his ammunition was reduced to ten rounds to the man, and he might have to fight to get across the Arkansas
He knew McNeil
well enough to be satisfied that he had nothing to fear from him. So he continued to retire and McNeil
continued to follow him, but keeping at least a mile in rear.
Once he made a mistake and got too close, when Gordon
drove him back with his single regiment.
Nor did he attempt to interfere when Shelby
crossed the Arkansas river
and continued his march leisurely southward.
In this expedition Shelby
marched more than a thousand miles through a country held by the enemy; fought forty-seven battles and skirmishes; took twenty garrisoned towns; destroyed eleven forts and blockhouses; killed, wounded and captured 3,500 of the enemy; remounted, re-armed and re-clothed his command; and returned with twice as large a force as he started with.
He did more.
He infused a new spirit of confidence and courage in the army of the Trans-Mississippi department by showing it what a bold leader with a few hardy and determined men could accomplish.
The people of the beautiful and cultivated town of Washington, Arkansas
, around which the cavalry were encamped, appreciated the arduous services he had performed and the wonderful successes he had achieved, and on his return received him as a conquering hero.
Late in October General Marmaduke
got permission from General Holmes
to attack and take Pine Bluff
The place was held by Col. Powell Clayton
, a bold and enterprising Federal officer, with probably 1,500 men. Clayton
was in the habit of making periodical forays in the direction of Ouachita river
, and General Holmes
thought it would be well to teach him a lesson.
's command for the expedition consisted of his own brigade under Col. Colton Greene
's brigade under Col. J. C. Monroe
' brigade under Col. R. C. Newton
; the portion of Shelby
's brigade that did not accompany him