citizens of your own state than to soldiers and sailors of the United States. It was doubtless in
pursuance of the policy indicated in your order, that your troops, who defended this place on the
17th, fired upon a part of the crew of the " Mound City " (who were scalded by an accident to
the machinery of that boat) while helpless in the river, in which they had sprung to relieve their
torture. It is believed that no troops of a civilized country would have dared to adopt such a
course without being assured of being sustained by their commanding officer, especially after
the world knew that when a similar accident happened to a Confederate gunboat, during the late
naval engagement at Memphis, the United States soldiers and sailors had risked their lives to
rescue those from the Mississippi who from the same cause had sought relief by jumping
overboard. Your threat will not deter me in executing the letter of my proclamation in every case
in which my judgment dictates its propriety or necessity.
Very respectfully yours,
(Signed) G. N. FITCH, Col. Com'd'g U. S. Forces.

U. S. GUNBOAT "LEXINGTON,"
CLARENDON, ARKANSAS, JUNE 30, 1862.
COL. G. N. FITCH:

Sir:—Upon consultation with, and the advice of the pilots of the " Lexington" and the White
River pilot of the "White Cloud," I have reluctant]y concluded that I cannot proceed any further
up this river with the gunboats. I will be compelled to leave this point to-morrow at the latest.
Will you be pleased to inform me in what manner my command can be of further aid to you.
Respectfully, &c,
(Signed) JAMES W. SHIRK,
Lieut. Com'd'g, and Senior Naval Officer pres't.

HEADQUARTERS INDIANA BRIGADE.
CLARENDON, ARK, June 30, 1862.
JAMES W. SHIRK, Lieut. Com'd'g:

Sir:—Yours of to-day is received, in which you say that "you have reluctantly concluded
"not to" proceed any further up this river with the gunboats." If it is unsafe on account of the
stage of water for the gunboats to proceed, it must be equally so for the transports, as at least two of them draw as much water as the former.

I shall be constrained, therefore, being deprived of the support of the gunboats in any effort
which might be made to ascend, to direct the transports to accompany them down the river. This
I do not only with an extreme reluctance, but under the conviction that the effect upon Gen.
Curtis' command will be disastrous. Did the number of troops under my command justify the
effort, I would permit the heavy laden transports to return with you, and proceed up the river
with the lighter ones, but under the knowledge we possess that Duvall's Bluff is fortified, and a
force of from 4,000 to 6,000 of the enemy stationed there, I do not feel justified in making the
attempt, as it might result, when deprived of the support of the gunboats, in what I am
particularly cautioned against in my instructions from Gen. Grant, namely, the supplies "falling
into the hand of the enemy or being destroyed."

Under these embarrassing circumstances the only " further aid " you can render to "my
command," will be to remain, if you deem it safe for your ships, somewhere between this point
and the mouth of the river until an effort can be made to communicate with Gen. Curtis, or Gen.
Grant's further pleasure in the premises be known.
Respectfully, &c.,
(Signed) G. N. FITCH, Col. Com'd'g Brigade

HEADQUARTERS INDIANA BRIGADE
ON ST. "WHITE CLOUD, WHITE RIVER ARK., July 3, 1862.
MAJ. GEN. U. S. GRANT, Com'd'g at Memphis:

Sir:—About 3 o'clock A. M. of the 28th ult., we left Montgomery's Point and ascended White
River to St. Charles. About 200 of the enemy's cavalry left that place upon our approach. In the
evening a flag of truce entered our camp, the bearer bringing a communication from Gen.
Hindman, C. S. A., a copy of which, together with my answer and papers pertaining to the
subject mutter of the correspondence, are forwarded herewith.

On the 30th ult. we reached Clarendon, being frequently fired upon during the day by
guerrillas from the river bank; one man killed and six wounded of the 43d Indiana. Strong
mounted parties, supposed to be Texas cavalry, were soon below and at Clarendon, who fled at
our approach. At that place we tied up to examine the river, which, a short distance above,
became very narrow and crooked, with sharp turns. During the examination, scouting parties
were sent into the interior from both sides of the river. One of the parties visited the plantations
of several of the men known to be members of the guerrilla band who had fired upon us the day
before, and took from them six horses and mules. A small scouting party of infantry, mounted on
transportation horses, towards evening had a skirmish with a superior number of Texan cavalry.
A sergeant of Co. "I," 46th Indiana, one of the party, is missing. We ascertained here that
Duvall's Bluff, ten miles above by land and 40 by water, is fortified with two guns, supposed to
be eight inch, and from 10 to 20 smaller ones, and a force assembled there of about 6,000.
On the morning of the 1st, cannonading was heard in that direction, but every inquiry for
thirty-six hours failed to elicit its cause. That it could have been no decisive action, is certain
from the fact that, if the enemy had been victorious, their victory would have been trumpeted in
our vicinity, and a knowledge of it readily obtained; while, had our troops gained a victory, there
would have been but little difficulty, in the length of time mentioned, communicating with them;
but all efforts, directed to that end, did not enable us to ascertain the presence of our troops near
Duvall's Bluff.

