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lloch alone had men enough—well armed, well drilled, well disciplined and eager for active service—to have beaten back, in conjunction with Price, any force that could have been brought against them. McCulloch was immovable. A retrograde movement on Price's part became imperative. He therefore fell back to Springfield and occupied his old camp there. But his stay was short. About the 1st of February, 1862, he received information that the enemy were preparing to advance upon him from Sedalia, Rolla and Fort Scott. Ten days later the column from Kansas, under Gen. Samuel R. Curtis, made its appearance on the Bolivar road, and, though checked for a time by outposts, steadily forced its way. The next day the army, 8,000 men and 51 pieces of artillery, with a wagon train big enough for an army four times as large, was on the road to Cassville. Colonel Gates with his regiment kept the enemy in check while Springfield was being evacuated. The three columns of the enemy were now uni
left, Brown followed him so closely and held to him so tenaciously that he could make but slow progress, and when night came he had got but three miles from the battlefield. But when the enemy drew off at night he halted, fed his horses, distributed his ammunition and formed his plans. He followed very nearly the line in retreat that Shelby had followed in his advance. All night and a part of the next day he moved swiftly on, and luckily, just after he crossed the Pacific railroad, near Sedalia, he encountered a Federal forage train, dispersed the escort and captured the wagons. This furnished abundant supplies for his men and horses and enabled him to continue his march without much loss of time. At Florence, which he entered at night, he encountered a Federal force as strong as his own, but charged it out of hand and made short work of it. McNeil was in command of the Federal forces at Springfield, and it was perhaps fortunate for Shelby and Shanks that he was. McNeil was not
m the first. Lane was driven through Lafayette county and Lexington, and did not consider himself safe until he reached Independence, in Jackson county. On the advance from Salt Fork, Gen. Jeff Thompson, with Shelby's brigade, made a detour to Sedalia to take in Col. John F. Philips and his command, who held the town. Thompson took the town, and Philips was so closely pressed that he left his pistols behind, which Thompson captured. All this time danger was gathering fast around the army. General Rosecrans had come on the railroad to Sedalia with a strong force, and was advancing on Price from the east. Another heavy force had been concentrated at Leavenworth under command of General Curtis, and was advancing to meet him from the west. These two forces were rapidly approaching, with Price between them. Price, however, did not quicken his leisurely gait or appear in the least disturbed. At the crossing of the Little Blue, a few miles below Independence, October 21st, Marmad