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April 8.

Last night, a scouting-party of one hundred men of the Second Missouri volunteers, from New Madrid, was surprised in camp and in bed by guerrillas, at a point sixteen miles northwest of Osceola, in Arkansas. A member of the attacked band gives the following detailed account of the expedition and surprise. He says: “The rebels demanded a surrender, firing on our men in their beds, before they could get up, and as they sprang up, the assailants fired a dreadful volley from double-barreled shot-guns. Lieutenant Phillips, springing up, and calling to his men to rally, discharged one shot with revolver, and was struck in the left temple by a ball, and killed instantly. Major Rabb called to the men to rally, but they were so tightly pressed for the moment, that they fell back to a house at which was company K. The combatants were so close, that it was dangerous to our own men for those at the house to fire. The firing on our part was thus much curtailed for the moment. But all was soon over; the rebels have fallen back, and taken covering in the darkness of the night. But they were not all as fortunate as they might have wished ; for at the close of the fray, some of them were heard to call out: ‘Don't leave us, for we are wounded.’ The fact of finding some arms on the ground, twenty or thirty feet off, where Lieutenant Phillips lay, proved that some of them had got their rights, (Federal lead.) In a few minutes after the fray, Sergeant Reese was ordered to take eight men and carry the wounded to the house, which was done immediately. Here is the list of the unfortunate--Lieutenant Phillips, killed: Lieutenant Orr, severely wounded ; Sergeant Handy, killed; Sergeant Millhouse, severely wounded; Sergeant Claypool, slightly, in arm; William Julian, slightly; Thomas Jump, slightly, in leg; Joseph V. Davis, slightly; Milton R. Hardie, mortally, (has since died ;) Able Benny, slightly, in leg; William Chasteen, mortally, (has since died in hospital.) Total--four killed, seven wounded, all of company I, Second Missouri.”

The dead were necessarily left, and after burying them, the party conveyed the wounded the long distance to the river, and taking the steamer Darling, returned to quarters at New Madrid to-night.

By a general order, issued this day from the headquarters of the army of the Potomac, all civilians, sutlers, and their employes, were ordered to the rear by the sixteenth. Members of the Sanitary or Christian Commissions, and registered news correspondents only, were allowed to remain. All property for which there was no transportation, also was ordered to the rear, and the authority of corps commanders to grant furloughs was revoked, and none to be granted save in extreme cases, or in case of reenlisted veterans.

A party of guerrillas entered Shelbyville, Ky., at one o'clock A. M., this day, stole seven horses, and broke open the Branch Bank of Ashland; but before they could rifle it of its contents, they became alarmed at the proximity of the Twelfth Ohio cavalry, and decamped. The rest of them were arrested, and confined in Taylorsville jail.--this evening, the National cavalry, under the command of General Grierson, made a descent upon a bridge over Wolf River, Tenn., which had just been completed by the rebel General Forrest, and succeeded in capturing and destroying it, with a loss of eight killed and wounded, and the capture of two rebel prisoners.

The battle of Sabine Cross-Roads, La., took place this day. A participant in the fight gives the following account of it: “On the morning of the eighth of April, the regiment broke up camp at Pleasant Hill, and with the Twenty-fourth Iowa, Fifty-sixth Ohio, Forty-sixth Indiana, and Twenty-ninth Wisconsin, which composed the Third division, moved in the direction of Mansfield. After marching ten miles, the division halted and went into camp, as was supposed, for the night. At half-past 2 o'clock P. M., we (the Twenty-eighth Iowa) were ordered into line, and forward with the division, to support General Lee's cavalry and the Fourth division of the Thirteenth army corps, then engaging the enemy. A rapid march of an hour brought us to the scene of action. The Twenty-eighth Iowa was formed on the extreme left, supported by four companies of the Twenty-fourth Iowa, and advanced into an open field to meet the enemy. Here the regiment (the Twenty-eighth) halted, and was ordered to fire. After a spirited contest of about fifteen minutes, being exposed to a terrible [61] fire of grape, shell, and shrapnel from the enemy's batteries, causing sad havoc in our ranks, we were ordered to fall back a short distance to secure a better position. This was accomplished in the best possible manner. Our second position was taken behind a fence, near a small ravine, and held two hours, receiving the constant fire of the enemy's infantry, and being exposed to their artillery. At this time the enemy had gained our left flank and rear, and were pouring a deadly fire upon us. Our ammunition being, in a great measure, exhausted, and having no support whatever, we were obliged to retreat with the rest of the division. After a running fight of three miles, in which we harassed the advance of the enemy, we were met by the Nineteenth army corps, and, with their assistance, succeeded in checking them. Night soon caused a cessation of hostilities.” --(Doc. 131.)

Colonel Howell, of the Eighty-fifth Pennsylvania volunteers, continued his reconnoissances toward the rebel outposts, in the neighborhood of Hilton Head, S. C. To-day, he advanced up the May River, in the patrol-boats Foulk and Croton, guarded by the gunboat Chippewa. Detachments from the Seventy-sixth and Eighty-fifth Pennsylvania volunteers accompanied the expedition. Landing on Hunting Island, the forces drove in the rebel pickets, and skirmished with the force in their rear. Captain Phillips, with some men of the Eighty-fifth, drove away the pickets in another locality, and regained the main body without casualty. Meanwhile, the Chippewa shelled the woods on and about the neighboring shores. Reembarking, the force proceeded toward Bluffton, shelling that place and its vicinity.

Major-General John J. Peck, in official orders, issued the following from his headquarters at Newbern, N. C.:

The Commanding General has the satisfaction of announcing another expedition against the enemy, in which both the military and naval forces of North-Carolina took part, sharing the honors equally.

On the twenty-fifth of March, Colonel J. Jourdan, commander of the sub-district of Beaufort, with two hundred men of the One Hundred and Fifty-eighth New York volunteer infantry, embarked on board the United States gunboat Britannia, Lieutenant Huse commanding, and steamed for Bogue and Bear Inlets, for the purpose of capturing two of the enemy's vessels engaged in contraband trade, and also a body of cavalry reported to be at Swansboro. Nearing the inlets, a portion of the command was transferred to small boats, and an effort made to effect a landing and move on Swansboro. All night long, in the breakers and storm, these little boats, with their patient crews, were tossed about. Several craft, in the violence of the gale, were dashed to pieces; but, through the energetic exertions of Colonel Jourdan and others, no lives were lost, although one officer (Captain David, of the One Hundred and Fifty-eighth New York volunteers) was seriously injured.

In the morning the storm abated, and another attempt was made. As the boats moved up, instead of seeing the expected cavalry, they were saluted by heavy volleys of musketry from the river-banks. The enemy proving too strong, the party was obliged to return to the vessel.

At the same time, Lieutenant King, of Colonel Jourdan's staff, with a body of men in boats, moved up Bear Inlet: he found and burned one of the vessels sought, together with its cargo of salt and leather. He returned to the gunboat, bringing with him forty-three negro refugees. The whole expedition arrived at Beaufort on the morning of the twenty-sixth ultimo, without the loss of a man.

Great credit is due Colonel Jourdan and the officers and men of his command, together with the officers and men of the navy, for the efficient service performed. The Commanding General tenders his thanks especially to Colonel Jourdan, Captain Cuff, and Lieutenant King, of the army, and to Commander Dove and Lieutenants Huse and Cowie, of the navy.

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