The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union And Confederate Armies. Series 1, Volume 34, In Four Parts. Part 1, Reports. Page: 768
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LOUISIANA ANI) T.'IIE TRANS-MIISSISSIIPPI.
there to demonstrate toward Washington; then, if all things justify, move rapidly
down the west bank of the Washita and take Camden. The commanding general
directs that you, in co-operation, observe the enemy in the direction of Monticello.
toward Camden. If our movement shall cause them to fall back press them with
all the force you can use, making the entire safety of your post the primary object.
If possible communicate directly with the general across the country. Keep Major
Green, assistant adjutant-general, who remains at Little Rock, advised of every-
thing of importance.
F. H. MANTER,
Colonel and Chief of Sta(ff.
My scouts from the direction of Monticello bring me information
which leads me to believe that the enemy is falling back from that
place, although it is impossible to tell for a certainty. Acting upon
the supposition that they are, I shall march to-morrow morning with
all of my available cavalry and about one-half of my infantry, amount-
ing in all to about 1,100 men, to Mount Elba, at which point I will
throw a temporary bridge across the Saline, and leave my infantry
and part of my artillery to hold the same and act as a reserve. I
will cross with my cavalry, make a feint in the direction of Camden,
and move rapidly down the Saline by way of Warren to Long View.
at which point the enemy have a pontoon bridge over which they
cross in communicating with Camden from Monticello. I think they
have some military stores also at this point. By destroying this
bridge I will cut off their communications and will be able to attack
any small parties that may be between the Saline and the Washita.
I have two lines of retreat-first, by the bridge at Mount Elba;
second, by the way of Princeton and Benton to Little Rock. Of
course the latter would not be adopted unless a flank movement from
Monticello should make it necessary for the infantry to withdraw
from Mount Elba and fall back upon Pine Bluff. If these plans
should meet with your approval I hope you will see the necessity
of countermanding your order in reference to the armed negroes at
this post, letting them remain as a part of the garrison until I return.
I think they are absolutely necessary, as a movement might be made
in my absence by the enemy at Monticello against the post; besides,
all of the negroes are employed daily in strengthening the fortifica-
TPine Bluff, Ark., April 1, 1864.
MAJOR: On the 24th of March, 1864, I received instructions from
General Steele, through his chief of staff, to observe the enemy in
the direction of Monticello and Camden, and if I found them retreat-
ing to press them with all of my available force, making the safety
of this post the primary object. In obedience to said instructions I
sent out Lieutenants Greathouse and Young, with 40 picked and well-
mounted men, each with orders to penetrate the enemy's outer lines
and hang upon the flanks of his camps until they could obtain defi-
nite information of his movements. On the evening of the 26th,
Lieutenants Greathouse and Young returned, and expressed the opin-
ion that the enemy was preparing to leave Monticello. I at once
concluded to act upon this information. After some deliberation I
concluded that to march directly against the enemy at Monticello
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United States. War Department. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union And Confederate Armies. Series 1, Volume 34, In Four Parts. Part 1, Reports., book, 1892; Washington D.C.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146033/m1/797/?q=The: accessed November 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.