No. 90.-report of Col. Washington L. Elliott, Second Iowa Cavalry, commanding Cavalry Brigade, of expedition to and capture of Booneville, Miss.
headquarters Second Brigade Cavalry Division, Army of the ississippi, May 31, 1862.Captain: I have the honor to report that, in compliance with the instructions of General Granger, commanding division, and letter of instructions of General Pope, I proceeded, at 12 o'clock on the night of the 27th, with my brigade, consisting of the Second Iowa and Second Michigan Cavalry, via Iuka, Miss., by a circuitous route to the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, at Booneville, about 22 miles below Corinth, Miss.; reached Booneville about 2 o'clock a. m. on the 30th, and about daybreak deployed my brigade half a mile from and on the eastern side of the town, approaching it with skirmishers deployed to the front. I then detached Lieutenant-Colonel Hatch, Second Iowa Cavalry, with the right wing of that regiment, with orders first to cut the telegraph wires and then to take possession of all property in the town, holding the left wing of the regiment as a reserve; also detached Colonel Sheridan, with the left wing of the Second Michigan, to proceed to the railroad below Booneville and do as much damage as possible, holding the right wing of the regiment as a reserve. I found in and around the town from 2,000 to 2,500 convalescent and sick of the enemy, a guard of from 500 to 700 infantry below the town, and about 250 cavalry above it. Near the railroad depot was a train, consisting of 1 locomotive and 26 large cars; 5 loaded with small-arms, some of them boxed up; 5 loaded with ammunition for artillery and for small-arms; 1 platform car, with 1 brass and 2 iron field pieces of artillery; the balance of the train loaded with officers' baggage, clothing, provisions, and quartermaster's stores. The depot was stored  with ammunition, subsistence, and quartermaster's stores. While the track was being damaged above and below the town I caused all the cars to be brought near the depot and had them fired, both depot and cars, first causing the sick of the enemy to be removed beyond danger from the explosion of powder and shell. I remained long enough to see that the fire could not be extinguished and heard the explosion of the ammunition for two or three hours. For the details as to the damage done by Lieutenant-Colonel Hatch and Colonel Sheridan I refer to the reports of these officers. The general amount of damage done was, the track in several places, one culvert, and all of the switches. The value of the property destroyed I estimate at from one-fourth to one-half million of dollars. Having learned that the enemy had sent forces to Baldwin and Guntown to intercept me on my return, and on account of the scarcity of provisions in the country, being without wagon transportation and the route impracticable for the same if I had it, I could only bring to camp the mounted prisoners, from 30 to 40 in number, disarming and leaving the infantry prisoners, from 500 to 700 in number. For want of guides the march was very fatiguing, both to men and horses. Meat only could be procured for the former and very little forage for the latter. The hardships were borne by officers and men without a murmur, duties performed cheerfully, and all in good spirits, notwithstanding the fatigue of the march and want of food and rest. The assistance rendered me by Lieut. C. F. Marden, acting assistant adjutant-general, and Lieut. P. A. Weber, aide-de-camp, was most valuable. Captain Campbell, commanding Third Battalion of Second Michigan Cavalry, with his dismounted skirmishers, handsomely checked and drove from the Second Iowa Cavalry the cavalry of the enemy in his attempt to fire upon us while arranging for the destruction of the property in the town and wounded several of the enemy. After I was satisfied that the destruction of the property was complete I formed my command, ready to attack the cavalry of the enemy should he again appear. Finding that he did not, I returned to my camp about 8 o'clock p. m. to-day by another circuitous route, having marched during the four days about 180 miles. I regret to learn that our loss was 1 killed, 2 wounded, and 6 missing Very respectfully, &c.,