been swept away, and news of my coming having anticipated our arrival at the river, I was unable to surprise the rebel picket there, which I desired to do to enable me to surround Claiborne and capture a force I had learned was at that place. Crossing the river, I sent forward a battalion of the First Louisiana Cavalry, under Major Ives, in advance to Mount Pleasant, where a militia company had been stationed, but was unable to surprise their camp, which they had hastily evacuated. Pressing forward, my advance came upon a skirmish line of the enemy three miles beyond Mount Pleasant, which was speedily driven back upon their line of battle strongly posted in the woods in the rear of a piece of low, marshy ground, which covered their front and flanks. The advance being pressed by the enemy's force, which was all engaged, I maintained my ground, and ordering the remainder of the First Louisiana Cavalry forward and into line, charged them. As the regiment swept down upon their line was broken, and they retreated in disorder in all directions. I pursued them four miles, capturing prisoners all the way. The force of the enemy was utterly demoralized and scattered. Among the results of the engagement were the capture of 2 commissioned officers and 70 men, 2 battle-flags (1 taken by the Second Illinois), horses, arms, &c. Having no transportation I was compelled to destroy the arms. Many of the enemy escaped on the flanks in consequence of the difficulty in pressing over the soft, spongy ground.
Our casualties were 3 men killed, 1 commissioned officer, Lieutentant Boyle, First Louisiana Cavalry, and 8 men wounded. Those of the enemy, 2 killed, 3 mortally, and 6 slightly wounded. The troops engaged were a detachment of the Fifteenth Confederate Cavalry (regulars), numbering 450, which had a few days previous arrived at Claiborne from Mobile, and marched down from that place the day we met them with the intention of capturing my command, which they heard consisted of some 200 cavalry.
Having reformed and rested my command, I pushed on to Claiborne, which place I reached by dark and took undisputed possession of the town, having marched this day twenty-five miles. I immediately posted safeguards over the premises of the citizens of the place. The day following a party of one lieutentant, enrolling officer, and five men (rebels) came to the opposite bank of the river and requested that a flat be sent over to them, that they might cross, not knowing the change of commanders which had taken place. The boat was sent and in half an hour they were our prisoners. During the time I occupied the town scouts were sent out on the different roads leading to points which connected with Claiborne, and the country adjacent was thoroughly reconnoitered. I learned of the presence of small scouting parties in the neighborhood on both sides of the river, but of no considerable force this side of Greenville, where General Buford was reported concentrating the mounted Alabama troops. The strength of his command could not definitely be ascertained. I obtained a sufficient supply of corn to subsist my command from the plantations near Claiborne. The largest are at the plantations on the river, which can be reached at only a few points by wagons on account of the high stage of water between them and the road. The navigation of the Alabama was entirely suspended after the fall of Selma, and there are no boats between Mobile and that point. There are about 500 bales of cotton stores at Claiborne. On the 14th, having received orders from General Canby to return to Blakely, I left the town with prisoners, wounded, and some 350 contrabands who came into our lines, and moved back