captured 23, including 1 commissioned officer, all belonging to the Sixth Missouri Cavalry.
I find this whole command extremely loose in doing picket and all other guard duty. I will correct it, or dismiss, with the approval of the Government, one officer after another in disgrace, until the remedy is effective.
I am, major, your obedient servant,
W. A. GORMAN,
Major H. Z. CURTIS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the Missouri.
Numbers 2. Report of Major Henry P. Hawkins, Sixth Missouri Cavalry.
HEADQUARTERS SIXTH MISSOURI CAVALRY,
Helena, [Ark.,] December 14, 1862.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the capture of the picket guard on Saint Francis road, furnished from my command, in compliance with Special Orders, Numbers 95, from Headquarters First Brigade, Second Division, Army of the Eastern District of Arkansas, and dated December 13, 1862:
The picket guard was detailed from Company E of my command. The picket guard consisted of 1 commissioned officer, 4 non-commissioned officers, and 21 privates. They relieved the pickets at the regular picket station, about 4 miles from this camp, at 3 p. m. of the 13th instant. At 8 this a. m. Private Hugh Roark reported to me that the lieutenant commanding the picket guard and 23 enlisted men, with horses, arms, and equipments complete, were surprised and captured by a band of guerrillas at daylight this morning, near the residence of a citizen named Turner. Most of the horses and horse equipments were the private property of the soldiers captured.
Immediately on receipt of the above information, I ordered Captain F. A. Millert and 25 enlisted men of Company F, my command, to replace the picket guard captured this morning. I reported the capture of the picket guard at headquarters First Brigade, and at headquarters Second Division, immediately after the receipt of the above information. Having learned (not officially) that the Army of the Eastern District of Arkansas had just been reorganized, and that Brigadier General C. C. Washburn was commanding all the cavalry at this point, I respectfully submit the facts for your consideration as reported to me by Captain Millert.
Mr. Turner stated that the guard was captured by Texas Rangers; but the negroes on his plantation stated that they are acquainted with Captain Anderson, and that they saw him (Anderson) this morning talking with Mr. Turner; they state, also, that, about 9 o'clock last night (13th instant), they heard a large body of troops moving through the corn-field near Mr. Turner's residence.
I am informed that Mr. Turner has a guard of two United States soldiers, with United States horses, arms, and equipments, at his house.