Doc. 162.-Captain Osband's expedition.
young's point, March 30, 1863.sir: In pursuance of Special Order No. 66, with the Fifty-fifth Illinois volunteers, part of the One Hundred and First Illinois, and part of company A, Fourth Illinois cavalry, on the thirteenth March, with the steamers Chancellor and Fanny Bullitt, all proceeded to Deer Creek Landing, in American Bend. I found the cotton, and held it, on the fourteenth. On the fifteenth March, Colonel Ferguson's cavalry attempted to burn the cotton, appearing with about sixty men. On the sixteenth, Colonel Malmborg, of the Fifty-fifth Illinois volunteers, concluded he could not hold the position. On this account, I proceeded with the steamer Chancellor, to Lake Providence, and obtained the Eleventh Illinois volunteers and the Fourteenth Wisconsin volunteers, under General Ransom. We arrived on the seventeenth at eight A. M. General Ransom attempted to find the enemy, but they were not discoverable. On the nineteenth instant, I proceeded with the Fanny Bullitt for more teams. I obtained at Lake Providence, from the Seventeenth army corps, twelve teams, and the steamer Von Phul, from the Thirteenth army corps, fifty-one teams and the Empress, and arrived with all at American Bend on the morning of the nineteenth, and, in the mean time, transported from Milliken's Bend to Eagle Bend thirty thousand rations, for General Stuart's command. On the twentieth, at eight P. M., the Von Phul left, with one hundred and seventy-one bales of cotton, three hundred and fifty head of beef cattle, and one hundred mules, and proceeded to Lake Providence and discharged her freight there, returning on the twenty-second at eight A. M., and again left on the twenty-fifth, with two hundred and eighty-six head of cattle, landing them half at Milliken's Bend and half at Young's Point. On the twenty-seventh, the David Tatum arrived, and on the twenty-eighth, the expedition left, arriving here and disembarking the troops, without accident or trouble, on the thirtieth. The David Tatum, being nearly wrecked by the storm, only obtained seventy-five cattle, which were delivered to General Logan's division on the thirtieth. The summary of the trip of sixteen days is as follows: Two thousand three hundred and eighty bales of cotton--2209 to Captain Reno; 171 to Captain Kluick. Seven hundred and five beef cattle--350 to Chief Commandant of the Seventeenth army corps; 140 to Captain Baker, Thirteenth army corps; 140 to Captain Strickle, Fifteenth army corps; 75 to Commissary of General Logan's division. One hundred mules-Captain Kluick, Seventeenth army corps. I have to thank all concerned for energy and good conduct. The cotton obtained was principally “C. S. A.” cotton, so branded, and was pledged in London for confederate bonds. During our stay the confederates burned about five thousand bales in our vicinity. There still remain two thousand bales “C. S. A.” cotton, easy of approach, and at a good landing, unburned. If you should desire to send me again, I think I can obtain it, as well as all the beef cattle you may need, besides mules untold. Respectfully,
E. D. Osband, Captain.