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214

BATTLE AT HONEY SPRINGS.

1863.

booty, and escaped with a loss of about sixty men. Phillips's loss was about the same.

Four weeks later, a train of three hundred wagons, on the way from Kansas with supplies for Fort Blunt, under a convoy of ten cavalry companies, the First Kansas (colored), Colonel J. M. Williams, eight hundred in

number, and about five hundred Indians led by Major Forman, July 1,

was attacked at the crossing of the Cabin Creek, in the Indian

Territory, by seven hundred Texans and some Creeks, led by a Confederate Indian chief named Standwatie. The assailants were repulsed, and fled in haste, leaving forty of their dead and nine wounded on the field. The Union loss was twenty-three. The train pressed forward, and reached

Fort Blunt in safety, followed immediately afterward by General July 16.

Blunt, who arrived there from Fort Scott," one hundred and seventy-five miles distant, by a forced march during five days, just in time to meet great peril that threatened the post. That peril consisted of a force of Confederates, estimated at six thousand strong, under General Cooper. They were then at Honey Springs, behind Elk Creek, about twenty-five miles south of Fort Blunt, where they were waiting for three regiments from Texas, under General Cabell, to join them in an attack on the post. Blunt had heard of this peril, and hence his rapid march. He was informed that the Texans would arrive on the 17th, so he marched at once upon Cooper's camp, with three thousand troops, infantry and cavalry, and twelve light cannon, to assail him before his re-enforcements should come up. He left

the fort at midnight, and at ten o'clock the next day he attacked • July 17.

Cooper in two columns, led respectively by Colonels Phillips and Judson, his cavalry, dismounted, acting as infantry on each flank, with carbines. At the end of two hours' hard fighting the Confederates gave way. They were pursued through the woods into an open prairie, and scattered in wild disorder, leaving one hundred and fifty of their number dead, and seventy-seven of them prisoners, with a disabled gun and two hundred smallarms. The number of their wounded was estimated at four hundred. Blunt lost .seventy-seven men, of whom seventeen were killed. Within an hour after Cooper fled, Cabell came up with his Texans, nearly three thousand strong. He did not think it prudent to attack the victorious Nationals, so during that night he moved rapidly southward, and disappeared beyond the Canadian River, when the Union force returned to Fort Blunt.

In the mean time guerrilla bands were becoming exceedingly active in Blunt's rear. One of these, led by Colonel Coffey, went up from Northern

Arkansas, and struck" the Sixth Missouri Cavalry, Colonel Cath• Aug. 13.

erwood, at Pineville, in Southwestern Missouri; but he was beaten, and driven away with great loss. His retreat was so precipitate, that he left behind him his wagons and supplies, and about two hundred men killed, wounded, and prisoners. At the same time a most savage raid was made into Kansas from Missouri, by a band of desperadoes collected in the western part of the latter State, and led by a human fiend under the assumed name of Quantrell. His followers numbered about three hundred.

They gathered secretly, and then swept swiftly and stealthily

over the border toward Lawrence, whose inhabitants were mostly Unionists. They entered that town just at daybreak,' and awakened the

• Aug. 18.

MASSACRE AT LAWRENCE.

215

The pursuers

sleeping and unsuspecting inhabitants by their horrid yells. The town was wholly without defenders, excepting the citizens, who were mostly unarmed. The guerrillas picketed every road leading out of Lawrence, so that no person should escape; and whenever a citizen emerged from his house with arms in his hands, he was shot dead. The place was speedily pillaged and burnt. Banks, stores, and private dwellings were robbed, and the courthouse and many of the finest houses were fired. A band of unarmed Union recruits were butchered. Such also was the fate of every German and negro, and many other unarmed citizens, who fell into the hands of the assassins. At ten o'clock in the morning, when the horrid work ceased, one hundred and forty men had been murdered, and one hundred and eighty-five buildings were in flames.

