JULY 20, 1862.- Skirmish at Gaines' landing, Ark.
Report of Major General Samuel R. Curtis, U. S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE SOUTHWEST,
Helena, Ark., July 20, 1862.
GENERAL: I have just returned from a reconnaissance down the river. A large amount of ammunition, small-arms, and some twenty-five pieces of artillery were crossed over into Arkansas last week near Gaines' Landing. The gunboats had passed to and fro while this was going on. I took and destroyed some 70 or 80 flat-boats, some of which had been in the business of crossing stores, and one small steamboat.
A more vigilant watch over the river is needed. My advance drove a picket from a picket from gaines' Landing, and pursued the enemy, killing 1 man. I went 25 miles up the Arkansas River and sent scouts to the road south of it, hoping to intercept the artillery, but it had all passed on to Little Rock.
I am credibly informed that the enemy is arranging to attack our transports with artillery that will be brought to the Mississippi in the vicinity of Gaines' Landing. Some kind of vigilant floating force must be employed to keep this great natural base of operations (the Mississippi River) entirely safe. More unity of action between the gunboats and transports must be had. I speak of what relates to my own operations in Arkansas, the Mississippi being now my new base of operations. I hope your headquarters will move this great river.
I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,
SAML. R. CURTIS,
Major General H. W. HALLECK.
AUGUST 18, 1862.
The attention of the Secretary of War is respectfully called to this report, and and it is suggested that the matter be referred to the Navy Department. It is of vital importance that the gunboats prevent the enemy from occupying the banks of the river between Memphis and the mouth of the Arkansas.
H. W. HALLECK,
July 22, 1862.- Skirmish at Florida, mo.
Report of Major Henry C. Caldwell, Third Iowa Cavalry.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD IOWA CAVALRY,
Paris, Mo., July 22, 1862 - 11 a. m.
SIR: At daylight this morning Joe Porter, with his whole force, 300 strong, came into Florida from the north, and encountered 50 of my men then there. After fighting nearly and hour my men retreated. Our killed, wounded, and missing number 26. The enemy's loss in
killed will greatly exceed ours. I can maintain my position here, but I have not sufficient force to hold the town and pursue. I cannot tell at this