EXECUTIVE OFFICE, Omaha, Nebr., January 30, 1864.
Colonel ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON, Batesville, Ark.:
SIR: I take pleasure in forwarding to you a copy of the resolutions* passed by the Legislature thanking our officers and soldiers for courage and bravery in fighting for the support of their Government. Be assured, colonel, that I heartily approve the resolutions, and unite with the Legislature in tendering the thanks of our people to you and the brave men who have served under you.
I am, colonel, your obedient servant,
Governor of Nebraska.
HDQRS. DETACH. ELEVENTH CAV., MISSOURI VOLS.,
Batesville, Ark., January 28, 1864.
[Captain JULIUS LOVELL, Asst. Adjt. General:]
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that in obedience to orders from Brigadier General Thomas A. Davies, commanding district of Rolla, Mo., I left that point with the detachment under my command, consisting of 29 men of the First Nebraska Cavalry and 32 men of the Eleventh Cavalry, Missouri Volunteers, on the 17th day of January, 1864, for Batesville, Ark., with orders to report to you on my arrival. The route pursued by me was via Salem, Spring Valley, Jack's Fork, Thomasville, and Evening Shade; distance, 210 miles. Forage scarce at Thomasville.
I unexpectedly encountered Colonel M. Johnson, in command of a detachment of Confederate troops, escorting his family and that of Captain Andrews, of Freeman's command, northward, with the intention, as I afterward learned, of taking them to the neighborhood of Rolla, Mo. On my approach the escort fled, leaving in my hands as prisoners the entire train of 3 wagons, 11 mules, 3 horses, together with the entire property, among which were 2 bales of cotton. After leaving Thomasville, and at the crossing of the Arkansas line, I again encountered the enemy, and for nearly 40 miles kept up a continual skirmish with his forces. I captured 5 prisoners besides the ladies belonging to Colonel Johnson's family. I am grateful too be able to state that no casualties occurred on our side.
The loss of the enemy I am unable to ascertain, from the fact that, from their knowledge of the country and its bearings, they could at any moment elude any pursuit by me.
In this connection I desire to express my thanks to Sergeant Harvey and the men of the First Nebraska Cavalry for the cheerful manner with which all orders given by me were obeyed. Often in the advance, their truly arduous duties were performed with that readiness and alacrity which will always characterize the true soldier. The property taken by me will immediately be turned over by my acting quartermaster to the provost-marshal for his action in regard to its disposal. My thanks are also due to Lieutenant Ambrose Gallagher, Company D, Eleventh Missouri Cavalry, commanding escort, and Lieutenant Otto Schweikher, Company H, Eleventh Missouri Cavalry, acting quartermaster, for the able assistance rendered me on the journey.
I have the honor to be, yours, respectfully,
JOHN W. STEPHENS,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Detachment.