War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0114 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter XVIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

quarter of the town, and then moved rapidly forward, with a body of infantry as skirmishers, followed by a section of artillery and a squadron of cavalry, into the town, which we surprised. One of the enemy's transports, the Mary Keene, was lying at the landing, and another upon the opposite side of the river. I regret to say that we were discovered by the enemy, and both boats were thereby enable dot escape, thought not without serious injury. Several men were killed on the former by our infantry and several shots from our artillery passed through her.

The approach of an enemy's gunboat induced me to withdraw the artillery and cavalry from the town. The gunboat immediately opened its guns upon the town, without regard to the inhabitants, who were their friends, but was driven off by the infantry.

During the following night I established the guns in batteries on the river bank and opened rifle pits for about 280 men, who were selected from the different regiments for this duty and placed under command of a gallant officer, Captain A. J. Webber, of the Eleventh Missouri Volunteers. I subsequently, on the 17th instant, placed the troops in town, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Tinkham, of the Twenty-sixth Illinois Volunteers, who did good service.

Not supposing the commanding general desires a diary of each day's bombardment, I would simply remark that the enemy's gunboats continued to pass and repass this point up to the 13th instant, the day of the abandonment of New Madrid, and on every occasion opened their guns upon us. As my guns were not sufficiently heavy to do them any injury, I gave orders that they should no reply. At first they approached our shore, but were in every instance driven off by our sharpshooters. Learning wisdom from experience, they finally passed up and down close to the opposite shore, and, the river being here a mile and a half wide, they threw their shells at us with impunity. On the 11th instant a battery of two heavy guns was established by the enemy on the opposite bank of the river, immediately opposite bank of the river, immediately opposite the town, supported, as I have since ascertained, by 600 infantry, which has fired upon us daily. It is very remarkable that the enemy have thrown into this town since it has been occupied by me several hundred shots and shells without killing or wounding a man of my division. The only injury they have done us is the killing of one artillery horse. Many of their shots have been well directed, and shells have burst over our guns and rifle pits without effect. On Sunday, the 16th instant, three gunboats passed up and opened fire upon us, in conjunction with their battery on the opposite shore. One of them came within 20 yards of the shore and attempted to and, but was driven off as usual. On their return they resumed the conflict. They threw about 100 shells into the town without effect, except upon the houses of their friends.

On the 12th instant the Eighth Wisconsin Volunteers, under Lieutenant-Colonel Robbins, arrived here as a part of my division, and on the night of the 11th instant eight companies of the Seventh Illinois Cavalry also arrived, under Colonel Kellogg.

On the morning of the 23rd instant, in compliance with the general's order, I dispatched Major Rowalt, with five companies of the Seventh Illinois Cavalry, to pursue the marauding parties of Jeff. Thompson, who were robbing through the country west of us. The cavalry overtook a small party of the enemy on the plank road, about 20 miles from here, and after skirmishing with them for a short time the latter succeeded in wounding 4 of our men, 2 of whom have since died.