SEPTEMBER 7-19, 1863.-Expedition from Springfield, Mo., into Arkansas and Indian Territory, and skirmish (15th) near Enterprise. Mo.
Report of Colonel M. La Rue Harrison, First Arkansas Cavalry.
HEADQUARTERS ARKANSAS VOLUNTEERS,
Near Elkhorn, Ark., September 19, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the late expedition in Southwest Missouri, Indian Territory, and Arkansas:
I left Springfield, with my command, in obedience to your orders, on the 7th day of September, 1863, en route for Carroll County, Arkansas; but receiving dispatches from you on the same evening, changing the direction of my march, I turned toward Cassville, Mo., where I arrived on the 10th instant, at noon. There I was detained tow days in foraging na procuring information of the enemy's movements. My first intention was to divide my command, sending 100 men, under Captain Charles Galloway, across White River, into Carroll County, and thence west to attack Hunter in the rear, at the mountains, 14 miles north of Fayetteville, Ark., and at the same time take 250 men, and the first section of Stark's battery, by way of Pineville, to Sulphur Springs, near Bentonville, Ark., where Brown was encamped, and drive him from his position, meeting Captain Galloway near Cross Hollows, and returning by the Telegraph road. By this movement I expected to rid the country on each side of the road of bushwhackers, and render our line of communication south comparatively safe. Just before leaving Cassville, I learned that Hunter had left the mountain, and probably had joined Brown, near Bentonville, who was reported as moving north with a force of not less than 400 men, estimated by some as high as 800. This information led me to abandon the plan of sending a detachment on the east side of the Telegraph road, and to consolidate my force.
At 12.30 a. m. Sunday, 13th instant, I left Cassville, taking the direction of Pineville, with the following troops, viz:
Detachment of First Arkansas Cavalry, Major J. J.
Johnson commanding............................... 265
Detachment of First Arkansas Light Artillery
(Stark's), Lieutenant Thomson commanding......... 25
Eighteenth Iowa Infantry, Lieutenant [J. H.]
Looby commanding................................. 20
Taking, in addition, 3 ambulances, in charge of Asst. Surg. J. E. Tefft, First Arkansas Cavalry, and 4 wagons loaded with ammunition and subsistence stores.
I arrived at Pineville, Mo., on Sunday evening [13th], where I encamped for twenty-four hours, in order to ascertain the enemy's position, having learned that he had left Bentonville. Before night on Monday, I became apprised that rebel troops had been moving north to Elk Mills, Mo., to re-enforce Coffee, who was reported as stationed there, with about 300 men. On Monday night, I moved toward Elk Mills and crossed Cowskin Prairie on Tuesday morning [15th]. On the prairie, I learned from a Union woman that Coffee had been strongly re-enforced on Sunday, and had moved to Enterprise, 4 miles beyond Elk Mills; that his command numbered about 1,000 men (the report of his numbers I believe to have been exaggerated). Moving forward rapidly, I drove in the