War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0533 Chapter XXIX. EXPEDITION FROM HELENA, ARK.

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The general commanding the expedition to Mississippi desires to express to the officers and soldiers under his command his gratification for the cheerfulness and bravery displayed by them during the expedition. Through exposed without tents to cold rains and compelled to march over heavy roads they have accomplished one of the most remarkable marches made during the war, penetrating to the very heart of the enemy's country, cutting their roads and safely returning, though hedged in on both sides by greatly superior numbers. This has been done with the alacrity and cheerfulness of true soldiers, and the general commanding taken pride in announcing to you that the object of the expedition has been fully accomplished. Brigadier-General Washburn's energy and skill deserve particular mention.

By order of Alvin P. Hovey, brigadier-general commanding:


Assistant Adjutant-General.

Numbers 4.

Report of Brigadier General Cadwalader C. Washburn, U. S. Army, commanding Cavalry Division.

HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY DIVISION, Mouth of Coldwater River, Miss., December 4, 1862.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report in regard to the operations of the forces placed under my command in connection with the expedition into Mississippi that the force was embarked and sailed from Helena at about 2 p. m. on Thursday, November 27. The embarkation was delayed several hours in consequence of insufficient transportation and negligence on the part of the quartermaster in not having the boats, which had been long in port, properly called and in readiness. In consequence I was not able to make my landing at Delta and disembark the cavalry forces which composed my command until after dark. The force I had with me was 1,925 strong and consisted of detachments from the following regiments, viz: First Indiana Cavalry, 300, commanded by Captain Walker; Ninth Illinois Cavalry, 150, commanded by Major Burgh; Third Iowa Cavalry, 188, commanded by Major Scott; Fourth Iowa Cavalry, 200, commanded by Captain Perkins; Fifth Illinois Cavalry, 212, commanded by Major Seley. Total, 1,050.

The above I formed into one brigade under the command of Colonel Hall Wilson, of the Fifth Illinois Cavalry.

Sixth Missouri Cavalry, 150, commanded by Major Hawkins; Fifth Kansas Cavalry, 208, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Jenkins; Tenth Illinois Cavalry, 92, commanded by Captain Anderson; Third Illinois Cavalry, 200, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Ruggles; Second Wisconsin Cavalry, 225, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Sterling. Total, 875.

The last named were placed under command of Colonel Thomas Stephens, Second Wisconsin Cavalry.

As soon as possible after landing I took up my line of march for the interior and bivouacked for the night about 8 miles from the Mississippi