over them by a hundred or so desperadoes, who carry on the depredations in the name of the Southern Confederacy. The leading rich and influential secessionist of that county could sop the operation of these men if they would. These leading men are protected by our Government, and they should held responsible for the conduct of the rabble, whom they can control.
My troops returned through the prairie south of Jasper County, to stop all wagons transporting provisions to the insurgents in Arkansas and at Seneca Mills.
On the morning of the 11th instant, the expedition lying in camp at the Linn place up Centre Creek, 3 miles from Sarcoxie, about daybreak 6 men approached to within 20 feet of our picket, fired on it, wounding James W. Hoover severely, through not dangerously. The picket returned the fire, killing 1 man and wounding another. Hoover had deserted his post and was asleep; fortunately he was the only one of the picket injured. The command returned to Mount Vernon on the evening of the 11th instant.
My Rangers are now in the vicinity of Sarcoxie, keeping a close watch over Jasper County, with orders to prevent the transporting of provisions south and to guard closely the great thoroughfare passing through Sarcoxie north and south, to take up all parties of men going south. These Rangers are located there, having no tents or camp equipage. There being no troops at carthage, I deemed it advisable to locate the camp at Mount Vernon. Their task is a hard one, but they will execute it in full.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN M. RICHARDSON,
Captain, Commanding Mounted Rangers, Missouri State Militia.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE SOUTHWEST,
Camp at Batesville, Ark., May 13, 1862.
Brigadier General FRED. STEELE, Jacksonport:
GENERAL: My river crossing here is miserable and my advance to ward Little Rock is therefore not properly supported. Have you any news of the pontoon train? I lost a captain and 7 men by drowning yesterday in efforts to cross this river. I think you had better bring your main force on this side of Blank, unless your means for crossing that stream are equivalent to a bridge, as it will not do to have our forces separate by so many rivers.
Osterhaus has made a bridge over Little Red near Searcy. He lost a captain and 1 man (captured) yesterday. If you move this way it will be well to come several miles, so as to get on higher and more healthy ground. Report your movement. If convenient the cavalry sent over might extent their scout up to Osterhaus' command. I want to send the advance farther forward soon, but must have supporting arrangements better established here before any farther advance will be proper.
I have the Saint Louis Democrat of the 10th. Nothing important from Corinth of Fort Pillow. McClellan is driving the enemy with great success. Has taken Yorktown and Williamsburg and occupies West Point. There was a hard fight at Williamsburg and a complete victory.