Military History | Death of Logan Fontenelle|
The Rebellion | Proclamation|
First Infantry (afterward First Cavalry)|
Second Nebraska Cavalry|
First Battalion Nebraska Veteran Cavalry|
The First Regiment in Nebraska.
The Curtis Horse|
The Curtis Horse (cont.)|
Public Acknowledgment | The Distinguished Soldiers|
Department of the Platte
On the 30th of July, the long delay came to an end, and five companies of the First Regiment embarked on the steamer "West Wind" for St. Joseph, Mo., arriving there August 1. Here they were to receive their equipments and await orders to the front. A large crowd of Omaha's inhabitants assembled at the landing to witness the departure of this first consignment of the Territory to the national defense. One week later, the remaining five companies also took their departure by river for St. Joseph.
August 12, a call was issued for two companies of cavalry to join the First Regiment. Under this call, Capt. M. T. Patrick formed a company, which was sworn into service August 28, with William Kelsay and J. J. Lower as Lieutenants. A second company was also organized at Omaha, with John T. Croft, Captain and M. S. Summers and Jere C. Wilcox, Lieutenants. These companies, however, did not become attached to the First Regiment, but joined a cavalry organization, of which mention will be made further on.
August 3, the battalion went to Independence, Mo., and returned to St. Joseph on the 5th. August 8, they left for St. Louis, and arrived there on the 11th. On the 13th, they left St. Louis for Pilot Knob, where they arrived on the 14th. On the 15th, they were joined by the remainder of the regiment, and on the 19th the regiment left on the cars for Syracuse, Mo., where they remained until the 21st of October, when they marched with the army of Gen. Fremont for Springfield, Mo., in which region the rebel Gen. Price was becoming troublesome. On the 24th of that month, they passed through St. Louis en route. The Democrat of that city said of them:
"In the afternoon, Col. Thayer's Nebraska First (as splendid a set of men, and as well equipped, full one thousand strong, as ever defended a righteous cause) came from Ironton and passed directly through the city, on their way to the seat of war. The Iron Mountain cars, which received them in the morning at Ironton, landed them at night in Jefferson City or farther on. In view of the fact that this was the first regiment that has thus passed the city, Gen. Fremont and Aids were out to receive them, and Musical Director Waldauer, of the staff, with the magnificent band under his supervision, most eloquently performed the honors of the occasion. It was, taken all in all, one of the finest sights ever witnessed in this city; thousands of citizens thronged the sidewalks and housetops to witness the lengthened train of thirty-nine cars and four locomotives as they passed along. Ladies by hundreds waved their handkerchiefs for joy, while men had no fears in giving lusty cheers for the Union."
The First arrived at Springfield November 2. On the 9th, they started on the return march; arrived at Sedalia and went into camp, between Sedalia and Georgetown, on the 16th of November; went into winter quarters at Georgetown. From December 8 until December 15, they were engaged in scouting after bushwhackers. On the 15th, they marched, with the expedition under Gen. Pope, to near Warrensburg, Mo.; on the 27th, marched toward Milford. Mo., on Blackwater, participating in all the skirmishing and hard marches, which resulted in the capture of about thirteen hundred rebels, who were on their way to join the rebel Gen. Price. Many arms, great quantities of quartermaster's and commissary stores, together with a large drove of stock, were captured at the same time. The regiment then returned to Georgetown, where typhoid fever caused much suffering, and where they remained until February 2, 1862, when they started en route for Tennessee. They reached Jefferson City, Mo., on the 7th. Being compelled to go on foot, it was quite a hard march for the regiment; went by railroad to St. Louis, Mo., where they arrived on the 9th. They immediately embarked on board the steamer White Cloud for Fort Henry, Tenn., where they arrived on the 11th. The regiment then received orders to go up the Cumberland River to Fort Donelson, at which place they arrived and disembarked on the night of the 13th. The ground was covered with snow, and the weather was very cold. The next morning, the regiment was ordered to the battle-field. Companies B and H were thrown out in advance as skirmishers, with Capt. Baumer in command. After getting about a mile in advance of the regiment, he was ordered back. Col. Thayer was in command of the brigade to which the regiment was attached, in Gen. Lew Wallace's division, Lieut. Col. McCord commanding the regiment. February 16, the enemy ran up the white flag and surrendered, unconditionally, to Gen. Grant. The regiment then marched into the town of Dover, Tenn.