The gunboat "Lexington" ascended the rivers 15 or 20 miles. The result of its examination of
the river was the determination expressed by Capt. Shirk, in his letter to me of the 30th June, a
copy of which, together with a subsequent correspondence on the same subject, accompanies
this. In pursuance of the determination arrived at by him, we left Clarendon on the morning of
the 3d July; descended the river a few miles and met the 24th Indiana Col. Spicely, directed by
you to report to me, and the " Acacia," which had left a short distance below a barge of coal, for
which I immediately sent another boat. With the force now at my disposal, I shall continue
efforts independent of the gunboats, to pass the supplies to Gen. Curtis or to communicate with
him, at least until the time mentioned in my private note to you of to-day, as that within which
there is reason to hope for direct intelligence from him, unless you should direct otherwise. From
what I have stated heretofore of the force of the enemy above, the result of the effort may well
be deemed doubtful, but I shall endeavor at least not to risk the loss of the supplies. My views in
relation to the necessity of cavalry and a still larger force of infantry, as expressed in my
previous report to Gen. Wallace and yourself, have undergone no change, but on the contrary
their correctness strengthened by every additional day's observation.
Though the supplies go by water, and light transports can continue to ascend the river for
several weeks to Augusta, if not to Jacksonport, the expedition in support of the transports must,
from the nature of the country and character of the river and force of the enemy, be one mainly
by land, until the river is thoroughly opened.
Very respectfully your obedient servant,
(Signed) G. N. FITCH, Col. Com'd'g Brigade.

HEADQUARTERS INDIANA BRIGADE,
ABERDEEN, ARK., July 6, 1862.
MAJ. GEN. GRANT, Com'd'g at Memphis:

SIR:—We arrived here yesterday. A scouting party was sent out, who discovered the enemy
within two miles of the place; one prisoner was taken. The morning of the 6th a reconnaissance
was ordered, consisting of about two hundred of the 24th Indiana, under Col. Spicely, followed
at an interval of half an hour by the same number of the 43d, under Lt. Col. Farrar, and again,
after a like interval, by another detachment of the same number, jointly from the 34th and 46th,
with a Dahlgren boat howitzer, which last detachment I accompanied. The remainder of the
command, under Lt. Col. Cameron, were ordered to hold themselves in readiness, if required, for
support. Col. Spicely was directed to proceed upon the road on which the enemy had been
discovered the evening previous and attack him whenever and wherever he met him and in
whatever number. He followed the Duvall's Bluff road four miles, to an open road immediately
upon the border of Grand Prairie, where his skirmishers discovered and drove in the enemy's
pickets. Their main body, all mounted, made an attack upon his front, which was quickly
repulsed, but, availing themselves of a point of thick timber which concealed their movements,
they very soon afterwards attacked simultaneously his front, one flank and rear, charging up to
within twenty paces of the ranks, but were repulsed with severe loss and fled in every
direction—the main body followed the Duvall road. Soon afterwards a note, a copy of which
accompanies this, was received by me, having joined the advance, asking permission to bury
their dead, and the answer, of which I send you a copy, was returned. At the end of the thirty
minutes, our troops were advanced in pursuit. The wagons conveying the enemy's dead were but
a short distance beyond our front, with an escort, but of course not molested, we taking a parallel
road, inclining more to the right, with a view of again engaging, if possible, the main body, who
were seen retreating in such direction as would take them across our road some four miles in the
prairie. The intense heat of the day, and the uselessness of the pursuit of mounted men by
infantry, induced me to recall the troops after they had advanced three miles. Too much praise
cannot be bestowed upon Col. Spice]y and the men and officers of his regiment engaged. The
enemy's force, as shown by their muster-roll, which fell into our possession, was 450; our own
engaged, 200. Their loss, as admitted by prisoners and secession sympathizers in the vicinity,
was 84 killed, wounded and missing. But few prisoners were taken from the facility afforded
them to escape by being mounted. Our loss is one killed and 21 wounded, according to the
accompanying list.
Very respectfully, yours,
(Signed) G. N. FITCH, Col. Com'd'g White River Expedition.

