DECEMBER 1, 1863.- Skirmish near Benton, Ark.
Numbers 1.- Colonel Cyrus Bussey, Third Iowa Cavalry.
Numbers 2.- Captain H. S. Randall, Third Missouri Cavalry (Confederate).
Numbers 1. Report of Colonel Cyrus Bussey, Third Iowa Cavalry.
DECEMBER 1, 1863.
SIR: I sent out a patrol of 40 men on the Hot Springs road at 3 o'clock this morning, under Lieutenant [A. D.] Mills, First Missouri Cavalry. He has just returned, having gone out 25 miles. When within 10 miles of Benton, on his return, he was attacked by a force of 400 rebels, and lost 3 men killed and 2 wounded, who got into camp. He came near being captured with his whole force. He thinks this force was there for the purpose of capturing our forage trains, which have been going out on that road. The train was hurried in yesterday by a reported force near Hot Springs. Two men of Lieutenant Mills' command had their horses shot, and took to the brush. They have come in on the road. The enemy did not advance. They have no doubt fallen back to the mountains.
Commanding Cavalry Division, Little Rock, Ark.
Numbers 2. Report of Captain H. S. Randall, Third Missouri Cavalry (Confederate).
CAMP NEAR HOT SPRINGS, ARK.,
December 2, 1863.
GENERAL: After leaving camp, I proceed in the direction of Benton. I learned that a forage train of 50 wagons was foraging in 14 miles of Hot Springs, but was too late to attack them.
On yesterday I attacked a Federal scout of about 50, in 8 miles of Benton, on the Hot Springs road, killing 2, wounding 4, and taking 1 prisoner, with their arms, with the loss of 1 horse. The strength of the Federals at Benton is believed to be about 1,200 men and five pieces of artillery. The Federals hear that you are hovering in their direction. They are moving their heaviest baggage to Little Rock, where the citizens say there are 10,000 or 12,000. I intend moving on the Arkansas River. You will hear from me soon.
H. S. RANDALL,
Captain Company F, Third Missouri Cavalry.
Brigadier General J. S. MARMADUKE,