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[309] and one company of cavalry remaining on the spot, to see to the proper fulfilment of the contract entered into by General Blunt and the steamboat captain, who, by the way was a very gentlemanly fellow. The other cavalry, which had gone down under command of Col. Cloud of Kansas, soon secured the other two steamboats, the Key West and Rose Douglass, (one of them being captured by company E, First Missouri volunteer cavalry, Capt. Fuller;) and also a lot of rebel transportation, which was skedaddling fast. Thus ended the downward trips of these boats, and rebel teams of Col. Lane's regiment of Texas Partisan Rangers.

We all then started back toward the city, and arrived just in time to participate in the cheers for the Stars and Stripes which were hoisted on the flag-staff over the court-house, waving defiance at Dixie land. We prepared a small collation, such as soldiers generally carry with them, consisting of hard bread and bacon, and enjoyed this as well as the other fun, when, at about three o'clock P. M., all of a sudden the rapid discharge of cannon was heard from the opposite shore of the Arkansas, followed by the explosion of shells in our midst. Every body secured his horse, and the whole rallied around their commanders, and then marched to the height near the city. As luck would have it, the tiring of the rebels was chiefly directed against the largest brick and frame houses, thereby showing that they could well hit the mark, and may it be recorded here, that for the first time I saw them hit something.

The principal damage was done to the citizens of Van Buren. Our loss consisted of two killed--one of the First Iowa cavalry, the other of the Second Kansas cavalry; and the wounded were also two--Second Lieutenant John J. Ault, and private Paul Schleiffarth, both of Captain H. J. Stierlin's company A, First Missouri cavalry. Both will be well again in a week's time. They also killed two children. After about one hour's shelling, our own artillery, which had hastened to the ground, appeared on the height between Van Buren and Logtown, and opened on the rebel batteries, (seven pieces.) The third shot from our guns occasioned a stirring limber up of the rebel pieces, and off they went, while our artillery continued to assist their speed by following them with “a little more shell.”

Nothing of note transpired now until after dark, when our whole army of the frontier arrived in and around the city, the artillery placing their pieces all along the landing, looking toward Dixie. At about eight o'clock, firing of cannon was heard some distance eastward of Van Buren, and I learned that one of the Kansas batteries was shelling a rebel camp about five or six miles below Van Buren, on the south side of the river. The rebels found this place too hot, and gently withdrew from the spot. This concluded another Sunday fight of the army of the frontier, crowned with success.

All steamboats having in the mean time effected their landing on the banks of the city, gave, on the next morning, a lively appearance to the landing, which our men well enjoyed, especially those who had been so long away from navigable rivers, and every body interested took a survey through town toward the river, concluding that every thing was well done. On the levee we found many hogsheads of superior sugar, which was no longer confederate property. In fact, we found ourselves in possession of a large amount of contraband property, such as sugar, corn, cattle, mules, horses, wagons, and almost every thing necessary and useful for man and beast.

On the forenoon of the twenty-ninth, our whole infantry force and two batteries marched en parade through the principal streets of Van Buren, the respective field-bands in front, the whole of the streets lined with spectators — even the rebel hospitals nearly emptied to look at the Lincolnites, who went shouting and hurrahing with an enthusiasm that awakened in many a rebel heart the feeling of “Oh! Could I be among them!” All around you could hear, “What a difference in appearance between these and our troops,” or “How far superior they look to our men,” etc., etc. In short, as our army was the first of the Federals that ever made their entrance into Van Buren, you may imagine the surprise of the citizens, who, instead of beholding “Pin Indians, Southern tories, Kansas jay-hawkers, hired Dutch cut-throats, and free negroes,” saw nothing but well-clad and well-disciplined troops. When the first cavalry entered Van Buren, the women inquired whether we had any Pins along with us; and some unsophisticated Federals, not knowing that they meant Pin Indians, drew forth a few genuine pins to accommodate the ladies, which created some merriment amongst those who knew what the ladies meant.

In the afternoon of the twenty-ninth orders for a return march were given, and again every mounted man provided himself with a peck of shell-corn, of which article the place was full. At about five o'clock a small party, consisting of Brigadier-Generals Blunt and Herron, and Col. Huston, his Adjutant-General, Lieut. Chandler; Medical Director, Dr. Porter, and Major Bauzof, accompanied by Henry L. Stierlin, First Missouri cavalry, and fourteen of his men armed with axes and a few shooting-irons, all on foot, marched down to the ferry-boat, and made a trip across the Arkansas into the interior of Dixie. The officers, except Captain Stierlin, stopped near the shore while the latter and his men went through the woods to destroy some wagons, said to be left somewhere by the rebels. At this time a deserter came in from Fort Smith with the information that Hindman had burned a large part of the fort, including all buildings containing confederate stores; also, that he had burned two steamboats and blown up a magazine, and that he had left with his whole command, as was supposed, to a place called Dardanelle. After the above-mentioned command had accomplished its errand, the whole party started back to the ferry-boat; but scarcely had it arrived there, when


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