This was the first regular engagement in which the regiment had participated, and all stood up to the work nobly.
In commenting upon this first engagement, Adjt. Gen. John R. Patrick, from whose report, published by State authority in 1871, many of the facts herein stated are obtained, says that "it is deeply to be regretted that the records in the office are so incomplete that the number of killed, wounded and taken prisoners in the different engagements in which the regiment participated cannot be given."
On the 17th, the First Regiment marched to Fort Henry, where they remained in camp until March 6, when they embarked on the steamer John Paris for Crump's Landing, Tenn.; arrived there on the 13th; remained on board the steamer until the 17th, when they disembarked and went into camp near the landing. The regiment remained here until the 6th of April, when they marched for Pittsburg Landing. Through a mistake of the guide, the regiment did not reach the field of battle until the first day's fight was over. They formed in line of battle on the right wing of Gen. Grant's army, in Col. Thayer's brigade, Gen. Lew Wallace's division. At daybreak, April 7, they engaged the enemy, and had very hard fighting all day, opposed to favorite rebel regiments. Time and again the enemy charged up to close quarters, but the well-directed volleys of the brigade caused them to waver and fall back, until finally, by a sudden charge of the First Nebraska, they were driven from the field. In both of these great battles, Gen. Lew Wallace spoke, in his report, in the highest praise as to the bravery and gallantry displayed by the officers and men of the First Nebraska.
Col. Thayer submitted the following account of the participation of the Second Brigade in the battle of Pittsburg Landing:
CAPTAIN: I have the honor herewith to submit a report of the part taken by the Second Brigade in the battle of Pittsburg Landing.
Early on Sunday morning, the 6th inst., hearing at my camp at "Stony Lonesome" cannonading in the direction of Pittsburg, I immediately caused my command to be put in a state of preparation to march at a moment's notice and anxiously awaited orders. Soon Maj. Gen. Wallace and staff rode up, and gave me the desired command to move to the scene of action. At 12 o'clock, the brigade was in line of march, the Sixty-Eighth Ohio, Col. Steadman, being directed by me to remain at that point in conjunction with Col. Kinney's Ohio regiment, for the purpose of preventing an approach of the enemy by the Adamsville road. We arrived upon the field at Pittsburg at dark, and, throwing out a strong force of pickets in front of our line we bivouacked in order of battle, the troops lying down with their arms in their hands. During the night a severe thunder storm came on. Those who slept awoke to find themselves in a drenching rain. But they bore their hardships with fortitude and cheerfulness. Capt. Noah Thompson of the Ninth Battery of Indiana Light Artillery, having come up in the night, and placed his battery in position in the open field in front, at daylight on the morning of the 7th, I moved the First Nebraska, Lieut. Col. McCord, forward, so that its left rested on the battery. I then placed the Twenty-Third Indiana, Col. W. L. Sanderson, on the right of the First Nebraska, having the Fifty-Eighth Ohio, Col. Bausenwein immediately in the rear of the two, while Thompson's Battery opened fire upon a battery of the enemy discovered upon the hill directly in front. Having silenced it, I received orders from Gen. Wallace, in person, to advance in echelon. I did so, across the deep ravine and up the steep declivity where the rebel guns had been planted, keeping Capt. Baumer and his company of the First Nebraska, as skirmishers, in advance, which movement was executed in good order. Here the General directed a change of front of his division, which was executed by a left wheel of the whole line. Advancing in line a short distance, we were soon under a heavy fire of the enemy's guns, both artillery and infantry. Moving forward, we emerged from the timber into a small cleared field, where Capt. Thompson, having moved forward also, planted his battery. I then moved the brigade by the right flank nearly half a mile into the timber again, for the purpose of extending our line to the right, and then forward to the brow of a steep hill, where we remained some three-quarters of an hour, when the enemy's battery was again silenced. The order then came from Gen. Wallace to move forward; we did so, and emerged from the timber into a large open field. Moving my brigade onward in full line of battle, reserving our fire, we crossed a deep ravine and passed up