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[202] both flanks. The enemy made no attempt to recross the river to the south bank during the stay of Cabell's brigade. Cooper's and Cabell's brigades were concentrated July 22d, 25 miles in rear of the battle ground, and by the 25th had been placed in position at Prairie Springs, 15 miles from Gibson, to await the arrival of Bankhead from Texas. But it was discovered that the powder sent the Confederates from Texas was worthless. A night's heavy dew would convert it, when exposed, to a paste. Moving to Honey Springs, Cabell's brigade remained a few days, then fell back to Soda Springs, and thence was ordered to old Camp Pike. The enemy was reported as crossing the Arkansas to attack Cabell, when Steele, with Cooper's command, joined him on the march to Camp Pike. There remaining a few days, a position was taken for a week on the San Bois, where the Beale road crosses it, expecting an attack. The brigade was then ordered to fall back to Scullyville, near Fort Smith, and if attacked take the road leading to Riddle's Station, where there were commissary stores.

On August 21st, General Cabell was ordered to ascertain the enemy's strength in northwestern Arkansas, and assume direction of the forces about Fort Smith. He concentrated his regiments at McLean's crossing of the Poteau, and removed all the public property at Fort Smith to a place of safety.

The enemy pursued General Steele to Perryville with a force of 2,000 cavalry, and 3,000 infantry hauled in wagons, before which Steele evacuated Perryville, which the enemy burned, and turned toward Fort Smith. General Blunt's advance, striking Cabell's scouts two miles west of the San Bois, skirmished with them until within twelve miles of Scullyville, within four miles of Cabell's pickets. At 2 o'clock on August 31st, General Cloud attacked the Confederate pickets and skirmished with them to a field near the Poteau bottom. The powder used by the Confederate pickets would knock up the dust in the

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