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[97] from Bayou Des Arc to the cover of his ironclads on White river, and then to Helena.

In the meantime officers and soldiers of the Missouri State Guard who had crossed the river with General Price were returning, individually and by companies, to renew the fight for the protection of Arkansas and the States further south, and to recover possession of their own State. All of them were actively engaged recruiting or preparing to recruit in Missouri. General Parsons, as has been said, returned from Tupelo with the remnants of the State Guard. Col. John T. Hughes returned from the same place with a brigadier-general's commission. Col. John Q. Burbridge resigned the command of the Second infantry and returned to raise a new regiment. Capt. Jo O. Shelby brought back his company with him and authority from the war department to raise a regiment. Others came with like authority for the same purpose.

Shelby's men marched across the State on foot and went into camp near Van Buren, preparatory to going into Missouri, where there was a garrison in nearly every town, and the roads were patrolled daily and sometimes nightly. Anything in the shape of a horse that could travel was in demand. The trappings made less difference: If a saddle could not be had a blanket would do. If a bridle were lacking one could be made of rope and rawhide. Every man had a good Mississippi rifle and 140 rounds of ammunition. When the time came for starting, those who did not have a horse or a mule joined the column on foot. Not until the command got into Newton county was it really in the country of the enemy. By that time the dismounted men had got horses. Shelby's plan was to attack the enemy's troops wherever he met them. If he could not whip them, the pause that followed the attack gave him time to get away. Thus marching and fighting he made his way to Lafayette county—his home county—and there commenced the active work of raising a regiment.

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