sooner, but was dissuaded from it on account of the exhausted condition of a large number of his troops.
That day, and until the evening of the next, he spent in recruiting the strength of the men, supplying them with shoes and preparing for battle.
's army was a formidable antagonist for the raw and poorly-armed force of Confederates it was preparing to meet, and its numbers were greatly exaggerated to General McCulloch
, commanding the men from Arkansas
had fought Indians in Texas
and the Mexican
mestizos in Mexico
, and he knew the difference between inexperienced citizen soldiery and well-armed, disciplined troops, many of them veterans and commanded by veterans.
He was in favor at first of falling back into Arkansas
, but General Price
maintained that the strength of the enemy was overestimated.
He was eager to attack, and urged an immediate advance.
At this juncture McCulloch
received dispatches from General Polk
that a large force of Confederates from Pitman's Ferry and New Madrid would march toward Rolla
to intercept Lyon
agreed to march against Lyon
, or wherever they might find him, General Price
magnanimously waiving his superior rank and consenting that McCulloch
should take command of the army.
was a brave and chivalrous officer, and inherently too great to contend about rank where the liberties of his country were at issue.
He was willing to ‘surrender not only rank, but life, if required, as his sacrifice to her cause.’
Expecting to encounter Lyon
's army somewhere south of Springfield
, the Confederates
had left their baggage train and beef-cattle at Cowskin prairie
But the men were in fine spirits and only disappointed when they did not find the enemy nearer at hand.
The August weather was hot. The first day's march was made by night, expecting to attack the enemy at dawn, but he had retraced his march toward Springfield
and pursuit was decided upon, the army marching twenty-two miles in the heat