Battle Report of Brownsville Mississippi




April 19-23, 1865. - Expedition from Memphis, Tenn., to Brownsville, Miss

Report of Bvt. Brig. Gen. Embury D. Osband, Third U. S. Colored Cavalry, commanding Cavalry Division, District of West Tennessee.


Memphis, Tenn., April 23, 1865

MAJOR: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to Special Orders, No. 102, from your headquarters, I proceeded as follows: By steamer John Raine and barges -- Fourth Illinois Volunteer Cavalry, 250 men, Major Search; Third U. S. Colored Cavalry, 280 men, Lieutenant Colonel Cook. By steamers Sallie List, Dove, and Pocahontas -- Eleventh Illinois Volunteer Cavalry, 200 men, Major Davis. Disembarking the Third U. S. Colored Cavalry at Randolph, Lieutenant Colonel Cook proceeded via Covington to Brownsville Landing, capturing one Wilcox, alias J. M. Luxton, who was in command of seven others, whom he was unable to capture. He could not reach the Brownsville Landing, the country being flooded. Lieutenant-Colonel Funke, in command of the troops sent up Hatchie River, proceeded up the Hatchie River, but the boats being unwieldy, pilots not acquainted with the river, made but little progress, and in order to reach Brownsville Landing to co-operate with the Fourth Illinois Cavalry he disembarked at Van Buren's Landing, marching from there to Brownsville, arriving there on the 21st. The Fourth Illinois Volunteer Cavalry, Major Search, disembarked at Fulton, which place was reached on the 19th at 2 p. m. At 3 p. m. the command moved to Brownsville, reaching that place at daylight on the 20th, capturing at that place nine prisoners (as per inclosed roll of prisoners of war*) and Col. B. J. Lee, Capt. E. J. Martin (commissary of subsistence), and Lieut. S. M. Russell. The Fourth and Eleventh Illinois returned to Fulton in the afternoon of the 22d and embarked. The Sylph and Annie E, with Dove, Pocahontas, and Sallie List, arrived at mouth of Hatchie River at about the same time. Arriving at Randolph, Wilcox alias Luxton, was tried by drumhead court-martial (inclosed please find proceedings*), and at 6:30 was, by my order, hung by the neck until he was dead, and left hanging as a warning to his brethren in crime. The command arrived at Memphis with total loss of one man, accidentally wounded and left. Eight horses died from buffalo gnats, and gained on the expedition twelve horses. People of the country were extremely friendly, and those in the vicinity of Browmsville can hereafter, in my opinion, take care of themselves. I am under obligations to the commanding officers of gun-boats 57 and 58 for valuable assistance. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brevet Brigadier-General, Commanding Cavalry Division.

Maj. W. H. MORGAN,

Assistant Adjutant-General.