Today in History:

27 Series I Volume XLI-I Serial 83 - Price's Missouri Expedition Part I


definitely whether in such an event General Adams is to be left in command of everything; and if so, what number of troops shall be left with him. You are well aware that when the forces under my command leave this country all organized resistance to the enemy will cease, therefore the fewer number of soldiers left here the less incentive will the Federals have to waste and pillage the country.

You will remember I informed you that I had sent Colonel McCray to the Mississippi River for arms and ammunition, and I can now assure you of the success of that expedition - 840 stand of arms have been added to the effective force of this district, together with 68,000 rounds of ammunition. I firmly believe I can bring 6,000 new men to the army,and if I have good luck I intend to arm them all. The material for my operations is rather inferior, but by patience, perseverance, and tact I think I shall make "the calling and election sure." In the event of my leaving here shall I bring General Adams with me, and shall I give him my command over the troops I bring out? These questions I desire to have answered immediately. I send you late papers. The news from the East is still, as usual, very encouraging. Colonel Coffee has received authority from General Smith to raise a regiment, giving him until September 1. Shall I leave him here if I return before that time? But it will not do, in my opinion, to leave any troops here, as it will be only a nucleus for deserters to come back to.

Very respectfully,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Lieutenant-Colonel BELTON,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Camden, Ark.


COLONEL: Again I have to report another severe fight and another brilliant victory. You will remember that I informed you in my last dispatch of having sent Colonels Dobbin and Gordon with 1,000 men to ravage and destroy the Government plantations below Helena. They started on the 26th [?], and on the 28th [26th] they met, fought, and routed completely 1,250 white men and negroes, killing 1 colonel, 1 lieutenant-colonel and 153 men, besides 5 captains, and capturing 5 wagons loaded with commissaries, 2 caissons containing ammunition, horses, mules, guns, and pistols. The enemy had two piece of artillery; was attacked and driven out of a chosen position behind a levee and driven pell-mell into the corporation limits of Helena.

On the same day at another hour Colonel Gordon with 200 men attacked Major Carmichael of house-burning memory; charged him furiously, scattered his force of 300 veterans, and left 63 of them dead on the field. No quarter was given and none asked. The fight was bloody and brief, and their superiority of horses alone saved them from annihilation. The Confederate loss was 8 killed and 40 wounded. Dobbin and Gordon immediately proceeded to the plantations, since which time I have no further reports.

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Respectfully, your obedient servant,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Lieutenant Colonel J. F. BELTON,

Assistant Adjutant-General, District of Arkansas.