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[181] ground was uneven and thickly wooded, affording shelter for the men. All the approaches to the road and ford were covered by rude rifle-pits, made by felling trees or piling up the loose stones and brush. These were all along the bank, and along the road. The trees had been thinned so as to make rifle-lanes, if I may use the term, bearing upon the way in which our troops must approach. One of these lanes was continued through the thick underbrush for several hundred yards, and at short intervals were rude abatis and pits. Had it not been for our shells, the advance would have been very fatal.

The defeat of the rebels was disheartening and disastrous. Stand Waitie fled, and with only two companions crossed the Arkansas and returned to the rebel camp near Fort Gibson. So we were informed by their pickets on the sixth. Our trains moved on after burying the dead, and reached Fort Gibson on the morning of the fifth. Their advent was hailed with delight by the garrison and its commander. Supplies were short and the fresh troops much needed. Every body was in good spirits. General Blunt arrived on the twelfth, having been met at Cabin Creek on the tenth by the returning train. He will soon dispose of the rebel force in that vicinity at an early day, make a sweep on Fort Smith, and ere he return to Fort Scott, wake up the Red River valley.

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