whole duty it is difficult to particularize. At the close of the engagement, which lasted about four hours, heavy details were necessarily made to take charge of the prisoners, wagons, ambulances, artillery, loose horses, mules, &c., to be taken to the rear. A strong force was necessary for the safe passage to the south bank of the Ouachita of these prisoners and property. This, with my loss in the fight, reduced my force near 1,500 men. It was night before I got the train and prisoners on their way. We bivouacked on the battle-field, and early next morning moved up the Saline River, hearing that a Federal train was then en route from Princeton to Little Rock. I continued for several days (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday) attempting a crossing of the Saline, but without success. The rumor of the Federal train proved incorrect. The river was swimming at every point, and on arriving at the last crossing before getting to the military road, and finding it utterly impossible to cross there (Pratt's Ferry), I moved out on the Princeton and Benton road, where I remained Thursday night, hoping to hear something from district or department headquarters, as I had several days before dispatched to district headquarters my route.
Hearing nothing of the evacuation of Camden on Friday morning, and being entirely without forage and subsistence, I moved out toward the Ouachita at the only point where anything of forage, &c., could be had between Princeton and Arkansas River. Just before midnight, when 34 miles from Jenkins' Ferry, I received a brief dispatch stating the enemy was marching on Little Rock, and was within 8 miles of Jenkins' Ferry. I at once ordered everything put in readiness, and by the time that I could see the road moved as rapidly as the animals could travel for the scene of action on the 30th. On my arrival the fight had just closed. Being ordered by General Smith to do so, I ordered a part of Shelby's brigade forward. They reached the ferry, when further pursuit was impossible.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your friend and obedient servant,
J. F. FAGAN,
Lieutenant Colonel J. F. BELTON,
Assistant Adjutant-General, District of Arkansas.
No. 52. Reports of Brigadier General William L. Cabell, C. S. Army, commanding brigade, of engagement at Poison Spring and action at Marks' Mills.
HEADQUARTERS CABELL'S BRIGADE, April 20, 1864.
MAJOR:I have the honor to state that on the evening of the 17th, I was detached from Fagan's division and ordered to report to General Marmaduke for special duty. On the night of the 17th, we left camp and moved to attack the enemy, who had a large commissary train under their protection. After moving out and marching a short distance the command returned to camp. Early on the morning of the 18th, I being the senior officer to Fagan's division present,