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[228] General Canby's command; and as it was necessary that I should here adopt the line of march I should pursue on my return to Arkansas, to district headquarters, or elsewhere, as I should be directed, I determined not to risk the crossing of the Arkansas river between Forth Smith and Little Rock, on which route I could not procure subsistence, forage or grass in anything like sufficient quantity; but decided to cross through the Indian country, where beef at least could be obtained, which would subsist my men for the few days it would require them to march until they would meet supplies, even if no salt or breadstuffs could be procured, whilst some grass could be obtained for the animals. In addition,. the route across the Arkansas river below Fort Smith would be over a hilly and mountainous country — that the stock, in its present condition, would be unable to travel over — whilst through the Indian country it would be over level plains, traversed by good roads. Again, by taking the route below Fort Smith I would expose my army to be destroyed by a joint attack from forces detached from the heavy garrison there, acting with large forces from Little Rock, which could be easily spared, and which would, in all probability, take place, as information of my adopting that route would certainly reach them, and the slowness with which I was compelled to move would give them ample time to make all preparations. I furthermore came to this conclusion from the fact that it coincided with my instructions — in the propriety of which my own judgment fully concurred. Colonels.Freeman, Dobbins and McCroy were ordered to return, with such of their men as still remained with their colors, to the places where they had raised their commands, to collect the absentees, and bring them within our lines during December, if possible; and on the 4th of November I marched with the balance of my command through the Indian territory in the direction of Boggy depot. On the 13th I reached Perryville — a distance of one hundred and nineteen miles--when I met three wagons with supplies and encamped, remaining one day to rest and recruit my men. I had marched carefully and slowly, stopping to graze my stock whenever an opportunity offered. On the 14th, General Shelby, at his request, was left behind on the Canadian to recruit. On the 20th, Cabell's and Slemmons' brigades were furloughed. On the 21st of November I arrived at Clarksville, where I received an order from General Magruder to march to Lanesport and there establish my headquarters. I arrived there on the 2d of December, having marched 1,434 miles. The march

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