Among those who escaped from Lawrence at this time was General Lane, then a member of the National Senate. He, with some other citizens, organized a pursuing party, but Quantrell had the advantage of six miles the start in the race, with all the horses he could lay hands on. killed or captured about one hundred of the murderers. The remainder escaped. Their special work, the sacking of the “Abolition town” of Lawrence, being finished, they were disbanded, and joined themselves to other organizations. Their crime produced the greatest horror and indignation, and for awhile there was no disposition to give quarter to guerrillas; and when, ten days after the sacking of Lawrence, Colonel Woodson, with six hundred Missourians, swept down from Pilot Knob into Northern Arkansas, and at Pocahontas, on the Big Black River, captured the famous guerrilla chief, General M. Jeff. Thompson, and about fifty of his men,' it was difficult to shield them from personal peril.

Soon after the attack on Helena," the surrender of Vicksburg and Port Hudson, and the retreat of Johnston from Jackson, by which Grant's army was relieved from pressure, General Frederick Steele was sent to Helena to organize an expedition to capture Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas. His forces gathered there at the beginning of August numbered about six thousand men (including five hundred Indiana and Kansas cavalry), with twentytwo guns. He was soon joined by General Davidson (then operating in Arkansas, under the command of General Hurlbut) with an equal number of men, mostly mounted, with eighteen guns, making his whole force, when he moved from Helena on the 10th of August, about twelve thousand men and forty guns. Davidson and his horsemen took the lead in the march. The White River was crossed at Clarendon," when Davidson pushed forward, on its western side, on a reconnoissance toward ‘August 17, Brownsville, the capital of Prairie County, then held by Marmaduke. Meanwhile Steele sent his extra supplies, and over a thousand sick men, in boats, to Duvall's Bluff,' on the White River, which was considered the most healthful place in all that region.

When Davidson, with a strong vanguard of skirmishers, approached

1863,

i Colonel Woodson sent forward Captain Gentry, of the Second Cavalry of the Missouri State Militia, to seize Thompson. He found that famous chief sitting quietly in his office, tracing a map of Southeastern Missouri, in perfect security as he supposed, for he did not think there was a National soldier within a hundred miles of him. Thompson was astonished, but not disconcerted. He declared it was too bad to interrupt him, for, if they had let bim alone two weeks longer, he would have had three thousand men at his command. ? See page 148.

3 See page 146.

* See page 582, volunie II.

216

CAPTURE OF LITTLE ROCK.

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August 26,

1869.

Brownsville, driving Confederate skirmishers before him, Marmaduke evacu

ated the place and fell back to a line of intrenchments on the Bayou Metoe, when he was driven across the stream, after some

fighting. He checked pursuit by burning the bridges behind • August 27.

him, and fled toward Little Rock. Four days afterward Steele was joined by True's brigade, sent from Memphis, and then concentrated his whole available force at Brownsville. A reconnoissance by Davidson showed that great difficulties lay in the way of a direct march upon Little Rock, across the Bayou Metoe and its fringe of swamps; so Steele took a more southerly course, with Davidson in the advance, passed that stream at Shallow's Ford, and pushed on to the Arkansas River. He reached its banks at Ashley's Mills on the 7th of September, after Davidson and his horsemen had severely skirmished there. He left seven hundred more of his sick, with his supply-trains, there, in charge of True's brigade and Ritter's cavalry, and then pushed up the northern side of the Arkansas River, toward Little Rock, with Davidson in the advance, who skirmished much of the time.

