War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0483 Chapter XXXIV. ADVANCE UPON LITTLE ROCK, ARK., ETC.

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Numbers 5. Reports of Big. General John W. Davidson, U. S. Army, commanding Cavalry Division, with congratulatory orders.


Clarendon, Ark., August 15, 1863.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report to you that the expedition which I sent up the river, consisting of two gunboats, under Captain Bache, U. S. Navy, and a battalion of the Thirty-second Iowa Infantry, under Major G. A. Eberhart, and of which I advised you by letter of the 11th instant, has returned completely successful. The gunboats captured in the Little Red two rebel steamers, Kaskaskia and Tom Sugg, in complete running order, and destroyed the bridge of flats, or pontoon bridge, over which the ubiquitous Marmaduke had crossed the greater part of his cavalry to the south side of Little Red. This was near Searcy. Major Eberhart lost 2 men killed and 5 wounded, and one of the naval officers was wounded slightly. This infantry was attached to my division as the guard to my batteries.

The information brought by the expedition is of a vary positive character. Kirby Smith is at Little Rock, and the rebels are concentrating and throwing up rifle-pits at Bayou Meto, 12 miles this side of Little Rock, their left resting upon Brownsville. Marmaduke, who keeps Missouri in a fright, is positively on the south side of Little Red, where I believed him to be, and on his way, with part of his cavalry dismounted, to join Price.

I think, my dear general, every hour is precious to us now, and that you should have another brigade, at least, of infantry. We are rich in artillery. I am endeavoring to gain all needful information for you. I would be obliged to you to inform Schofield of our success, so that he may not be apprehensive of a raid into Missouri.

We must have water-kegs sent out; one for each ambulance and wagon, if possible.

Very truly, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Major-General STEELE,

Commanding Army of Arkansas.



Camp on Big Cypress, August 16, 1863.

Respectfully forwarded to Headquarters Department of the Tennessee. The original was forwarded to General Hurlbut. I agree with Davidson that we ought to have at least another brigade. The rebels know exactly what force I have, and if they make a stand, they will be well prepared for it. I shall be at Camden to-morrow morning.




Camp near Bayou Meto, Ark., September 1, 1863.

COLONEL: I have the honor to recount to you the operations of this division from August 1, 1863, up to the present date.

On the date above mentioned, August 1, the cavalry division left