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[176] brigade, 1,089; Kitchen's battalion, 286. In all, 4,058. Of these, many are out on outpost duty. Carter's (Texas) brigade, now attached to General Walker's command, is reported 1,170, total present. From the most reliable information General Marmaduke can obtain, the enemy have not more than from 4,000 to 5,000 at Helena; and were a movement conducted with celerity and secrecy, by which you could concentrate the commands of Generals Frost and Fagan with this column, I entertain no doubt of your being able to crush the foe at that point.

The raids into Missouri, arduous as they were, could not be compared with the march on Helena from Little Rock and Jacksonport with infantry, artillery and trains. The line of march was across the Grand prairie, a treeless level, whose heavy, wet flats are easily cut into miry roads. At the season of this march, millions of prairie-flies and black gnats swarmed everywhere, distressing the mules and horses. White river was to cross, and the low, swampy bottoms of Cache river, and the soft bottom land of Bayou de View and Caney creek. Other watercourses, all more or less difficult, were to be passed and, to increase the distress, a four days rain commenced about the 22d and caused a rise in all these Stygian waters.

On the 18th of June it was ordered that Cottonplant should be the place of rendezvous, June 26th, and on that day the following marching orders were issued by Lieutenant-General Holmes:

1. The movement against Helena will be under the immediate direction of the lieutenant-general commanding the district.

2. Major-General Price, with the forces now under his command, will constitute the first column, and will march from Switzer's, on the direct road to Helena, keeping his cavalry well in advance. He will communicate with headquarters at the close of each day's march. Brigadier-Generals Fagan's and L. M. Walker's brigades will constitute the second column, of which Walker's brigade

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