in that way, he reviewed his troops and harangued them.
His efforts, whether written or spoken, were characteristic of him—a combination of sense and bombast, of military shrewdness and personal buffoonery.
They attracted attention and sometimes accomplished a practical purpose, but gave his campaigns a decided opera bouffe aspect.
Later in the war, he was operating with less than 200 men around New Orleans, while General Butler
was in command there, and beat that redoubtable manufacturer of manifestoes and bulletins at his own game—and not only that, but made him believe he was threatened by a force of at least 10,000 men. General Thompson
was of material assistance to General Price
by keeping a considerable Federal force engaged in watching him. A good many times the Federals
thought they had him surrounded, but he always outwitted them or broke through their lines, and a few days afterward saluted them with a characteristic proclamation.
At Grand River
and near Fredericktown
he maneuvered a small body of men in the face of a force of the enemy ten times as large as his own so skillfully as to accomplish his purpose and get away scot-free.
His shiftiness and success in getting out of tight places gave him the appropriate name of the ‘Swamp Fox
found it not only impossible to remain in Lexington
, or elsewhere on the Missouri river
, but difficult to retreat.
, who was in command of the department of the West, was moving with a large and thoroughly equipped force, estimated at 40,--000 men, to cut off his line of retreat to the south, while he was threatened by a force equal to his own from the west, consisting of regular troops from Fort Leavenworth
volunteers, and troops were crossing the Missouri river
at every available point to assist in the effort to crush him.
Under these circumstances it was necessary for him to move speedily and rapidly.
He dismissed the greater