he received (including the troops already at Helena
) ‘a force of about 8,000 infantry and five batteries, to form, with troops to be sent from Missouri
, an expedition against the enemy in Arkansas
Maj.-Gen. Frederick Steele
was sent to command this force.
At the same time, the cavalry division under Brigadier-General Davidson
, at Pilot Knob
, was ordered to move south, through the eastern part of Arkansas
, and effect a junction with the force at Helena
for the expedition against Little Rock
on the St. Francis river
July 28th, and opened communication with the Federals
In northwest Arkansas
, meanwhile, the situation was disturbed and threatening, on account of the movements of Blunt
and his Federal Indian allies and the despondency of the people, caused by the ravages and ruin they had suffered, and the news of continued disaster to the armies of the South
The tyrannies of the military rule on both sides had brought the people to a state of detestation of war and of soldiers in any uniform.
Yet the great bulk of the population was true to the Southern
Gen. William Steele
had been commended to General Holmes
as a suitable commanding officer for the Indian Territory
and superintendent of Indian affairs, and in May had been assigned to duty as such.
He was an old army officer, residing at San Antonio, Tex.
, had served in the Mexican
war, was with May in the charge at Palo Alto
, and commanded a regiment at the close of that war. But he was severely afflicted with rheumatism, which almost incapacitated him. General Cooper
, commanding the Indian
allies, since the defeat of Maysville
, seemed to have fallen into a state of torpor.
was placed in command of the Territory
, General Cabell
commanded in northwestern Arkansas
On repairing to Fort Smith
, General Steele
found there Col. A. S. Morgan
's regiment of infantry and some cavalry.
had the sick and wounded of Prairie