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[555] his ground stubbornly for hours, but gained no advantage; and Dobbins was just forming his men for a decisive charge, when Carmichael charged through them and joined Brooks; when our men assumed the offensive. Unhappily, Col. Brooks was killed, with Capt. Lembke, of his battery, Adj. Pratt, and Surgeon Stoddard: so our forces fell back to Helena, followed part way by Dobbins, but not again attacked. Our loss in this affair was 50; that of the enemy was reported at 150.

Next day, at the other side of the State, Gen. Gano, with 1,500 Rebels, surprised an outpost of Fort Smith, held by Capt. Mefford, with 200 of the 5th Kansas, whom he captured, with 82 of his men, after we had lost 10 killed, 15 wounded, to 12 killed, 20 wounded of the enemy. Gano, of course, got away before he could be reached from Fort Smith.

Next month, Shelby, with some 2,000 men, struck1 the line of railroad between Duvall's bluff and Little Rock, capturing most of the 54th Illinois, who were guarding three stations. Col. Mitchell was reported among the killed.

Steele's advance to and capture of Little Rock the preceding Autumn, with the failure of the Rebels even to attempt its recovery, had been accepted by the Unionists of Arkansas as conclusive of the inability of the foe to regain their lost ascendency in their State. Accordingly, a Union meeting of citizens was held at Little Rock,2 followed by others; and, ultimately, a Union State Constitutional Convention had been assembled:3 wherein 42 out of the 54 counties were represented. This Convention had framed a new Constitution, whereby Slavery was forever prohibited. Dr. Isaac Murphy--the only member of the Convention of 1861 who had held out to the last against Secession — had been designated Provisional. Governor, and duly inaugurated,4 with C. C. Bliss, Lieut.-Governor, and R. J. T. White, Secretary of State. This Constitution was submitted to a vote of the people and ratified5 by 12,177 votes for, to 226 against it. State officers, three members of Congress, a Legislature, and local officers, were at the same time elected. The Legislature met, and elected6 U. S. Senators. The Unionists had fondly supposed every thing “restored” that should be, so far as their State was concerned; until Steele's reverses in and retreat from the south, with the triumphant advance on his heels of the Rebel armies, surrendered two-thirds of her area to the enemy; whose cavalry, avoiding our few strongholds, careered at will over the open country, foraging on the already needy non-combatants, and dealing vengeance on the ‘traitors’ and ‘renegades’ who had declared for the Union. In the Autumn, the Rebel Legislature met7 at Washington, listened to a message from their Governor, Hannigan, and chose A. P. Garland over Albert Pike to represent them in the Confederate Senate.

This practical surrender of the State to the Rebels, throughout the year following Steele's retreat from Camden, need not and should not have been. But Steele, who was continued in command, never struck

1 Aug. 23.

2 Nov. 12, 1863.

3 Jan. 8, 1864.

4 Jan. 22.

5 March 14.

6 April 25.

7 Sept. 22.

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