while that of the enemy, notwithstanding the protection afforded by his defences, proportionably to his numbers, was much larger. The prisoners of war I forwarded to the Commissioner for the exchange of prisoners at St. Louis, and utterly destroying all of the enemy's defences, together with all buildings used by him for military purposes, I reembarked my command and sailed for Milliken's Bend on the seventeenth instant, in obedience to Major-Gen. Grant's orders. Noticing the conduct of the officers and men who took part in the battle of the Arkansas, I must refer to the reports of corps, division, brigade and regimental commanders for particular mention of those who specially signalized their merit; but in doing so, I cannot forbear, in justice, to add my tribute to the general zeal and capability of the former, and valor and constancy of the latter. Gen. Sherman exhibited his usual activity and enterprise; Gen. Morgan proved his tactical skill and strategic talent; while Generals Steele, Smith, Osterhaus, and Stuart, and the several brigade commanders, displayed the fitting qualities of brave and successful officers. The members of my staff present--Col. Stewart, Chief of Cavalry; Lieut.-Col. Schwartz, Inspector General; Lieut.-Colonel Dunlap, A. Q.M.; Major McMillen, Medical Director; Major Ramsey; Captain Freeman, and Lieutenants Jones, Caldwell and Jayne, Aids-de-camp — all rendered valuable assistance. Lieut. Caldwell, who ascended into the top of a lofty tree in full view of the enemy and within range of his fire, and gave me momentary information of the operations both of our land and naval forces and of the enemy, particularly challenges my commendation and thanks. To Col. Parsons, A. Q.M., and master of transports, I also offer my acknowledgments, not only for the successful discharge of arduous duties in his department, but for important services as volunteer aid, in bearing orders in the face of danger, on the field. And to Major Williams, Surgeon of the Second Illinois light artillery, I am also indebted for professional usefulness. The maps and drawings herewith submitted will illustrate the disposition of the land forces, the position of the gunboats, the defences of the enemy, the field of operations, and the surrounding country. While mourning the loss of the dead and sympathizing with the bereavement of their kindred and friends, and the sufferings of the wounded, we should offer our heartfelt gratitude to Almighty God for the complete success vouchsafed to our arms in so just a cause.
Report of General Hovey.
headquarters Second brigade, First division, Fifteenth army corps, steamer continental, January 13, 1863.Captain: Pursuant to orders from General Steele, the Second brigade debarked on the morning of the tenth instant, at Notrib's plantation, about one mile below “Arkansas Post,” and marched in a north-westerly direction, with the view of passing in the rear of the Fort and gaining the river above. The brigade consists of the Seventeenth, Twelfth, and Third Missouri infantry, the Twenty-fifth and Thirty-first Iowa infantry, the Seventy-sixth Ohio infantry, and the First Missouri horse artillery. Having proceeded one half-mile to near the woods, the enemy's pickets were discovered in force, and Captain Landgrasber was ordered forward and dispersed them with a few shells from his howitzers. Bearing to the right and following the old wood-road, the brigade soon reached an apparently impassable bayou, but a crossing was at last effected, and the route pursued for several miles. Small squads of the enemy's cavalry hovered in our advance, and several were captured. About two o'clock the column was ordered to return to the landing, where it arrived just before dark, and bivouacked for the night. Hardly had the camp fires been lighted, when orders were received to move immediately by another route and by a night-march to our original destination. Over marshy ground, thickly covered with wood, without a guide and with the only direction, “to take a north-westerly course,” we set out. Fortunately, the North Star was in full view, and by its aid we were enabled to reach the point indicated, after a fatiguing march of more than eight hours. It was after two o'clock in the morning when we reached the deserted camps of the enemy. At daybreak Gen. Steele and staff came up, and ordered the brigade to form parallel with the bayou on which its right then rested, move toward the river, and complete the investment of the enemy's works. Having moved scarcely more than half a mile, we met the enemy in force, their works being in full view. The brigade halted, and skirmishers from the Seventeenth Missouri were sent forward to feel the enemy. They soon became hotly engaged, and the Third Missouri infantry were ordered forward to their support. Here a brave man, Captain Greene, of the Third Missouri, together with two color-bearers, were instantly killed by the bursting of a shell, and a large number wounded. The enemy having now been unmasked and their position partially at least ascertained, a halt was ordered and nothing further was done until the final dispositions for reducing the Fort were made. I had forgotten to state that the Twelfth Missouri was left behind at the landing as a guard for the transports, and that Captain Landgrasber's battery finding it impossible to follow the brigade in its night-march through the woods and swamps, was also left behind. This brigade occupied the extreme right, and was disposed for the assault as follows: Seventeenth Missouri, under Colonel Hassendeubel, were deployed as skirmishers on the advance, and were also instructed to watch the right bank of the bayou to guard against, or at least to give