Today in History:

1044 Series I Volume XXXIV-I Serial 61 - Red River Campaign Part I


Phelps, U. S. Navy, being at Helena at the time, and with his assistance, I embarked 800 troops on my two ferry-boats and his gun-boat Hastings, and proceeded to the month of White River, and ascended White River to the Cut-off, hoping the enemy had not left the island; thence to the Arkansas River and up it 10 miles, where I ascertained the attacking force was commanded by Colonel Lawther, Tenth Missouri Cavalry, C. S. Army, and tat they had crossed back on the 22nd. My information led me to believe that General Marmaduke's force was between me and the post of Arkansas, and that I was not strong enough to successfully attack him, if I could find him. Captain Phelps objected to going farther up the river, as the banks of the river were such that the enemy, if in force equal to ours, could readily get out of our way, or attack us exposed in our crowded small-boats. I returned to the mouth of White River, and issued the inclosed order, which strikes at the root of the evil. This order is simply enforcing principles to which I have before called your attention.*

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Major General F. STEELE,

Commanding Department of Arkansas.

Helena, Ark., June 29, 1864.

SIR: General Shelby, C. S. Army, is in force at Clarendon, 51 miles from here, on the east side of White River.

On the 24th instant he captured the gun-boat Numbers 26 (Queen City), commanded by Captain Hickey, and after removing her nine guns and all her ammunition and stores, destroyed her. He is now fortifying Clarendon, and has successfully blockaded White River, and cut General Steele's line of communication both by land and water. Colonel A. S. Dobbin, commanding a cavalry brigade, variously estimated at from 1,000 to 2,000 men, in west of Big Creek, a deep and narrow stream, 18 miles from here, on the Clarendon road. He has 20 seamen, captured from the Queen City, whom he offered to exchange with me. Shelby's force is estimated at from 2,500 to 3,000. All the country is hostile. The conscription will take every ablebodied man in the district. I have but 289 cavalry for the field. i have no light artillery. I have two guns without caissons, manned by black troops. On the 22nd instant the enemy, 300 strong, attacked my little garrison of 50 men, commanded by Captain J. R. C. Hunter, of the Twelfth Iowa Volunteers, in a stockade at the mouth of White River. He killed and wounded 30 of their men, taking 5 of their wounded prisoners, and gallantry repulsed the attack with a loss of 1 killed and 4 wounded. On this information, and that Marmaduke's force was near by, on the south side of the Arkansas River, I took a force of 800 men, and, in co-operation with Captain S. L. Phelps, U. S. Navy, with one gun-boat, proceeded to the mouth of White River, and up the Arkansas 30 miles, where we learned that Marmaduke, with sixteen pieces of artillery, and a considerable force, estimated at 6,000, was within 10 miles of us, on Red Fork Bayou. Not being


* Similar report to Canby.