War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0343 Chapter XXV. SKIRMISH AT PITMAN'S FERRY, ARK.

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halted the column about 100 yards from the river bank and formed in line of battle on each side of the road. The right wing consisting of the Twenty-third Iowa, under Lieutenant-Colonel Kinsman; the center consisting of the artillery and the two companies of the First Missouri State Militia, under Major Jaensch, and the left consisting of the five companies of the Twenty-fifth Missouri, Volunteers, under Captain Newberry. The two companies of the Twenty-fourth Missouri acted as a reserve and guard to the prisoners under Captain Vaughan.

Riding to the front, Lieutenant Poser, commanding the artillery, informed me that the enemy were planting a battery on the other side. I ordered him to open upon them immediately, which he promptly did, and after a few rounds the enemy scattered and disappeared.

I then ordered Lieutenant Millar, of the Twenty-first Missouri, to cross the river with his company and deploy as skirmishers and follow the enemy as far as practicable, and to guard his retreat I ordered Captain Houston, of Company A, Twenty-third Iowa, to form his company on the river bank near the ferry, leaving the rest of the command in line of battle. At 12 m. Lieutenant Millar returned and reported the enemy retreating. I had been for several hours anxious to learn the whereabouts of Lieutenant-Colonel Lazear and his command. Everything depended upon his co-operating with me. I knew that with my small force of infantry, exhausted by a long and fatiguing march and without food since the previous night, it was folly for me to attempt a pursuit. Lazear's route to join me led him directly across the road by which the enemy had retreated, and I waited in deep suspense for some intelligence from him or for some evidence of his presence. At noon I sent Leeper over the river with his 18 men to scour the country and try to gain intelligence of Lazear. After a fruitless search he returned without any tidings, and I reluctantly ordered the men to camp. They had performed a forced march of 65 miles, and had been twenty hours without food, without murmuring. They were still ready to go forward if there was any prospect of overtaking the enemy, but without Lazear cavalry pursuit would be useless. I had hoped that the sound of the cannonading would reach him and von to him tidings of my presence, but it did not. The next morning, 28th October, I sent Captain Houston, with his company, up the river, and Captain Rosenstein, with his company, down, both on this side, to explore the country and ascertain the position and practicability of the various fords. I also sent Captain Leeper, with such infantry as I could mount, over the river to explore the different roads leading to the ferry, with instructions to find Lazear if possible. About 11 o'clock I received a dispatch from Colonel Lazear, directed to you, of which the following is a copy:

OCTOBER 26-4 o'clock a. m.

Colonel BOYD: Yours of 7 and 10 o'clock 24th reached me at 10 o'clock last night. I cannot reach Pitman's Ferry and find out what is at Thomasville before 29th. Will be there then. We scattered Boone's men in every direction yesterday, killing 6 or 8; 18 prisoners, 25 guns, 12 horses. They are all broken up but Crow's company, who had gone east of Current River.


Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

I immediately recalled the scouting parties and crossed my command, with the exception of the artillery and Captain Vaughan's men, over the river. Late in the evening I received another dispatch from Lazear by Lieutenant Going, informing me verbally that he was marching from the direction of Thomasville, on the Pocahontas, and would be