Today in History:

55 Series I Volume XLVIII-I Serial 101 - Powder River Expedition Part I


JANUARY 19-22, 1865. - Expedition from Memphis, Tenn., to Marion Ark., with skirmishes (20th and 21st) at and near Marion.


Numbers 1. - Colonel Herman Lieb, Fifth U. S. Colored Heavy Artillery, Assistant Inspector-General.

Numbers 2. - Lieutenant Colonel Otto Funke, Eleventh Illinois Cavalry.

Numbers 1. Report of Colonel Herman Lieb, Fifth U. S. Colored Heavy Artillery, Assistant Inspector-General. HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF MISSISSIPPI, ASSISTANT INSPECTOR-GENERAL'S OFFICE. Memphis, Tenn., January 22, 1865.

SIR: I have the honor to submit for your consideration the following report:

On the afternoon of the 19th instant, when preparations had already been made to cross into Arkansas with 450 cavalry and 200 infantry, a scout reported that all of Colonel Lyles' and Shelby's men had left and gone to Mississippi County; that but Reves' band was below, and in rear of Merriweather's farm, about eight miles from the city, and that General Dobbin and staff were on the plantation of Mrs.


, nine miles west of Marion and thirteenth of Mound City, with but a small escort. The scout had spoken with him that day (the 19th); consequently the infantry detachment was countermanded. Embarking I found that, contrary to the statement of Captain Van Vliet, one of the boats would contain but 110 horses, making a force of 310 on both. I sent the Raine, in charge of Captain Moore, Seventh Indiana Cavalry, with 200 men, after the Reves party, while myself and Colonel Funke took the Belle Peoria and landed at Mound City at 4 a. m. April 20. Proceeded toward Marion. When within one mile of the town the advance was halted but dashing forward captured the two vedettes. One-quarter of a mile farther met the cavalry outpost, the advance dashing on to the, wounding 1 mortally and 1 slightly in arm, who, with 1 other, was captured, with 7 horses. The balance made their escape. Marching forward, the enemy making but little resistance to our advance except light skirmishing, it was resolved to remain till day-break. The main force was drawn up in a field to the left of the road; the right was protected by the bayou and a gully to the front. Outposts were thrown to the front on both roads. In the meantime we received positive information that Colonel Lyles was distant but a few miles with part of his old command, from 200 to 250 men, and the detachments of Missouri troops of 150, making in all 400 men. At day-break the houses were searched and Mr. Grider, a notorious smuggler, was captured. He attempted to wrest the pistol out of the hands of the guard. Having been overpowered he attempted to bribe them by giving them various sums of money. On searching him I found in his possession an order to proceed to the counties of Crittenden, Jackson, and Mississippi, all opposite Memphis, to procure such quartermaster's stores as he could obtain, signed Major-general Hindman. Having received the above information and expecting that Captain Moore's detachment would strike the military road one mile est of Marion, I concluded to withdraw one mile to Mr. Cross' plantation. Soon the enemy followed, keeping up sharp firing, but not pressing us in the least.