On October 15th, I returned to Fort Smith, where I learned, from rumor, that our troops had retired to the vicinity of Fayetteville1. . . . Upon arriving at Fayetteville, I learned that General Rains, with the armed infantry, one regiment of Arkansas cavalry and eight pieces of artillery, was in camp 2 miles west of Huntsville, on the road to Elkhorn; that three regiments of Missouri cavalry and two pieces of artillery, under Colonel Shelby, were 4 miles nearer Elkhorn, on the same road; that four regiments of Texas cavalry, under Colonel Bass, were at Holcomb's, 9 miles above Fayetteville; that the Indian troops and two white cavalry battalions, with four pieces of artillery, had gone west, toward Maysville, on the Cherokee and Arkansas line, and that the unarmed infantry were at McGuire's, about to miles south of Fayetteville, on the road to Ozark. I was informed by Colonel Bass that the enemy in great strength was pressing upon him; that he was retiring upon Huntsville. I directed Colonel Bradfute to go forward at once and assume command of the forces under Colonel Bass, and offer as stubborn resistance as he could, . . . ordered the unarmed men across the mountains toward Clarksville, and started to Huntsville. . . . General Rains informed me that he had retired from Elkhorn because satisfied that a Federal force of 15,000 to 20,000 was moving upon him; . . . also that the Indian troops under Cooper had refused to retire in the direction of Fayetteville, and that he had therefore ordered them toward the
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1 General Schofield reported that, having secured, in September, united action between Totten in southwest Missouri and Blunt in Kansas, he asked the cooperation of Steele, now at Helena, and determined to go to Springfield, take command of the united forces, and in conjunction with General Steele, drive the enemy, not only from Missouri, but from the Arkansas valley. But Steele failed to cooperate. On September 24th, General Curtis assumed command of the department of Missouri, and Schofield took command of the forces in southwest Missouri, and after the battle of Newtonia he advanced against Rains with 10,000 men, occupied Newtonia after a skirmish, and pushed on to Pineville, Ark. He then ordered General Herron from Springfield, Mo., to Cassville, and occupied the old battleground at Pea ridge, October 17th. Thence Blunt's division marched to Old Fort Wayne, near Maysville, and defeated Cooper, and Totten's and Herron's divisions occupied Huntsville. On the 30th, Schofield withdrew his whole force, then 16,000 men, to the vicinity of Bentonville, and later, leaving Blunt in northwest Arkansas, moved the other two divisions to the neighborhood of Springfield. He relinquished command November 20th.
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