the men who lived where fertile mountain valleys, threaded by crystal streams, alternating with rich, populous prairie meadows, had inspired that local attachment characteristic of mountaineers.
They began to desert by companies.
The rumor that they were nearing the enemy did not put a stop to it altogether, although pride of character prevented many from taking leave at such a juncture.
Scouts came with reports of a large force of Federal infantry, artillery and cavalry, in long columns, heading for the Arkansas river
Their numbers seemed greater as they were seen moving over the open, rolling prairies, and their glitter and banners more imposing in the June sunshine than if viewed from some height or obscured by obstacles.
The command of Cabell
was disposed for battle, and the troops hurried forward with the ordnance wagons, while the subsistence train proceeded slowly, and by a night march was left behind.
Early next morning the booming of cannon ahead announced a conflict; ammunition was served out and the march resumed.
The brigade pushed on without dinner, while the sounds of the artillery firing and the rattle of small arms were borne on the wind.
Before night the reinforcement came up with Cooper
's force, camped in a skirt of timber, in apparently fine spirits.
moved forward to the scene of battle, but the enemy had retreated.
There in the prairie lea, upon a bed of rails, under a bank of earth recently thrown up, were thirty or forty lifeless forms, whose straight, black hair protruding in tufts from the newly-made grave indicated their race.
It was the 18th of July, and the temperature was about 95 degrees.
The dead bodies had to be buried.
Dotted over the prairie were graves with headboards designating the killed of Blunt
It was the field near Honey Springs
, where Blunt
had surprised Cooper
on the 17th of July before Cabell
could come up. Blunt
's command was composed of the Second