the 17th, in command of the First Battalion, First Cavalry, Nebraska Volunteers, consisting of 150 men and 5 commissioned officers, moving directly to Powhatan, the crossing of Black River, passing in the route Smithville, and ferried my command over by 11 p.m.; distance, 45 miles. I here fed. At daybreak was on the move down the river in the direction of Jacksonport. The result of the first 3 miles march was the killing of 1 man named Grissome, a bushwhacker, the capture of 1 sergeant, having several letters and official documents from General Price, Colonel Shelby, and others of no particular importance, and 2 privates, Confederate soldiers, horses, equipments, and arms. Three miles from this point we were met by 6 Confederate soldiers belonging to Captain McVeigh's company; captured 3 and pressed the others so closely that they deserted their horses, thereby leaving them in our hands.
Hearing that at or opposite a place below on Black River, called Bird's Point (distance, 24 miles), there was a company of 20, I moved forward as fast as possible without meeting or seeing anything worthy of note. Upon arriving near this point I ascertained that there was a party of about that number a scattered around at houses off the main road. I immediately disposed of my command so as to surround all the houses in that neighborhood, the result of which was the capture of Colonel Brand, Captain Edwards, Captain McVeigh, Captain Webb, Lieutenant Smith, Lieutenant Wylie and 12 men, C. S. Army, with their horses and arms, except those of the officers, which they managed to secrete so effectively that it was impossible for me to find them. By this time it was getting dark. I then moved forward 5 miles to a point on Black River called Elgin, and fed. After feeding at this point I allowed my men to lie down and rest until 3 o'clock, at which time I had them in line ready to move. At this mounted I received a dispatch from Colonel Livingston, by a courier from Captain Kauffman, stating that he (Colonel Livingston) had sent me 150 men under Captain Kauffman, as re-enforcements; also that General McRae occupied Jacksonport with 250 men.
I at once sent a messenger to Captain Kauffman to hurry up with all possible dispatch, at the same time sending one squadron under Lieutenant Murphy, Company F, First Nebraska Cavalry, with instructions to go 1 1/2 miles in advance and occupy with his command all the roads, place a guard around all the houses he passed sufficient to keep any person from getting out to give information of our presence and ascertain the exact force in Jacksonport and report to me by courier as soon as he had accomplished his mission. I then ordered my men to dismount and get their breakfast. The information thus obtained was to the effect that Jacksonport was only occupied by some 30 men under Captain Siddell, C. S. [Army]. At 12 m. my messenger returned from Captain Kauffman, stating that he was near at hand.
Feeling that I had a sufficient force to move into Jacksonport, I did not wait for Captain Kauffman, fearing that by some means they (the enemy) might perhaps get information of our presence and leave. Moving up with as much celerity and caution as I possibly could to within 2 miles of the town, where the roads forked, I divided my command, sending three squadrons under the command of Captain Curran to the right, down Black River (one, however, was guarding provisions, which I ordered him to leave a half mile behind before charg-