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[413] soon exerted a strong influence among his people and proved himself an able leader. On the opening of the war with Mexico, he was made lieutenant-colonel in the Arkansas regiment of which Colonel Yell was commander. At the battle of Buena Vista, in repelling a furious charge of the Mexican lancers, Colonel Yell was slain and Roane succeeded in command. After the close of the war he returned to Arkansas, again entered the field of politics, and became governor of Arkansas. He was always very jealous of the honor of his native State. The versatile and eccentric Albert Pike, who in the Mexican war had been an officer in the regiment of the dashing Col. Charles May, wrote an article on the battle of Buena Vista in which he commented on the Arkansas troops at that battle in terms which Governor Roane considered derogatory to the military character of his regiment. Thereupon he challenged Captain Pike to a duel. The challenge was accepted and the duel fought, but with no harm to either antagonist. In the long sectional quarrel between the North and South, Governor Roane was firmly on the Southern side of the question, and gave his approval to the secession of his State. He entered the military service of the Confederate States, and on March 20, 1862, was made brigadier-general. When Van Dorn at the bidding of the Confederate government took his army across the Mississippi, leaving for awhile Arkansas and Mississippi almost defenseless, he assigned Brigadier-General Roane to the command of Arkansas. Roane had been governor of the State, was amiable and popular, as well as brave and zealous for the South. The task before him was one that might appall even a man of great military experience. There were no troops at that time in the State, except a few companies of militia, badly organized and poorly armed. Besides these, there were a few thousand Indian, and mixed Indian and white, troops in the Indian Territory under Gen. Albert Pike. But they were unreliable and had to

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