Rock. Now dry creeks are impassable and several days will transpire before I can cross streams, and during this time my bread supplies will probably run short. The country here and below cannot furnish flour, and I must depend mainly on the trains for bread.
Since writing the foregoing a scout comes direct from Little Rock. The rebels have burned the cotton (100,000 bales) in my advance; also bridges across Des Arc and Cypress. I send per telegraph the rebel slip published in Little Rock of the 15th, 16th, and 17th.* The matter boastfully heralded at Cotton Plant was a skirmish with some of Colonel Baker's First Indiana, which was out on a reconnaissance, and drove the rebels in two skirmishes. I have not a full report from the colonel, but our men were satisfied with their success.
SAML. R. CURTIS,
Brigadier General W. SCOTT KETCHUM,
No. 2. Report of Colonel Peter J. Osterhaus, Twelfth Missouri Infantry, commanding Third Division.
HDQRS. THIRD DIVISION, ARMY OF THE SOUTHWEST,
Camp, Searcy Landing, Ark., May 19, 1862.-9.30 p.m.
GENERAL; After a very bloody skirmish I have the honor to report on the occurrences of to-day:
Colonel Porter reported to me this morning at Camp Lyon with the Fourth Iowa Cavalry by 9 o'clock, and I ordered him to take position at the said camp and await the other parts of his brigade and his transportation, which was far behind. The regiments and corps of the Third Division, until then at Camp Lyon, were ordered to march to this point (Searcy Landing), as I had information that the rebel forces south of Red River contemplated an attack on our bridge, and the protecting forces there were rather light.
Before leaving Camp Lyon I was informed that my pickets at Hilcher's Ferry (crossing of the old military road) were attacked, and I had them re-enforced by two companies of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry. With my command I had marched about 4 miles toward Searcy Landing, when the messengers from them brought the intelligence of an attack. I hurried my men on and reached here by 11.30 o'clock a.m. I found the position entirely secure and the enemy hurrying off, but only after a severe and bloody fight.
Colonel Waring had detailed this morning a strong detachment of his regiment to protect a foraging party sent on the south side of Red River. Some infantry accompanied the expedition also. A few miles from the camp they fell in with a large force of the enemy. They opened fire at once, and the infantry (only parts of two companies of the Seventeenth Missouri Volunteers) stood their ground, notwithstanding they were completely wrapped up in the masses of the rebels. The fire attracted the attention of Colonel Hassendeubel, who had command at Searcy Landing, and he detailed at once all the companies of the Seventeenth Missouri at his disposal to succor their friends. They