on to the high ridge beyond under a terrible fire of musketry and artillery from the rebels. Arriving on the brow of this ridge, I gave the order to open on them, which was promptly done. Our fire told with fatal effect, for they immediately fell back. A few moments previous to this, observing a body of the rebel cavalry advancing in the outskirts of the timber on my extreme right, evidently with the intention of flanking us, I directed Col. Sanderson, of the Twenty-Third Indiana, to move by the right flank some twenty rods, so as to bring his regiment directly in front of them, and to drive them back, a movement which he promptly and successfully accomplished. On getting in front of them, the cavalry discharged. The Twenty-Third Indiana immediately returned their fire, and, under the lead of their Colonel, then pressed forward, and the right flank company of the First Nebraska, Capt. Baumer, also giving them a right oblique fire, the rebels at once fled in confusion. Still fearing a flank movement of the enemy, and observing Col. Whittlesay coming up with two regiments, I at once rode up to him and requested him to move to the right as rapidly as possible, which he readily did.
The action now became general along the line. I again gave the order to "forward," and the line advanced as regularly, and with a front as unbroken as upon the parade ground, the First Nebraska, Lieut. Col. McCord, moving up directly in front of the enemy's battery. Advancing about twenty rods, and finding that the enemy had made another stand, I ordered a halt, and directed another fire upon them, which continued some fifteen minutes, when, discovering the enemy again receding, we pushed on nearly half a mile, halting as we ascended the brow of each hill (the ground being composed of hills and valleys), and giving them another volley, and then moving forward again. Perceiving the enemy's battery again in position, supported by heavy bodies of infantry, another halt was ordered, and another fire opened upon them, which became continuous along my whole line.
The battle now raked with unabated fury for nearly two hours. The enemy's battery was exceedingly well served, it having obtained excellent range. I had no artillery to oppose it, but the fire of our infantry was terrific and incessant, and was admirably directed, the men loading and firing at will with great rapidity. Learning from Col. McCord and Maj. Livingston that the ammunition of the First Nebraska was nearly exhausted, and from Maj. Dister, of the Fifty-eighth Ohio, that theirs, also, was nearly out, I rode to Gen. Wallace, who was on the left of the Divison, and requested of him a fresh regiment. He at once ordered the Seventy-sixth Ohio. Col. Wood, which I conducted to my line, and directed the First Nebraska to file to the rear, when the Seventy-sixth Ohio took its place. The First Nebraska and Fifty-eighth Ohio then fell back a few rods to a ravine. These movements were executed with perfect order. My own ammunition wagon having failed to come up, on account of the ravines which were impassable for teams, over which we had crossed, Gen. Wallace sent me one of his own, which fortunately had arrived by another route. The two regiments refilled their cartridge boxes, and in twenty minutes from the time they left the line they were again in their position before the enemy. But the enemy was now fleeing. The General here ordered forward his whole Division in pursuit, himself leading it, which was continued for a mile and a half, where we bivouacked for the night.
Thus did we drive the enemy before us from five o'clock in the morning till five in the evening, never receding an inch, but pressing steadily forward over a distance of four miles, the enemy contesting the ground rod by rod with a courage and determination that would have honored a better cause.
I cannot speak in terms of too high praise of the officers and soldiers under my command. Their conduct was most gallant and brave throughout. They fought with the ardor and zeal of true patriots. It gives me pleasure to speak of the different regiments and their officers. Nobly did the First Nebraska sustain its reputation, well earned on the field of Donelson. Its progress was onward during the whole day, in face of a galling fire of the enemy, moving on without flinching, at one time being an hour and a half in front of their battery, receiving and returning its fire, its conduct was most excellent. Lieut. Col. McCord and Maj. R. R. Livingston, of this regiment, were constantly in the thickest of the fight, executing every order with the utmost promptness and alacrity. They are deserving the highest commendation for their gallantry.
