consisted of McCray's, Jackman's, and Kitchen's commands, and estimated at 800 men. Colonel Geiger received his information from one Major Skelton, as notorious an old rebel as there is in Austin. My informant saw them and knew them well. Says that he overheard then say that it was their intention to attack this place and destroy the road, but learning that the cavalry was here at that time, they had returned northward. They are pressing teams in and about Hickory Plains, to haul forage to some point not known. I should have received information from Hickory Plains Sunday, but it has not arrived yet. There are citizens in from there usually every day. None have been in that I can place any confidence in since Saturday.
LITTLE ROCK, ARK., August 2, 1864.
Colonel O. WOOD,
Scouting parties left here for Austin; also along the line of the railroad toward Brownsville, and will also go up toward Hickory Plains from Devall's Bluff. They may perhaps give you information; it so, forward immediately.
E. A. CARR,
HEADQUARTERS NINTH KANSAS VOLUNTEERS CAVALRY,
Camp near Little Rock, August 2, 1864.
Captain C. H. DYER,
SIR: I have the honro to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of this date directing a scout of 200 or 300 men east of Bayou Metoe, &c. I have just learned from Captain Coleman, who has just come in from a scout northwest after a rebel lieutenant, that a force of 500 or more was at Austin on Saturday night last on their way to tear up the railroad, but go frightened and fell back and are now again on their way to tar up the railroad between this place and Brownsville. I am getting the detail of 300 men ready and will turn them in he direction of Brownsville if the general so directs; if not, they will go as directed. I have sent a single scout in the direction of Austin to learn if any movement is on foot. I think the reports are reliable.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF LITTLE ROCK,
Little Rock, Ark., August 2, 1864.
Colonel E. LYNDE,
Commanding Ninth Kansas Cavalry:
COLONEL: I am instructed by the general commanding to inform you that there are many rumors and reports prevalent in relation to the presence of a strong body of the rebels in the vicinity of Austin and Hickory Plains. As more precise information is needed, you are