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[453] Curtis, and several civilians. Gen. Blunt, rallying some 15 of his guard, escaped capture and death by great coolness and courage: their persistency in boldly fighting creating a belief that they were the van of a heavy force. A considerable train that accompanied them was sacked and burned. The attack was made very near the little post known as Fort Blair, which was next assailed; but its defenders, though few, were brave and well led by Lt. Pond, 3d Wisconsin cavalry, who beat tile enemy off, inflicting a loss of 11 killed and many more wounded. Gen. Blunt and his remnant of escort kept the prairie till night, then made their way to the post. They had not ventured thither before, apprehending that it had been taken.

Pine Bluff, on the south bank of the Arkansas, 50 miles below Little Rock, was occupied, early in October, by Col. Powell Clayton, 5th Kansas cavalry, with 350 men and 4 guns. Marmaduke, at Princeton, 45 miles south, resolved to retake it. By the time he advanced to do so,1 Clayton had been reenforced by the 1st Indiana cavalry: so that he had now 600 men and 9 light guns.

Marmaduke, with 12 guns and a force estimated at 2,500, advanced in three columns, and poured in shell and canister for five hours, setting fire to the place; but Powell had organized 200 negroes to barricade the streets with cotton-bales, by whose services the fire was stopped without subtracting from his slender fighting force. The Rebel shells burned the court-house and several dwellings, battering most of the residue; but they could not take the town; and, at 2 P. M., drew off, having lost 150 killed and wounded, beside 33 prisoners. Our loss was but 17 killed and 40 wounded--5 of the former and 12 of the latter among the negro volunteers.

Part of Cabell's command, which (as we have seen) had been worsted, in the Indian Territory, by Blunt and Phillips, undertook, under Shelby, a Fall raid into Missouri--probably in quest of subsistence. Emerging from the Choctaw region of the Indian Territory, tile raiders passed rapidly through the north-west corner of Arkansas, crossing the river eastward of Fort Smith, and evading any collision with our forces near that post as well as with those holding Little Rock, and entering south-western Missouri; being joined2 at Crooked Prairie by a similar force under Coffey, whereby their number was said to be swelled to 2,500. These advanced rapidly through Western Missouri to the river at Booneville, but forthwith commenced a retreat — disappointed, probably, in their hopes of reenforcement from the now passive Rebels of that disloyal section. They were pursued by a hastily gathered body of Missouri militia, under Gen. E. B. Brown, who struck3 them near Arrow Rock at nightfall; fighting them till dark; renewing the attack at 8 next morning, and putting them to flight, with a loss of some 300 killed, wounded, and prisoners.4

1 Oct. 25.

2 Oct. 1.

3 Oct. 12.


St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 14, 1863.
Maj.-Gen Halleck, General-in-Chief:

Gen. Brown brought the Rebels under Shelby to a decisive engagement yesterday. The fight was obstinate and lasted five hours. The Rebels were finally completely routed and scattered in all directions, with loss of all their artillery and baggage and a large number of small arms and prisoners. The enemy's loss in killed and wounded is very great. Ours is also large. Our troops are still pursuing the flying Rebels.

J. M. Schofield, Major-General.

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