after this Marmaduke
obtained an extended leave of absence to visit headquarters at Shreveport
, and Col. Colton Greene
, in command of the brigade, continued operations in Chicot county
until he was ordered to obstruct the navigation of the Arkansas
, which he effectually did.
from the vicinity of Arkadelphia
was wearisome work for Shelby
, and he soon applied for permission to cross the Arkansas river
and keep Steele
employed defending his line of communication with Devall's Bluff
, to prevent his army being isolated at Little Rock
After some delay and difficulty he got permission to go with almost unlimited liberty to act after he arrived there.
All the outfit he needed was twenty-five wagon loads of ammunition.
He passed through Caddo mountains
and took Dardanelle
at a dash, capturing the garrison and a large amount of army stores.
In the neighborhood of Dardanelle
he met Colonel Jackman
, who had authority from Gen. Kirby Smith
to recruit a brigade, and at once invited his co-operation.
was a splendid soldier, and just the man Shelby
wanted to put in command of the troops he intended to organize.
at this time was filled with deserters, murderers and marauders from both armies, who had organized themselves into bands and tortured and plundered the people indiscriminately.
One of Shelby
's duties was to break up these bands, and kill or drive into the service the men who composed them.
He issued a proclamation ordering them to join one army or the other, and warning them of the wrath if they did not. They had been threatened in that way before and paid no attention to his proclamation.
Then his best scouts were called into requisition, and the outlaws were hunted down and shot like wild animals.
They soon learned that the proclamation meant what it said, and that there was a man behind it who would enforce it to the letter.
That was enough.
The robber bands ceased to exist and those who had belonged to them fled the