his forces unresisted over the greater part of southern and western Missouri, occupying in force Lexington and other points on the great river, where Slavery and Rebellion were strong, and subsisting his army on the State from which they might and should have been excluded.
The village of Warsaw was burned,
Nov. 19, 1861. and Platte City partially so,
Dec. 16. by Rebel incendiaries or guerrillas; and there were insignificant combats at Salem,
Dec. 3. Rogers' Mill,
Dec. 7. near Glasgow, Potosi, Lexington, Mount Zion,
Dec. 28. near Sturgeon, and some other points, at which the preponderance of advantage was generally on the side of the Unionists.
Even in North Missouri, nearly a hundred miles of the railroad crossing that section was disabled and in good part destroyed
Dec. 20. by a concerted night foray of guerrillas.
Gen. Halleck thereupon issued an order, threatening to shoot any Rebel caught bridge-burning within the Union lines — a threat which the guerrillas
Nov. 20. leaving Missouri substantially pacified.
But Gen. Hindman, commanding the Confederate forces in Arkansas, was not disposed to rest satisfied with such a conclusion of the campaign.
Having collected, by concentration and conscription, a force estimated by our officers in his front at 25,000 to 30,000 men — while he officially reports that, for want of stores, etc., he was able to take on this expedition but 9,000 infantry, 2,000 cavalry, and his artillery — he crossed the Arkansas river at or near Van Buren, and advanced upon our scattered and numerically far inferior division, which was watching him from the neighborhood of the last conflict.
It was now December; but the weather was clear and dry, and the days bright and warm, though the nights were chilly; while the roads were in good condition.
Gen. Blunt, commanding the 1st division, in good part of Kansas troops, numbering about 5,000 men, was at Cane Hill, or Boones-borough, some 10 miles north-west of Van Bure