The Arkansas in the Civil War Message Board

Action on the Mississippi River

Captain James H. McGehee's Co. C, 1st (Dobbin's) Arkansas Cavalry, was operating independently during this episode:


Camp of Unattached Company of Arkansas Cav., Marion, Arks, March 2d, 1863.

Col. R. C. Newton, A. A. Gen., &c.

Colonel—In obedience to orders received from Maj. Gen. Commanding the Trans Miss. Dist. to proceed to the county of Crittenden, Arks, for the purpose of scouting and burning cotton in that country, and annoying the enemy on the Miss. River, I have the honor to report that I marched from Austin, Arks, and proceeded to the Miss. River, burning all cotton as I went, which was liable to fall into the hands of the enemy.

On the 6th day of January I captured the steamboat “Jacob Musselman” opposite Memphis, lying at the Arkansas Shore, ran her to Bradleys Landing 15 miles above that point, where I captured another boat (flat boat loaded with stock). After taking what was valuable on the Steamer Jacob Musselman and the stock off the flat boat, I burned them both.

On the 11th day of January I captured the steamboat “Grampus” No. 2, just off the wharf at Memphis, ran her to Mound City, five miles above Memphis, and burned her. There were with the Grampus five coal boats which were turned loose in the river when she was captured, and floated down and sunk.

On the 17th of February I captured the steam tug “Hercules” opposite Memphis and seven coal boats which were with her and burned them on the spot, being unable to run them off, owing to the terrific fire from the gun boats which were lying at the Memphis wharf.

On the 16th of February I captured a flat boat 30 miles below Memphis, laden with Medicine, &c. She had on board the following articles, to wit: 600 oz Quinine, 200 oz Morphine, 6 lb Opium, 5 lb Epecac, 5 Navy repeaters, 450 Rounds of Navy Cartridges, 3000 Percussion Caps, 6 pr Gauntletts.

I am Col. Your Obt. Servt,
Capt. Comd’g Company.