War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0161 Chapter XXXIV. AFFAIR NEAR HELENA, ARK.

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peter works to be destroyed, which was effectually done. These are gigantic works, having cost the rebel Government $ 30,000. Captain McNamar, who was in command, stated that in three days they could have had $ 6,000 worth of saltpeter ready for use. These works, although reported as destroyed at the time of the burning of Yellville, had been unmolested since early last spring, when they were slightly injured by a detachment from General Curtis' army. The works being destroyed, and learning that a party of Burbridge's command was hourly expected, I thought better to retire, as I was already encumbered with prisoners. I marched nearly all night through the dark woods, the rain pouring down upon us in torrents.

On the next day we advanced as far as Little North Fork, which was not fordable. Here we remained till the morning of the 13th, when we crossed and reached Lawrence's Mills.

On the 15th we reached this place, having been absent seven days. We traveled 225 miles; captured 42 prisoners; destroyed 40 stand of small-arms; also captured 12 horses and 4 mules, and destroyed $ 30,000 worth of machinery, & c., and all without any loss whatever on my side.

In conclusion, I must say a word in praise of the brave men under my command. Often without any food, except parched corn, and no shelter from the chilling rains; deprived of sleep, and weary from long night marches, not a murmur was heard. Every hardship was borne with cheerfulness, and every danger met with the utmost coolness. The enrolled militia officers, Captains Sallee, Green, and [J. F.] Huffman, all did their duty well. Lieutenant Bates, of the Sixty-fourth Illinois, showed himself a brave soldier. Lieutenant Warren, of Company F, also deserves favorable notice. As to Lieutenant Kelso, his reputation as an intrepid soldier and skillful officer is too well known to require any comment at this time. These, major, I think, are all the facts worthy of notice.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MILTON BURCH,

Captain, Commanding Expedition.

Major JAMES H. STEGER,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

DECEMBER 14, 1862. - Affair near Helena, Ark.

REPORTS.

Numbers 1. - Brigadier General Willis A. Gorman, U. S. Army, commanding Eastern District of Arkansas.

Numbers 2. - Major Henry P. Hawkins, Sixth Missouri Cavalry.

Numbers 1. Report of Brigadier General Willis A. Gorman, U. S. Army, commanding Eastern District of Arkansas.

HEADQUARTERS EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS,

Helena, [Ark.,] December 15, 1862.

MAJOR: On yesterday morning, a little after daylight, the Texas Rangers made a dash at our outpost picket, 4 miles from this place, and

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