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Doc. 125.-fight near cotton plant, Ark.

Missouri Democrat account.

Duvall's Bluff, Ark., camp Eighth Missouri cavalry volunteers, April 25, 1064.
on the morning of April twentieth, detachments of companies A, B, C, E, F, H, I, L, and M of this regiment, about two hundred and fifty men, left this place under command of Lieutenant-Colonel J. W. Lisenby, and arrived at Cotton Plant at ten o'clock next morning. Here we learned that two hundred guerrillas had left the town the day before. We resumed the march at eleven o'clock, and at dark halted and sent a small party to reconnoitre. Sergeant Major was informed that the rebs knew our designs, and had formed in line on both sides of the road. Upon this we marched back a mile; and cooked, as we had scarcely eaten the day before. The next morning, at day-break, the rebs commenced a vigorous attack on our pickets. We mounted, formed, and rode out to meet the enemy. Company E, commanded by Captain William J. Bodenhamer, (a gallant and brave officer,) was sent to the right to flank the enemy, and the rest of the command attacked them in the front. In the early part of the fight, we drove them back about two hundred yards, when the rebs, consisting heretofore of cavalry, were reenforced by a large force of infantry, compelling us to fall back to our former position. Here a fire was kept up for two hours, when orders were received to fall back, as the enemy greatly outnumbered us, (estimated at one thousand six hundred.) We heard that we were to be aided by forces sent up the river, to attack them in the rear, and by troops from Helena, to attack them in that quarter. This fired the boys on, and made them fight with more vigor. Our wounded, among whom was D. Edward M. Clark, of company A, (wounded mortally,) were carried off the field to a neigh-boring house, which was fitted up as a hospital, and the wounded placed in charge of Dr. Cook, contract surgeon at this post, who remained with them, and is now in the enemy's hands. Company I, commanded by Lieutenant F. J. McAdoo, and company L, covered the retreat, till the wounded were all moved from the field, and then joined the balance of the command. We were closely followed, and fought constantly, for about five miles. We then halted, and the ground being favorable, formed to receive the enemy, and while doing so, we discovered that they were about to make a flank movement to cut us off, compelling us again to take up our line of march. Here Lieutenant-Colonel J. W. Lisenby left us, taking with him companies I and H, pursuing a different road, to protect a ford at a bayou, which we would have to cross, and which it was feared the enemy would take possession of. The rest of the command proceeded further, under command of Major William J. Teed, making direct for the bayou. Colonel Lisenby arrived at the bayou, and waited some time for us, when he received information that Major Teed had been cut off by one hundred of the enemy, and to prevent being cut off also, the Colonel took a different road, swam Cache River, and proceeded directly to Duvall's Bluff, and arrived at the banks opposite this place next day. Major Teed arrived at the bayou, and sent out scouts to find the Colonel, but these returned without having found him, and so we proceeded unmolested, except by the rain, which poured down in torrents, and reached Clarendon at eight o'clock P. M.; camped, and waited for a boat to ferry us across White River. This arrived next day; ferried us across, and so we arrived here last night, much wearied, hungry, and exhausted, but content that it all happened in our three years. Upon arriving, we learned that parts of companies D, F, and G, altogether fifty, and parts of the Third Minnesota [498] and Sixty-first Illinois infantry, under command of Colonel Andrews, the latter having come secretly from Little Rock, had left this place on Steamers Commercial and Raymond at the same time we did, and were to operate with us. They arrived at Augusta at daylight, on the twentieth, here disembarked, and proceeded toward Cache River by different roads; the cavalry taking one road and the infantry the other. It was not long before the cavalry, commanded by Captain J. H. Garrison, G, came upon the rebel Colonel Ponder, of the Ninth regiment Missouri Cavalry, C. S. A., who had been reconnoitring our forces. Upon seeing our cavalry, he endeavored to escape, but the boys gave chase, came upon him, and after firing a few shots at him, captured him, together with a few more rebs, and took him to the main command. After this, they proceeded toward the Cache River, arriving there at three o'clock P. M. Advance-guard here fired into a rebel picket on the other side of the river, causing them to skedaddle. They then turned back, and met the infantry resting three miles from the river, who returned with them to the boat. On the way there, the advance-guard (cavalry) came upon a reb, who tried to escape them; they gave chase, and “Jonny reb” was thrown from his “critter,” and then surrendered. Upon being asked by Captain Garrison as to his occupation, he stated that he was a despatch-bearer for the C. S. A., and drew forth a batch of despatches, among which were some announcing a victory of the rebs over Banks on Red River. The troops arrived at Augusta without further molestation. The next two days scouts were sent out, bringing in a great number of mules, horses, and contrabands, and at daylight of the twenty-fourth they left Augusta, and arrived here at two o'clock P. M.

Accompanying the infantry was Lieutenant Albert Potthoff, Post Quartermaster at Little Rock, who is greatly pleased with his lot of horses and mules. Officers and men behaved gallantly. The enemy's loss is not known, but is believed to be severe.

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