there about half an hour, we
started on our return down the river; came to the mouth of Little Red about 3 p.m., when, seeing
nothing of the Cricket, the Lexington started up in search of her. Mamora anchored until we
returned.) When up the river about 20 miles, we met her, with the two boats she went utter.
Shortly after she left us in the morning, the captain ascertained, from some negroes on shore, that
one of them was about an hour and a half ahead of him, she having laid near us in the river
during the night.
The Cricket continued up the river about 40 miles, when, turning a bend, came in sight of the
town of Searcy, the two boats, and a good pontoon bridge across the river. Took possession of
the boats without trouble. Company D was thrown out around the town. Company A, under
Lieutenant [M.] Ackerman, piled up the bridge and burned it, leaving part of Marmaduke's force
yet on the east side of the river. A crew was placed on the prize steamers (Tom Sugg and
Kaskaskia), and Company D placed on the two boats, Company A remaining on the Cricket,
Lieutenant [W. D.] Templin on the Kaskaskia, and Lieutenant [R. J.] Shannon on the Tom Sugg.
When 10 miles below Searcy, on their return, they were fired into by about 500 of Marmaduke's
men. The fight lasted about twenty minutes, along the bank, our boys pitching into them in fine
style. The pilot of the Kaskaskia was wounded in the arm and head. The boat swung around, but
the rebels were driven away before she could go ashore, and the Cricket took her in tow. It was
very warm work, the firing being at a distance of about 30 yards. Company D had 6 wounded (1
mortally--George Fox--died that night). The rebels had a great many more hurt, for they were
seen to fall in a peculiar manner. Ten miles below the scene of the fight we met them, turned
around, and accompanied them down. We had not made more than 5 miles when we were again
attacked by a number of them. Our boys again fed them pretty well. No one hurt with us The
Cricket opened with her howitzers; the old Lexington with her 8-inch guns, which must have
given them such a scare as they never had before, for they left very suddenly. We received quite
a number of shots on the Lexington, but no one was hurt. Anchored for the night at the mouth of
the river. Next day (15th) returned to Clarendon, firing occasional shots at rebel pickets seen on
Captain Bache and myself waited on the general (Davidson) to make our reports. He (the
general) was tickled wonderfully at the unexpected success of the expedition, as we did not think
of getting the boats, which we supposed would be up some bayou, where we could not run. The
general now thinks a great deal of the detachment, but gives us, in consequence, plenty to do, for,
on the 16th, received orders to report, with the command and baggage train, at the transports
After loading with part of the Thirteenth Illinois Cavalry and our detachment, we ran to this
place, landed about dark, and threw the troops out, who were fired into by the pickets of the
At 2 a.m. yesterday, Major [L.] Lippert, with the Thirteenth Illinois Cavalry, started out on
the Little Rock road, met some of the enemy 2 miles out, had a running fight about 5 miles, and
sent in for re-enforcements. I went out, with parts of three companies, about 3 miles, the place
designated for me to stay until further orders; remained there until about 3.30 p.m., when they
returned, and we came in.
This morning Lieutenants [J.] Devine and [W. L.] Carpenter, John Courtney, a man from
Company F, and two contrabands, went out to get some things for the officers' mess. They
traveled outside the pickets, and ran into 9 rebel pickets; had to run for it; succeeded in getting to
our lines. Courtney has just completed his report of the fun. He came in ahead. The others have
not yet arrived. It will probably be a good thing for them. I only consented to their going out
where we were yesterday, because Major L. [Lippert] stated that his pickets were at that place.
Yours, most truly,
Lieutenant-Colonel Thirty-second Iowa Infantry.
Thirty-second Iowa, Columbus, Ky.
Camp near Brownville, Ark., August 29, 1863.
COLONEL: On the 27th instant, when the advance was made to feel the strength of the
enemy, my detachment was ordered forward with the battery in the advance brigade.
The enemy was found within about 3 miles of Bayou Meto, when we were ordered to form
on the left of the main road. Three squadrons of the Third Missouri Cavalry, under command of
Major ---, were then dismounted and attached to my command, and formed on my left. After
throwing out Company D, Thirty-second Iowa, and a platoon of the Third Missouri Cavalry as
skirmishers, we advanced, driving the enemy before us until we were in possession of his riflepits,
within a half mile of the bayou. My command was then thrown forward to the bayou, where
we remained about three hours, getting an occasional shot at the enemy concealed on the other
side. At 5 p.m. we were ordered back to support the batteries then in position. The detachment of
the Third Missouri Cavalry was then ordered to rejoin the regiment.
My detachment remained until the battery was withdrawn, when we received orders from
you to retire from the field. Officers and men in both detachments under my command conducted
themselves in a creditable manner during the day. Casualties in the Thirty-second Iowa were as
follows: Killed, Private Robert Atkinson, Company D; wounded, John W. Kearby, private,
Company D, severely in thigh, and Samuel B. Williams, private, Company D, severely in breast.
The detachment of the Third Missouri Cavalry lost 2 or 3 killed and wounded, whose names
will probably appear in the report of that regiment.
I am, colonel, your most obedient servant,
Major, Commanding Detachment.
Colonel RITTER,
Commanding Reserve Brigade.
Near Little Rock, Ark., September 15, 1863.
LIEUTENANT: I beg leave to report that, in compliance with instructions received from the
major-general commanding, on the morning of the 10th instant, at 3.30 o'clock, I left the camp at
Ink Bayou with the Third Minnesota Infantry and Eleventh Ohio Battery, and proceeded to a
point on the Arkansas River 7 miles below Little Rock, where, during the night, General
Davidson had been making preparations to construct a pontoon bridge. The battery had its
position assigned it by Colonel Caldwell, chief of staff to General Davidson, the Third
Minnesota being posted on its right as its support. I then proceeded to make a reconnaissance of
the position. The other troops of the division now arriving, were placed in position; the Second
Brigade, Col. O. Wood commanding, to cover the construction of the bridge the First Brigade,
Colonel [W. H.] Graves commanding: to guard the approach from Little Rock.
I beg leave to exhibit herewith a plat showing the positions of the regiments and batteries of
my command. The construction of the bridge was well advanced, when a battery of the enemy,
concealed in the woods on the opposite side of the river, opened fire. It was speedily silenced by
our batteries. The bridge being completed, at the request of General Davidson, the Fortieth Iowa
and Twenty seventh Wisconsin Regiments were ordered across, to take possession of the woods
in which the enemy's battery had been concealed. Immediately preceding the crossing of the
regiments, I ordered the whole of the Eleventh Ohio Battery and the two rifled pieces of the Fifth
Ohio Battery to throw shell into the woods to be occupied. The two regiments advanced with
alacrity across the half mile of sand, and without opposition took possession of the woods
Large bodies of the enemy were now to be seen moving at a great distance beyond. Both
batteries were, by the suggestion of General Davidson, ordered to keep up a brisk fire with their
rifled pieces. Their practice at this great distance, being at least 2 miles, was very commendable,
many of the shells dropping in the midst of the enemy. At this time the skirmishers thrown out
on the right flank of the Eighteenth Illinois Volunteers were fired upon by a small party of the
enemy. The fire being returned, the latter retired.
General Davidson's command having crossed the river, the two infantry regiments were
called back; and, in compliance with instructions received, the Fortieth Iowa Volunteer Infantry
was left as a guard at the bridge, whilst the division advanced with the column, under the
immediate command of General Steele, on the road to Little Rock.
It affords me pleasure to record the efficient manner in which I was assisted by Colonels
Graves and Wood, commanding brigades, and by the officers composing my staff. D. H. Brush,
late colonel of the Eighteenth Illinois Volunteers, rendered me valuable service as volunteer
aide-de-camp. To, Col. William H. Graves I am indebted for the excellent position held by his
brigade on the road to Little Rock.
I have the honor to be, with high regard, yours,
Colonel Forty-third Regiment Illinois Vols, Comdg. Division.
First Lieutenant Second Cavalry, and Actg. Asst. Adjt.
CAPITOL, Little Rock, Ark., September 11, 1863.
GENERAL: I embrace the first opportunity to report, for your information, the part taken by
the Third Regiment in the operations of yesterday, resulting in the complete rout of the rebel
army and the capture of Little Rock.
During the 8th and 9th instant, our forces were in camp 9 miles below Little Rock, and 2
miles from the Arkansas River.
At 8 o'clock on the evening of the 9th, I was notified that a general movement against the
enemy would be made the next day; that the Second Division, commanded by Colonel [A.]
Engelmann, of the Forty-third Illinois, would be in the advance, an that my regiment would be
the advance of the division. I was ordered to be ready to march at 3 o'clock in the morning.
Accordingly, at 3 o'clock yesterday morning, we moved out from camp, followed immediately
by the Eleventh Ohio Battery, and proceeded to a point on the Arkansas River about 7 miles
below Little Rock, which had been selected for a pontoon bridge. It was beginning to be daylight
when we arrived. We found the grading of the high bank of the river nearly finished, preparatory
to laying the bridge, and could just discern mounted scouts of the enemy on the opposite shore,
in the edge of the woods, 800 yards distant. In obedience to orders, we moved up a short distance
above the proposed crossing, taking position in the edge of a corn-field, on the right of the rossi
and behind a low levee, which answered the purpose of a breastwork. Immediately caused some
of the best sharpshooters from each company to get position in front under cover, and well
secluded from the enemy. This arrangement met the cordial approval of the division commander.
The Eleventh Ohio Battery of six pieces took position on our immediate left, and extended to
where the pontoon was about to be laid. We did not then know the force of the enemy on the
opposite bank, as he had the advantage of woods, but have since learned that he had two batteries
of artillery, supported by infantry. We had orders not to fire until he commenced. Supposing it to
be his purpose to obstruct the laying of the bridge, we had every reason to apprehend his opening
fire almost any minute, and we remained watching his movements. The place selected for the
bridge was where the river is unusually narrow. It there winds close to the bank on which we
were posted, forming an extensive bend, and leaving at its present low stage a sand bar about 600
yards in width between the channel and the opposite bank, on which the enemy was concealed.
The line of battle for our forces was, therefore, much in the form of a crescent. About half an
hour after the Third Regiment had taken position, the rest of our forces continued to move up.
Two batteries were also posted, one about half a mile on the left and the other half a mile on the
right of the Eleventh Ohio, which was in the center.
I have described our line of battle with some particularity, that it may appear more plainly
how effective was the cross-fire of our artillery.
Where the pontoon was being constructed the river was between 100 and 200 yards wide,
and when the bridge was little more than half done the enemy opened on us with his artillery.
Our batteries responded, and, soon getting good range, made it quite too uncomfortable for the
enemy. There was but little firing of small-arms on either side, and none by the Third Regiment,
except the sharpshooters in advance.
The enemy's fire was chiefly directed at the bridge and the Eleventh Ohio Battery, and we
being close to the latter, many of his shells and solid shots came in sufficiently close proximity to
us. It appeared, however, to be only too welcome sport for our boys to dodge them.
The artillery firing continued with few intermissions for about an hour, during which time the
Third was under the enemy's fire, but fortunately suffered no casualties whatever. The behavior
of officers and men alike was all that could be desired.
The bridge was completed and the crossing commenced at about 10 o'clock. Two infantry
regiments, the Twenty-seventh Wisconsin and Fortieth Iowa, first crossed in excellent order, and
were followed by General Davidson's cavalry division on the bridge, a part also fording.
It would be digressing from the object of this report to relate matters as to the crossing, and I
will only say that, after the cavalry division had crossed, the infantry regiments returned. This
successful feint, devised by Major-General Steele, of crossing all our forces at that point,
surprised the enemy, who hastily abandoned his fortifications on the opposite bank of the river
from Little Rock, and retreated through the city and toward the southwest. His rear guard
opposed some resistance to our columns, which pushed forward at noon on each bank of the
river, and there were frequent halts and skirmishes during the afternoon march. It was not until
about 8 in the evening that the Third Regiment, having been upon the alert nineteen successive
hours in the heat and dust, was allowed to halt and bivouac, 1 miles below the town.
The next morning, at 7, our division commander in person notified me to march into Little
Rock, and report to General Davidson. We therefore immediately proceeded into town, crossing
on the pontoon bridge erected by the enemy, and which he had unsuccessfully attempted to burn.
Immediately on entering the town, the major-general commanding informed me that he had
selected the Third Minnesota Regiment as one of two infantry regiments to come into the city on
duty, because of its efficiency and good discipline. We then proceeded in column by company to
the capitol, where we are comfortably quartered, thankful that, after a summer of hardship, and,
we may hope, honorable toils, fortune does not desert us.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Third Minnesota. Volunteers.
Adjutant-General, Minnesota.
Camp at mouth of Little Cheyenne River, September 11, 1863.
MAJOR: The last report I had the honor to send you was from the mouth of this Little
Cheyenne River, bearing date August 16,1863; since which time my movements have been too
rapid, and the danger of sending any communication such that it has been impossible for me to
do so. I therefore have the honor to report my movements from last report up to date.
On the morning of the 19th, the steamer I was waiting for, with supplies, finally arrived. She
was immediately unloaded, and all the baggage of the officers and men of the command was sent
down by her to the depot at Fort Pierre, together with every man who was in the least sick or not
well mounted. By this I reduced my force considerably, and was enabled to transport, with the
wretched mules that had been furnished me, about twenty-three days' rations, and forage enough
to keep these transportation animals alive, depending on grass I might find to feed the cavalry
and artillery horses. Luckily for me, I found the grazing north in much better condition than I had
dared to hope for.
On the 20th, we were visited by one of the most terrific rain and hail storms I have seen. This
stampeded some of my animals, and a few were lost---they swam across the Missouri--and it also
destroyed a quantity of my rations in the wagons, thereby causing me some delay in the march;
but I succeeded in getting off on the afternoon of the 21st, and marched up the Little Cheyenne
about 11 miles, the road being very heavy. The next day we marched only 7 miles, camping at a
slough on the prairie without wood. The next day we marched in a northwesterly direction to the
outlet of Swan Lake.
On the 24th, we marched due north 18 miles, and encamped on a small creek called Bois
Cache. Here we came into the buffalo country, and I formed a hunting party for the command,
which I had soon to disband, as they disabled more horses than buffaloes. We continued our
march north about 22 miles, and reached a small stream called Bird Ache Creek. This day the
hunters succeeded in killing many buffaloes, and reported that they saw Indians near the
Early on the morning of the 26th, I sent out a small scouting party, who captured two squaws
and some children, and brought them in to me. These Indians reported that General Sibley had
had a fight near the head of Long Lake, and that they were on their way to the agency at Crow
Creek, but were lost, and were alone; but the scouts found tracks of lodges going up the
Missouri. I therefore immediately detailed Companies F and K, of the Second Nebraska Cavalry,
under command of Captain [D.] La Boo, ordering them to go to the Missouri and follow up the
trail, with orders to capture some Indians if possible, and bring them in, so that I might get
information; if they could not do that, to kill them and destroy their camps. I continued the march
with the rest of the command that day, passing through large herds of buffaloes, and was obliged
to make a march of 35 miles before I could reach water. The weather was very hot, and it was
night before we reached camp on the Beaver River.
On the 27th, I started late, having had some difficulty in crossing the river, making a march
of 5 miles, still in a northerly direction, and encamped on another branch of the same river.
Company K, of the Second Nebraska, joined me this day, having been separated from the other
company. The next day we had to make some deviations to the west on account of hills and
sloughs, and made the outlet of Long Lake, a march of about 20 miles. On the way we saw
numerous signs of Indians in large numbers having been recently there, and found an old lame
Indian concealed in the bushes, who was well known by many of the men of the command as
having for some years resided near Sioux City. He had the reputation of being what is called a
"good Indian." He stated that his horse had been taken away from him, and that he had been left
there. He looked almost starved to death. He gave me the following details, which have since
mostly turned out to be correct: He stated that General Sibley had fought the Indians at the head
of Long Lake, 50 miles northeast from me, some weeks ago; that he followed them down to the
mouth of Apple Greek; that the Indians attacked him on the way, and that there was some
skirmishing. At Apple Creek Sibley had another fight, and that in all the fights about 58 Indians
were killed; that General Sibley fortified his camp at Apple Creek, and after a while returned to
James River; that a few days after General Sibley left, the Indians, who had their scouts out
watching, recrossed the Missouri, and while doing so discovered a Mackinaw boat on its way
down. They attacked the beat, fought the entire day until sundown, sunk her, and killed all on
board--21 men, 3 women, and some children; that before she was sunk, the fire from the boat
killed 91 Indians and wounded many more; that a small war party followed Sibley some days;
returned with the report that he had crossed the James River; then some of the Indians went
north; the larger portion, however, went toward the head of Long Lake, and that he thought a
portion of them were encamped on the Missouri River west of me.
This report was so much in keeping with the Indian mode of warfare that, though it came
from an Indian, I was led to give it some consideration, particularly the part that stated the
Indiana, after watching Sibley's return, recrossed when all danger was over, and went back to
their old hunting grounds. Besides, the guides who were acquainted with the country stated that
"a large body of Indians could not live on the other side long without going a great distance west;
that always at this season of the year the Indians camped on the Coteau, near the tributaries of
the James, where the numerous lakes or springs kept the grass fresh; here the buffalo were
plenty, and the lakes and streams full of fish; and that here they prepared their meat for the
winter., moving to the Missouri, where the fuel was plenty, to winter." I therefore determined to
change my course toward the east, to move rapidly, and go as far as my rations would allow.
I felt serious alarm for the safety of Captain La Boo, who had about 50 men with him, and
who had already been out over two days without rations. I encamped here for the next day, and
sent out four companies of the Second Nebraska and one of the Sixth Iowa, under command of
Major [J. W.] Pearman, Second Nebraska, to hunt him up, and see if there were any Indians on
the Missouri. The next day, however, Captain La Boo's company returned, having made a march
of 187 miles, living upon what buffalo and game they could kill, scouring the country to my left,
overtaking the camp of ten lodges he was sent after, destroying them, but seeing no Indians. This
same day (29th) I sent two companies of the Sixth Iowa to the mouth of Apple Creek. They
reported on their return that they found the fortified camp of General Sibley, his trail, and his
return trail toward the east; that they could see no signs of there having been any fight there, nor
could they see the Mackinaw boat reported by this old Indian. This detachment was under
command of Captain [D. W. C.] Cram, Sixth Iowa Cavalry. The battalion of Major Pearman
joined me before starting, having seen nothing, and, after a march of above 90 miles through a
country with no wood whatever, but with good grass and plenty of lakes of the most abominable
water, on the 3d of September we reached a lake, where, on the plains near by, were the remains
of a very large number of buffaloes killed, some quite recently. Here I encamped to wait the
reports of the commands I had out during the march, who every day discovered fresh signs of
Indians, their lodge trails spread over the country, but all moving toward a point known to be a
favorite haunt of the Indians. I had this day detailed one battalion of the Sixth Iowa, Major [A.
E.] House commanding, and Mr. Frank La Framboise as guide, to keep ahead of me 5 miles, and,
in case they saw a small band of Indians, to attack them, or take them prisoners. If they should
find a large band, too large to successfully cope with, to watch the camp at a distance, and send
word back to me, my intention being to leave my train under charge of a heavy guard, move up
in the night time so as to surround them, and attack them at daybreak. But, for some reason
satisfactory to the guide, he bore off much to my left, and came upon the Indians in an
encampment of over 400 lodges, some say 600, in ravines, where they felt perfectly secure,
being fully persuaded that I was still on my way up the Missouri. This is what the Indian
prisoners say. They also state that a war party followed me on my way up,' in hope of
stampeding me; but this they could not do. I marched with great care, with an advanced guard
and flankers; the train in two lines, 60 paces apart, the troops on each side; in front and center,
myself with one company and the battery; all loose stock was kept between the lines of wagons.
In this way I lost no animals on the campaign except some few, about a dozen, that got out of
camp at night; nor did the Indians, during all the trip, ever attack me or try to stampede me.
Major House, according to my instructions, endeavored to surround and keep in the Indians
until word could be sent me; but this was an impossibility with his 300 men, as the encampment
was very large, mustering at least 1,200 warriors. This is what the Indians say they had, but I, as
well as everybody in the command, say over 1,500. These Indians were partly Santees, from
Minnesota; Cut-heads, from the Coteau; Yanktonais, and some Blackfeet who belong on the
other side of the Missouri, and, as I have since learned, Uncapapas, the same party who fought
General Sibley and destroyed the Mackinaw boat. Of this I have unmistakable proof from letters
and papers found in the camp and on the persons of some of the Indians, besides relics of the late
Minnesota massacre; also from the fact that they told Mr. La Framboise, the guide, when he was
surrounded by about 20O of them, that "they had fought General Sibley, and they could not see
why the whites wanted to come to fight them, unless they were tired of living and wanted to die."
Mr. La Framboise succeeded in getting away from them after some difficulty, and ran his horse a
distance of more than 10 miles to give me information, Major House, with his command, still
remaining there. He reached me a little after 4 o'clock. I immediately turned out my command.
The horses at the time were out grazing. At the sound of the bugle, the men rushed with a cheer,
and in a very few minutes saddled up and were in line. I left four companies, and all the men
who were poorly mounted, in the camp, with orders to strike the tents and corral all the wagons,
and, starting off, with the Second Nebraska on the right, the Sixth Iowa on the left, one company
of the Seventh Iowa and the battery in the center, at a full gallop, we made this distance of over
10 miles in much less than an hour.
On reaching near the ground I found that the enemy were leaving and carrying off what
plunder they could. Many lodges, however, were still standing. I ordered Colonel [R. W.]
Furnas, Second Nebraska, to push his horses to the utmost, so as to reach the camp and assist
Major House in keeping the Indians corralled. This order was obeyed with great alacrity, the
regiment going over the plains at a full run. I was close upon the rear of the regiment with the
Sixth Iowa. The Nebraska took to the right of the camp, and was soon lost in a cloud of dust over
the hills. I ordered Colonel [D. S.] Wilson, Sixth Iowa, to take to the left, while I, with the
battery, one company of the Seventh Iowa, Captain [A. J.] Millard, and two companies of the
Sixth Iowa, Major Ten Broeck commanding, charged through the center of the encampment. I
here found an Indian chief by the name of Little Soldier, with some few of his people. This
Indian has always had the reputation of being a "good Indian" and friendly. I placed them under
guard and moved on. Shortly after I met with the notorious chief Big-head, and some of his men.
They were dressed for a fight, but my men cut them off. These Indians, together with some of
their warriors, mustering about 30, together with squaws, children, ponies, and dogs, gave
themselves up, numbering over 120 human beings. About the same time firing began about a
half mile from me, ahead, and was kept up, becoming more and more brisk, until it was quite a
respectable engagement. A report was brought to me (which proved to be false) that the Indians
were driving back some of my command. I immediately took possession of the hillocks near by,
forming line, and placing the battery in the center on a higher knoll. At this time night had about
set in, but still the engagement was briskly kept up, and in the mêlée it was hard to distinguish
my line from that of the enemy. The Indians made a very desperate resistance, but finally broke
and fled, pursued in every direction by bodies of my troops. I would here state that the troops,
though mounted, were armed with rifles, and, according to my orders, most of them dismounted
and fought afoot until the enemy broke, when they remounted and went in pursuit. It is to be
regretted that I could not have had an hour or two more of daylight, for I feel sure, if I had, 1
could have annihilated the enemy. As it was, I believe I can safely say I gave them one of the
most severe punishments that the Indians have ever received. After night set in, the engagement
was of such a promiscuous nature that it was hard to tell what results would happen ; I therefore
ordered all the buglers to sound the "rally," and, building large fires, remained under arms during
the night, collecting together my troops.
The next morning early (the 4th) 1 established my camp on the battle-field, the wagon train,
under charge of Major Pearman, Second Nebraska, having in the night been ordered to join me,
and sent out strong scouting parties in different directions to scour the country to overtake what
Indians they could; but in this they were not very successful, though some of them had some
little skirmishes. They found the dead and wounded in all directions of them, some miles from
the battle-field; also immense quantities of provisions, baggage, &c., where they had apparently
cut loose their ponies from "travois" and got off on them also large numbers of ponies and dogs,
harnessed to "travois," running all over the prairie. One party that I sent out went near to the
James River, and found there 11 dead Indians. The deserted camp of the Indians, together with
the country all around, was covered with their plunder. I devoted this day, together with the
following(the 5th), to destroying all this property, still scouring the country. I do not think I
exaggerate in the least when I say that I burned up over 400,000 to 500,000 pounds of dried
buffalo meat as one item, besides 300 ledges, and a very large quantity of property of great value
to the Indians. A very large number of ponies were found dead and wounded on the field;
besides, a large number was captured. The prisoners (some 130) I take with me below, and shall
report to you more specially in regard to them.
The surgeon of the Second Nebraska Regiment, Dr. Bowen, who has shown great energy and
desire to attend to his duties during the campaign, started out during the night of the engagement
with a party of 15 men, to go back to the old camp to procure ambulances. But as they did not
return on the morning of the second day, I knew that he was either lost or captured. (He returned
about noon of the second day.) I therefore sent out small scouting parties in every direction to
hunt them up. One of these fell into an ambuscade, by which 4 of the party were killed and the
rest driven in. I immediately sent out five companies of the Nebraska regiment, Colonel Furnas
in command, who, after a long march, found the Indians had fled. They succeeded, however, in
overtaking three concealed in some tall grass, whom they killed. The fight has been so scattered,
the dead Indians have been found in so many different places, that it is impossible for me to give
an accurate report of the number killed of the enemy. I, however, think I am safe in reporting it at
100. (I report those that were left on the field and that my scouting parties found.)
During the engagement, for some time, the Second Nebraska, afoot and armed with rifles
(and there are among them probably some of the beat shots in the world), were engaged with the
enemy at a distance not over 60 paces, pouring on them a murderous fire in the ravine where the
enemy were posted. The slaughter, therefore, must have been immense. My officers and the
guides I have with me think 150 will not cover their loss. The Indian reports make it over 200.
That the general may know the exact locality of the battle-field, I would state that it was, as near
as I could judge, about 15 miles west of James River, and about half-way between the latitudes
of Bone Bute and headwaters of Elm River, as laid down on the Government map. The fight took
place near a hill called by the Indians White Stone Hill.
In conclusion, I would state that the troops of my command conducted themselves well; and
though it was the first fight that nearly all of them had ever been in, they showed that they are of
the right material, and that in time, with discipline, they will make worthy soldiers. It is to be
regretted we lost so many valuable lives as we did, but this could not be helped; the Indians had
formed line of battle with good judgment, from which they could be dislodged only by a charge.
I could not use my artillery without greatly endangering the lives of my own men; if I could, I
could have slaughtered them.
I send you, accompanying, the reports of Colonel Wilson, Sixth Iowa, and Colonel Furnas,
Second Nebraska, also official reports of killed and wounded, and take this occasion to thank
both those officers for the good conduct and cheerfulness with which they obeyed my orders on
the occasion. Both of them had their horses shot in the action. I would also request permission to
state that the several members of my staff rendered me every possible assistance.
On the morning of the 6th, I took up my line of march for Fort Pierre. If l could have
remained in that section of country some two or three weeks I might have accomplished more;
but I was satisfied by the reports of my scouts that the Indians had scattered in all directions--
some toward the James River; some, probably the Blackfeet, to recross the Missouri; and a part
of them went north, where the Indians say they have friends among the half-breeds of the north.
My rations were barely sufficient with rapid marches to enable me to reach Fort Pierre. The
animals, not only the teams I have already reported to you as worthless, but also the cavalry
horses, showed the effect of rapid marching and being entirely without grain.
I brought with me all the prisoners I had, and tried to question them to gain some
information. The men refused to say much, except that they are all "good Indians," and the other
bad ones joined their camp without their will.
The squaws, however, corroborate the report I have already given you in regard to the
destruction of the people on board the Mackinaw boat and the fights with General Sibley, in
which these Indians had a part. They also state that the Indians, after recrossing to this side of the
Missouri, sent a party to follow Sibley until he went to the James River, then returned to their
camp near Long Lake to procure a large quantity of provisions and other articles they had
"cached" there, and then came to the camp where I met them.
After marching about 130 miles we reached the mouth of the Little Cheyenne on the 11th,
where I found the steamboat I had ordered to be there on the 8th instant. It was lucky she was
there, for without the grain she brought up I could not have brought my empty wagons back. For
some miles north of Cheyenne and to Pierre the grass now is about all gone. I placed my
wounded on the boat, and as many empty wagons as she could carry. I am afraid the loss of
horses and mules will be considered very great, but it could not be helped. When I found it
impossible for the rear guard to get an animal along, I had it killed, to prevent its falling into the
hands of the enemy.
Very respectfully, major, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Maj. J. F. MELINE,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Department of the Northwest.
P. S.--By actual count the number of my prisoners is 156--men 32, women and children 124.
I would also beg leave to say that in the action 1 had of my command between 600 and 700 men
actually engaged. My killed number, as far as ascertained, 20; wounded, 38.
September 3, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to submit to you an account of the participation of the Sixth Iowa
Cavalry in the battle of White Stone Hill on the 3d of September, 1863.
As you are aware, the command left the mouth of the Big Cheyenne on the 21st day of
August last. Nothing occurred to vary the monotony of the usual hard marches until the date
above. On the morning of that day I received an order from you to detail from my command one
battalion. It being the turn of the Third Battalion to scout, an order was issued directing Maj. A.
E. House to report to your headquarters for instructions, which was promptly done. Company M,
commanded by Capt. V. J. Williams, of said battalion, having their horses used up by constant
scouting, it was unable to proceed with the detail, its place being supplied by Company H, of the
Second Battalion. The detail for the scout was Company C, L. L. Ainsworth, captain; Company
I, L. R. Wolfe, captain; Company F, S. Shattuck, captain; and Company H, of Second Battalion,
C. J. Marsh, captain. In speaking of the Third Battalion, I always include Company H in this
battle. They left the command at an early hour. After its departure the brigade took up its line of
march to a point 10 miles east of this place, where we arrived about 2 p.m. In the space of two
hours the messenger dispatched by Major House rode swiftly into camp with the information that
there was a very large body of Indians near him, and that he was in process of negotiation with
them until we could arrive. It was but the work of a few minutes for the whole command to be
upon its way to the battlefield. The 10 miles distance was passed quickly. When we neared the
battle-field I received an order from you directing me to take one of my battalions, in addition to
the Third. The First was taken by me, and the Second Battalion was left with brigade
headquarters. I then proceeded to carry out your orders to surround the Indians and drive them in.
On every side of the battle-field were straggling Indians, endeavoring to escape. Immediately
joining the flank of the First upon the Second Battalion, and marching both in line, we succeeded
in driving a large portion of the Indians toward your headquarters, down into a ravine. By the
shifting and dressing of the line as it marched, I became detached from the First and was thrown
into the Third Battalion. The Indians, after having been quietly driven quite a distance into a
common center, availed themselves of the darkness that was coming by suddenly firing upon us,
which fire, though entirely unexpected, was immediately returned by us with terrible effect. We
then commenced making preparations to fight on foot, when the darkness became so
impenetrable that it was impossible to proceed farther. It was at this fire of the enemy, when
riding some little distance in advance of the battalion, that my horse was shot with a slug, fatally
wounding him. He lived long enough to carry me about 30 rods. After the darkness set in we
went into camp immediately upon the battle-field; corralled our horses and threw out pickets,
while the command slept upon its arms. The night was excessively dark and cold, but the picket
guard killed 2 Indians that were found straggling near our camp. At length the day appeared,
when we found that the enemy, availing themselves of the darkness, had suddenly decamped, but
leaving the country strewed for miles around with their dried meats, provisions, packs, robes,
tepees, goods, and ponies.
We lost in this engagement I commissioned officer, 10 privates, and had 11 wounded, 1 of
them since dying; some of the rest being wounded badly, and some very slightly.
I take pleasure in bearing testimony to the cheerfulness with which the First Battalion,
commanded by that veteran, Acting Major [J.] Galligan, obeyed every order during the time they
were under my command.
Company G, of the First Battalion, and Captain [A. B.] Moreland, Lieutenant [W. A.] Heath,
and Sergeant [R.] Aubrey, I understand, deserve the highest praise for intrepidity in action.
Company K, and Captain [J.] Logan and Lieutenant [S. M.] Parker, behaved very bravely, and
deserve most favorable notice for their bravery.
Company D, Captain [T. W.] Burdick and lieutenants, although temporarily detached by my
orders, are entitled to the highest praise.
The Second Battalion did not participate immediately in the fight, as stated; but from the zeal
with which they entered on the march to the battle-field, and the cheerfulness with which they
obeyed all orders, I have no doubt but the highest desire would have been that of active
participants in the battle, under the command of their gallant major.
I wish to call your particular attention to every one of the field and line officers of the
regiment, without enumerating them by name. From the highest to the lowest they deserve the
most favorable consideration, and the same may be said of almost the entire command engaged.
Being their first battle, this was their baptism of fire and steel, and most nobly did they behave.
The high valor earned by the noble action of the Iowa troops upon the bloody field of battle has
not been tarnished by the gallant Iowa Sixth at White Stone Hill.
I have spoken more minutely of the action of the Third Battalion, because it was my destiny
to be thrown with them in this battle. I cannot close my report without again calling your
attention to the noble part borne by them on this day under their brave Major House. They
treated and talked with that large force of Indians until we arrived to their aid, and then the part
they bore in the fight deserves the highest praise that can be paid to brave, heroic men.
1 desire to state that Dr. [J. H.] Camburn, by his personal presence in my camp on the battlefield,
rendered the wounded most invaluable service through that long night. The same meed of
praise can also, I understand, be awarded to Assistant Surgeon [S. C.] Haynes, with the First
Battalion. Assistant Surgeon [T. S.] Bardwell, being left with the sick at camp, was not present at
the fight, but rendered such assistance as he was able the next morning. Chaplain D. U. Mitchell
was present on the field of battle, and afterward rendered all the assistance and consolation he
could to the wounded, spiritual and bodily.
The commissioned officer mentioned as being lost was Lieut. T. J. Leavitt, second lieutenant
of Company B, and acting as regimental adjutant for some time. He had performed the duties of
said office with great fidelity and ability. Possessed of great natural ability, with heroic courage
and gallant bearing, the entire regiment mourns his loss unceasingly.
Lieut. George E. Dayton, of Company C, and Sergt. Maj. Charles W. Fogg, deserve
favorable notice for bravery during the night of the battle, and also in going out in charge of a
detail searching for wounded men upon the battle-field.
Permit me, sir, to congratulate you upon the magnitude of your victory and the great results
that will follow from it. By skillful management you completely surrounded hundreds of Indians,
whom you signally routed, camping on the battle-field, killing and wounding over 100 of them,
besides destroying immense supplies of provisions and tepees, and taking several hundred
prisoners. They have never before received such a terrible blow, and it will certainly be the
means of securing a permanent peace with these heretofore troublesome Indians. When we take
into consideration the immense obstacles with which your expedition had to contend at every
step, and to see them so signally overcome, must astonish every one.
Whilst I thus congratulate you upon your brilliant victory, I must not neglect to pay a passing
tribute to the gallant dead of my regiment. They were numbered among the very best men in the
command, and most gallantly did they fight and fall. To their bereaved families and relatives I
tender my most heartfelt sympathies.
I inclose herewith a couple of letters that were found upon an Indian by some of my
regiment. Inclosed in one were two gold dollars and some gold dust. They seem to corroborate
the story that the Indians in July last surrounded a Mackinaw boat descending the Missouri River
from the gold mine, and, after fighting with the crew all day, succeeded in killing the entire
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Sixth Iowa Cavalry.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
[September ----, 1863.]
SIR: On the 3d day of September, 1863, in obedience to your orders and under instructions
from Brigadier-General Sully, I took the line of march from our camp of' the previous night
(which was about 30 miles from White Stone Hill) at 5.30 a.m., having under my command
Companies C, I, F, and H, of the Sixth Iowa Cavalry, and proceeded in a southerly direction,
halting every hour, dismounting the men and allowing the horses to graze ten minutes at a time.
At about 3 p.m. our guide informed me that a camp of Indians was about 3 miles distant. I
ordered the men to load their carbines and pistols, and started on a gallop for the Indian camp.
When within a mile of the camp, we halted and formed in line of battle, with I in line, H and F as
flankers, and C as a reserve. In this order we proceeded and took position behind a ridge about
50 rods from the enemy, where we had then an easy range, and where we were protected from
their fire. Captain [C. J.] Marsh, of Company H, and Lieutenant [G. E.] Dayton, of Company C,
were then sent forward to reconnoiter. They returned, and reported that there were 400 lodges of
the enemy. Upon gaining this information, our guide, with two picked men from Company C,
were started back to your camp to give you information of our whereabouts, and that reenforcements
might be sent if they were necessary. As the ground was very uneven, and it was
difficult to ascertain what defenses the enemy had, it was determined to make a reconnaissance
in force. For this purpose Company C was sent to the left, in command of Captain [L. L.]
