I should have gone direct to Little Rock if it had been practicable to cross the sea of mud and water intervening between that place and Devall's Bluff, but this is impossible at the present. Furthermore, my orders were such as to compel my immediate return.
I am now returning to Helena, in order to fit out a force to assist in the expedition against Vicksburg. I shall perform that duty with all possible dispatch.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. A. GORMAN,
Major General SAMUEL R. CURTIS,
Commanding Department of the Missouri.
JANUARY-, 1863.-Skirmish near Maysville, Ark.
Report of Colonel William A. Philips, Third Indian Home Guard, commanding brigade.
HDQRS. 3rd Brigadier, 1ST DIV., ARMY OF THE FRONTIER,
Camp Curtis, January 15, 1863.
GENERAL: I have just this moment hear from my commissary, Captain Heath. I start an escort toward Fayetteville to meet him.
We have had 4 inches of snow.
Quite a spirited little affair occurred between a detachment of my command, under Captain [H. S.] Anderson, of the Third Indian Regiment, and a force of some 200 rebels, or bushwhackers, under Colonel Livingston and Captains Timon and Fry Smith. It took place 12 miles south of this, and was very well managed, our force moving on them in three separate columns, and, when the enemy broke they ran from the first into the second, and finally into the third. Not less than 25 or 30 rebels must have been killed or disabled. Captain Smith (formerly of Jasper County, Missouri) was killed by Lieutenant Whitlow, and 7 others were killed on the spot of the attack. The enemy was pursued until his broken fragments were lost in the woods.
There has evidently been an attempt to organize a force either to take Neosho or menace the trains. I sent a party to Hildebrand's Mill, 20 miles southwest.
WM. A. PHILLIPS,
Colonel, Commanding Third Brigade.
Commanding Army of the Frontier.
JANUARY 21, 1863.-Skirmish near Columbia, Mo.
Report of Colonel Joseph B. Douglass, Sixty-first Enrolled Missouri Militia.
HDQRS. SIXTY-FIRST Regiment ENROLLED MISSOURI MILITIA,
Columbia, Mo., January 22, 1863.
SIR: Late yesterday evening a body of troops under my command, whilst on a scout, and some 9 miles from my headquarters, four a Con-