Today in History:

1043 Series I Volume XXXIV-I Serial 61 - Red River Campaign Part I


Rock. Our reconnoitering parties report Price crossing the Saline with 15,000 men and a large amount of artillery. One of our spies heard a letter from a rebel officer read, in which it was stated tat they were concentrating to fall upon Little Rock or Pine Bluff. Colonel Clayton, and excellent officer, commanding at Pine Bluff, telegraphs that he thinks they will invest that place. Another plan is that their troops attacking our communications will draw off the troops from Little Rock so that it can be taken. If reports be true they have forces enough to threaten both places, while they throw troops across the Arkansas and destroy the railroad and depots. They certainly intend a decisive movement. Cooper is reported moving toward Derdanelle with 5,000 men, with orders to make a junction with Shelby. I have not sufficient force to hold the line of the Arkansas and at the same time operate against those detachments of the enemy. The re-enforcements ordered to report to me have been diverted. Several regiments were stopped at Memphis, and one I believe is at Port Hudson. One-tenth of the troops in this departments are sick. Transportation is being fitted up rapidly. The mules sent from Saint Louis are reported mostly under two years old and unfit for service. Mules can be had from plantations on the Mississippi in about twenty-days. We have supplies of all kinds for two or three months. I sent you statement of subsistence stores. You will see from return the number of troops; they are necessarily scattered, it being required to hold certain points. We must have the pontoon bridge moving south.

Very respectfully,



Major General E. R. S. CANBY,

Commanding Division of the West Mississippi.

Numbers 2. Report of Brigadier General Napoleon B. Buford, U. S. Army, commanding District of Eastern Arkansas.

Helena, Ark., June 27, 1864.

GENERAL: On the 22nd instant the little garrison of 50 men, commanded by Captain J. R. C. Hunter, of the Twelfth Iowa Infantry, at the mouth of White River was attacked by the enemy, 300 strong, about daybreak, who had crossed the Arkansas River in small boats in the night, and, after an action of thirty minutes, was handsomely repulsed, with a loss to us of 1 killed and 4 wounded. The enemy's loss was about 30 killed and wounded; 5 of the latter, 1 an officer, falling into our hands. The little garrison was slightly entrenched in a hastily erected stockade. The gun-boat Lexington* was the only one present. She opened fire on the enemy in the woods after the repulse. Our force was too small to pursue, and as there was but one gun-boat, the orders of her commander forbade her leaving the station and preventing the enemy retreating across the Arkansas River. Captain Hunter and his little garrison deserve the highest credit. As soon as I was informed of the above facts, Captain S. L.


* Acting Ensign Henry Booby, U. S. Navy, commanding.