War of the Rebellion: Serial 062 Page 0138 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter XLVI.

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ice in the river, and encamped for the night 13 miles west of Jacksonport, on the Batesville road. 23rd, left the Batesville road in order to head Salado Creek. After marching about 3 miles, met with about 20 Confederate soldiers; skirmished with them about 3 miles, capturing 1 lieutenant and 2 privates, 4 horses and equipments, 3 shot-guns, and 1 revolver, which were brought to Batesville a distance of 10 miles, and turned over to the provost-marshal.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM CASTLE,

Captain Company I, Eleventh Cavalry, Missouri Vols.

BATESVILLE, ARK., January 23, 1864

Captain H. C. FILLEBROWN,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Batesville, Ark.:

CAPTAIN: In accordance with Special Orders, Numbers 10, headquarters District of Northeastern Arkansas, dated January 13, 1864, and letter of instructions of same date, I left Batesville about sundown of the 13th, in command of a detachment consisting of 75 men of the First Regiment Nebraska Cavalry with 2 commissioned [officers] of the same regiment and a detail of 50 men of the Eleventh Missouri, Cavalry Volunteers, under command of Lieutenant Merensky.

At a point 7 miles from Batesville I detached Lieutenant Merensky with his command, ordering him to proceed on the Hookram road until he arrived at Evening Shades. At that point he was to take the Hookram and Smithville [road] and push on to the latter-named place, making proper disposition of his force upon his arrival there so as to surround the village and capture such Confederates or others as he might find there. Having done this, he was to march out on Batesville and Smithville road and make a junction with the main command at 10 a.m. the next day. He carried out the first part of his instructions, but failed to join me. In his report he states that he surrounded the village and made a dash, but found no one there except the citizens. On his return he captured, after a severe chase, 6 prisoners, 5 horses, and several squirrel and shot guns. He reported also that one of his men had been reported sick and stopped at a farm-house on the road, and that two others of his men had remained to take care of him.

From the fact that there was no enemy in the immediate neighborhood, and the men not having reported or been heard from, I am of the opinion that they have deserted. Number of miles traveled by his command was 95. After detaching Lieutenant Merensky I pushed on to within a short distance of Smithville (2 miles), where I captured a so-called Captain Leddy and a man named Shaffner, his accomplice, at the house of a Mrs. McKnight. This man had in his charge a rebel mail from Saint Louis, Mo., together with a lot of medicines, clothing, gold lace, and buttons, all of which was, upon my return, turned over to the colonel commanding the district.

This Leddy was put in charge of the provost-marshal, Captain C. C. Allen. Pushing on down Strawberry Creek, I captured, at a point 2 miles distant from McKnight's, 2 men by the men of Massey, both of them belonging to the rebel service, one of them being a lieutenant. From this point I pushed on to Taylor's Mill, and from thence returned through Smithville, and stopped at a point 2 miles this