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[199] Gen. W. L. Cabell in northwest Arkansas. Notwithstanding the failure to increase his command, and its depletion by the withdrawal of Spaight and Monroe, General Steele ordered Cooper to advance to the Arkansas river and compel Blunt and Phillips 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 ‘ColonelPhillips. 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. Cooper 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 to Gibson. He did attack, but Cabell did not cooperate, having been informed that McIntosh had been withdrawn, being ignorant of the substitution of Stand Watie's command, and impeded by the high waters of the June rains.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.

General Cabell, 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

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D. H. Cooper (4)
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