my command out in every direction to, if possible, recapture them, but failed after a vigilant search until 4 p.m. 20th. Upon the return of my scouting parties, I ordered Captain Kauffman to at once cross Black River, taking with him all the prisoners then in my possession, and report to Batesville, which he did, arriving at that point at 4 a.m., 21st, turning prisoners, horses, and arms over to Captain Allen, provost-marshal.
Pursuant to previous instructions, I remained with my command at Jacksonport for the protection of a boat expected up the river with supplies for Batesville. The boat did not arrive until after dark on the night of the 21st, and anchored in the stream opposite town. At daylight on the morning of the 22nd, she moved up the river and I crossed my command over Black River. By the time I was across she came back, reporting that it was impossible for he to move up the river for the reason that she was then drawing 5 1/2 feet water, and there was not that amount in the channel above the point where Black emptied into White River, consequently Major W. ordered her to lighten up to 3 feet, by unloading, a portion of her load, and try it again.
The commissary stores unloaded I left to be guarded by four squadrons under Captain Curran, on this side of Black River, a distance from this point of 25 miles. Feeling that the stores were perfectly secure under charge of Captain Curran, with four squadrons First Nebraska Cavalry, and that my presence was not needed, I took one squadron and came through, leaving at 1 p.m., 22nd, and arriving at this place at 10 p.m. same evening. The whole distance marched by my command was about 150 miles.
The accompanying diagram* will show more perfectly the route traveled by me than I could possibly explain in writing. The result of the whole expedition was following: Killed of the enemy, 1 captain, 15 men; wounded, 2, 1 mortally, 1 slightly; capture of 1 colonel, 4 captains, 5 lieutenants, 1 sergeant, and 40 men, belonging to various commands of the C. S. Army. My command escaped, fortunately, without the loss or injury of a single man. I regret exceedingly that such ill fate should befall me as the loss of the officers and men before enumerated by escaping. It was the most mortifying thing that ever happened me in my military life. The officers and soldiers of my command endured the fatigues and hardships of the expedition as should all good soldiers, with activity and cheerfulness, always ready and ever anxious to engage the enemy, regardless of numbers.
The whole expedition was conducted with so much secrecy that the inhabitants of the country through which I passed were taken completely by surprise. The moral effect upon them surpassed even my most sanguine expectations. The prevalent opinion now is that the Confederates are not safe anywhere within the limits of this district. The effect upon the enemy is demoralizing in the extreme; they are losing all heart. Their leaders can no longer buoy them up with the false hope of success, and they are in many instances themselves watching a favorable opportunity to return to their allegiance.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THOMAS J. MAJORS,
Captain, Commanding Expedition.