July 24, 1863

July 24, 2013
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One hundred fifty years ago, on July 24, 1863, a Confederate commander divines the intent of the Union drive down Crowley’s Ridge:
CAMP FOUR MILES SOUTH OF POCAHONTAS,
July 24, 1863.
Maj. HENRY EWING,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Jacksonport, Ark.:
MAJOR: One of my scouts, who was captured and paroled by the enemy, returned last night. He says there are three forts at Bloomfield, and some very large siege pieces. General McNeil is in command. He says there are 2,000 cavalry and 2,000 infantry left to garrison that place. He crossed on the pontoon at Chalk Bluff, with Colonel Glover’s command. He says there are not less than 10,000 Federals this side of Saint Francis, and about 2,000 infantry. He counted 250 wagons and eighteen large field pieces. The field pieces have 8 horses, and not under 24-pounders. They are preparing to take up their pontoon, and are making a raft bridge across the Saint Francis. This man was taken to Cape Girardeau and then brought back to Bloomfield, and had a good opportunity to find out their strength.
The enemy is in force at Gainesville, and are putting up telegraph wires to Chalk Bluff. They say they are going to Jacksonport and to Little Rock. They think General Price’s division is at Jacksonport. I am satisfied that this is no raid of the enemy, but that it is their intention to march this time to Little Rock.
Shall I destroy my boats, or send them down the river to Jackson-port? One of them is a large Federal flat-boat. I have a 2-inch rope. It is impossible for the enemy to cross without my having immediate information. I will encamp at cross-roads and wait further orders.
I am, major, your obedient servant,
JNO. Q. BURBRIDGE,
Colonel, Commanding.

Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission

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