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[160] field. After the battle the Missouri and Arkansas commands moved back to within four miles of Mansfield and went into camp to rest preparatory to their return to Arkansas.

About this time the district commander received official information of the promotion of Colonel Shelby to brigadier-general, which was only a proper recognition on the part of the Confederate government of the services of a brave, intelligent and successful officer. Some changes had taken place in Shelby's brigade, too, during the winter. Shanks had become colonel of Jeans' regiment, and Shelby's promotion made Gordon colonel of his regiment. Smith had succeeded Thompson in command of Coffee's old regiment. Blackwell was lieutenant-colonel of Gordon's regiment, and George Gordon, major, while Irwin became lieutenant-colonel of Shanks' regiment, and McDaniel became lieutenant-colonel under Elliott, and Walton, major.

Early in April General Steele moved out of Little Rock and began his march southward to co-operate with Banks in the capture of Shreveport. Steele took particular precautions to keep his strength, the composition of his force and the object and direction of his movement secret. Marmaduke was ordered to delay Steele as much as possible. He ordered Shelby to fall in his rear and annoy and retard him, by striking and getting away, wherever opportunity offered. Shelby carried out his instructions to the letter. Captain Wilkinson brought in 18 prisoners. Lieutenant Wolfenberger brought in 20 more, together with the contents of several commissary wagons. Altogether ten or fifteen of these detached parties returned with supplies, prisoners and horses. Davidson's cavalry was demoralized and rarely ventured beyond the protection of the infantry. In the meantime Marmaduke, with his own brigade, had thrown himself in Steele's front and compelled him to halt and deploy his infantry so frequently that he made but slow progress

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