War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0781 Chapter XXXIV. SKIRMISH NEAR SHELDON'S PLACE, IND. T.

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1863, our whole loss while out being 4 killed and 6 wounded. After leaving King's River we found an abundance of forage. During the past season a large quantity of corn and wheat was raised in the counties of Carroll, Marion, and Searcy. In the vicinity of Marshall's Prairie, Marion County, in a circuit of 10 miles, there are corn and oats enough to supply a regiment of cavalry twelve months. Flouring mills, wheat, and pork are also obtainable to an extent sufficient for the same purpose. The same remark will apply to the country east of Carrollton and north of the mountains as far east as Fulton County. The country is filled with refugee Missourians, who are committing all kinds of mischief, plundering the families of the soldiers who are serving in our regiment and the First Arkansas Infantry.

There is no part of Arkansas where the loyal sentiment was stronger at the commencement of the war than in these counties. At the first call for volunteers, the men left their homes and joined the Federal Army, and their families are now a prey to the refugee rebels of Missouri. A post in the vicinity of Marshall Prairie would completely break up this rebel rendezvous, and do more, I respectfully submit, toward restoring peace to that section of Arkansas than anything else that could be done.

In conclusion, let me say that the men of my command behaved in a manner highly creditable to their coolness and courage.

I have the honor to remain, your obedient servant,


Captain Company H, First Arkansas Cavalry, Commanding.

Major T. J. HUNT,

Commanding Arkansas Volunteers.

DECEMBER 18, 1863.- Skirmish near Sheldon's Place, Barren Fort, Ind. T.

Report of Captain Alexander C. Spilman, Third Indian Home Guards.


December 23, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to report that, in compliance with your instruction, I marched from Fort Gibson at 3.30 p. m., December 17, with a force of about 290 infantry, consisting of details from the First, Second, and Third Indian Regiments, and one howitzer. I took the Park Hill road, and, passing that place, went into camp at the crossing of the Illinois, at midnight. By inquiry at Park Hill, I learned that Colonel S. Watie's force, variously estimated at from 500 to 800 men, after plundering Murrel's house and burning the negro cabins at Chief Ross' place, had moved during the afternoon toward the Illinois River, stating their intention to camp in the Illinois bottom that night. Morning came, and I was still ignorant of the exact whereabouts of the rebels, though satisfied that their camp was not far distant. I moved out of camp between 7 and 8 o'clock in the morning, taking the road leading up the Barren Fork. During the morning two small parties of rebels, one of 10 and another of 5 men, approached our column, mistaking us for their own men. They were fired upon, and 1 was killed; but not having mounted men to pursue them, the remainder escaped. I now became satisfied that we were in close proximity to the rebel force. The road lay first on one and then on the other side of Barren Fork, the valley of which was nar-