JULY 5-8, 1862.-Expedition from Ponchatoula, La.
Report of Lieutenant Alfred Bradley, Caruther's Sharpshooters.
PONCHATOULA, LA., July 8, 1862.
SIR: Agreeably to your orders, on receipt of the intelligence of the murder of Corpl. J. N. Smith and Private James Harvey, of your command, on July 4, instant, near the Springfield Bridge, I proceeded to the place of the murder with 18 men to try and arrest the murderers and assist in the disposing of the murdered.
On my arrival in Springfield I found that the bodies had been removed by the friends and relations of the deceased, who were making all necessary arrangements for their burial, &c.
I sent 10 men to the houses of the supposed murderers and the prisoners who had escaped with them, with orders to waylay their houses, and, if possible, arrest them.
Learning that Captain A. C. Roberts was in Springfield with his negro dogs, I went and got him to return with me to the place where the men were ambushed, in the hope that by the time of our arrival the cavalry you had sent for would be on the ground. Here we waited for near two hours, when, having no horses to follow the dogs, and night approaching, I was forced to abandon further efforts for the day, and returned to Ponchatoula for supplies, &c., that I might resume the pursuit next day. On my way to the depot I met the party of cavalry and directed them how to proceed.
Saturday, July 5, the party of cavalry arrived with 2 of the men we were in pursuit of, and, together with 12 men of your company and a detachment of men from Camp Moore, under command of Lieutenant Carpenter, I started, under orders to scour the country around Springfield in search of the man Kinchen, who had been arrested on the previous day by Smith and Harvey, and the man Elijah Ganey, who was supposed to have been engaged in the murder of our men, and to arrest them, as well as all persons supposed or known to be enemies to the Confederate States.
On my arrival at Wadesborough I procured a boat, in which, I dispatched 8 men, under command of Lieutenant---, to proceed to the mouth of the Amite River and intercept any boats that might attempt to pass down that stream or the Tickfaw. I then proceeded to Springfield, where I met the party of cavalry, under command of Lieutenant Evans, and found the 10 men I had left on duty the previous day. From here I dispatched Sergt. William Duncan, with 4 men on horseback, to go to Rome, on the Tickfaw, and from there to James Davidson's mill, on the Amite, and to make inquiries and search for the criminals, with orders to join me in the morning at a point near the Bayou Barbary. At the same time I directed the party under Lieutenant Evans to scour the country between Springfield and Tickfaw and surround and search certain houses on the route during the night, and to meet me at a point agreed upon next day, while I, with infantry, proceeded to Hall's Ferry, on the Tickfaw, where I arrived at 8 o'clock, after a very fatiguing and circuitous march of near 20 miles.
Sunday, 6th, resumed our march after a sleepless night and proceeded to the Bayou Barbary, where I halted to await the arrival of the cavalry, finding the road almost impracticable for infantry on account of the backwater from the Amite, which filled the road through the Barbary Swamp to a depth of near 3 feet. Having formed a junction with the men sent under Sergeant Duncan's to the Amite I resolved