Number 23. Report of Colonel Daniel W. Lindsey, Twenty-second Kentucky Infantry, commanding Second Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS SECOND BRIGADE, SECOND DIVISION, FIRST ARMY CORPS, ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Arkansas Post, Ark., January 12, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor, through you, to submit the following report of the part taken by my brigade in the late, expedition of the Army of the Mississippi, resulting in the taking of Post Arkansas and the capture of the entire Confederate forces at that point:
In obedience to Special Orders, Number 5, from Headquarters First Army Corps, dated the 8th instant, I, on the morning of the 10th, landed my command at Fletcher's Landing, on the west bank of the Arkansas River, and with Captain Kirkbridge's company of the [Third] Regiment Illinois Cavalry and Lieutenant F. C. Wilson with one section of the Chicago Mercantile Battery who had reported to me for orders, I moved in the direction of Mrs. Smith's plantation, situated on the Arkansas River about 2 1/2 miles above the fort. The cavalry, supported by a strong infantry reserve, deployed to the front as skirmishers, and one company of infantry on each flank as flankers.
On emerging from the woods near Mrs. Smith's the cavalry pickets of the enemy were seen and promptly driven in by Captain Kirkbride, who pursued them as far as I thought it prudent. Captain Kirkbride having received orders from me to move rapidly forward and to surround Mrs. Smith's house so as to allow no one to escape, did so, and thereby captured two of the enemy and one six-mule team loaded with provisions.
We afterward found on the plantation several beeves killed and dressed, part of which I issued to the cavalry and artillery, they being without rations, and sent the balance on board the transports. I immediately took up position commanding the river both up and down the stream, and placed out strong pickets to guard the position, which I regarded as very insecure for so small a force as I had. I then dispatched a note by an orderly to inform the general commanding that I was on the ground as ordered.
The enemy were soon aware of our presence, having doubtless learned it by the pickets which we had driven in, and opened upon us with shell from guns of heavy caliber, to avoid which, as well as the sharpshooters from the opposite bank, I moved my troops, with the exception of some 50 men, who, concealed behind trees, soon drove the enemy's sharpshooters from the opposite bank further back into the woods, and their shells did us no further damage than the killing of a horse belonging to Lieutenant Will. A. Jordan, one of my aides, who narrowly escaped with his life.
I then commenced a light earthwork to protect the two pieces of artillery from any sharpshooters that might be across the river, and also cut a road through the woods in our rear, thereby shortening the distance to our transports.
At night I changed the position of both artillery and infantry, bringing them more in hand, and also the picket posts, and allowed the men to sleep on their arms.
During the night we captured several horses, supposed to have been abandoned by the enemy's pickets, which we had driven in in the morning-they not being able to get them across the river-and picked up a deserter from the enemy. The former were turned over to Quartermaster