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[175] there and along the line of the railroad between Devall's Bluff and Little Rock. Langhorne was an experienced soldier and scout, and took nothing for granted, but went inside the enemy's lines to see for himself, confident of his ability to fight his way out in an emergency. He did some fighting and returned with full information of the strength and dispositions of the enemy. A few days at Jacksonport sufficed to give the men and horses all the rest they needed, and Shelby moved on Searcy. The first force he struck was the Tenth Illinois cavalry, which had given notice, in the form of a challenge a short time before, of its readiness to meet the best regiment Shelby had. Shelby assigned to Gordon's regiment the order of maintaining the reputation of the brigade. The Tenth Illinois was at Searcy. Gordon made a night march and fell upon it unawares. The Illinoisians were willing enough to fight, but did not know how. They were comparatively new to the business. Taken by surprise they made but little resistance, and were captured almost to a man.

While Shelby was in the vicinity of Searcy the Federals at Des Arc organized an expedition to pass up the east side of White river, cross the river at Jacksonport, scatter his recruits, break up his recruiting stations and destroy his reserve supply of ammunition, thus at one stroke undoing all he had done and crippling him as far as future operations were concerned. Shelby learned of the movement, however, in time, turned back on his track, met the enemy at Augusta, repulsed them and drove them back empty handed. But he took care to put his ammunition out of reach of any sudden movement of the enemy.

His next foray was in the vicinity of Helena, where the plantations of Southern men had been seized by the Federal government, the owners dispossessed, their families driven away, and their property held and operated as government plantations. The houses were filled with

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Carthage Shelby (5)
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