AUGUST 28-SEPTEMBER 3, 1862.-Expedition from helena to Eunice, Ark.
Report of Lieutenant Colonel William H. Raynor, Fifty-sixth Ohio Infantry.
HDQRS. FIFTY-SIXTH REGIMENT OHIO VOLUNTEERS,
Helena, Ark., September 3, 1862.
SIR: On the evening of Wednesday, August 27, I was ordered (verbally) by General Curtis to take command of 200 infantry, of the Fifty-sixth Ohio, and two 12-pounder howitzers, of the First Iowa Battery, of the gunboat Pittsburgh, proceed with them down the Mississippi, to a point called Eunice, in Arkansas, and there take possession of a large wharf-boat and tow it up to Helena. Also to annoy the enemy and obtain whatever information concerning them that I could.
The steamers not being ready until Thursday morning, they were embarked and proceeded down the river. At Roberts' Landing a Mrs. Manley was taken on board by orders from General Curtis. At night the pilots were unable to run, and we were compelled to anchor. The first night we reached Carson's Landing. Here a negro came off to us during the night and reported, "solgers ober dar." I ascertained from him that a force of the enemy, numbering from 200 to 300, were encamped between 1 and 2 miles from the river. The next morning, Friday, at daylight, the Pittsburgh shelled the shore. As soon as she commenced firing I landed 175 men and one piece (leaving 25 men and one piece as a guard on the boats), and marched out, near 2 miles, to where the rebels were encamped. They had discovered the fleet on its way down and while at anchor, and, believing they were the object of the expedition (as I afterward learned), made haste during the night to remove their stores and equipage, but remained behind themselves to fight; but our appearance and one volley induced them to believe the locality unhealthy, and they left it in a hurry; nor could we induce them to stop, although the most persuasive messengers, in the shape of Enfield balls, were sent after them. Hats, sabers, pistols, holsters, and saddle-bags were dropped in their rapid flight. Some, to hide the better in the brush, left their horses, 9 of which we captured. If any were killed or wounded, we were unable to find them in the weeds and cane.
A part of my force, consisting of 50 men of Company A, Captain Manning, was sent to stir up a small nest of guerrillas near. They killed 1 man and think they wounded another. We had not a man hurt. Captured 1 prisoner (J. C. Underwood, private, Company H, Twenty-eighth Mississippi Volunteers), 1 tent, 1 tent-fly, about 30 sabers, 10 shot-guns, 3 Mississippi rifles, cart load of meat, 2 mules, case of surgical instruments, 12 saddles, and 9 horses, all of which have been turned over to the proper authorities. A small quantity of cotton was found, which was confiscated and placed in charge of Mr. Eddy, of the quartermaster's department. A soldier of the First (rebel) Missouri Regiment, named Dunaway, gave himself up voluntarily, saying he had deserted from Vicksburg and made his way this far up the river. About noon got all aboard and continued on down the stream.
I had been ordered to look for a battery of two guns at Montgomery's Point. Landed at the point and thoroughly searched the neighborhood, and ascertained that a road had been cut through the woods to Scrub-Grass Bend, but that the cannon (two pieces) were yet at Prairie Landing, on White River, but were soon expected down, to be placed in position in Scrub-Grass Bend.
Wherever we had any reason to except the presence of the enemy I