Ainsworth, who, with great personal bravery, pushed forward with vigor and rapidity in the face
of the enemy, outnumbering his force ten to one. Captain Marsh, with Company H, also pushed
forward in the same direction, with a courage which would have done honor to a veteran of a
hundred battles. As soon as these companies had returned and reported, Captain [S.] Shattuck,
with Company F, was sent out to the right, to ascertain the position of the enemy in that
direction. While these things were being done, the chiefs came in under a flag of truce and
attempted a negotiation. They offered to surrender some of their chiefs; but as the commandant
did not know who was entitled to speak by authority, he demanded the unconditional surrender
of all. This the Indians refused to do, and, having sent away their squaws and papooses, together
with their stock of provisions, they placed themselves in battle array. Our command moved
forward, and the enemy retreated precipitately, abandoning everything except their ponies.
While we were thus following and scattering the enemy, the Second Nebraska Regiment
appeared on the hill, under the command of Colonel Furnas, who immediately informed the
commander of the forces of the Sixth Iowa that he would take the right of the flying enemy and
drive them in Whereupon we formed our forces in column and took the left, first upon a trot,
then a gallop, and finally at a full charge. The enemy, having abandoned everything in their
flight, and finding that we were fast gaining upon them, collected together in a ravine and
prepared for battle. We again formed in line of battle, and were advancing upon the enemy when
we discovered the Second Nebraska upon our left flank; they were dismounting and preparing to
fight on foot. At the same time we saw that part of the Sixth Iowa, which had been left behind,
formed in line parallel to the Nebraska Second. We at once advanced our lines within 20 rods of
the enemy, and were fired upon by them. We returned the fire from our whole line with terrible
effect, covering the ground with dead men and horses. The horses then became so restive as to be
unmanageable under the fire even of our own men from their backs. The command was then
taken back 25 rods in the rear, and were preparing to fight on foot, when, darkness setting in, the
command was formed in a hollow square, the men in front of their horses, and slept on their
arms. We placed a picket guard around our camp, under the charge of Sergeant-Major Fogg and
Lieutenant Dayton, who promptly performed the duties assigned them; they went to the
battlefield after dark, to look after wounded, and for this I recommend them to your favorable
consideration. I also recommend Dr. J. H. Camburn, who came promptly to the relief of the
wounded, and did all he could in the darkness. Among those who distinguished themselves for
personal bravery, I wish to mention Capt. L. R Wolfe, who stood in front of his company and
killed an Indian every shot he made. The whole command did well, and I must not mention
individual instances for fear of making this report too long. About 100 of the enemy were killed.
We took a large number of prisoners, and destroyed all the winter stores of the enemy, among
which was 400 tons of dried meat.
I am, respectfully, yours,
A. E. HOUSE. Major,
Commanding Detachment Sixth Iowa.
Col. D. S. WILSON.
Dakota Territory, September 6, 1863.
SIR: On the 22d of August, 1863, I left the mouth of Little Cheyenne River, Dakota
Territory, under command of Brigadier-General Sully, in company with the remainder of the
troops of the general's expedition, arriving at the foot of Long Lake, Dakota Territory, on the
28th of same month, where it was hoped we might encounter the hostile Indians. Scouting parties
sent out in various directions returned and reported no Indians to be found; but the trail of
General Sibley's command, on Apple Creek, was discovered, and an old Indian, captured some
days before, reported that General Sibley had been through that country a short time previous,
and had had two fights, and that many of the Indians had crossed the Missouri River after the
fight, but had recrossed to this side of same recently, and were to be found somewhere in the
direction of Elm River, Dakota Territory. On the march from camp additional scouting parties
were sent out by the general, but without success; and our rations beginning to run short, the
expedition took a circuitous route for Fort Pierre, by way of James River. It was with feelings of
despondency at what appeared to be the inevitable ill-success of the expedition under General
Sully, from causes that could not be avoided by any human power, that I realized that it must
probably return without accomplishing that for which it was designed.
On Thursday, September 3, 1863, about 4 p.m., and soon after going into camp, the scouts of
the expedition reported 600 Indian lodges 10 miles distant, and, in compliance with General
Sully's orders, I immediately proceeded with the eight companies (viz, E, F, G, H, I, K, L, and
M) of the Second Nebraska Cavalry, numbering in all present 350 in rank and file, under my
command, from Camp No. 33, to assist Major House, commanding the Third Battalion of the
Sixth Iowa Cavalry, in surrounding the hostile Indians. On approaching the Indian encampment I
found House's battalion drawn up in order of battle on the north side, and on reconnoitering the
enemy's position perceived that the Indians were leaving as fast as possible. I immediately
ordered Major House to pursue on the left flank of the enemy, while I, with the Second
Nebraska, moved on their right flank. Arriving opposite that position, I perceived the Indians at a
halt, formed in line of battle, apparently awaiting our attack. I immediately formed my men in
line of battle. As the enemy was then situated and my men formed, I intended to have advanced
the Second Battalion (Companies F, G, L, and M), commanded by Captain La Boo (Major
Pearman, being field officer of the day, was, by order of Brigadier-General Sully, left in
command of the camp; the command therefore devolved upon Captain La Boo, lieutenant
captain), with the First Battalion commanded by Major [J.] Taffe (Companies E, H, 1, and K), as
a reserve, and await further orders from the general commanding. As it was then nearly dark, I
felt that time was precious, and if anything was to be done that night it must be done speedily,
and made up my mind to attack the enemy immediately. I therefore changed my plan of
operations. I ordered Major Taffe, with his battalion, to proceed to the head of the ravine in
which the Indians were posted, to cut off their retreat in that direction, which order was promptly
executed, and his command formed in line awaiting further orders. I then ordered the Second
Battalion to advance directly upon the enemy, which it did. Major Taffe then, by my order, came
forward, the line of the two battalions forming an obtuse angle. When within 400 yards, I
ordered my men to dismount, and after advancing 100 yards nearer, ordered the Second Battalion
to open the battle by a volley from their Enfields, which they did with precision and effect,
creating quite a confusion in the enemy's ranks. At this time I perceived what I supposed to be
House's battalion, about 1 miles distant, advancing upon the enemy's rear. In the order in which
my line was now termed, I advanced upon the enemy, pouring in upon him as I advanced a fire
from my whole line, which was immediately and vigorously returned by the Indians. When
within 30 yards of the enemy's lines, I ordered a halt in rear of a alight elevation of ground, in
front of which was a ravine in which the Indians were posted. The fight now became general,
and my whole line was hotly engaged. At this juncture, what I supposed to be House's battalion
(as it was now quite dark) advanced, and commenced an attack upon the enemy's left. As they
were now formed, and fearing that the Indians would attempt to escape by way of a ravine a
short distance beyond the left of my line, or got in my rear by the same way, I ordered Major
Taffe to extend the left wing of my line, in order to cover this supposed outlet for the Indians
with my guns. The battle now raged with great fury for some time on both sides. The enemy
successively, by a desperate charge, attempted to turn my right and left flanks, but they were
repulsed with slaughter. They fell in every direction in front of my line by the unerring aim of
my brave soldiers, who, both officers and men, fought with the courage and coolness of veterans,
exposed as they were to a galling fire from the enemy during the whole time. At this juncture I
became convinced that House's battalion, mistaking my command in the darkness for Indians,
were firing into it. I therefore ordered my men to fall back out of range of House's guns and
mount their horses, as the Indians were now in a rout and were fleeing out of range of my guns
up a ravine some distance to the front. The horses becoming alarmed, and to a considerable
extent unmanageable for a short time, created a slight confusion as the men were in the act of
mounting, but it was only momentary, as my squadrons were in a few moments again formed in
line on the crest of a hill 200 yards in the rear of my last line of battle, mounted and ready to
follow up the victory, as the enemy were fleeing, leaving everything behind them. But it being
very dark, and in view of the position of the Sixth Iowa, I deemed it imprudent to attempt a
pursuit before morning, as it was then 8.30 or 9 p.m. Having no weans of communicating that
night with the general commanding, I ordered my men to dismount and lay on their arms,
holding their horses, until early dawn, when I marched from the battleground of the previous
evening, and went into camp about 1 mile from it and at the upper end of the Indian
encampment. On passing over the ground of the recent encampment of the Indians and of the
battle, I found that the enemy had abandoned all their tents, clothing, cooking utensils, valuables,
supplies, and, in fact, everything they possessed was strewn over the ground of their retreat for
miles. Their flight had been so precipitate that they had abandoned everything but their dead,
whom they carried away as fast as they fell. Their rout was so complete and their flight so
sudden that many of their children were left behind on account, as I suppose, of their being an
incumbrance to their flight. From the best information derived from guides, the enemy's strength
was not less than 1,000 warriors. Their loss in killed will not fall short of 150, as scouts sent out
next day after the battle report their dead as scattered over the country for miles on the line of
their retreat, and their wounded is twice that number.
The casualties in the Second Nebraska Cavalry are 2 killed, 13 wounded, and 10 missing
men. There were 5 horses killed, 9 wounded, and 9 missing. I found among the effects of the
Indians Minie rifles and rifle cartridges; also several boxes of army revolvers and rifle cartridges
were found, and various other articles, some of which were undoubtedly taken from the whites in
the late Minnesota massacre. The enemy was composed of Santees, Brulé, Yanktonais, and
Blackfeet Sioux, and Cut-head Indians, and were evidently the same Indians with whom General
Sibley recently had an engagement on Apple Creek. The Indians are now destitute of supplies,
clothing, and almost everything else, they having abandoned all except their ponies and arms.
Many of the former were, however, killed or captured during the battle. I would have pursued the
enemy the following morning after the battle had it not been for the exhausted condition of my
men and horses.
The officers and men under my command are not only entitled to my thanks, but the
confidence of their country, for their bravery, efficiency, and promptness on this occasion. Not a
man in any capacity flinched a particle. My special thanks are due to Adjt. Henry M. Atkinson,
Regimental Quartermaster J. S. McCormick, and Commissary Lieut. J. Q. Goss, for valuable
services rendered me immediately preceding and during the engagement.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
Colonel Second Nebraska Cavalry.
Assistant Adjutant-General, Indian Expedition.
Sedalia, Mo., September 7, 1863.
GENERAL: I beg leave to report that, on the 4th instant, a band of guerrillas, under the lead
of the notorious Rafter, dashed into Quincy, at once firing into a squad of citizens sitting in front
of a store, killing 1, a Mr. Thomas, and wounding a soldier of the Eighth Missouri State Militia,
who chanced to be in town. The stage had just come in, having for passengers 3 or 4 soldiers of
the Eighteenth Iowa. These, it seems, took refuge up stairs in a house. Rafter went in person after
them. As he entered the door, one of these soldiers shot him twice, killing him instantly. The
Iowa soldiers were taken prisoners and carried off. It is quite probable that they have been killed,
as nothing has been heard of them since. I have stationed a small force there, and wish I had a
company of Enrolled Missouri Militia to send there.
My scouts in Saline, La Fayette, and Johnson have started no bushwhackers recently.
Everything is as quiet as the grave, except in the vicinity of Knobnoster. There is an independent
company, under the leadership of one Mattox, who are terrifying, robbing, and running quiet,
peaceable citizens of Johnson County. General Ewing should be advised of it, and order them to
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Seventh Missouri State Militia Cavalry.
Brig. Gen. E. B. BROWN,
Comdg. Central District of Missouri, Jefferson City, Mo.
SPRINGFIELD, MO., September 8, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to inform you that, on my return from Sedalia, with arms for
Major Eno's battalion, on the 4th instant, I came upon a band of rebels at Quincy, commanded by
Captain Rafter. They had robbed the town and shot some Union citizens and taken 4 soldiers,
purporting to belong to the Eighteenth Iowa Volunteers. They were in the act of firing the town. I
made a dash in town, scattering them, and killing their leader, Captain Rafter. We also captured a
great many of the goods that had been taken. One of my men was mortally wounded. I learned
the next morning that they had killed the Iowa boys. I sent out about 6 miles, and found 1 dead
and 1 mortally wounded.
I am, general, with much respect, your obedient servant,
First Lieut. Company A, Eighth M. S. M. Cav., Comdg. Escort.
General McNEIL.
Camp No. 41, Dakota Territory, September --, 1863.
CAPTAIN: In compliance with orders from Brigadier-General Sully, commanding Indian
expedition, I proceeded, on the morning of September 5, 1863, with 12 men of the Second
Nebraska Cavalry and 15 men from the Sixth Iowa Cavalry under my command, on a scout in
search of Surgeon Bowen, Sergeant Newcomb, and 8 others missing from the Second Nebraska
Cavalry, after the battle of White Stone Hill, on the 3d instant. I proceeded in a northeasterly
direction from the battle-field, and, when 15 miles distant therefrom, I was attacked by a party of
some 300 Indians, and, seeing that I could not successfully resist their attack, I retreated slowly,
returning the enemy's fire until my command was so closely pressed by the enemy that the men
increased the rapidity of their retreat, without orders. 1 attempted to halt them several times, but
unsuccessfully. The enemy all the time pressed closely on my rear, and also endeavored to cut
off my retreat to camp, from which 1 had started in the morning, and at which I had arrived with
what remained of my command about 12 m. that day, the enemy pursuing to within 4 miles of
the camp. The casualties on this scout were 6 men and 4 horses killed. Sergeant Blair, Company
K, Second Nebraska Cavalry, Sergeant Rogers, Sergt. S. N. Smith, and Sergt. Isaac L. Winget, of
the Sixth Iowa Cavalry, assisted me in my efforts to control the men and check their hasty
The following is a list of the killed under my command:
I discovered no trace of the missing, of whom I was in search, who, however, returned to
camp a short time after my return and on the same day.
The men under my command succeeded while retreating in killing 6 Indians and 4 ponies,
and wounding many others, the number not known.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
First Lieut. Co. F, Second Nebraska Cav., Comdg. Detachment.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Near Elkhorn, Ark., September 19, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the late expedition in
Southwest Missouri, Indian Territory, and Arkansas: I left Springfield, with my command, in
obedience to your orders, on the 7th day of September, 1863, en route for Carroll County,
Arkansas; but receiving dispatches from you on the same evening, changing the direction of my
march, I turned toward Cassville, Mo., where I arrived on the 10th instant, at noon. There I was
detained two days in foraging and Procuring information of the enemy's movements. My first
intention was to divide my command, sending 100 men, under Capt. Charles Galloway, across
White River, into Carroll County, and thence west to attack Hunter in the rear, at the mountains,
14 miles north of Fayetteville, Ark., and at the same time take 250 men, and the first section of
Stark's battery, by way of Pineville, to Sulphur Springs, near Bentonville, Ark., where Brown
was encamped, and drive him from his position, meeting Captain Galloway near Cross Hollows,
and returning by the Telegraph road. By this movement I expected to rid the country on each side
of the road of bushwhackers, and render our line of communication south comparatively safe.
Just before leaving Cassville, I learned that Hunter had left the mountain, and probably had
joined Brown, near Bentonville, who was reported as moving north with a force of not less than
400 men, estimated by some as high as 800. This information led me to abandon the plan of
sending a detachment on the east side of the Telegraph road, and to consolidate my force.
At 12.30 a.m. Sunday, 13th instant, I left Cassville, taking the direction of Pineville, with the
following troops, viz:
Detachment of First Arkansas Cavalry, Maj. J. J. Johnson commanding. 65
Detachment of First Arkansas Light Artillery (Stark's), Lieutenant Thomson commanding
Eighteenth Iowa Infantry, Lieutenant [J. H.] Looby commanding 20
Total 310
Taking, in addition, 3 ambulances, in charge of Asst. Surg. J. E. Tefft, First Arkansas
Cavalry, and 4 wagons loaded with ammunition and subsistence stores.
I arrived at Pineville, Mo., on Sunday evening [13th], where I encamped for twenty-four
hours, in order to ascertain the enemy's position, having learned that he had left Bentonville.
Before night on Monday, I became apprised that rebel troops had been moving north to Elk
Mills, Mo., to reenforce Coffee, who was reported as stationed there, with about 300 men. On
Monday night, I moved toward Elk Mills, and crossed Cowskin Prairie on Tuesday morning
[15th]. On the prairie, I learned from a Union woman that Coffee had been strongly re-enforced
on Sunday, and had moved to Enterprise, 4 miles beyond Elk Mills; that his command numbered
about 1,000 men (the report of his numbers I believe to have been exaggerated). Moving forward
rapidly, I drove in the enemy's pickets near Elk Mills (killing 1 man), and attacked his
skirmishers at 10 a.m., whom I found in line 1 mile west of Enterprise, in a dense thicket. I
immediately dismounted a portion of my command as skirmishers, and at the same time
commenced shelling the town, where his reserve was stationed. After the engagement had
continued about one hour, my right and rear were attacked by a strong force, said to be Brown's,
which was repulsed and scattered in a short time. The enemy ceased to reply to our fire at 12 m.,
and retreated through the thicket in great disorder. I could not at first ascertain the direction of
his retreat, and my men and horses being completely exhausted by the last night's march and the
severe duties of the morning, I went into camp.
The enemy is known to have lost in the engagement 1 captain (said to be M. R. Johnston, of
Partisan Rangers) and 4 men. His loss is presumed to be much greater, as the ground in the
woods and a corn-field, where our shells burst, was discovered to be tracked in blood in many
places, but owing to the denseness of the thicket it was impossible to ascertain the facts
definitely. I lost no men, either in killed, wounded, or missing.
On the morning of the 16th instant, following the line of the Indian Territory southward, I
pursued several small parties for some miles, but they eluded capture by taking to the thicket.
The prairies and paths were filled with the tracks of their horses, all moving southward. At
Maysville I encamped on Wednesday night. Here I sent in pursuit of a party of about 30 of the
enemy, whom I saw on the south side of the prairie, drawn up in line; but they were well
mounted, and made good their escape to the Spavinaw Hills. On Thursday I passed the Double
Spring and Round Prairie, near where Capt. J. I. Worthington's escort was routed on the 4th
instant. There I learned that Brown had passed the day before with 40 men, going toward Rhea's
Mills. At noon the rear of my command was fired into by a small party of guerrillas, but no one
was injured. On Wednesday night I encamped 10 miles southwest of Bentonville, and reached
this place yesterday evening, where I intend staying until the commissary trains and telegraph
corps come up. I am most advantageously located for sweeping the bushwhackers from the
valleys of the two Sugar Creeks, and my men are busily engaged in the enterprise. During the
last day's march several were captured and 3 killed. My command is in excellent condition and
spirits. I have lost no men, and only one or two horses. I herewith submit the report of Assistant
Surgeon [Jonathan E.] Tefft, to whom much praise is due for his strict attention to the sanitary
condition of the command, as well as to Majors Johnson and Fitch, Captains Galloway and Mass,
commanding battalions, Lieutenant Thomson, commanding section of First Arkansas Light
Artillery, and Lieutenant Looby, of the Eighteenth Iowa Infantry, for their promptness in
executing my orders, and their strict attention to the discipline of their men. In the engagement of
the 15th, the artillery lost none of its well-deserved reputation. The accuracy of its firing was
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel First Arkansas Cavalry, Commanding Troops in Field.
Brig. Gen. JOHN McNEIL,
Commanding Southwestern District of Missouri.
Fort Smith, November 1, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report the following facts as the result of the expedition, to
the command of which I was verbally ordered at Saint Louis on the 9th of October:
I arrived at Lebanon on the 12th, and finding that Lieut. Col. Quin Morton had marched to
Linn Creek with a detachment of the Twenty-Third Missouri Infantry Volunteers, and another of
the Second Wisconsin Cavalry, and that he expected to be joined by a detachment of the Sixth
and Eighth Missouri State Militia Cavalry, I ordered Major Eno, in command, to fall back on
Lebanon, and proceeded to Buffalo, where I found Col. John Edwards, Eighteenth Iowa
Volunteers, in command, with a few cavalry and some Enrolled Militia. I at once addressed
myself to the work of concentrating force enough for pursuit when the enemy should cross the
Osage on his retreat south. With about 260 men and a section of Rabb's battery, I marched to
Bolivar, where General Holland was in camp with parts of two regiments Enrolled Militia, and a
demi-battery, under Lieutenant Stover. Leaving the general directions to observe and pursue
Coffee and Hunter, if they should cross the Osage at Warsaw, I marched in the direction of
Lamar, via Humansville and Stockton, to cut off Shelby, who was reported as in full flight south
of Snibar, with General Ewing in pursuit. At Stockton I was joined by Major [A. A.] King, [jr.,]
Sixth Missouri State Militia Cavalry, with 375 men of the Sixth and Eighth Regiments Missouri
State Militia. This force had entered Humansville from the north, in pursuit of Hunter and
Coffee, four hours after I had passed through it toward the west. Major King attacked and drove
this force through Humansville, capturing their last cannon.
Finding that Shelby had passed through Stockton in advance of me, I marched to Greenfield
and Sarcoxie, via Bowers' Mill, and on the night of the 19th camped at Keytesville, when I
learned of scouts of Colonel [J. S.] Phelps, commanding at Cassville, that the enemy had crossed
the Telegraph road at Cross Timbers that day at about noon. I kept up a rapid pursuit, following
the trail of our flying foe, via Sugar Creek and Easley's Ferry, to Huntsville. Our advance party
entering Huntsville with a dash, took quite a number of soldiers of Brooks' rebel command, with
their horses and arms. I was there joined by Colonel Edwards, Eighteenth Iowa Infantry, with
300 men of his regiment, and Major [T. J.] Hunt, First Arkansas Volunteer Cavalry, 175 men and
two mountain howitzers. This gave me an effective force of 600 cavalry and 300 infantry, with
four guns, two of these being 12-pounder mountain howitzers. These last would have been a
much greater acquisition to me than they proved had they been properly supplied with
ammunition. They were sent from Fayetteville with only 67 rounds for the two howitzers, and, of
course, could not be relied upon for any length of time. We had here information that Shelby and
Brooks had united their forces on War Eagle Creek, and that Hunter and Coffee were also there,
the combined force amounting to 2,500 men. We marched toward this camp to attack, but found
that the enemy had gone.
On the 24th, we marched across a tremendous mountain called Buffalo Mountain, and
finding the enemy in camp in a snug little valley on the other side, attacked and drove him at
sundown, dropping a few shells into his camp. The mountain on the other side was too steep and
the passes too narrow for a night pursuit, and we had to content ourselves by waiting for the light
of morning. At nearly dawn we struck again into the mountains. Our advance, under Major Hunt,
First Arkansas Cavalry, was skirmishing with the enemy all day, driving them before us.
On the 26th, while engaged in an attack on the enemy's rear guard, who were posted in a
narrow pass, Lieutenant [J. G.] Robinson, of the First Arkansas Cavalry, was mortally wounded.
He was brought into camp and died that night at 10 o'clock.
On the 27th, we marched into Clarksville, and learned that Shelby had made good his escape
and crossed the river, and that Brooks had gone down into the valley of the Big Piney with about
400 men, with instructions to pick up stragglers from the rebel army, and to cut off any train that
might be coming to me from Fayetteville. My cavalry and artillery horses were too badly used up
to permit of pursuit across the river, so I turned my course toward Fort Smith. At a point 4 miles
north of Ozark, I sent Colonel Catherwood with the men of the Sixth and Eighth Regiments of
Missouri State Militia, and Major Hunt with the men and howitzers of the First Arkansas
Volunteer Cavalry, to Springfield and Fayetteville. I arrived at Fort Smith on the evening of the
Although I have been disappointed in my earnest hope to attack and destroy the force under
Shelby, I feel confident of having done all that men could do under the circumstances. We have
driven the enemy so that he had to stick to the road, and thus prevented a widely extended pillage
both in Arkansas and Missouri.
We have taken 44 prisoners, besides discharging as many more who were conscripts. We
have killed and wounded many of his men, and driven numbers to the mountains, where he will
not easily get them again. The captures in horses were also large.
My officers and men bore the fatigue and exposure of this campaign without tents and on
small rations in a manner to excite my admiration. Colonels Edwards and Catherwood were
earnest in their co-operation in-duty, and Majors King, Eno, and Hunt were always ready for any
duty assigned them. Major King deserves especial mention for his gallant attack on the enemy at
Humansville on the 15th, in which he captured the last cannon the enemy brought into Missouri
with him, a 6-pounder brass gun. Major Hunt, with his battalion of Arkansians, were, on account
of their knowledge of the country, pushed forward in the advance from Huntsville to Clarksville.
This duty was promptly and cheerfully performed by the major and his gallant command, who
drove the enemy from every position, killing and wounding many and taking prisoners at every
To Captain Rabb, chief of artillery, and Lieutenants Whicher, Rabb's battery, and Johnson,
section of howitzers, I am under obligations for services which mark them as true soldiers.
Lieutenant [A. T.] Bauble, quartermaster of the Sixth Missouri State Militia Cavalry, acted as
chief quartermaster of the expedition, and gave unqualified satisfaction. Lieutenant [F. W.] Selle,
commissary of the same regiment, acted as chief commissary, acquitting himself with great
Captain [D. C.] Hopkins, First Arkansas Cavalry, joined me at Clarksville with 34 men. I had
sent him from Buffalo on the 13th toward Du-roc, to observe the enemy and report his motions.
While on this duty he ran on to the enemy in force, killing 6 and losing but 2 of his own men.
The day after he rejoined me, he attacked a party belonging to Brooks, of 150 strong, and drove
them back upon a detachment of the Third Wisconsin Cavalry, that had been sent from Van
Buren in pursuit of this same party, taking several horses, and killing and wounding 6 of the
enemy. The captain is a most active and efficient scout, and a brave soldier.
The health of the command has beet, uniformly good. We had but 3 sick men on all the trip.
I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers.
Major-general SCHOFIELD.
Fifteen [miles] East of Greenfield, October 7, 1863--6 a.m.
GENERAL: I arrived here last night with 150 men and three pieces of artillery. Shelby and
Coffee left Greenfield yesterday at 12 m. for Melville, stating that they were going to Stockton.
It is possible that they intend going to Osceola or cross the Osage at Warsaw. I will follow up,
and, if I can get within striking distance, they may swing on my right flank and endeavor to get
out by the way of Lebanon. They are reported to be from 1,500 to 2,500 strong, with three pieces
of artillery. They burned the court-house at Greenfield and gobbled up the horses, arms, and
commissary stores of the company of Captain Morris, of the Seventh Provisional Enrolled
Missouri Militia, stationed at that post. I am expecting General Holland and Major Eno to come
up with me to-day. Colonel Harrison, First Arkansas Cavalry Volunteers, was at Pineville
yesterday, and is ordered to follow up as rapidly as possible.
Colonel, Commanding.
Major-General SCHOFIELD,
Saint Louis, Mo.
Cross Timbers, via Cassville, October 15, 1863.
GENERAL: Brooks and Brown attacked our train this morning at sunrise with a large force,
claimed by rebels to be 1,000 men, but estimated by citizens to be 600. They were gallantly
repulsed by Major [E.]Fitch, commanding escort. He was supported by Captain [J.] Ray, with his
company of Eighteenth Iowa Infantry, and Lieutenant [William] Mayes, with one section of
Stark's battery, all of whom behaved nobly. I had already started for Fayetteville, with two
battalions of the First Arkansas Cavalry, Captain [D. D.] Stark, and one section of his battery,
and the First Arkansas Howitzers. After having marched 7 miles, on hearing the firing, I returned
rapidly, but arrived about fifteen minutes after the enemy had retreated. Our loss, I sergeant and
1 private killed, 1 private mortally wounded, and 1 taken prisoner. Enemy's loss not known. I
shall retain my whole command as escort to the train, and move as rapidly as possible to
Colonel, Commanding Arkansas Volunteers.
Brigadier-General MCNEIL, Commanding.
Benton, Ark., October 31, 1863.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to submit the following brief report of the cavalry
expedition in pursuit of Marmaduke:
At 7 a.m. on the 26th instant, I received an order from Major-General Steele, stating that
Colonel Clayton was attacked at Pine Bluff, and directing me to "march in the direction of Pine
Bluff with all the available cavalry at this post immediately." At 9 a.m. of the same day, I left
Benton, with 500 cavalry and one section of the Twenty-fifth Ohio Battery, and marched in the
direction of Pine Bluff. About 12 o'clock at night of the same day, and when 12 miles from Pine
Bluff, I came upon the camp of part of [J. M.] Glover's brigade, which had left Little Rock, and
there learned that Colonel Clayton had repulsed the enemy, and stood in no need of reenforcements.
My stock being very tired, I halted till morning, when I proceeded to Pine Bluff,
and reported to Colonel Clayton. Colonel Clayton had just received an order from Major-General
Steele to assume command of the forces ordered to his assistance from Benton, Little Rock, and
Brownsville, and, with them and all the available force at Pine Bluff, pursue the enemy. The
order further states that General [S. A.] Rice had been ordered to Benton with a brigade of
infantry, and would be ordered to go on to Arkadelphia, and that when he (Colonel
Clayton)joined General Rice, or came within communicating distance, he would act under orders
from General Rice. Colonel Clayton being sick and unable to go, turned this order over to me, as
the ranking officer present, and directed me to take charge of the expedition. The horses attached
to the Twenty-fifth Ohio Battery were completely broken down, in consequence of which the
section of that battery taken by me from Benton, as also the section taken by Lieutenant-Colonel
Caldwell, of the First Iowa Cavalry, from Little Rock, were left at Pine Bluff, and Colonel
Clayton's howitzers taken in lieu of them. Owing to the non-arrival of the forces from
Brownsville, I did not leave Pine Bluff till 5 p.m. on the 27th instant; marched that night to
Saline River, a distance of 30 miles; halted at 4 o'clock in the morning, fed my stock, and moved
on to Tulip, arriving there at 3 p.m.; drove out the rebel pickets and captured one lieutenant.
Halted to feed; got reliable information in the evening that Marmaduke was at Princeton on the
morning of that day with all his cavalry, but no train, having sent that forward on the Camden
road the day previous. Up to the time I got to Tulip all information was to the effect that
Marmaduke was not at Princeton, but moving on toward Camden, the march of his train,
captured stock, and negroes having been mistaken for the march of his whole column. As soon as
I learned the enemy was at Princeton, I determined to attack him the next morning, for which
purpose I moved early; but on arriving at Princeton, I learned he had left in haste the day
previous, immediately after his pickets reported my arrival at Tulip, and that he went 12 miles
out on the Camden road that night. Having no train to encumber him, 1 was satisfied farther
pursuit would be fruitless of any satisfactory result, and at Princeton I took the road to
Arkadelphia, at which point I arrived at 2 o'clock in the morning of the 29th instant. I succeeded
in completely surrounding the town before my presence was known to a single inhabitant. Our
coming was not known anywhere on the road between Princeton and Arkadelphia, and we
captured a good many horses and mules on the road, and at Arkadelphia I captured 2 lieutenants,
some $1,370 in Confederate money, belonging to the Confederate Government, being proceeds
of sale of Government salt; 3 six-mule teams, belonging to the Confederate Government; a large
mail, and 8 or 10 Confederate soldiers. Not finding General Rice there, as I was led to expect
from the order which I had received at 10 a.m. on the 30th instant, I took up my line of march for
Benton; halted for the night near Rockport, and marched into this place to-day.
All information from every source was to the effect that there were no rebel troops west of
Ouachita County, but that all the rebel forces of any moment in that part of the State were in and
south of that county.
I cannot conclude this report without again calling attention to this post. As it now stands, it
is a very difficult place to defend successfully. One or two redans at proper points, and a small
square redoubt on a high point in the rear of the town, will insure us against any attack from the
rebels, or, if they do attack, will insure their defeat. If the mechanics' train is sent me I will
construct these defenses; there are no tools here for the purpose. I will send a battalion to Pine
Bluff in the morning to get the four guns of the Twenty-fifth Ohio Battery, left there. As soon as
the guns arrive at this post I will send to Little Rock the section which left that place, unless the
colonel commanding will permit it to remain here. I send herewith the captured Confederate
money, and one or two letters taken from the captured mail. The prisoners will be sent forward to
the provost-marshal as soon as possible. I will take care that all captured property is turned over
to the brigade quartermaster and properly accounted for.
For the last three days I was out my command had no rations, and Marmaduke left little in
the country behind him for us to live on; but officers and men endured the hardships of the march
and subsisted on short rations cheerfully and without a murmur.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Expedition.
Lieut. J. M. SPRAGUE,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, First Cavalry Division.
Benton, Ark., November 18, 1863.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report the result of the recent cavalry expedition
undertaken in pursuance of orders from Major-General Steele.
I left this post with my command on the morning of the 10th instant; halted that night near
Hot Springs. The next day I marched by the way of Hot Springs, on the Murfreesborough road,
through Clark County, to a point within 18 miles of Murfreesborough. At this point a prisoner
was captured, who informed me that Major Witherspoon, of the rebel cavalry, with a detachment
of his command, was encamped 12 miles from me, on the Fort Smith and Washington road.
Although I had already marched 40 miles, I determined to strike this three at once, lest they
might get information of my presence in the country and escape me.
I accordingly selected 125 men, under command of Captain [J.] Baird, of the First Missouri
Cavalry, accompanied by my adjutant, Lieutenant [W. T.] Hamilton, and sent them forward
rapidly, guided by the prisoner whom we had taken, with orders to charge into the rebel camp
and give them no time to form or make any resistance. My orders were obeyed; the rebel pickets
were run down, and the first intimation the rebels had of the presence of my men was when they
charged right into their camp, guided by the light of their camp-fires, and opened a volley on
them. The rebels, wild with fright, fled into the woods, in some in stances without other covering
than their shirts. The underbrush and woods and the darkness of the night prevented any
successful pursuit of the fugitives.
Major [J. L.] Witherspoon himself, 1 captain, 2 lieutenants, together with 10 privates, and all
their horses, horse equipments, arms, camp equipage, and transportation, were captured. The
transportation and camp equipage were burned. The firing in camp caused many horses to break
loose, and in the darkness of the night they could not be found, but not a single rebel got away
with his horse.
At this point I sent out all the loyal men of that region then with me to notify the loyal men
who were in the mountains to meet me at Caddo Gap, which point I determined to take
possession of and hold till these people would join me. Accordingly, on the 12th instant, I
marched up to the gap, where I left part of my command to hold that position, and with the
balance I hurried forward to Mount Ida, expecting to surprise and capture a small rebel force
garrisoned at that place. When near the place, I learned that a Federal force from Waldron, being
part of a column which had come from Fort Smith to Waldron, had on the day previous been in
Mount Ida, and that the rebels, learning of their approach, had fled precipitately, abandoning
their camp equipage and transportation, which, together with the house in which the rebels barracked,
our forces from Waldron burned. I remained at Mount Ida until the evening of the 14th
While at Mount Ida I caused the roads leading to Fort Smith, Waldron, Dardanelle, and Little
Rock to be patrolled for a distance of 15 miles, and scoured the country in every direction for a
like distance, and in this way picked up a good many straggling rebel soldiers, and succeeded in
capturing several leading guerrillas of that country, who have been prominent and taken an
active part in robbing, persecuting, imprisoning, and hanging Union men. I have caused the
names of these guerrillas, with a statement of their crimes' and the witnesses by whom the facts
can be proved, to be forwarded to the provost-marshal-general; and on behalf of the loyal men of
that country, and for the sake of justice and humanity, I beg that those men be not treated as
prisoners of war and exchanged, but that they be turned over to a military commission, and tried,
convicted, and executed for the many inhuman and horrid crimes they have committed.
On the evening of the 14th instant, that part of my command left at Caddo Gap reached me,
together with nearly 300 loyal men, who had come from the surrounding mountains to join the
Federal Army. It is true that in this number there are a few who did not come to enter the service,
but they are old, gray-headed men, who are compelled to flee their homes to save themselves
from being hanged by the rebels. These people who came out with me are hardy, vigorous, and
resolute men; they represent every trade, pursuit, and profession of life, and in intelligence and
appearance are equal to the same number of men in any country.
As soon as these loyal men reached my camp, they were furnished with arms, which had
been taken along for that purpose, and put under the command of Colonel Arnold, a resident of
that region, and whom I understand has been commissioned to raise a regiment from the loyal
men of that county. Colonel Arnold and his men were on duty day and night. Every part of that
county was visited by Colonel Arnold in person or by his scouts. While out one night gathering
in the loyal men. Colonel Arnold, with 17 men, came upon 23 rebels in camp, charged on them,
killed 4, captured 7, and drove the rest in confusion to the woods, capturing all their camp
equipage and arms and 10 horses, and retook 8 Union men whom the rebels held as prisoners,
and some of whom they were about to hang.
From Mount Ida I marched on the direct road to this place, halting one night at Cedar Glades
and one night at Cunningham's, the point where the Hot Springs, Danville, and Perryville roads
intersect the Mount Ida and Little Rock road. Ten miles east of Cedar Glades my advance guard
came upon a rebel company, charged them, killed 2, wounded others, and captured 30 horses and
horse equipments and 20 guns.
In a mountain pass, 1 mile east of Cunningham's, bushwhackers, concealed behind rocks in
the mountains, fired on the head of my column, and then fled rapidly over the mountains and
My casualties on the expedition were 3 men of the First Missouri Volunteer Cavalry
seriously wounded.
My line of march took me through the counties of Hot Spring, Clark, Pike, Polk, and
Montgomery. My scouts, under the command and direction of Colonel Arnold, went into
Hempstead and Sevier Counties.
