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[114] Hovey's brigade was crouching and apprehensive, would have captured 2,000 prisoners, and rifles and steel guns of the finest quality. The Confederates could have armed themselves with the best improved arms. It was for them only to advance and take them. It was not because they were conscripts that they failed, as most of them were Texas volunteers.

There were no conscripts in the true sense of the word, since there were very few who had not served as volunteers, and having been captured and exchanged, or their term of enlistment having expired, without pay for their services, were driven by the necessity of feeding their families, all other resources being exhausted, to stay out of the army and make a crop. Taken from their plows, if they had been wanting in patriotism, there were the Federal recruiting officers, tempting them with large bounties, with pay, food and clothing, which they scorned to accept, but remained, the great body of them, in the Confederate army without either. For this reason no distinction is made between Confederate soldiers. All who fought for their State against the invader are honored, while those who went to the enemy are mistrusted and avoided. General Hindman continues:

No longer able to prevent the junction of Curtis and Fitch, I withdrew my infantry from White river, evacuating Devall's Bluff without loss of any kind and taking up a new line, that of the Bayou Metoe, 12 miles from Little Rock, by which the enemy's difficulties of supplying himself would be increased and his employment of the gunboats rendered impossible, should he move against me. White river was falling rapidly; the gunboats and transports dropped down and went into the Mississippi, fired upon to the last moment from the west bank. Curtis, at the same time, moved eastward to the Mississippi and established himself at Helena. A portion of my cavalry, under Col. W. H. Parsons, was thrown forward in that direction and many successful atacks were made upon the enemy. The most important of these was at Hughes' Ferry on L'Anguille river, 30 miles from Helena, August

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W. H. Parsons (1)
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