DECEMBER 1, 1863.- Skirmish near Devall's Bluff, Ark.
Report of Colonel Jonathan Richmond, One hundred and twenty-sixth Illinois Infantry.
DEVALL'S BLUFF, December 2, 1863.
SIR: Major [William J.] Teed and Captain [L. J.] Matthews, Eighth Missouri Cavalry, were out drilling yesterday p. m. On their return the major found he had lost his pocket-book, and went back, with Captain Matthews, to find it. About 1 mile out from this post they were attacked by 8 guerrillas, dressed in Federal uniform, who demanded their surrender. They refused, and were fired on; the major received five shots, and succeeded in making his escape; the captain was brought in with three shots through him. I sent a party immediately after them, with orders to take no prisoners. They soon overtook them, and killed 3 and wounded 3. Am I justified in giving such orders when they are found with our uniforms on? One corporal of the Eighth Missouri was shot in the leg last night. The major and captain will both recover.
Lieutenant GEORGE O. SOKALSKI,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Little Rock, Ark.
DECEMBER 1, 1863.- Affair with Ponca Indians.
Report of Major Herman H. Heath, Seventh Iowa Cavalry.
DAKOTA CITY, December 20, 1863.
GENERAL: In compliance with your verbal instructions to inquire into and report upon the late unfortunate affair between a detachment of the command at this post and a small body of the Poncas, I have the honor to submit the following facts:
It seems that, on or about the first of the present month, a sergeant in command of a detachment of our troops discovered some 20 Indians, of the tribe mentioned, on the south side of the Missouri River. They appear to have been encamped there. He demanded to see their passes. Either they had none to exhibit, or, from perverseness, declined to produce them. The former is probably the fact, as their agent was not among the tribe at the agency when they left. The chief ordered the sergeant away, and the latter complied.
On the day of the 4th, it seems that these Indians fell in with a couple of citizens and Niobrara, and made some demonstrations not calculated to please them, and they fled from the Indians with haste. I understand that the Indians circled near the white men, and rode toward them, but did not fire nor appear to intend anything serious. The white men were, with wagons and oxen, some 2 mils from town. After thus away from the settlement. The white men came into the town, and reported the thing to the sergeant in command of the soldiers. The latter were at once ordered out, and the pursuit under the sergeant commenced. The Indians were overtaken and fired upon by our men. The Indians returned two shots, but continued retreating, followed by our men,