Today in History:

1048 Series I Volume XXXIV-I Serial 61 - Red River Campaign Part I


Numbers 5. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Ezra M. Beardsley, One hundred and twenty-sixth Illinois Infantry.

Devall's Bluff, Ark., July 10, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the participation of the battalion of the One hundred twenty-sixth Regiment of Illinois Infantry Volunteers, Composed of Companies A, B, D, E, F, G, H, and I, which I commanded, in the skirmish at Clarendon, Ark., Sunday, June 26, 1864, while accompanying the expedition of Brigadier General E. A. Carr, to dislodge a rebel force under Shelby: The battalion debarked from the transport Platte Valley at Clarendon, Ark. (on White River), at 8.30 a. m., June 26, which I immediately formed, and after waiting a short time (apparently for the debarkation of the light battery), upon receiving orders from Colonel Graves, chief of infantry, i marched it the left flank, preceded by the battalion of the Fifty-fourth regiment Illinois Veteran Infantry Volunteers, and immediately succeeded by the six-gun battery (D), Second Regiment Missouri Artillery Volunteers, and after moving in a northeasterly direction about three-fourths of a mile again came into line of battle in the same relative order, within supporting distance of a force of cavalry engaging the enemy's skirmishers, which had previously been advanced and deployed as skirmishers to ascertain and feel his position. Upon receiving orders, I immediately deployed Company E, Captain L. W. Beal commanding, covering the front of the battalion in reserve, which ws promptly advanced to relieve the cavalry skirmishers of the Eleventh Missouri Volunteers in our front, who then repaired to form upon the flank, which rested upon the swamp enmargining Bayou Cache (which seemed to regulate the movement). At 10 a. m., or after Company E had been engaged about twenty minutes, Company D was deployed and advanced to re-enforce them upon the skirmish line, when a general advance was ordered of the supporting line, the battalion moving simultaneously, halting at intermitting intervals to successively keep in sustaining distance and give the skirmishers an opportunity to dislodge and force back the enemy. Soon afterward the enemy opened upon our line with a battery of artillery nearly confronting our (central) position, thereby indicating a resolution of arresting our further advance; but our skirmishers, not thus diverted or intimidated, but stimulated with increased vigilance and activity, pressed steadily onward, sustained by a long line of equally gallant and energetic companies among the several battalions and detachments, seconded by a brisk response from Captain Schaerff's Battery (D), Second Missouri Artillery, soon convinced our adversaries their attempt to withstand our advance might jeopardize their position or forces, so he seemed henceforward to contest the position with as much persistence as practicable, with his available skirmish force gradually retiring. At nearly 12 m., upon the right platoon of Company D rejoining the reserve line, I immediately deployed Company A, Lieutenant Allen H. Morgan commanding, and advanced it to replace the skirmishers returned and sustain those engaged; but soon after it had arrived upon and re-enforced the skirmish line, the rebel commander, having previously withdraw most of his baggage, made a precipitate withdrawal of his forces from the front of our skirmishers,