Numbers 15. Reports of Major Gustavus A. Eberhart, Thirty-second Iowa Infantry, of operations August 1-27, including expedition up the White and Little Red Rivers, and action at Bayou Meto.
CAMP AT HARRISON'S LANDING,
Eight miles below Clarendon, August 18, 1863.
DEAR COLONEL: I wrote you last at Wittsburg, about the 30th ultimo.
On the 1st instant, received orders to march. Started at noon; reached the L'Anguille River at noon on the 3rd, 33 miles from Wittsburg. Captain [T.] De Tar informed you of the number shipped under Lieutenant [A.] Greer to Helena. With great difficulty they rode on the boat; that hardly any one was well enough to bear the motion on the boat, although the day previous nothing appeared to be the matter with them.
Left the L'Anguille on the 5th. Reached Clarendon, after a march of 53 miles, on the 8th.
On the 9th, gunboats 2, 3, 6, and 10 came up. While we were there our detachment was kept busy going out with forage trains.
On the 12th, received orders to take the detachment on board gunboats Cricket (6) and Marmora (2). Embarked at dark Companies A and D, under Captain De Tar, on board the Cricket; Companies F and G, myself in command, on the Marmora.
At 3 a. m., 13th instant, we moved up the river, accompanied by the gunboat Lexington. Captain Bache was in command of the fleet. At Des Are we took some citizens, and burned a large warehouse containing a quantity of Confederate States Army property. While there, by request of Captain Bache, I went on board the Lexington during the rest of the trip. Anchored at the mouth of Little Red that night.
Next morning the Cricket went up Little Red River in search of two Confederate steamers. We continued up White River until 12 m., at which time we arrived at Augusta. Threw out skirmishers around the town, but found no soldiers. After remaining there about half an hour, we started on our return down the river; came to the mouth of Little Red about 3 p. m., when, seeing nothing of the Cricket, the Lexington started up in search of her. (Marmora anchored until we returned.) When up the river about 20 miles, we met her, with the two boats she went after. Shortly after she left us in the morning, the captain ascertained, from some negroes on shore, that one of them was about an hour and half ahead of him, she having laid near us in the river during the night.
The Cricket continued up the river about 40 miles, when, turning a bend, came in sight of the town of Searcy, the two boats, and a good pontoon bridge across the river. Took possession of the boats without trouble. Company D was thrown out around the town. Company A, under Lieutenant [M.] Ackerman, piled up the bridge and burned it, leaving part of Marmaduke's force yet on the east side of the river. A crew was placed on the prize steamers (Tom Sugg and Kaskaskia), and Company D placed on the two boats, Company A remaining on the Cricket, Lieutenant [W. D.] Templin on the Kaskaskia, and Lieutenant [R. J.] Shannon on the Tom Sugg. When 10 miles below Searcy, on their return, they were fired into by about 500 of Marmaduke's men. The fight lasted about twenty minutes, along the bank, our boys pitching into them in fine style. The pilot of the Kaskaskia was wounded