|Jonas H. Roe
July 4, 1862
I wrote a letter to send you on the 2 July but I have had no chance of sending it as my life is uncertain I thought it best to have a letter written at all times by me that could be filled + sent to you at any time if I should get killed We are now incamped in the town of Augusta located on the East bank of the White River 35 miles south of Jacksonport by land on the 2nd we had a skirmish and killed 6 rebels The Rebels ran from here yesterday they crossed over the River + we can not cross after them until our Pontoon Bridge comes up it will be here to day it is expected that we will have a great Battle at Disark 36 miles south by land from here our gun boats and steam Boats are there. The Rebels have destroyed the navigation of the River above by cutting Trees in it they have also filled the Road with trees all through here we have plenty of axes and men + we clear out the road as we go. This is a rich and beautiful country cotton and corn is very good and there is any amount of it
White River Station 25 miles south of Disark Ark July 8th Our Army arrived here last night at 11 oclock P.M. July 4th We remained at Augusta and Celebrated the 4th in grand State imagine the marching + countermarching of from forty to 80 thousand men and the firing of 100 cannon at intervals + you can form some idea of the celebration we had the best of music. on the fifth we had a skirmish with the Rebels and killed several men on the 6th we had another about 10 or 11 oclock A.M. of the 7th our advance guard were attacked by some 4 or 5 thousand of Ark + Texas rangers after a hard battle lasting 3 hours the Rebels ran leaving upwards of 130 dead on the field + some seriously wounded our loss in killed + wounded was sixty 19 or 20 killed in the morning before the battle the rebels took two of our men prisoners and tied them to a tree and shot them 13 balls was shot through an orderly Sargent of the 11th Wisconsin Reg. of Cav. I am going out now in a scout expecting to be gone 5 days.
Helena Ark July 12th We left Clarendon our last station on White River whare we expected to find our gun Boats on the morning of the 9th at 4 A.M. after 27 hours of continuous travel we arrived at this place distance fifty five miles we did not unsaddle our horses doing the whole distance when we arrived here the rebels had made good their retreat as usual Helena is situated on the Mississippi River 160 miles south of Memphis by Water and 60 by land two Regiments of Cav. and four cannon and the necessary men to manage them constitute our scouting party ever since the battle of the 7th the rebels have kept out of our sight on the 5th, 6th and 7th we killed not less than 200 of them they were brave and well armed our Army is still at Clarington.
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