The great majority of the inhabitants of the district of country through which I marched are
soundly loyal. They occupy the mountainous districts in the counties named, and from the
commencement of the rebellion they have never faltered in their devotion to the old flag.
Every conceivable means has been used to force these loyal men into the rebel service; they
have been hung by scores; they have been hunted down with bloodhounds by the slaveholding
rebels of Red River Valley; they have been robbed of their property, chained and imprisoned, yet
amidst all this persecution and suffering these people stood out, and everywhere I went through
their country they greeted my column with shouts of joy. There are several hundred more loyal
men in the same region of country, but farther south, who are anxiously waiting for an
opportunity to get out of the rebel lines and enlist in our service.
I cheerfully acknowledge my indebtedness to Colonel Arnold. His perfect knowledge of the
country, intimate acquaintance with the people, energy and courage, enabled him, with the
assistance of his men, to keep me constantly advised of the movements and position of the
My acting assistant adjutant-general, Lieutenant [W. T.] Hamilton, served me most ably and
faithfully day and night, and officers and men, without a single exception, behaved admirably on
the whole trip.
I subsisted my men, as far as practicable, on the country, and supplied myself liberally with
forage, horses, and mules whenever wanted, but 1 was always careful to see that secessionists
supplied me with these wants, and that they were taken in an orderly manner.
It is due to my command to say that not a single private house was entered by a soldier on the
whole trip except for a legitimate purpose, under direction of a commissioned officer or upon
invitation of the occupant, and not a cent's worth of property was taken which it was not
legitimate or proper to take.
I am, lieutenant, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding First Brigade.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Cavalry Div., Little Rock.
DAKOTA CITY, December 20, 1863.
GENERAL: In compliance with your verbal instructions to inquire into and report upon the
late unfortunate affair between a detachment of the command at this post and a small body of the
Poncas, I have the honor to submit the following facts:
It seems that, on or about the first of the present month, a sergeant in command of a
detachment of our troops discovered some 20 Indians, of the tribe mentioned, on the south side
of the Missouri River. They appear to have been encamped there. He demanded to see their
passes. Either they had none to exhibit, or, from perverseness, declined to produce them. The
former is probably the fact, as their agent was not among the tribe at the agency when they left.
The chief ordered the sergeant away, and the latter complied.
On the day of the 4th, it seems that these Indians fell in with a couple of citizens of Niobrara,
and made some demonstrations not calculated to please them, and they fled from the Indians
with haste. I understand that the Indians circled near the white men, and rode toward them, but
did not fire nor appear to intend anything serious. The white men were, with wagons and oxen,
some 2 miles from town. After thus frightening the whites, the Indians seem to have gone off in a
direction away from the settlement. The white men came into the town, and reported the thing to
the sergeant in command of the soldiers. The latter were at once ordered out, and the pursuit
under the sergeant commenced. The indians were overtaken and fired upon by our men. The
Indians returned two shots, but continued retreating, followed by our men, whose fire was rapid
and continuous, until 7 of the Indians were killed. None of our troops were injured. Subsequently
the Indians demanded the bodies of their slain, which were accorded to them, and here the
unfortunate affair closes for the present.
The facts given above I received from Captain [J.] Wilcox, which he may have already
detailed to you. I make no comment upon them, further than to observe that it seems to me so
unfortunate an affair as the killing of so many men at the time might, with prudent foresight,
have been avoided; and, thinking thus, and seeing a strong probability that similar occurrences
may transpire, I have recommended Captain Wilcox to keep one of his lieutenants at the
important place of Niobrara, who it would seem would be likely to act with a greater degree of
caution and a deeper sense of responsibility than an enlisted man seems likely to do. This course
I believe the captain has determined to adopt.
I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant.
Major and Chief of Cavalry and District Inspector.
Brigadier-General McKEAN,
Omaha, Nebr.
DECEMBER 1, 1863.
SIR: I sent out a patrol of 40 men on the Hot Springs road at 3 o'clock this morning, under
Lieutenant [A. D.] Mills, First Missouri Cavalry. He has just returned, having gone out 25 miles.
When within 10 miles of Benton, on his return, he was attacked by a force of 400 rebels, and lost
3 men killed and 2 wounded, who got into camp. He came near being captured with his whole
force. He thinks this force was there for the purpose of capturing our forage trains, which have
been going out on that road. The train was hurried in yesterday by a reported force near Hot
Springs. Two men of Lieutenant Mills' command had their horses shot, and took to the brush.
They have come in on the road. The enemy did not advance. They have no doubt fallen back to
the mountains.
Brigadier-General DAVIDSON,
Commanding Cavalry Division, Little Rock, Ark.
Little Rock, Ark., December 17, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report below the result of the reconnaissance which I have
just completed, in compliance with the orders of the major-general commanding the army:
On the 4th instant, I received from Brigadier-General Davidson, commanding cavalry
division, orders to report in person to the major-general commanding, for further instructions,
and to take command for the duty assigned me of the following troops: Seventh Missouri
Cavalry, Major [M. H.] Brawner commanding, 400; two battalions of First Iowa Cavalry,
Captain [J. D.] Jenks commanding, 250; one battalion of Merrill's Horse, Captain [William H.]
Higdon commanding, 125;and to be joined at Benton by detachment of First Missouri Cavalry,
Major [A. P.] Peabody commanding, 200; detachment of Third Iowa Cavalry, Captain [B. S.]
Jones commanding, 200; and four guns of Hadley's battery, Lieutenant [E. B.] Hubbard
commanding, making an aggregate of little more than 1,000 men. Upon reporting to the majorgeneral
commanding for further instructions, he informed me that Parsons' brigade of rebel
cavalry was camped near Princeton, with some artillery, and that he wished me to drive them
away, and find out what I could of the strength, position, and intentions of the enemy; to exercise
my own discretion as to when and how to advance, and also as to what was necessary to be done.
On the following morning I left this place with part of my command, and reached Benton
that evening, being there joined by the artillery and the rest of my command. The next day I
reached Rockport, on the Washita, and found that about 150 rebel cavalry, belonging to Cabell's
brigade, had left there about two hours before my arrival. Here, as elsewhere throughout the
entire march, I heard all sorts of reports of the enemy, from which reports I judged that Cabell's
brigade was camped that night on Caddo Creek, 4 miles north of Arkadelphia, on the west side
of the Washita; that some command was camped below Princeton, and that Price's whole army
was advancing from Camden, probably toward Little Rock or Pine Bluff. The Washita is subject
to very sudden rise, and the sky was threatening rain. This, with the importance of finding out the
truth of Price's reported advance, determined me to make a feint toward Arkadelphia, while I
moved upon the force near Princeton, and drove them far enough to determine Price's
For several miles below Rockport the roads to Tulip and Arkadelphia are the same, and I
accordingly moved my whole command toward Arkadelphia, as far as the dividing point, from
which I sent the Third Iowa and First Missouri, under Major Peabody, to make a demonstration
of movement toward Arkadelphia, while I marched the main body on the road to Tulip.
About 10 o'clock I received reliable information that the command near Princeton was an
outpost from Camden, about 700 strong, under the command of Colonel Crawford, and that
Parsons' brigade was not there. I pushed forward now with all possible haste, hoping to be able,
by throwing a part of my troops in their rear, to cut them off and capture the whole body. About
noon, however, a heavy rain began falling, and continued until daylight next morning. This made
the roads so heavy that I could not keep the artillery up without entirely wearing it out, and
entirely frustrating the plan proposed, as it would make the night too dark to move troops across
the country with success. I accordingly went into camp at Tulip, which I reached just at dark.
At sunrise next morning I moved out, Major Peabody's command having joined me during
the early night. I feared that the delay, caused by the rain, would have given the enemy time to
hear of my movements and get out of my way.
About 4 miles from Princeton my advanced guard found a small picket of the enemy, which
immediately retreated too rapidly to be caught. I now gave the immediate command of the
advance guard, comprised of the First Iowa, to Major Brawner, Seventh Missouri, and added to
his command the Seventh Missouri, with instructions to push on as rapidly as possible, and
develop the force and position of the enemy. Driving their outposts rapidly before him, he came
upon their main body about 2 miles below Princeton, posted behind a small stream, which was
crossed behind a bridge. Here he dismounted the First Iowa and part of the Seventh Missouri,
and quickly drove the enemy from their position through their camp and to the second position,
which they had assumed behind the crest of a hill about half a mile from their camp. A similar
disposition drove them from the hill in confusion, and only one more attempt was made to
withstand our troops. This was by some 50 men, under a Captain McMurtee, who rallied in the
road and attempted to stand. They were gallantly and vigorously charged by two squadrons of
the Seventh Missouri, under Captain [L.] Bunner, who, when he reached them after some miles
of hard riding, unhesitatingly dashed into them with only the 6 men who had succeeded in
keeping up in the race. They stood for a moment only before Bunner's sabers, and then fled in
the wildest disorder, still pursued by the Seventh Missouri. The vigor of the charge and courage
and hardihood of Captain Bunner and his men are attested by the killed and wounded, nearly all
of whom were killed or wounded with the saber. The rest of the chase was simply a trial of speed
between their horses and ours, in which they proved themselves better mounted than we. For
some 10 or 12 miles the chase was kept up, resulting, however, only in the capture of a few more
prisoners, and the enemy, as chance offered, disappearing through the heavy woods and
undergrowth through which the road ran.
The result of the attack was the complete rout of the enemy and disorderly flight toward
Camden, and through the woods in every direction. Six of the enemy were reported killed with
the saber, 2 by gunshot wounds, and 18 wounded, principally saber cuts; 3 commissioned
officers and 25 privates captured, and 1 wagon of their train, loaded with 50 blankets, captured;
the mules retained, and the wagon and harness (worthless) destroyed. Numerous arms were
picked up along the track of their flight, and the road for miles was strewn with saddlebags,
blankets, clothing, and arms. The horses belonging to the men captured were nearly all lost, as
they dashed off down the road with the flying enemy as soon as their riders were unhorsed.
Major Browner, of the Seventh Missouri, Captain Jenks, of the First Iowa, but more
especially Captain Bunner, of the Seventh Missouri, deserve the highest praise for courage and
good conduct. Captain Bunner's gallant charge turned a disorderly retreat into a disgraceful
flight, in which, it is said, the commanding officer of the rebels led off, with his troops,
completely panic-stricken, clattering along at his heels, "sauve qui peut."
Directing Major Browner, with part of the troops, to continue the pursuit as far as he deemed
fruitful of results, I returned to Princeton with the artillery and Major Peabody's brigade, and sent
a reconnaissance toward Arkadelphia, which returned in the course of the day, having seen no
signs of the enemy in that direction. Satisfied that the objects sought to be accomplished by the
reconnaissance had been obtained, as far as it was possible, I returned, by easy marches, to Little
Rock, reaching this place on the eighth day, making an average of 30 miles marching a day, and
with the horses improved by having had, during the expedition, plenty of long forage.
The information obtained from various sources is given below, such of it as in my estimation
is of doubtful value being noted from the rest.
Kirby Smith is at Shreveport, having recently made a visit to Washington, with no great
number of troops at that point. Holmes is said to have been ordered east of the Mississippi. Price
is at Woodlawn, about 18 miles south of west of Camden; has with him, or in that vicinity,
McRae's, Parsons', Frost's, and probably Tappan's brigades, with the same artillery that he had at
Little Rock. Fagan and "Texas" [W. H.] Parsons are at Camden, with about 1,000 infantry, 800
cavalry, and several pieces of artillery. A number of conscripts, returned deserters, and State
troops are under his command, but widely scattered through the country, on outpost and foraging
service. "Texas" Parsons was at Mount Elba, on the Saline, a few days before I reached
Princeton, but had returned with his command to Camden.
On the 4th, General Fagan came up to the camp below Princeton, and thence to Tulip, where
he staid about half an hour. I could not discover the object of his visit. He returned next day to
The country is full of rumors of an advance in the direction of Benton and Little Rock, but I
did not discover any signs of any serious intention to do so.
The enemy are engaged in building one or more pontoon bridges at Camden, but this is
probably simply a precaution against the rise of the Washita.
Marmaduke's headquarters were said to be at Clear Spring, 17 miles west of Arkadelphia,
and 6 miles south of the road from Arkadelphia to Washington. His command was reported to be
at various points in that section of country; nothing, so far as I could learn reliably (except a
small outpost on the Caddo and one at Arkadelphia), nearer than the body with him at
The Washita was rising slowly and the sky threatening rain when l reached Rockport, on my
return, and I feared, if I crossed, the stream would become impassable before I could get back.
The whole force of the enemy, from what I could gather, I take to be about 13,000 to 15,000
effective men, including Marmaduke's command, and all armed. Many of them are conscripts
and raw State troops, which can hardly be called effective, and little likely to become so.
I have prepared a careful sketch of the road, from notes taken while on the march. This is
taken without instruments, and with only such appliances and facilities as could be used on the
march; but is, as far as may be under these drawbacks, accurate. The sketch will be forwarded,
and a general description of the road and country, as soon as I can procure proper paper upon
which to make it.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Second Brigade, Cavalry Division.
Col. F. H. MANTER,
Chief of Staff.
P. S.--List of killed and wounded: William McChesney, private Company D, First Iowa
Cavalry, severely wounded in shoulder; arm amputated.
Doaksville, November 23, 1863.
Adjutant-General, Trans-Mississippi Department :
COLONEL: I have received intelligence that the enemy at Fort Smith has been further reenforced,
and that General Blunt is again in command, and that another force was pursuing
Colonel Brooks farther down the Arkansas River. There is now in that command certainly the
Second and Sixth Kansas, First and Second Arkansas, and Third Wisconsin Cavalry Regiments;
the Thirteenth Kansas, First Arkansas, and part of the Second, the Colorado, the Eighteenth
Iowa, and two negro regiments, and some Indian troops, of infantry, with several batteries.
Should these troops, or even the cavalry portion of them, move down the nearest road to Red
River, there is no force to resist them, except Gano's brigade, of little over 1,000 men, with
Howell's and Krumbhaar's batteries. The Indian brigade is scattered over the whole country.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Indian Territory.
Doaksville, December 2, 1863.
Brig. Gen. R. M. GANO:
GENERAL: All the information I receive leads to the conclusion that the enemy has
withdrawn all of his white troops from Fort Gibson to Fort Smith. He has now at that place a
cavalry force of five regiments--Second and Sixth Kansas, Third Wisconsin, First Arkansas, and
part or the whole of the Second Arkansas; and the Eighteenth Iowa is somewhere about, on the
line below, I believe. This force can give us much [trouble] on Red River, even if an advance in
force is not contemplated. Colonel McCurtin [J. McCurtain], Choctaw militia, writes General
Cooper that he expects to have 1,500 Choctaws assembled on the 1st of December, 1,000 of
them as infantry. I regret that Lieutenant-Colonel Showalter's command has been withdrawn at
this time, but I believe in obeying orders. The company sent here will go back and drive the beef,
except the small detail sent to Washita for the prisoner of Hardeman's regiment. I send to you a
deaf and dumb man, who represents that he is direct from Fort Smith; that he was sent there by
Fitzwilliams. He has been known to Dr. Duval and others for the last four years; yet his story is
so inconsistent in many respects, that I am inclined to believe that he has been sent out as a spy.
Keep him until Fitzwilliams can be heard from.
I wish you would send to Washington, Ark., to ascertain the distance and the mail facilities
from that place to Shreveport. I send an open letter to General Holmes, which please seal after
reading, and send it by a courier.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding
Columbus, Ky., January 2, 1863.
Commanding Department of the Missouri:
GENERAL: General Osterhaus, en route for his command, passed here last evening. From
him I learned your wishes touching our early departure for Helena. I have steadily kept before
General Davies your wishes that your forces should not be scattered or detained one day longer
in this department than his necessities should require. General Grant has ordered General Davies
to move us to Memphis immediately. General Davies has asked General Halleck for instructions.
General Tuttle, now here, is very desirous to retain all of your Iowa regiments as a command for
himself. I discover that he is hard at work among the colonels to influence them in the direction
of General Grant; complains bitterly that General Grant has been badly treated in the distribution
of the new troops from the Northwest. These are straws that indicate clearly what is in the wind.
I fear that, if we are set down at Memphis, we shall bid good-by to the Department of the
Missouri. It seems to me that after the liberal contribution you have made to the down-river
expedition your department cannot well spare any more regiments.
We had a grand scare here yesterday. General Davies sent an aide to me in great haste, at 9
a.m. with the intelligence that we were attacked on the right, and ordered say command into line
of battle immediately. We Missourians astonished the general commanding with our prompt
attention to orders, and, indeed, it would have pleased the venerable Pea Ridge himself to have
seen his boys spring to arms. Not an attack had we. Happy New Year was not disturbed by
mortality lists, or groans from the wounded. The irregular discharge of arms by the guard
relieved heat created the alarm. Colonel Moore, with the Twenty-first Missouri and Thirty-third
Iowa, is out on the railroad line 20 miles. Construction trains are within 8 miles of each other,
but there is much trestle work to rebuild. I fear General Davies will not be able to open and
maintain the line. Memphis must be made the base of supplies for General Grant's army. Colonel
Hughes has gone to repossess New Madrid. No rebel force has yet occupied the post. It was a
great shame to have abandoned it at all. Colonel Scott ought to be ordered back there, and send
Colonel Hughes, with his full regiment, down the river. I am now waiting telegram from you
touching our destination below. I fear you will have to telegraph General Halleck before we are
again in your department.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
January 2, 1863.
Commanding District of Columbus, Ky.:
GENERAL: I am in receipt of orders from General Curtis, directing me to proceed to Helena,
at the earliest possible moment, with the forces from his department temporarily on duty at this
General Gorman, anticipating my arrival at Helena with the forces from General Curtis now
on duty here, ordered nearly all of his command to join General Sherman in his expedition
against Vicksburg. The rebel forces of Hindman and Marmaduke, having been driven from Van
Buren, will probably concentrate with the force at Austin and march on Helena, while General
Gorman is weak. I would like your permission to commence the shipment of my regiments at the
earliest moment you consider the safety of Columbus will permit; the Twenty first Missouri and
Thirty-third Iowa being now out on the railroad with construction train, had better remain until
they can be spared from the line. Will you allow me to order transportation for the Thirty-third
and Thirty-fifth Missouri Infantry, Tenth Missouri Cavalry, and Twenty-ninth Iowa Infantry?
The Twenty-eighth Wisconsin Infantry might be given to me in place of the Thirty-third Iowa,
now out on the line. You will then have three Iowa, one Missouri, and one Illinois regiment left
here, in addition to the regulars.
General Curtis is so very urgent that I should lose no time in getting forward after your safety
is beyond doubt, that I now respectfully request that I be permitted to order the necessary
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Saint Louis, January 2, 1863
Brig. Gen. WILLIS A. GORMAN, Helena, Ark.:
GENERAL: I am moving the Army of the Frontier eastward, but cautiously. They have to
move on the north side of the Boston Mountains, not being able to get supplies in the immediate
If you received my late letters, you will understand my reasons for apprehending great
difficulty in using the Arkansas River as a military line of operations. We want both the White
and Arkansas, so you can tall back on the White River if the Arkansas dries up, as it will. Helena
will also have to be occupied, and I hope you have not even temporarily abandoned it. We must
have a position for stores which is not liable to be overflowed.
Colonel Chipman says remonstrances have been sent against detention of troops at
Columbus. This was by order of General Halleck, and probably necessary to you and to the
Hindman is either moving east or south. It is very likely he will try to form a junction with
General Holmes.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Helena, Ark., January 3, 1863.
Major-General CURTIS,
Commanding Department of the Missouri, Saint Louis, Mo.:
GENERAL: You say in your dispatch of the 29th that---
The downward pressure on me and upward pressure on you have weakened us so much that I
will not be able to do good in a westerly move till matters improve elsewhere.
By this you are understood to say that I am not to move until I get more forces.
The Thirty-sixth Iowa Regiment, detained for a few days at Memphis, have arrived here. In
your dispatch of the 30th you say to Colonel Chipman:
If necessary and possible, General Gorman must assist Memphis or any other point where
our line of communications is in danger, deferring, If need be, all interior operations from Helena
till we are re-enforced by General Grant, or other arrivals on the river.
In the same dispatch you say:
The Army of the Frontier will have to fall back for supplies, and wait till we can get strength
enough to move up the rivers of Arkansas and hold them.
By this you are understood to order me to wait until you are strong enough to move up the
Arkansas or White River, because the Army of the Frontier will have to fall back for supplies, as
no connection can be made by one advancing and the other retiring.
The enemy have a battery of two rifled guns 6 or 7 miles below Napoleon. I am going down
with an armed force to capture it or run them off.
No transports have returned from the fleet below, and I am afraid to let the supplies pass
down to our army below without an armed force to protect them. Rear-Admiral Porter has sent
up the gunboat Cones-toga to watch and guard from the mouth of White River to Cypress Bend;
she is now there cruising. I shall feel that the commissary boats are safer when I get them to her.
By your dispatches you are understood to favor the idea of this column, moving up White
River, as it will the better support this depot. When General Fisk's or other forces arrive, so as to
increase my infantry force to 10,000, I will leave a garrison of 1,000 infantry, 500 cavalry, and a
light battery, with part of the mortar fleet, to hold this place, and at once attack and take Saint
Charles. And when I can have the cooperation of the gunboats up the Arkansas, will attack Old
Post. I will immediately inform you when I get to Saint Charles. I would have preferred to have
gone with transports and gunboats up the Arkansas and threatened Little Rock, if you had not
been so decidedly in favor of the White River for permanent occupation. General A. P. Hovey
and General Washburn fully approve this plan. Were it not that the Mississippi was rising very
rapidly, and White River very high, I might land at Prairie Landing, which is some 12 or 15
miles from Old Post; but the flat lands for 2 miles are entirely overflowed, making it impossible
to debark there. After getting to Saint Charles, if Admiral Porter sends me gunboats enough, I
may find it most desirable to push up my force and take Devall's Bluff.
I am very impatient to get off, and, but for supporting General Sherman at Vicksburg with
such a heavy force, I should have been half way to Little Rock, and this would have compelled
the evacuation of Saint Charles, Devall's Bluff, Cotton Plant, and, in fact, all rebel forces east of
the Arkansas River.
Had you not desired to hold this post, I should have left it in care of a gunboat. Before this
reaches you, Colonel Chipman will have communicated with you, and given you my views more
in detail. Let me hear from you; but I shall move when I get ready without further orders, unless
surrounding events prevent or counter orders are received before I get off.
I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Columbus, Ky., January 5, 1863.
Major-General CURTIS,
Department of the Missouri, Saint Louis, Mo.:
GENERAL: 1 have my entire command in readiness to ship as soon as transportation reaches
us. I yesterday forwarded, by steamer Black Hawk, Schofield's battery. They are ordered to
Helena, though General Grant's order is to stop us all at Memphis. I am this day loading the
Twenty-eighth Wisconsin Infantry and Thirty-third Missouri Infantry on steamers Swallow and
Florence. I shall go to Memphis in person to-night to drive by and away from that point the
troops from your department. My adjutant will remain here and conduct the embarkation. I have
traded the Twenty first Missouri Infantry to General Davies for the Fortieth Iowa Infantry.
Colonel Moore is a valuable man for post duty; is not good for field service, as he has but one
leg. His regiment has 700 men; the Fortieth Iowa has 920 men. I have here and en route to
Helena forces as follows: Thirty-third Missouri Infantry, say, 800; Thirty-fifth Missouri Infantry,
say, 700; Twenty-ninth Iowa Infantry, say, 900; Thirty-third Iowa Infantry, say, 800; Fortieth
Iowa Infantry, say, 900, and Tenth Missouri Cavalry (detachment), say, 400.
Schofield's battery, First Missouri Artillery, and Twenty-eighth Wisconsin Infantry,
commanded by an old friend, en route down stream without any special orders, has sought
protection under my wing, and attached themselves to my command. If I succeed in running this
force all by Memphis, I shall consider ourselves very fortunate. I am unable to judge why
General Grant is so earnest in his desire to keep us at Memphis; his force is now at Holly
Springs, and unoccupied; he ought to be able to take care of his entire department without further
aid from you.
I forward you by this mail a letter from Colonel Hughes, announcing his arrival at and
occupation of New Madrid. I don't regard him in any danger of an attack. If a company of
cavalry, with two howitzers, could be sent to New Madrid, and Colonel Scott ordered back there
from Fort Pillow, Colonel Hughes' entire regiment might be relieved and proceed down stream.
Colonel Scott was here in person when General Davies ordered him to abandon New Madrid and
destroy the works. Colonel Scott questioned the authority of General Davies to make such an
order, when General Davies informed him that he had your order to command the force at New
Madrid, as also that of Colonel Chipman, chief of staff. Colonel Scott was opposed to the
evacuation; no one favored it but General Davies. Consultation with me was simply a statement
to me that the post must be abandoned and the force ordered to Fort Pillow. General Davies
thought he had reliable information that Van Dorn, with an immense force, was marching on
Fort Pillow, and that Jeff. Thompson and Jeffers, with their consolidated hordes of rebels, were
in close proximity to New Madrid and Island No. 10; that the plan was to seize the guns at these
several points and blockade the Mississippi River. General Tuttle and myself were both opposed
to the abandonment, blowing up, and spiking proposition. I had all I could do to convince
General Davies that it was madness to abandon Paducah even; his dispatches to Colonel
Dougherty ordering him to give up Paducah were written when General Tuttle and myself were
advised of his intentions. General Halleck's dispatches to General Davies, three in number, were
definite and imperative to hold this post at all hazards, and allow no movement to be made that
would in the least endanger the Mississippi between Cairo and Memphis. I have not believed that
Columbus was in real danger at any time, although had you not thus promptly re-enforced it, it
would have been given up. It has been an unpleasant episode in my military history, but I have
obeyed orders.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers
Columbus, Ky., January 5, 1863.
Commanding District of Eastern Arkansas:
GENERAL: I am forwarding my command to Helena as rapidly as transportation can be
furnished me. I have been detained at this post ten days, by order of General Halleck, through
General Curtis and Davies. I am somewhat fearful that a portion of my command may be
stopped off at Memphis. General Davies has orders from General Grant to send us all to
Memphis. I shall go to Memphis in person to night, and drive by and away from there every
soldier that the safety of that post will permit.
Schofield's battery was forwarded to you yesterday, on steamer Block Hawk. The Twentyeighth
Wisconsin Infantry and Thirty-third Missouri Infantry go forward to-day by steamers
Swallow and Florence. I am expecting steamers from Saint Louis within the next twenty-four
hours sufficient to remove my entire command.
Forces assigned to my command by Major-General Curtis are as follows: Twenty-eighth
Wisconsin Infantry, Twenty-ninth Iowa Infantry, Thirty-third Iowa Infantry, Fortieth Iowa
Infantry, Thirty third Missouri Infantry, Thirty-fifth Missouri Infantry, Tenth Missouri Cavalry
(detachment), and Schofield's battery, First Missouri Artillery.
I am aiming to put all this force in Helena., and to be with it at the earliest moment possible.
My adjutant-general will remain here and push on the force. I will be at Memphis to engineer it
by that point. I would prefer that my command should not be broken into by any new
organization of force until my arrival with you. Colonel Lewis, of the Twenty-eighth Wisconsin
Infantry, is my senior colonel, and I will thank you to put him in command of my forces until my
General Rosecrans has fought a most desperate battle near Murfreesborough. I fear it is not
decisive. I am painfully anxious to hear from Vicksburg. I saw your dispatch to General Curtis,
under date of 1st instant. We have nothing of a later date.
May the God of battles be with us.
I am, general, very respectfully,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Near and above Memphis, January 9, 1863.
Saint Louis, Mo.:
GENERAL: At 2 p.m. yesterday I pushed off from Columbus with the Twenty-ninth and
Thirty-third Iowa and Thirty-fifth Missouri, all afloat for Helena. I left the Twenty-first Missouri
and Bowen's detachment of cavalry to be forwarded this day. I was glad to turn my back on
Columbus. Was detained there just twenty-four hours after getting on board my steamer by a
new scare. Will write you fully my views of Columbus, its defenses and defender, at another
I stopped at Island No. 10. Saw the destruction which had been worked, and had a conference
with Major Jones, commanding. Visited Colonel Hughes at New Madrid, which post can be well
cared for by Colonel Scott's six companies, now at Fort Pillow. Called at Fort Pillow this
morning to see Colonel Scott; found he was at Saint Louis. My plan was to send a steamer from
Memphis to remove his command to New Madrid, and return with Colonel Hughes' regiment to
Helena; but, as you will doubtless see and order Colonel Scott, I advised Lieutenant-Colonel Mix
to make no move until Colonel Scott should return. A company of cavalry at Fort Pillow had a
successful fight with Dawson's guerrillas, 40 miles in the rear of the fort, yesterday. Sixteen
rebels were killed, many wounded, and 47 prisoners captured and brought to the fort; 1 major, 2
captains, and 4 lieutenants were among the number; a large number of horses and arms were
taken. I hope to be in Helena on to-morrow morning, and am ready to pitch in. I arrested a crowd
of gamblers on my flag-ship last night, and put them off at Fort Pillow, to be confined at hard
labor for twenty days, and divided their plunder among Sanitary Commission agents on board.
The rascals must not get in my way.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Helena, Ark., January 13, 1863.
Commanding Department of the Missouri:
GENERAL: Mr. Brooks will deliver to you the papers and the persons of G. W. Baker and
officers of the steamer Alhambra.
I was left here with 1,000 cavalry and the Thirty-sixth Iowa Infantry, numbering 600 men.
The Thirty-third Missouri Infantry was also ordered to remain here when Colonel Colburn left
for Saint Louis. General Fisk on his arrival here ordered the Thirty-third Missouri to go with the
expedition, and left an order for the Twenty-first Missouri to remain here. The Thirty-third Iowa
arrived last night, and report the Twenty-first Missouri not on the way. Colonel Rice thinks they
are not ordered down the river. I cannot hold this post with the force left, and have detained the
Thirty-third Iowa until the Twenty-first Missouri arrives.
There are 5,000 horses and mules, several large warehouses filled with Government property,
and other valuable stores here to be guarded. The force now here is too small for the duty.
Lieutenant Bradford, of the Second Wisconsin Cavalry, was sent back from Big Creek
yesterday by Colonel Clayton, Fifth Kansas Cavalry, who, with 1,200 men, was ordered to Saint
Charles. Lieutenant Bradford, with 25 men, was attacked at Lick Creek, 12 miles from here, and
lost 20 men. The lieutenant and 4 men arrived about 7 p.m. last night. They report 200 rebels.
There are a great many negro men, women, and children coming into our lines since the
proclamation; many are leaving their homes. I am at a loss to know what to do with them, and
would be pleased to receive some instructions from you. I am also at a loss to know how much
authority I have here. Can I appoint courts of inquiry to examine absent officers, general courtsmartial,
grant leaves of absence on surgeon's certificate, &c.; have I the power conferred on a
division commander? I am left without any instructions, and have not had time, owing to a great
press of business, to examine the orders I have.
I have information direct from Saint Charles there were only 600 men there on Sunday.
General Gorman will find the town evacuated. I will comply with any instructions you may give
Mr. Yeatman, the agent of the Treasury Department, claims the exclusive control of the
commerce below Memphis. He desires me to deliver to him certain lots of cotton left in wharfboat
by General Gorman, belonging to parties now up the river. I have declined to do so, on the
ground that Mr. Yeatman has no power to take property in charge of the military authorities.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding.
Houston, Mo., January 16, 1863.
Chief of Staff, Saint Louis, Mo.:
COLONEL: I have communicated, by telegraph, with the general commanding, but am not
yet quite prepared to give an official report of my operations for the last week. Lieutenant
Brown, Third Iowa Cavalry, captured on a reconnaissance and paroled, came in last night. He
was released on the North Fork of White River, near Indian Creek, 45 miles below Hartville. He
reports the enemy over 6,000, without including losses. They marched several miles toward
Houston, but, for some reason, headed their column south, and moved on toward Arkansas. They
are to rendezvous at Batesville, where they are to be joined by Hindman, and make another raid
to Springfield. They buried an officer near Barnett's farm, on Clark Creek, 10 miles below
Hartville, whom he has no doubt was Porter. He saw him after he was brought from the field. He
was then insensible, and said to be mortally wounded. Brown was captured early in the morning,
about 7 miles west of Hartville, at the beginning of the first fight, and was with them all the time
during the engagement. Marmaduke had several conversations with him, and expressed great
admiration of the manner the men fought, repeating that they "were perfect devils."
My whole command are now with me and in fine condition. I shall send my official report tomorrow.
Meantime, I am, colonel, very truly, your obedient servant,
Forsyth, Mo., January 25, 1863.
Col. C. W. MARSH,
Assistant Adjutant-General:
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that we are succeeding very well in crossing the river,
and will have everything over by to-morrow night. Both of the batteries are now safely over. On
yesterday morning I sent a scout of 100 men, under Major Anderson, to Carrollton, which will
return to-morrow evening. I started Grayson's train (60 wagons) to Springfield yesterday, also a
train of 80 wagons, which reached us here on the evening of the 23d instant. You are probably
aware that General Herron took with him his entire staff, except Captain Littleton, commissary
of subsistence, and Lieutenant Pettit, acting assistant quartermaster. Captain Littleton asked to be
relieved on the 21st, saying that he had orders to report to General Herron in Springfield. I
accordingly detailed Capt. H. Jordan, Nineteenth Iowa Infantry, to relieve him, and he has also
gone, making a transfer of his subsistence stores to Captain Jordan. Lieutenant Pettit desires also
to be relieved and join his regiment, the Thirty-eighth Iowa Infantry. I have, of course, given no
leave of absence, and very much doubt the propriety of their leaving. I shall, however, be able to
detail competent officers to take charge of these departments for the present. We are suffering
much for the want of horseshoes and nails. The quartermaster assures me that his requisition is in
for a sufficient supply, but is unable to get them. I report it to you because I think the service is
suffering and the Government losing vastly by not furnishing a supply of these articles. I have
called upon Lieutenant-Colonel Baldwin, provost-marshal of the division, to furnish a written
statement of what disposition was made of the 9 prisoners of war (referred to in Col. Dan.
Huston's letter) supposed to have been murdered at Huntsville, Ark., on the 10th instant, and will
report as soon as the matter can be investigated. I have no doubt but that some officer of this
division ordered these men shot, and regard it myself as a great outrage.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Col. First Iowa Cav., Comdg. Third Div., Army of the Frontier.
Camp at West Plains, February 6, 1863.
Major-General CURTIS,
Commanding Department:
GENERAL: Your letter, by Lieutenant Clarkson, of the 30th ultimo, has been received and
carefully digested.
Your instructions will be cheerfully and honestly carried out. I will endeavor to fulfill the
duty, though the glory seems far ahead. Leeper shall be tried for abandoning Van Buren without
I have given the order for this army to fall back to a position nearer its base of supply. It is
given with reluctance, but it is forced upon us by the poverty of the country and our wants. I
have selected a position about equidistant from Rolla and Pilot Knob--say, Chiltonsville or
Eminence, temporarily--so as to use two roads, one to Rolla, via Salem, the other to Pilot Knob,
via Centreville. Meantime, while the main supply trains are feeding and foraging us, the division
supply trains, of 50 wagons each, carrying twelve days' subsistence, are kept parked and
untouched at our new position, ready to move to White River when you give the word; the
reserve ammunition the same way. This is a mobile army, and I will keep it so. The cavalry will
be kept out ahead, examining the roads, making forays, &c.
I see Pocahontas lies in the route you have laid down for me, and I might as well accept it at
once. All the information, therefore, that can be gotten about the proper line via Van Buren and
that point will be gotten. Pocahontas is the head of navigation of Black River, I believe.
I asked, by my aide, Lieutenant Gray, telegraphic permission to come up for two days, while
my divisions are taking up their positions. I can be spared, and my health really requires even
twenty-four hours' relaxation. If a movement occurs, I can overtake, and my division
commanders are trained now to take care of themselves.
I am glad you sent me Colonel Stone. I had trouble with Kinsman's regiment before; now I
have none. I found Stone a ready soldier and a gentleman, and I put the Iowa people in one
brigade, the "Iowa Brigade" under him, and he manages everything, to my great relief.
I am, general, most truly, with high respect,
Milwaukee, Wis., February 18, 1863.
