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[183] no force was thrown out to hold the road by which Shelby had come from Jefferson City. The Federals in Jefferson City, finding the army withdrawn, concluded to follow Shelby, and, just as the ammunition train reached California, drove in the stragglers on the unguarded road. Marmaduke was riding at the head of his division with his escort company, and just behind him was his battery. He had barely time to unlimber his artillery before the Federals appeared. When the artillery opened upon them they naturally supposed it was supported and drew back to form a line of battle. The delay was fatal to them. By the time they were ready to charge, Clark's brigade was in line, and though the fight was hot for an hour, the ammunition train was saved and eventually the enemy repulsed.

In the towns and counties above Jefferson City the sentiments of the people were strongly Southern, and General Price's army was received with enthusiasm, especially by the women, who were not restrained in their words and acts by any suggestions of policy or expediency. Indeed, the Southern women of Missouri were as loyal and true to the cause and as brave and heroic in the support they gave it and its defenders, as the women of any part of the South. At the hazard of their lives they made their homes hospitals to care for the sick and the wounded, and when they were not safe in their houses hid and fed them in the woods and in caves, until they recovered or died; in the one case starting them to the army again and in the other giving them decent burial. This spirit of heroism and disregard of consequences was not confined to the country. They were as true in the towns as in the country. Nowhere were they more active and zealous and self-sacrificing than in St. Louis. No Southern soldier lacked for friends among the Southern women to feed him, to secrete him, to supply him with arms and money and whatever else he needed, to give him a horse and a guide.

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