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[110] in possession of the field. They had advanced their lines nearly a mile. But neither Herron nor Blunt was whipped or hopelessly disabled. The rank and file of the Confederates confidently expected a renewal of the battle next morning.

But as soon as Hindman had heard from his division commanders and counted his losses he determined to retreat. Having once reached this conclusion he lost no time in carrying it into effect. The men were stripped of their blankets to muffle the wheels of the artillery and ammunition wagons, and by midnight his army was on the road to Van Buren, moving as silently in the cold moonlight as a column of spectres. Marmaduke, with Shelby's brigade, remained behind to care for the wounded and bury the dead. The field being in the possession of the Confederates, a flag of truce was sent in by the commander of Herron's cavalry, asking permission to care for the Federal wounded and bury their dead. Then it appeared that Herron had retreated with the same promptness that Hindman had. Marmaduke camped on the field that night, and in the morning the Federal cavalry was gone.

Hindman never recovered from the mistake he made in following Shoup's and Frost's advice. He said to Marmaduke almost pathetically, when he determined to give the order for retreat, that he had trusted Shoup and Frost and they had ruined him. It was not only the loss of a battle he should have won, it was the irrevocable end of a career of an ambitious man, conscious of his own capacity for command; and therein was the bitterness of the sting. The loss of each army in the battle was severe. The Confederate loss in killed, wounded and missing was fully 1,800. The Federal loss was estimated to be greater. Among the Confederate officers killed were Gen. Early Steen, commanding a Missouri brigade; Colonel Grinstead, commanding a Missouri regiment; and Colonel Young, commanding an Arkansas regiment.

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John S. Marmaduke (3)
Thomas C. Hindman (3)
Herron (3)
Shoup (2)
Daniel M. Frost (2)
M. L. Young (1)
Early Steen (1)
Jo O. Shelby (1)
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