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[249]

Marmaduke, as he had only 500 men, wrote to General Fagan for assistance. Fagan sent him Cabell's and Crawford's brigades, but on marching out to attack the train, he learned that it had been reinforced, and sent for more assistance. General Maxey, with Gano's Texans under DeMorse, and Walker's Indians, was tendered and accepted. Cabell's, Crawford's and Greene's brigades took position about noon across the road between the train and Camden, with Hughey's battery in the road. Maxey's Indians were stationed to attack the escort on the flank and rear as the train passed and approached the line of Cabell and Crawford in its front, going toward Camden. Greene's brigade was held in reserve. General Maxey was senior to Marmaduke as to grade, but yielded the command.

Thus came on the engagement known as the battle of Poison Spring, April 18, 1864. Crawford's brigade was to the right of the road and the battery. Cabell's brigade was to the left of the line, Monroe on the right, Gordon at the center, Harrell on his extreme left; the latter brigade being drawn up on a pine ridge commanding the road which lay between sloping pine hills. General Maxey explained the plan of battle to the officers on the left of the line: ‘When Gano shall be well engaged with the enemy in his rear, this line is to advance and strike him in the flank. This is the wheeling flank, and should advance at double-quick.’ He was on foot, whittling a piece of white pine, which has been described as the attitude of General Longstreet on more momentous occasions. Gano opened from the rear, half a mile off, and the woods resounded with their fire. Cabell's left, extending along the ridge west of his battery, when ordered forward, went at double-quick, while the enemy's battery cut down the pine saplings around them. Descending from the wooded crest into and across the deserted fields, through the alder bushes, as it struck the road it delivered volleys into a line of

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Camden, Ark. (Arkansas, United States) (2)
Fortress Monroe (Virginia, United States) (1)
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