War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0537 Chapter XXIX. EXPEDITION FROM HELENA, ARK.

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cations at Belmont that they abandoned their works there and fled in great precipitation when they heard of our approach. After occupying Panola we returned same night to our camp near Mitchell's Cross-Roads. I did not disturb the railroad at Panola or burn any bridge, having already rendered it useless to the rebels and knowing we should want to use it very shortly.

The next morning early I took up my line of march for Coffeeville via Oakland. I ordered Colonel Spicely, who was in command of the advance infantry and artillery force, to throw forward for my support as far as Oakland 600 infantry and two field pieces, which he did, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Torrence, Thirtieth Iowa Infantry. The roads were very heavy and the march was tedious. As we approached Oakland our information was that there was no enemy there and had been none since Sunday night; but about 1 mile before reaching town the advance guard from the First Indiana came in sight of 2 or 3 rebel pickets. Each party fired, and the pickets fled, hotly pursued. The road here was narrow and the ground on both sides lined with a dense growth of small saplings, with a fence on each side. The advance immediately formed in line so far as the nature of the ground would admit. They found the rebels dismounted and drawn up in line in large force in a most advantageous position. The advance stood their ground manfully and delivered their fire with great coolness and precision. After delivering their fire the enemy charged upon them in great force, and the ground being such as to render it impossible for them to reform, they were compelled to fall back about 200 yards to an opening, where I was able to deploy to the right and left of the road. Supposing that the force was the large cavalry force that occupied Oakland on Sunday night I felt impelled to move with much caution and beat up the woods as I proceeded. This occupied some little time, we in the mean time having got our howitzers in position and shelled the woods in all directions where an enemy seemed probable. Advancing with our lines extended we entered the town just in time to get sight of the enemy. Colonel Stephens, commanding the Second Brigade, having deployed on the left, was first to enter the town, and as soon as he came in sight of the enemy charged upon them and drove them with great rapidity through the town and down the road to Coffeeville. We captured a number of prisoners, horses, arms, and 5,000 rounds of Minie-rifle cartridges, and we found at different houses in town about a dozen so badly wounded that they could not be taken away, among them Captain Griffin, of the First Texas Legion, whose arm was shattered by a pistol ball; also a chaplain, surgeon, and 2 lieutenants of a Texas regiment. Some of their wounded were fatally so.

I have to report no loss of men during the engagement, but about 10 men wounded, only 1 of them seriously. The First Indiana lost 8 or 10 horses, which were killed during the engagement, and my body guard had 6 horses killed, and Lieutenant Meyers, commanding the body guard, had his horse shot under him and a bullet shot through his coat. I regret to have to report that during the confusion that ensued when the enemy charged on the head of our column, and before the First Indiana could get their guns in position, one of them, which had been too far advanced to the front, was captured and borne off by the enemy. This is the only event of the expedition that I have cause to regret; and yet knowing as I do from personal observation the determined character of the first onset of the enemy I do not regard the event as surprising, or one for which the company to which the gun