GRAND PRAIRIE, 1 o'clock A. M.,
July 6, 1862.
TO THE COMMANDER OF U. S. FORCES OF GRAND PRAIRIE:
Sir:—I send Lieut. J. W. Blonton, under flag of truce, to the battle-field for my killed, to
bury, also my wounded. I hope, sir, you will continue the ordinary courtesies of war.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
(Signed) P. H. WHEAT, Sr. Capt. Com'd'g Squadron.

P. H. WHEAT, Sr. Capt. Com'd'g C. S. A. Troops, Grand Prairie:

Sir:—Having a few moments since Joined the detachment with which the troops under your
command were engaged, your note was handed me. I will withdraw from the battle-field the
troops under my command to enable your party to collect your dead; for this purpose thirty
minutes wild be allowed. Your wounded in our hands will be cared for.
(Signed) G. N. FITCH, Col. Com'd'g U. S. Forces.

HEADQUARTERS INDIANA BRIGADE,
CLARENDON, July 7, 1862.|
MAJ. GEN. U. S. GRANT, Com'd'g at Memphis:

Sir:—Desirous of ascending as high as possible for the purpose of continuing efforts to
obtain Gen. Curtis' whereabouts and communicate with him, and advised that another body of
the enemy were between Aberdeen and Duvall's Bluff, I directed the flotilla to ascend to this
place with a view of here joining it overland, and marched the troops, accompanied with two
howitzers attached to wagons, in the direction of the latter place. We left Aberdeen at 5 P. M.
About two miles beyond the scene of yesterday's action a small picket of the enemy was
discovered. The march was continued (being a moonlight night and a level prairie), distant from
Aberdeen twelve miles, and about (12) midnight, a body of the enemy (mounted) was discovered
a short distance to the left of the advance guard, consisting of a company and a half of the 34th
Indiana. The object of the enemy appeared to be to cut off the advance from the main body,
distant three fourths of a mile. Capt. Hunter, commanding officer of the advance, promptly
formed, facing the enemy, and gave them a volley. They fled but rallied in about a half mile.
Being with the advance, I ordered up a howitzer, which, with two or three well directed
discharges, sent the enemy out of sight. As we were approaching a grove perpendicular to our
line of march, skirmishers were thrown forward. They soon reported a considerable body of the
enemy forming in the grove, as manifested by hearing the commands of their officers. One party,
which showed itself outside the grove near the left of the line of skirmishers, was fired upon by
them. The troops were so formed as to constitute three sides of a square. The front looking to the
grove, its centre occupying the road, in which and forming a part of the front was placed one of
the howitzers, the other covered the open space to the rear. Being thus formed, the whole
command was ordered forward to within six hundred yards of the grove. The sound of
preparations upon the part of the enemy became so distinct as to indicate an object of the
howitzer, which was accordingly directed to shell the grove. After a few discharges the enemy
were heard in full and rapid flight on the Duvall road. The command was moved forward to the
edge of the grove, and so hasty had been the enemy's flight, canteens' cooking utensils,
provisions, saddles and bridles were found scattered about, and a number of their horses
captured and one prisoner. We learned from him that Col. Shefer, Arkansas troops, had that
evening assumed command, superceding the officer who had been in command in the action the
day previous, because of some charge of cowardice or incompetency against him. The enemy's
loss is not known. One dead body was found near our line of march. We were distant from
Duvall's Bluff seven miles, from Clarendon, ten. Several thousand of the enemy were known to
be at and between us and the former place, and a force was supposed to be between us and the
latter place. After a short rest, we continued our march reaching this place, and joined the flotilla
soon after sunrise. No information of the positively reliable character relative to Gen. Curtis'
position movements could be obtained, but sufficient of a circumstantial character to render it
very probable that he is thirty (30) miles from here, at or near Cotton Plant, on Cache River,
which empties into White at this place. Although the men are very much exhausted with heat and
a long night's march, I shall this P. M. commence a march up the Cache with the command
accompanied by three 12-pound boat howitzers, with crews extemporized from the infantry. The
enemy's pickets are within three miles of here, and he is known to be in large force between here
and Cotton Plant, but I feel confident of defeating all his forces this side of the crossing of the
Cache, six miles on the march, and holding that line until your reinforcements reach me, which
will probably be during to-morrow or next day.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
(Signed) G. N. FITCH, Col Com'd'g Brigade.

