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[94] water, steamboats sometimes ascended, delivering freight for the town Searcy, seat of White county and a fertile country in the vicinity. On the 19th of May a detachment of Curtis' army was sent to impress forage on the south side of Little Red river, at Whitten's and Hopper's farms. The enemy's escort consisted of infantry, cavalry and artillery, about 300 men. Having loaded their train and started for the bridge across the river, they were attacked by Confederate mounted men, chiefly armed with shotguns, under Colonel McRae, Hicks and Captain Chrisman, who surrounded the train and killed 20 of the Federals and wounded 36, according to the report of General Osterhaus. About this time General Curtis reported:
A terrible rain, continuing for thirty-six hours, has created a flood, which is very inopportune to my movement. The ox-train had brought me a supply of seven or eight days, and on this I hoped to reach Little Rock. Now, dry creeks are impassable, and several days will transpire before I can cross streams, and during this time my bread supplies will probably run short. The country here and below cannot furnish flour and I must depend mainly on the trains for bread. Since writing the foregoing a scout comes directly from Little Rock. The rebels have burned the cotton (100,000 bales) in my advance: also bridges across Des Arc and Cypress [bayous].

On May 26th there was a skirmish between Hicks' men and a detachment of Federals; and on the 27th, at West Point, the enemy's cavalry was met and repulsed by a body of Confederates, after a skirmish of an hour. This was followed by a skirmish at Cache river bridge, on the 28th. On the 2d of June, Colonel Brackett, Ninth Illinois cavalry, retreated from his camp at Jacksonport upon the approach up White river of Commander Joseph Fry, of the old navy, with the Confederate gunboat Maurepas.

On the 27th of May, General Carr reported a severe skirmish by Confederates with the escort of one of his forage trains, and added: ‘Men of mine, who were with the Germans today foraging, report great excesses on their ’

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