Col. J. C. KELTON,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Headquarters of the Army:
COLONEL: I have the honor to state, for the information of the General-in-Chief, that
reports from General Sibley, from the Indian agents, and from other respectable persons on the
frontier have been received here, and these reports all concur in representing that extensive
preparations and combinations are being made among the Sioux for a renewal of hostilities in the
spring. Little Crow, it is stated, has succeeded in uniting several of the bands of the Upper Sioux,
and that as many as 7,000 warriors will be brought into the field as soon as the spring fairly
opens. This number is perhaps overestimated, but all indications point to some serious and
extensive operations against the white settlements, and it will be well to provide in time against
such an outbreak. I have accordingly instructed General Sibley to organize two columns, if
possible, to consist of not less than 2,500 men each, with six pieces of artillery to each column,
and to be in readiness to take the field as soon as the grass is sufficiently advanced to subsist his
animals. One column will move north from the Saint Peter's (Minnesota) River, at the mouth of
Yellow Medicine, the other along the Big Sioux or between that stream and the James River. The
Indians are said to be assembled in the vicinity of Devil's Lake, on the northern line of
Minnesota, and these columns will move against them. At the same time I desire to move a third
column, under General Cook, up the Missouri River from Fort Randall, so as to intercept any
retreat of the Indians to the south side of the Missouri. The attack of the Indians will doubtless be
made upon the settlements along the Missouri and James Rivers, if their movements be not
anticipated. The only troops I can give to General Cook for this purpose are three companies of
the Forty-first Iowa Infantry, now at Sioux City, and part of the regiment of cavalry in Iowa, the
organization of eight companies having been completed. I have written to Governor Kirkwood to
send up the eight companies of cavalry to report to General Cook at Sioux City, and I have
suggested to him that he should fill up the Forty-first Regiment by organizing as soon as possible
the remaining seven companies. In view of these operations in the spring, I request that the
mounted regiments in Nebraska be placed at the disposal of General Cook for his movement up
the Missouri. Under all views of the Indian question, I think it very necessary that demonstration
in some force be made on the northern plains in the spring. I think, with the regiments of
mounted men in Nebraska, the force will be sufficient. I will transmit to the Department copies
of the reports of Generals Cook and Sibley.
I am, colonel, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major-General, Commanding.
Camp Mountain Grove, Wright County, Mo., March 1863.
Col. C. W. MARSH,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Springfield, Mo.:
The colonel commanding the Third Division [directs me] to inform you that the Scouting
party which was sent a few days [ago] to West Plains returned last evening, and brings reliable
information of the rebel force under Marmaduke being encamped a short distance below
Batesville, Ark., and is shoeing his horses and getting his command in good condition; also [that]
Burbridge's command is in and around Salem, but has no permanent place, but keeps moving
about as circumstances may dictate. The scouting party came close upon a party or independent
company, who keep skulking through the mountains in this vicinity, dressed in the Federal
uniform, numbering about 100 men, but did not capture any of them.
I inclose a copy of a communication sent to these headquarters by Lieut. Col. D. Kent,
commanding the Nineteenth Regiment Iowa Infantry, at Forsyth, in reference to casualty which
happened to some of his men while crossing the river; also his opinion about the practicability of
crossing on said beats.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain and Acting Assistant Adjutant- General.
Forsyth, Mo., March 14, 1863.
General [SCHOFIELD]:
I have the honor to relate that our forage train has been attacked, about 20 miles from here,
by about 400 of the enemy. The messenger coming in after re-enforcements informs me that they
are being held in check by the escort to the train, composed of about 70 cavalry and 50 infantry. I
have just dispatched all the wagons I had loaded with infantry (only six), with about 25 cavalry
(all in camp), to their relief. From several scouts, and from other sources, I learn that we shall be
attacked at this place before many days by a combined force under Coffee and several other
leaders, and would respectfully suggest that you send re-enforcements immediately, composed in
part of artillery.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding
Milwaukee, Wis., February 18, 1863.
Col. J. C. KELTON,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Headquarters of the Army:
COLONEL: I have the honor to state, for the information of the General-in-Chief, that
reports from General Sibley, from the Indian agents, and from other respectable persons on the
frontier have been received here, and these reports all concur in representing that extensive
preparations and combinations are being made among the Sioux for a renewal of hostilities in the
spring. Little Crow, it is stated, has succeeded in uniting several of the bands of the Upper Sioux,
and that as many as 7,000 warriors will be brought into the field as soon as the spring fairly
opens. This number is perhaps overestimated, but all indications point to some serious and
extensive operations against the white settlements, and it will be well to provide in time against
such an outbreak. I have accordingly instructed General Sibley to organize two columns, if
possible, to consist of not less than 2,500 men each, with six pieces of artillery to each column,
and to be in readiness to take the field as soon as the grass is sufficiently advanced to subsist his
animals. One column will move north from the Saint Peter's (Minnesota) River, at the mouth of
Yellow Medicine, the other along the Big Sioux or between that stream and the James River. The
Indians are said to be assembled in the vicinity of Devil's Lake, on the northern line of
Minnesota, and these columns will move against them. At the same time I desire to move a third
column, under General Cook, up the Missouri River from Fort Randall, so as to intercept any
retreat of the Indians to the south side of the Missouri. The attack of the Indians will doubtless be
made upon the settlements along the Missouri and James Rivers, if their movements be not
anticipated. The only troops I can give to General Cook for this purpose are three companies of
the Forty-first Iowa Infantry, now at Sioux City, and part of the regiment of cavalry in Iowa, the
organization of eight companies having been completed. I have written to Governor Kirkwood to
send up the eight companies of cavalry to report to General Cook at Sioux City, and I have
suggested to him that he should fill up the Forty-first Regiment by organizing as soon as possible
the remaining seven companies. In view of these operations in the spring, I request that the
mounted regiments in Nebraska be placed at the disposal of General Cook for his movement up
the Missouri. Under all views of the Indian question, I think it very necessary that demonstration
in some force be made on the northern plains in the spring. I think, with the regiments of
mounted men in Nebraska, the force will be sufficient. I will transmit to the Department copies
of the reports of Generals Cook and Sibley.
I am, colonel, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major-General, Commanding.
Rolla, Mo., April 6, 1863.
Maj. Gen. SAMUEL R. CURTIS, Saint Louis, Mo.:
I learn to-day for the first time from Colonel Ewing, who has just arrived, that Weer did not
take his whole division with him. It seems he took two regiments and one battery, and sent
Colonel Ewing with the balance to Fort Scott. I can find no authority in any of General
Schofield's orders or dispatches for such a movement, so he must have done it on his own
responsibility. I have been acting on the presumption that he had his entire division with him.
Yesterday I telegraphed him, and send with this a copy of my dispatch. On learning to-day the
truth, I ordered him back to Forsyth, where, with the Nineteenth Iowa, he can give Marmaduke
fight. I cannot believe Marmaduke's force is over 3,000, and five pieces of artillery. All accounts
agree in this. I have instructed Cloud to support him, and have also ordered the First Division
back to Springfield, from Fort Scott. Colonel Cloud is perfectly safe at Springfield. It is
unfortunate the Second and Third Divisions are so far away from there, but it will be impossible
to move them down now, without carrying forage from here. I have ordered Colonel Ewing back
to his command. He will call at Saint Louis and explain the action of Weer in dividing the First
Division. I am annoyed at being so far away from the scene of operations. The divisions here are
rapidly getting into shape. I am giving the closest attention to matters, and will endeavor to keep
things straight. General Vandever and myself inspected the Third Division to-day. He will
assume command of the Second Division to-morrow.
Major-General, Commanding.
Forsyth, Mo., April 8, 1863.
Maj. Gen. F. J. HERRON,
Comdg. Army of Frontier, Rolla, Mo., or at his headquarters:
Reached here to-day. Your dispatch ordering me to reconnoiter both sides of the river
determined my coming here, as I could not do so, being on the south side. Have not received
dispatches of 2d and 4th instant. I understand Orders, No. 27, Department Headquarters, is out,
in regard to furloughs and muster; have not received it. Please give me instructions, as I am beset
with applications. My party sent to Yellville, under Captain Derry, of the Third Wisconsin
Cavalry, has returned to Carrollton; absent some days. They drove the enemy everywhere; killed
some, took prisoners, and only lost 2 horses. The bands in that region may be regarded as having
fled to Marmaduke. He learned at Yellville that Marmaduke was at Batesville, 5,000 strong. Two
other parties are yet out. Union families are all leaving the neighborhood of Carrollton. Allow
me again to suggest the moving of the Fayetteville troops eastward. Let them be stationed at
Huntsville, Carrollton, Yellville, &c. Two companies at Jasper have held their own very
successfully. Those troops know the by-paths. Their presence would aid and encourage Union
organizations; as it is, their horses are dying at Fayetteville for want of forage, and doing no
duty. Colonel Phillips' Indian and white troops are certainly ample to guard all approaches south
of White River. I can assure you of an abundance of subsistence for animals. If the Second and
Third Divisions move south toward Batesville, could I not move down the north side of the
rivers The force at Forsyth was the Nineteenth Ohio Infantry and two squadrons of the First Iowa
Cavalry. I have now added to it the Ninth Wisconsin infantry, Twenty-fifth Ohio Battery, and six
squadrons of the Third Wisconsin Cavalry. The Second Kansas Cavalry, at Springfield, could do
good service down the river. The Ninth Wisconsin Infantry was not paid last payment, because
certain allotment rolls were with some other paymaster. They are suffering, and request a
paymaster sent, ordered to pay regardless of these rolls.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Division.
Forsyth, Mo., April 10, 1863.
Maj. Gen. F. J. HERRON,
Commanding, Rolla, Mo.:
Your dispatch of the 9th instant is received. My scouting party from Yellville has returned
this evening. They were under Captain Derry, Third Wisconsin Cavalry, and have done excellent
service, killing and capturing another party under Major Schroeling. Same regiment has also
returned, coming up White River, by way of Dubuque. They have done similar execution. This
morning I started a party of l0 men from the First Iowa Cavalry down north side of White River,
to Talbot's Ferry. Enrolling men, under your authority to raise independent organizations, has
commenced. I have a lot of prisoners, among them one who left Marmaduke's command the 1st
of April. I have also letters taken from bodies of killed. I can only give you my conclusions. It is,
that Price intends to invade Missouri. He and Kirby Smith are at Little Rock with 20,000 and
sixty pieces of artillery. Marmaduke's command moved from Batesville last Sunday, but for a
short distance. He has Shelby's and Shallen's [Shaler's?] brigades and Elliott's battalion, with six
pieces of artillery, all iron save one, which is a brass piece they claim to have captured from
Springfield. His men are in fine spirits; were paid to last December, and have unbounded faith in
"old Pap." He has received supplies from below by two steamboats, Blue Wing and Tom Suggs.
The river is getting low, and his late move was simply to place himself at the head of navigation.
He can easily be captured if you will move toward his front, and let me go between him and
Little Rock. I can see no escape. White River is a humbug; it can be crossed anywhere. Unless a
movement is made offensive, my opinion is that he will fall back to Little Rock and escape us. A
splendid foraging region is below us. To-morrow I will commence arranging defenses for my
artillery; but in all candor I must say to you that I feel that my place is nearer the enemy than
where I am. You may have better information than my own, but I feel it a duty to say to you that
an army is organizing in our front; that we can destroy that army by detail. In the mean time I
shall faithfully obey your instructions.
Colonel, Commanding Post.
Springfield, Mo., April 20, 1863.
Maj. Gen. F. J. HERRON:
I rode last night from Forsyth, to get in closer communication with you. My last forage train
arrived before I left. I became convinced that I could not subsist my animals any longer at
Forsyth. I was compelled to make trips for forage which consumed ten to twelve days. South of
the region I foraged in subsistence could be had, but it was too far; the danger of starvation was
imminent. I therefore started all the transportation and the battery to Springfield last evening.
They will be here to-morrow. The cavalry and two mountain howitzers I have sent south, with
such instructions as will not only effectually ascertain the approach of an enemy to Forsyth or
Springfield, but will insure the destruction of the guerrilla bands that inhabit the region at
Yellville. Two of my men taken prisoners were inhumanly butchered. The place will probably be
destroyed. This matter demands an explanation from Marmaduke. I will write, by mail,
particulars. I have left at Forsyth two regiments of infantry (Nineteenth Iowa and Ninth
Wisconsin), but without transportation or camp and garrison equipage. I can subsist my
command at Springfield much easier than at Forsyth, and would respectfully ask permission to
move the whole here. I will undertake, with my cavalry, to scour the country into Arkansas from
this point, so as to protect it. White River can be crossed anywhere. These operations of the
cavalry will assist Union men out of the bushes, where they are secreted, and arm them. I dislike
to have the infantry encamped without tents, &c., for fear of sickness, yet to keep their
transportation would insure its loss. I have hastened ahead, so that if you disapprove this action
of mine, I will promptly return, and remain at Forsyth, as heretofore. I hear that you have issued
some order to the troops near Fort Scott as to their movements. May I ask the favor of being
informed as to its nature, that I may prepare accordingly?
Colonel, Commanding Division.
SPRINGFIELD, MO., April 20, 1863.
Colonel SALOMON:
DEAR SIR: General Herron consents that the infantry be moved to Springfield. You will,
therefore, start them as soon as possible, including your own regiment and the Nineteenth Iowa.
The cavalry will carry out the programme already made known to them by me. They, however,
should be paid before you start, and bring with you the paymaster. Let the cavalry go south, and
return by way of Hartville, where they will probably find us. Let them inquire for us all along
from White River north, as we may be in the south part of Wright County. Captains Shaw and
Off should join Lieutenant-Colonel White, if practicable. If they have not arrived before you
start, some word should be left with the inhabitants to that effect. Arrangements should also be
made with the paymaster to deposit their pay here for them.
You will remember there are some one hundred guns and ammunition, intended for arming
independent organizations in Arkansas. If any well-known, loyal, and responsible man, leader of
a company, will receipt for them, you may turn them over to him, or any portion of them, taking
his receipt and the names of his men; if not, bring them with you. Let the idea be circulated that
this class of men can get arms by calling upon me anywhere. If the cavalry do not hear of us at
Hartville, they will have to come to Springfield. Bring away the ferry-boat rope, and secure the
boats by hiding them, if possible.
Yours, truly,
Colonel, Commanding Division.
P. S.--The rebels made a dash at Fayetteville and got whipped. No important news from east.
SAINT Louis, Mo., April 20, 1863.
Colonel TYLER:
You stay where the depot is and protect that. The rebels are fighting for supplies. Bring the
24-pounder howitzers up to the depot and place them in position. Hold on to Fort Curtis; it
covers the entrance to Bellevue Valley. Send the Third Iowa to cover Smart's retreat.
Concentrate your troops in good position at the depot.
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
SAINT LOUIS, MO., April 21, 1863.
Colonel TYLER:
Have the Third Iowa and the Third Missouri Cavalry and Stange's battery put in marching
order immediately, ready to move the moment Glover and Caldwell come down. Say to Colonel
Glover as soon as he comes down that he must pursue Marmaduke with great caution and advise
us where he has gone or is. He ought to be able to cut up Marmaduke if he has only 1,500 men.
After his fight I shall telegraph Glover to move at once. Concentrate Smart's regiment and your
infantry at the depot; same with Morton's troops and the battery as soon as they come down.
McNeil is moving up to re-enforce the Knob.
Have you heard from Bell? You must have cavalry patrols in every direction for 20 miles
out, watching the movements of the enemy.
Telegraph freely everything.
Rolla, Mo., April 21, 1863.
Brig. Gen. W. W. ORME, Commanding Third Division:
GENERAL: You will have the First Iowa and Eighth Missouri Cavalry in readiness to move
at 12 o'clock, without wagons, and with five days' rations in the haversack.
The enemy are moving on Pilot Knob, and all our cavalry force, under General Vandever,
will move to that point without delay. General Vandever will send orders to the commanding
officers of the regiments at what hour and by what route to move. The balance of your command
will be prepared to move forward at such time as may be necessary to cooperate with the cavalry.
Compel the regiments to turn out as many men as possible.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major-General, Commanding.
APRIL 25, 1863.
My strength is as follows: Twenty-third Missouri, 140; Thirty-fourth Iowa, 240; Twentyfourth
Missouri, 74; First Missouri State Militia, 125. I can turn out about 100 men from the
different cavalry regiments left behind. The rest of the Twenty-fourth Missouri Volunteers is on
the railroad mutineers;?] 56 with my cannon. Colonel Whitely telegraphs from Mineral Point
there are 200 rebels near Caledonia. Major Barnes says the rebels have retreated toward Dallas.
They may go around toward Bangor and come back on me.
Colonel, Commanding.
Camp near Bloomington, Mo., April 25, 1863.
Maj. Gen. F. J. HERRON,
Commanding Army of the Frontier:
SIR: I reached here to-day with all the command that was at Forsyth, except a portion of the
cavalry, which I expect to find at Hartville to-morrow. I would have made greater progress
today, but a heavy rain came up this morning, which made the roads almost impassable. Some of
my wagons will not get up to-night. I propose to camp at Hartville to-morrow night, and will
push on to Houston as rapidly as possible. I have thus far been able to get forage by dragging it
from under beds and other hiding places. Though my animals, from so much continuous service,
are losing flesh fast, I shall have to rely, I presume, chiefly on grass for subsistence. The horses
of the Twenty-fifth Ohio Battery are failing fast; they are part of the unserviceable lot sent from
Saint Louis a few weeks ago, and are utterly worthless for that kind of service. It would be a
public benefit if substitutes could be found for them. Otherwise, with some slight repairs and
outfitting, the battery would be very efficient.
The Nineteenth Iowa are in great need of shoes, and the Third Wisconsin Cavalry of
clothing. It is generally understood that at Houston we rid ourselves of a vast amount of baggage,
including tents. This will give a great abundance of transportation. I presume, and have so said,
that all the surplus baggage will be sent to Rolla from Houston, and the necessary quartermaster
stores received from there.
Allow me, general, to again call your attention to the question of pay. The Nineteenth Iowa,
Twenty-fifth Ohio Battery, and Ninth Wisconsin have not yet been paid. The latter has been
eight months without pay, and they are receiving accounts from Wisconsin of suffering in their
families for want of it. Necessity drove us from Forsyth; the paymaster present. The men
expected to be 1)aid at Springfield, but the want of forage there (Colonel Cloud ordered his
quartermaster not to furnish me any) compelled a hasty departure from there. It is difficult to get
men to be reconciled with what to them appears a running away from the paymaster. I have
assured them, upon the faith of your telegraphic dispatch, that they will be paid at Houston.
There is still, however, some murmuring, aggravated, no doubt, from the fact that they have for
two days been marching in rain and mud; and to-morrow, before starting, I propose to talk to
them, collectively, upon the matter, renewing the assurance above mentioned. Major Jones,
senior paymaster at Springfield, informed me that his subordinate paymasters have plenty of
money; that Major Adams, who had commenced the payment at Forsyth, could as well go with
us as not; that he had force enough without him to settle with the troops in that district; but he
felt unauthorized to send Major Adams with us, as we were going into another district. He
remarked that a telegraphic order from Major Brown, at Saint Louis, would remove the
difficulty. Allow me to beg you, general, to obtain this, so that we may meet the paymaster and a
mustering officer at Houston. We will hardly reach there before some time on the 28th. The men
paid, I would have a thoroughly satisfied command, and certainly this part of the division
deserves some extra attention, as they have had no rest since the battle of Prairie Grove. 1 have
heard nothing as yet from the troops near Fort Scott, but presume they are on the way. They, no
doubt, will be looking for payment.
Nothing is known on my route thus far as to the enemy. Thieving bands have been through
this country, among others Quantrill and some 30 men.
Upon reaching Houston, I will, if you have no objections, call upon you at Salem.
A small advance of my cavalry occupy Hartville to-night.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding.
Camp at Hartville, Mo., April 27, 1863.
Maj. Gen. F. J. HERRON,
Commanding Army of the Frontier :
A dispatch from you, via Springfield, has been received late evening. I have been detained by
rain, mud, and high water. I have spent nearly all day crossing the Gasconade at this point, which
is very high. Some of my wagons are twenty-four hours behind. The roads over the Ozark
dividing ridge were almost impassable. I have at this moment crossed over the Gasconade the
Nineteenth Iowa and train, the Twenty-fifth Ohio Battery and train, and will spend the night in
crossing troops and trains as fast as they arrive. I shall move the head of the column early tomorrow
toward Houston, from its camping place some 3 miles east of here. All the serviceable
cavalry will be sent by way of Mountain Store, or Montreal, to Houston. They will start in the
morning. I will march to Salem as rapidly as possible.
I sent a communication to you yesterday by messenger, and accompanying this goes a small
party who will occupy Houston to-morrow morning. Saving the bad roads, high water, and the
bad condition of our animals, we are getting along well.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Division.
Houston, Mo., April 29, 1863.
Orders from General Herron having arrived, which require a thorough reconnaissance of the
region lying upon the waters of Current River, you will detail all the available cavalry in your
command for that duty. The efficient mounted men of the First Ohio Cavalry will be placed upon
the same duty. It should be communicated to them that the main column will march to Salem in
two days; that the business of this cavalry detachment is to guard well the right flank of the main
column. They may rejoin the command at Salem as soon as circumstances permit, taking into
account travel and forage. This cavalry will take with it rations for three days, &c. Its
transportation will accompany the main column. The other troops under your command will
march early to-morrow morning to Salem with the transportation. The First Iowa Cavalry will be
ordered to report to you for instructions.
Colonel, Commanding Division
Saint Louis, Mo., April 27, 1863.
[General CURTIS:]
MY DEAR GENERAL: Now that our troops have been successful, and Marmaduke's
attempts repelled, there will, no doubt, be a great deal of talk about the whole matter.
I desire, as you have been blamed for withholding troops from the armies, to explain the state
of affairs. When I took command of the district (embracing, as it does, the camp of instruction),
New Madrid had one regiment at it; Cape Girardeau had four companies of the Thirty-second
Iowa and one company of the Second Missouri Artillery at it; General McNeil was in the field
with only his own regiment; Pilot Knob had two companies of the First Missouri State Militia,
Smart's regiment of cavalry, and one battalion Thirteenth Illinois. There were no antennae out;
no troops at Patterson, nor at Barnesville, nor Centreville. Within as little time as possible, the
First Nebraska Infantry was sent to Cape Girardeau; McNeil was re-enforced by the First
Wisconsin Cavalry and Welfley's battery; Smarts regiment was put on outpost duty at Patterson,
and the Thirteenth Illinois Cavalry at Barnesville. The Twenty-Fourth Missouri Volunteers, by
your order, re-enforced the Knob, and our affairs were in a position to meet attack. If these
precautions had not been taken, and the Twenty-fourth Missouri and First Wisconsin retained by
your order and permission, and but for the timely march of General Vandever, I leave it to any
soldier to say where the enemy might have been, if bold and persistent enough in his advance.
I am, general, most respectfully,
New Madrid, Mo., May 18, 1863.
Assistant Adjutant-General:
CAPTAIN: A large amount of contraband goods are carried back from Commerce, Lane's
Landing, and other points between Cape Girardeau and this post, through the swamp to the
rebels. I have captured in this swamp during the last week 49 barrels of whisky, some quinine,
morphine, &c. The whisky was destroyed, except 3 barrels given to guides. The smugglers I send
to Saint Louis for trial. We have destroyed over 100 barrels of whisky on its way to the rebels
through this swamp, in dug-outs, ferry-boats, &c., during last month and this, and a large amount
has gone through. No shipment should be allowed to other than military posts below Cape
Rebel deserters report conscripting going on throughout Arkansas, the rebels preparing for an
advance into this State. They have collected supplies at Powhatan. Arkansas is represented as
being almost destitute of provisions, and their army poorly supplied.
The German Texas troops, Walker's division, disaffected to the rebel cause. Raids into this
State for horses and supplies, in advance of Price, should he move, may be expected.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding.
SAINT Louis, Mo., June 2, 1863.
Major-General HERRON, Rolla:
Send to Saint Louis, by rail, as soon as possible, the Twentieth Wisconsin, Ninety-fourth
Illinois, and the Nineteenth Iowa. They will bring only three teams to each regiment, and no tents
except for officers. Other tents and teams will be turned over to the quartermaster at Rolla. Let
the regimental quartermaster make requisitions for shelter tents in Saint Louis. Brigadier-General
Orme will go in command of the brigade if he so desires.
New Madrid, Mo., June 9, 1863.
Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General:
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report my arrival here, with seven companies of my regiment,
on the 7th instant. The Thirty-eighth Iowa left upon our arrival. The general feeling in this
portion of the State, as you are doubtless aware, is adverse to our cause. From the best
information I have been able to collect in the brief period I have been here, there are in this
vicinity about 700 of Jeff. Thompson's men. They are scattered, many of them being at their
homes, but all ready to concentrate at a moment's notice. Jeff. himself was reported to be at Point
Pleasant, 8 miles below here, yesterday noon. A few of his men showed themselves 5 miles west
of town. I am in great need of cavalry, to scout and for pickets. If consistent with your views, I
hope they will be sent immediately--one or two companies. I am pressing horses from the
vicinity today, to send out to collect information. I have not among my men a single man
familiar with the use of artillery. Can you not send me a sergeant as instructor I am, captain,
most respectfully, yours,
Colonel Twenty-fourth Missouri Volunteers, Commanding.
P. S.--I should have added that Captain Bonner is at the landing here, with his gunboat, from
Island No. 10, and urges strongly that some cavalry should be sent here. He returns to the island
WASHINGTON, D. C., July 20, 1863.
Major-General POPE, Milwaukee:
GENERAL: Your letter of July 13, in regard to Mr. Hatch, has been referred to the Secretary
of War. I have no information in regard to authority given to that gentleman, as no such authority
has been communicated to me. I agree with you that such matters should be communicated
through, or at least to, the proper military authorities.
Your request of the 16th to send into Iowa and Wisconsin four regiments of infantry and
batteries from the armies in the field cannot be complied with. The troops in your department
cannot be increased except under the most pressing necessity. The number of troops operating
against the Indians in your and other departments is now double that of our entire army before
the present war. I must repeat the opinion before given, that so large a force is not indispensable,
and that, if you find it necessary to employ force in Iowa and Wisconsin, such force must come
from your own command.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Milwaukee, Wis., July 25, 1863.
Brig. Gen. B. S. ROBERTS,
Davenport, Iowa:
GENERAL: I regretted much to receive your dispatch stating that you had seized arms, &c.,
the personal property of the citizens of Iowa. I don't desire you to have anything to do with such
matters. I have carefully refrained from allowing such things to be done here, though I have been
repeatedly urged to do them. I suppose I have been advised to seize arms a dozen times, but such
action is neither my business nor yours. I confine myself strictly to my military duty. I hope you
will do the same. All such business has been turned over to the provost-marshals or comes
properly under civil jurisdiction. Surely the seizure of personal property on suspicion merely that
it might hereafter be used in resisting the taws was out of place by a military commander in loyal
States, and can only lead to ill-feeling and disagreeable and unnecessary complications, which it
has been my steady purpose to avoid. When the United States laws are resisted, and the civil
authorities are unable or unwilling to enforce them, military aid will be furnished upon proper
application, in the manner set out in instructions herewith sent you. If there be sufficient ground
for apprehension that the United States laws will be resisted by force, such preparation as is
necessary to enable you to comply with requisitions will be made in advance, but you are not to
act, nor allow the military force under your command to act, in any way until the condition of
things above specified obtains. These are simple rules, easily followed, and, in my judgment, are
based upon correct views of the relation between civic and military authorities. Please act upon
them in all cases.
The order for the movement of the Seventh Iowa Cavalry came from Washington; therefore I
do not feel willing to countermand it. You can, however, assemble the Eighth Cavalry, or part of
it, which, with the forces you have, will, I think, be sufficient. The draft has not been ordered in
this department, and I shall be advised at least a week before it is. You will, therefore, be
notified in time to be prepared to meet all proper applications for military aid. If you need more
force, it will be furnished from here when the actual necessity arises.
I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major-General, Commanding.
Milwaukee, Wis., July 25, 1863.
Brig. Gen. B. S. ROBERTS,
Davenport, Iowa:
GENERAL: I regretted much to receive your dispatch stating that you had seized arms, &c.,
the personal property of the citizens of Iowa. I don't desire you to have anything to do with such
matters. I have carefully refrained from allowing such things to be done here, though I have been
repeatedly urged to do them. I suppose I have been advised to seize arms a dozen times, but such
action is neither my business nor yours. I confine myself strictly to my military duty. I hope you
will do the same. All such business has been turned over to the provost-marshals or comes
properly under civil jurisdiction. Surely the seizure of personal property on suspicion merely that
it might hereafter be used in resisting the taws was out of place by a military commander in loyal
States, and can only lead to ill-feeling and disagreeable and unnecessary complications, which it
has been my steady purpose to avoid. When the United States laws are resisted, and the civil
authorities are unable or unwilling to enforce them, military aid will be furnished upon proper
application, in the manner set out in instructions herewith sent you. If there be sufficient ground
for apprehension that the United States laws will be resisted by force, such preparation as is
necessary to enable you to comply with requisitions will be made in advance, but you are not to
act, nor allow the military force under your command to act, in any way until the condition of
things above specified obtains. These are simple rules, easily followed, and, in my judgment, are
based upon correct views of the relation between civic and military authorities. Please act upon
them in all cases.
The order for the movement of the Seventh Iowa Cavalry came from Washington; therefore I
do not feel willing to countermand it. You can, however, assemble the Eighth Cavalry, or part of
it, which, with the forces you have, will, I think, be sufficient. The draft has not been ordered in
this department, and I shall be advised at least a week before it is. You will, therefore, be
notified in time to be prepared to meet all proper applications for military aid. If you need more
force, it will be furnished from here when the actual necessity arises.
I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major-General, Commanding.
Helena, Ark., August 5, 1863.
I. By authority from Headquarters Sixteenth Army Corps, the Arkansas expedition will be
composed of the following-named troops:
First Division.--The cavalry force, under command of Brig. Gen. J. W. Davidson.
Second Division.--Forty-third Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Sixty-first Regiment
Illinois Volunteer Infantry, One hundred and sixth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Twelfth
Regiment Michigan Volunteer Infantry, Eighteenth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, One
hundred and twenty-sixth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Fifty-fourth Regiment Illinois
Volunteer Infantry, Twenty-second Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Twenty-seventh
Regiment Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, Third Regiment Minnesota Volunteer Infantry,
Fortieth Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry, Col. William E. McLean, Forty-third Regiment
Indiana Volunteer Infantry, commanding.
Third Division.--Thirty-third Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry, Twenty-ninth Regiment
Iowa Volunteer Infantry, Thirty-sixth Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry, Forty-third Regiment
Indiana Volunteer Infantry, Twenty-eighth Regiment Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, Seventyseventh
Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Col. Samuel A. Rice, Thirty-third Iowa Volunteer
Infantry, commanding.
Each division will be divided into two brigades, by division commanders, and the names of
brigade commanders reported to those headquarters without delay.
II. The Fifth Kansas and First Indiana Cavalry Regiments will constitute a brigade, under
Col. Powell Clayton, Fifth Kansas Volunteer Cavalry.
III. The field artillery (four batteries) will be massed under the senior officer as chief. All
reports and returns will be transmitted through him. Batteries will be assigned to brigades for
service by orders from these headquarters.
IV. Five wagons for transportation and one for ammunition will be allowed to each regiment
containing over 400 strong; to each regiment under 400 strong, four wagons for transportation
and one for ammunition; and to each battery, one battery wagon, one baggage wagon, and one
wagon for extra ammunition. Each pioneer company will be allowed one wagon for the
transportation of its implements. All brigade commanders will see that these companies are
supplied with intrenching tools. All other transportation will be turned over to the chief
quartermaster of the expedition, for the general supply train.
V. One hundred and sixty rounds of ammunition per man will be carried for the small-arms,
40 rounds in cartridge-boxes and the rest in ammunition wagons. For artillery, 400 rounds for
each gun will be taken, 200 in ammunition chests and the rest in ammunition wagons.
VI. Five days' rations will be carried by each regiment, battery, and detachment, of which
two days' rations will be taken in haversacks.
VII. The chief assistant quartermaster of the expedition will receive such land transportation
as can be spared from the commands and from this post, for the transportation of supplies. He
will also procure two light-draught steamers for the same purpose. He will use any surplus
transportation there may be on hand for carrying forage.
VIII. The chief acting commissary of subsistence will procure sixty days' rations for the
whole command, and turn them over to the assistant quartermaster for transportation.
IX. The whole command will be put in readiness for the expedition immediately. Great
activity and energy on the part of commanders and staff officers will be required to effect this
X. Dr. James C. Whitehill, surgeon of volunteers, is hereby announced as acting medical
director of the expedition. He will cause an inspection of the convalescents in each regiment to
be made, and designate such as are unable to march but fit for guard duty upon the supply boats.
These the regimental commanders will hold in readiness for that purpose. All others will be left,
under suitable officers, in convalescent camp, in charge of the surplus baggage and camp and
garrison equipage.
By order of Maj. Gen. F. Steele:
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
Milwaukee, August 5, 1863.
Commanding Indian Expedition:
GENERAL: I have just received your letter of 27th instant, and I assure you it both surprised
and disappointed me. I never had the slightest idea you could delay thus along the river, nor do I
realize the necessity of such delay. You have 100 wagons, &c., sent from Saint Louis and about
20 with the Sixth Regiment from Iowa. I supposed, of course, that knowing, as my letters both to
you and General Cook (your predecessor) have time and again informed you, how necessary it
was that you should be in position on the Upper Missouri, or between that river and Devil's Lake,
to co-operate with General Sibley, you would have unloaded any heavy baggage you have, and
have loaded your wagons with subsistence stores and have pushed on without delay. I never
dreamed you would consider yourself tied to the boats if they were obstacles in going up the
river. As matters stand, it seems to me impossible to understand how you have staid about the
river, delaying from day to day, when time of all things was important, and when you had
wagons enough to carry at least two months' subsistence for your command.
If you have not adopted this course before this letter reaches you, please do so at once, and
move rapidly up the river. Leave all your baggage, and load your wagons with subsistence. Such
a failure as you anticipate must not happen, as it will be impossible for you to explain it
Sibley has had equal difficulties with yourself, but he reached Devil's Lake about the 22d,
and I should not be surprised to hear of him on the Missouri above you.
If the Indians are driven into the British possessions, where we cannot follow them, we will
have done all in our power, and no one can be dissatisfied; but this much must be done. I trust
that you will realize the importance of what I here say to you, and will act upon it promptly and
fully. Your forces consist entirely of cavalry, and there can be no reason why you should not be
able to execute the object of your expedition.
Respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
Major-General, Commanding.
Helena, Ark., August 7, 1863.
The following are announced as the staff of the commanding general, namely: Capt. Charles
T. Scammon, Ninth Illinois Cavalry, aide-de-camp; Maj. J. W. Paddock, assistant adjutantgeneral;
First Lieut. G. O. Sokalski, Second U.S. Cavalry, assistant inspector-general; Col. F. H.
Manter, Thirty-second Missouri Infantry, acting judge-advocate; Capt. T. B. Hale, Thirty-sixth
Iowa Infantry, chief assistant quartermaster; First Lieut. William T. Allen, Fourth Iowa Cavalry,
chief assistant commissary of subsistence; Maj. J. C. Whitehill, surgeon of volunteers, acting
medical director, and Capt. M. M. Hayden, Third Iowa Battery, chief of artillery.
By order of Maj. Gen. F. Steele:
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
Springfield, Mo., August 11, 1863.
Major-General SCHOFIELD,
Commanding Department of the Missouri:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your telegram of yesterday in regard
to disposition of force to support General Blunt in Arkansas, which I answered after making such
disposition, in accordance with your suggestions, as my means in hand would allow.
Colonel Catherwood, with one battalion of the Sixth Missouri State Militia and a squadron of
the First Arkansas Cavalry, with two prairie howitzers, moved on Sunday, via Newtonia, against
Coffee, who was encamped at Rutledge, near Pineville. I at the same time directed Colonel
Cloud to move from Cassville, via Bentonville and Fayetteville, to cut off Coffee's retreat. With
rapidity of movement they can scarcely avoid coming in contact with him. I shall march Major
Eno from Greenfield to-morrow morning toward Catherwood, to report to him with his entire
battalion of the Eighth Missouri State Militia, directing Catherwood to join Cloud. I have
forwarded Colonel Cloud's directions, in conformity with yours to me.
Burbridge is collecting his command on the Big North Fork of White River, 15 miles east of
Talbot's Mill. He is from 400 to 500 strong, with four 4-pounder guns. This place is about 100
miles southeast of Springfield. He may be the advance of an expedition up the valley of the
White River, or he may be working his way over, via Yellville and Fayetteville, to Steele and
Cabell. I will feel of him with a strong scout of Enrolled Missouri Militia, and attack him with a
dash as soon as I find where I can do it with the best effect. I shall use a good force, with
artillery, when I make this move.
Forage is scarce; has to be drawn sometimes from 60 to 100 miles, and subsistence trains
have yet to have heavy guards. This, with the necessity of keeping so many small posts
garrisoned, for the protection of loyal people, makes me poor in force for active service in the
field. Two more good regiments could be well employed in this district. The Eighteenth Iowa
Infantry should be sent into active service in the field. They are a small but a fine regiment, but
have been too long at post duty.
My small commands are killing guerrillas every day, returns couriers from both Missouri
State Militia and Missouri Enrolled Militia, but they still abound. I think the occupation of all
Arkansas would quiet all these people and restore peace to Missouri.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Clarendon, Ark., August 15, 1863.
