War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0245 Chapter XXV. EXPEDITION FROM HELENA, ARK.

Search Civil War Official Records

more of Enfield rifles and muskets--a large amount of ammunition, and a great many boxes filled with accouterments, &c., most of which was said to have been destined for Little Rock, Ark. We captured the camp equipage, tents, arms, horses, mules, and wagons for a camp of 1,000 men, besides other supplies, and took about 40 prisoners. After securing all the property of value we proceeded to within a short distance of Vicksburg, and then, with my three lightest-draught rams, each having a detachment from Colonel Woods' command of the 100 men on them, preceded by Captain Phelps in the Benton, and followed by Captain Gwin, of the Mound City, we proceeded up the Yazoo River. At Haines' Bluff, 17 miles from the Mississippi River, we captured six pieces of ordnance--two 42-pounders, two 31-pounders, one 12-pounder brass field piece, and 20-pounder brass coast howitzer--with a large amount of ammunition-powder, shot, and shell--besides some muskets and camp stores. We took on board everything of much value and destroyed the remainder. The four large guns were too heavy for us to handle without better preparations, and we were compelled to burst them. The enemy, although in considerable force, were prevented from offering any resistance in consequence of the fire from the gunboats, which kept them at a respectful distance while we accomplished our purpose. We then proceeded up the river to the mouth of the Big Sunflower, when the water became so shallow that the gunboats and Monarch could proceed to farther. I sent the Samson and Lioness up the Sunflower, which they succeeded in ascending a distance of 20 miles to within 5 miles of Lake George, where the enemy have a number of fine gunboats secreted. They were obliged to return, the water becoming too shallow for them to proceed farther. We all returned to the fleet in the Mississippi River after an absence of two days and nights. I left the Monarch in command of Sergt. E. W. Davis to assist the Bragg, left by Phelps to guard the mouth of Yazoo River and prevent any further communication from that river with Vicksburg. We then started up the river, meeting with no interruption until we reached Greenville, where a body of the enemy was discovered, and driven away by a few well-directed shells from the gunboats. I then left the fleet in the Switzerland, and proceeded in the advance to Helena without further interruption.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ALFRED W. ELLET,

Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Ram Fleet.

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

Numbers 5. Report of Brigadier General M. L. Smith, C. S. Army, of capture of the steamer Fair Play.

VICKSBURG, MISS., November 8, 1862.

Honorable GEORGE W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to inclose herewith copy of my report upon the loss of arms on board steamer Fair Play, sent to the War Department on the 15th of September last.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. L. SMITH,

Brigadier-General.