Today in History:

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


that could be spared from the village, that probably prevented our being ultimately surrounded and possibly defeated. As soon as the retreat of the rebels became apparent I sent forward a line of skirmishers to find whether the silence was a feint to draw us out, but could find no one. About daylight two men, Z. Parker, of King's company, and Edwin Estene, of Whitaker's company, were discovered badly wounded in Mr. Hamilton's house where they had been left by the rebels on their retreat. The latter died about noon, and the former is unlikely to survive the night. Soon after daylight five men of King's company- Savage, Bronette, Neff, Wood, and Gillette, representing themselves to be Northern men and deserters, came in and gave themselves up. Their statement is confirmed by the wounded Parker. Soon after noon Lieutenant Lewis arrived, and I sent him down as far as Toffie's. He learned that the rebels had retreated to Rill's plantation, eight or nine miles below here, and were in a saw-mill on the opposite side of the river. He also ascertained that at least two of those who escaped were wounded. No apprehending a repetition at present of last night's amusement, I have ordered Lieutenant Lewis back to Plaquemine. Should anything further occur I will notify forthwith. The rebels came from Bayou Pigeon with the intention of re-enforcing Whitaker on Bayou La Fourche, but being unable to resist the attraction of the apparently tempting bait we offered, they came up here. The officers drank freely on the way up, and one of their first cries was, "No quarter," The means of transportation used were a flat carrying forty men, five skiffs, and three pirogues.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain, Thirty-first Massachusetts Volunteers.

Lieutenant C. HENRY BARNEY,

Post Adjutant, Plaquemine, La.

JANUARY 26-FEBRUARY 11, 1865. - Expedition from Memphis, Tenn., into Southeastern Arkansas and Northeastern Louisiana.

Report of Colonel Embury D. Osband, Third U. S. Colored Cavalry, commanding expedition.


Memphis, Tenn., February 25, 1865.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to forward the following report of the late cavalry expedition into Arkansas and Louisiana under my command. The expedition consisted of detachments, of the following brigades and regiments:

First Brigade, Colonel J. P. C. Shanks: Seventh Indiana Cavalry, 155; Fifth Illinois Cavalry, 349; First Mississippi Cavalry, 57; total, 561. Second Brigade, Lieutenant-Colonel Dox: Twelfth Illinois Cavalry, 260; Eleventh New York Cavalry, 340; total, 600. Third Brigade, Lieutenant Colonel Otto Funke: Eleventh Illinois Cavalry, 340; Third U. S. Colored Cavalry, 450; Second Wisconsin Cavalry, 400; Fourth Illinois Cavalry, 270; total, 1,460; making a total of 2,621 men. At 5 p. m. on the evening of the 26th of January, 1865 the troops were embarked on the transports John Raine, Autocrat, Laurel Hill, Fanny Ogden, Sallie List, Carrie Jacobs, Virginia Barton, Tycoon, Illinois Ida May, Star-