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[110] Little Red river, and thence marched to Batesville. These operations gave me a good line of defense—that of White river and its tributary, the Little Red. . . . Skirmishing was now almost continuous, and our troops were uniformly successful. . . .Major Chrisman, commanding an Arkansas squadron, was bold and active. Captain Rutherford, of his command, passed entirely around the Federal army, crossing White river, destroying a supply train from Missouri, and capturing a telegraph station a few miles north of Batesville, with the telegraphic correspondence of Curtis and Halleck. . . .

Memphis had long since fallen, and the enemy controlled the Mississippi from St. Louis to Vicksburg, securing access for his gunboats into White river. That stream afforded 10 feet of water to Devall's Bluff, 175 miles from the mouth, and 60 miles east of Little Rock, with which place there is railway communication. On June 16th a Federal fleet appeared in White river, near St. Charles. It consisted of the ironclad gunboats St. Louis and Mound City, each mounting thirteen guns; the Lexington and Conestoga, partially ironclad, each carrying seven guns; the tug Tiger, carrying one 34-pounder howitzer, and three transports with between 1,000 and 1,500 infantry, under Col. G. N. Fitch. The Maurepas was at St. Charles, but would have been useless against the enemy's ironclad vessels. The obstructions being incomplete, she was sunk across the channel, together with two steamboats. Two rifled 32-pounders, and four field pieces were put in battery on the bluff, manned by 79 men of the crews of the Maurepas and Ponchartrain, under Captain Dunnington, of the latter vessel. Captain Williams' armed men, 35 in number, were disposed as sharpshooters below; those not armed were sent to the rear. Captain Fry was placed in chief command.

The Federal gunboats attacked about 9 a. m., on the 17th. After an engagement of nearly three hours duration, the Mound City was blown up by a shot from our batteries, and the rest retired out of range. The infantry

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H. G. P. Williams (1)
Richard L. Rutherford (1)
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G. N. Fitch (1)
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