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[262] 1,500 men. It was night before I got the train and prisoners on the way. We bivouacked on the battlefield, and early the next morning moved up the Saline river on hearing that a Federal train was then en route from Princeton to Little Rock. I continued for several days (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) attempting a crossing of the Saline, but without success. The rumor of the Federal train proved incorrect. The river [Saline] was swimming at every point, and on arriving at the last crossing, before getting to the military road, and finding it utterly impossible to cross there (Pratt's ferry), I moved out on the Princeton and Benton road, where I remained Thursday night, within 25 miles of Princeton, and until after 7 o'clock the next morning, hoping to hear something from district or department headquarters, as I had several days before dispatched to district headquarters my route.

Hearing nothing of the evacuation of Camden on Friday morning, and being entirely without forage and subsistence, I moved out toward the Ouachita, at the only point where anything of forage, etc., could be had, between Princeton and Arkansas river. Just before midnight, when 34 miles from Jenkins' ferry, I received a dispatch stating that the enemy was marching on Little Rock, and was within 8 miles of Jenkins' ferry. I at once ordered everything put in readiness and, by the time that I could see the road, moved as rapidly as the animals could travel for the scene of action on the 30th. On my arrival, the fight had just closed. Being ordered by General Smith to do so, I ordered a part of Shelby's brigade forward. They reached the ferry, where further pursuit was impossible.

The statement of the chief quartermaster of Steele's army, as to the wagons and mules captured and destroyed in the expedition, shows: ‘Total number of wagons captured by the enemy, 298; total number of wagons burned during engagements by the enemy's projectiles, about 90; total number of wagons destroyed by orders, 247; total number of wagons missing, 635; total number of mules captured, about 2,000; total number of mules lost and abandoned, about 500; total number of mules missing, about 2,500.’

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Charles A. Jenkins (2)
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