War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0729 Chapter XXXIV. ACTION AT PINE BLUFF, ARK.

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that night to Saline River, a distance of 30 miles; halted at 4 o'clock in the morning, fed my stock, and moved on the Tulip, arriving there at 3 p. m.; drove out the rebel pickets and captured one lieutenant. Halted to feed; got reliable information in the evening that Marmaduke was at Princeton on the morning of that day with all his cavalry, but no train, having sent that forward on the Camden road the day previous. Up to the time I got to Tulip all information was to the effect that Marmaduke was not at Princeton, but moving on toward Camden, the march of his train, captured stock, and negroes having been mistaken for the march of his whole column. As soon as I learned the enemy was at Princeton, I determined to attack him the next morning, for which purpose I moved early; but on arriving at Princeton, I learned he had left in haste the day previous, immediately after his pickets reported my arrival at Tulip, and that he went 12 miles out on the Camden road that night. Having no train to encumber him, I was satisfied farther pursuit would be fruitless of any satisfactory result, and at Princeton I took the road to Arkadelphia, at which point I arrived at 2 o'clock in the morning of the 29th instant. I succeeded in completely surrounding the town before my presence was known to a single inhabitant. Our coming was not known anywhere on the road between Princeton and Arkadelphia, and we captured a good many horses and mules on the road, and at Arkadelphia I captured 2 lieutenants, some $1,370 in Confederate money, belonging to the Confederate Government, being proceeds of sale of Government salt; 3 six-mule teams, belonging to the Confederate Government; a large mail, and 8 or 10 Confederate soldiers. Not finding General Rice there, as I was led to expect from the order which I had received at 10 a. m. on the 30th instant, I took up my line of march for Benton; halted for the night near Rockport, and marched into this place to-day.

All information from every source was to the effect that there were no rebel troops west of Ouachita County, but that all the rebel forces of any moment in that part of the State were in and south of that county.

I cannot conclude this report without again calling attention to this post. As it now stands, it is a very difficult place to defend successfully. One or two redans at proper points, and a small square redoubt on a high point in the rear of the town, will insure us against any attack from the rebels, or, if they do attack, will insure their defeat. If the mechanics' train is sent me I will construct these defenses; there are no tools here for the purpose. I will send a battalion to Pine Bluff in the morning to get the four guns of the Twenty-fifth Ohio Battery, left there. As soon as the guns arrive at this post I will send to Little Rock the section which left that place, unless the colonel commanding will permit it to remain here. I send herewith the captured Confederate money, and one or two letters taken from the captured mail. The prisoners will be sent forward to the provost-marshal as soon as possible. I will take care that all captured property is turned over to the brigade quartermaster and properly accounted for.

For the last three days I was out my command had no rations, and Marmaduke left little in the country behind him for us to live on; but officers and men endured the hardships of the march and subsisted on short rations cheerfully and without a murmur.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Expedition.

Lieutenant J. M. SPRAGUE,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, First Cavalry Division.