Today in History:

28 Series I Volume XXXIV-III Serial 63 - Red River Campaign Part III


The Memphis Evening Bulletin of the 29th ultimo has an account of the capture of Fort De Russy, on Red River, 70 miles from its mouth, with its garrison, some 200 men and 24 officers, 8 siege and 2 field pieces, a large quantity of ammunition, 1,000 muskets, flour, sugar, &c. This occurred on the 14th of March. On the 15th, Admiral Porter's fleet appeared off Alexandria and demanded its surrender, which was complied with without opposition. Alexandria is said to be 140 miles from the mouth of Red River, and Shreveport 450 miles. I send also a copy of telegram from Colonel Clayton, at Pine Bluff, dated March 31, 1864, to Major Green, assistant adjutant-general:

The expedition to Mount Elba and Long View has just returned. We destroyed the pontoon bridge at Long View; burned a train of thirty-five wagons loaded with camp and garrison equipage, ammunition, quartermaster's stores, &c.; captured 320 prisoners; engaged in battle at Mount Elba yesterday morning General Dockery's division of about 1,200 men from Monticello; routed him and pursued him 10 miles, with a loss on his side of over 100 men killed and wounded; captured a large quantity of small-arms, 2 stand of colors, many wagons, and over 300 horses and mules. Our loss will not exceed 15 in killed, wounded, and missing. The expedition was a complete success, details of which will be furnished in my official report,* which will be forwarded in a few days.


Colonel, Commanding.

The prisoners are on the way here an dare expected to arrive this evening.

General Kimball sent Colonel Andrews and 170 men of the Third Minnesota on a raid up White River to try and bag McRae and his band. I give you some extracts from Colonel Andrews' telegram from Devall's Bluff. I have not yet received the official report. I will give Andrews' dispatch entire:

DEVALL'S BLUFF, April 2, 1864.

Captain E. D. MASON:

At 5 o'clock yesterday morning I left the transport Dove at Augusta with my small force, consisting of 170 men of Third Minnesota Infantry, under immediate command of Major E. W. Foster, and 45 men of Eighth Missouri Cavalry, under immediate command of Captain L. J. Matthews. About 3 miles from the village we met and charged upon two different parties of McRae's men, who, after a little resistance, fled beyond our means of pursuit on roads leading from the Jacksonport road. General McRae himself was with one of the parties and narrowly escaped capture by our cavalry. We moved on till 12 miles from Augusta, when, finding no prospects of engaging them in a fair fight, after resting we started back to our transports. In an hour and a half quite a large force of MacRae's men, mounted, attempted to charge upon us, but were repulsed handsomely, and we again resumed our march. When we had got 2 miles farther, at Fitzhugh's woods, we were attacked by MacRae's combined force of fighting men, numbering from 400 to 600. The combat lasted two hours and a half and was sharp. Every officer and man in my command acted like a hero. It was thus, after most resolute bravery and great coolness, we made them give up the contest.

We moved in perfect order 6 miles to Augusta without interference, our colors unfurled and our men singing "Down with the traitor." Our loss was only 4 killed and 18 wounded of the infantry and 1 killed of the cavalry. The enemy's loss was upward of 100 killed and wounded. We captured several prisoners. I am sure the moral effect of the expedition is greatly on our side. Shall leave for Little Rock on first train.

The telegraph line was working to Fort Smith to-day, the first time since the 26th instant. Judson, who is in command of District of the Frontier, is having some trouble about the transportation. I have furnished General Kimball with copies of telegrams from General


*See Part I, p. 768.