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‘ [169] woolens had a sanctity in my eyes as true emblems of honesty and innocence. But during the war that man manifested his true nature, and but for the general amnesty, could be indicted for a dozen murders, for robbery, arson and larceny. He used to ride through the country and strip the beds of the poor women in these hills, until he piled quilts in his lap so high he could not see his horses' ears. They say the women shot at him, but the quilts proved a protection against their bullets. He is known as “Bed-quilt Blank.” ’

The raids of these forces under Philips, Harrison and Vanderpool, who left their bloody trail through the counties on the border, from Forsyth on White river to the Dutch mills on the Indian line, demanded a movement for defense and redress. But the veteran soldiers of the region were called away again, this time to defend other parts of the State. The forces remaining were only the cavalry, ill armed, newly organized, without any system for providing subsistence or clothing, and as for ammunition, relying with uncertain dependence upon the efforts of General Magruder in Texas.

Although scantily equipped for such an expedition, General Cabell, in response to appeals for protection to the once populous and bountiful plateau north of the Boston mountains, of which Fayetteville and Bentonville are the principal towns, prepared his little force in and around Ozark (on the Arkansas river below Van Buren), to make a dash against Fayetteville, 70 or 80 miles distant, where the enemy was in greater force. His contemplated movement was considered opportune by General Steele at Fort Smith, who believed that Colonel Phillips, the Cherokee commander, was preparing to march from Fort Gibson southward through the Indian country, and that his force would be recruited from the enemy's troops at Fayetteville, so that the garrison would be reduced to the minimum and unprepared for Cabell's attack. The latter resolved to make a demonstration,

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W. L. Cabell (2)
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