These were pregnant suggestions to occupy the mind of the genial general, suddenly promoted to an empty honor —former governor of the State
, but for some time in retirement on his plantation near Pine Bluff
—when he looked about him for the material, the men and munitions for these energetic operations.
He had commanded a regiment at Buena Vista
, and had fought a duel with Capt. Albert Pike
, then commanding a ‘squadron,’ the result of a controversy which grew out of an incident of that battle.
, with mettle aroused somewhat, responded that, ‘Curtis
' command, reported at 22,000 strong (in my opinion not more than half that number) is at Batesville
, moving to this place and valley of Arkansas river
He said he was holding four companies of Parsons
' Texas cavalry, and ‘thought with the Texas
troops and such others as I could raise in the State
, I could hold the enemy in check until you could whip the Federals
But the situation was too serious for joking.
The people of the State
did not at first realize that the commander of the district was depriving the State
of every armed man, and all the materials of war he could possibly procure, to take them to distant fields, while their own homes, the safety of their families and all they possessed were to be left at the mercy of the robber-bands in Missouri
, as well as the merciless Indians
April 15th, R. W. Johnson
, Chas. B. Mitchell
, G. D. Royston
, T. B. Hanley
and Felix I. Batson
addressed an earnest communication to the President
, describing the havoc which Van Dorn
had caused already, and that which he contemplated and had ordered.
They stated ‘that Little Rock was to be abandoned as a depot, its public works at the arsenal torn down, arms carried off, and, in obedience to orders of generals east of the Mississippi
, the State
, having furnished her quota, was now to be stripped of her remaining troops, until she was ’