Gen. W. L. Cabell
in northwest Arkansas
Notwithstanding the failure to increase his command, and its depletion by the withdrawal of Spaight
, General Steele
to advance to the Arkansas river
and compel Blunt
to release their hold on the upper Arkansas
In obedience to this order, Cooper
, with two regiments of Texas
cavalry and some of the Indian
troops, a battery of three howitzers and one small rifle gun, advanced toward Fort Gibson
, which was now strengthened by the earthworks of ‘Colonel
At the same time, General Cabell
, with a considerable cavalry force, made a bold movement beyond Fayetteville
to Cowskin prairie
, in Missouri
, operating upon the enemy's rear and lines of communication in that quarter.
was instructed to avoid a general action and operate from the west.
Col. D. N. McIntosh
, with his Indian regiment, was sent forward, and Stand Watie
was ordered to attack a large train of the enemy, going from Fort Scott
He did attack, but Cabell
did not cooperate, having been informed that McIntosh
had been withdrawn, being ignorant of the substitution of Stand Watie
's command, and impeded by the high waters of the June rains.
Thus Stand Watie
was repulsed, and the enemy's immense train of supplies and munitions was suffered to reach Fort Gibson
, near the banks of the upper Arkansas
, in safety.
, now having recruited his force to 3,000 or 4,000 men, was summoned to Fort Smith
to make a campaign against Blunt
's forces by advancing up the Arkansas
on the south side and forming a junction with Cooper
in front of Fort Gibson
With his force, well mounted and composed of young men chiefly, but poorly armed, Cabell
entered the Territory
by the old Pacific mail route, the bridges of which, in some places, were still standing in the uninhabited prairies.
The desert, wild prairies, dismal post-oak barrens, and the direction they were taking, produced a demoralizing effect upon