Today in History:

24 Series I Volume XLVIII-I Serial 101 - Powder River Expedition Part I


each side. Operators have left station since. Unless troops are hurried out from Kearny, Lyon, or some point, people must starve. Immense excitement. I have no body to re-enforce with.



Major-General CURTIS,

Fort Leavenworth, Kans.

JANUARY 7-9, 1865. -Expedition from Pine Bluff, Ark., and skirmish (9th).

Report of Captain John W. Toppass, Seventh Missouri Cavalry.


Pine Bluff, Ark., January 11, 1865.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to transmit the following report, viz:

On the evening of the 7th instant I received orders from post headquarters to take charge of 150 men, consisting of 50 men of the Thirteenth Illinois Cavalry, under Lieutenant Kennedy, and 100 men of the Seventh Missouri Cavalry, with Lieutenants Williams, Sanders, and Slingerland, and proceed in an easterly direction in search of a force of rebels reported to have a considerable quantity of stock collected some twenty-five miles from this place. We marched at 7 p. m., found the roads very bad, and halted at 12 o'clock and fed our horses, after having marched about fifteen miles, obtaining forage from Doctor Jones, for which I receipted. We resumed the march at daylight on the morning of the 8th, and crossed Bayou Wabbaseca on a bridge, but before getting to the bridge we captured a rebel by the name of Colvin Jenkins, who is either a rebel soldier or a member of Vaugine's guerrilla band. I ascertained that the stock (which was principally mules) had been moved across the Arkansas River, and there had also been a Federal scout from Brownsville in that vicinity a few days previous, which had scattered the rebel Major Watkins' command in every direction. Finding that I could accomplish nothing by going farther, I recrossed the bayou, crossing the men and equipments on a raft, swimming the horses. We camped for the night at the plantation of Mrs. Lindsay, where we obtained forage, for which I receipted. We marched at 8 o'clock on the morning of the 9th, taking the direct road for Pine Bluff, and when within twelve miles of this place I detached Lieutenant J. W. Sanders, with twenty-three men, besides fourteen men of the militia with Summerville, to make a detour to left of the road. When I had marched about three miles and crossed Plum Bayou at the bridge near Mrs. Davidson's, I heard firing in the direction that Lieutenant Sanders had taken. I halted the command, and sent Lieutenant Slingerland back with thirty men to ascertain the cause of the firing. I waited an hour, and hearing no more firing came on into camp, where I arrived at 3 p. m., without any other incident worthy of note. Lieutenant Sanders arrived in camp about an hour later, and made the following report:

After being detached from your command on the morning of the 9th I proceeded about two miles, when I fell in with a party of bushwhackers (of Vaugine's command) at house of Mrs. Milans. I attacked them and drove them back about forty rods to where Vaugine and his principal force was, at which place they made a charge on my lines, but we succeeded in repulsing them and driving them back about one-quarter of a mile, when he was re-enforced by eighteen or twenty men