War of the Rebellion: Serial 095 Page 0035 Chapter LVIII. THE RICHMOND CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

On the 23rd of March Major-General Steele left Little Rock with he Seventh Army Corps to co-operate with General Banks' expedition on Red River, and reached Arkadelphia on the 28th. On the 16th of April, after driving the enemy before him, he was joined near Elkin's Ferry, in Ouachita County, by General Thayer, who had marched from Fort Smith. After several severe skirmishes, in which the enemy was defeated, General Steele reached Came, which he occupied about the middle of April. On learning the defeat and consequent retreat of General Banks on Red River and the loss of one of his own trains at Marks' Mills, in Dallas County, General Steele determined to fall back to the Arkansas River. He left Camden on the 26th of April and reached Little Rock on the 2nd of May. On the 30th of April the enemy attacked him while crossing Saline River at Jenkins' Ferry, but was repulsed with considerable loss. Our loss was about 600 in killed, wounded, and prisoners. Major-General Canby, who had been assigned to the command of the Military Division of West Mississippi, was therefore directed to send the Nineteenth Army Corps to join the armies operating against richmond, and to limit the remainder of his command to such operations as might be necessary to hold the positions and lines of communications he then occupied. Before starting General A. J. Smith's troops back to Sherman, General Canby sent a part of it to disperse a force of the enemy that was collecting near the Mississippi River. General Smith met and defeated this force near Lake Chicot on the 5th of June. Our loss was about 40 killed and 70 wounded. In the latter part of July General Canby sent Major General Gordon Granger, with such forces as he could collect, to co-operate with Admiral Farragut against the defenses of Mobile Bay. On the 8th of August Fort Gaines surrendered to the combined naval and land forces. Fort Powell was blown up and abandoned. On the 9th Fort Morgan was invested, and after a severe bombardment. On the 9th Fort Morgan was invested, and after sever bombardment surrendered on the 23rd. The total captures amounted to 1,464 prisoners and 104 pieces of artillery.*

About the last of August, it being reported that the rebel General Price, with a force of about 10,000 men, had reached Jacksonport, on his way to invade Missouri, General A. J. Smith's command, then en route from Memphis to join Sherman, was ordered to Missouri. A cavalry force was also, at the same time, sent from Memphis, under command of Colonel Winslow. This made General Rosecrans' forces superior to those of Price, and no doubt was entertained he would be able to check Price and drive him back, while the forces under General Steele, in Arkansas, would cut off his retreat. On the 26th day of September Price attacked Pilot Know and forced the garrison to retreat, and thence moved north to the Missouri River, and continued up that river toward Kansas. General Curtis, commanding Department of Kansas, immediately collected such forces as he could to repel his invasion of Kanas, while General Rosecrans' cavalry was operating in his rear. The enemy was brought to battle eon the Big Blue and defeated, wit the loss of nearly al his artillery and trains and a large number of prisoners. He made a precipitate retreat to Northern Arkansas. The impunity with which Price was enabled to roam over the State of Missouri for a long time, and the incalculable mischief done by him, shows to how little purpose a superior force may be used. There is no reason which General Rosecrans should not have concentrated his forces and beaten and driven Price before the latter reached Pilot Knob.+


*For subordinate reports of operations against Mobile, see Vol. XXXIX, Part I, p. 402.


+Fort subordinate reports of operations in Missouri, see. Vol. XLI, Part I.