War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0083 Chapter XXV. SKIRMISH AT CACHE RIVER BRIDGE, MO.

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MAY 26-29, 1862.-Reconnaissances from Jacksonport toward Augusta and Des Arc, Ark., and skirmish at Cache River Bridge (28th).

Reports of Colonel Albert G. Brackett, Ninth Illinois Cavalry.

HDQRS. NINTH REGIMENT ILLINOIS CAVALRY,

Camp Tucker, Junction of Black and White Rivers, Ark.,

Opposite Jacksonport, May 28, 1862.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report to you on the morning of the 26th instant I sent out portions of Companies G, L, and I, Ninth Illinois Cavalry, on a scout in the direction of Augusta. On the evening of the same day I received General Steele's orders to cause to be made a reconnaissance in force toward Des Arc as far as Cotton Plant, if possible.

Accordingly yesterday morning (27th) I sent Lieutenant Colonel Hiram F. Sickles, with Companies B, D, G, H, and M, out to carry into effect the orders I had received. I am thus left here with Companies A, L, and a section of the Ohio battery, with the teamsters, sick, &c. This morning Lieutenant-Colonel Sickles had a skirmish with a considerable force of the enemy at Cache River Bridge. This bridge has been partially broken down by the rebels, and it is yet uncertain whether he will be able to cross on it at all. He expects another fight to-night or to-morrow morning, and in the mean time will repair the bridge if possible.

On our side Adjt. William C. Blackburn, commanding Company H, and Private Frank R. Tift, of Company B, Ninth Regiment Illinois Cavalry, are wounded. One rebel soldier was killed and two taken prisoners, the latter belonging to Hooker's company. The rebels say that a gunboat passed up Red River yesterday and that another will pass up White River to-night or to-morrow. Lieutenant-Colonel Sickles does not credit these tales.

The general may rest assured that the telegraphic dispatches at the Cotton Plant office will be taken or my men will die trying.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ALBERT G. BRACKETT,

Colonel, Ninth Illinois Cavalry.

Captain J. W. PADDOCK,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Steele's Division.

HDQRS. NINTH REGIMENT ILLINOIS CAVALRY,

Camp Tucker, Junction of White and Black Rivers, Ark., May 29, 1862.

CAPTAIN: Lieutenant-Colonel Sickles returned this evening from Cache River, after having ascertained that the telegraph station formerly at Cotton Plant, Ark., is now broken up, and has been for four weeks past. All of the records are carried away, together with the instruments and wire. In the skirmish which Lieutenant-Colonel Sickles had with the rebels yesterday morning he informs me that 3 rebels were killed, 4 wounded, and 1 taken prisoner. On our side Adjutant Blackburn and Private Tift (both of the Ninth Illinois Cavalry) were wounded. The other portion of the regiment, under Captain Blakemore, Ninth Illinois Cavalry, had a skirmish with the enemy, in which 1 rebel was mortally wounded and 1 taken prisoner, both of