The Twenty-third Indiana, by its conduct on the field, won my unqualified admiration. It moved constantly forward, under the lead of its brave commander, Col. Sanderson, under a heavy fire, charging upon the enemy's cavalry and utterly routing them. The coolness and courage of the Colonel aided much in the success of the movement of the brigade. Lieut. Col. D. C. Antony, and Maj. W. P. Davis, of the same regiment, behaved gallantly through the action, and were ever at the post of duty. The former had his horse shot under him. This regiment, with its Colonel and other officers, have earned distinguished honor for themselves, and for the noble State which sent them into the field.
The Fifty-eighth Ohio proved themselves worthy of the confidence reposed in them. They fought with unabated courage during the day, never yielding, but firmly advancing, pressing the enemy before them. They have my highest esteem for their noble conduct in this battle. Col. Bausenwein, Lieut. Col. Rempel and Maj. Dister, of this regiment, were conspicuous for their coolness and bravery throughout the day. Ever exposed to imminent danger throughout the day. Ever they readily performed every duty, and handled their regiment most admirably.
Most honorable mention is due to Surg. E. B. Harrison, of the Sixty-eighth Ohio, Surgeon of the Brigade, and to William McClelland, Acting Surgeon of the First Nebraska, for their prompt attention to the wounded. They labored at the hospitals with ceaseless devotion for days and nights after the battle, in administering relief. Their services were invaluable.
I must also express my obligations to the members of my staff, S. A. Strickland, Acting Assistant Adjutant General; my Aids-de-Camp, Capt. Allen Blaker and Lieut. W. S. Whitten; and also to Lieut. Col. Scott and Capt. Richards. of the Sixty-eighth Ohio, and Mr. George E. Spencer, who acted as volunteer aids, for their prompt conveyance and execution of orders in the face of every danger.
I directed the men to lie down when not engaged, and to fire kneeling and lying down as much as possible, and also to take advantage of the ground whenever it could be done; by adopting this course, and continuing it throughout the day, I have no doubt that the lives of hundreds of our men were saved.
In conclusion, I may be permitted to congratulate the General upon the part his division took, and upon the success which attended an his movements in the memorable battle of Pittsburg Landing.
I have the honor to be, very truly yours,
Here the regiment lost between twenty and thirty men. Capt. McConihe and Lieuts. Gillette and Curran were wounded. Gen. Thayer commanded a brigade composed of the First Nebraska, Twenty-third Indiana, Fifty-eighth Ohio, and Thompson's Indiana Battery. The regiment again earned honorable mention in the official report of the engagement. At Corinth, and in the other battles in the summer of 1862, the regiment did its full duty.
From the 17th of April, the First Regiment was engaged in sundry skirmishes and marches up to the 27th of May, when it was advanced to the front, near Corinth, where they remained until June 2. They then started on the march to Memphis, arriving there on the 17th, and went into camp. They remained there, doing guard, railroad construction and other duty, under Gen. Wallace, until the 24th of June, when the regiment embarked on board the steamer Robert Allen for Helena, Ark.; arrived there on Sunday, and went into camp at Grave Yard Hill. The regiment was engaged in several scouts and expeditions during their stay there, under Gen. Curtis. September 2, their went on board the steamboat Emma, and moved up the Mississippi River some thirty or forty miles, and returned on the 4th. Meanwhile, recruiting for the regiment was going on rapidly at Omaha. October 4, Col. Thayer received his commission as Brigadier General, and R. R. Livingston was promoted to the command of the regiment, Lieut. Col. Downs having resigned the previous winter.
