had no alternative but to obey, though to do so cost him the result of his labors while in command of the department.
His design was to mass from 25,000 to 30,000 infantry in northwest Arkansas
and southwest Missouri
behind 5,000 or 10,000 cavalry, which were to drive the Federals
back as far at least as Springfield
; then, by a rapid movement of cavalry and infantry—the first north and the last south of Springfield
—to force the enemy to fight at a disadvantage or surrender, the only practical line of retreat being held by his cavalry.
In other words, he intended to do what McCulloch
might have done, but did not do, after the battle of Wilson's Creek
Most of the infantry required for the expedition were in camp at Little Rock
and on White
and Black rivers
, and reinforcements were constantly arriving from southern Arkansas
; and besides these, General Rains
had 3,000 or 4,000 men of the old Missouri State Guard in his command, which hovered about the southern border of Missouri
's cavalry brigade had already been organized, and another was in process of formation.
In any event, Hindman
's purpose was to pass the winter in the Missouri river
country and raise an army in Missouri
capable of making a strong fight for the possession of the State
But in an order ten lines long General Holmes
shattered the campaign, and did not then, nor at any time afterward, propose another.
's brigade took position at Cross Hollows
, and came as near not doing anything as at any time during its existence.
There was nothing for it to do except to scout well to the front and keep informed of the enemy's movements.
About this time General Hindman
issued an order directing Brig.-Gen. John S. Marmaduke
to take command of all the cavalry in the district of northern Arkansas
, and to go at once to the front.
By another order from General Hindman
, Col. John T. Coffee
was relieved of the command of his regiment and Col. Gideon W. Thompson
ordered to take