HEADQUARTERS INDIANA BRIGADE,
CLARENDON, ARK., July 9, 1862.
MAJ. GEN. U. S. GRANT, Com'd'g at Memphis:

Sir:—In accordance with the intention expressed in my report of yesterday, the troops were
formed at 6 P. M. of that day, on the river bank for the march up the Cache, when a transport
was reported ascending the river. The troops were held in readiness but the expedition delayed
for the arrival of the transport. Upon its arrival your despatch of the 6th was immediately placed
in my hand, in which you state, " I have not the troops here, if I were to send all I have got, to
reinforce you sufficiently to insure the success of the expedition up White river; Gen. Halleck
positively refuses to send me more;" and in which you directed me to " remain at St. Charles,
awaiting a certain contingency," of course the expedition up the Cache was abandoned; I
deeming it useless to bring on an engagement with the enemy's troops on this side of the river
with no adequate force to cross it or to follow up any advantage to open the communication with
Gen. Curtis. Your direction to remain at St. Charles, I presume, would not preclude my
remaining here instead of that point, the length of time you indicate, but in the absence of any
probability of aid to follow up the expedition, and in view of the low and falling water, (the
gunboats and transports having dragged upon the bar a mile below this place in ascending), we
will descend again to St. Charles, from whence there is good water to the mouth of the river, and
await the time you indicate. The most remote period to which in my message to Gen. Curtis, our
ability to remain with the heavy transports in the river on account of the water, was the 14th
inst.; soon after that time, therefore, if nothing is heard from him, or any additional despatch
received from you, we shall probably leave the river for Memphis.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. N. FITCH,

Col. 46th Ind. Reg't Com'd'g White River Expedition.
ST. CHARLES, July 10, 1862.
MAJ. GEN. GRANT, Com'd'g, Memphis, Tenn.

Sir:—We arrived here last evening The report prevails here among the few so-called " Union
Men," (a part of whom claim our protection and propose remaining with us,) that Gen. Curtis is
on the Cache River, endeavoring to reach or communicate with us.
We will remain here the time indicated in yesterday's despatch, and if no reinforcements or
further orders arrive, and no positive intelligence from Gen. Curtis, will, agreeable to your
orders, proceed to Memphis. My regrets at this necessity (if it occurs) because of its probable
effect upon Gen. Curtis's Command, have been heretofore expressed. With even 100 cavalry, a
battery, and 1,000 more infantry, I would attempt communication with him up Cache. The
attempt with caution, I believe would be successful; at all events there need be no risk of
disaster.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
(Signed) G. N. FITCH, Col. Com'd'g Brigade.

HEADQUARTERS INDIANA BRIGADE, ;
OX BOARD " WHITE CLOUD, ' WHITE RIVER, ARK, JULY 14, 1862.
MAJ. GEN. GRANT, Com'd'g at Memphis:

Sir:—My despatches to you of the 8th from Clarendon, and 10th from St. Charles, apprised
you that circumstantial evidence, sufficient in my mind to justify a movement of the command in
that direction, was obtained, that Gen. Curtis was at or near Cotton Plant, on Cache River. In the
former despatch you were advised that an expedition was fitted out and on the point of starting,
but was abandoned in consequence of receipt of yours of the 6th inst., and that the fleet left
Clarendon that evening soon after it arrived at St. Charles. On the evening of the 11th a scouting
party brought in a prisoner whose statement was positive that, Gen. Curtis had been but two or
three days previous to that, at Cotton Plant seeking to make his way to Clarendon, where he was
expected to arrive that evening, (11th). Immediately two transports with howitzers and six
companies of troops, under Maj. Grill, of 24th Indiana, were ordered to return to Clarendon with
dispatch and ascertain the truth of the statement and communicate with him if possible. On
arriving at that place, 2 P. M. of the 12th, Maj. Grill ascertained that Gen. Curtis had been there
the evening of the 9th, and that his rear guard, cavalry, had left on the road to Helena only two
hours previous. The howitzers on the transports fired signals all the afternoon. Hearing no
response they returned to St.. Charles, reaching there about one A. M. of the 13th. A strong
scouting party was immediately ordered, led by myself, with a view of reaching that road and
intersecting his line of march. This party left camp at 3 A. H., and after a laborious march of 18
miles finding he had passed the point where we reached the Helena road, eight hours, it was
deemed useless for infantry, the only troops at my command, to attempt, especially during the
extreme heat which prevailed, to overtake him, and not absolutely essential it should be done, as
it was presumed that his army could not be more than 20 to 00 miles from Helena, and his
advance perhaps already there. The party therefore returned to the transports, and they were
ordered to leave forth. with for Helena. On the morning of the 9th, soon after our attack of the
night previous upon a camp of the enemy, seven miles from Duvall's Bluff, that place was
evacuated, the enemy taking his guns and munitions to Little Rock, tearing up the railroad track
behind him, and he appeared to be concentrating all his troops at that place.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. N. FITCH, Col. Com'd'g Brigade.
 


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