in his forward movement.
crossed the Ouachita
crossed it eight miles below, keeping pace with him and looking for a weak place in his column in order to strike him a sudden blow in force.
Beyond the river lay the broad road from Arkadelphia
had just passed over it. Shelby
took it and was soon close upon his rear.
His order to the commander of his advance was to charge everything in sight.
The first thing in sight was Steele
's rear guard cavalry, halted temporarily at a spring.
charged it with Shelby
close behind him. The rear guard, taken unawares, was broken and driven pell-mell on a supporting brigade of infantry, which in turn was thrown into disorder, and, Shelby
charging it, the disorder became confusion and the confusion ended in a precipitate retreat.
But before retreating they delivered a volley which sent Captain Thorp
down badly wounded with his horse across him, and a dozen others, among them Lieut. Dan Trigg
's escort company, who had been sent the day before with five men to find Shelby
and deliver some orders to him. Trigg
with his small detachment joined the advance, and at the first fire, he and two of his men went down in death.
A brigade of infantry and a battery were sent by Steele
to the relief of the first brigade, and Shelby
, encouraged by his first success, charged full upon both.
The fight was short and desperate.
After a stubborn resistance the two brigades retired on the main body, and night coming on Shelby
took a by-road, passed around Steele
's flank, and the next day reported to Marmaduke
with several hundred prisoners and full information in regard to Steele
's strength and the morale of his troops.
The audacity and vigor of Shelby
's attacks had the effect on Steele
of making him much more cautious in his advance than he had been.
He kept his command well closed up and did not march more than eight or ten