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[136]

Price's and Fagan's divisions returned to Little Rock, and Marmaduke's division, and Walker's brigade, consisting of two regiments, remained north of the Arkansas river. Marmaduke returned to White river and camped in the vicinity of Jacksonport. Shelby was disabled, and Col. G. W. Thompson commanded his brigade. The expedition to Helena over muddy roads and across swollen streams, without tents and frequently without rations, had been a hard one, but there was not much rest for the cavalry. Shortly General Davidson, with about 6,000 Federal cavalry, came down Crowley's ridge from Missouri, and Marmaduke prepared to meet him, but Davidson turned aside, without hazarding a fight, and went to Helena. As soon as Davidson had disappeared a light ironclad boat came up White river to very nearly where Shelby's brigade was camped, and Colonel Thompson undertook to capture it. But the boat was bullet-proof, and in the fight Lieut.-Col. Charles Gilkey, commanding Jeans' regiment, was killed, and Maj. David Shanks of the same regiment was severely wounded.

Davidson's column was only part of a force General Frederick Steele was concentrating at Devall's Bluff on the lower White river for the purpose of taking Little Rock. On the 24th of July General Price was assigned to the command of the district of Arkansas on account of the sickness of General Holmes, and General Fagan was assigned to the command of General Price's division. About the middle of August Marmaduke moved with his division from Jacksonport to form a junction with General Walker at Brownsville. When they met, Walker, as the ranking officer, took command. A few hours after Marmaduke reached Brownsville, the head of Steele's column, Davidson's cavalry in advance, appeared on the prairie. General Walker decided to retreat, and Marmaduke at his own request was given the rear, with Elliott's battalion and Pratt's battery. The

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