Today in History:

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


We remained until 11 o'clock when we commenced to retire to the river. The enemy presented himself in small squads to our right, and, fearing some flanking movement, we moved back to the fork of the Mound City and Hopefield road. Soon the enemy seemed to become bolder, drawing up in line 600 yards to our front (toward Marion). I directed Colonel Funke to embark his horses gradually, and using the men as infantry, skirmishing was kept up until the arrival of Captain Moore, with his detachment by the Hopefield road. Captain Moore succeeded in capturing Reves' pickets, but did not succeed in surprising their camp, which had just been evacuated. He captured 1 lieutenant and 6 men on picket duty. Captain Moore arrived at Mound City at 5 p. m. The heavy fog on the river prevented the pilot from bringing the boats to Memphis last evening and both boats arrived at Memphis at 7 a. m. to-day. The captures are as follows: One lieutenant of Shelby's command, 11 men of Shelby's and Lyles' commands, 20 horses, and 4 mules, Loss, 1 man dangerously wounded.

I am, captain very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel and Asst. Insp. General, Department of Mississippi.

Captain F. W. FOX

Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of Mississippi.

Numbers 2. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Otto Funke, Eleventh Illinois Cavalry. HEADQUARTERS THIRD BRIGADE, CAVALRY DIVISION. Memphis, Tenn., January 23, 1865.

SIR: The details from different regiments (400 men in all) reported to me by your order on the night of the 20th [19th]. According to instructions I reported to Colonel Lieb, assistant inspector-general, for orders. The colonel told me that two boats would be ready on the levee inside of Fort Pickering at 8 p. m. and that my command had to be divided, one detachment going up and the other down the river. I ordered the Seventh Indiana and the Second Wisconsin (200) on board the steamer John Raine, but the other boat, Belle Peoria could only carry 110 horses and as there was no other transportation to be had I sent ninety men back to camp. Colonel Lieb told me that he had information that about fifty or sixty rebels were in the vicinity of Merriweather's place, about eight miles down the river, and that I should send the largest part of my command there, as there was only General Dobbin with staff and a small escort reported to be above, after whom I concluded to go with the balance of my command. The senior officer of the two detachments on board the steamer John Raine was Captain Moore, of the Seventh Indiana. I furnished him with a guide, and instructed him to leave with his command at 3 o'clock in the morning, in order to be there at daybreak, to disembark three miles below Merriweather's place, and try to get in rear of said rebel camp, and, if possible, to capture it. Should he ascertain that there was a rebel fore in the country, to strike the Mound City and Marion road about six miles from the rive, r but if he did not hear of any to strike the same road close to the river. At moonrise (2 a. m.) I started from the landing, accompanied by Colonel Lieb, up the river; at Mound City I disembarked the men and at 4