In accordance with above order last received the steamer proceeded down the river, taking on board at Island Numbers 10 a platoon of Company L, Second Illinois Cavalry, 20 men (all that could spared), and at New Madrid a section of De Golyer's battery, 25 men, Captain De Golyer commanding, and Company D, Second Illinois Cavalry, 61 men, Captain Frank Moore commanding.
Arrived at Fort Pillow on the morning of September 29; found the place garrisoned by Fifty-second Indiana Regiment (with one piece of artillery), Major Strickland commanding; learned from him that the town of Fort Randolph, 13 miles below, had been burned a day or two previous; that no rebel force was there, but that a few miles in rear of Fort Randolph and Fort Pillow, near a big spring across the Hatchie, a large rebel force was concentrated, supposed to be commanded by Faulkner, Haywood, Binford, and others.
The command was disembarked, and being re-enforced by Major Strickland with seven companies from his regiment, numbering some 300 men, we proceeded on the march from Fort Pillow to attempt to surprise, capture, or disperse any marauding parties that might be found.
We reached the Hatchie about 6 miles from Fort Pillow early in the evening; effected a crossing at Bond's Ford; bivouacked for the night at 9 p. m. at plantation of a notorious and avowed secessionist named Overall, who mistook our advance guard for the enemy; proposed to send them aid if necessary. Learning the guerrillas had left their camp at the big spring, and that Faulkner's men were t Covington, 7 miles distant, we started on their track, made a cavalry dash through the town, capturing several prisoners; found no guerrillas in force. Faulkner's men had been burning cotton in the town and vicinity, evidences of which, by burnt cotton, ashes, &c., were visible around the public square and along the roads. Marched through Covington to vicinity of Tyson Spring, 4 miles beyond; found Faulkner had divided his forces, a part going with them off in direction of Jackson. Haywood and Binford, the parties that fired on steamer Forest Queen, had crossed the Hatchie in vicinity of Durhamville.
Captain De Golyer and Captain Moore, each with a squad of cavalry, were directed to scout the country, arrest several prominent secessionists we learned were in the vicinity, and rejoin the command before night. Command again proceeded on march back through Covington out on Durhamville road; recrossed the Hatchie 6 miles from Covinton at Gaines' Ferry; bivouacked for the night 2 miles from river near plantation of---, the occupants having fled at our approach, leaving everything.
The cavalry rejoined us at the ferry; had scouted the country thoroughly; arrested a man named Rose, who escaped from Covington when force first went in; said Rose was engaged recruiting for Jackson's rebel cavalry, of which he claims to be a member and is supposed to be an officer.
Our rations giving out, and having become satisfied that none of the enemy were in force in vicinity of Covington or Durhamville, we resumed march early on the morning of October 1 for Fort Pillow, where we arrived large in the evening.
On the route from Fort Pillow to Covington, Durhamville, and return 19 horses, 13 mules, 2 wagons, 2 oxen, &c., were confiscated and turned over to Lieutenant Smith, quartermaster Fifty-second Indiana Infantry, acting quartermaster [of] posit, their owners being either avowed secessionists or absent in the rebel army. The prisoners (all except four) whom it was deemed necessary to take to Columbus for trial, were turned over for