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[452] finding himself embarrassed with 700 more sick; whom, along with his train, he was obliged to leave True's brigade and Ritter's cavalry to guard, while he pushed up the Arkansas and fought his way into Little Rock; Davidson, supported by two divisions and two batteries, crossing directly, and approaching that city on the south side of the river.

Davidson, having completed his reconnoissances and fixed on his point of crossing, threw over his pontoons during the night,1 and was all over by 11 A. M. the fire of his batteries having speedily silenced the enemy's opposition. Advancing directly on Little Rock, he was more stubbornly resisted at Bayou Fourche, five miles out, by Marmaduke's cavalry and Tappan's brigade of infantry, supporting two batteries, strongly posted; but Steele, advancing simultaneously on the north bank of the river, his batteries fired across at the enemy obstructing Davidson; which enabled the latter slowly to gain ground, until at length, ordering a charge by Ritter's brigade and Strange's howitzers, supported by part of the 1st Iowa cavalry, his men went into the city, saber in hand, on the heels of the flying enemy; and st 7 P. M., the capital of Arkausas was formally surrendered by its civil authorities: the United States arsenal being uninjured, and whatever Rebel stores were there falling into our hands; but six steamboats were completely burned by Price, who had Leen in chief command here, with several railroad cars; while their three pontoon-bridges and two locomotives, though also fired by them, were partially saved.

Steele, moving parallel with Davidson, was opposite the city, when it was evacuated and given up, and entered it late that evening: the enemy making for Arkadelphia too rapidly to be overtaken by our jaded horses, to say nothing of our men.

Steele says his entire loss to or by the enemy during this campaign did not exceed 100; yet he had but 7,000 of his 12,000 when he started that morning to enter Little Rock. True, he had left many guarding hospitals and trains; but he had been reenforced by two brigades: so that his losses by disease must have been fearful. He had taken 1,000 prisoners.

Ere this, Gen. Blunt, pursuing the motley Rebel horde under Standwatie and Cabell, had very nearly brought them to a stand at Perryville,2 Choctaw Nation; but they were too nimble to receive much damage, and he chased them by Fort Smith, whereof he took3 bloodless possession. Col. J. M. Johnson, 1st [Union] Arkansas, was made post commander. Cabell, it was said, fell back to participate in the defense of Little Rock; but he failed to arrive in season; joining Price's fugitive force somewhere on its retreat to the Washita. Price ultimately fell back to Red river.

Gen. Blunt, leaving been on business to Kansas, was returning with a small cavalry escort to Fort Smith, when he was struck,4 near Baxter's. springs, Cherokee Nation, by Quantrell, with 600 guerrillas, and most of his small escort killed or disabled: among the 80 killed--nearly all after they had been captured — were Maj. H. Z. Curtis, son of Maj.-Gen. S. R.

1 Sept. 9-10.

2 Aug. 26.

3 Sept. 1.

4 Oct. 4.

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