AUGUST 16-27, 1862.-Expedition from Helena, Ark., down the Mississippi and up the Yazoo.
August 18, 1862.-Capture of the steamer Fair Play.
19, 1862.-Skirmish at Tallulah, La.
23, 1862.-Skirmish at Greenville, Miss.
25, 1862.-Skirmish at Bolivar, Miss.
Numbers 1.-Major General Samuel R. Curtis, U. S. Army.
Numbers 2.-Colonel Charles R. Woods, Seventy-sixth Ohio Infantry, commanding expedition.
Numbers 3.-Colonel William D. Bowen, Bowen's Battalion Missouri Cavalry.
Numbers 4.-Lieutenant Colonel Alfred W. Ellet, U. S. Army, commanding Ram Fleet.
Numbers 5.-Brigadier General M. L. Smith, C. S. Army, of capture of the steamer Fair Play.
Numbers 6.-Captain M. McDonald, U. S. Army, of capture of the steamer Fair Play.
Numbers 1. Report of Major General Samuel R. Curtis, U. S. Army.
CAIRO, ILL., August 31, 1862.
The troops and navy made a landing and attacked a rebel force at Bolivar, Miss., as they came up the river. Rebels were routed after a short conflict. Our loss, 1 killed and 2 wounded. Rebel loss much more.
The force arrived at Helena with the prize Fair Play, loaded with arms and equipments. Large quantities of horses and mules were taken, which for want of transportation could not be brought away.
Much alarm was carried into the country, especially into Louisiana, by our taking of Tallulah Station; also in Vicksburg, by our taking the battery on Yazoo River. It was my intention to strike the Yazoo River opposite Bolivar, but the enemy seemed too strong.
I ought to have transportation for 10,000 men. That was my requisition on the quartermaster, but I could only procure enough of the right kind to move a brigade. The result shows the success of my plan. The navy and army, moved to any point on the Mississippi River, makes a new and unexpected base, from which the troops can dash into the country and carry destruction into the enemy's line on the railroad or Yazoo or up the small streams of Arkansas, carrying death and desolation into the country.
The navy or the army, or both, must have a number of light-draught boats, made safe against infantry, and capable of carrying light artillery. Such boats are easily improvised, and the rivers of Mississippi and Arkansas can be cleared, and the adjacent country completely overpowered.
I go to Chicago to attend a railroad convention. Will be at your service if needed.
All was quiet in Helena. Prisoners recently taken were sent to Little Rock, to compensate for prisoners recently sent to me. Health of troops fair.
SAML. R. CURTIS,
Major-General HALLECK, Commander-in-Chief, Washington, D. C.