Major-General STEELE,
Commanding Army of Arkansas:
GENERAL: I have the honor to report to you that the expedition which I sent up the river,
consisting of two gunboats, under Captain Bache, U.S. Navy, and a battalion of the Thirtysecond
Iowa Infantry, under Major Eberhart, and of which I advised you by letter of the 11th
instant, has returned, completely successful. The gunboats captured in the Little Red the two
rebel steamers Kaskaskia and Tom Suggs, in complete running order, and destroyed the bridge of
flats or pontoon bridge over which the ubiquitous Marmaduke had crossed the greater part of his
cavalry to the south side of Little Red. This was near Searcy. Major Eberhart lost 2 men killed
and 5 wounded, and one of the naval officers was wounded slightly. This infantry was attached
to my division as the guards to my batteries.
The information brought by the expedition is of a very positive character. Kirby Smith is at
Little Rock, and the rebels are concentrating and throwing up rifle-pits at Bayou Mete, 12 miles
this side of Little Rock, their left resting upon Brownsville. Marmaduke, who keeps Missouri in
a fright, is positively on the south side of Little Red, where I believed him to be, and on his way,
with part of his cavalry, dismounted, to join Price.
I think, my dear general, every hour is precious to us now, and that you should have another
brigade, at least, of infantry. We are rich in artillery. I am endeavoring to gain all needful
information for you. I would be obliged to you to inform Schofield of our success, so that he may
not be apprehensive of a raid into Missouri. We must have water-kegs sent out, one for each
ambulance and wagon, if possible.
Very truly, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Helena, Ark., August 25, 1863.
Maj. Gen. FRED. STEELE, Clarendon, Ark.:
SIR: I am ordered by Major-General Hurlbut to report to you from this place, and to join you
with my command at Clarendon as soon as possible. I am now awaiting the arrival of one of my
regiments, when I shall take up my march at once. I shall probably be able to move to-morrow.
My brigade consists of the Sixty-second Illinois, Forty-ninth Illinois, Fiftieth Indiana, and
Twenty-seventh Iowa Regiments of infantry, and Battery A, Third Illinois Artillery, making an
aggregate of about 2,000 effective force. I learn from Colonel Montgomery that the bridge
across Big Creek is entirely destroyed by fire, and that may delay me some. I will be in
Clarendon as soon as I can march there, which will be some four or five days' march, with the
train that I have and the prospect of the weather and roads. Of this, however, you can best judge.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Milwaukee, Wis., August 29, 1863.
MY DEAR SIR: The returning column of General Sibley reached Abercrombie, on the Red
River of the North, on the 22d instant. At that point the force was divided into several bodies,
which are now engaged in scouring the country down the Big Sioux and James Rivers, as far as
the Iowa line, west of Kid River, and visiting the Chippewas at Red Lake, Otter Tail Lake, &c.,
east of Kid River, so that the whole Territory of Dakota, the northern and eastern portions of
Minnesota, and, in fact, the whole country east of the Missouri, will be thoroughly visited and
searched by our troops. I do not suppose that there are now ten hostile Sioux Indians east of the
Missouri River. The large force of Indians, three times defeated and driven across the Missouri
River, with the loss of all their Winter supplies of provisions and all the robes and furs for winter
clothing, will not be able to return to Minnesota this winter, if ever, in a body.
General Sully reached the point on the Missouri where they crossed only a few days after,
and will undoubtedly follow them up. As he has only cavalry, he can do this with the utmost
rapidity. At all events, with a large cavalry force he has constantly interposed between the hostile
Sioux of Minnesota (now south of the Missouri River) and the State of Minnesota, a glance at the
map will exhibit how difficult, if not impossible, it will be for these Indians, in any numbers, to
return to the Minnesota frontier this winter. I do not myself believe that there is the slightest
likelihood that any Indian hostilities will occur again in that State from Sioux Indians. Small
parties of eight or ten men may possibly, at great risk, traverse this long distance and commit
some slight depredations; but with the mounted force patrolling the frontier the risk would be so
great that I doubt if the Indians would even attempt this much. I propose to leave one entire
regiment of cavalry (the Sixth Iowa) this winter on the Upper Missouri, at Fort Randall and Fort
Pierre, as an additional precaution against any attempt of the Sioux to recross to the north (east)
side of the Missouri River, and again in the spring to visit the entire Indian Nation east of the
Rocky Mountains. I also propose to leave in Minnesota an infantry regiment, distributed at the
several posts along the frontier, with the mounted force of Hatch and 500 men of the Mounted
Rangers to patrol the whole line of frontier between these stations. I do not myself believe such a
force necessary, but in deference to the natural anxiety of the people after the atrocities of last
autumn, and to give them the confidence necessary to induce them to remain on their farms, I
think it well to keep such a force in Minnesota. All the rest of the force in that State I propose to
send south within a few weeks.
I have thought it well to write you thus fully concerning affairs in Minnesota that you may
not be misled by representations that will certainly be made to you. Of course, it is not necessary
to tell you that there will be an influence used to keep all the forces in Minnesota; for what
purposes you will be at no loss to understand, but I am glad to say that the persons who will thus
seek to influence you are men of broken personal and political fortunes, who have objects in
view very remote from the public interests. That you may realize what these motives are, and
who are the persons, I inclose you some extracts from letters from Col. S. Miller, the nominee of
the late Republican convention for Governor of Minnesota. He will be elected by a very large
vote, and his opinions, therefore, are entitled to weight, as they will regulate his action as
Governor. You will see at once the very same names as of the persons who have been infesting
the War Department, urging movements or organizations, and finding fault with the conduct of
military affairs in Minnesota. The difference is that, whereas a couple of months ago they were
ridiculing the size of Sibley's expedition, and urging that the force was too large; that a small
body of cavalry was sufficient; that Sibley would not see an Indian; that the Indians had divided
into small parties, &c., now they complain and protest that the whole of the force in Minnesota is
absolutely needed for their protection. Results have shown how far they were right two months
ago, and it is not too much to say that they are quite as far wrong now in their new light. That the
coalition between Wilkinson, an immaculate Republican, and Rice, an equally immaculate
Democrat, is perfect, you will be at no loss to see from Miller's letters, and it is an alliance both
political and financial. It will be utterly broken down in Minnesota at this election.
I inclose also the resolutions of the Copperhead convention at Saint Paul, from which you
will see that, properly manipulated, they resolve that the Indian war must be vigorously
prosecuted, &c., which means that all the troops must be kept in Minnesota for the benefit of
contractors. The Copperhead ticket will be beaten by 10,000 votes at least.
The alliance between Wilkinson and Rice is well enough understood in Minnesota.
Wilkinson has been discarded by his party. He never had strength in it, and his election to the
Senate, resulting from competition between prominent men of the party, surprised everybody. To
his other disqualifications and unpopularity, he has of late added bad personal habits, and in his
desperation at the certainty of falling into total obscurity after his term expires, he has joined
Rice, who is about as desperately broken down as himself. Whilst the one has political purposes,
the other has financial, and my objection to Hatch and his organization is simply because Hatch
is but an instrument of Rice, as he has been for years, and the organization is simply to be used to
promote the effects I have named. I shall use Hatch's battalion, however, to the best purpose,
replacing it by troops I shall send south. Of the co-operation of the Interior Department with
these people, I dislike to speak. The history of the Indian agents and the management of Indian
affairs on the frontier by the Indian Department would fully develop the reason of this alliance.
Whilst Indian agents become rich, Indians become poor, dissatisfied, and hostile. It will not be
difficult for you to arrive at these facts from anybody who lives on the frontier and is not
connected with these transactions. Many very good and honest people are affected by the
influences put in operation by these men, and the fear of Indian hostilities which they excite; but
this will wear out in time. Last winter Rice threw the whole eastern frontier of the State into a
paroxysm of alarm by telling them gravely, as he came through the country from Lake Superior,
that, as soon as the snow fell, the whole Chippewa Nation would take the war-path and ravage
the settlements, and I was overwhelmed with petitions for troops and cries of alarm, based on
this statement. Its object was apparent, but there was not, and has not been, the slightest
intimation of such a thing. The design is to keep up excitement and alarm, to continue the Indian
war and to keep the troops in Minnesota.
I have thought it well that you should understand these things, so as to act advisedly upon the
representations which will undoubtedly be made to you. I am confident that you will meet the
case wisely, and I shall carry out your wishes with all zeal and energy.
Very truly, yours,
Milwaukee, Wis., August 29, 1863.
Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK,
General-in. Chief, Washington:
GENERAL: I have the honor to transmit, inclosed, a letter to General Sully, specifying the
duties he is to perform and the arrangements he is to make for the winter. I propose to keep the
Sixth Iowa Cavalry for the winter on the Upper Missouri, as stated in this letter, not so much
with a view to the protection of Dakota and the frontier settlements of Iowa, as to prevent the
return to Minnesota of the hostile Sioux, lately driven across the Missouri by General Sibley, and
to take the field early in the spring to complete the settlement of Indian affairs in Nebraska and
the Upper Missouri as far as the mountains. They will serve a good purpose, I hope, and put an
end for some time to come to Indian troubles in those regions.
Minnesota I consider secure against any considerable Indian difficulties; indeed, against any
at all. The force I shall leave in that State is intended much more to restore confidence to the
people than to provide against Indian hostilities. I send you also my letters to General Sibley,
specifying in detail the arrangements for his force for the winter. All of the troops now in
Minnesota except one regiment of infantry, the mounted force I propose to enlist for one year
from the mounted regiment whose term of service is about to expire, and the battalion of Hatch's,
authorized to be raised by the Secretary of War, will be sent south.
I think it best not to send the Minnesota regiments south before October 1, as they will lose
half their effective force by sickness in the sudden transfer to the hot climate of Mississippi
during the sickly month of September. They will embark on the 1st of October.
Will you please send me the authority to re-enlist the 500 mounted men for one year, from
the mounted regiment now going out of service in Minnesota, and authorize me to designate the
officer who shall recruit and command them, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel? There are
many officers in the regiment better qualified for the position than any of the field officers
belonging to it.
Please send me instructions also in time as to what point in the south the Minnesota regiment
shall be sent.
I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major-General, Commanding.
SAINT Louis, Mo., September 5, 1863--5 p.m.
Major-General HALLECK, Washington:
The following telegram, received from Major-General Hurlbut, is sent you at his request:
MEMPHIS, TENN., September 3, 1863.
Major-General SCHOFIELD,
Saint Louis, Mo.:
Have heard from Steele. Iowa cavalry drove the enemy across Bayou Meto, where they are
fortifying. Reports as to strength vary. Kirby Smith is reported to have said, "I will defend Texas
at Little Rock." I will again state as my opinion that Steele should have 5,000 infantry at once.
The Arkansas has not risen, and we must rely on the White River. I have not the troops to send.
Send this to General Halleck. If you can reach Blunt, inform him that Cooper and Cabell are
concentrating on Little Rock.
General Schofield being still absent in Kansas, I forward this.
Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.
Springfield, Mo., September 7, 1863.
Commanding District of Southwestern Missouri:
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that, in accordance with permission from district
headquarters, a recruiting party of 14 men, under charge of Corporal [A. W.] Heston, was sent
from this regiment August 22, 1863, to Bolivar, Mo. Two of the party returned this evening, and
report that 4 of them went to Quincy and were there attacked by a party of 20 guerrillas. They
called on the citizens for assistance, which was refused. A captain of the militia was present, and
asked the captain of the guerrillas if he would interfere with the citizens, and was told they would
not. He then told the citizens not to interfere with them. My men were taken prisoners, and two
of them shot just outside of town; the other two were taken away with them. My men took
possession of a building, and fought till their ammunition was expended, killing the captain of
the band, which is reported certain, and whether any other is unknown. A stage driver, whose
name is not exactly ascertained, but is said to be something like Rembert, was captured, but
afterward released. He was at Bolivar when my party left.
If consistent with the good of the service and your plans, I would like very much to send a
mounted party from this regiment to Quincy, to act under your orders in the premises, and
especially to find something about the missing men.
I am, general, with respect, your obedient servant,
Major, Commanding Eighteenth Iowa Volunteers
SPRINGFIELD, MO., September 8, 1863.
Major-General SCHOFIELD:
I just hear from Captain Gilstrap, in command of the troops at Cassville, that Captain
Gardner, of the Second Kansas Cavalry, with orders to Colonel Cloud to fall back on Fayetteville
and send Catherwood and the militia to this post, was captured near Mud Town, having 1 man
killed and 23 taken prisoners. They were all paroled, and are at Cassville. I sent Colonel
Harrison, with a battalion of his regiment and a section of the First Arkansas Battery, yesterday
to Fayetteville. I hope to set things right there. These things are all the fruit of Colonel Cloud's
desertion from this district, in violation of orders. Will you send orders to the First Arkansas
Infantry and the battalions of the Sixth and Eighth Cavalry, under Catherwood, to march to this
post with all possible haste? The Second Kansas, with Cloud, anybody may have. I shall only
have continuous trouble with them. If you want them put through, send them back, and the job
shall be attended to. Lots of guerrillas in the northern part of district, and in the south of Central
District, where General Brown seems to have no troops. The Sedalia mail has been lately
attacked, and 4 men of the Eighteenth Iowa, on recruiting service, were taken on Friday last, 2 of
whom were killed. I hope a more efficient officer than Colonel Phelps will be sent to Warren,
with positive instructions to attend to things in that direction. He seldom hunted guerrillas while
in this district, and I don't believe he will do better where he is.
Springfield, Mo., September 15, 1863.
Commanding Department of the Missouri:
GENERAL: Your telegram of this date received. The First Arkansas Infantry are with
Colonel Cloud, as are one battalion of the Sixth Missouri State Militia and one of the Eighth, and
four guns of Rabb's battery, and one squadron of the First Arkansas Cavalry, with two howitzers.
Eleven companies of the First Arkansas Cavalry are either at Cassville, with one section of First
Arkansas Battery, or clearing the road between there and Fayetteville. Four companies of the
Eighth are on the road to Rolla, guarding trains and mails, with occasional scouts in pursuit of
guerrillas. One company is in Hickory County, with directions to pursue, capture, and destroy the
devils who murdered the men of the Eighteenth Iowa at Quincy, and two companies in Newton
County, under that energetic bushwhacker and brave soldier, Captain Burch. Four companies of
the Sixth are in Benton, Vernon, and Saint Clair Counties, to trap Quantrill's men and to enforce
General Orders, No. 92, of your headquarters. I have (me company of the Sixth and Eighteenth
Iowa Infantry, two sections First Arkansas Battery, and one of Rabb's battery here with me, and a
few recruits. If the First Arkansas Infantry and two cavalry battalions return to Fayetteville, there
will be force enough to wipe out anything north of the mountains, and, when I can arm and equip
the recruits, to drive all hostile parties north of the river. I hope the assistance of Colonel Cloud's
force was essential to General Blunt, for, to say the least, his leaving this district with the best
troops I had--those I depended on to make a firm stand in Northern Arkansas--was unfortunate
for my plans, Hunter's, Ruff's, Arrington's, Brown's, and other bands are raiding that country
now and harassing our trains, when we should be making the country too hot for them. The
Eighteenth Iowa Infantry has been at this point too long. It is a good regiment and well officered,
but is suffering from the canker of too long a rest in post. The best interests of the service and of
the regiment would be advanced by ordering them to the field at once. There is no danger of
losing anything we have gained in front, while we are keeping the country comparatively quiet.
The occupation by the Enrolled Missouri Militia and the arming of loyal citizens will effectually
keep down bushwhacking. It makes the war against those people necessarily more sanguinary
and cruel; but for that very reason it will be sooner brought to a conclusion. Cruelty to the
bushwhacker will be mercy to the loyal and peaceful citizen.
I am not advised of the real force under General Blunt, or of his ability to hold Forts Smith,
Gibson, and Van Buren, and keep his communication open to the rear. I should regard the
defection of the Indian tribes, now, I suppose, well ascertained, as a guarantee of an open road by
Fort Scott, while the occupation of Fayetteville and the small towns between the river and the
Missouri line would guard his rear, and the troops so occupied would be of more service to him
than though actually in his camp. The distance from Rolla to Fort Smith being some 75 miles
shorter than from Leavenworth, I submit whether this be not the best point to furnish supplies
from, until the occupation of Little Rock and the rising of the Arkansas River. The burning of
Fayetteville interferes materially with its importance as a military point, and I think when the
loyal men of Northern Arkansas have guns put in their hands, they will be able to take care of
themselves, and no depot of supplies will be needed north of Fort Smith. I have no apprehensions
of losing any ground that we have now occupied in Northwestern Arkansas, nor of keeping
comparative peace in the Missouri part of the district; but there are many things in regard to the
policy to be pursued in Arkansas that I would like to confer with you about as soon as I can spare
time from this post.
I have already signified that in case the health of the gallant General Blunt shall render his
longer stay in the field impossible, that I should like to be trusted with that command. I trust
what I lack in accurate military knowledge I may be able to make up in energy and determination
to perform my duties.
Hoping this brief statement of the state of the district may be satisfactory, I have the honor to
be, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
SPRINGFIELD, MO., October 4, 1863.
Major-General SCHOFIELD,
Saint Louis:
Major Eno's scouts brought in to-day 3 prisoners, captured from Shelby's command. They
report Coffee will attack Newtonia to-night or to-morrow. I have ordered Major Eno to march tonight
to Newtonia. He will have 350 cavalry. There are three companies at Carthage I ordered
several days ago to join these at Newtonia. I have ordered Colonel Harrison to move rapidly with
his command after Shelby, leaving 200 men and one section of Stark's battery to garrison post of
Fayetteville. One battalion Eighteenth Iowa and one section of Rabb's battery will reach
Cassville to-morrow at 11 a.m.
Colonel, Commanding District
Springfield, Mo., October 4, 1863.
Maj. E. B. ENO, Cassville:
The Eighteenth Iowa Infantry left here yesterday, and will be at Cassville to-morrow. You
will leave 50 men at Cassville and move forthwith by forced marches in the direction of
Newtonia. There are three companies at Newtonia, two at Neosho, two at Carthage, and Major
King is between Newtonia and Pineville, with four companies. Try to make a connection with
him. The companies at Newtonia and Carthage have been ordered to join Major King. You will
order the two companies at Neosho to report to you.
Colonel, Commanding.
WASHINGTON, October 11, 1863.
Maj. Gen. JOHN POPE:
The General-in-Chief directs that you will at once put en route for the Headquarters
Department of the Cumberland the Eighth Iowa Cavalry, to report to Major-General Rosecrans
for duty.
By command of General Halleck:
Assistant Adjutant-General.
SPRINGFIELD, MO., October 28, 1863.
Major-General SCHOFIELD:
Captain Laurant, assistant adjutant-general, has arrived. He left Huntsville on Saturday last.
He reports that Brooks' Shelby's forces had made a junction, and had together about 3,000 men.
General McNeil was in Huntsville with 900 effective men and four pieces of artillery, and was
advancing on the enemy daily, and the enemy was constantly falling back. It was General
McNeil's intention, when the captain left, to drive the enemy across the Arkansas River, and
cross himself, and pursue beyond. A large portion of my command is south of here, with General
McNeil, and will remain until he closes his campaign or pursuit. Then I will establish a garrison
at Cross Hollows and Elkhorn, and try to get the troops as well in hand as possible It is reported
that General Ewing has returned to Kansas City. I hear of but few guerrillas, and a very little
disturbance in the district. Fayetteville is the farthest point south that 1 shall garrison at present,
unless otherwise ordered by you. This point should be held strongly.
I am in great need of some infantry for duty at posts, but can do better when the Eighteenth
Iowa returns from the field to Fayetteville.
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
FORT SMITH, ARK., October 31, 1863.
Major-General SCHOFIELD:
I have the honor to announce my arrival here last night. Seven companies of the Eighteenth
Iowa Infantry and a section of Rabb's battery will arrive to-day. I sent Catherwood, with 500
cavalry, back from Ozark, via Fayetteville. I will assume command to-day, and proceed to make
a more effective disposition of the force in this district by concentration. I will advise you, at an
early date, of the effective strength of this force. I am satisfied it falls far short of the returns. We
need a mustering officer and a strict and able inspector at once.
Fisher and Fuller, mail contractors, at Springfield, desire to establish a mail line from
Springfield. Will you bring the subject before the Post-Office Department?
Cooper, with 5,000 men and sixteen guns, is reported advancing, and within 20 miles. I will
take care of him; if he is not in a hurry, I will attack first. I think it is a feint to get Brooks' and
other small commands across the river. Catherwood has instructions to attend to Brooks, and a
detachment of the Third Wisconsin are also in pursuit of him.
Although we did not overtake Shelby, we kept him from extended pillage, punishing him
severely, and drove him across the river at a point near Clarksville. We took about 75 prisoners,
killed 20 or 30 of his men, including I captain, and captured a number of horses.
We have to mourn the death of Lieutenant [James G.] Robertson, of the First Arkansas
Cavalry, who fell, mortally wounded, on the 26th, while bravely leading a charge against the rear
guard of the enemy on Little Piney Creek. No further loss was sustained on our side.
I desire to express my thanks for the hearty and zealous co-operation of the officers and men
of my command, and for the cheerfulness with which they endured the toils and privations of a
long and arduous march.
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Fort Smith, November 2, 1863.
Commanding Department of the Missouri:
GENERAL: I have this day assumed command of this district, by virtue of your telegraphic
order, received in the field, directing me to relieve General Blunt. I find the troops distributed as
follows, by verbal report of Colonel Cloud, left in charge by General Blunt. As there is no record
of returns here, the figures are of course somewhat conjectural:
Fort Scott, Twelfth Kansas Infantry, 600 men; Fourteenth Kansas Cavalry, 900 men, and
Second [Kansas] Colored, 800 men; total, 2,300 men. Baxter Springs, part of the Third
Wisconsin Cavalry, number not known. Fort Gibson, Sixth Kansas Cavalry, 750 men; three
Indian regiments, say 1,500 men, and Smith's Second Kansas Battery, six guns; total, 2,250 men
and six guns. Van Buren, Third Wisconsin Cavalry (not reported); Thirteenth Kansas Infantry,
and Hopkins' battery, say, in all, 1,000 men. Fort Smith, First Arkansas Infantry, First Kansas
Colored, Second Colorado, Second Kansas Cavalry; Rabb's battery, seven companies, and
Eighteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, 300 men; estimated at 2,800 men and six guns.
Besides these, we have 750 infantry and cavalry recruits, with as many more cut off from us
in the mountains. These are for the most part not uniformed, and unarmed, and, until they are so,
will be a nuisance about the posts. This will show an aggregate of over 8,000 troops, but I fear
that a strict inspection would not find half that number for duty, exclusive of the Indians.
I find Steele and Cooper directly in our front, and driving in our pickets within 12 miles of
this post. Their force is variously estimated at from 4,000 to 6,000 combatants. They are moving
over to occupy the country about Waldron, where there are abundant crops of wheat and corn. I
am compelled to drive them out, and must do it with infantry, as I have scarcely a squadron of
cavalry to move from this place. The Second Kansas Cavalry are scattered on all duties, until
there is scarcely the shadow of a regiment at headquarters. 1 am told that the Third Wisconsin
Cavalry, at Van Buren, can scarcely put 200 men in the field, and these are needed for collecting
forage and subsistence for the post to which they are attached. I shall, however, order them here,
and direct the use of infantry for that purpose. The subsistence of the troops in this district has
been drawn entirely from the country since the day of occupation, and in order to keep the wheat
and corn near us, for our own use, I am moving a strong party under Colonel Cloud, to-day, to
drive off the enemy under Steele and Cooper. We have salt and sugar, but are entirely out of hard
bread, coffee, candles, and soup. The service also requires all kinds of quartermaster's and
ordnance stores, including arms for the new regiments and ammunition for all arms. Many of the
recruits of the old regiments are without clothing. I have immediate and urgent need of the
following assistance, and hope it will be furnished me: An assistant quartermaster-general of
district, an assistant commissary-general of district, an inspector and a mustering officer, and an
engineer of fortifications and topography. I also hope that Captain Laurant may be at once
relieved from the Southwestern District of Missouri, and directed to report to me. I know it is his
wish, and regard his services as indispensable to the introduction of order here, where order is so
much needed.
In prospect of open communication with Little Rock, and to protect our bread supplies, I
deem it important to at once seize and hold Waldron, about 40 miles south of this place. I have
directed Colonel Cloud, when he has driven Steele and Cooper, to occupy that place. It will take
much time and labor to put the troops--if they are all like those of this post---in a state for
effective service; but it can be done with the proper help, and I shall work diligently to that end.
These irregularities are in no way chargeable to Colonel Cloud, who has acted in a most
energetic manner, and with a strict regard to the public interest. He has taken grave
responsibilities, but he was compelled to do so or allow public interests to suffer. His position
has been really embarrassing; with officers refusing to recognize either his rank or authority, he
has been constantly trammeled in duty, and the wonder is that he has done so well. You, general,
understand this matter, and if his status can be fixed beyond cavil, I shall regard it as a service
due a deserving officer.
I have to state that, on leaving Southeastern Missouri, when wounded, last spring, I left my
cipher in the hands of my acting assistant adjutant-general, who claims to have handed it to
another gentleman serving with me; at any rate, I have neither cipher nor key. Will you cause
each to be sent me? The officer in charge of raising the Second Arkansas Infantry reports 350
recruits at this post, and as many more a t other points, some of which are in rear of the enemy.
Colonel Cloud authorized Lieutenant-Colonel [E. J.] Searle to raise a Third Arkansas Cavalry,
and they have 400 recruits here, and more reported in the mountains. I shall subsist these men as
recruits, subject to disposition by your orders.
On Saturday I reviewed the First Arkansas Infantry Volunteers, First Colored Infantry
Kansas Volunteers, and Rabb's battery. The negro regiment is a triumph of drill and discipline,
and reflects great honor on Colonel William in command. Few volunteer regiments that I have
seen make a better appearance. I regard them as first-rate infantry. I shall order at once all of the
Twelfth Kansas Cavalry [Infantry] that can be spared from Fort Scott, and if I find no substantial
reason for the continuance of the force at Baxter Springs, call them in. The force at Gibson I may
be compelled to precipitate on the Choctaw Nation, who remain contumacious. I am sending
them messengers, offering to treat with them if they will leave Cooper, and threatening to drive
them from their country if they do not. They are terribly afraid of the Pin Indians, and may
succumb. If they do not, I shall keep my word with them, as the only mode of impressing these
Indians with proper respect for the power of the Government.
I shall start a semi-weekly mail for Fayetteville.
Washington County, Arkansas, being in this district, as described in orders, I have to ask that
you will direct the troops stationed there to report to me. Arkansas, north of Boston Mountains,
might be made a sub district, to report either here or at Springfield. In case the First Arkansas
Cavalry is not directed to report to me, I have to request that Capt. D. C. Hopkins, with his
company, may be detached and directed to report to me as scouts. I have everywhere in this State
found our information of the enemy's movements defective, and military scouts the most reliable.
Captain Hopkins and his company are peculiarly fitted for this service.
I have but the copy of your telegram ordering me to relieve Major-General Blunt; no other
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding.
Little Rock, November 3, 1863.
Colonel Bussey, Third Iowa Cavalry, having reported at these headquarters for duty, is
hereby assigned to command First Division, Army of Arkansas.
By order of Major-General Steele:
First Lieut. Second Cav., Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.]
Little Rock, Ark., November 6, 1863.
The artillery of this command is hereby assigned as follows:
First Division.--Twenty-fifth Ohio Battery, Lieut. E. B. Hubbard commanding; Batteries K
and M, Second Missouri Light Artillery, Lieut. C. W. Howard commanding.
Second Division.--Battery A, Third Illinois Light Artillery, Lieut. E. B. Stillings
commanding; Eleventh Ohio Battery, Capt. F. C. Sands commanding and Fifth Ohio Battery,
Lieut. J. D. Burner commanding.
Third Division.--Third Iowa Battery, Lieut. M. C. Wright commanding, and Battery K, First
Missouri Light Artillery, Capt. S. O. Fish commanding.
And will make all reports to division headquarters.
By order of Major-General Steele:
First Lieut. Second Cav, and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Little Rock, Ark., November 9, 1863.
Commanding Department of the Missouri:
GENERAL: Sherman writes me, at the suggestion of General Grant, to send him Kimball's
division, of the Sixteenth Army Corps. This would take all my infantry, except Salomon's
division. Kimball reports a total of 4,478 for duty. Salomon's total for duty is 3,364. My best
artillery belongs to Kimball's division. I have declined acceding to Sherman's request, for reasons
the same as those given for not sending True's brigade, on Hurlbut's application.
Holmes contemplated an attack on this place, but was restrained by Kirby Smith. If
Marmaduke had succeeded in taking Pine Bluff, they would no doubt have attacked us here
before this time. Price moved to Camden, to be in supporting distance of Marmaduke Their
combined force is reported to be now at Ten Springs, near Camden, on the road to Washington.
The latter place is evacuated, as well as Arkadelphia. I have sent a section of 3-inch guns and a
regiment of infantry to re-enforce Pine Bluff, and directed Colonel Clayton to strengthen his
defenses. This is an important post, and, in my opinion, the only one necessary between here and
Napoleon. With infantry to hold the place, and cavalry to scout 25 miles out, the rich valley of
the Arkansas can be kept free from rebels. They cannot go in toward Napoleon without getting
into a pocket. Large amounts of corn, cotton, &c., are reported to be there now. I have sent an
infantry regiment to the outpost at Benton, and an engineer officer to construct some defenses
there. I thought these precautions necessary to guard against raids from the rebel army at
Shelby crossed the Arkansas at Roseville on the 28th ultimo, and, when last heard from, was
at Waldron. I have ordered out about 600 cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Caldwell, Third
Iowa, for the double purpose of heading him off and bringing out some 500 Union men, who
wish to enlist in our service.
I sent two full companies of Arkansas troops to Dardanelle several days ago. It is a recruiting
station, and most of the inhabitants are loyal. The Fiftieth Indiana Infantry are building winter
quarters at Lewisburg. This is also an important recruiting station. General Hurlbut authorized
me to muster in cavalry as well as infantry. When your order requiring infantry only was
received, several companies that were ready to be mustered in as cavalry disbanded, and many of
them have enlisted in the old cavalry regiments. As these mounted men can be made very useful,
I have received some of them as cavalry, conditionally, provided the War Department will
receive them as cavalry otherwise they are to be infantry.
I designated the Third Missouri Cavalry to take station at Jackson port, and have been
waiting for them to be paid. Baxter and Padgett, two fugitives from Independence County, are
going with them, and each expects to raise a regiment for the United States service.
Fishback appears to be getting along very well with his regiment. I have heard of Brigadier-
General McRae and [Colonel] Shaver at Jacksonport and on Crowley's Ridge. Their force has
been estimated as high as 800. I do not believe they have half that number. One of our spies
(Holland) reports six companies between Clarendon and Helena, mostly' guerrillas. I have
ordered out our cavalry at Devall's Bluff in pursuit of them, with orders to inform the inhabitants
that their country will be devastated if they allow these guerrillas to operate in it. Captain [J. B.]
Wheeler, engineer, has laid out and commenced a square redoubt, which will command the city
and the principal approaches. This, with batteries on' the opposite side of the river, would render
it untenable by an enemy. To defend the city by a chain of fortifications would require extensive
works and a large force. As soon as the water rises, the line of the Arkansas can be defended by a
smaller force than that which I am now employing. Saline River will be a barrier to the rebels on
the south, and the "tin-clads" can keep the Lower Arkansas clear.
Am I in two departments?
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
SAINT LOUIS, MO., December 31, 1863.
Major-General SCHOFIELD,
West Point, N. Y.:
The following dispatches just received. The Ninth Iowa Cavalry and Second Colorado
Cavalry can be ready for the field in two or three days:
LITTLE ROCK, ARK., December 24, 1863.
I have just received the following dispatch:
BLUFF, December 24, 1862---8 p.m.
I have the following information from Tulip, which I think reliable:
Kirby Smith, Price, and Chalmers met in consultation at Camden, about three days ago. They
have united their forces, amounting to about 22,000 men in all. The intention is to make an
advance when the roads and streams will permit. Marmaduke has been relieved by Chalmers.
Pegram's head, quarters are at Camden. About 800 cavalry are near Princeton. A force is
reported at Arkadelphia. It is reported that some 1,700 of the Vicksburg and Port Hudson
prisoners have reported to Price for duty. Pegram advanced as far as the Saline, with a view of
attacking this post on the 13th of this month, but was diverted from his intention by the
expedition under Colonel Merrill. They are conscripting everybody who is-able to bear arms, and
are pricing all the horses and mules in the country. The Saline is full to its banks.
FORT SMITH, ARK., December 13, 1863.
I ordered the remainder of my cavalry at this post (two battalions of the Fourteenth Kansas)
to move up on the Canadian and attack Stand Watie, but find the enemy are making strong
demonstrations on my Waldron outposts, and, to keep in hand sufficient force to attend to them, I
have to countermand the order. General Gano left Lanesport about seventeen days ago, with an
infantry force of 1,200 men and one six-gun battery. Brooks was to co-operate, with 800 cavalry.
Gano has been taken sick, and returned. I will send more infantry to Waldron to make that point
sate. If I had more effective cavalry, I could trap the infantry part of that expedition.
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK,
Your dispatch of to-day received. You remember I gave you, as a necessary condition of
success, an adequate cavalry force. Since that time I have not lost a moment in mounting our
dismounted cavalry as fast as we could get horses. Not more than 300 remain to be mounted. The
Fifth Iowa, ordered up from Donelson, arrived to-day. The First Wisconsin will be here by
Saturday. My preliminary infantry movements have nearly all been completed, and I am
preparing to strike a blow that will tell; but, to show you how differently things are viewed here,
I called on my corps and division commanders and generals of cavalry for answers, in writing, to
these questions: 1st. From your best information, do you think the enemy materially weakened in
our front? 2d. Do you think this army can advance, at this time, with reasonable prospect of
fighting a great and successful battle? 3d. Do you think an advance advisable at this time?
To the first, eleven answered no; six yes, to the extent of 10,000. To the second, four yes,
with doubts; thirteen no. To the third, not one yes; seventeen no.
Not one thinks an advance advisable until Vicksburg's fate is determined. Admitting these
officers to have a reasonable share of military sagacity, courage, and patriotism, you perceive
that there are graver and stronger reasons than probably appear at Washington for the attitude of
this army. I therefore counsel caution and patience at headquarters. Better wait a little to get all
we can ready to insure the best results, if by so doing we, per force of Providence, observe a
great military maxim, not to risk two great and decisive battles at the same time. We might have
cause to be thankful for it; at all events, you see that, to expect success, I must have such
thorough grounds that when I say forward," my word will inspire conviction and confidence,
where both are now wanting.
I should like to have your suggestion.
Forts Henry, Heiman, and Donelson, February 3, 1863.
Enemy within 8 miles of Donelson, advancing. Cannot tell his strength. One company of our
cavalry is out beyond them, and Colonel Harding entertains fears that they may have been
captured. Everything possible is being done.
Colonel, Commanding.
Murfreesborough, Tenn.
Fort Donelson, Tenn., February 6, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the engagement of the forces under my
command with the enemy under Generals Wheeler, Forrest, and Wharton at this place on the 3d
You will remember that on the 2d instant I forwarded to you a report that the enemy, 900
strong, with several pieces of artillery, under command of Forrest, had taken a position on the
river at Palmyra, for the purpose of obstructing the navigation of the Cumberland, and that I
made a proposition to take a transport then lying at this landing, arming it with artillery and
infantry, and making a reconnaissance toward that point, which proposition you approved.
Accordingly, on the morning of the 3d, I ordered Major [E. C.] Brott, of my regiment, to take
the steamer Wild Cat and place upon it one company of the Eighty-third and two guns of Flood's
battery, protected by bales of hay, and proceed up the river in the direction of Palmyra. This
order had been so far executed as that the expedition was ready to move by 11 a.m. Early in the
forenoon of that day reports were brought in that the enemy were advancing upon Donelson by
the road leading down the river. I had started Captain [Henning] von Minden, of Company G,
Fifth Iowa Cavalry, with 30 men, by way of the rolling-mill road, to make a reconnaissance
overland in conjunction with the river expedition. He had moved before the first report of the
approach of the enemy came in. Also, early on the morning of that day a small party of mounted
men, under Lieutenant [G.] Lene, of Company G, Fifth Iowa Cavalry, had been sent out to
remove a family from near the rolling-mill to this fort. While this detachment was at the house of
the family spoken of, the advance of the enemy's forces made their appearance there, and a
citizen who was at the house seized one of the cavalry horses and rode to the fort and gave the
alarm. This was about 11.30 a.m. From this time until the appearance of the enemy at our lines
these same reports were repeatedly corroborated. I now ordered Major Brett to take his forces off
the steamer, had the long-roll sounded, and at the-same time sent out the remaining cavalry on
the different roads approaching the fort, to ascertain the enemy's whereabouts. They soon
returned, and reported the enemy's advance within 1 mile of our pickets on two different roads. I
immediately got my command in fighting trim and prepared for the contest.
