opportunity to wood my transports at Island Numbers 82. We took on nearly 1,000 cords of wood, which we found there. I also landed at Perkins' Landing, and sent my cavalry to ascertain where the enemy was, and their retreat toward Greenville was corroborated. I then moved down to Greenville, and remained that night on the transports.
At daylight on the morning of the 23rd, I ordered one regiment, the Eighty-THIRD Ohio, Major L'Hommedieu commanding, to move out of the road we had previously marched over, in order to draw the enemy to that point, while I moved the remainder of the command by another route, which was a little farther, but the streams that we would be compelled to cross were narrower.
On the former road was a bridge about 150 feet in length, crossing Fish Lake, 6 miles from Greenville; this bridge had been burned the day after my first expedition returned. On the road I marched my command there was one stream, which was very narrow, to be crossed; the bridges over both had been burned. I therefore took the staging of a steamboat with me for the purpose of making a bridge, if necessary; I did not use them, however, as they had left a bridge near the one they had burned, perhaps with the purpose of misleading me, but probably because the stream was fordable. I took the timber from this bridge, and in a half hour had reconstructed the bridge which had been burned.
My force of cavalry had been increased by a small detachment of the SECOND Illinois Cavalry, under Major John J. Mudd, who were on their way to Young's Point. I gave Colonel Wright, of the Sixth Missouri Cavalry, who was with me on the expedition, and rendered me efficient service, command of all the cavalry.
We had hardly completed the bridge, when the enemy opened with three guns on the Eighty-THIRD Ohio from the opposite side of Fish Lake, and I immediately ordered the cavalry forward, hoping that I might be able to cut off their retreat before they discovered my movement; but their pickets, which we encountered here, gave them word, and they had the advance of our cavalry about 2 miles. A short distance beyond the Smith and Hood farm is a bend in Deer Creek, in which is a plantation. They had taken the road, and I therefore ordered the cavalry forward across this field. As they crossed this field the enemy opened the battery on them. They encountered here the cavalry of the enemy, and drove them before them, separating them from their artillery.
I had heard of a bridge in another bend of the creek below this, and directed the cavalry to take it, which they did in gallant style, diving the guard from it.
In the skirmish at this place we lost 1 killed, of the Sixth Missouri Cavalry, and 2 prisoners, of the SECOND Illinois. The loss of the enemy was reported by residents at 30 killed and about the same number wounded. The enemy, having the advantage of a knowledge of the roads, while the cavalry were in this bend moved out across a plantation by a rout 3 miles less than the main road, and escaped.
About 50 prisoners that were left with a small guard escaped in the woods, and the number of prisoners, therefore, was reduced to 9. Two wounded men, who were unable to be removed, were paroled by Major Mudd, SECOND Illinois Cavalry, and left at the house of Judge Dickenson; also 1 sick man and nurse. Their paroles I forward with this report.
The infantry halted at this place, which is 15 miles from our transports. They had marched that distance in an incredibly short time,