JUNE 27, 1862.-Skirmish at Stewart's Plantation, Ark.
Numbers 1.-Brigadier General Frederick Steele, U. S. Army.
Numbers 2.-Colonel Albert G. Brackett, Ninth Illinois Cavalry.
Numbers 3.-Colonel Cyrus Bussey, Third Iowa Cavalry.
Numbers 1. Report of Brigadier General Frederick Steele, U. S. Army.
HDQRS. FIRST DIV., ARMY OF THE SOUTHWEST,
Camp on Village Creek., Ark., June 27, 1862.
MAJOR: Our forage train was attacked this afternoon about 8 miles below here by a party in ambush. The train had been loading and was returning. Lieutenant Griswold and 2 men of the Third Iowa Cavalry were killed and several men and some horses and mules were wounded. As soon as the report of this affair reached Colonel Brackett's camp, which is farthest in advance, Colonel Brackett immediately went with a battalion of his regiment to support the escort. The rebels, who had probably been re-enforced also, engaged him at long range with rifles and shot-guns. Brackett's men were armed with pistols and a few carbines. Colonel Brackett, Captain Knight, Adjutant Blackburn, and some men were wounded. I have received no official report of the affair, but one of the wagon-masters says that the rebels were on an eminence covered with canebrake and timber, with a slough between them and our troops. He also says that on their return there were no men to be found at the houses along the road. As he passed down in the morning one of these absent gentlemen told him that if he took the corn they would be attacked. Some of the rebels were wounded and some taken prisoners; I do not know how many. Our escort was composed of 76 infantry, 20 cavalry, and 3 commissioned officers. I have not heard what part the infantry took in the skirmish. They say about 100 guns were fired in the first volley by the enemy at the rear of the train, which was chiefly guarded by cavalry. When the report first reached me I ordered out the effective force of Colonel Bussey's regiment (Third Iowa Cavalry). On hearing several volleys General Benton advanced with the Eighth Indiana Infantry and First Indiana Battery, but meeting the other troops on their return about 2 miles below here, he informed me by messenger that he should await further orders at that place. One of the prisoners taken in the skirmish says that there is a rebel camp in the woods a few miles from where the skirmish took place about 1,200 strong. I propose to investigate that matter to-morrow morning with a force sufficiently strong to dispose of any number of rebels that may be found, if in the mean time no orders to the contrary should be received from the general commanding.
I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major CURTIS, Assistant Adjutant-General.
P. S.-Colonel Bussey just reports that at least one man of Brackett's regiment was killed; one man of Bussey's regiment, in addition to those already mentioned, is missing. It is reported that the citizens have been furnished the rebel force with provisions and forage and