In order to give you a more comprehensive idea of the disposition of my own forces and of
the enemy's, I will make the following explanations:
As a base of my own operations, I will take three of the principal streets of the site of Dover,
forming three sides of a square open on the east, the north side being 40 rods from [the river],
and parallel with the river is a ravine intervening on the west side, and near to and parallel with
the street is a deep ravine running into the river and heading near the southwest corner of the
supposed square. There is a deep ravine running all around the south and east sides of the
encampment, at a distance of about 20 rods from our supposed base. On the other side of the said
line, and across the east end, is a line of rifle-pits inclosing an area of about three-fourths of an
acre of ground, upon which ground are encamped six companies of my regiment. This piece of
ground slopes gradually to the east and south, and, as my encampment is surrounded by a very
high semi-circular ridge, running from the river above around the rear and intersecting the river
below, my rifle-pits were so constructed that batteries placed upon the ridge could without
difficulty pour in a very destructive enfilading fire. For this reason I did not deem it prudent to
dispose my forces in the trenches.
About 12 m. I ordered Captain [P. E.] Reed, with his company (A) of my regiment, to deploy
his men as skirmishers on the ridge southward near my outposts. At the same time I ordered
Captain [J.] McClanahan, with his company (B), to deploy his men on the ridge eastward, near
the outposts there, thus guarding the two main approaches to my position.
At about 1 o'clock Company B began to engage the enemy's skirmishers. It will be
remembered that only nine companies of my regiment were present, Company G having been
sent to Nashville as a guard to a transport, thus leaving me with nine companies of the Eightythird,
Flood’s battery of four rifled cannon, and from 10 to 15 mounted men; and as these
detachments all had heavy sick-lists, I cannot estimate my force engaged above 750 men.
At about 1.30 o'clock Generals Wheeler, Forrest, and Wharton sent hi a flag of truce,
demanding the surrender of my command, which I respectfully declined. I now ordered gun No.
2, of Flood's battery, supported by Company I, Captain [J. B.] Donley, and Company F, Captain
[J. T.] Morgan, of the Eighty-third Regiment Volunteer Infantry, to take position on the hill, near
the graveyard, 300 yards from the southwest corner of my base, and on the Fort Henry road,
which position overlooks my encampment as well as the surrounding country. I decreed this of
great importance; first, because I believed the enemy would cut off my communication toward
Fort Henry, and, second, because I believed this point to be the key to my position, from the fact
that the ridge upon which the road runs extends down to my encampment. Soon after, Company
C, under command of Lieutenant [J. C.] Gamble, of the Eighty-third, was sent as a support to this
gun and the two companies.
I now ordered gun No. 1, of the battery, supported by Companies H (Captain [W. G.] Bond)
and K (Captain [G. W.] Reynolds), of the Eighty-third, to take position at the east end of my
rifle-pits. I then recalled my skirmishers, placed gun No. 4, of the battery, behind a little redoubt
at the southwest corner of my base. By this time the enemy's lines could be seen drawn up
around the whole extent of the heights overlooking my position. They soon put in position a
battery of four guns on the ridge to the eastward, and commenced a vigorous shelling of my guns
in position near the end of the rifle-pits, and at the same time the gun and companies at the
graveyard, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel [A. A.] Smith, became hotly engaged. I had
now deployed the remaining companies of the Eighty-third in the deep ravine west of my base,
in which position they were entirely sheltered from the enemy's artillery.
You will remember that at the northwest corner of my base, near the site of the old courthouse,
I have in position a 32-pounder siege gun, which I brought from the enemy's old water
battery at the fort last summer. This I had well intrenched, and the position is a splendid one, the
gun, being on pivot, commanding every approach.
The enemy were now shelling us from three batteries (in all probably nine guns), from the
east, south, and southwest, occasionally changing their position, and raining storms of iron hail
upon us, which it would have been very hard to withstand had we been in a less protected
position. I now ordered the gun at the east end of the rifle-pits to move to the assistance of
Lieutenant-Colonel Smith, at the graveyard, as a very heavy force was pressing his position. I
then ordered gun No. 4 to be moved from the redoubt to near my headquarters, and put in
position near the siege gun, which was being finally maneuvered under the direction of Adjutant
[W. B.] Casey. Here No. 4 fired a few shots, and at this time the enemy made demonstrations for
a charge along the low ground near the river. To meet this, I ordered gun No. 4 to move down
the street and toward the river, and, if possible, to drive them back. This was soon executed,
when No. 4 again returned to its position near the siege gun, fired a few shots, and it was then
sent to the assistance of Lieutenant-Colonel Smith. Gun No. 3 took the position of No. 4 at the
redoubt near the headquarters, but as it was unable to accomplish much, it was also sent to the
assistance of Lieutenant-Colonel Smith.
Gun No. 37 and all the guns at this position, did splendid execution, until friction primers and
portfires were exhausted, and two of the guns became choked in the vent. The battery suffered
very severely in the loss of horses killed and wounded, and, in the confusion consequent, they
became so entangled in the harness that when Colonel Smith, ascertaining that the ammunition
was exhausted, ordered the battery to the rear, it was with difficulty that any of the guns could be
taken off the field. All except the wheel horses of me. 4 were killed, and it was given up as lost,
unless our infantry could hold the enemy in check until the cannoneers could get the others off
and return to remove it by hand.
Nos.. 1, 2, and 3 were made safe, and the cannoneers, with a daring rarely exhibited, returned
for No. 4. the driver mounted his wheel-horses, but the piece was cramped, and, before they
could move it, the off horse was shot dead in his harness, and as the infantry had by this time
retired, they were compelled to abandon it.
After the enemy were foiled in their first attempt to charge from up the river, they soon
rallied, and, led on by Forrest himself, they again moved forward in a solid, motley mass,
moving down the river to a point near the jail, and there by the flank up the street toward the
southward, then forward in successive lines of battle between our northern line of base and the
river, filling the whole open space with mounted men and the air with yells of triumph.
In an instant the siege gun was doubled-shotted with canister, and turned upon them and
discharged, tearing one man to atoms and two horses, within 10 feet of the muzzle. At the same
time I ordered my infantry out of the ravine from the west to meet the charge, and right gallantly
did they obey. They met the enemy at the crest of the ridge, and the simultaneous discharge of
300 Springfield rifles and a double shot of canister from the siege gun was too much for them;
the line gave way and their yells suddenly ceased. The Eighty-third boys with fixed bayonets
soon cleared the ground, capturing about 40 prisoners.
After gun No. I had been taken from its position, near the east end of the rifle-pits, and sent
up to the assistance of Lieutenant-Colonel Smith at the graveyard, Company H, which had been
supporting it on the left, was ordered to take a position inside the rifle-pits near the southwest
corner, where they did good work against the right of the force pressing against Colonel Smith,
and at a time when there was danger of his left being turned by the enemy. Company H, Captain
Bond, again moved out and occupied a barn and other buildings about midway between the
corner of the rifle-pit and Colonel Smith's position, and, using sacks of grain and bales of hay for
protection, were successful in keeping the enemy at bay in that quarter.
After Company H left the position of gun No. 1, Company A moved down and took position
at the northeast corner of the rifle-pits, while Company K was posted in the rifle-pits at the
southeast, and at the corner of the church, with Company A. Here these two companies
successfully repelled two charges, one by cavalry and one by men dismounted, the enemy
outnumbering us ten to one. In one of these charges Captain Reed, Company A,. was shot dead
while doing his duty bravely and encouraging his men in the defense of the position; they held
their post till the close of the engagement. In this last, charge the rebel Colonel McNairy was
shot down while vainly endeavoring to bring his men forward to the charge.
After the repulse of the charge against the siege gun, and after Colonel Smith had sent his
disabled artillery to the rear, the companies lying in the ravine near the siege gun were ordered
forward to the support of Colonel Smith's right, as the enemy were advancing in large numbers
over the ridge and down to the river bluff. They moved forward in line of battle, driving the
enemy before them, until they came within range; the line was halted, volley after volley was
delivered until our supply of ammunition was exhausted. While in this position, Capt. John
McClanahan was wounded and Lieutenant [H. D.] Bissell, quartermaster, shot dead by a cannonball.
This was about sundown. Our line then moved by the right flank and flied around the point
of the ridge and up the river bank to a point occupied by what is known as Sirs. Cable's house,
where they were sheltered to a great extent by the crest of the bluff. About this' time the enemy's
fire ceased, and we lay there in breathless suspense, expecting a last and possibly a successful
charge of the enemy, but determined to fight it to the bitter end. Here a happy suggestion was
made by Adjutant Casey, which was, that we should charge toward our rifle-pits and ammunition
and the three companies which had remained there, and, notwithstanding that the enemy from
either flank had well-nigh cut us off from these, the brave boys started on the double quick, and,
with a yell that sent the rebels running in every direction, regained our rifle-pits in safety. It was
now too dark for the enemy's artillery to injure us, and in a very few moments the men were
disposed around the rifle-pits and ammunition distributed to them.
We could now distinctly see along the whole extent of ridge encircling our encampment long
lines of rebels, mounted and dismounted, apparently preparing for some new method of attack,
but we felt secure. Beyond an eminence near the graveyard we could see collected a large body
of men, which I expected would be precipitated upon our weakest point, to wit, the Fort Henry
road, the siege gun, like the others, having run short of friction primers and port-fires (this was
about sun-down), imperfectly spiked and abandoned; but in one break of the rifle-pits some 30
men stopped inside of the redoubt, and 1 ordered a company to get behind a field-work which
had been thrown up between two houses and fronting the last-named position of the enemy, and
sent another company on the southwest corner of the rifle-pits, which commanded their position.
These three detachments kept up a continuous fire upon the enemy until 8 o'clock. They sent in a
flag of truce, again demanding the surrender of the post, telling us that they had not brought into
action more than half of their forces. We declined any such offers, and informed them that we
would not surrender. They then left. The troops fought bravely and seemed fixed with the
purpose of victory or death.
It is impossible to distinguish by mentioning some without injustice to others, and, indeed, all
who struggled through our seven hours of battle. 1 will mention the cool and daring bravery of
my staff, Lieutenant-Colonel Smith, Major Brott, and Adjutant Casey; the latter, although
wounded by a shot through the arm, kept the field, and suggested the last movement we made--
the rally upon our trenches; Quartermaster Bissell, of the Eighty-third, and William Thayer,
telegraph operator, through sheets of fire, bore my orders and brought me reports until Bissell
fell by my side, mortally wounded (since dead); Lieutenants [E. V.] Moore and [A. H.] Mcintyre,
of the artillery (the former has since died of his wounds); Captains Reed and McClanahan, of the
Eighty-third. Indeed, all of my officers covered themselves with glory.
Company C, of my regiment, led by Lieutenant Gamble (Captain Cutler being unfortunately
absent), held with brave tenacity, with the battery and other companies, the key to our position.
This company lost in killed and wounded one-fourth of the whole number on our side.
I must also mention Private Sturgis, of the Fifth Iowa Cavalry, who left the command in this
battle, as in that of Waverly last summer (where 200 of my regiment fought the enemy under [T.
A.] Napier), and performed in the ranks of my infantry daring deeds of valor. He should have a
Our loss in the whole command was 13 killed, 51 wounded, and some 20 prisoners. This is
exclusive of Captain von Minden and his 26 men, who were captured the same day on a scout.
The prisoners have all been paroled except Captain von Minden. The loss of the enemy,
according to the best estimate we can make, is 150 killed; their wounded at least 600; prisoners,
105, of which over 50 are wounded. We lost one gun, without caissons; 25 mules and 6 horses,
belonging to the Eighty-third, were killed and wounded. Flood's battery lost 41 horses killed and
disabled for service. A barge containing a large quantity of hay belonging to the United States
was destroyed.
Many soldiers lost their blankets and clothing, which were taken from their quartersby the
enemy. I have no accurate list of arms captured; some have been turned over and some have not.
I have ordered all to be turned over to the post quartermaster. As soon as I can obtain a list of our
loss of arms, I will send to you a report of the same.
Colonel, Commanding.
Col. W. W. LOWE,
Comdg. U, S. Forces at Forts Henry, Heiman, and Donelson.
FORT DONELSON, April 13, 1863.
Yesterday one company of the Fifth Iowa Cavalry, Captain [D. A.] Waters, of Major Garrid's
[?] command (now out seizing horses), had a highly successful engagement with rebels,
completely routing them, killing and wounding several, capturing 17 prisoners and 25 horses,
besides arms, &c. Among the prisoners are Major Blanton, Captain Lealer, of Cox's regiment,
and the adjutant and surgeon of Owen's battalion. This Blanton is the same who was captured
during the Winter by one of my scouting parties, and made his escape somewhere north of Cairo.
Colonel, Commanding.
Lieut. Col. C. GODDARD,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the Cumberland.
Corinth, Miss, May 19, 1863.
SIR: In compliance with your order to report the part the Third Brigade bore in the action at
Newsom's farm, and during the late expedition up the valley of the Tuscumbia, I submit the
On arriving at Great Bear Creek, on Friday morning, with the balance of your command, I
was ordered by the general commanding to push forward two companies of skirmishers to take
and hold the crossing of the creek, which was soon accomplished without any casualty, but a
very few shots being exchanged with the enemy's skirmishers. I then received orders to cross my
brigade and push forward to support the cavalry, under the direct command of Colonel Cornyn,
which had already crossed and engaged the enemy I or 2 miles in advance of my command. Two
regiments crossed in deep, swift water to near their arms, carrying their clothing and
accouterments on their bayonets over their heads. One regiment crossed on a small boat. One
regiment (Thirty-ninth Iowa Infantry) was left (by order) to guard the ford. With three regiments,
I pressed on. Was informed by you that the cavalry would not pursue the enemy that evening
more than 2 miles, when I would go into camp with our cavalry. I soon distinctly heard firing in
my front, and knew that it could not be less than 3 or 4 miles in advance. I pressed on as rapidly
as my command, which was in fine spirits, could march. I had gone about 2 miles, when I
received an order from the general commanding. On reading it, I found it was directed to Colonel
Cornyn, but was to be read by myself before being sent forward to him. The purport of the order
was for the colonel not to advance more than 3 to 5 miles, as there was an enemy on his left,
which he alone could not meet. I sent the orderly on with the order and pushed forward as fast as
we could march, still hearing the fighting in front, though it was growing more distant. On
arriving at Dixon's Station, I learned that a large force of cavalry and artillery had filed into the
road at Cherokee, in Cornyn's rear. I pressed forward as rapidly as possible, and soon reached
Cherokee, where my skirmishers exchanged a few shots with the enemy's rear guard and soon
dispersed them, capturing 2 prisoners. While here, I received a request from Colonel Cornyn to
send a battery forward to his assistance. I immediately ordered Captain Welker to move forward
as fast as the jaded condition of his horses would permit.
Hurrying forward, I soon came up with Colonel Cornyn, who had his command in line of
battle across a field, at Newsom's. The enemy were in line about a quarter of a mile, but as soon
as Welker's battery moved into the field the enemy fell back. I immediately moved the Seventh
Illinois into the timber on the right, and the Fiftieth and Fifty-seventh Illinois on the left of the
field, and requested Colonel Cornyn to fall back with the cavalry, hoping that the rebels would
attempt to follow him, and I could thus decoy them into a position where my infantry would have
a cross-fire upon them. As soon as the cavalry had fallen back, the vanguard of the enemy came
forward into the field, apparently unconscious of danger; but as they arrived opposite one of my
regiments, some of the men, without orders, opened fire upon them, disabling a number of men
and horses, but, unfortunately for us, discovering our position to the enemy, who immediately
fell back out of range of our guns, and opened upon us with their artillery, but, as my men were
well sheltered, did us no damage. The general arrived about dark, and directed me to fall back to
Newsom's, where we bivouacked for the night.
April 18, fell back to Buzzard's Roost Creek. Saw nothing of the enemy all day.
April 19, by direction of the general, placed my entire command in ambush near Buzzard's
Roost Creek, hoping to draw the enemy within my lines, but without success. At dark placed my
men in camp. Remained at Buzzard's Roost Creek until Thursday, April 23, when I moved
forward, excepting the Fiftieth Illinois Infantry and one section of artillery, which were left at
Bear Creek to escort prisoners' train. Reached Caney Creek, where I camped about 4 p.m. The
detachment left to guard prisoners' train arrived about 11 p.m.
Friday morning, left camp at 6 a.m., and reached Tuscumbia at 1 p.m. Here the Seventh
Illinois were detached and sent to East Florence.
April 27, at 5 o'clock, Monday morning, moved forward to Leighton, where I was joined by
the Seventh Illinois, camped about a mile west of Town Creek. Shortly after sunrise the next
morning (Tuesday), the enemy, who were in force on the opposite side of Town Creek, opened
upon us with their artillery. I immediately ordered Captain Richardson to take a position with his
battery as near the enemy as possible and open fire upon them, which he did. The artillery firing
was kept up until afternoon.
By direction of the general, I constructed a foot-bridge over the creek in my front, and about
3 p.m. crossed the regiments of my brigade, the Fifty-seventh Illinois and the battery being left
near the bridge. Keeping out skirmishers about 200 paces in front, I advanced about 2 miles
across a large field. The rear guard of the enemy were constantly in sight, but continually
retreated upon the approach of my skirmishers. About dark, not having been able to discover the
enemy in any force, received orders to fall back across the creek. Bivouacked in our camps of the
night previous.
April 29, 1863, broke camp at 5 a.m., and marched in the direction of Tuscumbia. After four
days' marching, during which time nothing worthy of note occurred, we reached Corinth about 4
p.m. Saturday, May 2. The only casualty was 1 man of Company B, Seventh Illinois, who shot
himself accidentally.
Very respectfully,
Colonel, Commanding.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
FORT DONELSON, May 23, 1863.
SIR: Have just returned. Yesterday some of my cavalry, under Major Baird, had a skirmish
with the rebels. Some of Cox's command, on Yellow Creek, about 4 miles from our camp, routed
and chased them for 12 miles, capturing 7 prisoners. Loss not known. On our side Captain Paul,
Fifth Iowa Cavalry, slightly [wounded]. To-day we were fired upon, wounding Lieutenant
Beatty, Fifth Iowa Cavalry, and 1 man severely. Chased them for several miles, but did not catch
them. In both cases the rebels were in ambush. Have given orders to take no more prisoners.
Received order while out; will come by first chance. Rebels reported in force near -. Don't
believe it.
Colonel, Commanding.
Murfreesborough, Tenn.
Camp near Murfreesborough, Tenn., June 18, 1863.
SIR: In accordance with orders received from Major-General Stanley, I marched with the
First Brigade at 5 p.m. on the 15th instant, taking the Lebanon pike. 1 arrived at Stone's River at
7 p.m., fed horses, and halted until 10 p.m., so as to strike Lebanon by daybreak. At Baird's
Mills the enemy's picket fires were found burning, but evidently the posts had not been occupied
for some hours.
I arrived at Lebanon at 4 a.m., and had some difficulty in learning anything definite about the
enemy. I at [last] learned from some negroes and a Union family that the rebels, about 600
strong, under Colonel Duke, had left Lebanon at about 5 p.m., the 15th, by the Sparta (or
Alexandria) road. I immediately followed them to Spring Greek, 5 miles out, watered the horses,
and dismounted to feed, when the rebels attacked my pickets from toward Alexandria, driving
them in, and following them sharply with about 300 men, mounted and dismounted. I sent
Lieutenant-Colonel Sipes, with the Seventh Pennsylvania, to the right, and Major Mix, with the
Fourth Michigan, to the left (directing them to keep a little in advance of the head of the column
on the pike), the Fourth Regulars on the pike, the Fifth Iowa in reserve, and the battalion Third
Indiana guarding the ambulances. My advance was necessarily slow, in consequence of the
rough nature of the ground over which the flanking columns had to pass. The rebels retired
slowly, fighting stubbornly, until near Shop Spring, where the advance of the Fourth Regulars,
under Lieutenant O'Connell, charged and drove them from the fences, from behind which they
had been fighting. Our horses were tired, and those of the enemy apparently fresh, so that the
only result was to drive them. Having now arrived at the junction of the cross-road leading to
Baird's Mills, which gave me a good line of retreat, I took a position on the right side of the road,
to allow the men to get their breakfasts. Unfortunately, there was no feed to be had for the
At 11.30, I again moved forward, the Seventh Pennsylvania in advance, followed by the
Fourth Michigan, Third Indiana, and Fourth Regulars, the Fifth Iowa on the flanks. We drove the
enemy as before. At about 2 o'clock I arrived at Waters' Mill, halted the column, and sent
Colonel Sipes, with the Seventh Pennsylvania and two companies of the Fifth Iowa, 2 miles to
the front; threw out strong pickets l miles in every direction, and fed horses.
At Lebanon, and at all points along the road, I received information that Morgan was at
Alexandria with 4,000 men and from six to twelve pieces of artillery. When Colonel Sipes
returned he brought confirmation of these reports. Skirmishing was kept up with my pickets on
the Alexandria road at intervals all the afternoon. At 7 p.m. a courier came in from the front,
reporting that the enemy was advancing in force, and immediately after they opened fire with
their artillery. I sent the Fourth Michigan to the front, and the rebels fell back, but my flanking
parties from both the right and left reported that a heavy column was moving down each flank. I
immediately doubled my pickets, and remained in position until 9 o'clock, when I fell back,
taking the cross-road from Shop Spring to Baird's Mills, at which place I arrived at 2.30 m.
without molestation.
Up to this time we had marched 56 miles. Some of the men had had one hour's sleep, and the
others no sleep whatever. At 6.30 I resumed the march for Murfreesborough, arriving at Stone's
River at 10 o'clock. I halted for a couple of hours to rest the horses, and then returned to camp.
Captain Davis, Seventh Pennsylvania, who commanded the rear guard from Baird's Mills,
reports that a strong force of the enemy came into that place from toward Lebanon as he was
leaving it, but attempted nothing further than an exchange of shots.
If I had had a couple of pieces of artillery, John [H.] Morgan should either have given me
battle or Alexandria; but without them, I felt that I would be fighting at too great a disadvantage
and uselessly sacrificing the lives of my men. I therefore considered it my duty to retire.
Inclosed I hand you report of casualties.
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding.
Captain [W. B.] CURTIS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Cavalry Division.
Murfreesborough, Tenn., July 13, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit to the general commanding the Department of the
Cumberland the following report of the attack made upon the rebel forces at Guy's Gap and
Shelbyville, and of the occupation of those points by the forces under my command, on the 27th
I have not yet received, from officers acting under my direction, reports of the part taken by
their respective commands in the engagements of that day, and, therefore, I am unable to make
this report in detail; to mention the special action of different and distinct parts of my command,
and to name the officers and men most conspicuous for gallantry and a display of soldierlike
qualities, and those (if there are any such) who deserve censure for bad conduct or neglect of
duty; nor am I able to give, in exact numbers, the loss we sustained, although I can proximate it
sufficiently to state it with reasonable certainty.
At 2 o'clock on the morning of June 23, I received orders from the general commanding the
Army of the Cumberland to move at daylight with all of the forces under my command, then at
Triune, for Salem, save the division of cavalry under the immediate command of General
Mitchell, which I sent on that morning to attack the rebels at Rover and Middleton, with
directions to drive them out of those places. In accordance with this order, I marched my
command, and arrived at the designated point on the night of the same day (June 23). Under
additional instructions there received, I marched the next day to a point on the Murfreesborough
and Shelbyville pike, near Christiana, where I halted my command, awaiting further orders.
General Mitchell arrived at Rover on the afternoon of the day on which he left Triune, and
there met the enemy. After a sharp fight, lasting for over two hours, he drove them out of, and 2
miles beyond, the town. On the next day he again attacked the enemy at Middleton, and
succeeded in handsomely whipping them, and in driving them before him.
An official report of the casualties in these two engagements has not yet been made to me,
but General Mitchell states that his loss will not amount to over 20 men, while the enemy
suffered greatly in killed and wounded.
On the next day (Thursday, June 25), General Mitchell joined me at my camp near
Christiana. At the same time General Stanley, with part of his cavalry command, also reported to
me at that place. It was on the morning of this day (June that I sent Lieutenant-Colonel Patrick,
with the Fifth Iowa Cavalry and the Fourth Michigan Cavalry, to observe the enemy at
Fosterville. He found them there in strong force, but, by a bold dash, he gallantly drove them
beyond the town, where they again made a stand and opened upon him with artillery. In
obedience to my instructions, he then withdrew his forces, and returned to Christiana.
At 6 o'clock on the morning of June 27, I received a dispatch from the commanding general,
directing me to feel the enemy at Guy's Gap. In accordance therewith, in one hour from that time
I advanced with part of my command toward that point, moving on the Shelbyville pike. I sent
General Stanley, with the cavalry, in front, and ordered General Baird's division of infantry to
follow in close supporting distance. Upon reaching a point about 2 miles north of the gap, we
met the enemy's skirmishers in the open fields. They exhibited such strength and resistance as to
warrant us in the belief that they held the gap in force, and that they would there make a stubborn
resistance to our advance. After skirmishing for about two hours, however, the enemy suddenly
fell back to the gap, and there showed signs of a hasty retreat. Feeling confident that we could
successfully attack them there, I then ordered General Stanley to bring Up his cavalry and clear
the gap at once. The order was promptly obeyed, and the enemy sought safety in flight, running
in the direction of Shelbyville. Part of our cavalry followed them in an exciting chase, capturing
about 50 prisoners, killing and wounding a number, and pursuing them 7 miles, to their rifle-pits,
which were about 3 miles north of Shelbyville. Here, at the intersection of the Shelbyville pike
with the rifle-pits, in a small earthwork, the enemy had planted two guns; by a well-directed fire
from these our advance was for a short time stayed. I was now positively assured by the action of
the enemy, and by such meager and indefinite intelligence as I could gain from citizens in the
neighborhood of the gap, that the rebel forces which had been stationed at Shelbyville were then
evacuating that place; and although the orders I had received did not contemplate an advance
beyond the gap, I determined to push forward and strike the rear of the retreating rebel forces,
which forces, I afterward discovered, composed the corps commanded by Lieutenant-General
Polk, numbering about 18,000 men. I rapidly pushed the cavalry force of my command forward.
The advance soon charged over the rifle-pits, turning the point where the enemy had planted
their guns, and again causing them to rapidly retreat, taking their guns with them, in the direction
of Shelbyville. Our advance closely pursued them, following them to within three-quarters of a
mile of Shelbyville, where we were again held at bay by a large force of the enemy, formed on
the north side of and in the town, and by a battery of three guns, that was planted in the town in
such position as to command all of the approaches thereto from the north. It was now after 6 p.m.
At this juncture I closed up our advancing column, and a cavalry charge was then made. Within
thirty minutes afterward the town of Shelbyville was in our possession. Three superior brass
guns, one of which was rifled, were captured, and the captain commanding the battery, with all
of his officers and most of his men present, were our prisoners. Over 500 additional prisoners
were captured in another part of the town. This charge was so irresistible and daring, and was
made so unexpectedly to the enemy, that they were unable to check it by the fire of their guns
and musketry, and were also unable to save their guns by flight.
One gun, however, was hurried away, and taken as far as the bridge that crosses Duck River,
on the south side of the town, on the road to Tullahoma, but its wheels broke through the bridge,
and the enemy was compelled to abandon it. This served to partially blockade the bridge, thereby
preventing the rapid retreat of a large body of rebel cavalry which was yet on the north side of
the river, closely pursued by our forces. The retreat now became a perfect rout. Those who could
not cross the bridge endeavored to swim the river, which was very much swollen by the late
rains. But few reached the other side, while many were drowned. In the midst of their confusion
the rebel General Wheeler called upon some of his troops to form and stop our advance. The
First Confederate Cavalry volunteered for this duty, and, in endeavoring to perform it, saved
their general (Wheeler), who escaped by swimming the river, while the whole regiment, save
those of it who were killed, was captured by our forces, including the colonel, lieutenant-colonel,
major, and all of the line officers present. It was now dark, and we had destroyed all of the rebel
forces in the vicinity of Shelbyville north of Duck River. Our horses being perfectly exhausted
and the men worn out, I ordered a halt until midnight for the purpose of resting them, then
intending to pursue and overtake the enemy's train; but even by that time, so exhausting had been
our march and chase of the day, we were not in a condition to proceed farther.
In the morning, as there was no possibility of overtaking the enemy, and as our men were out
of rations, in accordance with the instructions of the commanding general, I sent the cavalry,
under the command of General Stanley, to Manchester, via Fairfield and Wartrace, while I
returned with General Baird's division--which remained behind the day before to hold Guy's
Gap--to my camp near Christiana.
Our loss in killed and wounded at Guy's Gap and Shelbyville will amount to about 50. This
number can safely be set down as the maximum. We did not lose a man by capture.
The enemy lost in killed, wounded, and drowned in Duck River, at the least estimate, from
200 to 225. Our list of prisoners captured accounts for 509. Many of the enemy when captured
were hurried off before their names could be obtained for the list from which this account is
taken; so that, including them, the total number of prisoners captured by our forces can be placed
at 700, including about 40 commissioned officers.
We also captured about 3,000 sacks of corn and corn meal, a few animals, and a quantity of
meat, whisky, ammunition, and small-arms, that the enemy could not carry off in their
precipitous flight.
I cannot praise too highly the bold dash and gallant conduct of our cavalry at Shelbyville.
The efficiency of this branch of the service, not only in this, but in all of our late engagements
with the enemy, has been established beyond a doubt. The enemy can no longer boast of the
superiority of their cavalry and of its accomplishments.
We met with an enthusiastic reception from the loyal citizens of Shelbyville; our soldiers
were received with tears of joy, and our flag, that had been secretly hid for months, floated from
many houses.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major-General, Commanding.
Lieut. Col. C. GODDARD,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Headquarters Department of the Cumberland.
Camp near Winchester, July 8, 1863.
GENERAL: To detail for the information of the general commanding the operations of the
cavalry in the campaign resulting in the driving of the rebel army over the Cumberland
Mountains, it is necessary to commence with the 24th day of June. Upon that morning the
cavalry division of General Turchin was ordered to march to Woodbury, with Stokes' battery,
with the design of moving, by way of McMinnville and Pocahontas, upon Manchester; but
learning at 10 p.m. that General Mitchell's division had been engaged seriously the day before at
Rover, I withdrew Colonel Minty's brigade and marched with it and a section of Stokes' battery,
by way of Salem, for Middleton. That day the rain set in, which has continued to this present
date, and which, converting the whole surface of the country into a quagmire, has rendered this
one of the most arduous, laborious, and distressing campaigns upon man and beast I have ever
witnessed. That evening General Mitchell engaged the enemy at Middleton, and routed him, with
considerable loss. The same evening I made a junction with General Mitchell. The rain poured in
torrents the entire night.
June 25, marched the command, by the cross-roads at Jamison's farm, to Christiana, where I
joined the force under General Gordon Granger. Our pickets near Fosterville having been driven
in during the afternoon by the enemy's cavalry, Colonel Patrick was sent, with his own regiment,
the Fifth Iowa, and the Fourth Michigan, to ascertain his force. After a spirited skirmish, the
enemy was driven back upon his infantry force at Guy's Gap, where a battery of artillery opened
upon Colonel Patrick's command. He retired at dark, with no loss, to his camp.
June 26, rained nearly all day. Time spent in getting up forage and rations and posting
detachments to watch the movements of the enemy.
Next morning, June 27, orders were received from the general commanding the army to
dislodge the enemy from Guy's Gap. At 9 o'clock we left Christiana for the gap, General
Mitchell's division leading, with orders to take the right-hand road at Old Fosterville, leading by
Middleton, and turn the gap. The division turned off the road for this purpose, and Minty's
brigade was thus put in advance upon the pike. Skirmishing commenced at Old Fosterville, and
an inspection of the enemy's position convincing me that the enemy was not in force of all arms
at the gap, I asked General Granger to permit a direct attack upon the pass. He acquiesced in this,
and, pushing forward, our forces deployed. The enemy abandoned their position and fled toward
Shelbyville, closely pursued by the First Middle Tennessee Cavalry, Colonel Galbraith
commanding, supported by the Fourth Regular Cavalry, Captain Mcintyre commanding.
Immediately afterward I directed Colonel Minty to support this movement with his whole
brigade. The enemy in considerable force, consisting of Martin's division and a part of
Wharton's, all under command of Wheeler, made a stand at the fortifications 4 miles north of
Shelbyville, where they commenced shelling our advance. Colonel Minty immediately sent the
Fourth Michigan to the right, dismounted, but, finding the distance they must necessarily travel
was very great, they remounted and advanced through the abatis on horseback, and, after a
severe skirmish, they succeeded in getting in on the enemy's left flank, when they fled in haste.
As the enemy began to mount, the Seventh Pennsylvania charged up the pike, supported by the
Fourth Regulars, and, deploying to the right and left as they passed through the earthworks,
succeeded in capturing many of the rebels. From this point up to the time that our advance
reached the precincts of Shelbyville the whole brigade pursued them closely, but when they
again opened with their artillery, our men being much scattered in the long charge, fell back out
of range and reformed. General Granger and myself were still at Guy's Gap when the state of
affairs came to us by couriers. I immediately wrote an order to Colonel Minty to charge their
battery and take it, at the same time General Mitchell being ordered to support the movement
with his entire division. A section of the Eighteenth Ohio Battery, Captain Aleshire
commanding, preceded Mitchell's division. Shortly afterward General Granger and myself
started to Shelbyville, but before arriving at the place, the energy of General Mitchell and
Colonel Minty, nobly seconded by the gallant troops under their command, had won for us a
decided victory over the rebels. The latter had been dislodged from the stand they made at the
line of intrenchments, principally by the gallantry of the Fourth Michigan, Major Mix
commanding. This regiment attacked them with revolving rifles. The rebels fled to the town,
where they attempted another stand on the line of the public square and railroad depot, but a part
of Colonel Minty's brigade charging them on the pike, in the teeth of their battery, and Colonel
Campbell's brigade cutting off their retreat at the upper bridge over Duck River, the enemy was
overthrown, routed, his cannon and 591 prisoners captured, including 6 field officers, and a large
number, estimated as high as 200, of the enemy killed, wounded, and drowned in Duck River.
The charge upon the enemy's battery was led by the Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, headed by
Captain Davis, and, as the charge was made down a stone pike, by fours, upon a three-gun
battery, supported by mounted infantry (dismounted), the annals of this war will not probably
show a more gallant charge. The enemy threw away their arms in their flight, and two of their
generals--Wheeler and Mar-tin--escaped by swimming the river. Some five or six hundred stand
of arms and a considerable amount of commissary and ordnance stores fell into our hands. For
the details of this gallant affair, I refer you to the reports of General Mitchell and Colonel Minty.
At midnight I learned from one of my scouts that Forrest's command, which had floundered
in the mud all day between Unionville and Middleton, was crossing Duck River 4 miles below
us, in great disorder, and endeavoring to escape to Tullahoma.
I consulted General Granger as to the propriety of moving our whole force to attack and
intercept him, but the general was of the opinion that the command was too much wearied to
move in the night. As the matter turned out, I think it was very unfortunate that this attack was
not made, as I think we could have completely routed this part of Forrest's force.
[June] 28, marched the command back to Guy's Gap and supplied ourselves with rations and
[June] 29, having detached four regiments from my command for service at
Murfreesborough, I marched the remainder, starting at 1 a.m., to Shelbyville, hoping to surprise
some of Forrest's stragglers, lint finding no rebels in Shelbyville, marched the command to
Fairfield, Mitchell's First Brigade going on to Beech Grove.
[June] 30, moved from Fairfield to Manchester; but owing to scarcity of forage, marched
Mitchell's division back, by the Pan-Handle road, to Walker's Mill.
July 1, Colonel Minty's brigade marched back to Walker's Mill. Learning, at 2 p.m., that
Bragg's army had evacuated Tullahoma, orders were given for the entire cavalry force to march
to Pelham, via Hillsborough. General Turchin with a part of Colonel Long's brigade, not more
than 400 men in all, and Captain Stokes, with one section of his battery, started for Hillsborough
at 11 p.m. General Mitchell's division and Minty's brigade arrived at Manchester the morning of
July 2. It having been ascertained that the enemy had not retreated by the way of Pelham, a
courier was sent to General Turchin to change his direction and march to Decherd. The main
column, under my command, marched early in the morning for the same point, via Morris' Ford.
We arrived at this place at 1 p.m., and found that the small force (only twelve companies) raider
General Turchin's command had been repulsed in their attempt to cross in the forenoon. General
Turchin, having arrived in advance of my column, immediate measures were taken to force the
passage. General Mitchell was directed to cross the upper and General Turchin the lower ford.
This was effected with little opposition--a fortunate circumstance, as the current was swift, and
almost swam a horse. Colonel Long's small brigade crossed first, and was soon engaged in a very
heavy skirmish with the enemy's cavalry, driving them in the direction of Decherd.
The remainder of Turchin's and Mitchell's divisions came to the support as soon as they had
crossed, and the enemy was pressed until night closed. This skirmish was disastrous to the
enemy, 1 of his colonels being killed and l mortally wounded, who fell into our hands, besides
20 killed and left on the field. The troops camped during the night near the ford, and the artillery
was crossed over.
