MAY 24, 1863. -Skirmish near Austin, MISS.
Number 1. -Brigadier General Alfred W. Ellet, commanding Mississippi Marine Brigade.
Number 2. -Brigadier General James R. Chalmers, C. S. Army.
Number 1. Report of Brigadier General Alfred W. Ellet, commanding Mississippi Marine Brigade. HELENA, Ark. May 25, 1863.
I have the honor to inform you that as my command was descending the river form Memphis on the evening of May 23, the commissary and quartermaster boat was fired into form the Mississippi side by a hand. I returned yesterday morning to Austin and landed my force. THE enemy had a few hours before my arrival captured a small trading steamer and burned her, taking her crew captive and appropriating her freight. I could obtain no intelligence form the inhabitants by which to guide my movements. My cavalry, under the command of Major Hubbard, 200 strong, came up with the enemy, 1000 strong, all mounted 8 miles out. The fight lasted nearly two hours. The major was compelled to take shelter in a favorable bottom, where he succeeded in repulsing the enemy, and finally drove the off before the infantry could come to his relief. Our loss was 2 killed and 19 wounded, mostly slight. The enemy left 5 dead upon the field and 1 lieutenant mortally wounded, and twenty-two stand of arms. We captured 3 prisoners. I burned the town to Austin, again first searched every building. As the fire progressed, the discharge of loaded fire arms was like volley of musketry as the fire reached their hiding places, and two heavy explosions of powder also occurred. OF Major Hubbard and his battalion I cannon speak too highly. They are deserving all praise. Every officer and man of the little force is reported to have acted with the most distinguished bravery and prompt obedience to orders.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
ALFRED W. ELLEF,
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
Number 2. Reports of Brigadier General James R. Chalmers, c. S. Army, PANOLA, MISS, May 26, 1863.
GENERAL: Colonel Slemons, with SECOND Arkansas Cavalry and SECOND MISSISSIPPI Partisans fired on transports near Austin without effect. The enemy landed rom three transports, and were repulsed, leaving 18 dead horsed, their loss unknown. Our 1, captain and 2 men killed, 12 wounded, and 3 MISSING.
JAMES R. CHALMERS,