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[165] morning and hold it, while Shelby, with Crawford's regiment of Arkansas cavalry, made a detour of ten miles to attack it in front. Dockery stopped to feed his horses four or five miles from the battlefield, and the burden of the fight fell upon Cabell. He was overmatched, but he held on with terrible tenacity, depending on Shelby's known rapidity of movement and impetuosity of attack for succor in the end. Shelby made the ten-mile ride in an hour by the watch. He never broke the gallop upon which he started, and when he made the last turn which placed him in the enemy's front—now his rear—one of his cannon stopped and fired two shots, to let Cabell know he was coming. The men of neither Shelby's brigade nor Crawford's regiment drew rein when they struck the enemy. This charge, without halting, relieved the pressure on Cabell and gave Shelby time to form his men and take the battery—the battery that had fought him under Blunt at Cane Hill and at Prairie Grove—and when the battery stopped firing the battle was won and Shelby and Cabell were undisputed masters of the field. Cabell's loss was heavy, because it had borne the brunt of the fight for an hour; and Shelby's was light, because of the suddenness and impetuosity of his attack.

The loss of these two trains left Steele in a desperate position. It was evident that he must evacuate Camden and force his way to Little Rock or Pine Bluff, or surrender. He was not disposed to surrender without first making an effort to escape. Shelby wanted Fagan to move his command down opposite Camden on the Ouachita river and keep him penned up where he was, or fight him every step he took along the corduroy road, which would be his only passageway through the swampy bottom after he crossed the river. Fagan said there was no forage there for the horses nor supplies for the men, and Shelby replied that the horses were already fat enough for the men to eat But Fagan marched his

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Carthage Shelby (9)
E. C. Cabell (5)
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