OCTOBER 14-20, 1863.-Expeditions from Natchez and Fort Adams, Miss., to Red River, La., with Skirmish at Red River (14th).
Report of Major John M. McCracken, Forty-sixth Illinois Infantry.
HEADQUARTERS FORTY-SIXTH ILLINOIS INFANTRY, Camp near Natchez, Miss., October 20, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report the expedition under my command to Red River as complete. We embarked on the morning of the 16th instant, and arrived at Fort Adams in the evening of same day, where we left 50 negroes in charge of Mr. Babur, a citizen. For the following night we lay by under cover of a gunboat.
On the morning of the 17th, we were obliged to take said negroes on board again, their landing being in violation of General Orders. Thence we proceeded to the mouth of Red River, where we received permission from Captain Ramsey, commanding district, to land the negroes at Fort Adams, which we did on our return to this place.
Captain Ramsey informed me, and requested me to report to you, that on the 14th instant he sent a force of 20 men across the country to Red River, where said force captured 15 Confederate soldiers and the transports Argus and Robert Fulton. Being unable to run said transports to the mouth of Red River, they were destroyed.
From letters, bills, receipts, &c., found on board the Argus, addressed to and in favor of Ralph P. Miller, it appears that said Miller is the owner of the Argus.
Captain Ramsey is of opinion that Ralph P. Miller is a traitor and needs watching. Many citizens of Wilkinson County, Miss., with whom I conversed, requested that there be a Union force sent to said county for the period of two weeks while organizing a force of their own people to protect themselves against those marauding guerrillas who are constantly making raids on their property, carrying off their mules and horses, branding them "U. S.," and selling them as captured from the Federal army.
I received of Captain Ramsey 3 Confederate prisoners, whom I have turned over to the provost-marshal at this post.
The officers and men under my command conducted themselves properly.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN M. McCRACKEN,
Major Forty-sixth Illinois Infantry.
Captain C. CADLE, Jr.,
Asst. Adjt. General, Fourth Division, 17th Army Corps.