When well up toward the Arkansas capital, Davidson, supported by two infantry divisions, with two batteries, crossed the river on a pontoon

bridge, under cover of darkness and his great guns, and by * Sept. 9, 10.

eleven o'clock in the morning was ready for an advance. He moved directly on the city without much impediment until he reached Bayou Fourche, five miles from the town, where he was met by Marmaduke's cavalry, dismounted, and two infantry brigades, with two batteries, strongly posted. Price had undoubtedly intended to give battle in his trenches, when the unexpected crossing of the river by the Nationals, endangering his flank and his line of retreat, caused him to prepare for retiring." The stand made at the bayou was only a cover for the more important movement. He was expecting Cabell from the Indian country, with about four thousand men, but he was satisfied that these would not reach him before the Nationals would be

upon

him. When Davidson was confronted at the Bayou Fourche, Steele was moving in a parallel line on the north side of the river, and after the former had been struggling nearly two hours with his foe, the latter opened upon Marmaduke a heavy enfilading fire from across the stream. Hard pressed in front and flank, the Confederates fell slowly back toward the city, where columns of black smoke indicated the evacuation of the place. Seeing this, Davidson ordered a vigorous advance by Glover's brigade, and then a charge by Ritter's brigade (which had been held in reserve) and Strange's battery, supported by a part of the First Iowa Cavalry. This was done with the most abundant success. The Confederates broke, and fled through the city, closely followed by the Union cavalry, sabers in hand. At seven o'clock

that evening," when Steele and his immediate followers were Sept. 10.

occupying the Confederate works on the north side of the river,

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1 Little Rock is on the right bank of the Arkansas River, about three hundred miles from its mouth, and over a thousand miles, in a direct line, from the National capital. It is upon a high, rocky bluff, nearly two hundred feet above the river; and it contained, when the war broke out, nearly five thousand inhabitants. There was a National Arsenal and the State Penitentiary there.

? Price's line of retreat was on the Arkadelphia road. On that highway he had six hundred wagons parked. Price, with General Holmes and Governor Flanagan, left about four o'clock, after turning over the command to Marmaduke. The entire force at Price's command was estimated at about fifteen thousand men.

OPERATIONS IN THE INDIAN COUNTRY.

217

1869.

opposite Little Rock, the city and its military appurtenances were formally surrendered to Davidson by the civil authorities. The troops had all fled in hot haste toward Arkadelphia, on the Washita River. A pursuing column was organized, but the National forces, men and horses, were too much exhausted to chase with vigor, and they followed the fugitives only about twenty miles. Steele's army, at the end of a campaign of forty days from the time he reached Helena, quietly took possession of the capital of Arkansas. It saved three pontoon bridges which Price had fired, and found the National Arsenal, which he intended to blow up, unharmed, but eight steamers (one of them a powerful gun-boat, just receiving her iron plating) were in flames and beyond recovery when the National troops entered the city.

While Steele was engaged in his short campaign, Blunt was in the Indian country, trying to bring the forces of Cabell and the Creek chief, Standwatie,' to battle. He pressed them closely at Perryville, in the Choctaw Reservation, late in August, and then driving them past Fort Smith, he took peaceable possession of that post,“ and appointed Colonel J. M. Johnson, of the First Arkansas, its commander. Cabell

Sept. 1, had avoided Blunt, in order to join and help Price in bis defense of Little Rock. He failed to do so, but joined the fugitives in their retreat to Arkadelphia, whence, with Price, he fell back to the Red River. About a month after Blunt took possession of Fort Smith, he was on his way to that post from Kansas, with a small escort of cavalry (about one hundred Wisconsin and Kansas men), when he was attacked near Baxter's Spring's, in the Cherokee Reservation, by six hundred guerrillas, under the notorious Quantrell. Nearly the whole of Blunt's escort who remained to fights were killed or disabled in the battle. The wounded were murdered, and an accompanying train of wagons was plundered and burned. Blunt rallied a little more than a dozen of his guard, and, by skillful movements and great personal courage, they managed to escape. Quantrell then attacked a weak post close by, called Fort Blair, commanded by a few men, under Lieutenant Pond, of the Third Wisconsin Cavalry. The guerrillas were beaten off, with a loss of about thirty men, and that night Blunt and his companions, who had been concealed several hours in the prairie, made their way to the little fort.

