War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0061 Chapter XXXIV. OPERATIONS ABOUT CAN HILL, ARK., ETC.

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them in check four days, determined to hold my position until re-enforcements could arrive. General Herron's advance cavalry will reach here to-night, and expect his whole command to reach me to-morrow night. Can you inform me what rebel forces there are defending Little Rock, and if any Federal forces are making a demonstration in that direction? It is important that I should have the information, to govern my future movements.

JAS. G. BLUNT,

Brigadier-General.

Major General SAMUEL R. CURTIS.

Numbers 2. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Owen A. Bassett, Second Kansas Cavalry.

HEADQUARTERS SECOND KANSAS VOLUNTEERS,

In the Field, December 10, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to instructions received from yourself, I detailed a scouting party from my regiment under command of Captain [A. P.] Russell, consisting of Companies A, D, and I, 10 men from Company C, 10 from Company E, and 10 from Company F, numbering 147 men.

Captain Russell left camp with this force at about 4 p. m. on the 4th instant, and the following in his report to me:

CAMP OF THE SECOND REGIMENT KANSAS VOLUNTEERS,

Cane Hill, Ark., December 5, 1862.

Lieutenant S. K. CROSS,

Acting Regimental Adjutant:

I have the honor to report that, pursuant to orders received on the afternoon of the 4th instant, with a detachment of 147 men from the Second Kansas Volunteers, I left camp to reconnoiter, and, if possible, to discover the position and movements of the enemy. About 2 miles from camp I sent Lieutenant [H. L.] Moore with about 60 men (Companies A and D) down what is known as the Mount Air road, while O proceeded with the remainder of the party of the direction of the Cove Creek road. I came into the Cover Creek road at Price's old headquarters, 9 miles southeast of camp, where our advance pickets are posted, and, after following this road about 6 miles, the advance discovered a fire, supposed to be that of the enemy's pickets. After reconnoitering, I became satisfied that it was either a very strong picket or the advance of the main force of the enemy, and concluded to wait until daylight before proceeding and farther. I posted a picket, and, with remainder of my men, fell back half a mile and formed line in a field. In this position, every man standing by his horse, I remainder until the morning of the 5th, when just before sunrise my picket was fired on by the enemy, and morning of the 5th, when just before sunrise my picket was fired on by the enemy, and at once retired. I then sent forward about 30 men dismounted, as skirmishers, under charge of Lieutenant [J. M.] Mentzer, holding the others mounted in line as reserve. A brisk skirmish ensued, lasting for several minutes, when, seeing a movement made to flank me, I withdrew the skirmishers and fell back about 4 mils, where I again formed line and remainder two hours. Seeing nothing further of the enemy, I returned to camp, reaching it about 3 p. m.

Respectfully,

AVRA P. RUSSELL,

Captain, Commanding Detachment.

Lieutenant Moore returned to camp about 3 a. m. on the 5th instant, and reported to me that he proceeded down the mountain road to within a short distance of the junction with the Cover Creek road, where he expected to rejoined Captain Russell, when he discovered the enemy's camp fire, ranged up and down the creek, valley, as he estimated, for a distance of 2 1/2 or 3 miles, and reconnoiter their camp, driving in their pickets from the south.