October 5, the regiment left Helena, on board steamer Rocket, en route for Sulphur Springs, Mo.; arrived there on the 11th and went into camp; on the 26th marched toward Pilot Knob, Mo., where we arrived October 30, and went into camp near Ironton, Mo.; November 2, marched for Patterson, Mo.; arrived on the 4th, and completed the fortifications near Patterson; December 9 and 10, marched for Reeves' Station, on Black River; returned to Patterson on the 19th; on the 21st, left Patterson again, and arrived at Van Buren, Mo., on the 24th; on January 9, 1863, marched toward Donovan, and returned next day. On the 14th, the regiment broke camp and marched to Alton; arrived there on the 18th, and remained until the 28th, when they marched for West Plains, which point they reached on the 30th; marched from there to Salem, Ark., reaching there February 2. From there, the army, under command of Gen. Davidson, returned, as the co-operating troops that were to strike about Batesville, Ark., could not get up White River. From the 2d until the arrival of the regiment at Arcada, three miles south of Pilot Knob, Mo., on the 21st, the officers and men suffered many hardships. On the 27th, they marched to Ironton, Mo., and went into camp at that place, and remained there until March 8, when they broke camp and moved to St. Genevieve, reaching that point on the 10th. This was one of the most severe marches of the entire campaign. A great part of the time, from February 2, the men were on half rations, and in several instances the men had to march through the snow in their bare feet, with often not clothing sufficient to protect them from the inclemencies of the weather. On the 11th they embarked on steamer Nebraska for Cape Girardeau, Mo., and arrived there the next day. They disembarked and went into camp. They remained here, doing camp and picket duty, until April 26, when the enemy, under command of Gen. Marmaduke, attacked Cape Girardeau and were repulsed with great loss. The regiment took an active part in the fight. On the 29th, they marched in pursuit of the enemy, overtook and skirmished with them on May 2, at Chalk Bluffs, on the St. Francois River. On the 3d, they started on the return march for Cape Girardeau; arrived there on the 5th, where the regiment remained until the 26th, when they left for Pilot Knob, which point they reached on the 29th, went into camp, and remained, doing camp, guard and picket duty and constructing fortifications, until August 28, on which day they took the cars for St. Louis, and arrived there and went into camp at Camp Gamble on the 29th, where they were engaged, until November 1, scouting and doing guard duty in St. Louis and adjoining country. October 11, 1863, the following order was promulgated:
2. In accordance with authority this day received from the General in Chief the First Nebraska Infantry will be mounted without unnecessary delay. Horses will be furnished by the Quartermaster's Department in St. Louis. Requisitions for horse equipments and cavalry arms will be made upon Col. F. D. Callender, Chief of Ordinance, St. Louis Arsenal.
The regiment will be recruited to the full complement of a cavalry regiment as soon as practicable; but the formation of the Eleventh and Twelfth Companies will not be commenced until the present companies are recruited to the maximum.
November 6, the following special order was issued:
6. The First Nebraska Volunteer Infantry, Col. R. R. Livingston, having been mounted by direction of the General in Chief, as a cavalry regiment, it will hereafter be known as the First Nebraska Cavalry, and will be organized, armed, equipped and paid as a cavalry regiment.
The regiment having been mounted during the month of November, on the 30th they started for Rolla, and arrived there December 1. On the 10th, they started for Batesville, Ark., being part of a brigade under command of Col. Livingston, who was ordered to take possession of that district, then held by the rebels; arrived there on the 25th, the rebels having left before the regiment got there. From this time until June 18, 1864, the regiment was engaged in scouting and doing picket duty. January 18, 1864, the regiment assisted in the capture of a squad of rebels on Black River. On the 19th, they charged into the town of Jacksonport, Ark., at which time a number of rebels were killed, including one captain. Also, many prisoners were captured. On the 23d, a detachment of the regiment, under Lieut. Col. Baumer, was ordered out to hunt up and scatter the bands of rebels under Col. Freeman. They followed them to the Sycamore Mountains, and came up to their force at the town of Sycamore. After a running fight of three days, the rebels were whipped out, and the regiment returned to Batesville; arrived there on the 30th. The rebels lost, in this three-days' fight, twenty-one men killed, forty captured, and their train, consisting of six wagons. February 11, the regiment, under command of Lieut. Col. Baumer, went on a scout to Pocohontas, returning on the 20th; the regiment at Batesville scouting the adjacent country until April 17, on which day they broke camp and went to Jacksonport, arriving on the 19th. The day following their arrival at Jacksonport, they were attacked by the rebels, who made a dash upon the camp. The rebels fought well until the regiment got over their surprise, when they retreated on double-quick, crossing Village Creek to their main force, destroying the bridge after them.
