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[361] general command, I immediately assigned Brig.-General Geo. W. Morgan, a tried and meritorious officer, to the command of the Thirteenth corps d'armee, in which he was the senior division commander.

The Fifteenth corps, temporarily constituted by me the right wing, was composed of the following troops :

First division.

Brigadier-General F. Steele, commanding.

First brigade, Brig.-Gen. Frank P. Blair, commanding--Thirteenth Illinois, Twenty-ninth Missouri, Thirty-first Missouri, Thirty-second Missouri, Fifty-eighth Ohio, Thirtieth Missouri.

Second brigade, Brig.-Gen. C. E. Hovey, commanding--Seventeenth Missouri, Twenty-fifth iowa, Third Missouri, Seventy-sixth Ohio, Thirty-first Iowa, Twelfth Missouri.

Third brigade, Brig.-General John M. Thayer, commanding--Fourth Iowa, Thirty-fourth Iowa, Thirtieth Iowa, Twenty-sixth Iowa, Ninth Iowa, infantry.

Artillery--First Iowa, Capt. Griffiths; Fourth Ohio, Captain Hoffman, and First Missouri horse artillery.

Cavalry--Third Illinois, and company--, Fifteenth Illinois.

Second division.

Brigadier--General D. Stuart, commanding

First brigade--Colonel G. A. Smith, commanding--Eighth Missouri, Sixth Missouri, One Hundred and Thirteenth Illinois, One Hundred and Sixteenth Illinois, Thirteenth United States.

Second brigade, Colonel T. Kilby Smith, commanding--Fifty-fifth Illinois, One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Illinois, Fifty-fourth Ohio, Eighty-third Indiana, Fifty-seventh Ohio, infantry.

Artillery--Companies A and B, First Illinois light artillery, and Eighth Ohio battery.

Cavalry--Two companies of Thielman's Illinois battalion, and company C, Tenth Missouri.

The Thirteenth corps, forming the left wing, was composed of the following forces:

First division.

Brigadier-General A. J. Smith, commanding.

First brigade, Brig.-Gen. S. G. Burbridge, commanding--Sixtieth Indiana, Sixteenth Indiana, Twenty-third Wisconsin, Eighty-third Ohio, Sixty-seventh Indiana, Ninety-sixth Ohio.

Second brigade, Colonel W. J. Landrum, commanding--Nineteenth Kentucky, Seventy-seventh Illinois, Forty-eighth Ohio, Ninety-seventh Illinois, One Hundred and Eighth Illinois, One Hundred and Thirty-first Illinois, Eighty-ninth Indiana, infantry.

Artillery--Seventeenth Ohio battery, Captain Blount, and Illinois Mercantile battery, Captain Cooley.

Cavalry--One company Fourth Indiana.

Second division.

Brigadier-General P. I. Osterhaus, commanding.

First brigade, Col. L. A. Shelden, commanding--Sixtieth Indiana, One Hundred and Eighteenth Illinois, One Hundred and Twentieth Ohio.

Second brigade, Col. D. W. Lindsay, commanding--Third Kentucky, Forty-ninth Indiana, One Hundred and Fourteenth Ohio.

Third brigade, Colonel J. I)e Courcy, commanding--Sixteenth Ohio, Twenty-second Kentucky, Forty-second Ohio, Fifty-fourth Indiana, infantry.

Artillery--First Wisconsin, Capt. Foster, Seventh Michigan, Captain Lamphere.

Having, as already mentioned, assumed command of these forces on the fourth instant, after they had retired from the neighborhood of Vicksburgh, I sailed with them, the same day, in execution of a purpose, the importance of which I had suggested to Gen. Gorman, at Helena, on the thirtieth December ultimo, on my way down the river. That purpose was the reduction of Fort Hindman, which had been laboriously and skilfully enlarged and strengthened, since the commencement of the rebellion; which formed the key to Little Rock, the capital of the State of Arkansas, and the extensive and valuable country drained by the Arkansas River, and from which hostile detachments were constantly sent forth to obstruct the navigation of the Mississippi River and thereby our communications.

A Government transport, the Blue Wing, laden with valuable military stores, only a few days before, fell prey to one of these detachments ; and ammunition taken from her was used against us in the engagement of which [ am giving an account. Without turning my arms in this direction, my forces must have continued comparatively idle, at Milliken's Bend, until you should have altered your plan for the reduction of Vicksburgh, or recalled them.

Landing at intervals to supply my transports with fuel cut from the forest, or already cut and found upon the bank, the army safely arrived at the mouth of the White River on the eighth inst. Henceforth its operations were controlled by, and but fulfilled the following instructions, previously communicated by me to army corps commanders:

First. Having arrived at the mouth of the White River, the commanders of army corps of the army of the Mississippi will lose no time in moving their commands upon their transports, up that river to the cut-off, and through it into and up the Arkansas River to a suitable point on the left bank of the same, near and below Post Arkansas for disembarkation.

Second. The army will move from the mouth of the White River in the following order: The Fifteenth corps, Major-Gen. Sherman commanding, forming the right wing, right in front, first; the Thirteenth corps, Brig.--Gen. Morgan commanding forming the left wing, in the same order, next.

Third. Arrived at the proposed point for debarkation, the two corps will immediately disembark, being careful to preserve their distinctness and to protect their landing by skirmishers and advanced detachments, . . . . and rapidly march as follows:

The Fifteenth corps, Major-Gen. Sherman, commanding, by the rear of the post, until the right of the corps has reached the river above the post

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