went back 2 miles on the road from Simms' to McKee's (Casteel's old camping ground), and found nothing. I then returned to Gillen's wound-yard. I here sent for the negro to the boat, and by threats and persuasion induced him to guide me to their camps. I had to take a circuitous route through can-brakes, &c., in order to reach their camp without their apprisal. I struck the road within 3 miles of their camp, and at the same time came upon 8 men, who were on their way to relieve a picket post. We then had a running skirmish with these, killing 3 of them, mortally wounding 1, and capturing 1, the other 3 making good their escape. We then came upon their camps, only a few of them being in camp, the balance being out foraging. We here captured 3 men, 1 of whom was wounded; killed 4, and think there were several others wounded. I found in their camp a lot of provisions, horse equipments, all their camp and garrison equipage, &c., all of which I had completely destroyed, with a lot of shotguns. I also captured in their camp a lot of horses and mules. I then sent a party about a half mile distant, to a house where I learned their ammunition was stored, with a lot of arms and forage that had been collected there for their use. They found about 4,000 rounds of cartridges, a number of shotguns, quite a quantity of forage, &c., all of which they destroyed. From their camp I then returned to the main road leading to the river. I found their pickets about 5 miles from their camp, on this line. About 8 miles below Gillen's, at the foot of Islands Sixty-seven and Sixty-eight, owing to my having to approach their pickets through an open field, they discovered us and fled, some up and some down the river. We killed one of their horses, captured another, and supposed that some were wounded. It being now nearly dark, they made their escape. The advance, upon approaching the residence of Dr. Monroe, discovered some men running from there, supposed to be soldiers. I found at Dr. Monroe's house Dr. Monroe, R. C. Flournoy, and T. B. Warfield. I released Flournoy and Warfield, and brought the doctor with me, appearance being that he was giving aid to the enemy. I then returned to Gillen's Landing without further discoveries. We here encamped for the night. On the following morning (November 16) we re-embarked on board the Hamilton Belle. After we had got under way, it was discovered that one of her boilers was leaking badly, and after a tedious run we reached the foot of Sixty-three. I there went on board the steamboat Cheek, and found that things looked suspicious on board, and found or thought that she was violating Orders, Numbers 57. I arrested the crew, and had them tow the Hamilton Belle up to Helena. I arrested a man on board named Miffleton, who is supposed to be an agent of Weaver (cotton speculator), supposed to be engaged in hunting negroes down with department 5 carbines and 3 shot-guns.
I brought back with me, and turned over to the post quartermaster, 16 horses, 8 mules, some harness, and a number of old saddles, blankets, and bridles. I also ordered to be turned over to the ordnance department 5 carbines and 3 shot-guns.
Too much praise cannot be given to Captain T. C. Meatyard, for the efficient service he rendered during the expedition. While the skirmish was going on, he was in the hottest of the fight, firing over a dozen shots at the rebels, and, in my opinion, made them tell severely.
The above is respectfully submitted.
Major, Commanding Expedition.
Brigadier General N. B. BUFORD,
Commanding District of Eastern Arkansas.