tated. While this conversation was going on a large crowd of colored persons had gathered on the river bank, and sending this man back I went ashore and talked with several others aside, who agreed very remarkably with the first statement made. Learning that they was a musket in the house referred to, I sent my adjutant with a file of soldiers to secure it and to make personal observations. He found a young man there, apparently ill, who professed to have come from kentucky, but not to be a soldier, and to know nothing of the whereabouts of troops. The musket proved to be laded with ball, and a cap (evidently a Confederate officer's), was found, both of which were brought away. The family professed to be strangers to the young men, but some inconsistency in statements led me to believe this deceptive. I did not deem it best to make any arrest. I think it my duty to suggest that at this point, Relief Station, it seems to me wise to locate some force; it so a fine location for a camp; directly across the channel is Island Numbers 64, of good size and easily crossed by troops. The channel here is not more than 300 yards wide, and beyond the island to the Mississippi shore is another of about the same width. Hence the passage in flat-boats can easily be effected with very little drifting, and the place would naturally be selected for such purposes. Then 2 1/2 mile in rear of the landing the main road from White River to Old Town passes, and is therefore a very accessible point. The country in the vicinity I learned was rich and rather densely settled.
At 2 p. m. the fleet reached us, and joining it we proceeded up the river, arriving at Helena at daylight this morning.
But a single casualty occurred on the trip. On the night of the 5th Private McFadden, Company D, was lost. He sleeps near the rail, on the forward deck, and starting from his sleep was seen to lose his balance and fall overboard, probably in a state of somnambulism, to which he was subject. The boat rounded to and search was made for him, but without success.
I cannot justly dismiss this report without honorably mentioning the officers of the fleet, both the gunboats and transports. they exhibited a high degree of courtesy and devotion to the service, co-operating in all my suggestions very heartily.
I. F. SHEPARD,
Colonel Third Missouri Infantry, Commanding River Expedition.
Colonel F. HASSENDEUBEL,
Commanding First Brigade, &c.
AUGUST 5, 1862.-Skirmish at Montevallo, Mo.
Report of Major Benjamin S. Henning, Third Wisconsin Cavalry.
Fort Scott, August 6, 1862.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report to you that there has been considerable excitement at and about this post since this morning, arising from a report that Colonel Barstow, with a detachment of Third Wisconsin Cavalry, had been captured at Montevallo.
The report proves to be false as far as the capture of Colonel Barstow is concerned, as he has returned, and reports that on yesterday he drove the rebels from Montevallo and occupied the town and captured