4 miles from Clarkton, we also found destroyed, and we were compelled to cross in the small skiff which we had brought from Weaversville. The horses and teams were obliged to ford a distance of 200 yards. The bridges and culverts could be repaired at small expense, as the foundation works are in very good condition. We halted about 1 mile from Clarkton, and rested until after dark, keeping close guard that no one should carry intelligence of our approach. Soon after dark, we marched into town, and immediately surrounded every house, placed our pickets on all the avenues of approach, and commenced our search for prisoners. Captain MacDonald was found at the house of ---, and arrested. Learning that Captain Pankey was at home on a furlough, Captain Hutchinson was dispatched with a detachment of men, and soon returned with him as prisoner.
On the following morning three expeditions were organized - one of 15 men, under command of Chaplain Coffin, who went south toward Kennett, some 5 miles, and took prisoner Quartermaster-Sergeant Sebecker; he also secured several valuable horses belonging to rebels. One detachment of 15 men, under command of Captain Hutchinson, went north from Clarkton, and returned with Captain Page and one Montgomery and his son Lentz, as prisoners, all of whom were engaged in the guerrilla service; he also took several valuable horses. Another detachment of 15 horsemen, under command of Captain Peebles, went to Halkolm's Island and to the Saint Francis River, to the Arkansas border. The last-mentioned detachment took Surgeon Bartlett and considerable rebel property. We could hear of depredations committed by small bands of guerrillas, but we were unable to meet any of them. I learned that a band of from 100 to 200 guerrillas were making their headquarters at Chalk Bluff, on the Saint Francis River.
Depredations are frequently committed by guerrillas in the vicinity of Clarkton, and the perpetrators flee to Chalk Bluff, and thence across the river into Arkansas. A force stationed at the bluff would do much toward restoring quiet and safety to the law-abiding citizens of Southeastern Missouri. Many of the citizens claim to be loyal.
The result of our expedition was the taking prisoners of 2 captains, 1 surgeon, and 1 quartermaster-sergeant, all of the Regular Confederate Army; 1 captain and 3 privates in the guerrilla service. Besides the prisoners, we took 15 horses, some valuable ones; one mule team, wagon, harness, & c.; 40 head of cattle, and several stand of small-arms. Could the expedition have been absent several days longer, much additional good might have been accomplished.
On the 20th we returned from Clarkton to Weaversville, and on the 21st arrived at New Madrid, all the men in better health and spirits than when they started.
I would make honorable mention of Captain Hutchinson, Chaplain Coffin, Lieutenants Raymond and Dowd for the prompt and faithful manner in which they discharged the duties devolving upon them.
I am glad to bear witness that every man in the command acted throughout as becomes a patriot soldier battling for a just cause.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
H. F. PEEBLES,
Captain Company C, Commanding.
Colonel JOHN SCOTT,
Commanding Thirty-second Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry.