In compliance with your orders I proceeded from Camp Lyon, situated 10 miles north of Little Red River, where the main body of your division was encamped, to Searcy Landing, where the Seventeenth Missouri Volunteers, two companies of the Third Missouri, and one company of the Twelfth Missouri Infantry, with two long 12-pounder howitzers and two mountain howitzers, with one company of the Sixth Missouri Cavalry, were stationed.
I had just arrived at that place, and learned that three companies or fractions of companies of the Seventeenth Missouri, and three companies of Fremont Hussars, under Major Kielmansegge, in all about 200 men, had gone out on a foraging expedition, in a southerly direction, on the south side of Little Red River, when I heard a brisk firing in the same direction. It was evident that the foraging party was engaged with the enemy. I at once ordered all troops present under arms and proceeded to the south side of the river, where the Seventeenth Regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Cramer, was already under arms, waiting for orders. I at once dispatched Lieutenant-Colonel Cramer, with three companies of infantry of the Seventeenth Missouri, numbering about 100 men, and one company of the cavalry of the Sixth Missouri, about 20 men, commanded by Captain Hopper, Captain Reiss, of the Missouri State Militia, volunteering as a guide, to the aid or rescue of the foraging party. The balance of the troops and two pieces of artillery (Hoffmann's) and two mountain howitzers in all about 250 men, I brought in a proper position to defend the bridge across the river in case an attack be made by the enemy from Searcy to destroy the bridge while the greater portion of the command was absent in another direction. Colonel Waring now arrived with a small detachment of Fremont Hussars. I informed him of the circumstances, and at the same time dispatched a messenger to you, communicating the state of affairs.
Soon the volleys of infantry, sounding more and more distant as they repeated themselves, informed me that Lieutenant-Colonel Cramer had met and routed the enemy. He sent in for ambulances to carry away the wounded. I dispatched four ambulances under an escort of 12 men. Assistant Surgeon Dr. Krumsick, of the Third Missouri, had proceeded in advance of the ambulances to the scene of action, but was captured by the enemy, who had rallied in strong force between Lieutenant-Colonel Cramer's command and the landing. They also fired at the ambulances, driving away the escort and drivers, cut loose the horses and broke the ambulances, which were, however, afterward recovered and repaired.
Lieutenant-Colonel Cramer, hearing of an attack in his rear and the enemy before him utterly routed, swept whit his command back through the timber to the camp, bringing the wounded and some of the killed with him, when immediately afterward you arrived at the landing.
For particulars in relation to the engagement I respectfully refer to the inclosed reports of Lieutenant-Colonel Cramer,* Captain Wilhelmi, Lieutenants Fischer and Neun.
Colonel, Commanding First Brigade, Third Division.
Commanding Third Division.