War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0753 Chapter XXXIV. EXPEDITION TO MOUNT IDA, ARK., ETC.

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Major [J. L.] Witherspoon himself, 1 captain, 2 lieutenants, together with 10 privates, and all their horses, horse equipments, arms, camp equipage, and transportation, were captured. The transportation and camp equipage were burned. The firing in camp caused many horses to break loose, and in the darkness of the night they could not be found, but not a single rebel got away with his horse.

At this point I sent out all the loyal men of that region then with me to notify the loyal men who were in the mountains to meet me at Caddo Gap, which point I determined to take possession of and hold till these people would join me. Accordingly, on the 12th instant, I marched up to the gap, where I left part of my command to hold that position, and with the balance I hurried forward to Mount Ida, expecting to surprise and capture a small rebel force garrisoned at that place. When near the place, I learned that a Federal force from Waldron, being part of a column which had come from Fort Smith to Waldron, being part of a column which had come from Fort Smith to Waldron, had on the day previous been in Mount Ida, and that the rebels, learning of their approach, had fled precipitately, abandoning their camp equipage and transportation, which, together with the house in which the rebels barracked, our forces from Waldron burned. I remained at Mount Ida until the evening of the 14th instant.

While at Mount Ida I caused the roads leading to Fort Smith, Waldron, Dardanelle, and Little Rock to be paroled for a distance of 15 miles, and scoured the country bin every direction for a like distance, and in this way picked up a good many straggling rebel soldiers, and succeeded in capturing several leading guerrillas of that country, who have been prominent and taken an active part in robbing, persecuting, imprisoning, and hanging Union men. I have caused the names of these guerrillas, with a statement of their crimes and the witnesses by whom the facts can be proved, to be forwarded to the provost-marshal-general; and on behalf of the loyal men of that country, and for the sake of justice and humanity, I beg that those men be not treated as prisoners of war and exchanged, but that they be turned over to a military commission, and tried, convicted, and executed for the many inhuman and horrid crimes they have committed.

On the evening of the 14th instant, that part of my command left at Caddo Gap reached me, together with nearly 300 loyal men, who had come from the surrounding mountains to join the Federal Army. It is true that in this number there are a few who did not come to enter the service, but they are old, gray-headed men, who are compelled to flee their homes to save themselves from being hanged by the rebels. These people who came out with me are hardy, vigorous, and resolute men; they represent every trade, pursuit, and profession of life, and in intelligence and appearance are equal to the same number of men in any country.

As soon as these loyal men reached my camp, they were furnished with arms, which had been taken along for that purpose, and put under the command of Colonel Arnold, a resident of that region, and whom I understand has been commissioned to raise a regiment from the loyal men of that country. Colonel Arnold and his men were on duty day and night. Every part of that country was visited by Colonel Arnold in person or by his scouts. While out one night gathering in the loyal men, Colonel Arnold, with 17 men, came upon 23 rebels in camp, charged on them, killed 4, captured 7, and drove the rest in confusion to the woods, capturing all their camp equipage and arms and 10 horses, and