of wagons that incumbered the march and which they had to guard at the hazard of their lives, and that the column was moving leisurely and at a speed that would not have been rapid for infantry.
The army camped on the second night after the battle on the Marais des Cygnes, about half way between Westport
and Fort Scott
, on the Kansas
side of the line.
was in rear, and reported frequently during the night that the Federals
were massing on his front and threatening trouble next day if they waited that long to begin operations.
But no notice was taken of his warnings.
It was broad daylight, October 25th, before General Price
began to move, and the train did not get straightened out and in motion until after sunrise.
had been sent in advance to take Fort Scott
was in rear, and Fagan
had the train in charge.
As soon as the column was clear of the timber, Marmaduke
's brigade in line of battle, and moved across the prairie prepared to fight at any moment.
Wherever the ground was favorable he stopped, about-faced and checked the enemy in order to give the train time to get ahead and out of the way. Just before reaching Mine creek
he congratulated himself that his front was clear, and said, when he came in sight of the timber in the creek bottom, that after crossing the creek he would form and check the pursuit for all day. The Federals were marching with probably two regiments in line of battle, one on either flank, and another in column of companies in the center, prepared evidently for prompt and decided action.
reached the rise in the prairie that overlooked the creek bottom, he was surprised to find the wagon train on his side of the creek, the teamsters dismounted and lying on the grass or talking with each other, and about one wagon crossing the creek every five minutes.
's brigade was at once about-faced and Freeman
's formed on Clark
's right, with the battery between them.