War of the Rebellion: Serial 084 Page 0330 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

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Rebels state that they captured 100 muskets and 90 prisoners lately near Searcy. Captain Hays smuggled 200 muskets from Memphis for McCray's command.




LITTLE ROCK, July 22, 1864. (Received 10 a.m.)

Colonel RYAN,


I have shown your dispatch to General Steele. He advises a sharp lookout for Shelby by you. His force is greater than yours. Our reports of him agree with your dispatch. I would advise you to trust to your own scouts and not rely on us for information, but if any occurs will send to you. All well.



Captain, &c.


Hickory Plains, July 22, 1864-9 a.m. (Via Brownsville 7 p.m.)

Colonel LYNDE,

Commanding Ninth Kansas Cavalry, Huntersville:

Just returned from reconnaissance north and east at Bayou Des Arc. On trustworthy information from prisoners and others Captain Flesher was sent to Searcy and I struck across country toward West Point to take Captain Rayborne and get information. Near West Point, hearing that Rayborne had quitted it with rumors of my parties below being cut off, I returned. Shelby's entire force certainly concentrated at Jacksonport. His small scattered parties coming in rapidly; reported 1,500 Missourians and 1,500 others all mounted on horses or mules. Reported seven to nine pieces artillery one week ago, three or four companies posted on the westward bank without artillery. Crossing is by flat-boat pontoon bridge over Black River at the confluence of the White. They cross the White at Augusta, Nigger Hill, and Peach Orchard Bluff in flat-boats. Cross Little Red in a poor flat-boat at West Point, but generally ford two miles above. Captain Mosely with fifty men is about Searcy; Major McCoy with a few about West Point; Captain Rayborne with forty across Little Red from West Point, but constantly moving. He has mustered his company into the Confederate service as McCray's body guard. It is said McCray has ordered all bushwhackers shot when taken. Every road leading south between the Austin and Searcy road and White River has fresh tracks of from two to forty men going south. Prisoners report that no parties set out from the north to tear up the railroad. In my opinion no force of the enemy larger than fifty is in the country between Austin and Brownsville, probably none so large. Numerous small parties of the enemy continually passing between Fairview and Searcy. Shelby reported to have crossed at Augusta when he attacked Colonel Stuart and to have recrossed.


Major, Commanding Detachment.