The following is Lieut. Col. Baumer's report of the fight:
CAPTAIN: In compliance with orders from District Headquarters, I have the honor of submitting to you a report of the late action of the regiment.
On the morning of the 20th of April, about half past 8 o'clock A. M., I heard continuous firing upon the picket posts in front of the regimental camp, and ordered boots and saddles to be sounded, and caused the dismounted to fall in with their arms. Some Orderlies were sent out to ascertain if the pickets were attacked and came back with the information that about twenty rebels had made their appearance in front of the pickets, on the Elgin road, but had fallen back to a troop of about one hundred and fifty rebels then formed in the woods, near the lower river road. Notice was given to the commander of the battery stationed on the left of the regiment, to have his pieces in readiness, and information was also forwarded to district headquarters by the regimental Adjutant. At the same time, I sent Capt. Ribble with eighty dismounted men, armed with Springfield muskets, and with squadron D and B, as reserve, to advance on the lower river road, and find out the intention of the enemy. Capt. Ribble saw the rebels formed in line of battle, and sent the infantry as skirmishers, to the front, when a heavy fire of musketry commenced, which induced me to send two more squadrons, C and A, to the support of Capt. Ribble's advance. The fire was continually heard receding from camp, and I then started with squadrons K and F to the place where the firing occurred, leaving squadrons G, H, E and I, with the remainder of the dismounted men, to protect the battery. The rebels had been driven the first time, by the fire of the infantry, and retreated two miles, pursued by the four companies of cavalry. The road was very narrow, and only two men could ride abreast, and the enemy was formed in line to make a stand. I detached squadron D and C to protect our right flank, also, Company A to protect our left, and avoid an ambuscade. The infantry came up, and advanced as skirmishers, on both sides of the road, followed by squadron F as reserve, and by parts of squadrons B and K. The rebels fled, after a short fire, and left two dead bodies on the ground. After advancing in the same manner two miles further the enemy had formed another line, and tried to make a stand, when squadrons F and K with not more than thirty men, charged them at once, nnder a galling fire from the enemy. The rebels five times broke ranks, and fled in every direction. Two men of Company F, privates Tappin and Kellogg, were wounded in the breast and shoulder (not severely). One rebel prisoner fell into our hands. The infantry, although marching at double-quick time, could not keep up with the mounted men, and it not being prudent to follow up the charge, I was compelled to halt, and advance slowly and cautiously with the infantry, followed up the mounted men. In making forward, squadrons E and B came up, and the pursuit was continued faster for two miles farther, to Village Creek, over which the enemy had crossed, and were then trying to burn the bridge over the same. The infantry deployed as skirmishers soon made the enemy retire from the bridge, and the fire was soon extinguished by our men, and the bridge repaired so that the infantry could pass over. The rebels left several horses tied up in the woods across the creek. Our men went to get them, and were received by a heavy fire, which, fortunately, did no harm. They returned with several of the enemy's horses. The skirmishers were placed behind logs, and kept very quiet, when the rebels made an attack with a furious yell, which was replied to by a roaring fire of musketry from our men, and the rebels then kept very quiet on their side. I dispatched a messenger back to Jacksonport, asking for ammunition, as some men had already fired theirs away. In the meantime, cavalry was kept alert, on the flanks and rear, to guard against surprise, and then awaited orders from district headquarters. In the afternoon, two pieces of artillery and the Eleventh Missouri Cavalry came up. Orders were at the same time received not to cross the bridge, which was impassable for artillery, and the return march was commenced, the infantry in front, and squadrons G and E, which had then arrived from Jacksonport, for rear guard. The command arrived in camp at about 4 o'clock P. M., having marched fourteen miles, including seven miles running fight, and a skirmish on the bridge for nearly one hour. Some of my men went over the bridge without orders, and on for half a mile to the first house, where they saw four dead bodies and two rebels severely wounded, and learned also that Gen. McCrea's whole command had been there, and were then in retreat. Both officers and men behaved well, and I had several times to give orders to keep my men from marching ahead too far.
