MARMADUKE'S EXPEDITION INTO MISSOURI
Page 298 Chapter XXXIV
Report of Lieutenant Colonel S. G. Kitchen, Missouri Cavalry Battalion (Confederate.)
CAMP SUGAR CREEK, ARK., May 7, 1863.
I have the honor to submit a report of the operations of my battalion since its organization on April 9, 1863, in Greene County, Arkansas, by
the election of a lieutenant-colonel and major, eight companies participating in said election.
I immediately assumed command, and on the 10th marched northward toward Chalk Bluff, with the intention of co-operating with Lieutenant Colonel W. J. Preston, who was on duty with several hundred men from your command at that time in this portion of the State. Having formed a junction with Colonel Preston, to resist a force of the enemy which was reported crossing the Saint Francis River for the purpose of making a raid into Arkansas, and Colonel Preston suddenly and unexpectedly retreating, I was compelled to retire with the force then at my disposal (about 100 men), before a superior force of the enemy, consisting of some 400 cavalry and two pieces of artillery.
My battalion then encamped 7 miles from Gainesville, where it remained until the morning of the 20th, when it marched to Chalk Bluff. I had learned, from my scouts, of an encampment of about 60 Federals at or near the Bluff, and determined to surprise and capture it, if possible. Arriving at the Bluff after dark, I left my horses on the south bank of the river, and, crossing my men over in a canoe, attacked the enemy at daylight with 100 men, and succeeded in completely surprising and routing the camp, a majority of the enemy so rapidly and hurriedly they stampeded from their tents. The fruits of our victory consisted of 18 tents, 60 horses, 10 mules, 2 wagons, blankets, clothing, cooking utensils, &c., and 23 prisoners, including in the number Captain Richard M. Hulse, of McNeil's regiment, Gamble militia. The enemy lost 3 or 4 killed and about the same number wounded. Our loss was 2 killed and 2 wounded.
On the same day (21st) I recrossed the Saint Francis and marched to my old camp near Gainesville, and from which place I sent the prisoners to Little Rock under a guard of 20 men.
Having learned of your movements in a letter to Brigadier General M. Jeff. Thompson, I marched my command to Chalk Bluff and reported for duty. A portion of my force was detailed to assist in building the bridge, another in scouting and picketing on each side of the Saint Francis, and the remainder of my available troops were ordered to blockade Taylor's Slough, which they accomplished on the morning of May 2. The battalion moved from Chalk Bluff with your column, and is now on duty guarding the northern frontier and performing other duties under your late orders.
S. G. KITCHEN,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Battalion Missouri Volunteers.
Brigadier General J. S. MARMADUKE.