July 3, moved to Decherd, sending the Seventh Pennsylvania to Brakefield Point and Colonel
Campbell's brigade to Cowan. Found nothing but stragglers and deserters. Learned that the last
of the rebels had crossed the mountains. Encamped at Decherd. The incessant rain and
consequent condition of the roads rendered the operations of the cavalry difficult and
exceedingly trying to men and horses. The impossibility of bringing up forage in wagons, and
the absence of feed in the "Barrens" of the Cumberland Mountains, the constant rain depriving
our poor beasts of their rest, has reduced the cavalry considerably. They now require some little
rest and refitting.
I have the pleasure to add that the conduct of the entire command was all that I could wish it.
Many instances of personal gallantry occurred, but the whole command behaved so well that it is
difficult to discriminate. To my division and brigade commanders--Generals R. B. Mitchell and
J. B. Turchin, Colonels Campbell, McCook, Minty, and Long--I am under many obligations for
their cheerful assistance in all my labors. General Mitchell and Colonels Minty and Campbell
had the fortunate opportunity of adding to their already high reputations as first-class soldiers by
the brilliant affair at Shelbyville. Colonel Long's affair at Morris' Ford was equally creditable to
him as a cavalry commander.
To the members of my staff, most of whom I have had occasion to mention favorably before,
I am under many obligations for their promptness in the field as at the writing-table. Major
Sinclair, assistant adjutant-general; Captain [P. H.] Warner, commanding my escort; Captain [J.]
Hawley, inspector of cavalry; Captain [W. H.] Greenwood, engineer, and Lieutenant Hutchins,
aide-de-camp, were in the cavalry charge at Shelbyville, and riding in the van, as they do always
when sabers are ordered forward. Surgeon [L. A.] James, medical director; Lieutenant [W. C.]
Arthur, acting commissary of subsistence, and Captain [C. C.] McCormick, provost-marshal,
executed their respective functions in their usual quiet and effective way. Lieutenant [L. L.]
Taylor was indefatigable and constant in his labors in my assistance, which at times were very
severe. Lieutenants [W. M.] Wilson and Kinney were very serviceable to me.
A supplementary report will be made in mention of the officers and soldiers most
Sergeant [Henry B.] Wilson, of my escort, deserves special mention for his gallantry at
:Shelbyville, capturing almost unaided 12 or 15 prisoners.
Please find accompanying reports of division and brigade commanders; also list of casualties.
Respectfully submitted.
Major-General and Chief of Cavalry.
Camp near Salem, Tenn., July 8, 1863.
SIR: At 6.30 a.m. on June 24, I marched from Murfreesborough to Cripple Creek, on the
Woodbury pike, with my brigade, numbering 2,522 officers and men.
At 1 p.m. I was ordered to counter-march to Murfreesborough, and report to Major-General
Stanley at that place. General Stanley directed me to move out on the Salem pike, and get within
supporting distance of General Mitchell, who, with the First Cavalry Division, was supposed to
be hard pressed somewhere near Middleton. I camped within 2 miles of General Mitchell that
June 25, crossed the country to Shelbyville pike, and camped at Christiana. A picket of the
Fourth U.S. Cavalry was driven in by rebel cavalry. The Fourth Michigan and Fifth Iowa went
out and drove the enemy through Fosterville to Guy's Gap.
June 26, remained in camp, with heavy pickets on front and right. June 27, at 8 a.m., the
entire cavalry force was ordered to move on Guy's Gap, the First Division in advance and my
brigade in the rear (with the exception of the Fifth Iowa, which was left to guard the wagon
trains). On nearing the gap, General Stanley ordered me to the front. I found the enemy in
position at the gap, with a strong force of skirmishers behind the fences on the face of the hill,
and a column moving through the woods and threatening our right flank. I deployed the Fourth
Regulars to the front, and General Stanley took the Seventh Pennsylvania, Fourth Michigan, and
Third Indiana to the right, and drove the enemy from there, and then gave me permission to
move forward. The Fourth U.S. Cavalry advanced in line, while I moved up the road with the
First Middle Tennessee, and ordered in the other regiments from the right. Lieutenant-Colonel
Galbraith, with a dozen men, dashed forward and removed a barricade which the rebels had built
across the road at the top of the hill, and then with his regiment charged the rebels, who were
now rapidly falling back. I followed to his support with the Fourth Regulars for about 2 miles,
when, finding that his men were very much scattered, picking up prisoners, I formed line and
waited their return.
In about twenty minutes after I halted, Colonel Galbraith sent me word that the enemy had
rallied, and was now showing him fight. I immediately pushed forward with the Seventh
Pennsylvania, Fourth Michigan, and Third Indiana, and found the enemy behind their
intrenchments, about 3 miles from Shelbyville, with an abatis and an open space about a mile in
width between them and us.
Captain Davis, Seventh Pennsylvania, took his battalion, dismounted, to the front, deployed
as skirmishers, and engaged the enemy, who immediately opened on us with artillery.
I ordered Major Mix to take the Fourth Michigan to the right about three-quarters of a mile,
push across the intrenchments, and take the enemy in flank. Lieutenant-Colonel Klein, with the
Third Indiana, I sent to the left with the same directions. I at the same time dispatched a
messenger to Captain Mcintyre to bring up the Fourth Regulars; to General Mitchell, asking him
to send forward a couple of pieces of artillery, and to General Stanley, informing him of the
position of affairs.
Immediately after the arrival of the Fourth Regulars on the ground, I heard the Michigan
rifles speaking on the right, and at once moved forward, Seventh Pennsylvania on the right of the
road and Fourth Regulars on the left. Captain Davis at same time pushed forward with his
skirmishers, and relaid the planks which had been torn off a small bridge on the road.
Finding that the enemy was now giving way, I brought the Seventh Pennsylvania into the
road in column of fours, and ordered them to charge, which they did most gallantly, led by
Lieutenant Thompson (who was honorably mentioned for his conduct at McMinnville, on 21st of
April last), and well supported by Fourth Regulars. At this point we made about 300 prisoners.
Lieutenant O'Connell, Fourth Regulars (who distinguished himself so nobly at Middleton), was
thrown from his horse and had his shoulder broken, and the Fourth Michigan had 1 officer and 7
men wounded while charging the breastworks.
When within quarter of a mile of Shelbyville, the rebels again opened on us with four pieces
of artillery, well posted in the town. I again sent back to General Mitchell, requesting him to
hurry forward a couple of guns; but finding that the enemy was getting our range, I formed for a
charge, but before I could make it, Captain Aleshire reported to me with four pieces. I ordered
two to the front, placed one on each side of the road at less than quarter of a mile from the rebel
battery, and ordered one shell to be thrown from each gun. At the moment they were fired, the
Seventh Pennsylvania, in column of fours, passed between the guns, and with a yell rushed upon
the enemy.
I had before ordering the charge sent Lieutenant Lawton, of the Fourth Michigan, to Captain
Mcintyre, directing him to take his regiment (Fourth Regulars) through the woods to the left and
turn the enemy's right flank. This would have effectually cut off their retreat by Newsom's (or
Skull Camp) Bridge. General Mitchell came up at the moment that Captain Mcintyre received
my order, and told him not to go, but that he would send a fresh regiment from his division in
that direction. The regiment sent by him was without a guide, mistook the direction, and got on
to the ground about one minute too late, and thus Generals Wheeler and Martin escaped capture.
The Seventh Pennsylvania was followed by one platoon of the Fourth Regulars, under
Lieutenant McCafferty; the First Middle Tennessee, under Lieutenant-Colonel Galbraith, and the
Fourth Regulars, under Captain McIntyre. There was one discharge from the rebel artillery as we
charged down the narrow road, but fortunately did no further damage than killing 1 man and 2
At the railroad station a party in ambush poured a volley into the head of the column of the
Seventh Pennsylvania, killing Lieutenant Rhoads and [Sergt. Francis W.] Reed and 2 men. On
the hill directly in rear of the railroad buildings, the First Confederates attempted to rally, but in
doing so they lost their colonel, lieutenant-colonel, and many officers and men taken prisoners.
As the Seventh Pennsylvania arrived at Skull Camp Bridge, the Third Indiana, who had kept
well to the left after crossing the intrenchments, swept down the north bank of the river, driving a
crowd of fugitives before them. The bridge being completely blocked, these men were driven
into the river, where they perished by scores.
Major Sinclair kindly sent an orderly to General Stanley, informing him of our success, and
that we had captured three pieces of artillery and many prisoners. General Mitchell came up
immediately after. I rode forward with him a short distance, got my brigade together once more,
and found that I had lost 2 officers and 4 men killed and 5 officers and 21 men wounded; but we
had captured three pieces of artillery and 599 of the enemy, including 30 commissioned officers,
while their killed and wounded could not have been less than 200, including those lost in the
If Lieutenant Newell's section of artillery had still formed a part of the brigade, I could have
entered Shelbyville two hours earlier than I did.
Generals Wheeler and Martin had to take to the water, with the other fugitives. The adjutant
of the Eighth Confederates reined back his horse to allow the two generals to take their dip
before him, but his doing so threw him into the hands of the Third Indiana.
I bivouacked near the railroad station.
June 28, returned to within 2 miles of Guy's Gap.
June 29, reveille at 1 a.m.; marched to Fairfield, via Shelbyville. The Fifth Iowa and Third
Indiana were detached and left with General Granger at Guy's Gap.
June 30, marched to within 4 miles of Manchester.
July 1, returned to Walker's Mill, within 3 miles of Fairfield.
July 2, reveille at 1 a.m.; waited four hours for First Division to move; marched to Elk River,
where I rejoined the division. The enemy showed himself in considerable force. The Seventh
Pennsylvania skirmished for a short time. Camped 1 mile south of the river, the Fourth Michigan
remaining on north side, to guard Stokes' battery.
July 3, marched to Decherd, the Fourth Regulars making a dash into the place, but found that
the rebels had vamosed. Camped 1 miles from Decherd.
July 4, in camp. Fourth Michigan sent to Tullahoma for rations.
July 5, in camp. Third Indiana rejoined the brigade. For report of operations while detached,
see Colonel Klein's report, inclosed herewith.
July 6, arched to within 5 miles of Salem, and went into camp.
July 7, in camp.
Inclosed herewith I hand you return of casualties. I will forward as soon as possible the
report of such officers and men as deserve special mention.
I am respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding.
Capt. W. B. CURTIS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Cavalry Division.
Salem, Tenn., July 23, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report the part taken by the Fourth Michigan Cavalry from the time
we left Murfreesborough to the capture of Shelbyville.
We struck and packed our tents on the morning of the 24th of June, and moved out on the
Woodbury pike, in compliance with orders received the day before. About 2 miles out we joined
the First Cavalry Brigade, Second Division, and moved on to Readyville. Here we halted for
nearly an hour. We then returned to Murfreesborough with our brigade. Here I received orders to
send two companies with the wagon train on the Shelbyville pike, and to follow the brigade with
the rest of my command on the Salem pike. We continued on this pike down to the old
Shelbyville dirt road; down this road to within a mile of the Shelbyville pike, where we went into
camp for the night.
On the morning of the 25th, I was joined by Companies H and E, under Captain Abeel,
whom I sent with the wagons the day before. About 2 o'clock in the afternoon a report came into
camp that our pickets were being driven in on the Shelbyville pike. I was ordered to take my
regiment and report to Colonel Patrick, of the Fifth Iowa Cavalry. The colonel ordered me to
take my regiment on to the pike, and take the advance for a scout in the direction of Guy's Gap,
followed by the Fifth Iowa. Two miles out we came upon the enemy's pickets. We drove them
sharply for about a mile, when I was ordered to form my regiment in line on the right of the pike,
the Fifth Iowa taking the left. In this manner we advanced 2 miles through a dense cedar thicket,
over ditches and stones, almost impassable for our horses (and here let me say that nearly onethird
of my horses were ruined by that afternoon's scout). We now came in sight of the gap. We
found the enemy strongly posted, and they contested every foot of the ground. We skirmished
with them for over an hour, and drove most of them through the gap, capturing 2 prisoners.
Having accomplished what we were sent for, and it being nearly dark, we returned to camp
arriving there at 9 in the evening. The 26th, it rained all day, and we remained in camp.
On the morning of the 27th, we were again in the saddle, and, with the First Division and
First Brigade, Second Division, moved in the direction of Shelbyville. After passing Guy's Gap,
we rode at a furious rate until we arrived to within a mile of the enemy's breastworks (about 4
miles from Shelbyville). Here they opened on us with their artillery. The First Brigade having the
advance, Colonel Minty ordered me to take my regiment to the right and see if I could find a
road that would take me inside of the enemy's works, then to move toward the pike and cut off
their artillery, if possible. After following a blind path for nearly 2 miles, I struck a road leading
across a creek to their works. After crossing the creek we came upon their pickets, 2 of which we
I now pushed rapidly up the hill, and soon obtained a footing inside the works. I sent the First
Battalion, under Captain Grant, and Company L, under Captain Pritchard, forward as
skirmishers, the enemy not having as yet shown themselves in very large numbers. Captains
Pritchard and Hathaway had the extreme right, and did good service with their companies, as
they were obliged to move through an open field, exposed to the enemy's fire from the woods on
both sides. I soon found it necessary to bring my whole regiment into line, and I formed the
Second and Third Battalions on the left of the First. As soon as we commenced firing, the enemy
withdrew with their artillery to the town, and most of their force was sent against us, and at one
time they had three distinct lines of 100 or 150 men each formed in front of the First Battalion,
while other parties were trying to flank them on the right, and also crowding us hard on the left.
Captain Pritchard now sent to me for assistance, but I could not send it, as every man was
engaged in the fight. I immediately sent two of my orderlies (Sergeant [Robert] Brice and Private
Joseph Seaver, both of Company B) back to Colonel Minty for assistance. As I have since
learned, they reached the colonel and were sent back, but were captured before they reached me.
I now moved my whole line to the left, in order to avoid their fire from the woods on my right.
The enemy at this time was on three sides of me--on my front, right, and rear--leaving me no
outlet but toward the earthworks on my left. I now pushed forward my left, endeavoring to face
my command to the right and have my rear open. In doing this, I brought my left flank in full
view of the pike, where we saw the Seventh Pennsylvania, followed by the Fourth Regulars,
charging up the pike. No sooner were they in sight than with a yell (which Wheeler's cavalry
seemed to understand) the First and Second Battalions charged into the enemy, and before I
could check them they were mixed up with the Seventh Pennsylvania charging down the pike at
a furious gallop. Captain Hathaway, with his company, charged down the old Middleton road,
running parallel with the pike, and came on to the pike at the junction of the Fairfield and
Shelbyville pikes, in time to cut the rebel column in two, and turning the rear of the column to
the left, the enemy making for an opening into a large garden, closely followed by the Fourth
Michigan and Seventh Pennsylvania, but the garden having a strong fence on three sides of it, the
enemy found no outlet, so that 250 of them were easily captured.
I received orders about this time from Colonel Minty to get my regiment together, to remain
where I was, and take charge of the prisoners, but I could only find about 150, the balance
having gone on into town with the brigade. Upon counting my prisoners, I found 275 enlisted
men and 15 officers.
In my skirmish on the right, we captured 1 major, 1 lieutenant, and 26 enlisted men. (I
afterward found 2 killed, and 3 badly wounded.) Out of that, number, I had prisoners from five
different regiments. To say the least, he must have had a force three or four times larger than my
own, which we succeeded in driving nearly 2 miles. I am unable to say how many prisoners the
Fourth Michigan took, for the 250 captured in the inclosure were captured by the Seventh
Pennsylvania and Fourth Michigan together.
I cannot close my report without mentioning Captains Pritchard and Hathaway, who, during
the whole of the fight, stood the brunt of it, and furnished me much valuable information of the
enemy's movements. More coolness and bravery is not often shown by any one than was
exhibited by them during the whole engagement. Also Captains Grant and Robbins, commanding
battalions. Captain Robbins, although having his horse shot from under him, was soon on
another one, and in the thickest of the fight. Corporal Hofmaster, of Company L, charged into
town, and selected a position where the enemy would have to pass him, and, with drawn saber,
hewed away at them until he was disabled, receiving a wound in the left arm, also one in the
right hand, nearly severing the grip of his saber, and cutting some of his fingers nearly off. A ball
also hit his hat, cutting it entirely open on the top. Private Mason Brown, of Company I, having
found a carbine, tried to fire it at the enemy, but, missing fire, he immediately changed ends with
it and did good service among the rebels with whom he was in close contact.
The casualties in the Fourth were as follows: First Lieut. Charles T. Hudson, who was acting
adjutant. He is a brave and gallant soldier, and never were duties discharged more promptly than
were his on that day. He was ever in the thickest of the fight, cheering on the men, and received a
wound in his shoulder while charging into town. Sergeant [Charles W.] Fisk, of Company L,
wounded in the leg; Corporal [Joseph] Hofmaster, Company L, wounded in the left arm and right
hand; Sergt. Charles Carter, Company L, wounded in the leg; Private [Rezin] Wright, of
Company A, in the breast; Private [Josiah R.] Lewis, of Company K, in leg; two privates of
Companies F and G, names not known. I had 21 horses killed and wounded.
I had the prisoners in my charge until I o'clock in the morning of the 28th, when I received
orders from General Stanley to turn the prisoners over to a lieutenant of the Ninth Pennsylvania
Cavalry, to take to the rear; but thinking that he had not sufficient force, I sent Captain Abeel,
with Companies A and H, back with them, when I immediately moved on to Shelbyville,
arriving there at 3 o'clock in the morning, where I joined the brigade.
I have been delayed in making out my report for the reason that the regiment has been on the
move all the time, and I did not have the conveniences for making it.
Accompanying this report please find Captain Abeel's report.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major, Commanding Fourth Michigan Cavalry.
First Cavalry Brigade.
Columbus, Ky., July 12, 1863.
COLONEL: I beg leave to report that, on the 10th instant, about 7 a.m., the advanced cavalry
post of Union City was surprised by a rebel force of 600 cavalry, under Colonel [J. B.] Biffle.
Our loss is from 90 to 100 men killed, wounded, and prisoners.
I immediately ordered Colonel Scott, Thirty-second Iowa Infantry, with six companies of his
regiment, by railroad, to Union City, but the rebels had left the place an hour before his arrival.
Inclosed please find Colonel Scott's report, showing that the disaster was caused by the total
neglect of the officers to follow even the ordinary military precautions, not to speak of my
peremptory and repeated orders directing the utmost vigilance.
As the rebel force is rapidly increasing in the District of Jackson, by recruiting and
conscripting, I requested Major-General Schofield to reenforce me, and last night 600 men
arrived from New Madrid as a temporary loan.
Feeling the great importance of holding our communications and river navigation open and
uninterrupted, I again respectfully request that some additional cavalry and a battery of light
artillery may be sent me, and now that Vicksburg has fallen, and troops can be spared from there,
I ask that, if possible, Montgomery's brigade, comprising four of my old infantry regiments, may
be ordered back to this district.
Should the general commanding direct General Dodge to move a three to Jackson and above,
I would request to be informed in time, so as to be enabled to co-operate as far as my limited
force will admit.
Respectfully, colonel, your obedient servant,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Camp near Columbus, Ky., July 11, 1863.
CAPTAIN: In obedience to the verbal orders of the general commanding, I have the honor to
report that, on the 10th instant, with the effective men of my command (164 enlisted men, 9 line
officers, and 5 officers of the field and staff), I proceeded by rail to Union City, Tenn.
I found on my arrival at that point, at about 3 p.m., that the place and Federal forces had been
captured by rebel forces, said to be under Colonel Biffle, of Forrest's command, at about 7 a.m. It
was a complete surprise, and no organized resistance was made. From information received, I
may state the loss at 2 killed, 8 wounded, about 90 prisoners, 116 horses, and transportation and
camp equipage at the post destroyed.
I estimate the rebel forces at about 650. They retired in the direction of Troy. At about 2 p.m.
I found the citizens engaged in burying our dead and caring for the wounded. The latter, except
one man, not able to be moved, I brought to post hospital at this place. The former I left to be
decently buried by the citizens.
The names of the killed are Henry Rosengoetter, private Company C, Fourth Missouri
Cavalry, and Henry Stribbers (or Strubberg), private Company E, Fourth Missouri Cavalry.
The only loss ascertained to have been sustained by the rebels was 1 man wounded severely.
I should mention that both officers and men of my command behaved well, and confidently
advanced upon the town, believing it to be then occupied by a superior force.
Your most obedient servant,
Colonel Thirty-second Iowa Infantry.
Capt. T. H. HARRIS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Columbus, Ky.
COLUMBUS, KY., August 2, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report movements under Special Orders, No. 191,
Headquarters District of Columbus, as follows:
At 2 a.m. on the 1st instant, was detailed to command the expedition, consisting of two
companies, B and I, Thirty-second Iowa Infantry, under Captains Miller and Hutchison, and one
company, Captain Hanson's, Fourth Missouri Cavalry.
I arrived at Hickman on board steamer Crawford about sunrise, and was informed that a party
of rebels, estimated at 40 in number, were 6 miles distant. I immediately dispatched Captain
Hanson with his command to look them up and follow as rapidly as possible, mounting about
one-half the infantry on horses and mules picked up in the town and vicinity. Captain Hansen's
movements were so rapid that I did not come up with him, he moving on Troy after finding that
the rebels were said to be at that place 200 strong. I immediately sent forward the mounted
infantry to his support, the remainder following. Before reaching Troy, was advised by Captain
Hanson that the rebels had left and were but 20 in number, also that he would return to Hickman
via Union City. Upon this I ordered the infantry back to Hickman, and awaited Captain Hansen's
return: which occurred about sunset. Took steamer immediately, and returned to Columbus
without casualty.
I deem it my duty to call the attention of the general commanding the district to the fact that
many of the loyal men of Hickman and vicinity live in daily fear of their lives at the hands of
roving bands of rebels, and spend their nights in the woods and places of concealment. They are
very anxious for protection, which seems practicable.
Several loyal men were robbed of horses and arms on the 31st ultimo in that neighborhood.
From the examination I made of the country, and the extended scout of Captain Hanson without
other results than here stated, I think it safe to say that the country about Hickman cannot be
protected from Columbus.
The activity of Captain Hanson and command and the energy and good judgment displayed
by him deserve commendation. The infantry command did all that was possible most cheerfully.
The heat of the day and the fatigues of the scout were borne without a murmur.
All of which is respectfully submitted by your obedient servant,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Columbus, Ky.
CLARKSVILLE, January 27, 1863.
Wheeler's and Forrest's forces are between Charlotte and Shoals. The gunboat Lexington was
up to Shoals to-day. Had three cannon balls strike her. Rebels were shelled out. They are
collecting such supplies as the country affords. Fifth Iowa Cavalry captured a few of their
wagons yesterday and carried them to Donelson.
Colonel, Commanding Post.
Hamburg, January 27, 1863.
Commanding District of Corinth:
SIR: As I informed you by dispatch last evening, I had my force on board, ready to start, but
the fog was so thick the boat could not be got under way until early this morning. When about 5
miles from here, the starboard wheel broke down, in consequence of some damage it received in
starting; it was not possible to repair it, or to go on up the river with only one wheel, and barge in
tow, so, much to my regret, I was obliged to turn back to Hamburg. I had everything arranged, I
believe, for a successful thing; but this accident, to my great disappointment, has prevented the
accomplishment of our designs. The gunboat Robb has, however, continued on as far as she can
go over the shoals, and will destroy any flats that may be found. She will return this p.m., and
will then probably go on down the river with convoy. I do not think, from what information I can
get, there is any force now at Savannah. Colonel Breckenridge will go with them as far as
Perryville, and return across the country, and report to you anything of interest he may find. The
train left this morning, and I shall send the Seventh Iowa and Eighty-first Ohio and section of
artillery after them. The Fifty-second Illinois is retained here until you can send 30 wagons more
for the balance of the stores. Either the quartermaster is much to blame in loading or else there
was much more than was supposed. A section of artillery remains here, and some cavalry. Scouts
have been sent along (Chambers' Creek this morning, and others over the river.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding
Ports Henry, Heiman, and Donelson, February 8, 1863.
Major-General ROSECRANS,
Murfreesborough, Tenn. :
No news of importance. We are fixing things, both at Donelson and Henry, so that at either
point we will be in better condition for defense. Sent 75 prisoners to Louisville; 44 of them
captured at Donelson, and the rest on west side of Tennessee River, by Lieutenant Beatty, of the
Fifth Iowa Cavalry. They have been recently (before the fight) at tempting to forage on west side
of Tennessee River, but we have destroyed all their boats as high up as Duck River.
Colonel, Commanding.
February 8, 1863--6.50 p.m.
Major-General HURLBUT,
Commanding Sixteenth Army Corps, Memphis, Tenn.:
By orders from Washington, of the 23d of January, Forts Henry and Donelson were
transferred to the Department of the Cumberland. I informed the respective commanders
accordingly. Urging the returns from Fort Heiman, Colonel Lowe telegraphed yesterday that he
considers Fort Heiman also a part of the Department of the Cumberland. Giving him proper
explanations, I directed Lieutenant Colonel Patrick, the commander of Fort Heiman, to forward
his returns at once directly to these headquarters. To-day, however, Colonel Lowe again
telegraphs that, in accordance with orders from General Rosecrans, Fort Heiman forms an
appendage to Fort Henry, and will be assigned to the Department of the Cumberland. My only
available cavalry force, ten companies Fifth Iowa Cavalry, and the only light battery, Second
Illinois Artillery, form part of the garrison of Heiman. Deprived of the fort and its garrison, the
District of Columbus is crippled, and the vast country lying this side of the Tennessee River, and
comprising Marshall, Calloway, and Graves Counties, remains uncontrolled by Union forces.
I was ordered to send three companies of cavalry to Memphis. Only two companies are left
here. I cannot properly scout the country and feel the enemy's movements. I would, therefore,
request that proper steps be taken to prevent any decisive order depriving the Department of the
Tennessee of Fort Heiman, and that Major-General Rosecrans be requested to direct Colonel
Lowe, commanding at Fort Henry, not to interfere with the garrison of Fort Heiman, as it is at
present undoubtedly out of his jurisdiction.
CORINTH, April 24, 1863.
Major-General HURLBUT:
Up to this hour nothing from Dodge to-day. I sent out dispatches with escort to Hamburg at 2
to-day. I expect something to-night. Three privates of Second Iowa Cavalry came into Camp
Davis to-day (cut off from regiment), and report your cavalry at Okolona. On Wednesday last,
burned barracks of enemy at that place; also report seeing large fires at Tupelo, and suppose
enemy were burning their supplies there to avoid your cavalry at Okolona; also report that
Burton's [Barteau's], Harris' [Ham's], and Smith's forces had got in rear of your cavalry, and were
harassing them. As soon as the men come in, I will send you anything additional they may say.
Tullahoma, Tenn., July 12, 1863.
The following named officers have been relieved from duty on the staff of the major-general
commanding: Capt. Joe C. Hill, volunteer aide-de-camp, and Lieut. Col. W. P. Hepburn, Second
Iowa Cavalry, inspector of cavalry.
The duties heretofore performed by Lieutenant-Colonel Hepburn have been assigned to the
assistant inspector-general of the department.
By command of Major-General Rosecrans:
Assistant Adjutant-General
Vicksburg, Miss., August 25, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the Operations of this corps
from the time of its reporting for duty in charge of Capt. J. W. De Ford, at Young's Point, La., on
April 3, up to the time of the surrender of Vicksburg, July 4, 1863:
On April 3, a line of communication by signals was opened from Milliken's Bend to the foot
of the old canal, over which many important official messages were transmitted to different
points on the line, and to Admiral Porter's flag-ship, where an officer of the corps was
permanently stationed.
At a point on this line directly opposite Vicksburg a station of observation was established.
The officer in charge of this station was instructed to report everything of interest occurring in
the town and within the enemy's lines to the commanding general.
On April 7, a line was opened from General Grant's headquarters, then at Milliken's Bend,
through General McPherson's headquarters, to General Osterhaus', at Richmond. This line was
used as a means of communication between those points until the removal of General Osterhaus'
command to Grand Gulf. From a point in this line another was projected to New Carthage, and
opened as far as Holmes' plantation, but was not long in operation when the advancing of the
army caused it to be abandoned. During the time that the main body of the army remained upon
this side of the river, these lines were in considerable use as a means of communication between
the different headquarters. With one or two exceptions, the officers employed on them performed
then and there their first duty in the field as signal officers, but by their zeal and activity they
made up in a great degree for their lack of experience, and acquitted themselves very creditably.
On the night of the running of the blockade by the gunboats, First Lieutenant [William H.]
Sherfy reported for duty on board the Benton, on which he passed the batteries, in readiness to
communicate with the signal officers on shore, should it be necessary.
On May 1, a party of 8 officers, in charge of First Lieut. Samuel S. Sample, was directed by
Captain De Ford to report for duty to Major-General Grant, at Hard Times Landing. This party
reached the general's headquarters, on the road between Thompson's Hill and Port Gibson. By
direction of the general commanding, two officers were dispatched thence to the landing at
Bruinsburg, to open communication with the opposite shore. This line was immediately opened
to Hard Times Landing, and remained open for four or five days, during the crossing of the
Seventeenth Army Corps. Near Port Gibson the officers were assigned to Generals McPherson,
Logan, and Crocker, a party still remaining with the commanding general. The officers were thus
assigned for duty either as signalists or upon reconnaissances. The army being now in motion,
and the country being ill-adapted to any extensive lines of communication by field signals, the
officers reconnoitered the country as far in advance of the army as possible, and established
stations of observation upon such points as were suitable for that purpose.
During the march of the army from Port Gibson to Rocky Springs, the officers of the corps
were constantly on duty, reconnoitering the country in front and reporting the result of their
observations to commanders to whom they were assigned. Lieutenants [Cyrus M.] Roberts and
[Jacob P.] Sampson, with General Logan, and Lieutenant Irvin, with General Crocker, are
entitled to notice for zeal displayed and services rendered during this time. These officers,
together with Lieutenants Morris and [William C.] Magner, with Major-General McPherson,
were complimented by that officer for services rendered during that march.
When General Grant reached Grand Gulf, a line was opened in ten minutes to Hard Times
Landing, affording the general a means of communication between those points during his stay.
This line was in constant use. When the army reached Hankinson's Ferry, Lieutenant Sample,
who remained with General Grant, reconnoitered the country as far as Rocky Springs and Hall's
Ferry, and, when the army reached the former place, proceeded to Cayuga and established a
station of observation at that point; thence, when the advance reached Cayuga, to New Auburn,
passing, in so doing, 3 miles inside of the enemy's pickets, capturing the enemy's dispatches, and
returning by the same route. At Five-Mile Creek the remainder of the corps, in charge of Captain
De Ford, reached headquarters from Grand Gulf. At the battle of Raymond, a detachment of the
corps, under command of Capt. L. M. Rose, took an active part, and were complimented for their
activity, bravery, and reliability. At Raymond the corps was divided into four detachments, and a
detachment assigned to each army corps (the Thirteenth, Fifteenth, and Seventeenth), in charge,
respectively, of Lieutenant Irvin, Captain McClintock, and Captain Rose, while the fourth
remained with General Grant, in charge of the commandant of the corps, to visit each day the
detachments with the different army corps, reporting the result of the reconnaissances performed
by each party to General Grant at night. A station of observation was established on the cupola of
the court-house at Raymond by Lieutenant [Gustav B.] Gryden. The detachment with the
Thirteenth Army Corps remained with that corps at Raymond, while those with the Fifteenth and
Seventeenth Corps moved forward to Jackson. On the approach of the army to Clinton,
Lieutenant Sample, with one enlisted man, without support, reconnoitered the road within onehalf
mile of Clinton, and when the skirmishers reached that point, he, with Captain Hoyt, acting
signal officer and an officer of the Fifth Iowa, was the first to enter the town. A station of
observation was immediately established, which overlooked the road in the direction of Jackson
as far as the enemy's pickets, when the army entered Jackson next morning by different roads.
Much good work was done by officers of the corps during the engagement which took place.
Lieutenant [Clifford] Stickney, with Captain [Julius] Pitzman, engineer of General Sherman's
staff, was the first to enter the city, and captured some 20 prisoners. Of the detachment with the
Seventeenth Army Corps, Lieutenant [Thaddeus C.] Withers was the first to enter the enemy's
works, and Captain McClintock the first to raise the Stars and Stripes on the State capitol. While
the Fifteenth Corps remained at Jackson, Lieutenant Sample made a reconnaissance of the
country for 3 miles in the direction of Canton; meeting the enemy's lookouts, and afterward in
the direction of Livingston for 4 miles, leaving the advancing army at Clinton.
At the battle of Champion's Hill the officers were active, and rendered very efficient service.
Lieutenant Roberts was engaged in signaling while he could do so, and afterward served on the
staff of General Logan, and was complimented by that general for his activity and bravery.
Lieutenant Sampson, from a station at General McPherson's headquarters, communicated by
signals to the right of the line, to a station which was established and worked by Lieutenants
McNary and Morris, until the retreat of the enemy. Lieutenants Irvin and Gryden should also be
mentioned for their services during this engagement.
Two days thereafter, Lieutenant Irvin led the advance guard after crossing the Big Black,
reaching Bovina 2 miles in advance of the army.
When taking position in the rear of Vicksburg, Lieutenants Sample, Sherfy, and White
performed important duties for the general commanding.
As soon as the troops were in position, Captain Rose and others opened communication from
headquarters Thirteenth and Seventeenth Army Corps to General Grant's headquarters, which
line remained in operation for some time, and over it many communications of importance
The line from Chickasaw Bluffs to Young's Point, established by Captain McClintock and
Lieutenant Magner, was of the first importance, as the only available means of communication
between General Grant and Admiral Porter.
A line was partially opened from General Grant's headquarters to Haynes' Bluff by
Lieutenant Gryden and others, but the removal of the forces from the latter point caused this to
be abandoned before its completion. Desiring to improve the communication between
headquarters and the station at Chickasaw Bluffs, Lieutenant Sample, upon a reconnaissance for
that purpose, found it expedient to make important alterations in the whole line, and
communication was opened by him to Haynes' Bluff (that point being reoccupied), Chickasaw
Landing, and Young's Point through stations Nos. 27, 28, and 31, on the accompanying map.
These lines were in constant use, transmitting messages of the first importance--the
Chickasaw Landing and Haynes' Bluff lines until relieved by the telegraph, and the line to
Young's Point till the surrender of Vicksburg.
Lieutenant Sampson deserves particular mention for the manner in which he conducted
affairs at his station, at General Grant's headquarters.
During the occupation and fortification of Haynes' Bluff, a detachment in charge of
Lieutenant Sample was directed to report for duty to Major-General Washburn, commanding that
post; reconnoitered lines to advance cavalry pickets and to Big Black River railroad bridge, and
pronounced communication by signals practicable; but General Osterhaus, commanding at
bridge, not desiring communication, General Grant directed that the line should not be
established, as he had other use for the signal force. A party was then ordered to open a line from
General McPherson's headquarters (from which communication was had with General Grant by
telegraph) to Major-General Herron, near Warrenton. This line was opened and used for a time,
when another was opened from General Herron to the gunboats, which remained open and in use
until the surrender of Vicksburg. The party with General Washburn were constantly on duty with
the troops stationed at different points; reconnoitered the whole country from Haynes' Bluff to
Big Black River railroad bridge, where they were at the surrender of Vicksburg.
Captains De Ford, Rose, and McClintock, who were at different times in immediate charge
of the corps, have in many instances spoken in the highest terms of the activity and zeal
displayed by the officers and men, and of the alacrity with which they performed the duties
assigned them, sometimes the most arduous and trying.
To the officers and men of this corps, many of whom are now prostrated by illness from
fatigue and exposure during the campaign, but who bore up manfully until the great object was
obtained; who, fresh from the camp of instruction, there performed their first duty as signal
officers, and who, under the most trying circumstances, unaided by previous experience, have,
by persevering toil, overthrown or turned aside obstacles which would have appeared
discouraging to more experienced officers, and who have patiently and bravely performed their
whole duty, I am under the highest obligations.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain and Chief Signal Officer.
Lieut. Col. JOHN A. RAWLINS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the Tennessee.
On the morning of the 29th, the gunboats steamed 3 miles down the river to Grand Gulf, and,
closely approaching the enemy's batteries, opened fire upon them. The Ninth, Tenth, and Twelfth
Divisions of my corps followed on transports, casting anchor in full view of the Gulf, and
holding themselves in readiness to push forward and disembark the moment the enemy's water
batteries should be silenced and a footing for them thus secured. General Carr's division
remained at Hard Times, waiting for the return of transports to bring them on, too. At the
termination of a daring and persistent bombardment of five and a half hours, the enemy's
principal batteries had not been silenced, several of the gunboats had been crippled, and all of
them were drawn off. Returning to Hard Times, the Ninth, Tenth, and Twelfth Divisions
disembarked, and, together with the Fourteenth Division, crossed over the point opposite Grand
Gulf that evening and night to D'Schron's. The same night the gunboats, transports, and barges
ran the blockade at Grand Gulf and landed at D'Schron's.
If the attack upon Grand Gulf had succeeded, it would have secured either or both of two
objects: First, a base for Operations against the rear of Vicksburg, and, secondly, safety in reenforcing
General Banks, at Port Hudson. But failing, it became important to gain a footing at
some other favorable point. The reconnaissance made by my cavalry, in pursuance of your order,
indicated Bruinsburg to be that point. Hence, embarking on the morning of the 30th, my corps
immediately proceeded to that place, and disembarked before noon, only halting long enough to
draw and distribute three days' rations.
