crossing the trains. Greene's brigade could not get farther than Greenville, owing to the river, and was ordered to cross early this morning. I have ordered up his cavalry and artillery, with all possible speed, to this point. Have sent back to him 32 of my best mules, to enable him to make dispatch. The enemy have a picket of 200 at Mingo Ford, and Mingo is swimming and the boats gone. I am pressing teams, and shall find some difficulty in crossing the stream. I propose to leave the train well guarded at a point on this side, leaving also my unarmed men, and then, pushing on to the point directed in your orders, taking all, except the guard, with me. I believe I can capture the pickets and surprise the enemy by crossing a few miles above. The animals have suffered greatly by the forced marches and lack of forage. I have found forage at this point. If the train is left, it will be directed to move to a point and by a route of little danger to rejoin me. I do not propose to leave my ammunition. I am hopeful that my column will give a good account of itself. I will report to you again to-morrow. A dispatch will find me between Bloomfield and Mingo Swamp.
I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. W. CARTER,
Major [HENRY] EWING,
HEADQUARTERS CARTER'S BRIGADE,
In the Field, Arkansas, May 5, 1863.
MAJOR: By Special Orders, Numbers - I was assigned command of the second column, Marmaduke's division, composed of Carter's and Greene's brigades, with instructions to move with all dispatch via Doniphan to Patterson, so as to make a junction with the first column, under Colonel [Joseph O.] Shelby at Doniphan, moving toward Patterson on the morning of April 18, on the State road to Ironton.
I arrived with the column in 30 miles of Patterson on the 19th. a detachment, consisting of the Twenty-first Texas Cavalry, one section Pratt's battery, and Captain [Timothy] Reves' Partisan company, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel [D. C.] Giddings, made a forced march to Patterson, starting at 11 o'clock on the night of the 19th, moving by the lower road, and the rest of the column, under Colonel [Colton] Greene and Lieutenant-Colonel [Benjamin W.] Watson, moved at daybreak by the upper road toward the same point.
The detachment under Colonel Giddings surprised and captured the enemy's picket, 12 miles from Patterson, on the morning of the 20th; picket consisted of 1 commissioned officer, 2 sergeants, and 22 privates. Colonel Giddings then proceeded, reaching Patterson at 1 o'clock, meeting the enemy (supposed to be between 800 and 1,000 strong) 3 miles south of Patterson, routing them and driving them toward Ironton. The larger portion of the public property in the hands of the enemy was burned by them before retreating; nevertheless, a large amount of quartermaster's and commissary stores were secured and turned over.
In the several engagements, Lieutenant P. W. Connell, Company F, Twenty-first Texas, was severely wounded in the shoulder; 3 privates slightly wounded; none killed or missing. The loss of the enemy, from the best information at hand, was 100 killed, 19 wounded, and 38 prisoners, including 1 major, 1 captain, and 2 lieutenants.