On the evening of the 21st of April, I received instruction to have all the mounted men of my regiment, (numbering two hundred and forty), ready to march in the night, with eight days' rations. At 1 o'clock A. M., April 22, I received orders to start, and the march was commenced, with the First Nebraska Cavalry in the advance of the cavalry column, on the Augusta road. Village Creek was crossed near Litchfield, and the column halted soon after, at 6 A. M., April 22, at Picket Farm, to feed the horses, and rest for an hour. The roads were bad and muddy on account of recent rains. At 7 o'clock A. M., the column, Companies I and G as advance guard, started onward on the road toward Augusta. After passing an evacuated rebel encampment, changed direction toward Cache River, which the enemy had crossed on the 21st. The column thus marched to Augusta, stopping a quarter of an hour on the way at Connor's Farm, to feed. Arrived at Augusta at 2 o'clock P. M., on the 22d, having marched forty-four miles in twelve hours. The command remained m Augusta until the morning of the 24th. During this time it rained continually, and the men were quartered in houses. On the 23d, a detachment of one hundred and fifty men, under command of Lieut. House, was sent north for the purpose of gathering up horses and mules. The party went twelve miles and returned at 5 o'clock P. M., with seven animals and two rebel prisoners. At 6 o'clock A. M., April 24, the command was ordered to march back to Jacksonport. The First Nebraska formed the rear, and Companies I and G rear guard, under command of Capt. Ribble. Three squadrons, C, A, and K, were ordered to drive in all beef cattle, horses, mules, and all able-bodied negroes, near the line of march. The squadrons named went ahead of the column and scoured the road on both sides, bringing into Jacksonport nearly four hundred head of beef cattle of every description, also eighteen horses, sixteen mules, and six negroes. The rear guard arrived in camp at 7 o'clock P. M., on the 2d, having marched thirty-five miles.
Both men and horses endured the fatigue and exposure well, and the men are in the best of spirits.
The regiment continued scouting and skirmishing until May 25, when they left Jacksonport for Duvall's Bluffs, arriving there on the 30th. They remained there until June 10, when the veterans of the regiment left, on the steamer Westmoreland, for a place of rendezvous, under command of Col. Livingston, for the purpose of being furloughed. The detachment of non-veterans remained at Duvall's Bluffs under command of Lieut. Col. Baumer.
The regiment arrived at St. Louis, Mo., and was furloughed by authority of the Superintendent of the Recruiting Service for Nebraska, on the 21st and 23d of June, leaving on the 23d and arriving at Omaha on the 28th. The furloughs were granted until August 13.
June 22, a public meeting was held in Omaha for the purpose of making due preparations for the reception of the troops. They were welcomed home with great enthusiasm, a banquet being laid in their honor at the Territorial Capitol, and the citizens vieing with one another to make their vacation enjoyable. Earnest efforts were made during the furlough to recruit the ranks of the regiment, Col. Livingston issuing, on July 14, a stirring appeal for that purpose, which was generously responded to.
The non-veteran portion of the regiment--270 strong--had an engagement with the rebels at Clarendon, Mo., June 27, killing over sixty of them. The Nebraska troops lost three men.
On July 21, the non-veteran portions of Companies A, B and D left Duvall's Bluffs for Omaha, Neb., for the purpose of being mustered out of the service, the remainder of the recruits remaining in Arkansas. The First Regiment rendezvoused at Omaha, August 13, 1864, and was assigned to duty in Nebraska. The non-veterans of Companies A, B and D, at Omaha, were mustered out of the service.
On the 18th of August, the regiment left Omaha for Fort Kearney, Neb.; arrived there on the 23d; distance marched, 198 miles; August 31, encamped at Plum Creek; August 24, Lieut. Pollock and sixty-four men taken prisoners at Grand Prairie, Ark., by Shelby's command; Private Hendricks, Company I, and Corporal Slocum, Company G, killed. The prisoners were paroled September 1.