At 4 o'clock all my corps, except the cavalry on the opposite side of the river, took up the line
of march, agreeably to instructions from Major General Grant, for the bluffs, some 3 miles back.
Reaching the bluffs some time before sunset, and deeming it important to surprise the enemy if
he should be found in the neighborhood of Port Gibson, and, if possible, to prevent him from
destroying the bridges over Bayou Pierre on the road leading to Grand Gulf and to Jackson, I
determined to push on by a forced march that night as far as practicable.
About 1 o'clock on the morning of May 1, upon approaching Magnolia Church, 13 miles
from Bruinsburg and 4 miles from Port Gibson, General Carr's division, leading the advance,
was accosted by a light fire from the enemy's infantry, and soon after by the fire of his artillery.
Harris' brigade, the command of which had devolved upon Colonel Stone, of the Twenty-second
Iowa, in consequence of the illness of the former, was immediately formed in line of battle,
Griffiths' and Klauss' batteries brought up, and the enemy's fire briskly replied to and silenced.
The division rested upon its arms at Shaiffer's plantation during the short remnant of the night.
Coming up about day-dawn in the morning, I learned from a fugitive negro that the two roads
diverging at Shaiffer's led to Port Gibson, one to the right by Magnolia Church, and the other to
the left, passing near Bayou Pierre, where it is spanned by a rail and earth-road bridge; also that
the greatest distance between the roads was only some 2 miles; that the space between, and for
miles around, was diversified by fields, thick woods, abrupt hills, and deep ravines, and that the
enemy was in force in front and intended to accept battle. I immediately proved the general
correctness of this information by further inquiry and by personal reconnaissance, and
determined to advance my forces upon the cord of the rude ellipse formed by the roads, resting
my reserves back near the forks of the roads.
After the smoke of the previous engagement and the glimmering of the rising sun had ceased
to blind our view, I ordered General Osterhaus to move his division on the road to the left, to
relieve a detachment of General Carr's division which had been sent to watch the enemy in that
direction, and to attack the enemy's right. The object of this movement was to secure whatever
direct advantage might result from attacking the enemy's line at a point supposed to be
comparatively weak, and to make a diversion in favor of my right, preparatory to its attack upon
the strong force understood to be in its front.
The First Brigade of General Osterhaus' division, hastening forward in execution of this
order, at 5.30 a.m. encountered the enemy in considerable force a short distance from Shaiffer's
house. The position of the enemy was a strong one, and he seemed determined to maintain it yet,
after an obstinate struggle for more than an hour, he was forced to yield and seek temporary
safety at a greater distance, under a cover of ravines and houses.
The splendid practice of Lanphere's and Foster's batteries disabled two of the enemy's guns,
which were with difficulty withdrawn, and contributed largely to this success.
Communicating with General Osterhaus, I offered him re-enforcements, but his Second
Brigade having now come up, he declined them until more urgent occasion should arise. Thus
strengthened, he pressed forward until insurmountable obstacles in the nature of the ground and
its exposure to the fire of the enemy arrested his progress, and proved the impracticability of
successful front attack.
It was now 2 p.m., and about this time General J. E. Smith's brigade, of General Logan's
division, came up, and attempting to carry the enemy's position by such an attack, failed to do so,
thus attesting the correctness of General Osterhaus' admonition upon that point.
A flank movement had been resolved upon by General Osterhaus to accomplish the same
object. With the view to deceive the enemy, he caused his right center to be threatened, and,
taking advantage of the effect, rapidly moved a strong force toward his extreme right, and
personally leading a brilliant charge against it, routed the enemy, taking three pieces of cannon.
A detachment of General Smith's brigade joined in the pursuit of the enemy to a point within a
half mile of Port Gibson.
June 17, 1863
At 3.30 on the morning of the 17th, my corps again resumed the advance, General Carr's
division leading, and General Osterhaus' closely following, on the road to Black River Bridge, 6
miles distant. On the way, General Carr's division captured a number of prisoners, which were
sent to the rear, and, upon nearing a skirt of wood masking the enemy's position, encountered
and drove back his picket.
Passing to the farther edge of the wood, the enemy was discovered in full force, strongly
intrenched in elaborate defenses, consisting of a series of works for artillery and two lines of
breastworks--the inner one about half a mile in length, the outer about 1 mile--both resting their
extremities upon Big Black, and forming the segment of a rude circle. Outside of the latter was a
deep, miry slough, the approach to which, from the line of my advance, was across a field
connecting with others that widened on the right and left.
General Carr's division, having entered the wood mentioned, was immediately formed in
obedience to my order; General Lawler's brigade on the right, resting its flanks near Big Black,
and General Benton's brigade on its left and to the right of the railroad. A section of Foster's
battery and two regiments of General Osterhaus' division were ordered to the right and rear of
Lawler, to support him and counteract any approach through the forest to the opposite bank of
the river. Osterhaus' division was ordered to form to the left of the road; Lindsey's brigade in
front, and the remaining two regiments of Garrard's brigade obliquely on the left and rear of
Lindsey's, to counteract any movement in that direction.
Two sections of Foster's battery were brought forward, and while being posted in the center
of the two divisions, under the personal direction of General Osterhaus, was opened on by the
enemy's artillery. General Osterhaus and Captain Foster were both wounded, 1 man killed, and a
limber-box exploded by a shell. The command of the division, by my order, was immediately
devolved upon General Lee.
A brisk action had continued for a half hour or more, when General Smith's division came up
and was ordered by me to extend and support my left, in which direction it was reported that the
enemy were moving in large numbers. After this disposition had been made, my right center and
left engaged the enemy with increased effect, and General Lawler, aided by this diversion, and
availing himself of information obtained by Colonel [J. J.]Mudd, chief of cavalry, of the
practicability of making a near approach, under partial cover, on the extreme right, dashed
forward under a heavy fire across a narrow field, and with fixed bayonets carried the enemy's
works, capturing many prisoners and routing him.
The feat was eminently brilliant, and reflects the highest credit upon the gallant officers and
men of Generals Lawler's and Osterhaus' commands who achieved it. It was determinate of the
success of the day. Fleeing toward a steamer forming a bridge across the Big Black near the
railroad bridge, most of the enemy escaped to the commanding bluff on the opposite side, while
others, hotly pressed by Benton's and the right of Lindsey's brigade, were cut off from that
escape, and driven to the left and down the river upon the left of Lindsey's and the front of
Burbridge's brigades, and fell into their hands.
A victory could hardly have been more complete. The enemy burned the bridge over which
he had passed, two other steamers, and the railroad bridge. About 1,500 prisoners and stand of
arms fell into our hands, eighteen pieces of cannon, and a considerable quantity of ammunition
and cotton. A number of the enemy were found dead upon the field, but nothing more is certainly
known of his loss in killed and wounded.
The loss on our part was limited to my own forces, which alone were engaged. The Ninth
Division lost 10 killed, 19 wounded, and 1 missing; the Fourteenth Division 19 killed, 223
wounded, and 1 missing; making in all 273. Among the killed is Colonel Kinsman, Twenty-third
Iowa, who fell, mortally wounded, while leading his regiment in the charge upon the enemy's
Driven across the river, the enemy made a feeble stand to cover his trains and retreat upon
Vicksburg, but several hours before sunset was dislodged by my forces, leaving tents, a
considerable quantity of clothing and other stores, together with a large number of small-arms, a
smoking ruin.
During the following night and morning a bridge was thrown across the Big Black by the
pioneer corps under Captain Patterson.
On the morning of the 18th, I crossed with Generals Osterhaus', Smith's, and Carr's divisions,
of my corps, and took up the line of march for Vicksburg, 12 miles distant. General Smith's
division led, followed by Generals Osterhaus and Carr, on the Jackson and Vicksburg road to
Saint Albans, and thence by a crossroad and the Baldwin's Ferry road at Four-Mile Creek,
arriving there about sunset, and resting for the night 4 miles from Vicksburg. Several prisoners
and wagons were captured during the march. General Osterhaus resumed command of the Ninth
Division on the west bank of Big Black, and General Lee was assigned to the command of the
First Brigade of that division during the absence of General Garrard, who had been ordered to
report to General Prentiss, at Helena.
Early on the morning of the 19th, accompanied by my staff, I made a personal
reconnaissance to the brow of a long hill overlooking a creek 2 miles from Vicksburg. This hill
runs north and south, and conforms very much to the line of Vicksburg's defenses, in plain view
on a similar range a mile west. The creek is called Two-Mile Creek because it is only 2 miles
from Vicksburg. Colonel Mudd came very near being shot by one of the enemy's pickets during
the reconnaissance.
The intervening space between these two ranges consisted of a series of deep hollows
separated by narrow ridges, both rising near the enemy's works, and running at angles from them
until they are terminated by the narrow valley of Two-Mile Creek. The heads of the hollows
were entirely open. Nearer their termination they were covered with a thicket of trees and
underbrush. At this time the picket and skirmishers of the enemy were in this thicket, watchful to
discover and obstruct our advance.
The enemy's defenses consist of an extended line of rifle-pits occupied by infantry, covered
by a multitude of strong works occupied by artillery, so arranged as to command not only the
approaches by the ravines and ridges in front, but each other.
Since 4 a.m. my command had been under orders to be in readiness to move forward and
commence the investment of the city. By 6.30 a.m. it came up, and in obedience to my orders
formed behind the crest of the hill upon which I had been waiting, General Smith's division on
the right of the Vicksburg road; General Osterhaus' on the left, and General Carr's along the base
of the hill, as a reserve. Skirmishers were thrown forward, who engaged the enemy's skirmishers,
and artillery was opened from the most commanding positions upon the enemy's works, and a
body of infantry observed between them and Burbridge's brigade, on my right. In a short time the
enemy's skirmishers fell back, and my line advanced across Two-Mile Creek to the hills on the
opposite side.
About this time (10.30 a.m.) an order came from Major-General Grant directing corps
commanders to gain as close a position as possible to the enemy's works until 2 p.m.; at that hour
fire three volleys from all their pieces in position, when a general charge of all the corps along
the line should be made.
By 2 o'clock, with great difficulty, my line had gained a half mile, and was within 800 yards
of the enemy's works. The ground in front was unexplored and commanded by the enemy's
works, yet, at the appointed signal, my infantry went forward under such cover as my artillery
could afford, and bravely continued a wasting conflict until they had approached within 500
yards of the enemy's lines, and exhaustion and the lateness of the evening interrupted it. An
advance had been made by all the corps, and the ground gained firmly held, but the enemy's
works were not carried.
A number of brave officers and men fell, killed or wounded, and among the latter General
Lee, who had signalized his brief command with equal activity, intelligence, and gallantry. The
command of his brigade devolved on Colonel Keigwin, an able and worthy successor.
On the 20th, General Hovey brought up Colonel Slack's brigade, of his division, from
Champion's Hill, and supported General Osterhaus on the left. General Cart supported General
Smith on the right. Lively skirmishing continued during the 20th and 21st, and farther approach
to the enemy's works was made where it could be done.
On the evening of the 21st, I received an order of the same date from Major-General Grant,
in material part as follows:
A simultaneous attack will be made to-morrow at 10 a.m. by all the army corps of this army,
During to-day army corps commanders will have examined all practicable routes over which
troops can possibly pass. They will get into position all the artillery possible, and gain all the
ground they can with their infantry and skirmishers. At an early hour in the morning a vigorous
attack will be commenced by artillery and skirmishers. The infantry, with the exception of
reserves and skirmishers, will be placed in columns of platoons, or by a flank, if the ground over
which they have to pass will not admit of a greater front, ready to move forward at the hour
designated. Promptly at the hour designated all will start at quick time, with bayonets fixed, and
march immediately upon the enemy, without firing a gun until the outer works are carried.
Skirmishers will advance as soon as possible after heads of columns pass them, and scale the
walls of such works as may confront them.
General Carr's division relieved General Smith's on the same day, and now formed the
advance on the right, supported by the latter. On the left, dispositions continued as before.
Communicating Major-General Grant's order to division commanders during the same evening,
as far as practicable, everything was done calculated to insure success.
On the morning of the 22d, I opened with artillery, including three 30, six 20, and six 10
pounder Parrotts (in all, thirty-nine guns), and continued a well-directed and effective fire until
10 o clock, breaching the enemy's works at several points, temporarily silencing his guns and
exploding four rebel caissons.
Five minutes before 10 o'clock the bugle sounded the charge, and at 10 o'clock my columns
of attack moved forward, and within fifteen minutes Lawler's and Landram's brigades had
carried the ditch, slope, and bastion of a fort. Some of their men, emulous of each other, rushed
into the fort, finding apiece of artillery, and in time to see the men who had been serving and
supporting it escape behind another defense commanding the interior of the former. All of this
daring and heroic party were shot down, except one, who, recovering from the stunning effect of
a shot, seized his musket and captured and brought away 13 rebels, who had returned and fired
their guns. The captor was Sergt. Joseph E. Griffith, of the Twenty-second Iowa, who, I am
happy to say, has since been promoted. The colors of the One hundred and thirtieth Illinois were
planted upon the counter-scarp of the ditch, while those of the Forty-eighth Ohio and Seventyseventh
Illinois waved over the bastion.
Within fifteen minutes after Lawler's and Landram's success, Benton's and Burbridge's
brigades, fired by the example, rushed forward and carried the ditch and slope of another heavy
earthwork, and planted their colors upon the latter. Crowning this brilliant feat with a parallel to
Sergeant Griffith's daring, Captain White, of the Chicago Mercantile Battery, carried forward
one of his pieces by hand quite to the ditch, and, double-shotting it, fired into an embrasure,
disabling a gun in it ready to be discharged, and scattering death among the rebel cannoneers, A
curtain connected the works forming these two points of attack.
My men never fought more gallantly--nay, desperately. For more than eight long hours they
maintained their ground with death-like tenacity. Neither a blazing sun nor the deadly fire of the
enemy shook them. Their constancy and valor filled me with admiration. The spectacle is one
never to be forgotten.
A portion of the First U.S. Infantry, under Major Maloney, serving as heavy artillery, added
to their previous renown. Neither officers nor men could have been more zealous and active.
Being in the center, they covered in considerable part the advance of Benton's and Lawler's
brigades and materially promoted their partial success.
Meantime Osterhaus' and Hovey's threes, forming the column of assault on the left, pushed
forward under a withering fire upon a more extended line until an enfilading fire from a strong
redoubt on their left front and physical exhaustion compelled them to take shelter behind a ridge.
Here they could distinctly hear the words of hostile command. Their skirmishers, however, kept
up the conflict. Alarmed for his safety, and the assault of the corps immediately on my left
having failed, the enemy early hastened to mass large numbers from his right and left in my
front. Thus re-enforced, he renewed his efforts with increased effect. All my forces were now
engaged, including reserves. Failure and loss of my hard-won advantages became imminent.
Advising General McArthur, who was on his way from Warrenton, of the state of affairs, I
requested re-enforcements and notified Major-General Grant of the fact.
At 11 a.m. I informed him that I was hotly engaged; that the enemy was mussing upon me
from his right and left, and that a vigorous blow by General McPherson would make a diversion
in my favor. Again, at 12 m., that I was in partial possession of two forts, and suggested whether
a vigorous push ought not to be made all along our lines. Responding to these dispatches, Major-
General Grant directed me to communicate with General McArthur, to use his forces to the best
advantage, and informed me that General Sherman was getting on well. This dispatch was dated
at 2 p.m. and came to hand at 3.15 p.m. About the same time I received information that General
Quinby's division was coming to my support. Hastening to acknowledge the receipt of this
welcome intelligence, I replied that I had lost no ground; that prisoners informed me that the
works in which I had made lodgments were commanded by strong defenses in the rear, but that
with the divisions promised I doubted not that I would force my way through the hostile lines,
and, with many others, I doubt it not yet; but obstacles intervened to disappoint. General
McArthur's division, being several miles distant, did not get up until next day. Colonel Boomer's
and Sanborn's brigades, of General Quinby's division, much exhausted, came up, but before
either of them could be fully applied--indeed, before one of them was entirely formed--night set
in and terminated the struggle. Colonel Boomer fell early while leading his men forward,
lamented by all. Meanwhile the enemy, seeing Quinby's division moving in the direction of my
position, hastened to concentrate additional forces in front of it, and made a sortie, which was
About 8 p.m., after ten hours' continuous fighting, without food or water, my men withdrew
to the nearest shelter and rested for the night, holding by a strong picket most of the ground they
had gained.
My loss during this memorable day comprised fully three-fourths of my whole loss before
Vicksburg, and was as follows:
Killed. Wounded. Missing.
General Osterhaus' division. 35 233 1
General Smith's division 49 400 30
General Hovey's division 42 .... ....
General Carr's division 109 559 57
Aggregate, 1,487.
To say that the Thirteenth Army Corps has done its whole duty manfully and nobly
throughout this arduous and eventful campaign is only to say what historical facts abundantly
establish. They opened and led the way to the field of Port Gibson, and had successfully fought
that battle for several hours before re-enforcements came. They led the way to Champion's Hill,
and bore the brunt of that battle. Unassisted, they fought and won the battle of Big Black. They
made the first, if not the only, lodgment in the enemy's works at Vicksburg, retaining their
advantages longest, withdrawing last, and probably sustaining the greatest loss.
That their officers are subject to no just reproach is equally true. On the contrary, that my
officers generally have borne themselves faithfully and gallantly is attested by conspicuous and
incontrovertible facts. Their success is a conclusive testimonial of their merit.
While referring to the reports of division, brigade, and regimental commanders for particular
notice of the officers of their commands most distinguishing themselves, it is proper, as the
commander of the corps, that I should recommend Brigadier-Generals Hovey, Cart, and
Osterhaus for promotion; also Colonels Slack, Stone, Keigwin, Landram, Lindsey, and Mudd.
The skill, valor, and signal services of these officers entitle them to it.
Not having received the reports of Generals Blair, Smith, and Quinby, I have been unable to
furnish a more particular account of the Operations of their commands.
To the members of my staff I am largely indebted for zealous and valuable assistance.
Colonel [Thomas S.] Mather, chief of staff and acting ordnance officer; Colonel Mudd, chief of
cavalry; Lieutenant-Colonel [Don A.] Pardee, acting inspector-general; Lieutenant-Colonel
[Henry C.] Warmoth, aide-de-camp; Lieutenant-Colonel [Walter B.] Scates, assistant adjutantgeneral,
and Major Butler, provost-marshal, all have been active, zealous, and eminently useful
in their respective spheres of duty. Lieutenant-Colonel Warmoth, while by my side during the
assault of the 22d ultimo, was severely wounded.
Lieutenants Hains, chief engineer of the corps, [William R.] McComas, [Henry] Jayne, and
Mason, have commended themselves by ability, activity, and usefulness.
Lieutenant-Colonel [Grantham I.] Taggart, chief commissary, and Lieutenant-Colonel
[James] Dunlap and Captain [Michael C.] Garber, quartermasters, have administered their affairs
with an energy and success commanding my hearty approbation.
Major Forbes, medical director, has done everything that could be expected of an officer of
rare talent, skill, and varied experience in his department.
Sympathizing with the general commanding the noble army of the Tennessee in the loss of so
many brave men killed and wounded, I cannot but congratulate him, in my thankfulness to
Providence, upon the many and signal successes which have crowned his arms.
Major-general, Commanding.
[Lieut. Col. JOHN A. RAWLINS,
Assistant Adjutant-General.]
The assault was gallant in the extreme on the part of all the troops, but the enemy's position
was too strong, both naturally and artificially, to be taken in that way. At every point assaulted,
and at all of them at the same time, the enemy was able to show all the force his works would
cover. The assault failed, I regret to say, with much loss on our side in killed and wounded, but
without weakening the confidence of the troops in their ability ultimately to succeed.
Here is a clear and unequivocal admission that all the corps and their commanders did their
duty--their whole duty; that their conduct was gallant in the extreme; that the assault failed with
much loss in killed and wounded of our men, and only because the enemy's position was too
strong, both naturally and artificially, to be taken by assault. Yet, in juxtaposition and in
contradiction to this clear and unmistakable admission, he goes on to argue, through a longer
space than that devoted to the legitimate account of the assault, that I sent false dispatches, and
thereby caused Sherman and McPherson to make an assault, resulting--
in the increase of our mortality list full 50 per cent., without advancing our position or giving
us other advantages.
Again, he says:
Each corps had many more men than could possibly be used in the assault, over such ground
as intervened between them and the enemy. More men could only avail in case of breaking
through the enemy's line, or in repelling a sortie.
No troops succeeded in entering any of the enemy's works, with the exception of Sergeant
Griffith, of Twenty-first [Twenty-second] Regiment Iowa Volunteers, and some 11 privates of
same regiment. Of these none returned except the sergeant and possibly 1 man. The work entered
by him from its position could give us no practical advantage, unless others to the right and left
of it were carried and held at the same time. About 12 m. I received a dispatch from McClernand
that he was hard pressed at several points, in reply to which I directed him to re-enforce the
points hard pressed from such troops as he had that were not engaged. I then rode around to
Sherman, and had just reached there, when I received a second dispatch from McClernand,
stating positively and unequivocally that he was in possession of, and still held, two of the
enemy's forts; that the American flag then waved over them, and asking me to have Sherman and
McPherson make a diversion in his favor. This dispatch I showed to Sherman, who immediately
ordered a renewal of the assault on his front. I also sent an answer to McClernand, directing him
to order up McArthur to his assistance. and started immediately to the position I had just left on
McPherson's line, to convey to him the information from McClernand by this last dispatch, that
he might make the diversion requested.
I had taken a commanding position near McPherson's front, and from which I could see all
the advancing columns from his corps, and a part of each of Sherman's and McClernand's. A
portion of the commands of each succeeded in planting their flags on the outer slopes of the
enemy's bastions, and maintained them there until night.
May 22, 1863--3.15 p.m.
Maj. Gen. U.S. GRANT:
GENERAL: I have received your dispatches in regard to General Quinby's division and
General McArthur's. As soon as they arrive, I will press the enemy with all possible dispatch,
and doubt not that I will force my way through. I have lost no ground. My men are in two of the
enemy's forts, but they are commanded by rifle-pits in the rear. Several prisoners have been
taken, who intimate that the rear is strong. At this moment I am hard pressed.
Major-General, Commanding.
Returning to the foregoing extracts from General Grant's report, it is found that he distinctly
and emphatically affirms-
1. That "each corps had many more men than could possibly be used in the assault," and that
"more men could only avail in case of breaking through the enemy's lines," &c.
In noticing this allegation, it is proper that I should advert to a few prefatory facts, which
seem to have escaped the attention of General Grant.
My army corps (the Thirteenth), in common with others, even before it commenced the
march from Milliken's Bend, had been deplorably wasted and diminished by disease and death,
caused by useless but exhausting labor in digging and opening canals, sometimes unintermitted
during nights, and often attended with exposure in rain and in mud and water. Hundreds, perhaps
thousands, of valuable lives were lost in that way. Others of my corps were added to this list, in
consequence of exposure encountered in making roads, repairing and watching levees, and
building bridges across bayous, while Opening the way for themselves and other corps that
followed from Milliken's Bend to Carthage and to Hard Times, and still others were
subsequently added by the casualties of battle.
Leading the advance to Port Gibson, Champion's Hill, and Big Black, and bearing the brunt
of these battles, the losses of my corps in them probably exceeded those of all the rest of the
army operating in the same field up to the same date. Including these losses and those sustained
by it in the assault of May 19 upon Vicksburg, and in previous skirmishes occurring during the
advance upon that place, and by disease during the same period, it had lost full 3,000 men in
killed, wounded, missing, and sick since it had crossed the Mississippi and before the assault of
May 22 upon Vicksburg; in other words, within the short space of twenty-two days. In addition
to this, two regiments of my command had been left, by General Grant/s order, on the west bank
of the Mississippi to garrison a post, two other regiments of it had been sent away to guard
captives, and a whole brigade of it had been left behind by him at Champion's Hill, leaving with
me only the skeleton and name of a corps.
In estimating my available and effective force at Vicksburg on the morning of May 22 at
10,000, I do not think I am wide of the mark. On the same morning, with this meager and
inadequate force, I was holding a line 1 miles in length, confronted by a corresponding line of
hostile rifle-pits, and numerous forts, redoubts, lunettes, and epaulements occupied by artillery,
covering and supporting the rifle-pits. On my left, as I have already explained, I was wholly
unsupported for some 4 miles around to the Mississippi below Vicksburg, leaving the enemy's
works uninvested for the same distance, and my left flank exposed to the danger of a sortie or
being turned. On my right there was a gap between it and McPherson's left, and this gap was
crossed by a road leading from the enemy's works. The front of the three army corps was some 3
or 4 miles in length.
General Grant admits in his report that "at every point assaulted, and at all of them at the
same time, the enemy was able to show all the force his works would cover," and his works
could not have been less than 6 or 7 miles in length; indeed, it is doubtful whether at the moment
of the assault the enemy's force inside of his works was not as strong as ours investing them. I
understand that intelligent general officers have expressed that opinion. This disadvantage was
enhanced by General Grant's plan, which required "all the army corps" to advance from their
respective positions and make a "simultaneous attack," thus attenuating the line, or multiplying
the columns of attack, and thereby weakening it.
It follows, therefore, from these facts that if the nature of the ground would not allow all of
our diminished force to be used, no assault should have been made; but the ground in my front
would have allowed more men than I had to be used. They could have been used in augmenting
the weight and momentum of my attacking columns and in maintaining the advantages gained by
them; they could have been used in widening the front of my attacking columns and in assaulting
the curtain connecting two forts forming the points of my attack, and to which a brigade of
Quinby's division, of McPherson's corps, when it came up to re-enforce me, was about to be
applied, when night cut short the conflict. They could have been used in these ways, and no
doubt with the effect of increasing the advantage gained by my columns, weak as they were,
from the causes mentioned, and notwithstanding the obstacles they had to overcome in the nature
of the ground they passed over.
Concentration of our forces against one or two points, and not the dispersion
of them into a multitude of columns, was my volunteered suggestion to General Grant the
day before the assault, when he announced his purpose to make it. General Sherman's was that it
was a question of how many men he was willing to lose. And concentration, doubtless, was the
true policy, and with it directed against one or two points, aided by a feint against others, we
might have been successful. Without it we failed, with the loss of many lives as an answer to
General Sherman's question. My men having succeeded in breaking through the enemy's line, the
contingency had arisen in which General Grant admits that more men might have been available,
and yet he censures me for asking re-enforcements.
2. He affirms that "no troops succeeded in entering any of the enemy's works with the
exception of Sergeant Griffith, of the Twenty-first [Twenty-second] Regiment Iowa Volunteers,
and some 11 privates of the same regiment."
The meaning of the term "works" here becomes important. Has it a definite signification;
and, if so, what is it? In military parlance, according to received lexicographers, it means walls,
trenches, and the like, made for fortifications. In this sense, as a military man, doubtless, General
Grant uses it, and in this sense he is mistaken, as the sequel will show that not only did Sergeant
Griffith and the men with him enter the enemy's works, but that Lieutenant-Colonel [H.]
Graham, of the Twenty-second Iowa, with some 200 men, charged the enemy's intrenchments
and drove him away, and held them until near nightfall. And I may add that men of Benton's and
Burbridge's brigades, of Carr's and Smith's divisions, did about as much, driving the enemy from
another part of his trenches.
3. General Grant affirms that he
received a second dispatch from McClernand, stating positively and unequivocally that he
was in possession of, and still held, two of the enemy's forts; that the American flag then waved
over them, and asking to have Sherman and McPherson make a diversion in his favor.
General Sherman, in his report of the assault, in alluding to this same dispatch, says:
Having heard McClernand's report to General Grant read, that he had taken three of the
enemy's forts, and that his flags floated on the stronghold of Vicksburg, I ordered General Tuttle
to send directly to the assault one of his brigades.
Here are two versions of my dispatch, one General Grant's and the other General Sherman's.
Why did not General Grant give the dispatch totidem verbis? In a question of veracity between
us it was but fair and just that he should have done so. I never wrote or knowingly authorized
such a dispatch to be sent. If he received such an one purporting to come from me, it was through
the mistake of a copyist. The dispatch I did write and authorize to be sent to him was very
different. In most material part it was nearly the opposite. It was that I had part possession; not
that my possession was complete; not that it was undisputed; not that it was secure; but that it
was disputed and insecure, and needed to be strengthened and perfected by re-enforcements or a
diversion. On the contrary, I would not have asked for support without having first
unsuccessfully tried to press my advantage. As to my saying that the American flag waved over
two forts, and asking to have Sherman and McPherson make a diversion in my favor, I have only
to add that while again my language is not given, the facts stated are substantially true, as will
hereafter appear.
The original of the mooted dispatch and the authentication of its genuineness by Sergeant
Rugg, Company A, Seventy-seventh Illinois Infantry, is in the following words and figures:
In the Battle-Field, near Vicksburg, Miss., May 22, 1863--12 m.
Maj. Gen. U.S. GRANT:
GENERAL: We are hotly engaged with the enemy. We have part possession of two forts,
and the Stars and Stripes are waving over them. A vigorous push ought to be made all along the
Major-General, Commander
KNOXVILLE, IOWA, September 8, 1863.
Major-General McCLERNAND:
In reply to your interrogatories presented by Mr. Jones, I state the following facts, which
occurred under my observation, connected with the assault of the Thirteenth Army Corps upon
the enemy's works at Vicksburg on May 22 last:
I was in command of the Twenty-second Iowa, which regiment was in the Second Brigade,
Fourteenth Division, of said corps. On the evening of May 21, I was served with a copy of the
circular or order directing the assault to be made the-next day at 10 a.m. I was informed by my
brigade commander (General Lawler) that I would have the advance, and that I could approach
any point of the enemy's works I considered the most salient, and in any form I thought proper.
Between Sundown and dark I went up to within 50 yards of the enemy's lines, and made a
personal reconnaissance of the ground on our front and of their lines. My observations satisfied
me that the fort next to the railroad could be carried more easily and with less sacrifice than any
other point on our front, and I determined to direct my regiment against it. I took my regiment
over the hill in front of Maloney's siege battery that night, and had it in readiness for the
morning's work. At a little before 10 o'clock by my time, I received the order from General
Lawler's assistant adjutant-general to advance, and I did so immediately, supported by the
Twenty-first Iowa. I advanced as I intended, directly against the fort, but in passing over the crest
of the hill the enemy's fire was so terrific that the left wing of my regiment was driven into the
hollow on the left of the fort, but the right wing advanced steadily toward the fort, and within ten
minutes from the time we started my men entered it, and held it, to my knowledge, for over an
hour. The fort was small, and the open space inside very limited, and but few men could find
room in it. When the enemy were driven from the fort, they also retired from the rifle-pits on the
right (our right), between that and the railroad. The Eleventh Wisconsin had also advanced
against the second fort, some 300 yards from the first one, and I saw the enemy leave that one.
They also retired from the pits between the two forts, and went down the hill into the ravine or
hollow beyond toward the city, leaving only a few straggling sharpshooters behind. I stood with
Lieutenant-Colonel Dunlap, of the Twenty-first Iowa, on the highest and most exposed point
near the fort. We saw them leave and conversed about it. I sent word back to General Carr to
send me a brigade and I would hold the works. I regarded the thing as easily done. I do not know
that my message reached the general.
I then regarded the door to Vicksburg as opened, and so said to Colonel Dunlap, and we were
there looking over the ground, congratulating ourselves upon our success, when I was shot in the
arm by a sharpshooter from the woods beyond their rifle-pits, and he was killed. I ordered the
color-bearer of the Seventy-seventh Illinois to bring up his colors, as mine were down in the
hollow on the left, and my own men planted them on top of the fort Soon after this my own
colors were brought up and placed beside them. They remained there to my certain knowledge
till 6 o'clock in the evening. Had we been re-enforced at any time before 12 m. by a fresh
brigade, I have no doubt that the whole army could have gone into Vicksburg. After that my
knowledge of the situation up there was not so good, as I had retired from the field. I stated this
opinion to several after I went back. There were no interior works at that time in the rear of the
line we held, as I could see far beyond. Maloney's battery of siege guns was about 500 yards
directly in the rear of our Operations, and commanded a fine view of all our movements. I do not
know where General McPherson's headquarters were, but I should think there was no point from
which our Operations could have been so correctly observed as from this battery.
Late Colonel Twenty-second Iowa
4.-- Letter of Lieut. Col. Harvey Graham.
BENTON BARRACKS, MO., September 1, 1863.
Your note of August 26 has Just been handed to me by Mr. Jones, and in reply I hasten to
1. That on May 22, ultimo, when the combined assault was made upon the enemy's works at
Vicksburg, my position was such as afforded me only an opportunity of viewing the doings of
Lawler's brigade. Early in the morning of that day my regiment was formed in line on the
extreme right of Lawler's brigade, and as we led the advance I can only speak of the successes
attending that portion of your command. It is my firm conviction and belief that had the
Thirteenth Army Corps been re-enforced by a few brigades, thus enabling you to send support to
the front, the success of your command would have been complete. As it was, success was
achieved, but was afterward lost. Victory was in your hands, but was wrested from you by
superior numbers.
2. At 10 a.m., I, with some 200 of my command, charged upon the defenses of the enemy,
and within thirty minutes had stormed one of the forts and driven the enemy away from the front
of their works, and had possession of his intrenchments. This was one of the principal forts of the
enemy, and was situated almost directly in front of Maloney's battery of Parrott guns. My
command held their position there until nearly dark, when, from the want of proper support, they
were captured. Sergeants [N. C.] Messenger and Griffith, of Company I, Twenty-second Iowa,
entered the fort with about 20 men, capturing many prisoners, and remaining inside the works
until nearly all were killed. This occurred between 10.30 and 12 m., as near as I can judge.
Sergeant Griffith was inside the fort over an hour, and had I had the men to send to his aid, I
could have retained it in full possession.
3. Two stand of colors were planted upon the parapet of the fort by 11 a.m., and remained
there all day, in spite of all the efforts of the enemy to capture them. Late in the evening, as it
was nearly dark, they were taken, having floated for over nine hours on the highest portion of the
4. Between 11 a.m. and 12 m. I observed that the enemy all along the line, especially at the
fort to my right, seemed to be panic-stricken, and it is my impression that could a strong attack
have then been made, the works would have all been carried.
5. The ground upon which Maloney's battery was situated was about 600 yards from the
works of the enemy, and was the most commanding position in the neighborhood, and afforded
ample opportunity for witnessing all the movements of the Thirteenth Army Corps. From my
position on the fort I could see nothing of that portion of the field where General McPherson's
headquarters were, and am convinced no one could observe the Operations of my command from
that point.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel Twenty-second Iowa Infantry.
5.--Letter of Maj. J. B. Atherton.
KNOXVILLE, IOWA, September 5. 1863.
DEAR SIR: In answer to certain questions propounded by you concerning my knowledge of
the action of the Thirteenth Army Corps in the assault upon the enemy's defenses in the rear of
Vicksburg on May 22 last, I would state:
1. That I was major of the Twenty-second Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and
participated in said assault. I was with the left wing of my regiment, and, from the rough and
uneven character of the country and the abatis of the enemy, could not see the action of any but
my own brigade The assault began near 10 a.m., and within three-quarters of an hour from that
time the colors of our regiment and one other (Seventy-seventh Illinois) were raised upon the fort
immediately in our front. The fort was occupied by our men from one to two hours. Our colors
remained upon it for the same time. We were successful, and could have held what we had
gained had we been re-enforced at the proper time. We were compelled to fall back before
superior numbers of the enemy and our men to abandon the fort.
2. The enemy was driven from the fort above referred to. It was occupied by our men; held
by them over an hour--as long as it was possible to hold it without additional force. The two
stand of colors mentioned in my answer to the first interrogatory were planted on it, one of which
remained there several hours.
'3. I have ever been of opinion, and have no doubt, that had we been re-enforced by two
divisions when in possession of the fort, we would have held it, forced our way through the
enemy's works, and driven them from our right and left. The possession of this fort by us divided
the enemy, and prevented them from rallying rapidly from right to left as occasion might require,
giving us command of the rifle-pits on either side, which could soon have been cleared of the
enemy, and an entrance made for any number of troops needed.
4. The position of Maloney's battery being immediately in our rear and on a high point,
afforded a much better opportunity for witnessing the action of the Thirteenth Army Corps than
any position a half mile or more either to the right or left of it could afford.
I am, general, with much respect, your obedient servant,
Late Major Twenty-second Iowa Infantry.
6.--Letter of Sergt. A. H. Rugg.
SPRINGFIELD, ILL., August 31, 1863.
I hereby certify that I was on the field with Major-General McClernand at Vicksburg on May
22,1863, and saw the flags of the Seventy-seventh Illinois Infantry planted on the rebel forts. The
national colors were afterward carried inside, and captured, together with a number of men of the
regiment after nightfall.
Sergeant Company A, Seventy-seventh Illinois Infantry.
7.--Letter of H. C. Warmoth, late lieutenant-colonel and aide-de-camp.