here state that the two who were killed had good horses, and exhibited a degree of bravery worthy of a better cause. Being well mounted, myself and Captain [Perry D.] McClanahan, commanding Company C, of this regiment, soon took the lead of our men and each singled out his man and pursed him. Several pistol shots were exchanged during the chase, and not until we were within 3 miles of Doniphan could we get fairly up with them. Here my antagonist shot my horse, and at the same instant I killed his; both horses fell together, and we (my butternut friend and myself) rolled over and over, when he broke loose and attempted to get away on foot, but I soon caught him and put an end to the desperado.
At some little distance I found my friend McClanahan, standing over the remains of him he pursued. We were both exhausted,and had to wait until our party came up.
I must make special notice of Corporal Blurton, of Company B, for his zeal and bravery throughout.
From the pickets captured, I learned that Marmaduke's main force as still encamped in the vicinity of Batesville, and that Jeffer's Clark's, and Lewis' men were acting as his advance guard, making their regular reports to him, and being guided and instructed from his headquarters. One of the prisoners captured was lately from Little Rock, Ark., and seemed to have been acting in the capacity of postmaster, as the inclosed package of communications, found upon his person, will indicate.
The road from Bloomfield to the Saint Francis is tolerably good, passing over gentle ridges and plateaus, or glades, through which levees have been constructed, with the necessary culverts. A train of artillery, in good weather, could easily pass over, with some repairs being done to the bridge over Lick Creek. I would calculate the distance at about 18 miles. Forage very scarce.
From the Saint Francis to Poplar Bluff the roads are excellent, with the exception of about 1 miles through the Blackwater bottom, passing over a high, barren, and uncultivated ridge.
A couple of thousand bushels of corn might be collected at poplar Bluff from the farms on the Blackwater bottom. This is all an army could depend upon. I must be nearly 20 mils from Williams' Crossing, on the Saint Francis, to Poplar Bluff. From Poplar Bluff to Pitman's Ferry it must be about 35 miles, and about an equal distance to Doniphan. The roads are good and practicable for trains or artillery. But few cultivated farms, and forage very scarce.
The telegraph constructed by General Steele has been completely destroyed and strewn carelessly along the road. I had several horses thrown by it in the charge, and some of the riders seriously injured.
Before concluding this hurried report, I would state that, in the neighborhood of Pitman's Ferry, I found Saint Louis newspapers of a more recent date than we could obtain at Bloomfield, thus clearly demonstrating that the rebels are in direct communication with that city.
My command arrived safely at this post at 1 a. m., having been absent four entire days. We took with us but a limited supply of hard bread; marched 150 miles during that time without either tents of blanket, and during the entire trip I never heard a murmur.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
FRED. R. POOLE,
Colonel JOHN McNEIL,
Commanding Southeastern Expedition.