The Confederates in the Indian country and on its borders found their supplies of food running low as the autumn advanced, and so, at about the time we have just been considering, a part of Cabell's command, under Colonel Shelby, undertook a raid into Missouri, in quest of supplies. They crossed the Arkansas River a little eastward of Fort Smith, and swept rapidly northward into Southwestern Missouri, where, at a place called

• October 4.

i Steele reported his own losses in action during this short campaign at about one hundred men, killed, Founded, and prisoners, while he captured about one thousand prisoners. But the National loss by sickness was very heavy-not less, probably, than two thousand men.

? See page 214.

3 Blunt reported that some of his escort behaved most shamefully-flying without firing a shot; and declared that if they had acted like soldiers, the assailants could have been driven in ten minutes.

* Among the killed was Major Curtis, son of General S. R. Curtis; also Mr. O'Neil, an artist employed by Frank Leslie, the publisher of an illustrated weekly paper in New York. The band wagon was captured, and all of the musicians were murdered after they were made prisoners. General Blunt estimated the number of his killed at about seventy-five.

218

SHELBY'S RAID INTO MISSOURI.

1863.

Crooked Prairie, they were joined by a considerable force under Colonel

Coffey, when Shelby, the ranking officer, found himself at the October 1, head of about twenty-five hundred men. They marched rapidly

through Western Missouri to Boonville,' on the Missouri River, expecting to be joined in large numbers and gladly assisted by the disloyal inhabitants of that region. But they were disappointed. Under the menace of the lash of the loyal militia of the commonwealth, the resident rebels were very quiet, and Shelby beat a hasty retreat, but not in time to avoid a severe blow from a militia force hastily gathered by General E. B. Brown. By these Shelby was severely struck on the evening of the 12th of October, near Arrow Rock. Darkness put an end to the contest that night, but it was renewed at eight o'clock in the morning, and lasted about five hours, when Shelby was driven in great disorder, with a loss of about three hundred men, killed, wounded, and prisoners, with all his artillery but one gun, and baggage.

General McNeil, whose head-quarters were at Lebanon, was in St. Louis, when he heard of Shelby's raid. He hastened back to camp, gathered what men he could, and hurried in a direction to intercept the fugitives. He reached Humansville, in Polk County, just as they had passed through it, closely pursued by others. There the guerrillas lost their remaining gun. McNeil joined in the chase, which led into Arkansas, the Confederates flying through IIuntsville, in Madison County, and over the Buffalo mountains to Clarksville, in Johnson County. There MeNeil halted, for the more nimblefooted guerrillas had crossed the Arkansas River, and disappeared. McNeil then marched leisurely up the river to Fort Smith, and, in obedience to authority, assumed the command of the Army of the Frontier, in place of General Blunt, who had been relieved.

There was now general quiet throughout Missouri and Arkansas. One or two guerrilla bands showed some vitality, and late in October Marmaduke made an effort to capture Pine Bluff, the capital of Jefferson County, a post on the south side of the Arkansas River, fifty miles below Little Rock, then in command of Colonel Powell Clayton, of the Fifth Kansas, with three hundred and fifty men and four guns. Marmaduke marched from Princeton, forty-five miles south of Pine Bluff, with over two thousand men

and twelve guns. He advanced upon the post in three columns,

and opened upon the little town with shells and canister-shot. He met unexpected resistance. Clayton had been re-enforced by the First Indiana Cavalry, which made his effective fighting force about six hundred men and nine light guns. He had also employed two hundred negroes in building barricades of cotton-bales in the streets, so that he was well protected from Marmaduke's fire. The conflict was kept up for about five hours. The court-house and many dwellings were burned by the shells, and a greater portion of the remaining buildings were sadly shattered by them. At two o'clock in the afternoon Marmaduke gave up the attack and retired, with a loss of one hundred and fifty men killed and wounded and thirty-three prisoners. Clayton's loss was fifty-seven, of whom seventeen were killed.

• October 25.

1 See page 540, volumne I.

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