down. I crossed the Arkansas River about twenty-five miles above Gibson, Grand River at Cany's Ferry, struck Missouri ten miles above Maysville, being nine days on the way, and got home afoot, leaving my mare at old Camp Walker. There is no chance in that country to get horses except from the enemy. While we were recruiting our horses an opportunity offered to send my message to General Shelby by one of Major Picker's captains. I did so with the understanding that I would remain at Cane Hill until I received and answer, but no answer came. General Shelby was said to be near Batesville with 6,000 men and recruiting very fast. I heard of a large refugee train coming up from Van Buren. I gathered up about 100, met, and proceeded to meet with them, which I did on Lee's Creek, east of the Wire road. I used all the men with guns as infantry and those with pistols as cavalry. The infantry fired on the advanced guard and drove them (that were not killed) into the cavalry, which killed all but two, there being twelve in the advance. I then aimed to drove right through the train, burning all Government wagons. I started with the infantry and as the cavalry passed me a private (Hollis), being excited, ordered the men back to their horses, so when the cavalry got past me so I could look back I had but twelve men. The cavalry charged them but was too weak without infantry. The Feds got a position at a house and I left with no one hurt. I returned to the Wire road and found that the mail party had just gone down, which I immediately followed. I overtook them next morning some six miles south of Lee's Creek, divided my squad, took half the men and got before them, leaving Captain Adair to come up with the balance in rear. I dismounted men and met them in the road. They formed to fight me, cursed, me, and told me they had me right where they wanted me. They maneuvered three times to charge me I had a good position and drove them back. In the meantime Captain Adair charged them in rear, making desperate havoc. Out of sixty only seventeen or eighteen got off to tell the tale, and strange to well we lost none. We captured the main and two wagons heavy laden with goods. The boys had a fine time smoking cigars and chewing tobacco. We got several guns, pistols, &c. The O. B. that I got out of the mail was worth nothing to you. Private letter state that bushwhackers were about to take Missouri. Bushmen are holding the country and Federals the towns. I will be over in a day or two and give you a more detailed account.
Your obedient servant,
W. M. SHANNON,
HDQRS. DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS, Numbers 40.
Camden, August 27, 1864.
Under orders from department headquarters Major General J. B. Magruder will assume command of this district. The major-general commanding congratulates the people and the army of the district on the assignment of this distinguished officer to its command. The troops he is about to control have won unfading laurels on many well-fought fields. Under this able, gallant, and active leader they will gather still more. The major-general commanding cordially thanks the officers and privates of the Confederate army and of the Arkansas State troops for the eminent courage, skill, and fidelity with which they have sustained him in the discharge of his arduous duties. His connection with them will remain one of his proudest recollections. He will ever