--gave the order solicited; which reached Smith
that night at Chapel Hill
, just as he was putting his column in motion southward, and sent it westward instead.
Next morning, Pleasanton
pressed on to the crossing of the Big Blue; where he found the enemy's main body — which, the day before, had fought Curtis
, but had not moved him — prepared for resistance.
The fight opened at 7 A. M., and was maintained with spirit on both sides till 1 P. M., when the Rebels
decamped — were “routed and fled southward,” says Rosecrans
; though they would of course use different terms in describing the matter.
They went, however, beyond doubt; eagerly pursued by Pleasanton
beyond Little Santa Fe.
, with 9,000 infantry and five batteries, reached Independence at 5 P. M. ; when his weary men were forthwith put in motion for Hickman's mills, where it was hoped he would strike the flank of the flying foe. But it was too late.
His false moves (through no fault of his own) to Lexington
and to Independence, had opened a door of escape to Price
, which lie was too good a general not to profit by; and he was too fleet and too far ahead to be henceforth overtaken by infantry.
, with his Kansas
the lead in the pursuit; but soon gave place to Pleasanton
's horsemen; who, after a march of 60 miles, struck them about midnight at the Maraisdes-Cygnes, opening upon their bivouac at 4 A. M.,2
with artillery; setting them at once in motion, and chasing them to the Little Osage, where they turned to fight, displaying 8 guns in their line of battle.
Pleasanton at once ordered a charge by Benteen
's and Phillips
's brigades, which was superbly made, and resulted in the capture of their 8 guns and 1,000 prisoners, including Maj.-Gen. Marmaduke
, Brig.-Gen. Cabell
, and five Colonels
, beside small arms, wagons, colors, &c.
's brigade — which was considerably behind — low came up and took the lead; and, when the enemy again made a stand, a few miles farther south, routed them, and drove them till night stopped the pursuit.
The burning wrecks of wagons and other materiel
marked their course for miles farther; but most of our nearly broken-down cavalry, with all our infantry, was here judiciously halted: Pleasanton
turning to Fort Scott
for needful food and rest; and Smith
moving to Harrisonville
with the same purpose.
, with his Kansas
men and Benteen
's brigade, followed by Sanborn
, kept tlhe trail of the flying foe; striking3
them at Newtonia
, near the south-west corner of the State
, and, being outnumbered, was evidently getting worsted, when Sanborn
— who bad marched 102 miles in 36 hours--came up, and changed the fortunes of the day. The Rebels resumed their flight — having little left to lose but their bodies and their worn-out horses — and escaped into western Arkansas
followed, but did not again overtake them till he reached Fayetteville, Ark.
, where Col. Larue Harrison
, 1st Arkansas cavalry, had been invested4
by Col. Brooks
, with some 2,000 Rebels; who was held at bay until Fagan
's division of Price